Now th’ evening glow of my life

Will sink in the dark lap of the night.

                                   What am I still searching for in this world?

Nothing – But memories bring me new life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY MEMORIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written in my 80th year of life,

                                                                                                                    With the help of my very dear wife

And my dear daughter Dorle.

Dedicated to all my descendants

 

 

 

                              

 

Stefan Haupt–Buchenrode

 

Rio de Janeiro, 1949 – 1951

 

 Translated from German to English by his granddaughter:

 Marie-Louise (Haupt-Buchenrode) Thuronyi.

 Proofread by Barbara Yingling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE.

 

 

 

I finished translating my Grandfather’s “My Memories” on May 8th, 1998, in Paranavai, Brazil. It was Mothers’ Day and I would like to pay special homage to all the exemplary, outstanding “mothers” of the family written about in this book. I recall a sentence in my mother’s last will: “Love each other as I have loved you.” These words should unite - also in the future - all our family.

The idea of doing this translation was to keep this interesting family history alive for future generations and to carry on our aim “PRORSUM” (onward). Only a few of the younger generation will read German, so I chose English as the language most suitable for the future. Whenever I added information about an event that occurred after my Grandfather’s death I indicated it with a *[ ].

I enjoyed doing this work, living in the past and reviewing so many well-known memories of our wonderful childhood. I hope that some of my children and grandchildren and relatives will read this family history; if so, my work will not have been in vain. The original German book has no chapters, nor pictures. I made an overall selection of over 100 pictures to meet everyone’s interest, and to make it easier to understand “who is who” with Haupts and Stummers.

My gratitude goes to Barbara Yingling, who did a wonderful job with her precise proofreading. She is a niece to Jake Sheaffer, our cousin Lucia Pretis-Cagnodo’s late husband. Lucia also helped a lot, and we had fun doing some of the translation during evenings in Tucson, Arizona.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY MEMORIES

Stefan Haupt-Buchenrode

 

 

 


C O N T E N T S

 

 

 

Mährisch – Rotmühl 1676 – 1805.        1

Brünn 1805 – 1899.      1

Zlin 1899 – 1928.          24

Switzerland 1918 - 1920.        49

Sorokujfalu 1920 – 1945.         67

Duchonka 1928 – 1944.            74

The Second World War 1939 – 1945.  83

Salzburg – Kammer 1944 – 1948.        90

Emigration – Brazil 1947 – 1948.         99

*P.s. A Register of THE "lived present of the younger Generation"   102

*APPENDIX TO REGISTER OF THE "LIVED PRESENT OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION"       105

*INDEX Of PICTURES   …………………………………………………………………………………… 106

 

 

This document has:

Ø              112 pages

Ø              103 pictures

Ø              802 paragraphs

Ø           5,542 lines

Ø         66,313 words

Ø       321,285 characters

 

 

 

 

1/ BRÜNN, Kiosk 11, bought by Stefan Baron Haupt von BUCHENRODE in 1914. Rebuild by the well-known architect Leopold Bauer*.

        

2/ ZLIN,   bought in1860 for 470.000 Gulden by Leopold Alexander Haupt,

                 sold in 1929 for 11,950.000 Kč.crowns by Stefan Haupt v. Buchenrode.

 

3/ STEMPLOWITZ, bought by Ernst von Janotta and his wife Dorle (renovation in 1930*)

4/ JANUFALU,  bought by Poldi Haupt Stummer and left to his daughter Gertrud. The Nesnera’s home after 1918.

 

5/ CHALMOVA, bought by August Haupt-Stummer in 1930, (reformed in 1935*) it was their home after they left the southern wing of TAVARNOK.

 

6/ TÖKÉSUJFALU (Klatova Nova Ves), bought by Leopold Alexander Haupt in 1884 for 280,000 Gulden for his son Poldi when he married Auguste Stummer v. Tavarnok. Later left to Poldi’s daughter Carola. The Thuronyi’s home.

 

7/ DUCHONKA, was bought in 1928 and build by Stefan Haupt v. Buchenrode for his daughter Liesl, with a build in organ, in 1930/31

 

8/ TAVARNOK, bought by August Stummer in the late 1870’s; was later Poldi and Auguste’s home, and their first grandson Béla was born there. After 1928 Leo Haupt Stummer and Leni’s home, where their children: Leo, Pupa and Ernsti were born.

 

9/ BODOK,       bought by Alexander Haupt Stummer in the late 1870’s. He was Lucia  Sheaffer (Pretis de Cagnodo)’s great grandfather.

She lives now in U.S.A. (Maine and Arizona)

 

10/ SOROKUJFALU, bought in 1916 by Stefan Haupt v. B. for 3,800,000 crowns and donated to his son Steffi at his marriage with Ursi in 1918 (our home in Hungary, renovation in 1926).

 

11/ ERB,           bought by Ernst Haupt Stummer in the late sixties.

 

 

 

 

Mährisch – Rotmühl 1676 – 1805.

Our family comes from the northern part of Moravia, Mährisch–Rotmühl, where you can trace them in the church-books up to the year 1676. They surely were living there before this date, but the registration books were destroyed during the storms of the “30 years war.” Our forefathers owned a large farm and also ran a  “bleaching” and “pressing” operation for the linen weavings, common in this part of the country.

 

At this stage of a humble prosperity they stayed for over 200 years, until the troubles of the Napoleonic Wars shook them out of their quiet life and forced them to more and harder activities. My great-grandfather Josef Haupt, born 1763, got from the Austrian ministry of war a large order for a supply of linen for the Austrian army and consequently could already employ at the end of the 18th century a great number of home-workers.

 

Brünn 1805 – 1899.

For the management of this large trade the village of Mährisch–Rotmühl was too far away and so Josef Haupt moved in 1804 or 1805 to Brünn, where he bought a house in Fröhlicher Street. Since this time the military orders grew steadily and were, after the Viennese Congress of 1815, so remarkable that Josef Haupt at this stage employed all over Moravia more than 6,000 home-workers. He died in 1816. His enterprises, the farm and the bleaching in Mährisch-Rotmühl, went to his eldest son Leopold Georg who was only 20 years old. The inheritance was estimated to be 700,000 Gulden, Viennese currency. And Leopold Georg had to pay off his brothers and sisters.

 

In spite of his youth, Leopold Georg soon proved to be a very able businessman, who managed to run his enterprises on a high level. After the peace treaty, he extended his market to the newly gained Italian provinces of Austria, opening a new factory in Milan. This boom was mainly reached by his invention of a new way of packing the military-belts, by which the government could save several 100,000 Gulden, so he was rewarded for it. Leopold Georg married Therese Lettmayer, the daughter of an important leather industrialist, in Brünn in 1826. The Lettmayers owned, besides their factory, a very nice house with a large garden in the suburb Kröna, with a summer resort aspect. At that time the old Mr. Lettmayer was already dead and his widow Therese, born Ehrenberger from Upper-Austria, who had inherited this considerable fortune, lived in the Kröna house. She was considered by all her acquaintances a very resolute and able businesswoman.  She had not less than 13 children who were all deceased before her. Only two of her children reached the marital age: her daughter Therese, who married Leopold Georg Haupt and died in 1828, and her son Franz, who left behind a wife and two little boys, Richard and Eugen, when he died in 1846. His widow married a few years later the governor of Moravia, Baron Poche. Her two sons were adopted by their stepfather and got the name Poche Lettmayer. The old Mrs. Therese Lettmayer, born Ehrenberger, died in 1850 on a trip to the spa Carlsbad, falling from a carriage, at the age of 68. At the time of her death, out of her great family there was only one grandson left, Leopold Alexander, 23 years old. His father, Leopold Georg Haupt, had died during the cholera epidemic in 1851. He was married for the second time in 1834 to Emilie Schöll, the daughter of a cloth manufacturer. They had nine children, two boys and seven daughters; we will be referring to them later on. His son, Leopold Alexander, my father, lived with him till his second marriage. Then he moved to his Grandmother Therese Lettmayer’s house in the Kröna where he stayed till she died. Both his grandmother and his father died within a short time and so he suddenly inherited the whole Lettmayer fortune and half of the Haupt’s.

 

Leopold Alexander’s task was pretty hard, as he was not an expert in leather manufacturing. He therefore decided quickly to wind up the Lettmayer inheritance and to limit his activities to the linen manufacturing of the Haupt’s inheritance. The freed capital he invested in a banking business, which he opened in the beginning of the fifties in Brünn. The rate of interest in Austria was, after the troubles of the revolution in ’48 and the wars with Hungary and Italy, very high and offered owners of free capital very good chances of profit.  The rate of government bonds was extremely low. The bad financial situation of Austria didn’t keep my father from buying a great amount of these bonds. My father at that time was already considered a rich man and wanted to set up his own house. His choice fell on Anna, the 19-year-old daughter of a well known lawyer in Brünn, Dr. Schlemlein, from the Supreme Court of Judicature and his wife, Henriette Schlechta von Vsehrd. The wedding was on January 23rd, 1858, in the episcopate chapel of the cathedral of Brünn. The political confusion of this year didn’t make it advisable to go for a honeymoon abroad, so the young couple decided on a trip to the Haupt's house in the Kröna. There they also opened their household after Leopold Alexander’s stepmother moved to her newly-bought villa in Schreibwald Street.

 

At that time the constitutional movement in Austria started and the governor of Moravia let my father confidentially know that the government would be happy if he would take part in this movement and for this purpose would buy a property in Moravia. My father didn’t oppose this suggestion of the government; as a matter of fact he thought it would also be a good investment for his free capital. Among several offers there was the property of Zlin, in Moravia, which belonged to two eccentric bachelors, the Barons von Breton. The transaction couldn’t be realized, as the Bretons’ demand was too high. But as they were in financial difficulties they sold the property to the leather manufacturer Bergen in Brünn in the same year, 1856, who then sold within two years to Count Günther Stollberg. But as he died within a year, his widow called again on my father, offering him the property. The negotiations were satisfactory and my father bought the 2,400 ha property of Zlin for the price of 470,000 Gulden in July 1860. The estate was in poor shape as the Bretons were missing capital to equip the property properly in a modern way. The productivity of the forest, which was mainly beech trees, was badly handicapped by a very unfavorable contract of delivery with a timber dealer of Vienna. This contract obliged them, through many years, to deliver several hundred wagons of beech logs to Vienna. This unfortunate contract could be ended only after a long process. The farmbuildings of Zlin, Mlacov, and Cäcilienhof, as well as the castle, were in poor condition. Although the Bretons had started a renovation in 1850, they were forced to stop half way for monetary reasons. My father, who was not a passionate farmer or forester, didn’t change much of this situation in the beginning and started a partial renovation of the castle only in 1874.

 

On January 12th, 1859, their first son was born and was baptized with the name of Leopold Eugen (called Poldi). He was followed, after a long pause, December 5, 1866, by a daughter, Marianne, and on October 27th, 1869, a son, Stefan Viktor, the author of these pages. The purchase of the property Zlin brought quite a change in my parents’ day-to-day life. Until now they had stayed throughout the year in their town apartment except for a few weeks in summer on their estate in Rotmühl. From now on, the castle of Zlin, with its beautiful park and the charming surroundings, was chosen as their summer resort. As my father was no more interested in the estate of Rotmühl, it was sold soon after 1866. Next to be sold was the “bleaching” in street Zeile in Brünn and the big garden at the Kröna was divided into lots and built up. After this, the holdings of my father were only the houses in Brünn, the banking business and the estate of Zlin, on which he now could focus all his attention. Besides that he dedicated his time to public affairs. He was elected to the municipal board of the city of Brünn and a member of the chamber of commerce.

 

In 1864 he founded with his brother-in-law, Gustav von Schoeller, and some other prominent industrialists from Brünn the Escomptbank. He was elected to the administrative board. He now liquidated his own bank business (1865) as the threatening war with Prussia left the financial situation of small banks quite unsafe. Nevertheless the war of 1866 brought no change for the worse to Leopold Alexander’s pecuniary circumstances; not even the great breakdown of the stock exchange in 1873 modified his financial situation. This one had only disadvantageous consequences for his half sisters, who by making wrong speculations lost most of their fortunes. Indirectly these changes had an influence on my father as they supported his tendency of great economy. My father’s opponents often accused him of being paltry. But this reproach could be made only for small affairs. In important affairs he was always very broad-minded. For example, in the ‘60s he donated more than 100,000 florins for scholarships to small tradesmen and poor scholars. Besides that he left in his testament 100,000 crown to the city of Brünn for the establishment of a children’s recovery-nursery in castle Kiritein, next to Brünn.

 

Leopold Alexander was always on very friendly terms with his stepsisters and one of the sisters always was invited to spend the summer in Zlin. As these very dear aunts had a great influence on us children, their life should be mentioned here, too. They were all good looking and elegant figures who knew how to attain standing in society and were very popular, especially in officers’ circles. All married officers except one. This one was Leopoldine, born in 1835, married in 1855 to Sir Gustav von Schoeller, one of the greatest cloth manufacturers of Brünn. She was a highly educated and fine lady, but she suffered from poor nerves, - nevertheless she reached the age of 89 and left behind two sons and five daughters:

Leopoldine, (Putzi) married Carl Mühlinghaus, Brünn,

Marie married Gustav von Paumgarten, Brünn,

Sofie married Johann von Pfefferkorn, Brünn

Lisa married Alexander von Schreiber, Vienna,

Gustav married the actress Anni von Lighety, Vienna,

Hedwig married Colonel Géza von Szüts-Tasnád, Vienna,

Friedrich married Jovy von Bogdan.

 

The second stepsister was Sofie, born 1837, married to Baron Stanislaus Bourguignon. She died at only 23 years of age, from diphtheria, and left behind two daughters. Bourguignon soon married again, Princess Salm, whom he divorced two years later. His two small children were lovingly accepted and brought up by their stepmother. The elder one, Amelie Bourguignon, married Baron Wyttenbach, landowner in Styria. The second, Hermine, was taken in as a grownup girl, by her aunt, Adele Krieghammer, and married Count Jean Lubienski, a ”Ulanen” lieutenant, in Lemberg in 1890. This couple had three children: Stanislau (Stas), Jean (Jas) and Constance (Kocia). Hermine (Minni) Lubienska died in 1946, at the age of 86, in Pápa (Hungary), where she lived after her husband’s death with her daughter.

Adele, our favored aunt, born 1838, married in 1858 in Brünn an officer called Grognier d’Orleans, but they divorced after a few months because of his coarse character. She thereafter lived with her younger sister Marie in Vienna.They both spent a very jolly life. Adele was married a second time to Edmund Baron von Krieghammer, major in the 5th Dragoon Regiment. Later he was commander in charge in Krakow and from 1895 to 1902 Austro-Hungarian minister of war. He belonged to the very intimate circle of Emperor Francis Joseph, and was a steady guest at the stag hunting in Ischl. At one of these hunting parties in 1906 Edmund Baron von Kriegshammer died. He left behind, besides his widow, a daughter Olga and a son Kurt, Lieutenant in the 5th Dragoon Regiment. Aunt Adi stayed on in Vienna and, till the First World War, always spent a few weeks each summer in Zlin. As through the years of war living got more difficult in Vienna, she and her daughter accepted an invitation, of my brother Poldi, to Tavarnok. After the war he offered her castle Bossany as a place to stay. There she was lovingly nursed by Olga for another six years and finally died in 1925, to our great sorrow.

Marie (Riri) was born 1840 in Brünn and married in 1857 2nd Lieutenant Eduard Friedenfels, who died in 1859 during the battle of Solferino. He left behind a daughter, Marie (Mitzi), and a son, Eduard, posthumous, born in 1859. Marie was living after the death of her husband with her sister Adele in Vienna, where after a few years she married Baron August Normann, 2nd Lieutenant in a cavalry regiment. Some misunderstandings were the cause of their separation for a couple of years, but after reconciliation they lived, till their death, in a happy matrimony. They were both very good-looking people and very popular in the society of Graz. It was said that Aunt Marie looked very much like Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She died in Graz in 1900.

Carl, born 1842 in Brünn, entered the army in 1860, after finishing his studies, and was a lieutenant in a “huszár” regiment. He participated in the battle of Königgrätz and was wounded in his upper leg. After he recovered, he left the army and bought the estate Straussenegg near Gilli in Southern-Styria. His mother, who after the marriage of her youngest daughter, Julie, stayed alone in the Schreibwald Villa at Brünn, moved to his place. The house at Brünn with the nice garden was sold and she stayed at Straussenegg, where her daughters went to see her, till she died in 1883. Carl remained a bachelor but had a love affair with an actress of the German Theater in Laibach. He had two children from this liaison, Carl (Cari) and Margarete (Gitty). As the mother of his children was already married, but divorced, he couldn’t legitimatize his children by a marriage with her. Then Carl made a petition to the emperor to get the legitimization of his children through an imperial decree. Considering his war-indemnity and his decorations (Iron Crown), his petition was granted by decree. Uncle Carl was a famous horse breeder and expert; this brought him a nomination of the government of Styria. As a reward for his efforts in this field he was granted knighthood with the predicate “von Hohentrenk.”

My grandfather, Leopold Georg Haupt, had a younger brother called Julius who owned a signet ring with an old coat of arms showing an upstanding man in a shield. Carl Haupt wanted to use this old coat of arms for his patent of nobility. On searching for the origin of this coat of arms, it was found that an ancient noble family Haupt seated in Saxon (Germany) uses the same coat of arms. The consent of this family had to be applied for to transfer this coat of arms to Carl Haupt.  In the course of negotiations they agreed with Carl bearing this old coat of arms and expressed their opinion that the Haupt’s Austrian line originate from the same family as the Saxonians.

Carl died in 1916 in Straussenegg. In his testament he indicated me as the guardian of his children Cari and Gitty. As Straussenegg was very near the Italian battlefront and there was nobody to be in charge of the property, I sold it in 1917 and invested the money safely. Soon afterwards Cari entered the Austrian-Hungarian army, and after the end of the war married in Budapest a Baroness Dittfurt, whom he soon divorced. Gitty stayed quite a while in my house, traveled a lot, and married Mr. Klasing, co-owner of the well-known publishers “ Vellhagen and Klasing” in Berlin.

Therese (Thesy), born 1844 in Brünn, married in 1869 navy Lieutenant von Henneberg, who was aide-de-camp to Tegethoff during the navy battle of Lissa in 1866. After the marriage, he quit the navy, and settled down with his young wife in Cilli. There were born their two children, Nanine and Erni. Soon after Henneberg developed an illness in his spinal cord and in consequence became blind. Unfortunately his wife died even before him, in 1897. Nanine nursed her father until his death a few years later. Than she went to her brother’s place in Transylvania, where he was serving with a hussar regiment in Hermannstadt. Soon she got engaged to Silvio Spiess von Braccioforte. The wedding was celebrated in Zlin, in our place, in 1902. This couple had four children: Therese married Franz Vermeulen, a Dutchman, and professor at the Academy of Arts in Haag. Hans married a Czech called Mila Vavrik, divorced, and lives now 93 years old in Linz; Silvio married during the Second World War in Germany Helga Ries. Margarete (Putzi) married Tibor de Mérey, a Hungarian, who lost his life in 1945 escaping from the Russians. She was kept in a camp in Bohemia with her two little children, till her brother-in-law, Gyuri Mérey, could bring her to Switzerland where she learned of her husband’s death. *[She now lives in Yverdon, Switzerland with her daughter Desiré, who is a widow of Prince Friedrich Lobkowicz (her e-mail is: dlobkowicz@bluewin.ch ). Her son Peter Mérey works in Geneva.] Their father, Silvio senior, commander in charge of an infantry regiment was killed in the first winter battle in the Carpathians in 1915. Post-mortem he was decorated with the Maria Theresa Order. Poldi and Auguste took care of the orphans and invited Nanine to live in Tavarnok with her four children, where she stayed till 1949 even after the marriage of all of her children. When the circumstances in Slovakia were unbearable, and the castle inhabitants also had left, she decided in spite of her age to move to her daughter’s in the Haag, but there she soon died, in April 1950.

Gabriele, born 1847, married 1867 to Stefan Count Schlippenbach, a colonel of an Austro-Hungarian hussar regiment. They had two sons: Wolfram, born 1868, was killed as a German officer in the Herero-war in German-West Africa and Parcifall (Percy), who emigrated to Chile working as cabin boy on a steamship and not heard of again. The Schlippenbach couple got divorced; Gabriele converted to Protestantism and died in 1917 in a women’s home in Silesia (Germany).

The youngest daughter Julie was born in Brünn in 1848 and was married in 1868 to Prokop von Zeidler, 2nd Lieutenant in a Dragoon Regiment. They had four children: Alfred born in 1869, Egon in 1870, Helene in 1874 and Lilly in 1882. Both sons were soldiers in the 25th Fighter Battalion. Both completed the military high school, were appointed to the General Staff and achieved high missions. Alfred advanced in the 1st World War to field marshal-lieutenant, but after the war quit the Austro-Hungarian army. He was married to Jolán von Gábor and had two daughters. Alfred died in Vienna in November 1950. Egon was appointed chief of Emperor Karl’s military office. He was an ardent Austrian patriot and took the breakdown of his country badly to heart; when he then also lost his wife (Baroness Vivenot) he committed suicide in his despair. Helene and Lillie stayed unmarried and are living (1951) in Graz. Aunt Julie Zeidler died in 1922 in Graz.

The last child of the couple Leopold Georg Haupt and Emilie Schöll was a boy, called Richard, born in 1851 after his father’s death. He died as a child of ten from diphtheria, at the same time as his sister Sofie Bourguignon.

After this digression we come back to my father Leopold Alexander Haupt. He was an odd person, whose feelings had suffered a lot by the early loss of his parents and all of his uncles and aunts. He avoided all sociability and had disdain for all conventions, which you could even see in his clothing. His way of life was very Spartan and he hated any luxury; although he could have afforded any comfort, his way of living stayed very austere. In this way he also influenced his children, whose education, by the way, he left to his wife. My mother was the personification of kindness, whom we children loved in a divine way. She took care of the poor and sick people on the property Zlin in a charming way, and spent most of her income on charity. She was a very pious woman, but far from bigoted; this was the way she educated her children and influenced especially my religious feelings, as I was her youngest child.

There existed a very tight and loving union between my sister Marianne and me, which still was increased by the compassion I had for her terrible sufferings, caused by a meningitis in her early childhood. Nevertheless we spent a very happy childhood together, especially in summer in Zlin. Wintertime Marianne mostly spent in a southern climate. These trips took her to southern France and Italy, where in Rome she was delighted by the fine arts. On these trips she was accompanied by one of her invited cousins; mostly it was Nanine Henneberg, and her truthful attendant, Marie Holweck. Marianne was a kind, good, noble-minded person who endured her suffering, which imposed so many privations on her, with a remarkable equanimity. Her life was dedicated to alleviating the misery and distress of her fellowmen.

Very different was my relationship with my brother Poldi. As he was 11 years older than I was, I had no childhood remembrances of him. From hearsay, I knew he was not very fond of books - he had failed to pass his exams at high school in Brünn, whereupon our father sent him to a very good and severe boarding school in Vienna. But his stay there didn’t last long. As he didn’t like the severe treatment and the bad food, he decided with some other like-minded fellows to escape from the institute, which they succeeded in doing on a stormy night. His arrival at home didn’t receive great welcome. To return him to public school didn’t seem advisable, so it was decided to engage a private tutor for Poldi to continue his studies. Soon the right person was found; it was Josef Gottwald, himself a medical student who because of financial problems had to quit his studies and who had already been very successful in two former aristocratic homes, at Count Widmann’s in Wiese and Count Zierotin’s in Blauda. This Gottwald was a good example of a tutor, a very well educated, severe, law-minded person. But aside from being a humble and diligent schoolmaster, he nevertheless had the fault of too much pedantry, which prohibited him from earning his pupil’s love. Yet he succeeded in getting Poldi through his remaining classes of high school and baccalaureate. Poldi then carried courses at the Technical University of Brünn and founded there the Corps Marchia. The following year he went to the Technical University of Prague where he followed the chemical courses. Besides that, he participated in a lot of sports and was a very able, strong, muscular gymnast and a good fencer. He had a good sense for arts and a lot of smaller talents, which only needed to be trained. He had a fine musical ear, a nice tenor voice, and played cello and piano. He also was a good designer and would have been a good architect if he could have dedicated his studies to that. Our father didn’t want him to be an architect, because he wanted him to be a cloth manufacturer. This was understandable due to the importance of the textile industry in Brünn. Next Poldi was sent abroad to study textiles in Reims, where he stayed with the manufacturer Marteau’s family. Marteau’s wife was a very beautiful German lady and they had a very musically gifted ten-year-old son. Later he grew to be the very famous violin virtuoso Henri Marteau, with whom Poldi stayed in contact till his death. From Reims Poldi went one year later to Lille and from there, after a short stay, to Barcelona where he ended his practical formation.

Let’s get back to my own person. As I saw the light on October 27th, 1869, in Brünn, our old family doctor, Dr. Linhardt, said jokingly, as he looked at my uncommonly great head: “This one either gets hydrocephalus or he will be a genius.” I think neither of the prophecies came true; neither did I get a hydrocephalus nor was I a genius; I had to be satisfied with an extraordinary memory and a fast comprehension. This way I could manage my homework at high school in a very short time; although I had, besides school, French, English, Czech, piano and violin classes, I never used night hours for my studies. My teachers didn’t want to believe that I could manage all these classes and were foreseeing my failure. As I finally received my excellent grades as 3rd in a class of 39, I got credit for the rest of my school years and no warnings anymore. Of course I had no time left over for sports. Unlike my brother Poldi, whom as a child I admired for his strength, I wasn’t so strong and was not a good gymnast; but I was a quite good horseback rider and fencer.

My childhood memories go very far back and are mostly connected with the summer months we stayed in Zlin. So I remember very well the day, although I was only 2 ½ years old, when the stage-coach which made the connection to the train station in Napajedl, 15 km away, stopped at the gate of the park. Out came a lady from Alsace, whom my mother had hired, who introduced herself as the French governess Marie Holweck. The first impression for us children was crushing, because she was rather ugly and had an unusual beard that disfigured her face. She understood no word of German, so communication, for us children, was rather difficult in the beginning. Nevertheless, this young girl managed this difficult situation and in a very short time gained not only our love but also the love and confidence of my parents. Thereafter she stayed for 50 years uninterruptedly in our family. I was completely given over to her nursing and teaching of French, and she did that so well that after a year I was babbling just as well in French as in German.

As long as I hadn’t entered high school, I spent every summer with my parents and my sister at Zlin. My playmates were at that time the sons of the estate functionaries, a son of the mayor of Zlin and I didn’t disdain the company of some employees’ boys. Besides that, I found the company of a little French boy, who was temporarily sidetracked to Zlin with his mother and sister. His father, Mr. Robert, was manager of the Viennese branch of a French shoe factory. He had connections to Zlin, which at that time could already be called a shoemakers’ town because it had within 2,000 inhabitants 75 shoemakers’ workshops. Mr. Robert had a foreman called Slamena, who was from Zlin. Mr. Robert’s little son André had a natural defect of a shorter leg, which always had to be put in a splint. Viennese doctors advised them to strengthen him in fresh forest air. Slamena had called Mr. Robert’s attention to Zlin, famous for its healthy air, and that’s why he was renting a house on our property and moved his family to Zlin. They visited my parents and soon a friendship developed between the two children of same age.

In the neighborhood I had as playmates only the sons of Count Sternberg in Pohorelitz, who were of the same age. One of them was Moncsi Sternberg, who later on gained a rather dubious celebrity. He at that time was already a violent guy whom, because he was teasing me too much, I thrashed in the presence of both of our parents. For this I got appreciation from his father. Among our neighbors there were still Count Stockau in Napajedl and Baron Stilfried in Wisowitz, but with them we had no special contacts. We did have contact with Mr. Von Gyra in Klecuvka, mainly because of my mother’s friendship to Mrs. Von Gyra, and our families got better acquainted.  Katherine von Gyra was a born Zechani, niece of the ambassador to Greece, Baron Sina in Vienna, who gave her as a wedding present the estate Klecuvka, in our very near neighborhood. Her son Konstantin later married Mimi Baroness Isbary from Vienna, with whom Hedwig and I were on very friendly terms. Also, their only son Georges was a frequent guest in our house.

In 1874 the Emperor Franz Josef awarded my father the nobility, with the title von Buchenrode. It was in appreciation of his merits, which he gained as a longtime deputy of the landowners in the Moravian country council, as a member of the chamber of commerce and the municipal council of the city of Brünn, as well as through many charity foundations.

On October 1st, I started first grade at the German Gymnasium in Brünn. As our home in the Kröna was rather far from the school, I couldn’t come back for lunch. It was decided for me to take my lunch, during school time, with Mrs. Fanny Gottwald. She was a former helper at my mother’s household and married in 1878 Poldi’s tutor, Josef Gottwald, who meanwhile had a job as a librarian at the German University in Brünn. They had a nice home, quite near to the Gymnasium, so I could have a rest and study with Mr. Gottwald. This situation went on till Mr. Gottwald’s death in 1886.

At the end of April 1883, as all was prepared to move to Zlin, I came home from school with a shivering fit. The fever climbed to 41 degrees and I lost consciousness, which I recovered only nine days later. When I woke up after the crisis, bathed in sweat but saved, I was told that the doctors had diagnosed typhoid fever and pneumonia. I was released from school for the current period. My recovery was fast, and I could be taken to Zlin a few weeks later. To make up for the missed school time, my schoolmate Viktor von Geschmeidler was invited to Zlin and henceforth was a permanent vacation guest. In the following year my second school friend Franz Kreuter joined us, too. He was very musical and an excellent violinist. I also made progress with my violin, so we decided to form a string quartet. Kreuter played the first violin, I the second, and two other mates, Bayer and Kafka, played the cello and viola. We took great pleasure in these musical evenings at my parents’ place in Brünn. To satisfy our literary demands we founded, on suggestion of our schoolmate, Egon Zweig, a readers' club. The members, naturally only males, met regularly every Sunday afternoon to read dramas with distributed roles. This readers’ club was highly esteemed by all colleagues and often-violent struggles were fought for its presidency. The female roles were also represented by boys, and so it happened that a very ugly Jewish boy, but excellent declaimer, called Pollach was given the role of the Virgin of Orleans and of Desdemona, which by no means interfered with our enthusiasm.

In 1882 Poldi came back from his study tour in Spain and France and started to work as a volunteer in the worsted-spinning mill. The work there didn’t appeal to him and he was looking for distraction in social life. Among the families he met there was the machine manufacturer Ernst Krackhardt’s, whose two eldest daughters, Marianne and Helene, were good friends of Auguste, daughter of the great sugar industrialist Baron August Stummer of Tavarnok. The latter was born in Brünn and a good friend of my father Leopold Alexander Haupt. He married in 1860, in Hamburg, Betty Melchior, a former naïve actress of the City Theater of Brünn. She was called to a theatrical engagement in Hamburg and thereafter was living there with her mother.

The brothers Carl, August and Alexander owned the company “Carl Stummer,” in Brünn, which was managing, for many years, the national salt monopoly of Austria. The field of activity got narrow for the fervid activity of August Stummer and soon after the end of the Italian war in 1859 he moved, with his brothers, to Vienna. There they renounced the management of the salt monopoly and turned towards the sugar industry. After the early death of the eldest brother Carl in 1873, August was the leader of the great companies founded by him. After just a few years, through skilful transactions, he was able to found the sugar industries Pecek in Bohemia and Göding, as well as Oslawan in Moravia and to buy the two big estates, Tavarnok and Bodok, near Tapolcsány. To take better advantage of the large beech forests of Tavarnok, the sugar factory was established and was run (mentioned here as a curiosity) by firewood. At the same time a sugar refining plant was set up in Tyrnau. A few years later, by request of the Hungarian government, the great sugar factories of Mezöhegyes and Kaposvár were established as a joint-stock company. Fifty percent of the shares were held by the Hungarian Government and 50% by the Carl Stummer Co. In appreciation of the great merits he had achieved with the Hungarian economy August and his brother Alexander were awarded the Hungarian barony. Poldi got engaged in summer 1884 to Auguste, daughter of August and Betty Stummer. The engagement was celebrated in the castle of Tavarnok on July 15th and the wedding took place in Vienna on November 16th of this same year. As Auguste had no brothers I was asked to be the best man, although I was at that time only 15 years old. For this occasion I got a tailcoat and I admit to having been very proud of it.

Poldi received from our father the estate Tökés Ujfalu, 1,800 ha, adjoining directly to Tavarnok and henceforth this property would serve as a summer residence for the young couple. Auguste was a very noble lady and entered the family well educated, intelligent and unselfish, always considering the welfare of her fellowmen. She was a perfect example of wife and mother to whom all members of the family looked up with love and reverence. As August Stummer had no male descendant and everybody was anxious that the name Stummer not become extinct, he made a petition in 1886 to adopt both his sons-in-law and to pass on to them the Hungarian barony. Albert Hardt was married with the elder daughter, Amalie, and Leopold (Poldi) Haupt with the younger one, Auguste. The petition was granted and henceforth Poldi and his descendants bore the name Haupt-Stummer.

In July 1887 I graduated with first-class honors at the first German high school in Brünn. As a reward I was promised a vacation trip and so I visited, after a short stay in Zlin, Poldi in Tökés Ujfalu and went on a trip with him to the Tátra Mountains. We climbed the Schlagendorfer peak (2000 m) and looked at all the beautiful spots of the Tátra. After a 14-day stay I traveled to Vienna, where I met my best friend, Rudi Rohrer. We then went on a trip together to Salzburg and the Tyrolian Alps. While seeing the Gross Glockner, we made the rather daring and not very reasonable decision to climb it, although we were neither prepared nor equipped for such an expedition. The first day we climbed as far as Adlersruhe (3,300 m). I was rather exhausted, so I left Poldi to do the last 500 m by himself while I waited for his return at the Adlersruhe shelter. The descent was without problems.

In the beginning of October 1887 I enrolled at the Law College of the Viennese University, and moved into a furnished room in Schottenhof. Although university way of life impressed me quite a lot, parting from my parents and home, for the first time, was rather hard. First of all, I didn’t know what to do with my great “academic” liberty. The juridical lectures, with their dry contents, had no attraction and as one could buy the professors’ written lectures at the University, I only seldom visited them. Besides, I was attending lectures about practical philosophy, with Franz Brentano, and history of arts. There was not much distraction from Viennese student life. As I didn’t have a lot of acquaintances in Vienna, I was rarely invited and would have been rather lonely had I not had Poldi and Auguste who stayed in Vienna during wintertime. Most of my nights I spent at the opera and in the theater, as the Burgtheater was at its artistic height. Life got somewhat jollier at carnival time, which I spent in Vienna as well as in Brünn. I enjoyed the balls and parties in Brünn more than in Vienna, because there I had more friends.

