Lieutenant General Kuno Augustus Friedrich Karl Detlev Graf von Moltke (13 December 1847 – 19 March 1923), adjutant to Kaiser Wilhelm II and military commander of Berlin, was a principal in the homosexual scandal known as the Harden-Eulenburg Affair (1907) that rocked the Kaiser's entourage. Moltke was forced to leave the military service.
In 1896 Moltke, a 'confirmed bachelor', married Nathalie von Hayden ('Lilly'), a woman more than twenty years his junior. The couple soon became estranged, with Moltke's physician later alleging that Lilly had physically attacked Moltke several times. The couple were eventually divorced in 1902 (the formal divorce proceedings took several years to conclude).
The Harden–Eulenburg affair
In 1907 the journalist Maximilian Harden publicly accused Moltke and Philipp, Prince of Eulenburg-Hertefeld of a homosexual relationship. At this time, homosexual acts between men were illegal per Paragraph 175 of the German Criminal Code.
Accusations and counter-accusations quickly multiplied. Later that year, Moltke sued Harden for libel. His ex-wife Lilly (who had since remarried and was now called Lilly von Elbe) voluntarily testified against him. Magnus Hirschfeld, a physician and sexologist who supported the legalization of homosexuality in Germany, also testified that he believed Moltke to be homosexual. The court sensationally acquitted Harden and concluded that he had been telling the truth about Moltke's sexuality. However, the verdict was voided due to faulty procedure.
In 1908 Hardman was retried, and this time he was found guilty of libel against Moltke.
Moltke played little further part in public life after the Harden-Eulenberg affair. He died in Berlin in 1923.