Rudolf von Goldenbaum
From Gineipaedia, the Legend of Galactic Heroes wiki
Archival image of Kaiser Rudolf I (318 UC (9 IC / 3118 CE))
|Occupation:||Kaiser of the Galactic Empire|
|Status:||Deceased (natural causes)|
|Played by:||Ōtsuka Chikao (Deceased)|
After graduating at the top of his class from the Galactic Federation Armada Officer Academy, Rudolf von Goldenbaum served in the Galactic Federation Armada in the Frontier Worlds. In 288 UC (3088 CE) Rudolf was in command of an Armada fleet in the Betelgeuse Starzone, where he fought against the Main Street Pirates to an overwhelming victory (Archival footage indicates that Rudolf may have used nuclear weapons to completely obliterate the pirates).
While some people criticised Rudolf's battle tactics for being too brutal, most of the Galactic Federation's citizens praised him as a great hero. Some even declared him to be the reincarnation of another Federation hero, Admiral Christpher Wood. Rudolf would remain in the military service for another 8 years, at which time he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral at the age of 28. After the promotion, he retired from the armada in order to pursue a career in politics. (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey')
After his victory over the Main Street Pirates, Rudolf von Goldenbaum's celebrity had escalated dramatically. In 296 UC (3096 CE) he was voted into the Galactic Parliament in a landslide election. Rudolf quickly began building a power base, gathering various other young, idealistic and conservative-minded politicians around him, forming a new political party — the National Reform Alliance.
The National Reform Alliance was dedicated to restoring the Galactic Federation to its former glory, and ushering in a new 'Golden Age of Humanity'. With each election cycle, the NRA gained more and more seats in Parliament, until it was the dominant political party in the Federation. By popular vote, Rudolf von Goldenbaum was elected as President of the Federation; he was appointed as Prime Minister by the Parliament soon thereafter. (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey')
Holding the office of both Prime Minister and President, Rudolf was the most powerful man in the galaxy. Free Planets Alliance historian D. Sinclair said: "By unwritten law, it was prohibited to hold these two posts concurrently, but Rudolf took advantage of the fact that no constitutional article forbade it. And when these two posts, whose separate power were limited, were combined in one individual, no one alive could oppose Rudolf's political power."
President Rudolf's rule became increasingly authoritarian; his power increasingly unquestioned. He transformed the Federation into a dictatorship, declaring himself "president for life." (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey')
Rudolf von Goldenbaum declared the re-organisation of the Galactic Federation into the Galactic Empire in 310 UC (1 IC / 3110 CE) and declared himself emperor. A new calendar, the Imperial Calendar, was initiated to mark the ascension of Rudolf to the new imperial throne.
Rudolf's government was extremely efficient, and managed to quickly root out the corruption that had plagued the Galactic Federation. Lifestyles and recreations deemed "unhealthy" by the state were prohibited and vigorously prosecuted, resulting in a dramatic decrease in crime and juvenile delinquency.
In 318 UC (9 IC / 3118 CE), Rudolf announced the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act. Social welfare policies were abolished; handicapped and poor citizens were sterilised by force; and the mentally ill were euthanised. The sheer violence of the act outraged the citizens and the Imperial Parliament, who criticised the emperor for his brutality. Rudolf responded by dissolving the Parliament and creating the Department of Social Discipline within the Empire's Ministry of the Interior. A secret police force, the Department of Social Discipline prosecuted Rudolf's political enemies and any amongst the citizens who might be considered a dissident.
In the following years, Rudolf would consolidate his empire by forming a new aristocratic class to support it: the High Nobility. This new nobility was filled only with people of Germanic descent (or that could pass for it), reflecting Rudolf's own biases. When Rudolf died in 351 UC (42 IC / 3151 CE) at the age of 83, he left no heir, which led to a brief succession dispute, eventually ending when the son of Rudolf's eldest daughter became Kaiser Sigismund I, the second emperor of the Goldenbaum Dynasty. (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey')
- "Until Rudolf von Goldenbaum got his hands on power, even if he was rather self-righteous, perhaps he was no more than a reformer burning with ideals and conviction. That changed completely once he had authority. He travelled the road from simple self-affirmation to self-deification."
Centuries after his death, Rudolf would be remembered by people throughout the galaxy. In the Free Planets Alliance, he served as a symbol of utter tyranny and evil, a warning to all free democratic people of the dangers of autocracy. In the Empire, he was a hallowed figure. The holy founder of the greatest nation in human history, and a symbol of imperial power.
To Yang Wen-li, Rudolf was a constant reminder that political and military authority ought never be mixed. On the other hand, although Reinhard von Lohengramm disapproved of Rudolf himself, his methods served as an inspiration — his life's accomplishments teaching Reinhard that one man could change the galaxy; that if one does not like the world, one has the power to change it by one's own hand.
Rudolf had at least one wife, the Kaiserin Elizabeth, who gave birth to four daughters. Rudolf's eldest daughter, Katharina, married Joachim von Neue Stauffen and their son, Sigismund I, succeeded Rudolf to the throne after his death in 351 UC (42 IC / 3151 CE). (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey', Prologue: A Brief History of the Galaxy)
Rudolf is also known to have had at least one concubine, Magdalena, who gave birth to a son but it was rumoured he suffered from a congenital birth defect. Magdalena, her family, and all medical and nursing staff involved in the birth were all executed, suggesting the rumours were true. The son's fate is unknown, but it is reasonable to assume that he was either killed or hidden away where opponents could never use him. (LOGH: 'Julian's Journey, Mankind's Journey')
- Rudolf von Goldenbaum's rise to power in the Galactic Federation bears many similarities to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany, as does his attitudes toward both the creation of a "master race", the annihilation of various 'inferior' people (the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act bears a great resemblance to the Action T4, a Nazi programme of killing the mentally and physically disabled under a racist ideology) and execution of homosexuals (in an irony of history, Kaiser Kaspar, Rudolf's descendant, was gay).
- The fact that Rudolf had four daughters and a son with disabilities is similar to the case of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, who also had four daughters, while his son was born with hemophilia.
|Rudolf • Sigismund I • Richard I • Otfried I • Kasper • Julius • Sigismund II • Otfried II • August I • Erich I • Richard II • Otto Heinz I • Richard III • August II • Erich II • Friedrich I • Leonhard I • Friedrich II • Leonhard II • Friedrich III • Maximilian Josef I • Gustav • Maximilian Josef II • Kornelias I • Manfred I • Helmut • Manfred II • Wilhelm I • Wilhelm II • Kornelias II • Otfried III • Erwin Josef I • Otfried IV • Otto Heinz II • Otfried V • Friedrich IV • Erwin Josef II • Katharin Kätchen|