To get to know university life in Germany I decided to go to Heidelberg, for the summer term 1888, as I was told that it was very attractive there. At the beginning of April I started my trip that way and stayed the first three days in Munich, where I was very much impressed by the art treasures. Once I arrived in Heidelberg, I immediately looked for an apartment and soon found one in a little pension on the outskirts of the city. An elderly lady, Baroness Müller, ran it. She was a very original, fine figure from Mecklenburg, in her sixties and an exasperated enemy of Bismarck. Even with her clothes she expressed that, wearing always a “crinoline” similar to the one the Empress Eugenie wore. She had a lot of relatives among the Prussian nobles. Three of her nephews were studying in Heidelberg, Barons Axel and Jasper Maltzahn and Henning von Bülow. They often came to the pension, where I met them and we became good friends. They were active members of “Corps Vandalia” and wanted me to join, too; but as I would have to enlist for three semesters and I was allowed to study only one semester outside of Austria, I was accepted only as an official guest. I joined one students’ association, the “black association” called “Karlsruhensia,” which was recommended to me by Baroness Müller. It was called black because they didn’t wear any colored caps. They were mostly medical students, nice but rather simple people. At Baroness Müller’s pension there were lots of foreigners, mostly British and American people. At the university I registered for the law lectures, but seldom attended them. I attended assiduously the famous Kuno Fischer’s lectures, who was lecturing about modern-time philosophy. I really enjoyed these lectures, not only for their deep contents but also for their highly finished performance. I was always amazed by this man’s remarkable memory; without any notes, he could maintain his lectures for hours. My obligations with the black association were to visit two pubs and the same amount of fencing days in the fencing room every week. Besides, if some “elder man” appeared, a dinner was offered for the whole group. On Sundays we made excursions on foot; if it was far away we took the train. This way we visited the interesting towns of Worms, Speyer and Mannheim. During the Pentecostal holidays I made a trip of eight days, with a friend, so we got to know Frankfurt, Coblenz, Cologne and Bonn. My best friend in the “Karlsruhensia” was a geology student, several semesters ahead of me. He was Carl Futterer, who later on became famous through his book about his journey to China (Mongolia). Unfortunately he died very early.

Soon I felt very much at ease at the pension, well cared for by Baroness Müller. I was taking all my meals there. We were sitting at a big table for 16 persons. At the head was sitting the Baroness who, helped by her assistant, Miss Taylor, was serving the plates in a patriarchal way. Miss Taylor was a very elegant, but obviously impoverished, English lady, about 28 years old, who had taken me into her heart. She was still looking very young. Besides us an American couple, Mr. and Mrs. Weir, were staying at the pension with their son who was my age and an extremely beautiful daughter of 16, with whom I fell in love pretty soon. Her name was Julia and I often went for a walk with her and Miss Taylor, in the charming environs of Heidelberg. As Mrs. Weir couldn’t always join us, she had passed the job as a chaperon to Miss Taylor. But she missed the boat, because Miss Taylor wasn’t an effective chaperon. I don’t want to say anything bad about her because I must be grateful to her for many lovely hours. Nevertheless when Miss Julia appeared, Miss Taylor had to give way to the younger rival. We enjoyed especially the boat tours at night on the Neckar with moonlight and Chinese lantern illumination.

Several times I visited the student’s fencing ground in Hirschgasse, where the Corps and students’ association carried out and decided their duels. Finally I had to present myself there, too, because of a nightly trouble which ended in a sword, duel demand. Although I had not much practice in this sort of fencing, and my adversary was a senior-semester fencer who had fought more than 20 duels, I didn’t bother much about the affair. I got two hits on my head and my adversary one, but as my wound bled badly the fight was interrupted. It didn’t hurt very much, but I had to have a bandage on my head for several days, which was rather annoying.

Once at the Baroness’s place there was also something like a ball, in which her nephews and the younger ladies who stayed at the pension participated. Although space was rather scarce, we had great fun and I could show my skill as an organizer. This way time went by very fast and suddenly the day of my departure from Heidelberg arrived. I left this wonderful little town very unwillingly, because these four months during summer semester of 1888, without any troubles, belong to my very best memories. To bid farewell to Miss Julia was very hard for me. With the Weirs, who left the same day as I, I still made an excursion to Baden-Baden and Strassburg. A farewell gallop with Julia on the beautiful riding alley in Baden-Baden was the end of our happy times together, because I haven’t seen her since.

For the winter semester 1888-89 I registered again at the University of Vienna, where I stayed faithfully until the end of my studies. At that time I was living in Bellaria Street. At carnival time I divided my dancing skills between Vienna and Brünn. It is strange that I was never quite at ease in Vienna. The reason was perhaps my shyness, but I believe it was mainly because I couldn’t enjoy my contemporaries’ conversation and kept away from them.

In July 1889, my sister Marianne went to the health resort of Franzensbad. After she ended her medical treatment she was supposed to take a few more weeks at the seaside. She decided to go to Sassnitz on the island of Rügen and I was to accompany her there, too. I first traveled to Franzensbad and from there, with her and Miss Holweck, to Sassnitz. The rough climate of the island appealed to neither Marianne nor to me, so we traveled back home without having achieved the wanted result. During the trip I already didn’t feel well, and when we arrived back home I had to go to bed with fever. As I had no major complaints I didn’t give much importance to this flu. But as after five days there was still no change for the better, the estate’s doctor from Lukov was called. After a thorough examination he said: “You have passed a pneumonia.” My parents and I were set at ease, as the danger seemed to have passed. Unfortunately, a few days later pleurisy showed up. I had to go back to bed and felt for a few days very miserable. It was decided to end the stay in Zlin and to move back to Brünn, where our family doctor, Dr. Netolitzky, would take care of me. His opinion was that a prolonged summer would do me good and my family was advised to take me to Meran. My parents agreed to this and at the end of September the bags were packed for Meran.  Completely unexpectedly a blood vessel burst while I was lifting a heavy object and few minutes later this repeated. My parents were naturally very much upset, and I was brought to bed with greatest care. I thought my last hour had come. Happily the affair was not as bad as it had appeared; nevertheless, I had to lie still on my back for several weeks. The plan to take me to Meran was canceled; I should spend the winter in an even more southern climate. We decided to go to the French Riviera, to Cannes, the place less visited by consumptives and where we knew a doctor, Dr. Veraguth. As my sister Marianne also should spend the winter in the South, it was decided that we would travel together along with her attendant, Miss Holweck. My father agreed to invite my schoolmate Gschmeidler to spend the winter with me, so I would have a good companion. He gladly accepted the invitation. Considering my weakened state, Poldi and Auguste offered to accompany and help us on our journey. So we traveled on November 19th with the Orient Express to Paris, stayed there overnight and continued next day with the Southern Express to Cannes. The sight of the sunny Riviera was for me, who never had seen a southern landscape, overwhelming. We stayed at Hotel Mont Fleury, recommended by Dr. Veraguth, and had two great rooms with alcoves on the first floor, so we could use them also as living rooms. The owner of the hotel, an honest Saxon from Leipzig, was very attentive to us.  He was a passionate card player, so Gschmeidler, I, and another youngster from Vienna often played cards with him. For meals one sat at long tables and was seated by the headwaiter. We were lucky because we received very nice table-neighbors: the landowner Baron Plessen, his wife, and a five-year-old son from Schleswig Holstein. As we also were room-neighbors, we soon got into active communication and small Carili often came to play with us. We also made quite a few excursions. Further guests were two young couples from Argentina, Mr. and Madame Louro and Mr. and Madame de Souza, with whom only I maintained contact. Mr. Louro was a passionate card player and spent most of his time, better said of his nights, at Monte Carlo’s Casino. He was rather lucky in his game and once won 600.00 Frs., but at the same time he neglected his wife. You can’t blame her if she tried to take comfort elsewhere. I surely didn’t blame her for it. We had poker parties, but played for a very low stake, with the Souza couple and Mrs. Louro. One night Mr. Louro appeared and wanted to join us, but as the stakes were too low for him, he immediately risked 1000 Frs. which frightened the others. I sensed the bluff and held the stake; it turned out that my card was higher and I would have won the game, but both ladies protested that the stake was too high. So I delivered the 1000 Frs. bill, after which Louro tore it into pieces. Besides that, there were no disagreeable incidents. The most remarkable appearances in Hotel Mont Fleury were two Russian ladies, Princess Schahovskoy and Countess Woronzoff, who were striking not only by their beauty but also by their flashy jewelry. The Woronzoff woman had a little Mongolian touch, which granted her beauty certain piquancy. The rest of the guests were mainly from Britain and not very interesting.

The weather in December was often rainy, but with the beginning of January we had splendid weather, which often helped us to realize nice excursions. We went to see Marseille, where we stayed for a few days. At carnival time there was a ball in the hotel and I was appointed leading dancer. Besides that we went to see the carnival of Nice, and participated in a battle of “confetti” which was great fun. We were in Monte Carlo only twice. Gschmeidler and I played with little success, but Marianne had the rare luck to win twice “plein” (full) on one afternoon. She played the number 23, which was her age.

In March we received a visit from Uncle Schoeller and Cousin Heda, who on their way home from Paris stopped for a few days at the Riviera. Our stay in Cannes also came slowly to its end. The stay had done us both, Marianne and me, much good and Dr. Veraguth could dismiss me from his care as completely recovered. We left Cannes the 13th of April, but this time we took our journey through Italy and stayed a few days in Genoa and Milan. Finally we arrived in Brünn the 23rd of April and were received by our parents who had missed us throughout the whole winter they had stayed alone.

Soon afterwards I received an invitation to Uncle Gustav Schoeller’s sixtieth birthday celebration. Among the invited guests was Baron August Phull with his wife and daughter Hedwig, a young girl of 16, who on this day made her first step into big society. The happiness she felt about this filled her eyes and whole face with such a radiant look that my heart stood still for a moment when I saw her. This first impression stayed forever, and five years later this girl was my wife.

Meanwhile, my brother Poldi’s family fortunately increased. In their Viennese winter-apartment, Teinfal Street 1, the following children were born: Gertrud, 10, 27, 1886; Leo, 10, 14, 1887; August, 01, 22, 1889. The successively close births of her children had affected Auguste’s health and she was prescribed a cold water cure, which she took in August 1890, in the Suisse spa of Rigikaltbad. As I had finished my studies at the University of Vienna, and was free, I also traveled to Rigikaltbad to visit Auguste and Poldi. I loved the place and stayed for 14 days until Auguste finished her treatment. We then took a coach tour (no car existed at that time), starting in St. Gotthard, going first to the Como Lake, then over the Rhone Glacier to the Lake of Geneva. Poldi and Auguste turned back home from there, while I still made a side trip to the Rhine-falls in Schaffhausen.

In Rigi I made the acquaintance of a young Turkish diplomat called Osman Bey. He told me a lot of interesting details about the situation in Turkey. Later on, he was an important person during the young-Turkish revolution in 1908, but he seemed to have perished with it because I never again heard from him.

In October 1890, I went back to Vienna to the university and took first-class honors with my first public law exam.

Christmas Eve I spent with my parents in Brünn, where I also stayed for the forthcoming carnival. Social life in Brünn was a very active one. Besides the four nobles’ picnics, there were great official balls at the governor and major’s places and two officers’ balls. Besides that, seven or eight house balls (at the Haupts’, Phulls’, and Offermanns’, Teubers’, Brands‘ and Reibhorns’ places.) I danced the “cotillion” with Hedwig Phull at the first picnic, immediately at the beginning of carnival. We had a very good time and excellent conversation and as I arrived at home early morning, I was convinced I had found my future life’s companion. The next balls, where I had opportunity to dedicate myself to Hedwig, brought me the conviction that she had the same feelings that I had. With this certainty in our hearts we spent a wonderful and happy time through this winter and spring.

In November 1891, Hedwig’s grandmother, Mrs. Jacobine Staehlin, died in Brünn, unacceptably quickly by a stroke of apoplexy at the age of 74. This death destroyed our hopes for frequent get-togethers in the following winter season, because Hedwig naturally couldn’t take part in carnival events and at that time there was no winter sport; so we met only frequently at the skating court. So carnival 1892 passed without attraction. No matter with whom I was dancing Hedwig’s image accompanied me and I found no interest in the young ladies of Brünn’s society. I immersed myself into my studies and managed from January 1 until July 31st, 1892, to pass three exams of law, two of them with honors, and got hold of my doctor’s title.

Poldi and Auguste decided to spend the winter with their children in the south and rented for this reason a villa in Meran from their property neighbors Weiss. They also invited Marianne and me to join them. I happily accepted this invitation and left, in the beginning of March, for four weeks with them. Meran at that time was the meeting point for nobles from the Alp countries and was cramped with good-looking countesses but only very few young men to match them. Therefore, I was very cordially received and passed an extremely amusing time. In springtime Poldi went back to Tökés with his family as Auguste was again awaiting a baby. The grandparents Haupt (and I as a substitute of grandfather Leopold) were the chosen godparents. So my mother and I left for Tökés at the end of May, where on May 31st, 1892, a girl, named Carola, was born.

Once back in Brünn I asked for admission to the political composition department of the government and my request was granted. On August 15th, 1892, I received my attachment to the department 1 (culture), whose boss was Baron Bamberg. He was a very intelligent and educated person but extremely malicious and let his subordinates feel it. Physically he was a caricature; two meters long, deaf and very shortsighted. He liked to tease me that I was dispatching too few documents, until one day I lost my patience and replied to him: “Yes, so many documents a boss can sign but a subordinate can’t supply.” My companion in the room, Dr. Gerstner, burst into loud laughter, but my friendly terms with Bamberg weren’t interrupted. Poor man, a few years later, he became blind and committed suicide.

The Phulls passed the summer months in Adamstal, near Brünn, where they rented a small villa from Dr. Klob. My parents were staying in Zlin while I, even in summer, was bound to Brünn, with my work at the government. As a diversion I went on Sundays to Phulls, where usually a lot of youth were gathering. As I had horses at my disposal I could make the 15 km through the beautiful woods with a coach; this trip was especially romantic at night.

In November 1892, my schooldays friend Rudi Rohrer, in spite of the opposition of his future mother-in-law, married his longtime beloved Margarete (Gretl) Krackhardt. Hedwig, who was a great friend of Gretl, was naturally at the wedding party, as was I.

Carnival ’93 started very promising. Governor Loebl had brought to Brünn a bunch of young Polish composition probationers and they were a welcomed increase to the dancing-men material. They were, among others: Count Michalowski, Count Lassowski, Baron Hajdl, and Taddeus Loebl, son of the governor. In the following Lent, one was playing theater at the Haupts in the Kröna. The big hall in the garden section was just perfect for this purpose. April ’93 Clara Reibhorn married Count Eugen Braida, Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Regiment. The bishop celebrated the wedding in the cathedral of Brünn with great pomp. The bridesmaids were looking very sweet in their pink dresses; Hedwig was among them.

At the beginning of August I started my first four-weeks vacation. First I went to Heidelberg to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Karlsruhensia. There I met my old friend Futterer, who invited me to go on a tour through the Ziller Valley Alps, where he wanted to make his geologic analysis. This just suited me, as I knew that the Phulls were staying for the summer in Landro, whereto my hiking would take me without any problems. We started middle of August and drove first to Mayerhofen, stayed there overnight, started next day early morning to reach the shelter of the Pfitscher Ridge, 2000 m high. Futterer got sick there and I had to leave him and continue my wandering to Landro alone. I arrived, just before dinner, after 13 hours of walk. The Phulls weren’t yet in the dining room, because they had come back late from a picnic. The chief waiter appointed me a place next to theirs. Mother Therese was quite astonished as, on entering, she caught sight of me as a neighbor. Hedwig was very happy and showed this without any fear. I stayed for a few days in Landro, as long as the Phulls were there, and left together with them. The rest of my leave I spent in Zlin and afterwards started my work at the government office again.

November 1893, I passed my practical political exam with first-class honors. At the same time I was transferred from department 1 to department 3  (municipality and citizenship affairs) under municipal alderman Nasowsky. Work here was much more interesting and stimulating than in department 1 and I devoted myself with so much eagerness that I became known as an expert for citizenship affairs. Oktav Bleyleben, who was a member of the presidency, told me later that the governor Baron Spens-Boden, who meanwhile had been nominated instead of Loebl, told him that I was his best composition probationer. This good opinion helped me a lot later when I reentered Moravia Governor’s Office.

In the year 1894 there were no big changes in my life. Now, as before, my heart was engaged and Hedwig and I were only waiting for my call to the Foreign Office to declare myself definitively. This occurred in December 1894, and I started my work in Vienna on January 1st, 1895. I wanted to participate at the carnival of Vienna to make sure that my conviction and decision to marry Hedwig was steady and confirmed. I plunged into the so-called second society (military, high civil servants and also finances). Mostly I mixed with the families of Gablenz, Oldofredi, Konradsheim and Pasetti. Among the gentlemen of the society there was a young man, Baron Forstner, with whom I made friends, but unfortunately he died very soon. In summertime Forstner and I used to go to the Gablenz to Neu-Waldegg, where a lot of youth met on Sundays. I also was quite busy with my studies for the diplomatist exam, which was to occur in November ’95.

In August I traveled to the summer resort Weissenbach on Lake Attersee, where the Phulls were staying at a summer resort. In the beginning of September Cari and I went for a fortnight to Tökes, where we spent very delightful days. At Countess Matuschka’s, an estate neighbor, there were three jolly ladies, the castle owner’s visiting nieces, whom we often went to see. They were: Baroness Malenitza, called Pitzi; Gabriele Rodakowska, a cousin of Mimi Rodakowska Lamezan; and Angele von Haut-Charmony. We did a lot of horseback riding, hunting, and once we danced in our host’s castle in Tavarnok. After this lovely stay I went back to Vienna. I was staying with Poldi and Auguste, who at that time were moving to Budapest. I stayed for another couple of weeks in this empty apartment and registered, middle of November, for the diplomatic exam.  We were only three candidates: Prince Carl Schwarzenberg, Count Herbert Herberstein, and I. I succeeded in the exam with honors, Schwarzenberg with good result, and Herberstein, who didn’t know anything, was rejected and as a consolation he was appointed military attaché in Paris.

The hard studies had affected my nerves, so I asked for six weeks of holidays that I spent in Meran, where Marianne was staying for medical treatment. There I met a lot of acquaintances and also learned to know many new people. Among them were the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Berlin, Count Széchényi and his juvenile son László, who followed me closely, because we were both flirting with a good-looking English girl. He later married a Miss Vanderbilt and became the Hungarian ambassador in Washington.

I got a nomination as first secretary to the Legation in Tokyo, and had to go to thank His Majesty for it. For this reason I was ordered to an audience. It was the first time that I got to see Emperor Francis Josef. Immediately after that I got my attachment to the Austrian-Hungarian Legation in Tokyo, which I wasn’t happy about. When I got back to Brünn I told my parents I had accepted the job for Japan. The thought of so long a separation alarmed them very much. At the same time I also told them I wanted to marry Hedwig Phull before I left, since she and I had been as one for quite a while. I asked my father to call on Baron Phull and to announce me for one of the next days. As for myself, I had to leave once more for Vienna, so I could appear before the parents Phull to propose officially on the evening of January 20th, 1896. I got their consent, but at the same time they let me know that the thought of their daughter leaving for Japan troubled them a lot. But as Hedwig said she would go with me till the end of the world, all my doubts vanished.

Baron August von Phull originated from a very ancient noble family from northern Germany whose genealogical tree can be proved way back to the 13th century. Through the centuries one branch of the family moved south to Würtenberg, while the other part stayed on the ancestral seat in Jahnsfeld next to Berlin. Baron August von Phull derives from the Würtenberg line. His wife Therese, born Staehlin, comes from a patrician family from Lindau (Bavaria) who emigrated to Brünn. Hedwig was born November 20th, 1873, and had two brothers, August (Gustl), born March 24th, 1870, and Walter, born March 11th, 1876.

After having waited for several years, we now were officially engaged. To celebrate this event our true friends, the Rohrers, Aunt Auguste and Sofie, as well as Cousin Fritz Schoeller, gathered at the Phull’s house. All preparations for the wedding had to be rushed, because the ship we wanted to travel with, “Sachsen”(Saxon) 6000 t, from the North-German Lloyd, was leaving Naples on March 11th. The wedding day was fixed for March 2nd. Mother Phull and Hedwig had their hands full of work preparing the trousseau and shipping it to Japan, while I was in Vienna fixing all the details and formalities of our journey.  Even before our departure about six big tin-plated chests, with silver, glass, china and linen, were shipped to Tokyo on an Austrian freight-steamer. I was travelling up and down between Vienna and Brünn till the wedding day on March the 2nd arrived. I got the permission of Brünn’s bishop, Dr. Bauer, to have our wedding celebrated in the Episcopalian chapel of the cathedral by St. Magdalene’s vicar, Jakob Bartos.  After the ceremony at the cathedral we had, in the apartment of Aunt Auguste Schoeller, an evangelical blessing by Dr. Trautenberger. Our wedding witnesses were, for me Uncle Raul Krieghammer, and for Hedwig, Uncle Gustav Schoeller. After the church ceremonies, all the guests gathered at the Phull’s apartment, where the lunch was served. At 3:30 p.m. the moment arrived when we had to say goodbye to parents, brothers and sisters. Due to the circumstances, it was understandable that this was a very hard moment. We left by train to Vienna where we stayed at the Hotel Bristol. Next day, we received a charming visit from the grandparents Stummer, who wished to see us once more. We took the sleeping car, at night, to Venice, where we stayed at the Grand Hotel. There my cousin Edi Friedenfelds, a navy lieutenant stationed in Pola, visited us. I questioned him a lot about the circumstances in Japan and China. He had recently spent two years on an Austrian cruiser in East Asia. He stayed mainly on the Jangsekiang River and from there they went to different places in China. His descriptions weren’t very encouraging. No railways were existing in China. Travelling had to be done on the great rivers or by horseback. The night stops were in very miserable places. Summarizing, he explained to me, only very healthy people with excellent nerves could stand the burdens of such a kind of journey. But these were the qualities I least possessed. My decision to dare this journey was badly shaken. After a walk on the Marcus Square, cousin Edi left that very evening, back to Pola.

Next day we left for Rome, where we stayed at the Grand Hotel; and as it was overbooked we got the Prince’s room for the normal price. There awaited us my old driver Emil, an honest Saxon, now our chamberlain, and our maidservant Marie, an elderly, well-traveled, but not very pleasant person. They were supposed to accompany us on our way to Japan. In Rome we stayed only two days and looked at the most famous objects of interest. I also paid my respects to the Austro-Hungarian ambassador and my colleague, Baron Flottow, recently nominated an attaché. I was envying him this position, which I rather would have had. On March 9th we traveled to Napoli, where we stayed for only one night and then boarded the Lloyd’s steamer “Sachsen” that had just arrived. There we had our first disappointment. Due to overbooking, my reservation for a first-class double-bed cabin to Japan couldn’t be accommodated and we got a small cabin next to the engine room. The heat was unbearable, besides having cockroaches, which weren’t helpful in making our stay more agreeable. I of course created a rumpus, but could get a promise for a better cabin only after Bombay. So we went to bed very concerned about it. As I couldn’t sleep, I went before sunrise to the upper deck to scrutinize once more my decision to start this journey. A messenger came up at that time with a telegram from the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office asking me to wait for the Ambassador, Count Wydenbruck, in Shanghai and to accompany him to Peking. This meant I would have to leave Hedwig in Shanghai under our counsel general Mr. and Mrs. Haas’s guard. I also wasn’t equipped for such an expedition that would occur mainly on horseback. This telegram brought the decision. The thought of being separated from Hedwig in a foreign country for a long time seemed to me unbearable. I also wasn’t disposed for the harassment of such a ride. I conferred about this new situation with Hedwig and our decision to cancel the journey was very quickly made. Our innumerable luggage had to be unloaded in haste and taken to the island under the control of Emil and Marie, who were very disappointed to leave the boat just when the military band was playing for the farewell of the boat. I sent a telegram to Aulic Councilor von Mittag that I was not able to travel because of sickness and that I was ready to take the consequences and to quit the diplomatic service. We wrote letters of similar content to our parents, but telling them we were in good health and intended to make a longer honeymoon. With a relieved feeling I saw the “Sachsen” in the distance disappear. Only then we started our beautiful honeymoon.  Italy’s journeys were so often described that I will not repeat all that was said before or make a Bädeker’s “Italy” (German travel guide) excerpt. I am content to enumerate the places we visited. First we stayed a few days in Naples, especially to be able to see Pompeii. From there we sent Emil and Marie, with the unnecessary luggage, back home to wait for us there. In Rome we stayed about six days and stopped at a smaller hotel, because I wanted to avoid a meeting with my colleagues from the Embassy. Our next stop was Florence where we stayed four days. Meanwhile it turned springlike and we went, passing Milan, to Palanza at the lake of Maggiore, where we spent the Easter holidays and set out for Bellagio at Lake Como. Once we made an excursion with two oarsmen rowing boat and got into a bad storm, which left our trip rather unpleasant but we eventually got out of it safe and sound. From Bellagio we went back for three days to Milan, then to Verona where the tremendous Scaliger’s gothic tombs impressed us more than Julia’s supposed home. From Verona we left for Venice where this time we stayed longer. Our next aim was Triest. There we inquired, at the Austrian Lloyd, the whereabouts of our big luggage that was shipped directly to Japan. We were told that it was unloaded in good shape in Kobe, the nearest harbor to Europe, and was awaiting shipping orders. I immediately ordered it back to Triest. At the Lloyd’s agency in Kobe they, by mistake, shipped back another diplomat’s luggage instead of ours. It took several months to get this mistake straightened out, but finally we received in a miraculous way our luggage undamaged. From Trieste we made a few days’ trip to Abbazia and then started, mid-May, our way back to Zlin. My parents, with Marianne as well as the Phulls, were waiting for us there. Unfortunately our return wasn’t unclouded because we found my mother in a very bad mood. The melancholic depression she had after our departure was still continuing, and it wasn’t before another few years that she more or less reached her balance again. After the wonderful weeks of honeymoon this contrast of depressive mood at home was painful. On top of this, a few days after our arrival, I also got sick with fever. As the doctors couldn’t explain the reason, they were supposing I could have gotten a malaria infection in Napoli; they suggested for the benefit of the nerves to take a cold water cure in Reichenhall. This proposition suited us very well and so we left already mid-June with Marianne and Miss Holweck to the salt city. We met different friends there: the Couple Count Dessewffy, and a young Baron Bruxelles, with whom we had a steady tennis party. Walter Phull joined us, too, when he came to visit us. The cold water cure did me a lot of good and just a few days later I felt excellent. After a three-week stay at the spa we got back to Zlin. We visited from here Aunt Jenny Pokorny, my mother’s sister, in Pressburg (Bratislava), where her husband was seated with his division. I also took Hedwig to Tökés to Poldi’s where she was very well received and liked to stay. We met there Aunt Thesy Henneberg and Nanine. Aunt Thesy died a few months later in Gilli.

The worries about my future followed now, because it seemed dubious that after my withdrawal from the Foreign Office I would be readmitted to Moravia’s Government Service. The governor still was Baron Spens, who formerly had praised me a lot; this happened to be useful now. When I personally went to see him and asked for my readmission to the Government Service, he greeted me very heartily and immediately gave his approval to my request. I asked for a job at the district office of Göding, which I preferred because it was very near to Zlin. Baron Spens also approved this wish of mine. From Brünn I went to Gödig to present my homage to the district manager, Baron August Fries, whom I also knew from former times; he also greeted me very cordially. The next days I spent looking for an apartment. Finally I succeeded in finding an empty schoolhouse with four rooms, which were divided by a large porch into two pairs of two rooms each, plus side-rooms.

As I wanted to have horses and a carriage I also had to find a place for them. Now we drove with my mother-in-law Therese for several days to Vienna to order the furniture. From the stock of Archduke Otto (von Hapsburg) I bought a pair of wonderful half-blood horses, and although they were over 12 years old they served me well for another ten years. One of the mares, Ariosa, brought me four beautiful foals. A few weeks later I bought a riding horse from Roderich O’Donnell, 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Regiment. The setting up of our apartment, with which our cousin Fritz Schoeller, (at that time a 6th Dragoon lieutenant there), was very helpful, progressed quickly and so we were able to move to it in the beginning of August, 1896. I was able to start my job at the district management of Göding on September 1st. On September 17th, 1896, Hedwig’s grandfather, Gustav Adolf Staehlin (1816-1905), was celebrating his 80th birthday. For this occasion there was a big family and friends get-together at the Phull parents’ apartment.

Once back in Göding I dedicated myself with great eagerness to my job. The district management’s personnel consisted of, besides the manager Baron Fries, an older district clerk named Hlosek, and the composition (law clerk) Baron Sterneck, who soon was transferred to Ungarisch Hradisch. I then had to take over his jobs. Baron Fries was a very nice boss but lacking in energy; however, his much younger wife, born Marie-Luise von Tersch, possessed enough of it.   She was like her mother a very much in need of love and gay person, who was most popular with the dragoon officers stationed in Göding. Hedwig, although of the same age, didn’t get along with her. Among the 6th Dragoon 4th squadron stationed in Göding there were two younger couples, Baron Weber and von Rodakowski, who were our best friends. Hedwig’s best friend was Mimi Rodakowska, born Countess Lamezan. Carl von Dittel and his wife Elsa, born Mautner Markhof, also were among our acquaintances. They had a small property (Josefsdorf) just next to Göding. In our cozy little apartment we felt very much at ease, although during my office hours Hedwig was sometimes lonely. Mama Therese came visiting from time to time, as well as other friends from Vienna and Brünn. The warmer months’ evening hours we spent by driving out with the horse coach to the beautiful valley woods full of deer and large game. The only annoyance was the great number of gnats. The excellent terrain for horseback riding in the Emperor’s property let me have lovely gallops in the morning hours, when I often was joined by Helen Weber and Mimi Rodakowska.

Christmas we spent in Brünn with the Phulls in a big family circle.

In winter 1897 Baroness Fries, as president of the Red Cross, was organizing a benefit theater and I also had to act a part. Unfortunately Hedwig couldn’t take part, as she already was expecting.  Mama Therese came already at the end of April with the midwife Lady Zopp. On May 21st, Professor (medical doctor) Riedinger arrived from Brünn and on the 22nd, at six in the morning our first child, a beautiful, well-shaped boy, was born. Happiness was great and for the first time in my life I embraced and kissed my mother-in-law. At that very moment a squadron headed by Fritz Schoeller rode by our window and I could immediately tell him the good news. The first visitor next day was Papa Phull, the happy grandfather, who came from Brünn. The baptism was four weeks later in Göding’s church and the child was named Stefan Leopold August. The godparents were Grandfather Leopold and Grandmother Therese. But as Grandfather Leopold had a hemorrhage in his eye and couldn’t come, Rudi Rohrer represented him. The baptism dinner guests were the parents Phull, Gustl, Mama Anna, Marianne, Miss Holweck, the Rohrer couple and Mrs. Zopp. Mrs. Zopp stayed for four weeks and in this time Hedwig recovered fast and the baby was doing fine.

As there was not much space in our apartment, we looked for a larger one. Luckily, the mill owner Gmeiner, who was living in a nice one-story house, had to rent the lower floor of six rooms and offered it to us. We were happy to take it, and after cleaning and de-bugging the apartment we already could move to it on July 1st. End of July I took my vacation and spent it with Steffi in Zlin. At that time I also got my nomination as district law clerk. In August the 6th Dragoon Regiment was transferred to Enns and Wels. Instead of them the 15th Dragoon Regiment moved to Göding’s barracks. Among the married officers there were three very compatible couples with whom we made friends very soon. The officers were Captain Baron Skrbenski, Count Merveld and Prince August Lobkowitz. At the same time the state-owned stallion depot was transferred to a newly built barrack in Göding. The depot’s commander-in-chief was Baron Felix Bianchi, who also was a good and eager tennis player. As tennis was played also by the 15th Dragoons we often had good tennis parties in summer.

In 1897’s following months I had to master difficult and extensive tasks. First there were the municipal and district elections to be organized and managed which I succeeded in doing without any incident. Moreover it was striking how little interest the Czech population took in the district elections in contrast to the municipal elections where they took active part, although these had much less importance. This went along the line of Czechs’ politics, whose concern had been to hinder every strengthening of central authority.

In October 1897, the German centralism suffered a bad blow. At that time the Prime Minister, Count Badeni, a Pole, released language decrees in favor of the Slavic federations, without having asked the German parties’ consent. Through this so-called Baden’s language decree, German, which was used unlimitedly as the official language in governmental offices all over Austria, was pushed back. It meant that communication between governmental departments had to be made in the language of the first petition. The official German language that had partly replaced the Czech language was in a way deposed. Through this acknowledgment of the Czech public law we entered a disastrous way. This acceptance led to Mr. Benes’s (Czech politician and their first Prime Minister after the peace treaty) saying “détruisez l’Autriche Hongrie” (destroy Austria-Hungary) and finally to the peace treaty of St. Germain. Service at the political departments was extremely more difficult. The extremely crossed German parties immediately went into hard opposition and tried to hinder the coming into operation of this decree through obstruction in the Imperial Diet. For this reason Dr.Otto Lecher, Brünn’s deputy, made his famous 12-hour speech, whereupon the Czechs answered with street riots in Prague. Eventually Badeni was overthrown; the language decree got a slight mitigation but mainly stayed the way it was, so that the political tension remained.

All these occurrences preoccupied my father, especially because Zlin’s administration gave him a lot of trouble; and because of his high age, he couldn’t favor a solid reform. In agreement with Poldi and Marianne, I made the suggestion that he should donate the property of Zlin to Marianne and me and submit the administration to me. The value of the property, which was in a rather neglected state, was accepted with 300,000 Gulden. The castle was hardly habitable in wintertime because of its open corridors, the poor water supply, and the bad stoves. I started my administration by providing a water supply from a source above the Gertrud-wood, to the castle and to the farm, as well as two bathrooms with W.C, which were badly needed. With suitable changes in the castle, a second apartment was arranged for us so we could keep house independently.

My second administration deed was solid personnel reorganization. The employees were mostly over-aged, which resulted in misuses. The main guilt lay with chief-forester Jelinek, 75 years old, who had placed his son as economic clerk, as well as his son-in-law as forester controller, at the property. I retired first the old chief forester and dismissed controller Pfiffl, who had permitted a lot of arbitrary irregularities. Provisionally I stayed with son Jelinek as forester, but he soon quit on his own. After a few months, through administrator Elias’s death, this position also became vacant. So I had in a short term to replace the chief-forester, a forester, and the administration clerk. I appointed as chief-forester Alois Gabesam, a forester in Lukow with Count Seilern; as forester in Mlacow, Ludwig von Poglies; as administrator in Zlin, Ludwig Dolezal, an administration clerk with the sugar factory in Napajedl; and as a clerk Leo Vojtech, who just got his degree at the Agricultural University of Vienna. He was the son of a long time chief accountant Emanuel Vojtech, who up to that time was bearing the title of account-director, besides representing the property at the different municipalities as well as acting as the patron at the church competition-board. Simultaneously with this personnel reorganization went salary raises and as at that time there was no retirement pay for private employees, I insured all of them with the government’s retirement-insurance in Brünn. This was a great relief for them and took care of their future. As I had to do all these reforms in Zlin after my daily work at the district office, I had not much free time left.

After the Badeni fuss was over, work at the office got back to normal. I would like to mention only one extraordinary happening, which will not so easily happen again. I had to assist, as clerk and witness, at a deathbed marriage. This ceremony left me with an extremely sad impression, especially because the housing conditions were so desolate.

Christmas we spent for the first time with Steffi comfortably in Brünn. The same for New Year’s Eve. On that occasion Papa Phull made an amusing retrospective speech about the past year, in a poetic form.

Winter and spring 1898 we spent rather quietly in Göding as Hedwig was awaiting another child and we had great trouble with the different nurses for Steffi. June 13th, 1898, our second boy was born. Everything went so fast that Professor Riedinger, as well as Mama Therese (who was informed by telegram) came too late. As the second child succeeded the first so quickly the doctor’s opinion was she herself shouldn’t nurse, and so a wet-nurse was hired. Mama Therese found a new nurse in Vienna, Anna Überreiter, a Bavarian who immediately proved truly excellent. She stayed for over 40 years, faithful and loving for children and grandchildren in our family. As the children grew up, she continued as housekeeper for several years and asked for her retirement in 1932, because she wanted to spend her life’s last years in her hometown Waldkirchen, next to Passau. But she couldn’t accustom herself any more to the simple conditions and she always came back to us. She was happy to accept Steffi’s invitation to move to Sorok where she spent her last days. She died January 6th, 1939, after only a short illness and was buried in Sorok’s mausoleum garden.

Work at the district management was a lot of stress on my nerves, and as the cure at Reichenhall’s spas had done me a lot of good we decided to again spend my vacation there. Aunt Auguste and Mama Therese had rented in St. Zeno, near Reichenhall, an apartment where there was also room for us. We left already on July 1st to Reichenhall with Nana (Anna Überreiter), a wet-nurse, and the two children. Our hopes for the cure’s good result were soon frustrated as I got sick on the third day with mumps and the cure was jeopardized. Besides, little Wolfgang, who got this name when baptized, troubled us a lot because he, neither with this wet-nurse nor with three others we had for him, was not developing well. So we went back earlier than planned at the end of July to Göding, where a lot of work waited for me because in the meantime the district manager also had left for vacation. This overwork strained every nerve of mine and I decided to ask for my transfer to the governor’s office in Brünn, as office service at the second level was physically less straining. District manager Baron Fries backed up my petition and so I was transferred October 1st, 1898, to the district management. I was ordered again to the cultural department with my old boss, Baron Bamberg. We were lucky to get a nice and big apartment on the second floor of Kiosk 11. The owner of this apartment, Baron Alfred Klein, because of business moved to the sugar factory Drahanowitz and kept only night quarters in Brünn, on the ground floor of his house. Moravia’s governor, Count Vetter von der Lilie, inhabited the first floor; by all means we had good house companions.

In November 1898, we went to Vienna to attend the wedding of our cousin Robert von Schoeller with Mimi Seybel. This couple had four children: Leo, Ellen, Wolfgang and Werner. Christmas Eve we for the first time celebrated in our apartment in Brünn with the two children, both sides’ grandparents, brothers and sisters, great-grandfather Staehlin and the aunts. On February 6th, 1899, our cousin Fritz Schoeller, a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Regiment, got married with Zeska, daughter of Bavaria’s General Baron Fuchs von Bimbach, with an extravagant reception in Berlin. The German Emperor sent, by his adjutant, his compliments to the young couple and a flower bouquet to the bride. Fritz’s witness was Papa August Phull. This same year we were invited to three more weddings. One was Cari Rohrer’s in Vienna, with Marianne Schuster, whose father was a director at Nathanael Rotschild.

Other than these weddings we spent the winter very calmly, mainly because little Wolfgang’s health worried us a lot. Towards springtime the baby’s health got visibly worse and in spite of Hedwig’s careful and sacrificed nursing, helped by Nana, he finally got pneumonia and died on April 22nd, 1899. Hedwig was exhausted from nursing and badly needed recovery, so we traveled in the last days of April, with Steffi, Nana and Mama Therese to Abbazia’s Pension Quisana. The sea air was very good for her stressed nerves and little Steffi was looking very well. At the end of our stay Hedwig and I took a cruise to Ragusa, where we stayed for a day to visit this nice old city. After three weeks, well recovered, we went back to Brünn and, after a short stay, on to Zlin where we spent most of the summer.

 

 Zlin 1899 – 1928.

This year (1899) we made our first visits to our neighbors and were received very cordially by all. They were the couple von Gyras in Klecuvka, Baron Stillfried in Wisowitz, Count Seilern in Lukov, Count Wrbna in Holeschau, von Baltiazzi in Napajedl and Count Serenyi in Luhacowitz. In 1900 we were invited to Seilers who gave a big garden party for the celebration of their castle’s rebuilding. They had a fair, different popular games, a bicycle race, an exposition of the famous Belgian cold-blooded stallions from Lukov’s stud, and many more activities. Many guests arrived from all over Moravia, and they were met at the railway station of Zlin with old-fashioned stage coaches pulled by four horses and driven by postilions blowing a fanfare of trumpets. This caused a big sensation in Zlin, at that time a small little town. The festival went on for two days and ended up with a big dinner party.

The combination of government service and administration of Zlin taxed my abilities, so I decided to quit the political department on December 31st, 1899. As every year, we got together for New Year’s Eve at the parents Phull. The new century brought us a family increase, in form of a much-desired little girl (on May 18th, 1900) who was baptized with the name of Dorothy. Aunt Auguste Schoeller and Poldi were the godparents. We spent the summer and most of autumn in Zlin.

In November we moved as usual to Brünn. In this year I rented, together with Edwin Offermann, the shooting ground of Cernowitz and Kirlitz, near Brünn. We had an excellent result in the first year and shot in Cernowitz over 1,000 and in Kirlitz over 700 hares and partridges. As hunting guests we had Papa Phull and Gustl, as well as Serenyi, Victor Bauer, Mitrowski, Huyn, Carl Offermann, Pepi Teuber, August Paumgartten and Diller. From now on, till the 1st World War, we held this hunting party every year, which ended up with a great dinner party at our place or Edwin Offermann’s.

As my father Leopold was no hunter, hunting in Zlin was very much neglected. Only the gamekeepers did the killing of the roebucks. On the other hand, Papa Phull’s hunting passion was enormous and he immediately succeeded on his first stalk in Zlin to shoot an excellent six-antler roebuck. This was the first roebuck shot by a guest. From this time on I paid more attention to hunting affairs as I also wanted to start hunting. The number of roes wasn’t very large but they were of excellent quality. Since 1896 Papa Phull was a steady guest in Tökés for the stag rutting season and was lucky enough to shoot his first stag this same year. With his extremely charming way and good humor he quickly got hold of Poldi and Auguste’s friendship and the children’s love. In this wonderful harmonious family he felt very happy and had a great veneration for Auguste. These days of stag rutting were Papa’s biggest distraction and had a “fountain-of-youth” effect on him. Gustl also was invited once for the rutting-season and had the huntsman’s luck to shoot three good stags. A permanent hunting guest was also Edi Rittershausen, Poldi’s contemporary, who once, because the high level of game had to be reduced, during one season shot 14 inferior stags. For myself I only arrived in the year 1900 for the rutting season in Tökés, as my public function with the government hadn’t left me any time. In winter 1901 we had a beautiful day of game and wild boar shooting, with good snow coverage and minus 23°C.

In 1898 the whole Empire was celebrating Emperor Francis Joseph’s fiftieth anniversary of accession to the throne. The Emperor announced that he would be happy to see on this occasion many charity donations made. My father donated 300,000 Gulden, which he paid to the Governor Count Zierotin.  Following the Governor’s petition, His Majesty awarded my father in 1901 the heritable barony. His name hereafter was Leopold Alexander Baron Haupt von Buchenrode.

In 1902 there were elections in Moravia for the Diet. I was elected by the German great landowners to the Diet and entered there the group faithful to the constitution (conservatives) of great landowners, whose president was His Excellency Baron Chlumetzky.

On March 3rd, 1902, our second daughter Edith was born. She was an extremely strong baby and her weight was 4×250 kilogram. Godparents were Rudi Rohrer and Marianne. In springtime we moved with the three children to Zlin. 

In August 1902, the great emperor-maneuvers took place in Zlin’s surroundings. We had the corps commander with his staff of 17 officers quartered in the castle and all the soldiers at the farm. During a few days the military band was playing in the park every afternoon, which was a great attraction for the local population. Finally we invited all the gentlemen for a big dinner party and I had to toast to H.M. the Emperor and the army. Hardly had the last troops left when new guests were announced. Our cousin Nanine von Henneberg’s wedding with Silvio von Spiess Braccioforte, major in an infantry regiment, would be held at our place. A big crowd was invited to this wedding. They were: Erni, the bride’s brother; Lieutenant Field Marshal Spiess with his wife (parents of the bridegroom) and their son Orestes; Aunt Adi Krieghammer with Ollo and Kurt; Alfred and Helen Zeidler; the couple Rudi Rohrer; Géza and Heda Szüts; the Phull parents; Gustl; Poldi; the Haupt parents with Marianne and Miss Holweck. It wasn’t easy to fit all the guests in the castle but Hedwig managed the difficult task. The evening before there was a presentation in which Papa Phull submitted the poetic text. The presentation was followed by a dinner, during which I welcomed the young couple and the new relatives. Everybody was in high spirits, and we were especially very happy that our mother’s nervous condition had improved that much, during the last months, that she could enjoy these days without being troubled by so many guests. Next day the wedding was solemnized in the patronage church in Zlin and was celebrated by Parson Ignaz Nepustil. At the wedding dinner Papa Leopold and Papa Phull made a toast to the newly wedded and Erni, instead of the young couple, thanked this beautiful family feast’s sponsor and organizers.  Nanine and Silvio left right away to their garrison town Hermannstadt (Transylvania).

In 1902 I shot in Tökés my first rutting stag with an extraordinary, setback eight-point antler, weighing 4×250 kilogram. Hedwig, who inherited her father’s hunting passion, escorted me on all my stalks and with her good eyes often served me as spyglass.

On December 8th I got sick with a bad pneumonia, but due to Dr. Mager’s good medical care and Hedwig’s sacrificed nursing I got over it well and could already participate at the Christmas festivities. For my recovery we decided to spend the winter at the Riviera, where 13 years ago the stay had done me so much good. We started our journey with the three children and Nana on January 20th, 1903. I had invited Papa Phull to accompany us to Cannes. We stayed overnight in Vienna and were frightened by Edith, at that time ten months old, who suddenly got a high fever. Dr. Mager, who happened to stay in the same hotel, advised us to continue our journey, as there were no symptoms of any serious sickness. We left the same day, the fever stopped during the journey, and we arrived in good shape in Cannes where we had rented a very nice apartment in Hotel Mont Fleury. We went immediately to see Dr. Veraguth, who had attended me so well 13 years ago and who was satisfied with my and the children’s physical condition. During our whole stay we needed him very little. Among the hotel’s guests there were several young couples with small children. Among others, Béla Zichy, who had an American wife and a son who was Steffi’s age; further, a Baroness Buxhoeveden, with several little girls and some other children so that ours had a lot of entertainment and in spite of the different languages got along with each other very well. At Easter we arranged for all the children to search for Easter eggs; that was a great success. Papa Phull who could stay only a few days enjoyed it a lot, and we also made a side trip to Monte Carlo from which he came back very happy with a small profit. We both were twice to Monte Carlo without big differences in games. The weather conditions were good during our whole stay. I recovered fast and the children were visibly doing well; only Hedwig, due to the lukewarm air, felt less brisk and suffered quite often from sick headaches. We started our way back on April 5th, 1903, but as weather reports from home were reporting cold winds, we made a 14-day break in Bozen and visited my old friend, Nelli Bittner married Koerting, who was living there with her family. On April 20th we traveled by Brünn to Zlin. Being with our parents and Marianne was very harmonious; they enjoyed the grandchildren and Grandpa Leopold never missed the children’s evening bath. Frequent guest was Aunt Adi Krieghammer, who had made great friends with the parents Phull. Evenings they always had a nice Tarok party together with the parents Haupt.

Moravia’s Diet sessions started in September 1903. At consultations for a new teacher’s salary law I made a motion, whereupon married teachers shouldn’t be contracted anymore, and the ones who were in office should renounce their job in return for a one-year’s cash payment. I was brought to this motion by the experience I had had in Zlin’s primary school, where the director’s wife, also an employed teacher, was permanently on birth vacation, which badly prejudiced the regular lessons. On this occasion I made my maiden speech, which was accepted by the majority with great applause. Curiously, German and Czech agrarians composed this majority, while the German liberals led by D’Elverts were against it. My own club’s chairman, His Excellency Chlumetzky, who had prophesied my defeat and had tried to dissuade me from making this motion, had voted against it. Nevertheless, the motion was accepted with a two-third majority.  Old Chlumetzky has never forgiven me this unexpected success for a maiden speech.

On afternoon January 28th, 1904, I visited my parents and on this occasion my father dictated to me a letter about his house in Ferdinand’s Street which he had sold to Moravia’s Savings Bank. This letter was quite logical with faultless construction; there was no sign that this would be his last utterance. I left him in the evening completely unalarmed. At night we were wakened by a telephone call from Miss Holweck, saying that Papa was feeling very unwell. Hedwig and I immediately drove to him, but we arrived too late. Papa had died shortly before we came in from a heart attack that put an end to his life without pain. He reached the age of 77. The funeral was on January 31st, 1904, starting from Jacob’s church and attended by a lot of participants. He was buried at Brünn’s Central Cemetery in the family grave where little Wolfgang had also been buried. As there was no grave monument till now, we entrusted the Viennese sculptor Professor Klotz with the execution of one. It was set up during the year 1904. The old Haupt and Lettmayer tombs were disinterred and transferred to the new family grave. Later, in 1935, I transferred all family members and the grave monument to Sorok, to the mausoleum’s beautiful garden where the monument was set up again. Papa had left a testament by which Poldi, Marianne and I were equal heirs and his widow was to receive a yearly rent of 180,000 crowns, payable by us children. The inheritance was about 12 million gold crowns, in addition to six millions which Papa had given to us children in life. One hundred thousand crowns were given to charity and, to gifts for employees, a further great sum was distributed. Dr. Otto Janicsek, a lawyer in Brünn, was nominated the testament’s executor, to whom I also passed the administration of the houses in Brünn. At the distribution I stayed with the seven houses of Brünn valued at a rather low price, while Poldi stayed with the equivalent in Hungarian government bonds. Marianne and Mama passed the administration of their fortune on to me, as Poldi had little interest, comprehension and time for affairs in Brünn.

As the apartment in the Kröna didn’t meet the modern standards of comfort, I bought for Marianne in summer 1904 the houses number 3 and 5, with a large garden, on Carlsglacis. The price was 320,000 crowns. Marianne furnished a beautiful, sunny eight-room apartment for Mama and herself. 

A further important decision I took after Papa’s death was to rebuild the castle of Zlin. With this task I charged a young gifted architect from Vienna, called Leopold Bauer, who was recommended to me by my friend Carl Reissig. The plans he presented to us were very well discussed and changed several times, as Bauer, a very modern artist, was anxious to carry through his ideas completely. We rejected many of his plans and finally convinced Bauer to maintain, at least outside, the old style of the castle. Bauer’s practical ideas and advice were excellent. The most important changes were:

1. - Completely new woodwork on the roof and eliminating the little ugly wooden tower.

2. - The completion of the arcades of the courtyard, where the fourth wing was missing.

3. - The addition of a stairway. The old stairway was demolished and in its place a large eight-meter-high hall was erected, from which an open oak stairway led to the second floor.

4. - Upgrading the existing water system, and building three additional bathrooms.

5. - The installation of a private electric-generating system for the castle and the outbuildings, as well as for the houses of employed personnel.

Rebuilding started on July 1st, 1904. As the castle was uninhabitable during this time we rented on the Semmering the Hotel Panhans’ annex, where we stayed with the three children from July 1st till August 18th. We had a few acquaintances there, such as Robert Schoeller, Skene and others. Painter Rosenthal Hatscheck was also staying at that time on the Semmering and wanted to continue there with Hedwig’s portrait with Dorle which she had started in Zlin and then finish it in Vienna. It was a unique warm and dry summer. On August 18th following an invitation of Poldi, we traveled to Tökés Ujfalu. The heat was unbearable. To everyone’s relief there was a tremendous thunderstorm with showers in the evening. A flash of lightning caused a terrible fire in the village of Bossany, which nearly devastated the whole place. Nevertheless we thanked God because there had been no rain for 80 days, causing a lot of harm to agriculture. We spent a very nice time with Poldi’s family and stayed on till the rutting season. Then we went back to Brünn.

Governor Count Vetter, who was staying on Klein Villa’s first floor, quit this apartment on December 31st, 1904. I rented it and joined it by winding stairs to the second floor, where we now had all the bed- and children’s rooms. To this enlarged apartment belonged a great hall which was excellent for theatrical plays.  Hedwig had the good idea to let the children play the dramatized “Max and Moritz” by Wilhelm Busch. Besides our children, there were as actors Fritz, Lotti and Gretl Rohrer, Willi, Lila and Reserl Teuber, Gorge and Robert Bleyleben. Steffi and Robert played Max and Moritz. A stage was set up in the hall and a stage manager from Brünn’s City Theater was hired for the rehearsals. The children were delighted and played so well that the stage manager said actors wouldn’t have done better. The costumes, all made at home, were a perfect copy of Busch’s original designs. The performance was on March 2nd, 1905, and started with a little poem, written by Papa Phull, recited by the three little ones, Dorle, Gretl and Reserl. At one time even Edith (three years old) was acting. “Max and Moritz” was such a success with the numerous spectators (more or less 100) that on general request we had to repeat the performance twice more.

Our third daughter was born June 30th, 1905, and got the name Hedwig Elisabeth (Hedalise). Her godmother was Auguste Haupt Stummer, with Gertrud as substitute. It was again a terribly hot summer. Staying in the rooms with about 34°C temperature was hard to bear; so we hurried to the country. At that time rebuilding in Zlin was nearly completed, so we moved at the end of July in a private railroad coach with all the children, Nana and Mrs. Zopp. It should be said that the castle’s rebuilding was very well done, providing all modern comforts and amenities.

Hedwig’s grandfather (maternal side), Gustav Adolf Staehlin, died September 8th, 1905, in Brünn at the age of 89, well cared for and nursed up to this date by his two unmarried daughters, Elise and Sofie. I went to see him a few days before his death. To all her sorrow, Hedwig couldn’t go to see him as she was taking care of Hedalise.

The year 1905 brought about the Portsmouth Peace Treaty on September 28th (Russia and Japan’s end of war). Russia’s bad defeat very soon started a revolutionary movement, mainly in the Baltic provinces; it, however, also was directed against the German nobility. Numerous wonderful castles with their rare artworks were destroyed by the raging mob. This same movement was also making itself felt in Austria-Hungary, although still in the underground. To prevent further growth of this movement, the Austrian Government decided to bring in an electoral reform, which was debated in Parliament in 1906. I reviewed the Government’s bill in several newspapers’ articles. In the New Free Press (Neue Freie Presse) I stood for universal suffrage, with plural vote for higher educated and propertied classes. This motion I sent as a brochure to all the members of the Diet and Parliament. Lots of them looked upon it favorably and Dr. Stransky, the leader of the Czech liberals, had discussed it at length in Parliament. He called special attention to my impartiality and mentioned that I could be seen as the successor to Baron Chlumetzky as leader of Moravia’s Germans. Nevertheless, the Government denied my motion, because they had already decided for equal suffrage. Through the reviews I had written I got a good contact to the “Neue Freie Presse” and henceforth they accepted all my articles.

Aunt Elise Staehlin died after serious suffering at the age of 57 on February 23rd, 1906.

In March I was appointed trustee of Moravian Silesia’s nursing home for the blind. This appointment started intensive charity work for Hedwig and me in almost all the country’s charity associations. At much the same time I received an offer from the German Ambassador in Vienna, Heinrich von Tschirschky (Maria Stummer von Tavarnok’s husband), to assume the post of the Imperial German Honorable Consul for Moravia and Silesia in Brünn, as the successor to Baron Carl Offermann. I hired a secretary, named Pavlik, to be in charge of the consulate’s chancellory and I also charged him with the oversight of my seven houses in Brünn.

In April 1906 we decided to make a journey to Paris, which we both had never before visited, and on our way visit our cousins Johanna and Julie, as well as Richard Conz. We liked Stuttgart very much; it was at that time a friendly, not-yet industrialized, city and we had there a very nice time with our relatives. Olga Krieghammer, who was for two years attending the painters’ academy in Paris, made reservations for us in a hotel on Place de l’Etoile. This was excellent because there was no traffic noise, but on the other hand it took us an hour to get downtown, to Place de la Concorde. Some cars existed there already. We naturally visited the museums, especially the Louvre. In the evening we went to the opera to see Wagner’s “Meistersingers” and concluded that the Viennese orchestra was much better than the one in Paris. We also visited the theater Antoine; they were giving mostly modern plays. Olga invited us once for lunch in her apartment with the couple Seher-Toss Biedermann and her professor at the academy. Seher-Toss took us in their car to Versailles where we visited the castle and the wonderful gardens. But Versailles gave us a rather sad impression of a decayed greatness. Also in Paris I had the impression that its best and loveliest days had passed. But I was greatly impressed by the enormous distances, which largely surpass Vienna. Comparing the buildings’ beauty, I prefer Vienna. In the last days of April there was a gloomy spirit in the city, one which was pointing to an imminent great strike on May 1st which would stop all traffic. This unpleasant situation made us change our departure date to April 30th and we traveled back through Germany. We visited first Wiesbaden, which impressed us very favorably, and went on to Heidelberg, where I showed Hedwig my happy student-time places. We found my house lady, Baroness Müller, still alive and she was glad to meet my wife. She kindly invited us for lunch. We stayed for two days in Heidelberg; I visited the Karlsruhensia house and was happy to meet some of the “old boys” of my time. We also made a side trip to Eisenach to meet my school friend, Franz Kreuter, who had a job there as city architect. He recently had married a very nice girl from Nürnberg. Naturally we also visited the Wartburg and then left for Brünn.

Marianne had, at an earlier time, donated to me her part of Zlin’s property. Poldi had suggested to her that she rebuild at her own expense the little castle of Janufalu, quite near to Tökés. He had just bought the property after the Baroness Pidolis’ death. It should be a comfortable, nice home for her and Mama. Rebuilding had been started the same year, 1905, and was finished in spring 1906, so they could move that same year. Of course, every year they also spent a few weeks with us in Zlin.

I bought my first car in summer 1906, a 30 H.P.Dion Bouton, with an American roof.  We made a trial trip with Papa Phull to Trenchin’s spa to visit Mama Therese who was there on cure. On our arrival we found Steffi had a high fever; at first there was a suspicion of typhoid fever, but it turned out to be measles which were passed on, of course, to Hedalise. Nana was on her vacation so Hedwig took over the nursing and finally caught the measles, too. Our plan to travel to England with Auguste, Gertrud and Carola had to be abandoned. The children recovered quickly but Hedwig was badly worn out. For her recovery we drove by car to the Semmering and took Steffi along. After we got back from the Semmering we left for the rutting season at Tökés; there we also met Papa Phull.

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Zone de Texte:

The year 1906 was for Moravia of great political importance. In this year, following long and difficult negotiations, the “Moravian Compromise”, which had gotten famous in old Austria, was settled. This mainly consisted of Germans who (since the constitutional area’s beginning had the majority in the Diet as well as in the representative chamber of the country, although this didn’t correspond to the national population’s majority) spontaneously renounced this majority in the Czech’s favor. In exchange, Czechs had to guarantee exactly described national safeguards which assured the Germans far-extending national autonomy. The Diet’s deputy numbers were raised from 100 to 150; these, according to the national distribution code, were given only to commoner parties, whereas the great estate owners stayed unchanged with 30 mandates. Two national courts were established and their consent was necessary for all constitutional decree changes. This way Germans had a far-reaching national security. Great estate owners’ deputies had a prominent role in passing this compensation decree; the compensation board’s president, Alfred von Skene, who also was the great estates’ central party leader in the Diet, had done a good mediating job among the national parties. Finally all the Diet’s parties approved the whole operation. After this the Diet was dissolved and, according to the new electoral order, new elections were held. These resulted, for the first time since the Westphalia Peace Treaty, in a Czech majority in the Civil Service. The Emperor appointed Count Otto Serenyi, a great estates conservative, as Governor. The Diet elected eight board members: four Czechs, two Germans and two great estate owners. Through this Czechs could get a majority only in union with the conservatives. This compromise has done a lot of good and spared a lot of national struggles in Moravia. Changes were made among the German great-estate-owners’ party leaders. Baron Chlumetzky retired because of his advanced age; in his place Baron Richard Baratta was elected. Vice-presidents were Philip von Gomperz and myself.

On September 15th, 1907, Steffi entered high school in the German Gymnasium in Brünn, the same school where I had done my studies. He had been studying thus far at home with high school teacher, Josef Tonner, and was very well prepared for high school. I made a grateful farewell speech to Tonner and asked him to be in charge of Dorle and Edith’s instruction. On this occasion Tonner thanked us for the confidence we gave him, but confessed that he was leaning toward the left politically and didn’t know if this would suit us. I answered him that I didn’t mind his political persuasions because I learned to know and appreciate him as a human being. Steffi’s friends, Robert Bleyleben and Ernst Marschall, enrolled into the same class as his. The latter was an excellent student, but unfortunately died only one-and-a-half years later from a middle ear infection. Steffi adjusted well to school life and learned very easily.

Our children were great friends with Rudi and Gretl Rohrer’s children of the same age. This was the third generation with so close a friendship, because my mother had been the best friend of these children’s grandmother. In winter times, every Sunday, the children met alternately at our or Rohrer’s home. They formed a group that was joined by Fritz Schoeller, Teuber and Bleyleben’s children. Also dancing and Dalcroze lessons gathered the children’s group with us. But the very best for our children was vacation time in Zlin, to which they could invite all their friends.

Winter 1906 to 1907 we passed in Brünn. My mother’s nervous system had recovered so much that she again enjoyed sociability and decided to invite friends for a big evening party in her new Brünn apartment. Gertrud came to Brünn in April to participate in the evangelic church’s concert. She sang beautifully the alto part of Mozart’s Requiem. We had a gathering in the evening at our home and Gertrud delighted everybody with her singing.

End of May 1907 the famous botanist Gregor Mendel’s monument was solemnly unveiled. He was a son of Brünn and in the last century’s 81st year, in old Brünn, the Augustan Monastery’s abbey. A committee was founded with me as leader and other foreign botanists as participants for the purpose of erecting this monument. The famous artist Charlemont was charged with the monument’s execution. It was put up on the Augustan Monastery’s free square in Alt Brünn and I had to give the ceremony’s speech of the day. Afterwards there was a big feast in the German House’s hall. A great number of famous foreign botanists had come to attend this event. As chairman of the committee I had to welcome all of them, and they delivered their partly very interesting speeches of gratitude. This gave rise to attending Deputy Dr. Otto Lechner’s nasty remark, “Never had the German House seen so many intelligent people in its hall.” 

That summer during vacation time we went with all the children and Nana to Levico. We did the trip with Steffi by car (driver Krause), while Nana and the girls traveled by train. There the cure was drinking water from an iron source, which did the kids some good, but the rest of the stay was not much fun. We took a wonderful drive with Steffi through the Dolomites (mountains in North Italy). We made our lunch stop on the Rolle Pass in front of a wonderful meadow covered with Alpine roses. The mountains around us were covered with snow. We went on to Madonna Di Campiglio, where we stayed for a few days. We met there the couple Deutsch and undertook with them a mountain tour.

In autumn 1907 I caught a bad cold on a car drive in Zlin but it luckily turned out to be only a slight pneumonia. About the same time Steffi, who was staying for his school term at Mama Theresa’s, caught a bronchial catarrh. We therefore hurried our move to Brünn. Arriving there, we found Steffi already better but both of us were in need of recovery.

On New Year’s Eve, 1907, my nephew Leo was wounded by a shot fired by Adolf Leidenfrost on the occasion of a battue (hunt) in Hornyán, at the Leidenfrosts. Leo was standing 80 steps away from Adolf, the next hunter in line, who fired his automatic “Mannlicher“ rifle and missed the escaping fallow deer between them. With the third shot he lost direction and hit Leo through both liver lobes. Alfred Matuschka had just before this battue given Adolf L. some special lead-bullet samples to be tried; he otherwise would have used an exploding bullet with a hole in front. As August arrived from his distant position to the hunting-box, Leo was already lying in the bed. Gábor Matuschka, who was experienced with medical concerns, had ordered absolute immobility and took over full responsibility. Alfred L. ran in three-quarters of an hour, to Krenc and back, to bring bandaging material. Auguste (his mother) was sent a written note by a messenger. In spite of the bad wounding Leo recovered very quickly and won six weeks later a toboggan race in the Tátra.

In January 1908 we wanted to drive to Caux, above the Lake of Geneva, to condition the children by doing winter sport. Our departure date was already fixed when suddenly Liesl got very sick with diphtheria of the larynx. Due to Dr. Engelmann’s in-time diagnosis she was treated with serum which proved to be effective immediately and she recovered fast. So we could start our planned journey 14 days later. As we had to take Steffi out of school we took along a tutor, Mr. Neuhofer, for his studies, in addition to Nana. But we had bad luck; a few days after our arrival in Caux a measles epidemic broke out that made us leave in a hurry and we settled down in Territet at the Lake of Geneva.  We were very sorry about this, as Territet was not good for winter sports and at that time of the year didn’t have Caux’s nice sunshine. But we liked Territet and met there a few very nice people: Baron Pallandt, a Dutchman, and Baron Diengard, of the Rhineland, with their wives. They both were excellent clay pigeon shooters; I also tried this sport but with no success. But our teacher Neuhofer became famous by winning the hotel’s American skittle players’ competition against the best American player, much to the anger of the Americans and to Steffi’s greatest joy.

End of March 1908 Marianne, Miss Marie and Gertrud joined us in Territet where Gertrud wanted to take part in a tennis tournament. Gertrud was in very good form and lost only in semifinals with a slight difference against Territet’s best player, Baroness Trautenberg. In mixed doubles she reached with her German partner, Baron Lersner, the finals; but much to her sorrow she had to scratch at the last moment, as we hadn’t realized that according to our sleeping-car tickets we had to leave earlier. In Territet we engaged Marthe Dubath as governess for the girls. She stayed for many years with us and was very attached to the family. End of April we got back to Brünn and a few weeks later to Zlin for our summer stay. Soon we were starting preparations for Mama Anna’s 70th birthday that was to be celebrated on July 8th. The first guests were Gustav Schoeller and Rudolf Rohrer, Sr. They were followed by Poldi and Auguste, Gertrud, Carola, the parents Phull, Gustl, the Pokornys with their daughters, Aunt Adi and Ollo, the couple Rohrer, Jr. In the evening we had illumination and fireworks in the park, followed by a very sweet musical performed by the three girls along with Papa Phull; Aunt Adi had rehearsed them. Gertrud expressed, in poetic form, her and her brothers and sister’s compliments and good wishes. Poldi and Aunt Jenny Pokorny performed, in comical costume, a ballad song composed by Papa Phull, which added a cheerful note to the festival. The birthday ceremony started with the Holy Mass in Zlin’s patronage church, followed by all the property employees’ congratulations given at the castle. Finally, acting on the Governor Baron Heinold’s order, I had to transmit to our dear mother the Second Class Elisabeth Award given to her by H.M. Emperor Francis Josef for her great merits at the Red Cross, at the Crèche Association, and other charity associations. The Governor also informed me that H.H. the Pope sent the apostolic benediction to Mama by telegram. At the feast I made an enthusiastic, metrical toast celebrating the jubilee. Besides the houseguests, Vicar Ignaz Nepustil attended the party.

After dinner we took, with Papa Phull and some of the guests, a long walk. On our way home we noticed for the first time that Papa couldn’t keep his balance going downhill so that we had to support him. This incident didn’t last for long, but unfortunately repeated frequently.

In this year of 1908, Emperor Francis Josef’s 60th Jubilee was celebrated with a festive procession in Vienna. We observed it with Mama Anna and Miss Marie from a balcony in Praterstrasse. For this occasion the Emperor granted numerous awards and I got, at that time, the Francis Josef Commander Cross Award.

In autumn a military revolt, provoked by the Young Turk’s party, occurred in Saloniki. The revolters, headed by their officers, marched against Konstantinopel. The Sultan tried to hold up this onward march with faithful troops, but most of them joined the rebellion. The Sultan had to flee and was deposed. The rebellion leaders brought in a constitution based on the Belgian example and a younger member of Osman’s house was appointed to be the Sultan. Because of this the Bulgarians, who up till now were a Turkish protectorate, proclaimed their independence and Prince Ferdinand claimed the title of king similar to all the other Balkan rulers. Already one could hear the rumblings of Europe’s threatening thunderstorm, although only from far away and only perceptible to sensitive political ears.

Winter 1908 Marianne spent in Tökés. In early spring she came back to Brünn. Her physical condition caused us much worry. She had respiration and heart troubles, which could only be soothed with constant oxygen inhalations. We called for a heart specialist from Vienna, but he couldn’t give us any hope for recovery. Marianne was well aware of her condition, and her only wish was to help her different cousins who were in financial difficulties. She gave them large sums, and was happy to receive numerous letters of thanks, full of gratitude and love. These transfigured the last days of her stay on earth. She died like a saint, with complete trust in God’s grace, on May 22nd, 1909, at the age of 43. She was deeply mourned by her many friends and us. Besides her previously mentioned gifts, she bequeathed her eight nephews and nieces 1,400,000 crowns. A foundation was set up to establish a hospital in Zlin, which she endowed with 100,000 crowns.

A few weeks before Marianne’s death, Poldi’s father-in-law, Baron August Stummer von Tavarnok, died in April 1909 from pneumonia in Vienna, in his 81st year.  He was a man of mark, of uncontested authority, in the field of sugar industry. He was: President of the Austrian, as well as the Hungarian, Sugar Industry Association; the Austrian Credit Institution’s Vice President next to the President Albert Rotschild; on the board of directors of Hungary’s Creditbank. The Hungarian government esteemed him that much that he was awarded, as first tycoon, the honor of Privy Councilor, holding the title of Excellency.

My mother, who held out bravely during Marianne’s sickness, had a bad relapse after her death. She again fell into deep melancholic depression, so following the doctor’s advice we took her to the Purkersdorf Sanitarium next to Vienna. The faithful Marie Holweck accompanied her. After several weeks of stay, her nerves had calmed down so she could enjoy the rest of the summer in Tökés. She didn’t want to stay anymore in the little castle of Janufalu, as the memories of Marianne would have been too painful.

Steffi’s first grammar-school term came to an end and his grades were very good. As a reward he was allowed to invite his two friends, Robert Bleyleben and Ivo Kralicek, to Zlin. But there was an outbreak of scarlet fever, so we turned to Tökés with a request for accommodations. As we happened to be ten persons, they set us up in Janufalu. These vacations were very amusing; especially the three boys enjoyed their horseback riding instruction with stud manager Konrad. Naturally communication with Tökés was very intensive, as Nanine and her children were visiting there. As Mama Therese was on cure in Bad Gastein, we had Papa Phull as guest with us in Janufalu. Being together with him was very pleasant and he enjoyed the children very much.

Turkey‘s riots started to overlap into Austria in summer 1909, as the Young Turks Government didn’t want to recognize the Austrian-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and incited the Mohammedan population against the double monarchy. This induced Austria’s Secretary of State, Count Aehrenthal (after a famous conference in Moravia’s Berchtold castle Buchlau, where he came to an agreement with Russia’s Secretary of State, Iswolski) to declare the “annexation” instead of the thus far “occupation” of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This step caused great sensation in all of Europe and it seemed it would come to war. Iswolski affirmed that he was taken by surprise in Buchlau by Aerenthal and Berchtold and held firm as though he wouldn’t recognize the annexation. But as Russia was still suffering from the Russian-Japanese war and the painful consequences of the 1905 Russian Revolution, they weren’t prepared for a war. Influenced by Britain, they finally found a compromise by which Turkey had to recognize the annexation and in return received from Austria 30 million crowns. In addition, Austria was required to withdraw its troops from Sandschak-Novipazar, which was reunited with Turkey. For the time being war’s danger was removed, but the sparks were glowing under the ashes.

Prime Minister Baron Beck, on my recommendation, called my brother-in-law Walter Phull to the Department of Interior. Until now, Walter had been working in the district government of Bukovina under Aktav Bleyleben. He now came to see us in Zlin quite often, to the children’s greatest joy, as he was their favorite uncle.

In summer 1910 Hedwig went with Dorle to Bad Hall, where the little one was supposed to take iodine baths. I stayed with the other children in Zlin. In those days I had an accident which could have had serious consequences. I wanted to take a little drive with two of my own bred-and-raised young horses, taking Aunt Ady and Ollo along. Before I could get hold of the reins the horses suddenly bolted before the castle. I jumped from the coach to stop them, but the coach tumbled, and surprisingly, except for small scratches, we all were intact. The horses were rushing like mad through the park and smashed the coach to pieces. We celebrated Papa Phull’s 70th birthday on September 19th, 1910, in Zlin. At that time he was already very sick, so we celebrated only strictly within the family. The grandchildren, very sweetly, congratulated him in verses. After this we went to Tökés for the rutting season. Papa, to his greatest sorrow, couldn’t participate anymore in this beautiful hunting activity which he had enjoyed so much since 1896. He, therefore, went back to Brünn with Mama Therese.

As Dorle sometimes had trouble with her appendix, we went to Vienna midst of October to see Professor Hochenegg, who advised us to undergo an immediate operation. Next day the surgery was done in Hohenegg’s Hospital Löw with excellent result and we could leave for Brünn after only 14 days.

Papa Phull’s health had visibly gotten worse in recent times, but in the doctor’s opinion there was no immediate danger. That’s why we left in the beginning of December to go to a small shooting party at Zlin, but we were already called back on the third day. Papa had had a strong stroke that henceforth confined him to his bed. His sturdy constitution offered resistance for a few more days and he greeted us on our arrival from Zlin with the words: “How much did you shoot?” Shortly afterwards he fell unconscious and died calmly on December 14th, 1910, at the age of 70. His death left great emptiness and Mama Therese and we deeply mourned him. With his charming and lovable attitude he was very popular, even with strangers, so that deepest sorrow was general. Papa Phull was born in Esslingen, state of Würtenberg, in 1840 as the Royal Würtenberg Assessor Carl August Baron von Phull’s son, but lost his father when six years old. His father had died in 1846 from typhoid fever. His mother moved with both of her children, August and Anna, to her father, Supreme Court Councilor August Schickardt’s home where the children were brought up. His mother’s brother, Georg Schickardt, owned a chemical factory with Carl Hochstetter in Brünn and he influenced his sister to have her son August study chemistry so that he could later be admitted to his uncle’s factory. This is how Papa Phull came to Brünn in 1860 and, after having finished his chemistry studies, entered the Hochstetter and Schickardt Co. As one of the owners died soon after, the company was taken over all by Carl Hochstetter. After Carl Hochstetter’s death, Papa was appointed director general and he managed the company in the name and interest of Hochstetter’s widow, Justine, and their minor children.

In summer 1911 we wanted to go to the seaside and traveled with all the children to Lovrana. We went by car with Steffi and stopped on the way at Straussenegg to see Uncle Carl Haupt. From there we took along Cari Haupt, Jr. In Lovrana, where meantime Nana and the three girls had arrived, we met Walter, as well as Zeska Schoeller with her children. Everybody loved beach life. From there I drove by car to Brünn and on to the emperor’s-maneuver at Iglau to be present, as German Honorable Consul, at the German Emperor’s reception. Meantime Hedwig traveled with the children to Bad Hall, where I joined them after the emperor’s-maneuver was over. All the Rohrer family was there too, which helped the children to pass this rather dull stay. After three weeks of cure, which had good effect on the children, we turned back to Zlin.

On October 1st, 1911, August Haupt Stummer joined up as a one-year volunteer, with the 6th Dragoon Regiment in Brünn. Of course he came often to see us and was very popular with his three little cousins. Six-year-old Hedalise had already at those times signs of great musical talent and August, himself a fine musician, was first to identify her absolute musical ear.

We gave a big ball during carnival 1912, with more or less 150 invited persons and for which I had ordered the very popular Bachrich Quartet from Vienna. It first played humorous selections from the Viennese popular singer’s repertory. During the following dinner they played entertainment music, and afterwards dance music. Leading dancer was the 6th Dragoon Regiment’s 2nd Lieutenant Count Van der Straaten. Gertrud and Dalszi Latinovits had come from Hungary.

During summer 1912 we traveled with the girls, partly by car and partly by train, to Portorose next to Triest, a newly opened sea bath. Steffi had to stay for his school in Brünn, and roomed in with Mama Phull. Bathing in the sea did us all much good. We made a few nice excursions with the car to the Karst region and also some steamboat tours along the coast. We met nice people, among others the couple Baron Konradsheim who visited us later in Zlin. Back from Portorose, we received my mother who after this spent every summer in Zlin; the long trip to Tökés was inconvenient for her. Also Mama Phull was a steady summer guest in Zlin, and Gustl came often. In November 1912 Uncle Gustav Ritter von Schoeller died in Brünn at the age of 82. He was one of the most important cloth manufacturers and president of Brünn’s Chamber of Commerce. His successor was the printer, Rudolf Rohrer, and I was elected in Rudolf’s place as vice president on two conditions. I met the requirements that I resign my position as vice president of the German Section of Moravia’s Cultural State Council and retire from the Agrarian Party.

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End of September 1912 a universally historic event occurred in high level politics. Four Balkan states (Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro) came to an agreement, with Russia’s sponsorship. Their purpose was to banish the Turks from Europe. They addressed an ultimatum to Turkey demanding that Turkey transfer the provinces mostly inhabited by Christians to the four allied Balkan countries. Romania, although a Balkan country, was not considered. The Sultan denied the order with indignation; the four allies declared war on him and went across the Turkish frontiers with their armies. On three battlefields the invaders were victorious. After several successful battles, the Bulgarians were directly before Constantinople’s gates, the Serbs in Macedonia’s heart, and the Greeks before Saloniki. With all this, a dangerous situation was created for Austria-Hungary. Romania also was exasperated, without prospect of being considered in the imminent division of Turkey, and was seeking approach to Austria-Hungary. I thought the moment was appropriate for Austria-Hungary‘s intervention and put my arguments in a memorandum that I transmitted to Alexander von Musulin, Councilor Legate at the Foreign Office. My trend of thought was: Romania is ready to take action with Austria-Hungary to procure relief for Turkey. The Balkan states’ armies have had great successes but are much weakened by many bloody battles. Their armies are all at fronts to the South and Southeast, 600 to 1,000 km away from their catering and reinforcement bases. If Austrian-Hungarian and Romanian troops would fall on their backs and the Turks at the same time attack from the South, the Balkan armies would be in a desperate strategic situation. With the enemy’s army on their back, they would have to do a 180-degree turn, an operation that, even without hostile actions, would be most difficult. Without foreign help, their extermination could be taken for granted. From where should this help come? Russia would be willing to interfere but they are not prepared for a new war after their war with Japan and their own internal revolution. Besides that, Russian interference would mean a Russian declaration of war on Austria-Hungary and Romania. This would immediately call on Germany, according to the Triple Alliance, a risk that Russia probably won’t take. Italy would probably make a lot of noise, but they also aren’t mobilized for a great war. Even if they would mount an offensive, they couldn’t break the Austrian’s resistance reinforced by the German army. One could negotiate one’s neutrality by small territory concessions. France is committed to Russia to help them with their whole army in case of war. As the majority of the French people are against a war, the French Government would surely agree with any measure to prevent a war. Britain could be sure of France’s support, proposing a solution to the Balkan question. Austria-Hungary should be glad to accept such a proposition, because it would give them the chance to express their opinion at this conference. As things were our staying neutral would mean we would be excluded from the peace negotiations. To prevent this should be the utmost aim of Austrian policy. Count Berchtold, who succeeded Count Aehrenthal in charge of Foreign Affaires, had no understanding of my ideas. But this way the first Balkan war was ended 1912, as well as the second in March 1913, without the cooperation of Austria-Hungary.

On January 1st we gave a lunch in honor of Oktav Baron Bleyleben, District Manager of Bukovina, who was recently appointed as Moravia’s governor. I personally greatly influenced this nomination, as I persuaded his Ex. Baron Chlumetzky to propose Bleyleben as governor. Conservative candidate Baron Albert Widmann was defeated. Oktav always gratefully recognized my intervention.

In the beginning of January 1913 Rudi Rohrer, after a serious sickness, was taken from life by a stroke of apoplexy. He was only 49 years old and I lost my very best friend since my childhood. After we both had married, our families got still closer. In his testament he had appointed me as co-guardian to his minor children. They were:

Rudi, born 1893, killed as pilot officer in 1917 in the First World War;

Fritz, born 1895, married to Margarethe Baroness Stöger-Steiner, died in 1945 (during his escape with his wife to Tyrol) due to the stress as he had to leave his hometown Brünn because of his involvement in political occurrences;

Lotti, born 1897, married to Geno Krützner;

Gretl, born 1900, married to Cary Machanek, died in an air-raid shelter during 1944’s bombing of Vienna;

Elisabeth, born 1905, married to Iwan Jassikoff.

The large printing management was taken over by his widow together with her father-in-law, Vice Mayor Rohrer. After the First World War, her son Fritz who had participated on the battlefield managed and enlarged the enterprise; his wife also actively participated.

Our good results on the children’s health from mountain vacations took us in 1913 for a longer stay to St. Moritz, a very popular winter sport resort. We left with the whole family, as well as Nana and Miss Renée. For Steffi, whom we had to take from school, we hired a student called Eschner. He was supposed to teach Steffi and do all sorts of winter sports with him. We were delighted with St. Moritz’s beauty and its sunny winter climate. Having received positive reports, our nephew Leo made up his mind to join us. He was doing a lot of winter sport, mainly bobsleigh. As a good dancer, he was very popular and in Hotel Kulm was known as the “beautiful Leo.”  Our children were skating, learning to dance on ice, tobogganing and trying to ski. At a Milan art dealer’s auction I bought at good prices a landscape by Poussin, a cross bearer by Bassano, and an old man’s head by Jordaens. On March 1st we got back to Brünn very satisfied with our St. Moritz stay.

Dr. Friedrich Klob, a lawyer in Brünn, died April 1913. He had been the Moravian Escomptbank’s board president. I was elected to his position. Moravia’s Diet was very active in autumn sessions, 1912 and 1913. In the first session a new hunting law was passed. I was elected to be the reporter at the plenary meeting and I succeeded in effecting the law against the opposition of the extreme agrarians. In this same session my proposition was accepted to pass on the Sylesian Moravian Blind’s Asylum, whose guard trustee I had been for several years, to the Government‘s Civil Service Administration. This institute, which was founded thanks to Moravia’s estates of the realm, couldn’t keep abreast of modern blind-care requirements. Their means were hardly enough to carry on the asylum. The existing reserves of about 600,000 crowns, which had been gathered by collections, were left to the board of trustees for the construction of an asylum for blind men. Another important law that was effected in this Diet’s session was the teacher’s salary law. The aim was for considerable salary raise; I was elected to this reporting, too, and as co-reporter got a Czech lawyer. Although the law was more or less meeting the teachers’ requirements, the radical elements weren’t satisfied and mounted an aggressive offensive. I had to defend the law against these attacks and did it in a rather cutting way. This caused present Governor Oktavo Bleyleben to whisper a remark: “At last a great landowner with courage who knows how to express himself.” Although my speech had caused a great row in the council-hall, the law was accepted in my suggested version.

On December 30th, 1913, we left for the second time with all the children, Nana, and Miss Reimann to go to St. Moritz. We had rented the villa Languard, an annex of Hotel Kulm. This time we had no teacher for Steffi but registered him in the local German gymnasium. Leo had enjoyed his last year’s stay so much that he influenced his parents, brother, and sisters to make a winter stay here, too. They brought as guests Dalszi Latinovics, Flora Selevér and Margaret Quimby. For help the former nurse Bernacek came, too. They were staying in the same villa as we and it was a very pleasant time together. Extremely delightful were, among others, the parties to Maloja, Pontresina, Morteratsch and the glacier. We were in big four-horse-drawn toboggans and the children hung on, some on small sleighs and others on skis. The evenings were always spent at Hotel Kulm, where they had dancing competitions at which Leo and Carola won the second waltz prize. We also participated in a bridge contest arranged by Count Leopold Sternberg.

My brother-in-law Walter, after a short service time in the Department of Interior, had been appointed district manager in Tamsweg (Salzburg). He soon was very popular, but contracted pneumonia after a year there. To recover, he went to Sanatorium Martinsbrunn, near Innsbruck. After a temporary improvement his condition worsened with pleurisy, which was seriously alarming. I learned this news at the beginning of March 1914, when I returned to Brünn from St. Moritz with Steffi who had to go to school. Having received a telegram that reported Walter’s condition as life-threatening, Mama Therese, accompanied by Fritz Schoeller, (I couldn’t leave Brünn at that time) left immediately for Martinsbrunn. But while on her way, poor Mama got the news of Walter’s death. He died on March 11th, the day Hedwig arrived in Brünn with the girls. The corpse was brought to Brünn and buried in the Phull tomb. This unexpected death of her youngest son, whose merry temper enchanted everyone, was a heavy blow for Mama. Although young, he was only 38 years old, he had achieved a good standing and had a promising career ahead.

In spring 1914, I bought from Baron Alfred Klein the house on Kiosk 11, where we had been living since 1898. It was a beautiful structure, planned by the architect Ferstel in Vienna, but very impractical in its inner arrangements. To shape this luxurious building in a more practical way, I decided to enlarge it with an out-building in the large courtyard. Further, I had added a third floor to the two existing ones on Carlglacis houses numbered 3, 5 and 7, which I had inherited from my sister Marianne, as well as courtyard wings to the large gardens and in this way raise income from these properties. To carry out these complicated changes I called the well-known architect Leopold Bauer from Vienna, who had done an excellent job rebuilding Zlin’s castle. After we came to an agreement about plans and costs, work was started May 2nd at Kiosk as well as at Carlglacis. Rebuilding and enlarging made the apartments partly uninhabitable, so Mama Phull had to quit temporarily her apartment in Glacis’ 2nd floor and move to a small apartment in Franz Josef’s Street. Our apartment in the Kiosk’s house also had to be cleared and I kept only two rooms on the first floor for the German Consulate’s office.

For Whitsuntide’s days we had invited Mr. Tonner, our children’s excellent and beloved primary school teacher, to come to Zlin with his two eldest boys. We went to pick them up by car in Brünn. In this cozy atmosphere, we received the news of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, successor to the throne, and his wife Duchess von Hohenberg. They had been on an inspection trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia, and were shot by a fanatic Serb. It was June 23rd, 1914. This terrible action shocked the whole world and caused the greatest sensation, because everybody could foresee that danger of war was near. To be better informed I went immediately to Brünn and contacted with Governor Oktav Bleyleben, who promised to inform me by telephone if the situation should take a threatening turn. He shared my opinion that war was now inevitable. In fact, the Austrian-Hungarian Government sent an ultimatum to Serbia, which, if accepted by them, would have placed several restrictions on the Serbs’ independence. Everybody assumed rejection; but, to general astonishment, they accepted the ultimatum except for one single, not very important, item. Nevertheless at the decisive Cabinet Council on July 22nd, 1914, a declaration of war against Serbia was decided. It is remarkable that only one member of the Cabinet Council voted against the declaration and that was Count Steven Tisza. It was he who, through his policy as Hungarian Prime Minister and Secretary of the Interior, had done everything to poison our relationship with Serbia so that eventually there was no way out. This is intentionally forgotten by those who lay the blame for the declaration of war only on Austria and Germany. I was against the war and fought against Berchtold’s policy. But once war was declared, I felt it my patriotic duty to support the Government and to promote all the measures that would help to win and end the war. I condemn the attitude of those Old Austrians who never could forget the year 1866 and, out of hatred against Prussians, even wished for defeat of Germany. That would have drawn Austria into depravity.

Upon the declaration of war, two army corps were mobilized against Serbia. Hereupon Russia, as an ally of Serbia, declared war on Austria. This was followed by general mobilization in Austria, as well as Germany, and war was declared on Russia and France. General mobilization in Germany brought a rush of German citizens living in Moravia and Silesia to the German Consulate in Brünn. They all wanted to go back to Germany as long as they were liable for service and their papers had to be arranged. My only secretary wasn’t able to manage this rush alone. So I sent a petition to the Foreign Office in Berlin and asked for help to handle the increased office service. I suggested they send an active consul to Brünn. My petition was granted promptly and they sent to Brünn a young vice consul, Mr. von Bülow, as my aide. My different obligations in Brünn made my presence there necessary. Therefore, we all, including Mama Anna and Miss Marie, left Zlin earlier and moved back to Brünn, where we settled provisionally at Hotel Padowitz. The children, with Miss Brown, stayed at Jundorf with the Rohrer’s, since our apartments were still uninhabitable. Luckily next to Rohrer’s there was a small villa vacant so we could rent and furnish it with Gretl Rohrer’s help. We stayed there until our house was finished. The rebuilding of my houses halted for the time being, as a lot of workers and craftsmen had to join up; also, the necessary materials were hard to get. Eventually difficulties were overcome and work could be finished during this same year. Mama Anna could move in October and took with her the granddaughters with Nana and the governess, Miss Reimann. Steffi stayed with Mama Phull in her provisional flat. Hedwig and I moved provisionally to a small two-room apartment on the second floor of our Kiosk 11th house.

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Zone de Texte:

The “Old Rohrer,” Brünn’s burgomaster for many years and chairman of Brünn’s Chamber of Commerce, died at age 76 in November of this year 1914. He was the Germans’ leader in Brünn and a very popular and original personality. I was elected his successor as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, but only after a rather vehement struggle with Brünn’s Jewish cloth manufacturers who wanted badly to have one of their own on the chair.

With the beginning of war, the Red Cross started extensive activity. Among other things, it took over the use and management of the Czech Technical Sciences building which had recently been finished and then confiscated by military authorities. The Red Cross established there an army hospital with 1500 beds. The ladies and gentlemen who had been active in Red Cross management already in peacetime formed a committee, with Hedwig’s participation. Their first priority was to organize everything for the admission of the wounded soldiers crowding in after Galicia’s first battles. Medical Superintendents were Professor Katholitzky and Dr. Leischner, assisted by numerous medical doctors and volunteer nurses from Brünn’s different societies. Hedwig and Aunt Sofie Staehlin were organizing, along with others, the kitchen for the right way of serving food and checking the prescribed diets. For her work during the war Hedwig was awarded the Red Cross’ Order. In addition to the Red Cross, Hedwig was participating in several charity associations. She was chairman of the children’s hospital, member of the board at the asylum for blind women, women’s employment association, etc.

From now on our life was marked by the war. Although there were no food restrictions, we simplified our standard of life and as self-supplier we lived without great privation. There was a bad harvest in 1914 and so serious economy was prescribed, even for articles that existed in abundance in the country; for example, sugar and malt. People didn’t quite understand these measures, because at that time they didn’t yet know that sugar would be needed as payment for vital imported goods and as raw material for explosive production. At the malt factory in Eiwanowitz, where I was actively involved, malt production was completely stopped; most until now had been exported. In great haste a beet-drying plant was installed; its product was used for molasses production.

As the first troops left for East Galicia people’s mood was still confident; but soon it was depressed as the first news of two lost battles near Lemberg came in. Even the fantastic victory of the German Army under Hindenburg, near Tannenberg, couldn’t completely compensate. In addition, the Germans’ initial successes in Belgium and West France (the battle by the Marne River in the French theater of operation) didn’t bring the hoped-for results. In Galicia, Field Marshal Conrad was forced to retire his troops over the rivers Vistula (Weichsel) and San, moving into a new defensive line east of Krakau. Luckily they succeeded in holding up the Russian advance in the battle near Limanova in December 1914. During all this very exciting time of war we stayed in Brünn. Nevertheless, as the situation near Krakow got better, we could go to Zlin in November for two hunting parties. We had invited as guests Rudolf Stillfried and Jaromir Bukuwky.

In October 1914 Turkey entered the war as the Central Powers’ ally. Although their military strength wasn’t too much to be appreciated, it was a disagreeable circumstance for Britain. Hereafter the Dardanelles was no longer useful for commerce and Egypt could be threatened from Palestine. An attempt to attack the Suez Canal was in vain; the desert was an insurmountable obstacle for a large army’s supply transport. Nevertheless, in the Dardanelles, Britain tried to force a breakthrough with its fleet and as a result suffered a great defeat at Gallipoli. They never tried this again.

This first war-year Christmas we celebrated in a modest way at Mama Anna’s with Mama Phull and Gustl. Before our distribution of presents, we participated at the Czech Technical Red Cross Hospital’s Christmas celebration. In each room there was a lighted Christmas tree, and the soldiers were given presents. Then Hedwig went to the distribution of presents at the children’s hospital.

In March 1915, after a long siege, the Russians took the fortress Przemysl. This Russian success turned out to be futile because shortly afterwards a great Russian ammunition depot was exploded in Galicia and the Russians thereafter suffered a severe shortage of ammunition. This shortage was already felt at the battle near Gorlice.

In May 1915, before conclusion of his eighth-year gymnasium class Steffi got an excellent certificate. It was an emergency graduation as he at the end of July had to join, as a volunteer, the 6th Dragoon Regiment, stationed in Brünn. Soon thereafter he was transferred to Holics where different cavalry regiment volunteers were gathered for their training. The young men’s housing was rather primitive. Steffi was living with a young Thun from South-Tyrol in a farmer’s house, and we could visit him every Sunday, by car from Zlin. On a drilling ride he got a press wound on his foot that, due to bad medical care, degenerated into a slight blood poisoning. Hedwig drove immediately to him and with the right care things got better fast. Other than that, Steffi was happy, in good mood, and stood the rather strenuous training time all right. His roommate Thun was soon transferred to Tyrol, and Steffi moved with Egon, Amelie Hardt-Stummer’s son, to a better lodging. Egon was an enthusiastic soldier and was killed soon after being drafted. He had volunteered for a patrol ride and never came back. When Steffi’s training was over in Holics, he was sent on September 15th to Bruck on the Leitha. This was quite distant from Zlin, so we couldn’t continue our regular visits. A month later he was transferred to the 6th Dragoon Regiment based in Brünn.

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After we had passed the summer, as usual, in Zlin we could move in autumn 1915 to the nice, new apartment at the Kiosk. On the first floor were located the banquet hall with a great terrace, a dining room, three drawing rooms, a study for me, two bedrooms with bath for us, and a room and a bath for each of the three girls. Steffi got the two rooms behind the hall. The kitchen and service quarters were on the ground floor level, as was the consulate’s office. The whole house had central heating. On the second floor there were three apartments with seven, six and three rooms, which we immediately could rent out. Under the terrace was the coffeehouse “Bieber.” Furthermore, in the courtyard there were two garages, a stable for two horses, and apartments for the coachman and chauffeur. Because of the war we could enjoy this beautiful apartment very little and only for a short time.

The break-through battle near Gorlice started on May 1st under the Field Marshals Conrad and Falkenhayn. They led the Austrian-Hungarian and German troops, in only a few days, to complete success. After a series of successful attacks, Russians were driven back behind Lemberg, and this town as well as the fortress Przemysl were taken back. This way the Russian’s entire, long Carpathian frontline, extending from the High Tatra until the Bukovina, was taken and rolled back. They could escape complete annihilation only by a fast retreat. Nevertheless they suffered great losses of prisoners and war materials. Through constant German and Austrian-Hungarian troop advances, the river Dnjester was reached by June 1915, and a unified frontline was established till Brest Litowsk. Meanwhile also, Warschau was conquered by the German troops. The main attention of the two Army commands was directed toward the South, where in July 1915 a large offensive against the Serbs was started with the purpose of crossing the Danube. Bulgarian troops took part in this offensive, as allies of the “Central Powers.” Following our troops’ great victories in Northern Carpathia, Bulgaria declared war on Russia and Serbia. After especially bloody battles the Serbian Army was split and only a small part, with old King Peter, could safely cross Albania and reach the Island of Korfu. There the fleeing Serbian soldiers could be gradually gathered again. Steffi stayed from October 1915 till April 1916 with his company in Brünn; his commander was Baron Klemens Preuschen. In the beginning of April he and three of his comrades (Wolf Schnehen, Max Braida and Parish) were moved to the frontline at the Dnjester, under Cavalry Captain Scheff. We accompanied Steffi to the railway station where the young men were taking leave of their families. Many of them would never again see their families. One was conscious of this, but everybody did his best not to show his heartbreak at separation and so the young soldiers left in good mood. Max Braida was killed in one of the first battles.

In May 1916 the Russians, under Chief Commander Brussilow, started a counter offensive, in which they succeeded in breaking through the Austrian-Hungarian frontline near Luck. With the help of a German division that approached in a hurry, they succeeded in holding up the offensive. For participation in these battles Steffi was awarded the Silver Bravery Medal. In June Steffi got sick. First they suspected typhoid fever, but then pneumonia was diagnosed. He first was sent to Ungvar’s Hospital; afterwards he was transferred to the Czech Technical Red Cross Hospital in Brünn where Hedwig was working. Thank God he got better and could join us in Zlin for recuperation.

In October 1915 Carola’s wedding with Tibor Biedermann de Turony was celebrated in Tavarnok castle’s chapel. Due to the war the celebration was kept at a small level. Carola was dressed as a nurse. Immediately after the wedding Tibor joined the 6th Dragoon Regiment in Brünn and Carola followed him and was staying with Mama Anna (her grandmother). But shortly afterwards Tibor was sent to the frontline.

Middle of January 1916 a group of National-German politicians, headed by a Prince Salm, and his spokesman, university professor Diedrich Schaefer, addressed an invitation to the German great landowners in Austria to attend a conference in Berlin. The purpose was to discuss the “Central Powers’” war aims. This invitation was accepted by Abbot Helmer from Marienbad, for Bohemia; Count Rudolf Coloredo for Lower Austria; Baron Baratta and I for Moravia, while the other Austrian Alp countries did not participate. Hedwig accompanied me to Berlin, and used the opportunity to visit her cousin Heino Phull and his wife in Jahnsfelde, the Prussian Phull’s ancestral seat, while I was having meetings all day long. War aims that Professor Diedrichs Schaefer tried to make us favor, in a very well presented speech, frightened us Austrians. He didn’t ask for anything less than the following:

1. Annexation of Belgium, Luxembourg and the iron-ore layers in Lorraine.       

2. Annexation of the French Colonies in West Africa, Morocco and Senegambia, as well as Tunis, in North Africa.

3..India’s independence from Britain, as well as the Baltic Sea Provinces’ independence from Russia.

These war aims were disapproved as too far going by Coloredo and Baratta. I agreed with them and recalled Bismarck’s words saying that: “Policy is to aspire to the possible.” To reach these aims would have meant to annihilate our three largest enemies, England, Russia and France. Although I believed in the Central Powers’ victory, this seemed to me an unreachable goal. The conference ended unsuccessfully as the Prussians were not to be diverted from their point of view.

Hedwig and I stayed for another few days in Berlin, and visited there an old General von Phull and his wife, who received us in a charming way. Food was at that time not yet scarce in Berlin, so that Heino Phull and his wife invited us to an excellent dinner in a first-class hotel.

In winter 1916 I quit the German Honorable Counsel’s function in Brünn and a new man was appointed to replace me. The Foreign Office in Berlin appointed Mr. Wever as General Consul, who was soon very active and in his jovial way soon became popular with Brünn’s Germans. We also were on friendly terms with him and his wife.

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End of July 1914 August joined the 13th Corps Command in Temesvár. He took with him his big Mercedes and his 17-year-old chauffeur, Conrad, the longstanding stud master’s son. In autumn he got to Galicia, where his Corps Command under Archduke Josef was facing Premysl. Here he met Sylvio Spiess, and soon afterwards he was standing, deeply moved, before his dead friend’s coffin. In summer 1915 August’s corps was moved to Italy and a year later he was in a car convoy to Cattaro. Here he caught a bad stomach complaint; so he was transferred to Horn to the drivers’ school, and from there to hospital nursing in Tavarnok. Later he was relieved from service in order to be Tavarnok’s farm manager. He stayed there till war’s end. Leo, as a result of his gunshot wound, wasn’t capable of frontline service. Captain Professor Lumnitzer, Budapest’s well-known surgeon and chief head of the Hungarian Red Cross assigned him to Red Cross duty. He had to check on different hospitals as well as establish new ones. He established one of them in Molnos near Neutra and summoned there his sister Gertrud as food manager. In this same hospital was serving a young Hungarian reserve medical officer, Dr. Ödön de Nesnera, with whom Gertrud found herself fighting military bureaucracy. Soon they were engaged and the wedding was held in Tökés middle of July 1917. We also were included in the party and drove by car from Zlin to Tavarnok where we stayed for some additional days.

Shortly after their wedding Gertrud accompanied her husband to Udine, Italy, where Ödön had been transferred as a doctor. There he could perform some sensational healing with people who had had physical and mental shocks. After the war they settled in Janufalu and Ödön mainly did medical scientific research, but was also looking after the farm and the related enterprises. Gertrud started medical-herb production on a large scale, helped by her friend Gaby Schmertzing. Both her children were born there, Judith (1918) and Peter (1919).

Once back in Zlin, Dorle and Edith implored us to let them go with Flora Selevér, who had spent the summer with us, for a few days to Tavarnok to visit the relatives. We consented and soon afterwards the three of them went happily by train. Although life in Tavarnok was completely involved by war, which impressed the girls a lot, they nevertheless enjoyed their first trip on their own to Tavarnok which they had never before visited.

Soon after the outbreak of war, Auguste had arranged a large part of the castle as hospital for 50 wounded, and maintained this at her own expense till war’s end. Active nurses were: Auguste as manager; in the beginning, Gertrud and Carola; further Aunt Ady, Ollo, Nanine, Betty Chohanowski, Maziska, and temporarily Louise Anne Schell. At the hunting lodge Kulhany a recovery establishment was set up for soldiers with pulmonary problems. The hospital’s management required Poldi and Auguste‘s removal from Tökés to Tavarnok.

In February 1916 Auguste’s mother, Baroness Betty Stummer, 81 years old, died in Tavarnok after a short sickness. Till the end of her life she was full of interest and love for her children and grandchildren, and she accepted with great understanding the big changes that had happened in her castle with the hospital’s establishment. Often she went to see the wounded and cheered them with her visit.

In 1916 Carola had her first child who was baptized Lia. Hardly a year old, she died of dysentery. On November 24th, 1917 Béla was born and October 15th, 1919 Géza. Her younger children, Pista and Viola, were born March 6th, 1921 and October 3rd, 1925.

On the battlefield the Central Powers’ situation had changed for the worse. The well-planned great offensive against Italy, who had declared war on Austria end of May 1916, failed; also the German’s offensive against Verdun brought no success. After the Russian’s victory near Luck, Romania changed sides to join Russia and marched in to the completely undefended Transylvania.  But after initial successes, they were thrown back over their frontiers by the hurriedly transferred German and Austrian-Hungarian army under Field Marshal Falkenhayn’s masterly leadership. At the same time, Field Marshal Mackensen, who went across the Danube with Bulgarian auxiliaries, caught them from the back and practically annihilated them. Survivors fled to Russian-occupied Moldau.

These events had a bad influence on Austria’s financial situation, and the Austrian crown started to fall on foreign exchange markets. This situation gave me some problems and I thought about doing a safe investment. The best I could think of was to buy a great estate in West Hungary, because in my opinion Hungary would come out strengthened by this victory. Through an agent called Sereny, I was offered the estate Sorokujfalu, near Szombathely. It was 1,726 hectares from which 1,318 ha were land for cultivation and 343 ha woods and pastures. I liked the location, and so we went with Hedwig end of April 1916 to Sorokujfalu. The owner was a real estate dealer called Gött. He had bought this estate very cheaply, three years ago, from bankrupt Count Pali Szapary. Gott now had financial troubles and was short of capital. We were met at the railway station of Szombathely by a very elegant, rubber-wheeled closed coach and a coachman dressed in Hungarian costume. We drove the 14 km to Sorokujfalu through pouring rain. We found a charming, not-too-large castle, partly with valuable old furniture and copper etchings. It had illumination by its own electric works, its own water supply, and was located in the midst of a five-ha-large, beautiful park. The agricultural fields were, due to the war, badly neglected but well situated, and with intensive management should earn a good profit. The asked price including the furnished castle and a lot of livestock and inventory was four million crowns. Its rate of exchange in Zurich was 43. After long negotiations, helped by my friend Gustav Skutetzki who was an agricultural expert, we agreed on paying 3,800,000 crowns. One million could be paid in war-bonds, of which I had plenty, and another million as a mortgage on the estate with 4 % interest, entitled to Mr. Gött. The contract of sale was signed beginning of June 1916 in Vienna in Sereny’s office by Gött and me. As a curiosity I am mentioning that Gött’s lawyer in Szombathely was called Rohrer and the Vice Governor of Vas’s district was Reissig, both names of two good friends in Brünn, but who had no relationship with them. In the beginning I had some difficulties in administrating the farm, as Gött and his son had poorly managed more or less without stewards. After some searching I found an administrator called Korab from East Galicia, who had fled from the Russians to Szombathely and who could speak German as well as Hungarian. So I could leave Sorokujfalu at ease and leave to my Zlin’s director Vojtech the inspection.

31

 

After Steffi’s long recovery vacation, which he spent partly in Zlin and partly in Brünn, he joined his company again at the end of 1916, via Huszt, to Monte Saralui (at Romania Bukovina’s frontier). This was in the Carpathian’s high mountain chain, where they stayed till May 1917 in retirement. At 2,000 meters altitude, the most beautiful winter weather did Steffi’s health a lot of good. He was promoted to 6th Dragoon Regiment lieutenant, in the reserve. As neighbors they had a Hussar Regiment under Commander Jean Lubienski, who shortly afterwards was taken Russia’s prisoner of war and escaped in a very adventurous way.

On November 16th, 1916, Emperor Francis Josef died in Schönbrunn at the age of 86, after having ruled for 68 years. He was no great monarch with creative ideas, but through his exceptionally long rule had gathered with a lot of application so much experience that he could manage his vast empire of multi-language people with far more wisdom than most politicians and statesmen of his time. He therefore was also considered abroad with great esteem and could, as long as he was in full possession of his mental capacity, through his unquestioned love of peace avoid the outburst of a European conflict. Only as a weak old man could a declaration of war on the Serbs be elicited from him. Luckily he didn’t live to see war’s sad end and the total destruction of Austria-Hungary. This sad fate was to be faced by his successor, Archduke Karl, who ascended the throne as Karl 1st.

Our cousin Major Fritz von Schoeller, who had been for several years Archduke Francis Salvator’s aide, was, like Steffi, also in Saralui at the frontline. Since for some time signs of a beginning mental disorder were perceptible, his comrade Captain Prince Ferdinand Auersperg had to take him to Budapest, where his wife and daughter came to meet him and to accompany him to Brünn. Soon afterwards he had to go, for some time, to a mental hospital in Vienna.

In January 1917 Fritz Rohrer, son of my school-day friend Rudi, got married to Margarete von Stoeger-Steiner, General Baron Stoeger-Steiner’s daughter. General Stoeger-Steiner was Divisional Commander in Brünn at the beginning of the war and became Secretary of War under Emperor Karl. The wedding took place in Brünn and I was witness for Fritz. Soon after, Fritz became his father- in-law’s aide and the young couple could enjoy an interesting time at Italy’s frontline.

My work in Brünn hadn’t changed much since war’s beginning. Hedwig was most of the time at the Czech Technical Red Cross Hospital and I was busy as president of the Chamber of Commerce and Moravia’s Escomptbank. We spent summer always in Zlin, but since we bought Sorokujfalu there was a change and we spent a part of summer there. Food was abundant and our countrymen weren’t missing anything. I even was able to take four fattened pigs to Brünn’s Chamber of Commerce to improve the clerks’ and employees’ food supply.

In March 1917 the well-known German Member of the Reichstag, Fredric Naumann, arrived in Brünn for a conference about Central Europe that called forth utmost interest with all the parties. I invited the author, along with Governor Baron Heinold, District Manager Count Serenyi, as well as the German Counsel General Wever to a lunch.

In spring 1917 Fritz Schoeller seemed to have recovered and could come home to his family in Brünn. His mother, our Aunt Auguste Schoeller, having seen her son died after a long illness on April 22nd, Fritz, who is supposed to have realized his incurable malady, took on June 12th, 1917, his life with a revolver. This was a terrible blow for Zeska, who remained behind with her four minor children, Erika, Rainer, Axel (killed in 2nd World War) and Isy, at that time only four years old.

On May 1st we went for the first time with the three girls, Miss Riebe, and Nana to Sorokujfalu. They all were very keen to see the new property. Railway connections were bad; the army requisitioned all the cars. We took a passenger train from Vienna, where we had to stay overnight in a small hotel near to South Station and reached Dömötöri, which was Sorok’s railway station 5 km away, after six hours’ ride. The castle and the park with an island, which they immediately took over, enchanted the children. There was no rain for weeks and the drought troubled me because of the crops. The fields’ outlook wasn’t satisfying. After a short stay in Sorok we went back to Zlin.

From May to June 1917 Steffi was participating in Mesti Canesti’s offensive (Italy) and received the award Signum Laudis. After a short vacation from July 14th to 25th in Zlin he joined the regiment again. In the beginning of August we got a telegram saying he was transferred as orderly officer to the Infantry Brigade Fritsch. As he could get to them only by detour over Budapest, both of us went there and spent two very happy days with him. Steffi continued farther on via Mármaros-Sziget and Czernowitz, where he joined with his brigade. Alfred Zeidler commanded the neighboring brigade.

Rudi Rohrer, who as the 6th Dragoon Regiment’s active 2nd Lieutenant since the beginning of the war, was a very brave officer who participated in the East front’s heavy battles. He had asked for transfer to the air force. Unfortunately, he was killed in an aerial battle next to Tolmein, at the Italian frontline.

In February 1917 the Russian Revolution broke out. Many army troops mutinied and soldiers deserted in crowds. Lenin, who was brought to Russia with German help, tumbled Kerenski’s provisional government and chased Czar Nicholas 2nd with his whole family to Siberia. There they later were murdered on the Bolshevist Government’s order.

In autumn 1917 the great breakthrough battle was fought in Caporetto, at the Italian frontline, which brought a great victory to our troops. Isonzo’s warfare had already cost Italians seven defeats; this time they were attacked from the rear. After bloody losses most of their army was taken prisoners. Reinforcement was brought in a hurry from England and France, but they couldn’t halt the advancing Austrian offensive except at Brenta, after they had succeeded in defeating the Austrian’s attack in South Tyrol.

In April 1917 Germany declared absolute submarine war; as a response U.S.A. declared war on Germany. In the first three months the allies had a lot of ship losses, but the English and Americans succeeded in taking effective defense measures against the U-boats, so that finally the absolute submarine war didn’t reach its goal. Nevertheless, in autumn 1917 in the Central Powers’ camp the mood was confident, since after 1917’s October Revolution Russia’s frontline was eliminated and the war there could be seen as brought to an end.

When President Wilson, in January 1918, proclaimed his famous Fourteen Points for reinstalling peace, all parties disapproved of them as a basis for peace negotiations. Unfortunately Austria-Hungary was also among those who rejected them and by this missed the opportunity to spread discord among our enemies.  It was obvious that Britain would never have accepted Wilson’s point of freedom of the oceans. If the Central Powers would have accepted Wilson’s points without reservation, as basis of peace negotiations, and the allies had done the same, England’s unity with the States would have been at risk. At that time an article of mine was published in the paper “Neue Freie Presse,” but unfortunately in vain. Peace treaties with Russia and Romania couldn’t be introduced immediately, because both countries had no internationally acknowledged governments. For the purpose of carrying on peace negotiations after long hesitation, the Central Powers gave de facto recognition to Russia, as well as Romania’s government. It was decided to have the negotiations in the Russian town of Brest-Litovsk and to send the Central Powers’, as well as the allied Bulgarian representation, there. The delegation’s leader was the Austrian-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Count Ottokar Czernin; on the part of Germany it was General Hoffmann. The notorious communist leader, Trotsky, represented Russia. It was more difficult to find a representative for Ukraine. Finally the Central Powers, to represent this still-to-be-established country, accepted two young students who had actively participated in agitating against Russia. Negotiations at first were protracted by Trotsky who acted in a very arrogant way and had to be reprimanded as to his limits as a representative of a country conquered by General Hoffmann. Finally he gave in, considering the danger in which the Bolshevik Government found itself due to Russia’s civil war, and he complied with all the items. This was how in March 1918 the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk came about.

During these negotiations the Brigade Fritsch, to which Steffi was assigned as orderly officer, was moved, in February 1918, to Tarnopol-Brody’s surroundings. On this ride they got into a bad snowstorm and were nearly frozen. With daily slow marches and no resistance, the brigade was moving up towards Odessa. Beginning of March they reached and occupied Odessa together with Alfred von Zeidler’s brigade. At the same time German troops arrived from the North. Together they could capture rather great amounts of supplies.

On May 1st, 1918, Steffi got a three-month study vacation. He spent most of it in Vienna where he passed his first law state exams with success. He was staying at Schneider’s pension in Dreihufeisen Street 13.

 

Switzerland 1918-1920.

Meanwhile important events occurred for us in Brünn. After the Caporetto victory, which had raised the Central Powers’ confidence considerably, it was rumored that the time had come for Austria-Hungary to make an attempt to revive old commercial contacts with the neutral countries, of which Switzerland was in the center of interest. For this purpose a special commission was to be sent to Switzerland. As Governor Baron Heinold mentioned this to me, I declared to him I would gladly be at the government’s disposal for such a commission. He was very much interested to know that. A few days later he told me that the Minister of Commerce considered my offer with satisfaction. I was to come to an understanding with Vienna’s Chamber of Commerce in a hurry, so they could suggest a program for my activities in Switzerland. I immediately went to see in Vienna the Chamber of Commerce secretary Thayenthal, who was very satisfied to know that I would take over this very important commercial policy mission. But as he said, he didn’t know anything about it and had not yet worked on a program. He thought a program for the time being wasn’t necessary. I should first dedicate myself to the purchase of food for the city of Vienna. With this, he dismissed me and I have never seen him again. News of my Austrian Chamber of Commerce’s mission to Switzerland, and the fact I could take my family with me, delighted them, although we found it hard to separate from our mothers and Steffi. All preparations had to be made in a great hurry as we were supposed to leave yet in May 1918. Steffi was still on his study vacation in Vienna and so we could say goodbye to him on our way to Switzerland. After passing his exams, and before he joined the army again, he invited a couple of friends who also were on their vacation from the front with their wives, sisters and girlfriends to Sorok for a jolly young people’s happening. The guests were: the couples Fritz Rohrer and Edwin Offermann, Mädi Offermann, Lotti and Gretl Rohrer, Mimi Meraviglia, Leo, Ernstl Reissig and Georg Bleyleben. Old Nana kept house, taking care to provide plenty of food and drinks and she enjoyed the young ones. Mood was perfect all week long and time passed only too quickly with sports, games and dancing.

During winter 1917-1918 Ludendorff transferred all free German troops to the West, due to war’s suspension on the Russian front. His intention was to break through, with great superior power, the French-British frontline before America’s main body auxiliaries had disembarked in France. Two pushes, end of March and middle of May, 1918, were partly successful; but Marshal Foch, with recently arrived American help, could stop German advances just before they got to their fixed target. The third push in July 1918 failed completely, because of the disembarkation of nearly one million Americans. The great superiority of power was now on the allies’ side.

We started our journey to Switzerland on May 20th, 1918, with the three girls, Miss Riebe, maid Marie and Franz Patka as butler. Our way was via Munich, where we stayed overnight. Next day our train started very late to Lindau on Lake Boden, where we missed the boat’s connection and had to stay for the whole day. This was disagreeable as we had no German bread coupons and, lacking them, no food was served. A fellow traveler showed mercy on us and helped us out with his coupons. Later I had the opportunity to meet this gentleman in Switzerland. We arrived late at night in Zurich were we stayed at Hotel Baur au Lac. Next day we made a stroll through the city with the girls, where the great number of beautiful shop windows (especially the ones with the long-not-seen and tempting chocolates) delighted them most. I went to see the Austrian-Hungarian General Consul Maurig, an old friend of mine, and introduced myself as the Ministry of Commerce’s representative. He was quite astonished, as he was not informed of my mission. He also introduced me to the Chamber of Commerce’s secretary in Zurich, Dr. Smelensky. We had lunch with Maurig and left next day to Bern, where we stayed at Hotel Bellevue. Ambassador Baron Musulin had made the reservation for our rooms. We had hardly unpacked, when a Mr. Bukovics announced himself, bringing with him the German Commercial Mission representative’s (Mr. Ravené) invitation for Hedwig and me. Ravené was for Germany what I was supposed to be for Austria, with the difference that he had an office with 60 employees, while I, at least for the time being, had only one secretary. But this difference didn’t continue for long due to a change for the worse on the German-French battlefield, which left our missions without purpose. On the same day I paid my official respects to Ambassador Baron Musulin, an old friend of mine; and, after I had explained my mission to him, which was very well received, he invited the whole family for next day’s lunch. Besides us all the Embassy’s gentlemen attended. They were 1st Councilor Baron de Vaux, 2nd Councilor Baron Hye, First Secretary Ernst von Janotta, Paul von Hevessy and the Attachés Prince Alfred Hohenlohe and Paul von Otlik.

In order not to interrupt our daughters’ education, we registered Dorle and Edith at the College of Philosophy in Bern’s University as extraordinary auditors. They were attending lectures about arts, literature, German, French and music history. Liesl was yet too young and had Miss Riebe as a teacher. Due to her obvious musical talent most emphasis was put on this. But it wasn’t easy to find the right music master for her. Friends called our attention to Professor Ernst Kurth, Bern University’s lector on musical history. We contacted him immediately, and after Liesl had played him a few pieces of music, he perceived her great musical talent and gladly accepted her as a student. Besides piano he taught her counterpoint and composition theory. Dorle and Edith were attending these classes, too, while for Liesl’s piano practice he suggested a student of his. Under Professor Kurth’s guidance Liesel made fast progress and could play, after a few months, Beethoven’s B major concerto in a Kurth-conducted students’ performance. I myself played in the orchestra, while Liesl executed a self-composed cadenza and got the teachers’ and audience’s full applause. Professor Kurth was originally Austrian, but had been living in Bern for many years and was married to a Swiss. He was known as a good musical writer and especially as a Bach researcher. His teaching put less emphasis on virtuosity than on spiritual penetration of each composition. Teacher and student were on very friendly terms and he and his wife were often our guests. Kurth was seeing in Liesl a great composer’s talent. When we had to go back to Austria two years later, and I explained to him that it was because of currency exchange difficulties that I couldn’t stay on, he offered to take Liesl to his home and teach her gratuitously; but we naturally didn’t accept this. In fact Liesl at that time already was improvising beautifully and in later years made very sweet compositions and cadenzas to two Beethoven concertos. But she herself felt that her talent wouldn’t be sufficient, contrary to Kurth’s opinion, to be a really prominent composer. In spite of her youth (she was only 14 years old) she had quite certain views about her musical career.

After a few weeks of hotel life we found and rented a nice villa in Bern’s Schlössli Street and moved to it immediately. It was modern, but furnished with good taste and had a small garden.

I started my activities by introducing myself to Switzerland’s president Calonder, as well as to the different confederation councilors, and visited some great industrialists. Unfortunately I got a friendly reception only by confederation councilor Schulthess, while the others maintained a cool reserve. As I found no great response to start negotiations about reactivating Swiss-Austrian commercial relations and due to the bad military situation, no further directions from Vienna’s Ministry of Commerce reached me. I tried to promote the subject through the media. I sent to “Neuen Züricher Zeitung’s” chief editor, Dr. Funder, who was known to be hostile to Germans, several articles on this subject. I was somewhat successful that the most important of these articles was published in “Neuen Züricher Zeitung.” I also visited the chief editor of “Journal de Geneva,” William Martin, to see if he would publish a similar article in his paper; although he assured me of his sympathy for Austria as well as for me, he refused to publish any report. With this I had to be content.

As midsummer was coming up, when diplomats and foreigners left Bern, we chose as our summer resort St. Beatenberg, 500 m above the Lake of Thun. The nice big hotels were all empty and served partly as recovery resort for French wounded soldiers. Beatenberg’s location was wonderful, in front of the treble mountains Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger.

From Steffi we got news that he was commanded to a Slovenian regiment located at Assa’s Gorge in South Tyrol and he would join them in July. As he was coming from the East frontline, he had to go through Innsbruck, so we arranged to meet in that town. Earlier we had invited Mama Therese to spend summer with us in Beatenberg for her recovery. She arrived at the same time as Steffi in Innsbruck. It was a short and sad stay and the hardest farewell to Steffi, as the conditions at the Italian frontline had changed in the last months for the worse for Austria. The attempt to break through the Italian’s Brenta line failed, by which the troops stationed at Assa’s Gorge were also compromised. Steffi arrived at the frontline just at the time when British and French artillery put them under heavy fire. Although they were in caverns more or less protected from shots, supply was extremely difficult and could be brought to the frontline only by night and fog. As Steffi told us later, these were the most horrible weeks he had passed throughout the whole war because of the danger and the bad spirit in this Slovenian regiment.

From Innsbruck, after we had left Steffi, we went straight to Beatenberg with Mama Therese where the girls had stayed with Miss Riebe. She was very much alarmed as Ernst Janotta showed up several times.

At this time I sent a report to Defense Minister Stöger-Steiner, about the unpleasant behavior of different officers attached to the Embassy’s military aide’s office. In fact the military aide’s office (at that time Baron Berlepsch who was very soon relieved by Baron Einem) was a place of refuge for all sort of rig (manipulative) types and a lot of them hadn’t yet been at the frontline. High stake gamblers in Hotel Bellevue’s hall caused disagreeable circumstances and were severely criticized by Swiss society. The impression even got worse, as many of these gentlemen had British or American wives and under their influence were trying to make up to English and American people, while with Austrians they were extremely reserved. Baron Berlepsch would appreciate a removal of some of these gentlemen. I fully agreed with his opinion.

As I didn’t see any possibility of doing some useful work, under these circumstances, I decided to go to Vienna to report to the Minister of Commerce and to get some further instructions. We therefore set out from Beatenberg and first made a car drive to Interlaken, Grindewald and took the “Jungfrau” train to station Eiger. We stayed here for a few hours and looked at the Eiger glacier with Mama Therese and the girls. We had sent Miss Riebe from Beatenberg directly to Bern to prepare the apartment in Schlössli Street for our coming. Edith made use of the nice autumn days and went horseback riding with Ernst Janotta and the Musulins in Bremgarten’s forest. Mid-September 1918 we traveled with Mama Therese and the girls to Vienna and Brünn, where we found Marie Anne, who two months ago celebrated her 80th birthday, hardly changed.

At a tea party at Gretl Rohrer Stöger’s in Brünn I met Heinold and other friends who would have liked to have some information on the war’s status, as they had had no official news for a long time. But as I was in the same position, I couldn’t help them. The military situation was seen by me to be much worse than the German General Consul  Wever viewed it. He jumped out of his skin when I mentioned that Germany had to accept the fact that Alsace-Lorraine must be returned to France and that the Emperor must be moved to resign. But even I had only a slight idea of the menacing danger; otherwise, I wouldn’t have invited a few guests for a shooting party end of October to Sorokujfalu. Leo, August, Count Franz Deym and Edi Rittershausen came, and to join the girls, Ellen Schoeller and Lotti Rohrer. We drove to Sorok via Vienna in the beginning of October. The city gave us a very gloomy impression. We were able to stay overnight at Sacher Hotel, but had to leave by foot at six o’clock in the morning, with our baggage to South Station, as there were no more cabs available. Our train trip was all right till Dömötöri where we were awaited by Sorok’s carriage. We got a telegram from Steffi with the good news that he got an eight-day leave from 23rd to 31st October, so he would join us for the shootings. We were infinitely happy about this, although we at that time couldn’t foresee the importance this absence of Steffi’s would mean. At Sorok a lot of work was to be done, as I had to dismiss manager Korab because of irregularities. Fortunately I found soon as a substitute Mr. de Iby, who was recommended to me by the Vice-Governor in Szombathely and was known as a good farmer. Luckily he also spoke German. The shootings had quite good result. Steffi arrived already on the 25th and was enjoying his short vacation. The evenings were spent in a happy mood, with music and dancing. At his vacation’s end Steffi had to go back to the front. It was again a hard departure. The few notices that reached us were very alarming and a complete breakdown of the Central Powers seemed unavoidable. We all wanted to leave for Vienna on October 30th, 1918, but as Liesl had suddenly caught a bad cold, she and Hedwig couldn’t come along. In spite of the uncertain situation I had to leave them behind with Nana and left with the two older ones and all the guests for Vienna, where we arrived at night as the train was very late. How great was our astonishment as entering Hotel Sacher we there found Steffi. He couldn’t reach his Regiment due to the events at the Italian front. The following had happened. The concluded armistice of October 28th was announced by Italians 24 hours later, as well as by Austrians. Immediately after the announcement the Austro-Hungarian troops started withdrawing. The Italians, who pretended not to know of the armistice, used this to make war prisoners out of those retreating troops. At this time the whole 6th Dragoon Regiment was captured. That is why Steffi couldn’t reach his Regiment and had to stay in Vienna awaiting orders. After a short stay in Vienna I left with Dorle and Edith for Brünn.

On arrival, October 31st, 1918, I found the following situation. Early morning on October 28th several crowds of workers from the suburbs rushed to the city and besieged the City Hall of Brünn, where the German Burgomaster Schnitzler and the city councilors of Brünn were assembled. Threatening to storm the City Hall the Czechs succeeded in capturing all the City Hall and other institutions’ German employees. To the governorship they sent a delegation of the very best Czechs and invited Governor Baron Heinold to abdicate and hand over the management to his Czech replacement, Dr. Cerny. After my arrival in Brünn the Chamber of Commerce’s first secretary reported to me that the Czech Chamber of Commerce’s Councilors demanded his, as well as all other German employees’, dismissal. An active resistance was naturally not possible. I tried at least to get a reasonable pension for the functionaries. I naturally offered my resignation. After long discussions I succeeded in having the first secretary, Dr. Meyer, dismissed with full pension, while the second secretary, Dr. Lieblich, could hold onto his position. The third secretary, Dr. Marek, who had not completed ten years in office, had to content himself with a solitary indemnification. He then entered the consular service with the Foreign Affaires Secretary of Austria and later on was appointed Austrian Ambassador to Prague, where he did a very good job for many years. After the end of the Second World War Russians deported him, and no more was heard of him.

From Hedwig and Liesl I received no news, as postal service was not working in those days. As I understood later, Hedwig had been in great worry.

The “Green Cadre” (deserted soldiers and war prisoners who formed a band of robbers) were haunting the nearby Croat woods. The population was completely loyal, and the war prisoners who worked at the farm assured Hedwig they would defend her against any attack. Liesl had recovered fast and so they could start on their way home, with Nana, just six days later. This was a rather disagreeable affair. To begin with, the train Hedwig wanted to take arrived at four o’clock in the morning, many hours delayed, in Dömötöri. It was completely overloaded with mainly Czech returning soldiers, who had sacked a convalescent home. The compartments and corridors were full of sleeping soldiers, there was no illumination, and only due to the fact that they were carrying on a lot of cigarettes and food they got three seats in a half compartment to share with three soldiers. After a 12-hour run they finally arrived at six in the evening at Vienna’s South Station, which, to prevent disturbances, was guarded by soldiers. They drove immediately to Hotel Sacher where, to their utmost joy and surprise, they met Steffi. After a short stay they traveled on to Brünn, where they finally realized the big changes.

The Austrian Parliament was in complete dissolution. The deputies of each nationality declared themselves as the only legal representatives of their people. The German Austrians did the same and declared, on November 12th, 1918, Austria to be a Federal Republic and demanded the annexation to the German Empire. It became an independent Government with Dr. Carl Renner as Federal Chancellor and the well-known socialist leader Otto Bauer as Foreign Minister. But nobody had thought of naming an independent representation of German Austrians abroad. As this seemed to me a highly important task for the new government, I addressed a letter to the chief of the German Party in Parliament, Mr. Pacher. In this I drew his attention to the importance of forming such a taskforce before the Peace Conference in a neutral country like Switzerland. At the same time I told him I had been working for several months in Switzerland representing Austria’s Commercial Secretary of State and for this purpose maintaining my own office in Bern. I put this office and myself at his disposal. This letter’s result was that just a few days later I got an invitation to see the Foreign Secretary, Otto Bauer. He revealed to me that the new Austrian Government was willing to appoint me as its plenipotentiary deputy in Switzerland, if I was in agreement with the government program’s main goal - the annexation to the German Empire. (The title of Ambassador was not possible, as German Austria was internationally not yet recognized as an independent country). As at that time I was a follower of the annexation idea, we could come to terms quickly. November 30th, 1918, was fixed as travel date. By this date the members of the new Legation had to be chosen as the old Austro-Hungarian one was already in liquidation. The Secretary for Foreign Affaires appointed these gentlemen already in Switzerland: Legation Secretary Count Brandis; Consul Steiner as chief of office; and Dr. Bach as Press-Attaché. Dr. Bach was, before the war, commercial policy reporter for the “Neuen Freien Presse” and as such worked for several years in England. As Legation Councilor I chose Baron Leopold Hennet, who had been since the beginning of war Commercial Attaché with the old Legation. As First Secretary I had Ernst Janotta in mind, but as he had already left Vienna, I had to get in touch with him in Troppau by phone. He accepted my offer and traveled immediately via Brünn to Vienna to join us in time. From Austria’s Federal Railway management I got a sleeping car at our disposal, for me and my family, and the Legation’s gentlemen. Besides those already mentioned, there was His Excellency Slatin Pascha traveling with us on a Red Cross mission and a mysterious elderly lady, for whom a half compartment was reserved. This Mrs. Berta Zuckerkandl was the famous Viennese professor’s widow whose sister was married to Paul Clemenceau, brother of French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau. Our Foreign Office hoped to get in touch with the French Embassy in Bern through this lady, as direct communication between the diplomatic representations was still strictly forbidden. But hope of realization was very limited. Our sleeping car was annexed to a train that should have departed at seven in the morning from Vienna’s West Station. As a precaution we were at the railway station at six, but found our train blocked by a great crowd. With the help of the station’s personnel we got into our sleeping car from behind; but as the crowd took notice of it, they tried to storm it. Luckily Slatin Pascha and I succeeded in calming down the excited mob by explaining that our aim was to get food in Switzerland for the hungry city of Vienna. The rest of the journey was without any disagreeable incidents and we arrived in Feldkirch after hours of delay. As there was no hotel in Feldkirch we stayed overnight in our sleeping car. Next day we went on to Bern. We arrived in the afternoon and Count Brandis was waiting for us at the station. We went immediately to our old apartment in Schlössli Street. Edith had had a fever during the journey and now it turned out to be a flu, which at that time in Switzerland was an epidemic and was known as “Spanish Flu.” We at once started the Nesnera cure (invented by Dr. Ödön Nesnera; taking aspirins) but the cure was not effective. Only Edith’s good health overcame the crisis, but she took several weeks to recover. Ernst Janotta also caught this bad flu on the trip and was in bed with high fever for a couple of days. Soon afterward all the other gentlemen got sick. Legation Secretary Brandis and an office clerk died, so for a time I was the only one to carry on the Legation’s work. The Spanish Flu was at its worst in Switzerland, but it also was epidemic in other parts of Europe and the people named it the “black pest.”

The day after our arrival I paid my respects to the Federal President Ador (a French Swiss) and turned over my credentials which he accepted without saying a word. Austria was at that time not yet internationally recognized as a country.

Our most important problem was to find food for the City of Vienna; their reserves were sufficient only for a few more months. The Legation was confidentially notified that in Triest’s harbor there were seven Italian freighters with food, so far without destination. We needed to find a way to contact the Italian Legation in Bern and arrange to have this food sent to Austria. This was a difficult task because any contact with the Entente representations was forbidden. With the Swiss Government’s help we eventually succeeded in arranging a conference with two Italian and two Austrian delegates. I appointed for Austria Legation Councilor Hennet and Legation Secretary Janotta as negotiators; I as chief of mission wanted to stay in the background. In spite of all the difficulties, we succeeded in making an agreement with the Italian Legation; it is to be mentioned that they were very willing to co-operate. The first great steamer would unload promptly and its load would be transported to Vienna. The other six freighters would be unloaded at due intervals, so that their loads would arrive in Vienna at the latest December 31st, 1918. Italians accomplished this agreement with precision and so the Viennese could celebrate a less sad Christmas than was expected.

Christmas we celebrated at Schlössli Street with just a small group; it was the first after the end of war and we were all happy to have Steffi with us. We had invited Hennet and my secretary, Mrs. Gnevkov; Janotta was recovering from his flu in St. Moritz and the other gentlemen were still in bed. At the beginning of January Steffi went to St. Moritz’s Hotel Survretta for winter sports. Hedwig soon followed him with Dorle and Edith, who after her bad flu needed still more recovering. They made nice sledge drives and the Musulins, who also stayed at Suvretta house, were participating. Dorle and Edith did a lot of skating. Edith also joined Steffi’s skiing tours with Marie-Luise Vischer Stockert and others. In the evenings there was a lot of dancing and especially Steffi had a great time. Liesl stayed during this time with Miss Riebe and me.

In early spring the International Socialist Congress was meeting in Bern and our Press Attaché Dr. Bach was participating at the presidential table without having informed me. This participation of an official deputy of Austria was badly taken by the Swiss Federal Council, who at that time had a strictly anti-socialist attitude. It took a lot of effort to prove to them that Dr. Bach was participating only as a private person. I visited the Congress for my information and attended a dinner party to which the Swiss socialists had invited other countries’ participants. During this dinner I had the opportunity to meet Kurt Eisner who became well known through a riot in Munich, and who later, when he was Bavaria’s Prime Minister, was shot by a Bavarian officer, Count Arco, on an open street. During a conversation with him I got the impression that this man was taken unaware by the events and by no means was prepared for a government leadership position. I also met London Times’ chief editor, Norman Angel, who was disapproving the Congress’ actions. At this moment Macbeth’s words occurred to me: “I have supp’d full with horrors.” (Shakespeare Act V, Scene 5.)

Hedwig and the girls were back from St. Moritz mid-February, and soon afterwards we got news from Brünn that Mama Therese was seriously sick. Hedwig left right away with Edith for Brünn; Steffi escorted her to Vienna and came right back to Bern. He was travelling in the same compartment with a very talkative man making strange conversation and Steffi got suspicious. Upon arrival in Buchs, Steffi hurried to the police and called their attention to this suspicious traveler. Police at once instituted an inquiry and on searching the man’s baggage discovered that he was a dangerous Hungarian communist agitator. The police naturally arrested him. A few days later the Austrian Legation in Bern got a letter signed by Minister Paravicini in which he expressed the Swiss Government’s thanks for Steffi’s successful intervention. 

After the doctors’ apprehensions proved groundless and Mama Therese recovered fast during Hedwig’s stay in Brünn, Hedwig could soon come back to Bern. Before the peace treaty was concluded Bern’s society was rather reserved with us. Nevertheless we were enjoying a social life on a small scale. Among others we gave a musical tea party, to which Swiss people were invited. Mr. von Herrenschwand sang some songs and Liesl played Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata from memory to the great astonishment of the audience. Count Courten from Bavaria’s Legation, himself very musically gifted, was deeply touched by this performance by a child and told me, “But there you have a pearl.” With his two daughters, who were the same age as ours, a great friendship developed and lasted even when the two families had left Switzerland and were back home in Austria and Bavaria. Mrs. Paravicini, who had just come back from St. Moritz where she met our three elder children, told me a lot of flattering words about them.

Upon Emperor Karl’s escape to Switzerland nothing was changed with my position. I had asked the Secretary of State, Otto Bauer, not to ask me to report on my old colleagues of the Foreign Affaires Department at Ballhausplatz, as well as about Ex-Emperor Karl and his “hangers-on” attitudes in Switzerland. For this problem the Press Attaché, Dr. Bach, would suit much better. Dr. Bach was in special favor with our Secretary of State, who wanted him as independent as possible from me, and so he was granted the right to send his reports directly to the Foreign Affaires Department without letting me have knowledge of them. I very soon remarked that his main job was to spy on me and to inform Otto Bauer of my connections to conservative circles. My relations with him soon were very stressed. In those days a parody adaptation to actual wording of Austria’s National Anthem was circulating with Austrian conservatives in Switzerland. The words run as follows:

 

     “God maintain, God save, our Renner, our Seitz

     And also - as one never knows - Emperor Karl in der Schweiz (Switzerland).”

 

At the end of 1918 my cousin Alfred Zeidler, who was a Brigade Commander in Agram before the war and promoted during the war to Field-Marshall Lieutenant, came to ask me if I couldn’t get him a job and housing on Sorokujfalu’s estate. He was chased from his apartment in Agram by the Croats and was now with his family, his wife Jolan and two little girls, in a very desperate situation. This petition was not so inconvenient to me as the castle in Sorok was vacant and the management of the property was completely in the hands of the newly hired manager, Mr. von Iby, who could and had to manage without any control. So I answered Alfred that I could let him have two rooms in the castle and that I was asking him to check in an inconspicuous way manager Iby’s activities and to report to me in Bern in case of irregularities. Alfred was happy to accept and arrived, first alone, in Sorok at the beginning of January 1919. At the beginning of March, the communist riot, led by Béla Kuhn, broke out and the rebellions approached Sorok. Alfred, who as a former Austrian General had to expect the worst treatment, fled to nearby Styria's border. He came back to Sorok with his family only after Admiral Horthy and his Romanian auxiliaries had crushed communism. As communism spread more and more in Hungary and the communist government in Budapest ordered the confiscation of all great land properties, I made a petition to our Foreign Affaires Department. I asked the Secretary of State to draw the attention of the Austrian Ambassador in Budapest, Baron Knobloch, to my estate Sorokujfalu in West Hungary. As an Austrian diplomat’s property abroad, the property should be free from any confiscation and should be put under protection of the Austrian Legation in Budapest. This request of mine was granted, so that when the Bolshevists appeared in Sorokujfalu Mr. Iby could produce the Hungarian Government’s order and deny them entrance to the castle. They accepted the order with favor and in this way my property was in no way harmed. In this difficult situation, manager Iby proved to be unafraid and open-eyed. Subsequent to communism and growth in commercial calamities, a new party arose in Vorarlberg that demanded annexation to Switzerland, claiming that this province was geographically and commercially pertaining to Switzerland. Although only a small Vorarlberg group supported this agitation, they got a lot of publicity in Swiss media. I tried to contrabalance this with articles but it was in vain as the Swiss press wouldn’t publish them. On behalf of our Foreign Office I asked for a personal hearing with Federal President Calonder, and asked for discontinuation of this agitation against Austria. He tried to defend the democratic institution of the Swiss Press, but after I convinced him of their unacceptable attitude, he promised to use his influence with the media for a friendlier outlook towards Austria. Indeed agitation was stopped at once and the old friendly terms were reinstalled.

During March 1919, I received a visit from several politicians from Austria and Sudetenland (German-speaking part of Czech Republic) who all wanted to know the prevailing local opinion about the political situation. I will mention only the more important ones: Burgomaster Seitz from Vienna; Worker’s Leader, Domes; Austria’s Ambassador in Berlin, Ludo Hartmann. I quickly learned that Hartmann had the purpose of checking my management and convincing himself about my correct attitude. After our official discussions, I invited, as usual, the three socialist gentlemen to dinner at our place. On my question about how food supply was in Berlin, Ludo Hartmann answered, quite unembarrassed, that as Ambassador he received triple food supply, besides parcels from Switzerland, so he was in no need. Our Miss Riebe, who was an idealist socialist, was puzzled by this answer and badly disappointed in her belief of Hartmann’s self-sacrificing devotion. For me this visit had no disagreeable consequences and passed in friendly terms. Some weeks later I was asked on behalf of our Foreign Ministry to sound out the French Embassy if they would receive the former Austrian Prime Minister, Professor Lamasch (who was known as a great pacifist) before the beginning of the official peace conferences with Austria. I now used the help of Mrs. Berta Zuckerkandl, who seemed to me useful for her good French connections. Soon I got the answer: “Qu’on recevra le célèbre savant à bras ouverts” (“that one would receive the famous scientist with open arms”). Thereafter, the Austrian Government sent Professor Lamasch to me to exchange views about how to proceed. Lamasch had excellent proposals and was rather an optimist. But as he came to discuss with me his instructions, and mentioned that a separation of South Tyrol to Italy was not in question, it was clear to me that his efforts to better the peace conditions would be of no success with the French Government. But this didn’t interfere with Lamasch’s optimism. Lamasch stayed on in Switzerland because he was chosen, next to Federal Chancellor Dr. Carl Renner, as a Deputy to St. Germain’s Peace Conference.

In spring 1919, a delegation from Tyrol, led by Deputy Guggenberg, showed up. They asked for my help in presenting a petition to President Wilson to leave the Germans of South Tyrol with Austria. I naturally promised to help and drew up a dramatic appeal, in English, to the American President. Unfortunately it had no hoped-for result, because Wilson had already promised Italians all of Tyrol.

I had some trouble with lovely Mrs. von Einem, the wife of our former Military Attaché, General von Einem, in Bern. The Austrian Red Cross had charged her with organizing the railway transports to Switzerland of Austrian children, mainly natives of Vienna, who were undernourished and who required recuperation. In Switzerland they were taken over by Swiss authorities who found accommodation for them with Swiss families who lovingly took care of them. Mrs. Von Einem accompanied personally each transport and organized the whole affair excellently. But she did not hesitate to misuse these trains for large-scale, irregular, currency and jewelry shifts. As this was openly discussed in Switzerland I saw myself obliged to inform the Secretary of State in Vienna. When she again wanted to organize such a train her passport was taken away by Viennese police, so that she could not return to Switzerland. Her husband became greatly excited and stormed at me to issue a passport for her in Bern, which I naturally couldn’t do. Nevertheless, due to Mrs. von Einem’s ability, she succeeded in a few days to get hold of a passport in Vienna. There was a pun, in Swiss-Austrian circles, saying she wasn’t the wife of “Einem” (Einem means “of one” in German). Hereafter the ministry didn’t allow her to accompany the children’s trains and she soon disappeared from Switzerland.

On May 1st, 1919, we moved from Schlössli Street to Kömiz Street, to my friend’s (the former Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, Baron Musulin) villa, which we took over completely furnished. This was rather an act of friendship, as Musulin got into financial difficulties after the fall. He had lost his job as Ambassador and for political reasons also couldn’t go back to Vienna. Musulin stayed for the present in Switzerland. He rented a small chalet in Spiez at Lake Thun where we visited them frequently. For Pentecost holidays we made an excursion with all the children for several days to Vitznau on Lake Vierwaldstätt. From the Legation, Janotta, Hohenlohe and Hevesy with his sister joined us there. Steffi, who was in good form, was playing a lot of tennis with Hohenlohe. At the end of our stay we made a roundtrip of the Lake and stayed in Luzern.

The Peace Conference of St. Germain between the allies and Austria began mid- July 1919. Vienna sent as Chief of Mission, Federal Chancellor Renner, and among his diplomatic staff there was Professor Lamasch. The delegation was travelling in a Pullman car, which was attached to the, so-called, Entente-Express. Ernst Janotta went to meet the Federal Chancellor at the Austrian border and escorted him till Zürich. There I went to welcome the Federal Chancellor, who invited me to join him in the Pullman car and ride with him to Basel. The gentlemen all had quite happy faces, which I thought wasn’t suitable considering the situation’s seriousness and the disappointments we were about to face. The French press reported negatively about this “happiness.” As it is not my intention in this book to contribute to the secret story of the St. Germain Peace Treaty, I leave behind in my thoughts our delegation at the moment they were quartered, by the French Government, in St. Germain castle near Paris. There they were confined from the external world by barbed wire and hundreds of policemen. I turn back again to my personal experiences.

Among the German diplomats who left Switzerland after the war was the German Military Attaché Lieutenant Colonel Busso von Bismarck. Steffi had met his daughter during wintertime and took a serious interest in her. As Steffi took notice that Mrs. von Bismarck and her daughter would leave in the next few days, he was at the railway station to bid her goodbye. As the train was leaving, he jumped onto it and, to mother Bismarck’s great astonishment, appeared at their compartment and escorted them until Basel. Once returned, he informed us that he was in love with Ursi Bismarck and was determined to make her his wife. For us this was quite a surprise, but as Ursi was very charming, we voluntarily gave our consent although they both were very young. Soon thereafter Steffi traveled to Lüneburg, where Bismarcks were staying, and asked the astonished father for Ursi’s hand in marriage. He was very cordially received but, due to Steffi’s unconcluded studies and the uncertain situation in Mid-Europe, Ursi’s father didn’t wish an official engagement for the time being. Steffi came back to Bern with this answer.

Since for the next eight weeks (so long would the peace conference take) high politics was sleeping in Bern, I thought it might be a good moment to begin on July 16th, 1919, a four-weeks’ leave. I intended to pass this time with the whole family in Engadin’s Flims. Ernst Janotta came to the railway station to bid us farewell and handed over to Dorle some flowers. Steffi had gone a few days earlier to Flims and made our reservations in Forest-house Flims, which was beautifully situated in the forest’s midst. A few days later Dorle received by a messenger a letter from Ernst Janotta with his declaration of love. It was not unexpected, as we knew for quite a while that he was interested in her. Dorle accepted his offer of marriage and so he arrived on August 1st in Flims to make his official marriage proposal. In the evening we celebrated the engagement just within the family. The Janotta family was not far from us. Ernst’s mother, Marianne, born Krackhardt, was a friend since youth of Auguste Haupt Stummer, and our best friend Gretl Rohrer’s eldest sister. Ernst’s father, Heinrich, a sugar industrialist and landowner in his homeland Silesia, was in the monarchy’s time a Member of Parliament. In old Austria, as well as in Czechoslovakia, he was of great importance in the sugar industry. He was President of Troppau’s Chamber of Commerce, President of Troppau Sugar Refinery A.G.’s administrative board, whose founder he was, as well as active in the management of many other companies. Ernst had graduated in law in Vienna after a period of studies in Paris at the “Ecole des Sciences Politiques” and he passed his diplomacy exams with honors in Vienna. He first was in the Home Office, but was soon transferred to Triest’s “Governo Maritimo.” His first post as Attaché abroad was in Tokyo, his second in Sofia. In 1914, shortly before war’s outbreak, he came as Legation Secretary to Bern. Due to the war, his diplomatic career was interrupted for a short time, as he had to join up as an officer in reserve. As such he was attached to the Military Attaché in Sofia. In 1917, exempt from military service, he came back to Bern’s Legation. His brother, Heini, was killed in 1916 in Galicia. He never came back from a voluntary patrol-ride. His sister Gretl was living with her parents on their estate in Stiebrowitz, near Troppau. Ernst unfortunately could stay only a few days in Flims as in my absence he was as Chargé d’Affaires running the Austrian Legation.

Steffi had a wonderful time in Flims. He was participating with great success at a tennis tournament that was going on there. He won the men’s singles, open and with handicap, as well as the mixed doubles with a Swiss player. These victories were unexpected by the Swiss, as they didn’t know Steffi as a player. After the distribution of prizes there was a celebration party with dance. Suddenly they also played the Swiss anthem. Steffi, who was just dancing in an intensive way, didn’t realize that instead of dance music they were playing the Swiss anthem and everybody stood up. He with his lady remained the only dancing couple. This caused hard feelings with some Swiss people and ended in their sending me a rude anonymous letter. As Steffi did this only by mistake I didn’t want to accept this insult, so I advised Ernst to raise a protest with the Foreign Affaires Minister Paravicini, who at once sent a written apology and so the affair was finished. Steffi, who had succeeded so well in Flims, now also enlisted in Lucerne’s tournament where the Swiss men’s singles championship was to be played. To the astonishment of everybody, Steffi won all the competition classes and made the Swiss champion. Some players, who didn’t like this, raised protest with the tournament’s management, reasoning that Steffi as a defeated country’s citizen should not have participated in an official championship. But as Steffi could show his certificate of domicile from the city of Brünn by which, according to the regulations of the St. Germain Peace Treaty, he became a Czech citizen, the jury acknowledged his arguments and dismissed the protest.  He then came back happily to Bern as Swiss champion. My vacations also were over and we all returned to Bern, where I took over again the Legation’s lead. It was my intention that Steffi should take over the estate of Sorokujfalu and that is why it was decided that he should study agriculture. We sent him to the University of Halle at the Saale (river). He traveled via Lüneburg, where now the official engagement was celebrated in Ursi’s grandmother’s house. The grandmother in second nuptials was married to a General von Bodungen. Ursi’s father, Busso von Bismarck, is a descendant of the line Bismarck von Schönhausen II. The property of Schönhausen had been divided between the “Chancellor’s” father and his brother, Ursi’s great grandfather. Later this property was sold and afterwards Prussia’s Government donated it again to the Chancellor for his merits.

Ursi’s father entered the cadet corps Lichterfelde, served in the second regiment of the Guards and was admitted to the general staff. After he served in different German garrisons, he was appointed Military Attaché to Bern in 1911. This position, due to the war in 1914, was extremely important and although he had asked for transfer to front service several times, he was thought to be indispensable in Switzerland. He was called several times to report to headquarters, where he reported personally to Emperor Wilhelm as well as to Hindenburg and Ludendorff. After the war ended and treaties were signed, he quit active service and retired to Lüneburg, where he worked as commercial manager in his mother-in-law’s company. Ursi’s mother, born Frederich, descended from an old Lüneburg patrician family, who owned a distinguished wholesale wine trade house and were dealing in particular with the import of Bordeaux wines. They had in Lüneburg a nice family house, which was the center of the family. Ursi had a twin brother Hasso, and a younger one, Busso born in 1911.

After a short stay Steffi left for Halle. There he was due to stay with Bismarck’s relatives, von Gravenhorst, who willingly took him in.

Meanwhile I decided to go to Vienna to clarify my citizenship and my position at Foreign Affaires, and Hedwig accompanied me with the girls. Mrs. Riebe, whom we all appreciated very much, had left us as the girls were now grown up. As I also intended to visit Zlin, I had to arrange the necessary papers to enter Czechoslovakia for all of us. For this reason I went to see the Czechoslovak Chargé d’Affaires in Bern. This unpolished, coarse fellow declared to me in an impossible French: “Autant longtan ke vu frekentez l’Archiduc vu ete très souspect” (“As long as you are seeing the Archduke you are a very suspicious person”) and he wouldn’t issue me the papers. I then wrote immediately to President Massaryk in Prague, explaining my situation and asking him to give orders to his deputy in Bern to issue the necessary papers. After only three days I had a telegram signed by the Czech Foreign Minister Benes, saying that the Czechoslovak Chargé d’Affaires was ordered to supply my necessary papers. I hurried to him and after some hesitations and grumbling he gave me the travel documents. Now we hurried with packing and just got on the next Entente-Express in Zurich. The Federal Chancellor Renner and his staff also took this same train, after they had signed the peace treaty on September 10th, 1919. When Renner saw me, he kindly invited us all to take places in his reserved car. Arriving in Vienna, we stayed at Hotel Sacher, and next day I went to the Foreign Affaires’ Secretary to discuss with the Federal Chancellor my situation after the St. Germain Peace Treaty. We both were of the same opinion that by the new regulations I automatically was a Czechoslovak citizen, unless I would opt in favor of Austria. This was not on my mind for the time being. We also were in agreement that I had to resign as Austria’s Ambassador in Bern, but should carry on at the Legation until December 31st, 1919, and also install my successor. Till then I could continue with my full allowance. I thanked the Federal Chancellor and we parted good friends. Now we could go on with our trip to Zlin.

The butler couple Franz Patka had already left us in Bern and headed back to Zlin, because in case of the confiscation of large properties, they wanted to be on the spot in good time!

Immediately after I had bought the property at Sorokujfalu, I had started to divide the 400 hectares fields around Zlin into lots, to make money and cover the greater part of my purchase. The larger part of these lots, which had been bought by the shoe manufacturer Tomas Batá, was already industrial lots. Further lots went into peasants’ hands. Mama Therese and Nana had come to receive us in Zlin. Soon afterwards the parents Janotta and Gretl came to Zlin to learn to know their future daughter-in-law. Aunt Sophie, who had been Marianne’s friend in youth, came, too, and we spent some very nice days together. I wrote from Zlin to Sorok’s manager Iby, whom I didn’t know, that he was to come and meet me in Vienna on October 10th, and report about circumstances on the property and his activities. He should also bring our cook Gisela, a native of Sorok, to Vienna as we wanted to take her along to Bern as a substitute for Angela Patka. In Zlin I signed a lot of bills of sale, by which the greater part of the fields (with the exception of 80 ha around the farmhouse I wanted to keep) were sold to Batá’s company and to some peasants. Because of this change in my property, Manager Leo Wojtech’s field of activity no longer existed, so I asked him to look for another job. I was soon able to find him one as estate manager of Julius May’s Ungarisch Hradisch Sugar Industry. For the rest of my farming I employed a simple steward called Fischer, who after a short time proved unsatisfactory so I dismissed him.

At the end of our stay we got Steffi’s telegram, announcing his official engagement with Ursi Bismarck. Then we went to see Mama Anna, whom we found in good health, in Brünn and from there after a few days we went on to Vienna. Manager Iby had also arrived on time. He made a good impression on me and the news he brought from Sorok was not bad. After the communists had left, Alfred Zeidler came back to Sorok, this time with his family, and was installed in four groundfloor rooms of the castle.

On October 14th, we were able to start our trip back to Bern. That day an empty train left for Zurich, to return with Viennese children who had been recuperating in Switzerland. I got permission to use it. As the train was completely empty, we had plenty of place to ourselves, on this long trip that had really been very agreeable. In Zurich Ernst was waiting for Dorle on the railway platform. We stayed a few days there to make some purchases for Dorle’s trousseau and then drove on to to Bern. The wedding day was fixed for November 22nd, 1919. The parents Janotta and Gretl had already arrived in Bern on the 20th. From our side of the family only Steffi came from Halle. On the wedding eve Heinrich Janotta gave a big dinner party in the Hotel Bellevue to which, besides the wedding guests, some friends of Ernst were invited. The next day the wedding took place in the Catholic Church in Bern. Witnesses to the marriage were, for Dorle, the former Ambassador Baron Musulin and for Ernst, Legation Councilor Baron Hye. It was a small but charming wedding that moved us all. Afterwards there was a lunch at our place, to which besides the family, the following guests were invited: the couples Musulin and Alfred Hohenlohe, Leon DeVaux, Demeter Hye, Franz Vetter von der Lille, Walter Berchem and Alice Oldofredi. In the afternoon the young couple left for their honeymoon in Lugano. After a few days the Janotta parents went back to Silesia.

Soon afterwards I received a visit from Hungary’s former Prime Minister Count Julius Andrássy, who tried to sound me out as to how the Austrian Government would react to an eventual monarchist riot in Hungary. I left him in no doubt that, although my political convictions were conservative, in my opinion the present time was completely inappropriate to make such an experiment. Considering the Petite Entente and Italy’s attitude it could only end in a catastrophe for Hungary and the Habsburg dynasty. I tried urgently to warn him and his followers of the danger of the course of action. He left me rather disappointed. He gave me the impression of being a highly intellectual person but whose nerves were completely shattered. He was no more of great importance in Hungary and had to leave the Hungarian Royalist’s leadership to Count Antony Sigray.

After the peace treaty of St. Germain was signed there was a period of relative inactivity for Austria’s Legation in Bern. There was no important policy to make in this region. But a new activity arose, issuing passports and visas. I used this quiet time to make an inspection visit to our consulate in Geneva, to which our Consul General Montlong kindly invited me. He gave in my honor a dinner party to which some ladies came in long evening dresses. The lady I took into dinner was a young, fairly pretty, but somewhat too plump native of Geneva, Madame de Saussure, who had recently returned from Paris. She was telling so many stories about parties, where the “patriotic décolleté” was very in fashion: “Le décolleté jusqu’au “Rhine” ou jusqu’aux “reins.” (River Rhine in French is pronounced like kidneys “les reins”). I responded to her: “Mais alors c’était une societée très pieuse, puisqu’on y voyait tous les saints (seins).” (“But then this was a very pious society, as you could see all the saints.”) (In French “seins” means breast).

Mid-December Ernst and Dorle were back from their honeymoon, which had taken them to Lucerne, Lugano and at the end to Rappallo. Soon afterwards Steffi arrived from Halle and Ursi from Lüneburg, and so we celebrated a very happy Christmas. In December I carried out my last official function as Austrian Ambassador. I had to sell by order of the Government a small Austrian military plane, which had made a forced landing on Swiss territory just before the end of war. It was detained by the Swiss Government at Zurich’s airport and was now released. The only interested purchaser was the Swiss Government. After a lot of negotiation the Swiss deputy offered 20,000 Swiss francs, which our Government and I accepted.

Mid-December, Legation Councilor Baron von Seidler presented himself as my successor. I was astonished to see that he wasn’t happy about his appointment. He told me he thought he was unfit to replace an Ambassador. I had great trouble to convince him that in peacetime Bern’s position was Europe’s quietest and nicest of appointments. He then decided to take over the Legation and work a few days with me, so I could familiarize him with the work.

Our stay in Bern was fast coming to an end, but we spent a very nice New Year’s Eve with the Courten family. Immediately after New Year, Steffi went back to his studies in Halle, while Ursi traveled back to her parents in Lüneburg. Ernst and Dorle traveled via Vienna to Zlin, where they remained for several months. They spent a nice time there, were visited by Mama Therese and Gretl, and got to know the neighbors. We wanted to join them in January but had to postpone our departure to March 9th, as we were unable to make earlier reservation for a sleeping car on the only well-connected Entente-Express to Vienna. As our house was already closed, we decided to spend the interval in St. Moritz. This time we stayed in the Hotel Calonder, a somewhat simple place, but just opposite the Hotel Suvretta where all our other friends were living. My two years’ political mission in Switzerland ended with this lovely stay in St. Moritz. We always loved to remember that friendly and beautiful country. I now used my free time to prepare the basic concept of my pamphlet “Europe’s Future.” It was edited and published in 1921 by the editor of “Der Neue Geist” (“The New Spirit”) in Leipzig (Germany).

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Our large luggage that we hadn’t taken to St. Moritz I dispatched to Brünn, in a closed container, through a forwarding agency in Berlin. As railway transport was still very unsafe and luggage often robbed, I had a safety agent accompany our transport so that everything arrived in perfect state in Brünn. At the beginning of March we all left Switzerland. In the city of Lundenburg (now called Breclav) which was now the border-city between Austria and Czechoslovakia, we stepped again onto our homeland. The first impression was not very pleasant. The confusion and the horrible shouting crowds gave a revolutionary impression and were for us who came from Swiss orderliness quite a change. We arrived late at night in Brünn, where Nana waited for us at Kiosk 11. She had taken care of the house and was able to prevent more soldiers’ billeting there. There were only two French officers, Commander Caquet and Captain Rot, quartered in the first floor, while there was a Czech legionary with his family spread all over the beautiful new kitchen. The French officers behaved very well and were on most friendly terms with Nana, giving her lots of silk stockings, perfumes, and cigarettes. On the other hand, the Czech legionary was a dirty fellow who used the kitchen at one time as bedroom, hen house, etc. Later we found out that he was a gangster.

About that time Dorle and Ernst left Zlin to move to Troppau. Ernst had decided, as his diplomatic career had come to an end with defeat, to dedicate himself entirely to the management of the Troppau sugar-refining industry.

In mid-April 1920, August asked to come to Zlin to see Edith and to exchange views with her. We had known for a long time of their mutual affection; and so we drove next day with him to Zlin, where we celebrated their engagement “en famille” that same evening. Gertrud was also with us. We asked the young couple to keep the engagement secret for the time being, as Hedwig was going to undergo surgery on May 1st. Dr. Leischner operated with success (a myoma had to be removed from her uterus), and Hedwig could leave the hospital after 10 days and move back to the Kiosk. On May 20th, Leo took her by car to Zlin where she was happy to be back with the engaged couple. According to the couple’s wish, the wedding was fixed for July 15th, 1920, in Zlin.

Now it was Steffi and Ursi’s turn; they had already been engaged for 10 months, but had honored the wish of both sets of parents to wait until Steffi’s graduation from University. They were eager to arrange their wedding day. Their wish was fulfilled and the wedding day was settled for July 8th, 1920, in Lüneburg; these newlyweds would then be able to participate at the Zlin wedding, too. It wasn’t so easy for Hedwig to make all the wedding preparations in so short a time, but she succeeded; therefore, we could leave on July 6th with Liesl and Edith for Lüneburg. (August was escorting Auguste for a cure in Kissingen and was prevented from coming). Besides us from our family, only Dorle and Ernst could come, while the Bismarck and Frederich families were present in great number. The eve before the wedding all the guests were united in the Bismarck’s pretty villa at Lüneburg. The marriage ceremony was in Lüneburg’s Catholic Church and afterwards there was an evangelic blessing in the beautiful great patrician house of Ursi’s grandmother. Witnesses to the marriage were Ernst for Steffi and General von Bodungen for the bride. The wedding lunch was at the family house and at this opportunity I made a long speech, with a political touch, to the nuptial couple. The young couple left for Hannover. We could stay only a very short while, as we had to hurry back to Zlin. On the nuptial eve the newlyweds Steffi and Ursi arrived, as well as all the other numerous guests. For the festival eve, the young ones performed some tableaux vivants about love during the centuries, which was met with enthusiastic applause. Edith was wearing the beautiful diadem she had received as a wedding present from Poldi and Auguste, and she really looked like a queen in her jewels. Next day the wedding guests assembled in the castle and drove in old-fashioned horse-driven coaches to church. Our neighbors, Stillfried and Gyra, also lent us their equipages. The entrance into the church was accompanied by old Emanuel Proskowetz playing the organ in a most touching way. The wedding ceremony was held after the Holy Mass, celebrated by Dean Ignaz Nepustil who made a German speech to the nuptial couple. Witnesses to the marriage were Hubert Skutetzky for August and Robert Schoeller for Edith. For the wedding breakfast we had 40 persons. They were, besides both sets of parents: Mama Therese Phull (Mama Anna couldn’t come because of her age and health conditions), Gustl Phull, Aunt Sophie, Dorle, Ernst, Steffi, Ursi, Liesl, Leo, Gertrud and Ödön Nesnera, Tibor and Carola Thuronyi, Emanuel Proskowetz, Mimi and Willi Proskowetz, Herbert Doblhoff, Hubert and Amalie Skutetzky, Margarete Rohrer, Robert Schoeller, Rudolf Stillfried, Gabrielle Draskovich, Dean Ignaz Nepustil. Bridesmaids and grooms were: Liesl - Leo, Lotti Rohrer – Sisinio Pretis, Gretl Rohrer – Jenerl Szüts, Gretl Bleyleben – Niki Rohrer, Erika Schoeller – Georges Gyra. After the newlyweds and all the guests had left, Steffi and Ursi stayed on for a few days in Zlin before they started their journey to Sorokujfalu. That journey had been a real adventure. Because of non-existent railway connections, they first had to stay overnight in Bratislava, in a third-class bug-ridden hotel, as everything was overcrowded with Czech soldiers. Next day they had to take a train to Komorn, escorted by Franz Patka, who was to be helpful with border customs control. This was known to be a disagreeable place and without Patka’s help, who proved his Slovak identity, they hardly could have passed. Jewelry and documents couldn’t be passed, so Patka had to return them to Zlin. On the other side of the Danube Bridge electrician Toth, from Sorok, was to have met them to serve as an interpreter and escort them to the train to Szombathely. But they missed each other and spent some hours wandering up and down the Danube banks. Luckily the train to Szombathely was delayed several hours, so after they had finally found Toth he was a helpful escort. In Sorokujfalu they were received solemnly by Zeidlers, Manager Iby, who had ridden ahead with a group of peasant boys to meet them at Kisunyom, the employees, the household servants and a part of the village citizens. Manager Iby made a Hungarian welcoming speech and Steffi answered in German, which was translated to Hungarian by Iby. After a well-prepared, excellent breakfast, made by the cook, Gisela, Steffi and Ursi went to bed dead tired. During the following months Steffi used to inspect the property with Mr. Iby to get acquainted with everything.

As soon as the wedding tumult was over we started with Nana’s help to remove our apartment on Kiosk in Brünn. Several furniture vans were loaded: one was sent to Troppau to Dorle, another one to Sorok for Steffi, and the rest went to Zlin’s castle and served there to renew the existing furniture. From the empty apartment I leased our two bedrooms with bath to Brünn’s acting Burgomaster and Government Councilor Körndelmeyer, a moderate Czech. The rest of the rooms went to a Czech museum company. We remained only with the big hall and two adjoining bedrooms as temporary quarters. After two years, the Czech Agrarian Party bought the whole palace, for three million Czech crowns.

 

Sorokujfalu 1920 – 1945.

This same autumn 1920, we made our first visit, with Liesl, to Steffi; Dorle and Ernst also joined us. As Steffi had to continue his studies at the Agricultural University of Leipzig, our stay was just a short one because they had to leave at the beginning of October. We arrived in Leipzig at the same time, as Liesl was recommended by August to Professor Teichmüller, who was going to take over her studies. Before that Professor Teichmüller had sent one of his best pianists, Miss Gregor, to Zlin to prepare Liesl for her classes with the professor. Liesl made remarkable progress in a very short time. In Leipzig we all stayed in the Pension Austria. For Christmas Steffi and Ursi went to Lüneburg to the Bismarck parents, while we stayed in Leipzig with a modest little Christmas tree. In the beginning of 1921, Edith and August came for a short time to Leipzig and stayed until our mutual departure.

On March 21st, 1921, we celebrated our silver wedding anniversary and at the same time Mama Therese’s 70th anniversary, which actually had been on March 9th. The three young couples came, as well as Gustl and Aunt Sophie and Uncle Heinrich. At the celebration dinner I made a nice speech about the companion of my life, and Steffi, in the name of all the children, made a speech to honor Hedwig and me. Many congratulatory telegrams had arrived and Steffi read them aloud at coffee time. Our mood was the very best, when all of a sudden Steffi stopped reading and, in answer to our astonished questioning, he showed us a telegram that Papa Bismarck had sent informing us of his wife’s sudden death from a heart attack. Now consternation replaced our happy mood. Ursi was very distressed. The travelling documents had to be arranged so that Steffi and Ursi arrived in time for the funeral in Lüneburg and to support her father and both of her brothers, especially little Busso who was only nine years old.

In summer 1921, Steffi and Ursi stayed in Sorok so Steffi could end his studies and in autumn take his graduation exam at the University of Leipzig. He succeeded very well and got his agricultural degree. Now I transferred the estate to his name. He started management at once in a very energetic way so that there was no more need for a manager. Iby had himself asked for his release and everything took place on very friendly terms. Hereafter Steffi and Ursi spent the whole year in Sorok, where Steffi had a lot to do with the reorganization and development of the property. The innovations were so successful that Sorokujfalu soon had the reputation of being a model farm. Steffi started artificial fertilizers, based on methodical analyses; produced ennobled seeds for all different cereals; changed the cattle breeding to studbook-registered cattle, and so on. He also was very busy as Vice President of the Agricultural Association, was elected president of the Cattle Breeders Association and member of the Agricultural Chamber. In addition to his agricultural activities, he also made himself known through the years in banking. From 1925 on, he was the President of the Municipal Vas savings bank. Under his management this institute developed extensively. Later he was also a member of the board at the British-Hungarian Bank in Budapest, president of Szombathely’s linen and hemp factory, manager of West-Hungary’s Seed Export Co, and board-councilor to different other companies.

In autumn 1921, Liesl resumed her studies with Professor Teichmüller in Leipzig, escorted by Hedwig who stayed in Hotel Hauffe until Christmastime. Liesl had made great progress with Professor Teichmüller and acquired a wonderful, soft, and at the same time, vigorous touch. At Christmas we went with Liesl to Sorok. Unfortunately I became ill with flu just before Christmas Eve and had to spend the time there in bed. After Christmas Liesl went back to Leipzig, but this time escorted by Miss Dorle Daler.

On January 24th, 1922, Ursi gave birth to a bonny boy, our first grandchild. Bishop Count Mikes in Szombathely baptized him with the name of Stefan Wolfgang, nicknamed Wolfi. His godparents were Hedwig and Busso Bismarck. This same year, on September 14th, 1922, Edith gave us the joy of a daughter, called Marie-Anne. Hedwig spent a few weeks in Tavarnok, while I stayed in Brünn and just arrived for the baptism. Godparents were Liesl and Hubert Skutetzky. In the autumn Liesl returned to Leipzig to conclude her studies with Teichmüller. With Günther Ramin, the later famous singer at Leipzig’s Thomas Church, she had classes in composition and harmony. She enjoyed the musical life of this city and didn’t miss a Gewandhaus concert as well as other events.

At Christmas 1922 we were again united in Sorok, where this time Ernst and Dorle joined us. Wolfi’s eyes were radiant admiring his first Christmas tree. While Hedwig and Liesl went for a short stay with Edith in Tavarnok, I stayed with Mama Therese in Brünn. Gustl, who had not been feeling very well for several months, died on February 26th, quite suddenly from a heart attack. I called Hedwig by telephone in Tavarnok and she hurried back to Brünn to help her mother, who now had also lost her eldest son in his best years. He was only 53 years old. Gustl was a dear good soul and intelligent person with a lot of interests, in particular natural science, but who never really developed his talents. As a chemist he was working in Hochstetter and Schickardt’s factory in Brünn. He was buried in the family grave, as the last male descendant of his family, in Brünn’s Central Cemetery.

On November 5th, 1923, a second boy was born in Sorok and christened Herbert. Hedwig had gone earlier to Sorok, while I came three weeks later with Mama Therese for the baptism that again was celebrated by Bishop Mikes. Godparents were Dorle and Hasso Bismarck. General happiness was troubled only by the news of my brother Poldi’s bad health, which had afflicted him for the last few months. His health had worsened so much that there was thought of an operation, for which he was brought to Budapest. Unfortunately, according to medical opinion, an operation was not possible. So I left with Steffi for Budapest to visit him in hospital, where he was with his children. We were very much concerned about his greatly changed appearance. After some time he went back to Tavarnok and I drove with Steffi back to Sorok. Christmastime was getting near and we celebrated it for the first time with Mama Therese in Sorok. We were preparing for a New Year’s Eve celebration when we got a telegram from Miss Holweck, calling us urgently back to Brünn as Mama Anna’s health was so bad that we had to be prepared for her death. We left that same, awfully cold, night with Mama Therese and Liesl and arrived in Brünn in the early morning of December 30th, 1923. We found Mama Anna still alive but unconscious. August and Edith arrived on January 1st from Tavarnok and our dear mother parted from us on January 2nd, 1924, at the age of 86 without any death agony. Faithful old Miss Holweck, who nursed Mama in a devoted way till the end, could do her the last loving service of closing her eyes. The burial was in the family grave in Brünn’s Central Cemetery. A few weeks later we had a second death to lament. As Poldi’s illness was declared incurable and his loss of strength made us fear the worst, we wanted to see him once more; and so we drove to Tavarnok, at the beginning of April, with Miss Marie. As we arrived, Poldi was still conscious and I could have a last conversation with him. But in the next few days he lost consciousness and died on the night of April 7th, surrounded by his wife and children, at the age of 65. He was buried in the Stummer family vault in Tavarnok, where the Stummer parents had been buried. Later Leo made a beautiful memorial of his own design.

In June 1924, Miss Marie Holweck left us to return to her native Alsatian place. She was then 80 years old and had spent 52 years with us. She was still in full strength, and her only wish was to return to her home *[which now was France] to spend her declining years there as well as to be buried in earth of home. We would have loved to keep her, but also understood her feelings; so after a short visit to Zlin, from where she departed in deep sorrow with a broken heart, she left for Barenbach in Alsace. After two years there she quietly passed away.

From now on we wanted to spend the winter months in Vienna, and in the first year we lived in the Pension Schneider; later in a very nicely furnished apartment. This way Liesl had the opportunity to continue her music studies in Vienna. We turned to the famous composer Professor Franz Schmidt who, after our visit and hearing Liesl play, was willing to take her as a private student. With his very interesting way of teaching, which was quite different from Teichmüller’s, he encouraged his pupils’ mental evolution and understanding for the work of the great masters. Liesl admired and was devoted to Franz Schmidt and enjoyed his lessons for several years. As she wished to learn a second instrument, she took violin lessons with Christa Richter. Strange to say she didn’t show any special talent for this instrument, so she gave it up after two years and instead wanted to dedicate herself to playing the organ as well as the piano. As a teacher she was given, on Professor Schmidt’s recommendation, the Viennese Music Association’s organist Professor Franz Schütz, who soon discovered her talent for this instrument and encouraged her in a very friendly way. He wasn’t only a full-blooded musician, but also a politician, so I had in the following years many interesting talks about Vienna’s new situation. He was a great idealist and in the beginning a follower of the new course. I tried to influence him to moderation; but in 1938, after Hitler’s marching into Vienna and the national socialists’ atrocities, he completely turned away from the party.

In July 1924, Zlin’s Music Association wanted to organize a festival for Smetana’s 100th anniversary of birth and asked Liesl to participate with the well-known “Moravian Quartet.” She should play the piano part in Smetana’s vivacious trio. Liesl accepted voluntarily and thought that this first official appearance in Zlin would be a good experience in preparation for her forthcoming concerts. The posters were already printed, the quartet lodged in the castle where the first rehearsals had taken place. At that time the shoe manufacturer Bata, with whom I was in clinch for many years, let me know through one of his employees that he would not allow a German artist to participate at a Smetana Festival in Zlin. If we would proceed with the concert, he would summon his 6,000 workers and march up to the concert hall to prevent the performance, if necessary even with force. In this way the purely well-meant artistic event got a bad political touch. I couldn’t expose Liesl to such a danger and so the concert was canceled.

Zlin had grown very much in the last years. Thomas Bata, who worked for several years in shoe factories in U.S.A. and had learned thoroughly the mechanical fabrication, came back to his native Zlin at the turn of the century. He bought there a piece of land next to the railway station of a newly-opened local railway, Otrokowitz-Zlin-Wisowitz. There he built a one-story factory building and started to produce cheap shoes according to American pattern. As in the beginning this operation was a modest one, I had no fears it would affect my summer stay in Zlin. But when in 1914 the First World War broke out, Bata realized the situation faster than any other shoe manufacturer. According to the contract he settled with the military administration, he was asked to supply a great part of the army’s shoe needs. To accomplish this he had to increase his factory in a large scale. But this was only possible if he could get hold of a great part of my land that was surrounding his establishments. He sent me a proposal referring to this. After long negotiations I agreed to sell him, for a reasonable price, more or less 100,000 square meters of building sites. But I kept all rights reserved in the contract that on the sites next to the park and the castle neither factory buildings nor worker colonies could be built. This contract was accepted and signed by Bata before November 1914. At first he respected this condition. But as war lengthened, and military demands grew, the enlargements of the factory had to be accelerated and soon his enterprise was one of the most significant of Europe. After the downfall in 1918, he thought his position so strengthened that he could ignore the reserved rights in the purchase contract which were restricting his freedom of movement and started to build, without my consent, on the forbidden lots. The first step was to build a big annular brick kiln. At first I maintained a reserved attitude, but when he started with a 60-meters-high chimney, I sent him a registered letter alerting him that I would have to stop this construction and requested him to pull down the already-started chimney. As he didn’t do this in due course, I asked my lawyer, Dr. Emil Tomanek in Ungarisch-Hradisch, to bring an action for demolition of the mentioned buildings and for amends of damages. I was lucky in my choice of Dr. Tomanek as my representative because he turned out to be very able and an honest man who, although being Czech, succeeded in representing a German great landowner against the mighty Czech industrialist. I worked very well with him, while Bata only had second-class lawyers. Bata neglected my letter and went on building; he finished the annular brick kiln and now went on to build worker houses on the prohibited lots. This process went on for two years. It was a sad sign of the corruptibility of the Czech lower body of judges that my complaint was rejected in Ungarisch-Hradisch’s lower county court. I naturally redressed to the next higher court, Brünn’s Provincial Court, but they also couldn’t resist Bata’s tempting artifice and denied my appeal. At last I lost my patience and I went to see the President of the Supreme Court in Brünn, Dr. Popelka, whom I knew from old times and to whom I explained the whole situation. I asked him to save the Czech judges’ honor, to invalidate the two former misjudgements, and to make a decision. The president received me very well, promised to study the process personally, and after that make his decision. After few weeks I received the Supreme Court’s decision, through which the two former judgements were, as misjudgements, invalidated. Thomas Bata was sentenced to: abolish all unallowable constructions on the mentioned lots; abolish the 60-meters-high chimney which was contrary to the terms of agreement; reinstall the former conditions at his own expense; make amends for the plaintiff’s expenses. The Supreme Court gave as reason for this judgement the accuracy of all my explanations and ordered the county court of Ungarisch-Hradisch to observe this judgement and, if not attended by Bata, begin with the court’s execution. My costs were calculated to be 150,000 Czech crowns and were paid by Bata to me. For the demolition he got several months of delay, with a deadline of December 1927. Even so, Bata wasn’t willing to fulfil the regulation and was making passive resistance to its execution. At that time a new complication arose. Zlin’s vicar, Father Anton Dvorak, died and the vicariate’s management went temporarily to the assistant priest. This priest was an eager friend of Bata and, as such, not acceptable to me. Bata was trying hard to get the Archbishop of Olmütz, Dr. Stejanand, to appoint this assistant priest as Zlin’s vicar. But as I was the patron of Zlin’s church, I had the right to propose three candidates to the Archbishop for Zlin’s vicar position; and so Bata’s candidate didn’t have many good prospects. But Bata went on to try to influence the Archbishop by sending delegations of Zlin’s workers and citizens, asking him to ignore my patron’s rights as I was a German and shouldn’t have any patron’s rights in the Czechoslovak Republic. The Archbishop decisively denied this unreasonable demand, especially because I had a much better-qualified candidate than Bata’s. It was Dr. Franz Vavrusa, a native of Zlin, who got his education at the Collegium Germanicum in Rome and who was private secretary for many years to the former Archbishop of Olmütz, Dr. Kohn. After Dr. Kohn’s death he was vicar in North Moravia and I brought him from there. He was very able, wriggling through between Bata and me, and managed his vicar’s job with tact.

Steffi and Ursi had soon a very animated social life with all the landowner neighbors. In summer 1923, a large number of youth decided to arrange a so- called “youth week.” A large group of friends and acquaintances were invited, not only from West Hungary but also from all over the country, Slovakia, and Moravia, so that the group was about 150 persons. They all were lodged in different nearby castles. Different sports events and festivities were planned. There was a great ball in Vép with Erdödy’s, another with dancing competitions in Sorokujfalu, and the third at Peter Szechényi’s in Rum. There were car gymkhana, competitions with horses, bicycles, tennis and others.

Besides that, there were annual autumn hunting parties in Sorok. Steffi had fostered with great care the small game, and Sorok’s hunting parties were one of the best in Vas District. Generally it was four days of hunting, one for pheasants and three for hares; a lot of partridges also were shot. The bag per hunting day was from 600 to 1,000 pieces and the total bag was around 1,500 pheasants, 2,400 hares and around 500 partridges. Each shooting day was followed by an entertaining dinner party, at which the ladies also appeared. Two of the invited best shots were the Hungarian Prime Minister, Count István (Steve) Bethlen, and Count Toni Sigray.

On April 17th, 1925, a very strong boy was born in Tavarnok who was named Werther. Godparents were Hedwig and Sisinio Pretis. Hedwig had gone earlier to Tavarnok but came back to Brünn for Liesl’s debut. Liesl played the piano part of Schumann’s wonderful Quintet with the George Steiner quartet with whom she stayed in contact thereafter.

This same year Ernst and Dorle had a bad car crash, which could have had serious consequences for them. They were on their way back from Prague when their chauffeur had a stroke while driving. The car turned over, they were thrown out, and like a wonder they weren’t hurt; but the driver was dead.

On October 14th, 1926, a very much-desired little girl was born in Sorok. Bishop Count George Mikes gave her the name of Marie-Louise during the baptism ceremony, which again was celebrated in the castle. Godparents were August and Lily Batthyány. Nurse Lotte Janich, who had been since 1924 with the boys, now took over little Marie-Louise since her birth and stayed on for seven more years. The children, especially Marie-Louise, were very much attached to her.      *[Lotte Janich left Sorok in 1933 and went to Leo and Leni Haupt Stummer as their third child, Ernst, was born in Tavarnok.]

In March 1928, my nephew Leo got engaged to Helene (Leni) von Gutmann, daughter of Max von Gutmann, member of the mining board and his wife Mimsch. Mimsch’s parents were the famous actor-couple Hartmann of Vienna’s Burgtheater. The wedding was in June 1928, in Vienna’s Schotten Chapel and the famous singer Durige sang wonderfully. I was Leo’s wedding witness and as such made a very well applauded speech during the dinner. Prince Franz Lichtenstein, married to Elsa, Max Gutmann’s sister, congratulated me on my speech after dinner and assured me he had heard a lot of wedding speeches but never one so highly finished and so fertile in ideas.

July 10th, 1928, our granddaughter Leonore was born in Kulhany. In Kulhany’s wonderful sylvan solitude Edith had very desirable recovery and agreeable weeks, and Hedwig enjoyed the time with them there.

At the end of August 1928, I got sick with painful sciatica in my right leg. As things were getting worse and home nursing wasn’t sufficient, the children advised me to go with Hedwig to the Cottage Sanatorium in Vienna, to which August escorted us. There I took a treatment of injections for three weeks, which did me a lot of good, so that we could leave for an after-cure to Baden’s Gutenbrunn Sanatorium near Vienna. The stay there was excellent and we spent an agreeable autumn in Baden where we met often with Oktav and Rudolf Bleyleben. The next winter of 1928 we mostly spent in Tavarnok with Edith and August.

Soon after Poldi’s death, his children started to dissolve their company, Schmitt and Co., in Topolcsany. To this firm belonged a large saw mill, 70 km of forest railway, as well as some lots for construction. The main part fell to August who, in this year, also had the difficult discussions with the Land Office. The dissolution process of Schmitt and Co. took a long time and Leo and August often consulted me about the difficulties that came up. So my longer stay in Tavarnok seemed to be desired.

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On December 31st, 1927, demolition of Zlin’s brick-kiln ought to have started; instead Bata asked the court for a prolongation of the execution deadline and did some further delaying tricks. Court denied all his requests and already wanted to start execution when I unexpectedly received, through Cary Rohrer, an invitation to see the Czech Ambassador, Vavrecka, in Vienna, letting me know he had some important messages to tell me referring to the Bata process. I went to see him and we agreed that both parties wished to prevail concerning the sale of my property to Bata’s firm. Vavrecka, as Bata’s intimate friend, could influence him to make a higher offer. I told him that my demand of 15 million KC, considering the high land prices in Zlin, was a very moderate one. I recently had sold two lots and woodland for more than two million KC, so that the value of the rest of the property decreased to 12 million KC. For this price I was willing to sell the whole property, with the exception of the living and dead inventory, the timber and cereal stocks, as well as the whole castle’s furniture. Vavrecka informed Bata of this demand. A several-hours-long telephone conversation between Vavrecka and Bata resulted in Bata changing his offer from six to 12 millions, but as a matter of prestige he asked for a small reduction. Vavrecka advised me to accept this offer, as a demolition of the brick-kiln probably would be prevented by the workers and undoubtedly would provoke great workers’ demonstrations. I asked for 24 hours for consideration and called for a family consultation with Hedwig, all children and children-in-law. They all consented to selling, although they found it hard to lose this wonderful family property. Next day I went to see Ambassador Vavreck, this time accompanied by August, and informed him about a purchase price reduction of 50,000 KC. He phoned again to Bata and confirmed, in the presence of August as witness, that Bata accepted the deal. After some months, which I used to liquidate the remaining inventory and stocks, Bata and I signed the purchase contracts on June 30th, 1929. The delivery of the empty castle was set for October 1st, 1929. During the summer all the children, grandchildren and Mama Therese, as well as good old friends, all came for the last time to Zlin. After the last furniture van was dispatched, Hedwig, Liesl and I were standing in a melancholic mood in the empty rooms that were recalling to my mind the times of my most wonderful childhood and the happy years we had had there with our children. But the changes that had occurred in Zlin, through American way of industrialization, grew so big that memories of beautiful old times faded away. I since have seen Zlin only once for a few hours on my way driving through, probably for the last time.

Christmas 1928 we spent in Sorokujfalu and Ernst and Dorle joined us there, too. The terrible winter 1929 started already in January with bad snowstorms and minus 20°C lasting for days. Midst of January Count Sándor Erdödy died in Vép. The funeral was in Szombathely with very big attendance. Despite the bad snowstorm all the neighbors had come with their cars. Steffi and Ursi also couldn’t be hindered from going and, despite the great amount of snow, they came home all right. Two Batthyany cars got stuck a few hundred steps short of Sorok in a two-meters-high snowdrift. The passengers had to fight their way through to the castle with snow up to their knees. There was no way to shovel the cars out at night. They all had to stay at our place for two days till the roads were cleaned up.

We used a snowstorm pause to go back to Vienna, where we spent a time with Liesl. Steffi and Ursi, as well as Ernst and Dorle, went for a few weeks to St. Moritz and Liesl joined them there.

Directly after their wedding Leo and Leni moved to Tavarnok. They occupied the northern wing of the castle. August was living in the south tower. The joint living of the two young couples was very harmonious and Leni soon enjoyed wide popularity. Here were born Leo’s children: Leo, born April 7th, 1929; Eleonore (Pupa), July 11th, 1930; and Ernst, August 9th, 1933.

In June 1929, we found a very nice eight-room-large apartment in Vienna’s Argentiner Street 20-A, near Carl’s Church. The yearly rent of 3,600 Schillings wasn’t much, but I had to pay a ransom of 42,000 Schillings and spent another 15,000 Schillings for repairs. The contract was for five years. This apartment was furnished with Zlin’s furniture and we could already enter on October 1st.

Soon thereafter our first visitor was Mama Therese to have a look at our great town apartment. All our friends from there came to see her and she was very happy about this. We also managed to take a picture of her with her first great-grandson Wolfi, by the famous photographer Kosel, which turned out very good and became for us a lasting souvenir.

We were looking for a year for available properties as compensation for Zlin. First I thought of Styria and Lower-Austria, which would be near to Vienna and Sorokujfalu, but none of the seen properties was quite to our taste.

At the same time, August also had found a property in the Nyitra Valley, 30 km from Tavarnok. After the death of its former owner Vépy-Vogronics, a friend of August, he bought this estate from the heir. It was the estate Chalmova with about 572 ha. By this purchase August had increased his landed property in Slovakia quite a lot, so there was the danger of trouble with the Land Office (Secretary of Interior). Besides that, it wasn’t easy to get hold of the necessary purchase money during the crises of 1929-31.

 

Duchonka 1928 – 1944.

 I then had the idea to buy from August half of his hunting ground Duchonka (2,800 ha) and through this be helpful to him. To save the death duty, I would register the property in Liesl’s name. August welcomed and was most happy with the idea. Now it was necessary to build a house in Duchonka. So we got in touch with architect Bauer, who already had done quite a lot of building for us, and charged him with making plans for a 15-room (beside the necessary adjoining spaces) hunting castle. First we had to find the right spot for building, at the forest’s fringe. We succeeded after some searching to find a place, 400 steps from the forester’s house and our forest’s track station, on a salient hillock. From this place one had a beautiful view of a great part of the Nyitra Valley and it’s commanding 1,300 m-high Ftacnik. Water supply could be assured from a source 1,000 m away. Bauer projected a stone building, made out of a pale violet stone, which was found in a quarry near Nyitra and which gave the whole building a very particular look. All building material could be transported on our private track, which made everything much cheaper. But now a few complicated problems concerning the inside of the building had to be solved. Liesl was passionately longing for an organ, and I decided to make her this present. She asked her master, Professor Schütz, to help her find a real good Bach organ and he took great interest in it. Schütz traveled with Liesl to several German cities that had famous old organs. The setup he discussed with Bauer and us. Bauer now had to create the right esthetic and acoustic space for this organ and he succeeded in a spectacular way. Professor Schütz ordered the organ from the well-known organ builder Steinmeyer in Öttingen, Bavaria, and it was delivered on time. The construction of the house was started in spring 1930 and was finished on June 30th, 1931. The house was inaugurated on June 20th, 1931, and it was a solemn and stirring moment as Professor Schütz for the first time played this wonderful organ and the music resounded in the forest’s solitude. The numerous guests were all moved and didn’t spare acknowledging words to the house and organ constructors. Schütz loved this child of his so much that he spent, every year, several days of his vacation with us in Duchonka, playing and improvising for many hours. This was a great pleasure for us and especially Liesl was delighted. We had the great joy of having our family matriarch, Therese Phull, in our midst at the inauguration. A few months earlier she had celebrated her 80th birthday, in full control of her mind. For this occasion had come to Brünn: Steffi and Ursi, with Wolfi and Herbert; Edith and August, with Marie Anne and Werther; and Dorle and Ernst. For the dinner party also were present: Aunt Sophie, Uncle Heinrich, Robert and Mimi Schoeller, Alfred and Elsbet Hochstetter and Nelböcks. Fritz Nelböck and I gave the toasts and the celebrant answered with a few words. The great grandchildren presented a play, written by Gertrud, to everybody’s enjoyment. Lots of friends dropped by and Mama Therese got numerous flower arrangements. In summer 1932, Mama Therese spent, still very well, several weeks in Duchonka. Precisely it was from June 28th till September 9th.

43

 

Ernst had started as manager of the administrative board of Troppau’s sugar refinery in 1920. Soon thereafter he developed a remarkable activity. He recognized the precarious situation of this industry that, by the breakdown of the Austrian Monarchy, had lost a part of its market; and so he was searching for compensation. For this reason he purchased first the majority stock of several small sugar factories in Prussian Silesia’s area, and later the majority of Klettendorf’s unrefined-sugar factory. A large property belonged to this factory, directly next to Breslau. Outgoing from this center he bought a few other sugar factories in Upper Silesia, which were in a terrible competition struggle with each other and therefore without profit. All these plants he closed by fusing them into one great enterprise, which he named East-Sugar and the management was in his hands. This ingenious consolidation very soon became profitable for all parts, for the factories in Prussian Silesia as well as for Troppau’s Sugar Refining S.A. who were in close relationship with them. I was a member of the administrative board of Troppau’s Sugar Refining S.A. since 1921. In this enterprise a good field of activity was found for Busso von Bismarck, Ursi’s father, who since the Versailles Peace Treaty hadn’t found a satisfactory job. He moved to Klettendorf in 1930 with his second wife Helene (born Baroness Friesen) and his little son Klaus. They lived there in a nice villa with a beautiful garden.

We spent Christmas 1932 in Sorok and intended to stay for a few weeks. There we received on December 25th a phone call from Aunt Sophie, informing us that Mama Therese fell in her room because of dizziness on the morning of December 24th and fractured her thigh. Her condition was critical. Hedwig decided to travel immediately and arrived the same night in Brünn. She could see Mama only next morning; although Mama had bad pains she was fully conscious. The x-ray showed the fracture of her thigh but, considering her age and her general condition, no operation was attempted; this was decided to avoid all the excitement that would have caused her. Besides Dr. Mager, Dr. Leischner was consulted. Poor Mama suffered a lot but with great patience. Although she was clear in her mind, her interest in her surroundings was visibly decreasing. Hedwig had hired a sister of a protestant nursing order to help, and Aunt Sophie also was staying many hours with her. As the end was to be expected I came with Liesl and the Steffi’s to Vienna so that we could be contacted easier. On January 22nd, 1933, at four o’clock in the morning Mama Therese died, deeply mourned by grandchildren, great grandchildren, and us as well as lots of friends who had the luck to know her. She was the most unselfish person, always ready to put aside her own interests if she could help or add to a joy for somebody else. She was an ideal mother-in-law. Steffi and Liesl, as well as Robert Schoeller with Ellen, drove to Brünn for the funeral. I had to stay in Vienna as I had caught a rather bad flu; Ursi stayed with me. Dorle also couldn’t come as Ernst was hospitalized after a tongue surgery. Edith left at once to be with Hedwig, while August came late because of heavy snowstorms. There was a very great participation at the funeral.

The decade 1925 – 1935 was for all family members Haupt-Buchenrode, Haupt- Stummer and Janotta full of building activities. Before I had started construction in Duchonka, Steffi had started in 1926 a part renovation of Sorok’s castle, planned by chief architect Leopold Bauer who was already so successful with my houses in Brünn. The castle was improved with a new beautiful baroque-style roof and a new special plaster was applied to the walls from outside, which proved excellent. Further, the small private power plant was improved by setting up a turbine instead of the old paddlewheel. The dam in the park was elevated and through this so much more horsepower could be generated that it provided electricity, besides for the castle and the farmhouses, to two more neighboring villages, Sorokujfalu and Polány.

In 1928, Dorle and Ernst had bought the nice little castle Stemplovec, with its beautiful park, just 9 km away from Troppau’s sugar refining and also the same distance from the Janotta parents’ home, Stiebrowitz. As this building was vacant for a long time it badly needed repairs and so they decided to renew the place and take up residence there. By adding a big terrace, the castle got larger and much better looking. This rebuilding also was one of Leopold Bauer’s projects. These works were finished in spring 1930, so that they could move from their Troppau apartment to Stemplovec. It was well appointed with furniture from Zlin and completed with some from Mama Anna’s apartment in Brünn. The staircase was decorated with Papa Phull’s hunting trophies, which he had shot in Tökes Ujfalu at Poldi’s. The castle was very cozy and we could spend several weeks of the year as our children’s guests. Chalmova also needed some adaptation works that were done during 1934. A new water supply had to be set up for the castle as well as for the distillery. Also, several guest- and bathrooms were added.

On February 1st, 1933, occurred the great revulsion in Germany in consequence of Hitler’s seizure of power. The important political events to follow I will relate in detail only if they affected my family or me. On April 5th, 1933, Ernst was put under arrest by the Gestapo during a board meeting of Breslau’s East-Sugar enterprise, whose president he was, without any reason or explanation. Dorle who was on a cruiser tour with Liesl in Sicily had no idea of anything when Ursi, August and we received her on her arrival in Vienna. She was only informed now that Ernst had been for 11 days in protective custody and so she left at once with Ursi to Breslau. Ernst could receive them at the railway station, escorted by a policeman, but had to go back into custody immediately. Custody was eased somewhat through short walks with Dorle and Ursi, and sometimes a lunch at home at the villa, but always accompanied by the policeman. During all this time Ernst wasn’t questioned a single time. Examinations were done in all the factories but, as nothing could be found, the public prosecutor dropped the charge. On the other hand it was found out that a recently dismissed employee made the charge as revenge. Cases like this weren’t unusual in those days. Even so Silesia’s chief police president, Brückner, refused to let Ernst free and it was necessary to have very important personalities’ intervention, like Göring in Berlin, to force Brückner to set Ernst free. Only after the second telegram from Berlin, after four weeks of custody, did the police obey the order. Ernst left the same night, on April 29th, (escorted by a spotter) by car over the Czech border and next day to Vienna, where he went for recovery to Sanatorium Perchtoldsdorf. Dorle and Ursi drove to Vienna the same day, and Dorle followed Ernst to Perchtoldsdorf.

48

 

Since 1932, Robert and Mimi Schoeller were our regular guests for Pentecost and it was a special joy to spend some pleasant days with them in our new home. From now on Gustl Angeli was among the regular Pentecost guests. Life in Duchonka was very agreeable from the very beginning. They were nice and relatively calm times; in autumn, for the stag rut, the children loved to come, as well as later on the grandchildren and friends. Much attention was paid to music. Excellent artists, such as Georg Steiner and Christa, who meanwhile became a couple, as well as Professor Schütz came often for a visit. In August 1933 we made a 14-day tour by car with Liesl through the Dolomites, which took us to Ischl, Innsbruck, Landeck and through Finstermünz’s pass to Italy. First we went to Sulden, and then via Bozen to Lake Karer. From there we made several excursions to the Brenta group and to the wild mountain lake Prax. On our way back we passed Lake Millstätt and from there we drove directly home.

On November 20th, 1933, Hedwig’s 60th birthday was celebrated in Tavarnok. To this event came Aunt Sophie from Brünn, Dorle, the ones from Sorok, with all the children. For this celebration Marie-Anne wrote a fairytale in poetry, “The Forest’s Wonder on One Day,” which was interpreted by the children as a play; this was followed by Gertrud’s very humorous recital, in Bohemian dialect.

In Vienna the socialist agitation started in 1934. For this reason, Federal Chancellor Dr. Dollfuss took serious measures against the socialist party which, led by Burgomaster Seitz, controlled the municipality of Vienna. After Dollfuss gave orders to capture the most important socialist party leaders, they entrenched themselves in fortified municipal buildings and made armed resistance. Thereupon Dollfuss brought cannons into action and had the fortifications cannonaded, partly destroying the buildings and in this way forcing the members to surrender. With this event the immediate danger for Vienna’s city was put aside. The municipal council was dissolved and a new Christian social community representation was convoked. Dorle and Ernst happened to be in Vienna during these exciting days.

In early spring we accepted an invitation of Ernst and Dorle to join them on an Italian journey and our first stay was Sorrent. From here we made excursions to Amalfi, Pompeii, Naples and other interesting places in South Italy. On our way back the two of us stopped in Rome where we recalled memories of our honeymoon. We were very much impressed by the huge new excavations Mussolini had had done. We now went back to Duchonka while Dorle and Ernst, who had stayed in Sorrent, still made a trip to Sicily.

In 1932, Leo had made arrangements for a large stage in Tavarnok’s great ballroom. For the inaugural play he had invited a lot of people. Among other presentations, a humorous operetta’s parody was played, composed by Liesl. The main actors were Edith, Fritz Rohrer, Leo and Leni. Leo named the stage T.T.T (Thalia Theater Tavarnok). In May 1934, Leo organized a second great theater evening. This time it was an opera’s parody that was performed. Liesl had composed for this very sweet as well as witty music; and while playing the piano she also conducted the singers. They were: Leni, Leo, August, Gertrud, Edith, Géza and in the choir Andor Pállfy, Gretl Bleyleben, Béla, Péter, Judith and I. The main credit for the tremendous success was Liesl’s. Besides the opera, beautiful scissors cuts were shown, planned and performed by Leo as background for a few tableaux vivants. The numerous guests from Hungary, Slovakia and Austria were delighted with the various, very artistic, performances.

In Sorokujfalu some cases of infantile paralysis had occurred in the beginning of July 1934 that made the Steffi’s bring the children for a longer stay at Duchonka. Steffi and Ursi went back again to Sorok, but on their way stopped at Stampfen, Luki Károlyi’s place, where Steffi, due to the great heat, took a very cold bath. On the way he had two flat tires, and as he was driving without a chauffeur he had to repair them on that very dusty road himself. He arrived in Sorok already with fever and got a bad bronchial catarrh. As his condition was getting worse, his family doctor, Dr. Varasdy, advised him to go to Vienna to see Professor Neumann who was one of the best lung specialists in town. When we got notice we also hurried to Vienna and met them at Hotel Sacher on July 27th. After the radioscopy, Professor Neumann took over treatment and Steffi had to stay for three months at Sanatorium Himmelhof, in Upper Saint Veit, near Vienna. Ursi stayed the whole time with him. The coughing and fever stopped soon and Professor Neumann was very satisfied with the course of the disease. *[No antibiotic existed at that time.]

 We stayed for a few days more at the Sacher, Hedwig mostly at the sanatorium. I just had finished my after-lunch nap at the hotel (it was July 23rd) when my attention was drawn to an abnormal incident, unusually heavy traffic and loud walkers in Anna Street near the central radio station. I wanted to get to the sanatorium with our car, but was forced to make a large detour as a military barrier had closed the Ring Street near the Opera. I learned from some policemen that the radio center in Anna Street was occupied, after a short struggle, by national socialists and a truck with 12 heavily armed Nazis entered the Federal Chancellor’s gate entrance. Fighting for that place was still going on. I could drive on to the sanatorium and we spent the evening there with Steffi’s. News from Vienna about the Federal Chancellory’s situation was alarming and confusing. Nevertheless we decided to go back to Hotel Sacher. We were stopped at the Opera but when I showed our Czechoslovak passports they let us pass as foreign tourists. At the Sacher it was rumored that the invading Nazis heavily wounded Federal Chancellor Dr. Dollfuss with a revolver shot. The rumors unfortunately were true and the Chancellor died this same night, July 24th, 1934, due to his mortal wounds. The rebels were forced by the police and soldiers to surrender and got a heavy penalty, while the murderer Planetta was shot.

Thank God Steffi was recovering well. During his absence I was looking after Sorok’s management. Everything was running well, when one day while reviewing the cash flow, I found there was a 3,000 Pengö outgo. I went to Sorok at once to see what had happened. The investigation found that the treasurer Gördl had 3,000 Pengö debts at the Hangya that he was managing as a director. (Hangya was a food store chain in Hungary’s villages). As a Hangya revision was imminent and he didn’t have the money to pay his debt, he embezzled the Sorok property’s money. He claimed to have lost his briefcase with the 3,000 Pengös on a trip by horse cart to Szombathely, where he was supposed to pay taxes. His briefcase really was found, but empty. Wolfi and Herbert were driving daily by horse-driven carriage to school in Szombathely and that day Grödl went along with them. Herbert had remarked that Grödl was trying to distract their attention while at the same time throwing something out of the carriage. This remark of the boys and the fact that his whole behavior was so strange meant that nobody believed Grödl’s story. After a few hours of discussion I got him to confess the whole story by promising I wouldn’t enter a complaint with the police. But he had to leave his job immediately.

During the children‘s stay in Duchonka Miss Elisabeth Roth, called “Ki,” was employed for educational purposes. She stayed for years with them, up till the last farewell to Sorok (1945), and was loved as well as esteemed by everyone.

In November 1934, Steffi had recovered and could come back with Ursi to Sorok, where we with the children and all the employees received him.

In the same year at the beginning of August we were at Duchonka and made an excursion to visit the Marneggs at Slavy. It was a very hot day and Liesl took a swim in the icy pond. On her way back to Duchonka she already didn’t feel well; the next day she had high fever and Ödön, whom we had asked to come, verified pneumonia. Ödön stayed several days in Duchonka and we spent some anxious days. Edith also came to help with nursing. The couple Steiner were at that time visiting and were deeply depressed and concerned to find Liesl that ill. Before leaving they played before the open doors of Liesl’s room the most beautiful duets so Liesl could listen with great pleasure to this great music. Thank God, Liesl recovered fast and during the stag’s rut could do some easy hunting.

In the beginning of 1935 the alterations in Chalmova were finished so that August and Edith could move there with the children and his whole household. A part of their Tavarnok furniture was taken there, as well as a part of Mama Therese’s heritage. Leo now took over the whole castle in Tavarnok, while August just kept small temporary quarters there. Later Leo made some improvements to the attic in the north wing for bed- and children’s rooms.

In summer 1935, castle Chalmova was inaugurated. August invited to this event, besides all the family and friends of the neighborhood, the two former owners of the property, Ely Vépy-Vogronich and the couple Schreiner. At this occasion Marie-Anne recited as usual a self-composed poem. The Vépy-Vogronich family was especially moved as she made reference in her poetry to August’s friend, the late Vépy-Vogronich. Already as a small child Marie-Anne could express her feelings in poetry; the deepness of her feelings was astonishing and her way of expression admirable.

In March 1936, Liesl went on a Mediterranean journey with Ernst and Dorle. They took the luxury steamer “Conte di Savoya.” They went via Naples to Port Said, from where they made a three-day trip to Cairo, on to Haifa, with an excursion to Bethlehem and then to Greece. Because of political unrest the boat couldn’t land in Athens, so it went straight on to Villefranche at the Riviera. On this trip, which partly was very stormy, Dorle became acquainted with Lolita Rodes and her parents. This casual meeting later on turned into a real friendship.

In June 1936, we had the famous Viennese regent Professor Kabasta and his wife, as well as Professsor Schütz and the Secretary of the Viennese Music Association, Hlawatsch, as guests in Duchonka. Kabasta was deeply impressed by Liesl’s musicality and enthusiastic about the wonderful sound of the organ.

In this year’s August we made a trip, accompanied by Liesl, Wolfi (grandson) and the chauffeur Stelzer, in our Tatra (a car with motor in the rear). This new type of streamlined shape caused everywhere great sensation. We drove first to Velden on Lake Wörther, where we stayed for a few days. Wolfi loved to swim in the lake. From there we went over the feared Katschberg to Zell on the Lake, where we stayed again overnight. Here we wanted to go by the newly opened and well-laid-out Great Glockner road. With excellent weather this trip was really pleasant and offered the most splendid sight of the mountains. We drove up to Franz Joseph’s summit (3,300 m). The new car was doing fine driving over the high mountains; the air-cooled engine improved on the climbs so to Wolfi’s greatest joy we could overtake most other cars. We drove the same road back to Salzburg. Liesl there met Edith, Gertrud and Peter with whom she wanted to attend Salzburg’s festivals. Although we had made reservations, we could get no good hotel, so we went on to St.Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang. After a short stay we drove on through the Gesäuse, stayed a few days with the Robert Schoellers in their villa at the Semmering, and then went back to Duchonka.

Shortly after Ernst was discharged from custody in Breslau, he started to liquidate his interests in Central Europe, mainly in Czechoslovakia and Germany. The general political situation seemed to him very threatening with the growth of Germany’s National Socialist Party. He first decided to sell his different enterprises in Germany. These mainly went to “Süd Zucker” which also had Italian interests. His freed capital he invested as far as possible, and to do so he had to travel in the following years to Switzerland, France, England, Sweden and Holland. Since 1930 Dorle and Ernst were Liechtenstein citizens. Summer 1934 they didn’t spend in Stemplovec as usual, but were travelling. The next summers they still came to Stemplovec for a three-month stay; the rest of the year they mostly were spending in Vienna and at the Riviera. In 1936 Ernst had bought for a favorable price a villa in Cap d'Ail, not far away from Monte Carlo and very well situated at seaside.

In 1937, I several times had trouble with my bladder and mid-December I went to see a urologist at Vienna’s University, Professor Rubrizius. The examination showed that my prostate was very much enlarged and Professor Rubrizius advised me to undergo surgery. I decided to do it right away and so Hedwig moved with me to Sanatorium Löw, on December 16th, where we got a very nice room with a large bathroom that Hedwig used as her bedroom. This surgery always requires a preliminary treatment, which in my case provoked a high fever so that the surgery had to be postponed. On Christmas Eve Dorle and Ernst, who had stayed in our apartment, visited us. On January 5th, I was that well recovered that the surgery could be done by Professor Rubrizius. This surgery is done with local anesthesia and only at the end I was weakly anesthetized and fell asleep instantaneously. The whole surgery took one-and-a-half hours and I had no pain whatsoever. When I was returned to my bed I could see Hedwig and the children immediately. Edith was staying for a few days next door. Recovering was normal without any complications and with less pain than I had expected. On January 17th, I could get up for the first time. The families from Sorok and Chalmova were visiting alternately and many Viennese friends came, too. Dorle traveled to the Riviera on January 18th, where Ernst had gone before. She wasn’t aware at that time she would never see Vienna again. *[Nevertheless Dorle moved back to Vienna in her last years and died in Vienna on September 27th, 1982, 82 years old, long after the author’s death in Rio de Janeiro, on October 4th, 1954, 85 years old.]

On January 30th, 1938, I left the sanatorium completely recovered and returned to our apartment in Argentina Street. Due to the excellent stay and nursing in the sanatorium and the favorable recovery I have no bad recollections of this event. February we stayed quietly in Vienna with Liesl.

On March 11th, we were having tea with Edmund Marnegg and his wife when Steffi called by telephone from Sorok, suggesting we come to Sorok as the German troops were advancing toward Vienna. I was quite astonished as no excitement or unrest was to be seen. Edmund rushed to the street and came back after a few minutes informing us that German troops were already on Schwarzenberg Platz. After this, many exciting events were happening. Streets were full of crowds and one could hear sporadic calls of “Heil Hitler” (hail). The population was maintaining calm. Next day Hitler came driving by car from Linz to Vienna, taking up quarters in the Imperial Hotel. Austria’s “Anschluss” (annexation) to Germany was proclaimed. No street demonstrations occurred and we could go on with everyday life as before. Ernst had arrived in Vienna from Prague the very day the troops marched in. Due to the events he wanted to leave Austria as soon as possible and wanted to reach the nearest frontier (Hungary), but this was impossible as it was already closed. So he took the express train to Italy, reached Milan without difficulties, and informed Dorle, who was in Menton, to meet him in Geneva. We drove on April 17th, 1938, to Brünn for Aunt Sophie Staehlin’s 80th birthday celebration. Robert and Mimi came to this event, too. On April 23rd, we drove directly to Sorok where Ernst and Dorle also had arrived. Soon thereafter I had some complaints that forced me to go to see Professor Rubrizius in Vienna at the beginning of May. He suggested a somewhat lengthy treatment, so Hedwig and I again went to Sanatorium Löw. I nearly had ended my treatment when the terrible news of Czechoslovakia’s general mobilization was announced. In this case the Hungarian frontier’s closing was to be feared and, as Professor Rubrizius assured me that any hospital doctor could do the rest of my treatment, we decided to leave at once by car for Sorok. There we met with August, Edith, the children and Liesl, who also had fled because of the alarming news from Slovakia. Soon this news turned out to be false and the Czechoslovak Government issued its denial. Everybody calmed down but, as the situation remained menacing, August decided to stay on in Sorok with his family. During this time all the children proceeded to have measles. Marie-Anne soon afterwards caught a bad pneumonia with high fever that caused us lots of troubles. Fortunately she overcame the crisis due to her healthy nature, but her recovery took quite a long time. In the beginning of July we returned to Duchonka with Liesl.

Ernst and Dorle had driven by car to the Adore, where they met the Janotta parents and Gretl and spent a few weeks with them there. After this they went to Cap d’Ail where the setup of Villa Thalassa was started. In July and August we had visiting us in Duchonka Baron Heinold, our steady summer guest, the couple Pillerstorff, as well as Dr. Felix Luschka, a Christian-Socialist deputy from Prague. Together with him I made a plan with all details for the German-Czech understanding and Luschka was in charge of presenting this plan to Czechoslovakia’s German Party leaders. Unfortunately we arrived one day late with our plan, because the day before the German Party had accepted, as basis for the understanding, Henlein’s more radical plan. As Hitler’s meetings with Chamberlain in Berchtesgaden and Godesberg had no practical result, the political tension was increased by Hitler’s violent and illegal measures. As the danger of war beginning was always more threatening, Steffi called us by telephone and urged our coming to Sorok. Liesl was returning at that moment from her morning hunting with Hanni Schmertzing. She was very excited, because on her way back home her car caught fire in the Klausen Valley when she wanted to start it. Luckily they could jump out in time, but the car burned completely. We discussed with her our departure, but she preferred to stay as long as possible in Duchonka and to go on with stag’s rutting. Our hunting guest Sisinio Pretis had arrived. His mother and Lucia happily accepted Liesl’s invitation for a longer stay in Duchonka, so they wouldn’t have to remain alone in Bodok. Sisinio made a daily report in Duchonka’s guestbook of events as reported on the radio. *[Lucia Pretis-Cagnodo, born July 13th, 1922, daughter of Sisinio and Liesel Baroness Somaruga, is a great granddaughter of Alexander Stummer (brother of August and Carl Stummer von Tavarnok). Alexander’s daughter married a Baron Pretis-Cagnodo. Their son Sisinio (Lucia’s father) was a 2nd cousin of Leo, August, Gertrud and Carola Haupt-Stummer. Lucia is 3rd cousin to Haupt-Stummers, Nesneras and Thuronyis.]

On September 30th, we followed with great tension the radio reports about the four great powers’ successful meeting in Munich. In this way we heard that Czechoslovakia, under the pressure of Hitler and the Western Powers, had accepted the demands to abandon Sudetenland in favor of Germany; so peace seemed to be assured for a while and we were embracing each other with tears in our eyes. President Benes had to resign. Dorle and Ernst passed these exciting days in Bern. They were meeting Ernst’s` parents who had preferred to leave Stiebrowitz temporarily and went to Bled (Yugoslavia) near the Austrian frontier. When the situation calmed down, they went back to Cap d’Ail.

We spent winter 1938-39 as usual with Liesl in Vienna. As the atmosphere was relatively calm, Edith decided to travel with Marie-Anne for a long stay with Dorle at Villa Thalassa in Cap d'Ail. The weather was sunny and they enjoyed their stay. Gretl Janotta also was there. The calm was seriously interrupted when Hitler marched into Prague on March 15th, 1939, occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and declared them German Protectorates. Slovakia used this opportunity to end their eternal disputes with the Prague government by disconnecting from Prague, declaring independence, and electing as President Monsignor Tisso. At the same time Hungary occupied Carpathian Russia *[before 1918 Hungarian territory.] At a conference in Komárom, with Italy’s Foreign Affaires Chancellor Ciano as chairman, Slovakia’s frontier line was newly demarcated and all areas that had a Hungarian population majority were annexed again to Hungary. With this change, Slovakia reached a certain prosperity; their main export articles were wheat, flour, wood and saw mill products, as well as sugar and malt, which sold well for top prices in Germany and Italy. This favorable situation in Slovakia didn’t change after the outbreak of war.

From August 10th, till 16th, 1939, Dorle was staying with us. It would be her last visit to Duchonka. From us she drove by car to Sorok and on August 23rd via Milan and Genoa to Cap d’Ail, where Ernst was waiting for her in Villa Thalassa. They found their stay at the French Riviera not sure enough, so they went on this same night to Geneva and Bern were they stayed for a longer period. Marie (her maid) and Miss Hensel (Ernst’s secretary) followed them soon after.

 

The Second World War 1939 – 1945.

Hitler succeeded in continuing his flush of victory without war, and so occupied the city of Memel, taking a great piece of Lithuanian territory. Poland rejected Hitler’s claim to the right to allow his army to tread over the Polish Corridor. Hitler therefore ordered his troops to march over the Polish borders. This resulted in England and France declaring war on Germany. It was September 2nd, 1939, the beginning of World War II. The Polish war was ended in a few weeks in favor of Germany. In this campaign Ursi’s younger brother, Busso von Bismarck had participated as active Lieutenant in the second Tank Corps and was several times distinguished. He had married a few months before Charlotte (Charli) Baroness Kottwitz, the daughter of a Silesian landowner in Langheinersdorf. He luckily came home safely to his young wife.

The large distances between the battlefields and our homes, and the victorious advances of the German troops, allowed us to continue our lives in Sorok and Duchonka for a long time undisturbed. After the Polish campaign, there was a period of relative silence. In this time period I reached my 70th birthday (on October 27th, 1939), but because of the war, I had to miss the presence of Steffi’s and the children, as well as Dorle and Ernst. We celebrated just in the family with the ones from Chalmova and relatives from the neighborhood. Gertrud had written special humorous verses for each present that was handed over to me by the celebrating participants. Just before my anniversary I had hunter’s luck and shot two stags. One of them had 12 antlers, weighing 5 900 kilogram. For Christmas celebration 1939 we were with Steffi’s and stayed a longer time in Sorok.

April 9th, 1940, the Germans without any combat occupied Denmark. But Hitler’s try at invading Norway was met with Britain’s strong resistance. They intervened with their navy and a big naval battle was fought, causing great material damages and casualties on both sides. Nevertheless, the Germans succeeded in landing in south Norway an army large enough to occupy all of Norway and superior to the Britons. This way the big iron-ore enterprises in Narwik fell into German hands and they stayed there till the end of the war. On May 10th came the German occupation of Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg; and after the Belgian army’s capitulation the Germans marched into north France. The British troops who had come to help the Belgian army were now forced to withdraw to Dunkirk. Britons had tremendous casualties while rescuing and returning their army to Dover. As Germans could attack the Maginot Line from the back, French resistance became paralyzed. And as Italy had also declared war on France, on June 21st, 1940, a ”cease fire” was declared. Busso Bismarck had also participated in this campaign and reached Dunkirk, as well as later the Swiss border. We were satisfied with these results because we hoped peace would come soon. This hope unfortunately did not come true as war now extended to the Balkan Peninsula and Crete.

Ernst had decided already in December 1939 to leave Switzerland and move to Portugal. At that time Italy had not yet entered the war. But navigation in the Mediterranean Sea was carefully controlled by the allies. Large passenger steamers did not travel. Accompanied by her maid, Marie, and his secretary, Miss Hänsel, Dorle and Ernst embarked on a small Italian cargo steamer which went through all the little coast harbors and took three days to travel from Genoa to Barcelona. While the passengers had a very good sleep at night, French controllers investigated the ship searching for spies and contraband. The passengers took notice of this incident only next day. In Barcelona they met Lolita Rodes, with whom they spent a lot of time during their stay of eight days. In the city one was well aware of the destructive civil war they had fought. The rest of the way they traveled by trains, through all of Spain to Portugal, where they took an apartment in Mont’ Estoril, near Lisbon, and stayed there till end of May 1940. When the German troops occupied Paris and advanced farther in France, Ernst did not want to await the refugee wave that was to reach Portugal and decided to go, first alone, to Brazil to see if circumstances for a permanent stay would suit him. A few days after his arrival in Rio, he sent a telegram to Dorle asking her to follow him as soon as possible. In July, Dorle took the same ship Ernst had taken six weeks earlier for Rio, with the difference that this time the ship was overloaded. Refugees of all nationalities and social classes, who fled from the Nazis to France and now were going beyond, were the steamer’s passengers. The great majority were Poles. After a twenty-day journey the “Angola” arrived in Rio on August 4th, 1940, where Ernst was awaiting Dorle. They settled in Copacabana Palace Hotel.

In spring 1941 we were staying a few weeks in Sorok. Many German troops passed through, heading to Yugoslavia. The friendly terms between Germany and Russia became troubled, as Russia made exaggerated claims on Germany concerning the occupied territories’ distribution. Germany did not want to accept these demands.

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In summer 1941, Leo’s eldest son injured his tibia insignificantly during a stay on the Ftacnik. After 10 days he got bad pains with high fever, so that the doctors who had diagnosed a blood poisoning wanted him in hospital. Leo and Leni were day and night worrying about him. He was a marvelous patient. In spite of all the nursing the poor kid could not be saved and died, not yet 13 years old, on October 1st after bad suffering.

In June 1941, we were at war with Russia. Among the German troops who attacked in the East was Ursi’s twin brother Hasso. He had been working for the last 10 years in U.S.A., first with a brokerage firm in New York and later with I. G. Farben (a German chemical company). As war broke out he reported for military service and came back to Germany from Mexico, where he was stationed at that time, on an adventurous journey through Japan, China, and Russia, at that time not yet at war. Enlisted in the Second Tank Regiment, he made his first entrance as war broke out with Russia. On June 22nd, shortly after crossing the German-Lithuanian border, in Tauroggen, he was killed in battle at a vanguard. He was shot in his head (through his helmet) by an enemy soldier on top of a tree. A few hours earlier he had seen his brother Busso. German troops arrived during their victorious advance at a point, south of St. Petersburg, where they were stopped by heavy defensive battles. During these battles on August 14th, 1941, Ursi’s younger brother Busso was badly wounded and died a few hours later. He was 2nd Lieutenant and in command of the First Tank Regiment. Just before his death he got the happy news of his daughter Ina’s birth, his second child. His son Busso was just one year old. The close deaths of both of her brothers had deeply affected Ursi. She loved Busso dearly, although he was many years younger than she. After their mother’s early death, Busso had spent all the summers at Sorok and spent his loveliest childhood times there. In 1932 he had made a training trip on a German ship that took him from Bremen to Japan, passing through India, Manila and Shanghai. After the German army was reactivated he entered the active military service.

Ursi had found in Sorok a large field of activity that, as the children were growing up, was expanding. The chicken farm she had started got very famous, was considered a model farm, and was often visited. Much before the outbreak of war she had been involved in a Red Cross training course under the chief doctor, Dr. Ernö Petö, in Szombathely’s hospital. The aim was to practice her medical knowledge which she wanted to use in her social work. During the war she founded a women’s club in Sorok where she introduced a postnatal center and rendered assistance, and she also taught young country folks first aid and nursing. To ease the mothers’ situations during harvest time, she set up a kindergarten and Marie-Louise had taken over supervision and the kids’ activities. During good weather they were playing in the park. As Sorok did not yet have a medical doctor, people came daily from the whole region to ask for Ursi’s advice and, in case of accidents, they came to get first-aid assistance. Ki helped Ursi in all possible ways with all her activities. *[“Ki” is an abbreviation of “kisasszony”= “Miss” in Hungarian, invented by Marie-Louise]. To improve the cultural level, Ursi gave lectures in Hungarian at the women’s club, teaching with practical examples the importance and know-how of growing vegetables, chickens, fruits and other plants. She set up a cinema for teaching purposes and entertainment. She really had a lot of success with all this.

At the end of June 1941, Hungary and Romania were forced by the Germans to declare war on Russia.

In November 1941 Hedwig and I went for a cure in Pistany’s spa. This did us a lot of good, so we repeated it in the next year, but this time with Liesl.

In December 1941 a further enlargement of the battlefields occurred by North America joining on Britain’s side and Japan on Germany’s.

Midst of December, German troops had advanced to 20 km before Moscow, but they were stopped there by, even for Russia, unusual icy weather. The Chief Commander of the German Army, General von Brauchitsch, wanted to stop the advance; but Hitler did not agree, dismissed the general, and took over personally the chief command. This change brought at the same time a change in war luck. Although the battlefields were far away from our homes in Sorok and Duchonka, it was the first time that we felt the pressure of forthcoming danger. Our everyday lives in Duchonka, Chalmova and Sorokujfalu were going on normally, except for some restrictions generated by general high cost of living. At this point Slovakia was better off than a lot of other countries, as they produced all their food requirements. A lot of new enterprises were founded in Slovakia, some of which were partly transferred Bohemian-Moravian industries, achieving a remarkable commercial progress that lasted till the collapse. The biggest advantage of this prosperity was enjoyed by the Carpathian Mountains’ beechwood owners, as their wood now was wanted for production of cellular wool, reaching unknown highs in demand, while formerly they could sell it only as low-priced firewood. The sawmill in Topolcsany, owned by the four Haupt-Stummer brothers and sisters, also took advantage of that favorable change.

With the hot season entering Rio de Janeiro, in the beginning of January 1941, Dorle and Ernst spent several agreeable weeks at Poços de Caldas’ spa. But soon Ernst did not feel well and returned to Rio to consult his doctor. The doctor, Dr. Andrade, considered an operation necessary; it was done at the beginning of April. His condition was temporarily better, but the graveness of his sickness was already confirmed. Ernst had to stay in the hospital in Rio until September, while Dorle stayed at Copacabana Palace. Later she rented the first floor in the Austrian Ambassador Anton Retschek’s house in Leblon. Soon she was on excellent terms with Retschek and his wife, Maria. In December 1941 she moved to a villa in Petropolis’ Buenos Aires Street. During the next months Ernst felt pretty well and could take small walks. In November 1942, he had to have another operation in Rio de Janeiro. In January 1943 they moved again to Petropolis, this time to another house. Although he had the very best nursing his condition was getting worse and he died on August 24th, 1943, after having endured his long sickness with heroic patience. He was buried in Petropolis’ Cemetery. *[On Aunt Dorle’s wish Marie-Louise had his urn transferred in 1975 to the Haupt Buchenrode family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery, tomb number 188-E, 1st square number 5. This tomb was bought in May 1950.]

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Now poor Dorle was alone in that foreign far country. Miss Hensel and Marie were in those difficult days a great help. The couple Retschek, who had come from Rio to Petropolis, proved to be real friends and took care of her. A year before, Ernst’s mother had died after a short sickness at the age of 85 in Stiebrowitz. She was nursed and taken care of by her daughter Gretl and her old friend Marika Rhemen.

On August 4th, 1943, Aunt Sophie died at the same age, in Brünn. Hedwig tried hard for days to get a visa but it was in vain; so to Hedwig’s greatest sorrow, she could not be with her. Aunt Sophie was the last of the four Staehlin sisters, and she loved Hedwig and our children dearly. Until her high age she was very active, always ready to help, and in old Brünn a very popular person.

In summer 1943 Ursi went to Klettendorf to visit her father and stayed a few weeks with him. His health was not doing very well. The pain of having lost his two sons and the worries about his home country’s fate were wasting him and had worsened his heart troubles. Nevertheless, his death in winter 1943 came unexpectedly. He was spared witnessing the war’s end, with the collapse that he probably was foreseeing. For Ursi the loss of her beloved father was at the same time the loss of her former home. Her love and care was now directed on Busso and Ina, her brother Busso’s two little children.

Wolfi and Herbert could finish their agricultural studies at the Universities of Budapest and Keszthely and had to report for military service only in 1944. Herbert got engaged in spring of 1943 to Ilona (Ili) Szent-Ivány, daughter of Egon Szent-Ivány de Liptó Szent-Iváni (and his late wife, born Baroness Podmanitzky), landowner in Keléd, not too far away from Sorok. The wedding was in Sorok, arranged by Ursi, in May 1944. The evening before, all the neighbors and friends came to a big party. In spite of no good news from the battlefields, everybody was in great mood. Unfortunately August, Edith, their children, and Liesl could not come from Slovakia; and from the Szentiványs several were also missing. On the wedding day Peter Nesnera arrived as the only one of the Haupt Stummers. The wedding was celebrated by the family’s good old friend Archbishop Count Mikes, who in spite of his bad heart trouble did not want to miss this opportunity and drove to Sorok for the celebrations. Witnesses were for Herbert, in place of August, Peter Nesnera; and for Ili, Baron Egon Schmertzing.

In summer 1944, Heinrich Janotta died in Stiebrowitz at the age of 88. He did not learn of his son Ernst’s death. Gretl could spare him this great pain. After her father’s death Gretl stayed on in Stiebrowitz, survived the Russian occupation, was in custody for several weeks in Troppau, and was then like all the Sudeten-Germans dislodged from her beloved home and country. She is living in Dillingen on the Danube, Bavaria. *[She died since.]

To avoid foreign-forced quartering, we had rented for a couple of years our apartment in Vienna, with all its furniture, to Gretl Machanek. Gretl wanted to spend some time in Vienna because of her daughters’ education. During a bombing raid of the city, on September 10th, 1944, poor Gretl was killed with a group of friends in Löwelstreet’s air-raid shelter, behind the Burgtheater. Her corpse could be recovered only after many hours. All Haupts have lost in her a very dear and faithful friend.

During our stay in Sorok, Bratislava’s bombing-raid alarms were frequent, and so countryside shelters were sought for many families of the city. On a request, Liesl decided to take in Mrs. Ludin, wife of the German Ambassador to Bratislava. Mrs. Ludin was a charming, discreet lady who, with her six very-well-educated and nice children, did not cause any disturbance to our family life. The Ambassador came only from time to time to visit his family. They stayed from July 6th, to August 28th, 1944, in Duchonka, when they returned to Bratislava because of the undefined political situation. For us this was a sign that we should not stay any longer in this lonely place in the midst of the woods, as rumors were heard about partisans in our woods. In a few hours we had packed the essentials for a longer stay in Bratislava. On August 24th, 1944, at four o’clock in the morning with a wonderful sunrise, we started out with Liesl and Mimsch Gutmann. Leo had put at Mimsch’s disposal a small truck, called Bumbus. Nobody would have dreamed that this would be our farewell forever from our beloved Duchonka. The country was like dead. We had not met a person on our whole way until Tyrnau. But as we passed the city unhindered, at its border a Slovak infantry patrol who were taking care of the road blockade jumped out of a ditch and forced us to stay in Tyrnau. Meanwhile a return journey to Topolcany was also forbidden. So we were in a trap. The soldiers confiscated the Bumbus. In this miserable situation I called General Manager Prochaska of Tyrnau’s sugar factory, of which I was Vice President, and asked him to send me his service car, which surely would be granted passage for our ride back. And that is how it happened. The Bumbus we had to leave behind in Tyrnau. But our chauffeur Pelezni was clever enough to use an unwatched moment and escaped at high speed with the Bumbus in the sight of the startled Slovak soldiers. As we arrived in Tavarnok, the castle was empty as Leo and family were staying in Kulhány’s hunting lodge. We had Jancsi, the cook, serve tea for Mimsch and planned to drive on to Kulhány when we were frightened by a rumbling noise at the door. I opened the door to see what was happening and was confronted by a Slovak infantryman armed to the teeth who, with fixed bayonet, wanted to enter. He asked me in rude manner: “Are you the Stummer?” As I denied it, he said, “He must be here, you have hidden him.” I told him he could see for himself that nobody was in. Then Hedwig took three soldiers with fixed rifles around the rooms. As they could not find my nephew Leo, the leader said he had to arrest me instead. Hedwig insisted on going with me to jail. First they objected but afterwards they took both of us in a truck to the nearby artillery quarters. The prison they took us to was a big hall in a four-floor house that had no other furniture than 18 relatively clean straw sacks. To our greatest astonishment we met there Leo’s manager, Balzar, with a German student who had been arrested, too. We experienced a few very exciting hours, as it was dangerous that the arriving partisans would impede our being set at liberty. Balzar was hoping to escape, but it did not happen. For dinner they brought us two dishes with potatoes and pickled cabbage, a black sauce that was supposedly coffee, everything without eating implements, and a loaf of bread. Luckily manager Balzar could bribe one of the guards and he took a letter to Liesl at castle Tavarnok, describing our situation. She sent to us, with the same guard, cold meat and beer. Liesl was undertaking all possible ways for our liberation. When we had left she had immediately telephoned to the German Ambassador in Bratislava, asking him for his intervention with the Slovak Army to get us released. The Ambassador called the Slovak Secretary of War, Caklos, and requested him to call on Topolcany quarter’s commander-in-chief and order him to set us free, as well as General Manager Balzar. This request was the same as an order and was attended. But next day the Secretary of War disappeared because he passed over to the Partisans. Soon afterwards, during the fights between Slovaks and Germans in the upper Vag valley, he was taken into German imprisonment. They treated us politely as they released us and drove the three of us with two military cars to the castle, where Liesl and Mimsch Gutmann received us happily. As our staying in Tavarnok did not seem very safe, we all left the next day for Kulhány, to Leo’s. There we were quite astonished to meet Werther who, because of the menacing attitude of the nearby Batovány’s Bata factory workers, had left Chalmova. He had walked the whole night through the woods to Kulhány. He passed himself off as a Slovak woodcutter and when, during the night, he was several times halted and controlled by the Partisans he could with his fluent Slovak pretend to be their friend. He also reported that August had fled with his family and all personnel, as well as his cattle, to the woods of Chalmova. Only the housekeeper stayed in the castle. As we were told later on, German soldiers rescued them from that dangerous situation only 10 days later, after Bistricsány’s fighting was over.

In Kulhány, we were just having our coffee on September 3rd as 70 armed men with machine guns rushed out of the woods, surrounded us, and aimed their guns toward the house. The leader of this group, whose members were no more Slovak soldiers but mostly deserters and war prisoners, was a Russian. He asked for Leo, and told him: “You have hidden here 20 German officers; hand them over on the spot so I do not have to lay violent hands on you.” Leo naturally denied the presence of officers and I confirmed his statements. Now the Russian had the whole house investigated. As they had found neither German officers nor other suspicious persons the leader ordered the group to leave without further molestation. Surprisingly they pilfered only a drug kit. But they forced an old forester to show them the way through the woods to the next village. Now we knew that the Partisans’ number was much larger than we thought. Without risking our own personal security we could not stay on in Kulhány, so all of us decided to leave next day for Tavarnok. Our intention to use our forest train was not possible anymore as we were informed that there was the danger that we would on our way fall into the insurgents’ hands. We now had to take field paths with horse-driven carriages to get to Ludanice’s railway station and from there get to Bratislava. On our way it was already getting dark, when we noticed a cart chasing after us at a gallop and the driver making signs for us to stop. Luckily Leo recognized the cart as one of his own from farm Jacovce, with administrator Palugyai. He came to advise us not to drive on, as there was hard fighting going on near Ludanice between Partisans and arriving German troops. He said we would drive straight into firing. He advised us to stay overnight at farm Jacovce and put his home at our disposal. We all (20 persons) were very well accommodated, although some of the servants were sleeping in the hayloft. We stayed for three days. The weather was wonderful, harvesting was just finished, and it was a touching moment as the harvesters came in the old traditional way to offer the thanksgiving harvest crown. None of us is ever to forget that moment. Meanwhile German troops had occupied Tavarnok’s castle as well as Topolcany’s barracks. Partisans had fled to the North and took position 30 km from Topolcany near Bistricany, two km from Chalmova, in a new defensive line. After two days of fighting they were chased away and took refuge in the northern Vág Valley. There they struck against German troops withdrawing from Poland, got encircled, and were completely destroyed. Only now could August get back with his family to Chalmova’s castle, as well as the farmhands to the farm and the cattle to the stables. Meanwhile the train track to Bratislava was freed and we could move with Liesl to Edith’s temporary quarters, with Mrs. Major Platt, in Bratislava. Werther joined us pretty soon. Although the Russians were quite far away, I considered the military situation daily getting worse and so I thought it prudent to search for a way to the West. For this reason Hedwig wrote to Cousin Zeska von Schoeller, who lived in a nice villa in Salzburg, and asked her if she would take Liesl and us in, in case we were obliged to take refuge. She was kind enough to accept us. We stayed several weeks more in Bratislava, but it was not quiet anymore because during the frequent bombing raids we had to escape to cellars that did not offer much security.

The bombing damages were insignificant. Bratislava at that time was full of German Army members and also a lot of landowners of Slovakia were coming in. There was lots of traffic in the streets and in shops, which still were well stocked. Mrs. Platt made us daily a very good breakfast, while for lunch and dinner we usually went to Carlton Hotel where one often met some friends. Leo and family stayed for a time also at this hotel. Miss Marthe Dubath, who had been staying for several years with Leo’s children, returned at this time to Switzerland.

 

Salzburg – Kammer 1944 – 1948.

In the beginning of September, soon after we had bid farewell to our beloved Duchonka, our dependable Schwarz who was employed at Topolcány’s saw mill brought us sad news to Bratislava. He had dared to make his way near the castle and was told by loyal people that a mob from nearby villages drew up to the castle with horse-boxes and loaded as much as they could. The wonderful organ and Liesl’s Bechstein grand piano were destroyed in a barbaric way. Hearing this description Liesl burst into tears. Also the family pictures and oil paintings were destroyed by this vandalism. Under these circumstances we could not think any-more of going home, so we decided with Liesl to accept Zeska Schoeller’s friendly invitation and fixed October 15th as the day of our moving to Salzburg. Mrs. Ludin, the German Ambassador’s wife, was a great help in arranging our necessary border-passing papers; and she also took us with the Embassy’s car over the Slovak-Austrian frontier, just after the Danube’s bridge in Bratislava. This way we passed the country’s border without any inspection. We took a regular bus to Vienna. We went directly to our apartment in Argentina’s Street, where Cari Machanek after his wife’s death was living with his daughters. Vienna, which we had not seen for the last five years, made upon us a desolate impression. We stayed for only two days and Cari was very attentive during these days. We went to see Robert Schoeller in Wildpretmarkt; it was the last time that we have seen him. He died on June 7th, 1950, in Vienna. In the afternoon we received Mimi Schoeller, Mimi Rodakowaka and Alexandra Pretis. In between we packed as much as possible in our handbags. We had some difficulties to get the heavy trunks to the railway station as there were neither horse-boxes nor cars available. By Robert’s kind intervention we got a small truck, so Liesl drove with it to West Station on the eve before our departure and dispatched the heavy luggage to Salzburg. We wanted to use the express to Salzburg, leaving October 18th, at seven in the morning. To reach it we had to get up at four. As no cars were available we had to go by foot, carrying our luggage. Cari and his daughters helped us with it. The train was pretty crowded, but with Cari’s help we got three seats. To our surprise the train left on time and arrived without delay in Salzburg. Thank God on that day there were none of those frequent aerial attacks on rail tracks. After Linz, we even had a dining car. In Salzburg we had to stay for three hours, as there was quite a bit of confusion at the cargo station because of the previous day’s bombing raid. Finally we could get all our hand baggage into the local electrical train and ride to Zeska in Hellbrunn. There, Erika and Isy were waiting for us with little baggage carts to take us to the nearby Villa. At this point the displaced person’s life started for us. Until now we had felt the war only from far away.

Zeska’s villa was beautifully situated. Our room’s windows were looking directly to the Untersberg (mountain) that, illuminated by the morning sun, was a wonderful sight. On the other side the house was bordering Hellbrunn’s marvelous park with its famous water fountains. We had our lunch at the castle’s restaurant and dinner was taken care of by Erika, while our brought-along provisions helped a lot to ameliorate our nutrition.

No devastated area was to be seen in our neighborhood, so we could take very nice walks with Zeska in this enjoyable autumn weather. But the air raids soon started which made a stay outdoors rather unpleasant. Mostly they occurred in the morning from 10 to noon, but sometimes also at night. As the villa’s cellar was no real protection, we went during the bombing time to the opposite castle-like villa of Countess Moy, born Duchess Radolin, a very charming lady of Hedwig’s age. This cellar offered much better protection. At this underground meeting some other neighbors joined us, too, so we sometimes were quite numerous. The air raids were mainly in Salzburg’s railway-station region, but some bombs also reached the cathedral’s cupola and caused its collapse, as well as Mozart’s birth- house which was completely destroyed. No bomb fell in Hellbrunn, just on a farm house about 300 meters from our villa, destroying half of it. In the neighboring villages Anif and Grödig some damage was caused.

With Countess Moy (called Doudouce) we soon were on very friendly terms, particularly as she was very musical and as such very much interested in Liesl’s art. She herself was a very good pianist and put her grand piano at Liesl’s disposition. In the lower floor of Zeska’s villa was living Professor Stumpfvoll with his Dutch wife and two little children. He was a professor of viola at the Mozarteum and sometimes played music with Liesl. Soon after the end of war, he was killed in an air accident with his little son on a short flight over the Salzburg Alps. In 1944 there arrived as refugees from Croatia Prince Erwein Lobkowitz with his wife, born Countess Elz, and their three grownup daughters. As Countess Moy’s son had highly recommended them to his mother, she took them in. They were very nice people, and I had a good conversation partner with Erwein Lobkowitz who lately had been the diplomatic representative of Croatia to the Vatican.

We had some difficulties with the heating. Zeska’s house had central heating that had been supplied with brown coal. This coal was now difficult to obtain, and some necessary repairs could not be done, so we had to be satisfied with electrical heaters in our rooms. We were very cold in November and December 1944. But in January 1945 there was an unforeseen change for the better. All of a sudden a wagon of coal and foodstuffs arrived at Grödig’s railway station for us. Edith had sent them many months ago from Topolcany and we had thought they got lost. This solved our main problem for the winter. Christmas Eve 1944 we spent with Zeska and her children, and Rainer had come with his wife, born Baroness Menshengen, and the little Dieter.

From Sorok we had news that the Defense Ministry had requested in autumn 1944 the whole castle as a refugee place for Archduke Josef, his family and suite. They all arrived in October. Besides the archduke’s family there were others who had taken refuge in Sorok: Countess Louisanne Majláth, born Baroness Schell, with her six children; Dalszi Radnótfay with husband and daughter Katica; the economics delegate of the Ministry of Commerce, His Excellency Alfred Nickel; and retired lieutenant colonel Gyula Pataky (called by the children uncle “Poci bácsi”). Pataky was a longtime friend of the house. *[He loved little Marie-Louise dearly and always brought her lovely chocolates besides teaching her to shoot with pistol and rifle (Winchester).] On a drive with Steffi to Szombathely he had a stroke and died after three days. He was buried at Sorok’s mausoleum garden. György Radnótfay was on his way back from Köszeg, where the Hungarian Government had installed itself, and he was killed in Szombathely’s Episcopal Palace during the only bombing that Szombathely had. His corpse was brought to Sorok and he, too, was buried in our mausoleum garden. It was a terrible shock for Dalszi and Katica and all castle inhabitants participated sincerely in their grief.

Wolfi got his notice of induction in October 1944 in Szombathely and was then transferred to Sopron for his frontline artillery training. For Christmas 1944 Steffi’s were with all three children in Sorok. It was to be their last one there. The castle was crowded and everybody concerned for the future. Wolfi participated in heavy fights for the recovery of the city of Székesfehérvár. Later he was appointed as liaison driver to the Germans. The Russians twice encircled his regiment. While the rest of his regiment retreated to Bavaria, he succeeded with the help of a compass to reach Upper Austria. It was April 1945 when Wolfi appeared unexpectedly, safe and sound, in Kammer am Attersee. At that time he could not join his regiment in Bavaria anymore. He reported to military authorities in Linz and was detailed to Linz’s railway station’s guard. After several nights of guard, he suddenly was released at nine p.m. On this very night there was a heavy bombing of the station and all the guards were killed. Wolfi was sent for vacation to Kammer and later demobilized there.

Herbert got his notice of induction in September 1944 and was attached to the anti-aircraft department in Szombathely. At Archduke Josef’s special request, he was granted two days more of leave to spend Christmas with his family and Ily in Sorok. On December 27th, he was transferred to Sleswig Holstein (Northern Germany).

End of February 1943, preparations were started in Sorok for a further escape to the West. First to leave was Louisanne Majláth with her family to Austria. Next was Ursi, who left with three horse-rack wagons full of food, trunks and boxes. She was accompanied by Józsi Majláth, the electrician Szabolcs, two coachmen and Marcsa, a longtime house employee. As the road over the Semmering was closed, she had to take the road through the Mur Valley to avoid the main roads because of the danger of air raids. She succeeded in escaping from these, but the weather was very bad and roads in an awful condition. In this region the population was rather unfriendly, but there existed also exceptions. One of them was an elderly lady who at first was very suspicious and afraid of an attack, but she finally invited Ursi for dinner and even served a champagne. At one of the passes beyond Tamsweg they got into a terrible snowstorm which within a few hours made transiting on the snow-filled roads impossible. The coachmen of Sorok, who were accustomed to the mild climate of the plains, got frightened by the sight of the high mountains. As the horses refused to go on (having never before had to climb mountain tracks, and completely exhausted), the coachmen declared they wanted to return to Hungary. Only Ursi’s courage and constancy could make them stay on. Their situation was very serious as night was coming and no place or living person was in sight. But suddenly a solitary peasant appeared on the snow-filled road. He agreed to go for help to the next village. After a few hours he came back with 10 young fellows, equipped with shovels and ice axes. It took them several hours of hard work to get the road cleaned so that the horse wagons could pass and reach passable roads. Now they could get along somewhat faster and finally Ursi reached, after three weeks of driving, Anif (near Salzburg) with the whole transport. There the burgomaster lodged her in a barn. Most of the nights they had spent in the wagons. Ursi knew that we were with Liesl staying with Zeska in Hellbrunn and was asking how far it would be to reach us. Fortunately one of Hellbrunn’s zoological gardens’ gamekeepers was present by chance and offered to take her there. Marcsa, who also was exhausted, nevertheless made a point of it to accompany Ursi. We were just having dinner at Zeska’s when the doorbell rang and I went to answer it. To my happy surprise there was Ursi in good health. Her eyes were shining with happiness and the gamekeeper said, “A fesche Frau, ihre Schwiegertochter” (“A smart woman your daughter-in-law”). She started immediately in her very lively way to tell us all about her adventurous journey and we realized only now how much danger she and all her companions had passed through. After a short time she left with Marcsa to go back to Anif, from where she wanted to leave, with her people and Józsi Majláth, for Kammer early next morning. The idea to choose Kammer as our common refugee place came from August and Edith. Already as we moved to Hellbrunn in 1944, they had made contact with Koki and Lilly Meiss-Teufen, a cousin to Ernst, asking, in case it would be necessary, if they could get accommodation. For this purpose they had rented a part of Meiss’ Villa Oleander. In spring 1945 one after the other arrived there. First it was Gertrud, Judith, and Peter Nesnera with Marie-Anne, Werther, and Leonore. Later Edith and August followed, as well as Steffi, Ursi, and their children. To this family group soon other relatives and friends joined all taking temporary refuge at this beautiful place.

Steffi started his way to Kammer a few days after Ursi with a car put at his disposal by the district’s presiding judge, Nagy János. He took along Nagy’s wife with their two children, Marie-Louise and Ili, who was to have her baby soon and they even arrived a few days before Ursi in Kammer. He found a room to rent for him and Ursi in Villa Klug, while Marie-Louise and Ili were staying in Meiss’ Villa Oleander. Soon afterwards Ursi left with Ili to Unterach, where she went to a very good German maternity hospital. Steffi and Marie-Louise again went back to Sorok to try to save some more things. But they could stay only a few days, as the Russians had advanced that much that the roar of cannons could already be heard. They had to pack in a rush, took Dalszi and Katica Radnotfay with them, and left. That same night Archduke Josef and Augusta with their whole suite were picked up with private cars and three trucks to be transported to Regensburg, Germany. Wolfi arrived shortly afterwards to bid farewell to his father and found the castle already empty, so he turned back to his regiment. Thirty-six hours later the Russians had occupied the castle.

We were deeply concerned for Edith and August as we were without any news from them for so long. Also we were yearning to meet our children and grandchildren who now were in Kammer, so we decided to take advantage of an opportunity to visit them. It was Easter week 1945 when we, picked up by Peter Nesnera, went by train with Liesl to Kammer. As we changed trains in Vöcklabruck we saw, to our greatest astonishment and happiness, August and Edith stepping out of a just-arriving big car. They had come some days before from Tavarnok to Bratislava and waited there for an opportunity to get to Kammer. In Bratislava at Hotel Carlton they learned to know a gentleman who was leaving the next day with his large car for Austria and offered to take them to Vöcklabruck. The trip was tedious and dangerous because of raids by low-flying aircraft. The car was hit once by a machine gun bullet, but thank God nobody was hurt. Edith and August thankfully bid farewell to their rescuer who hereafter went on alone. Happily united with our loved ones, we waited at Vöcklabruck’s railway station for the next local train to Kammer. Steffi and Werther were waiting for us with a handcart at the train and were quite astonished to see Edith and August descending from the train. In the dark we groped our way to the nearby Villa Oleander, where Koki and Lilly Meiss were waiting for us. There, August and Edith happily met all their children again, after a long separation. Only Auguste was missing. Because of her ailing health she was not able to risk such a troublesome journey; but recognizing the dangerous situation, in her very unselfish way, she urged her children and grandchildren to leave the country as fast as possible. It was hard to give in to her wish and leave Tavarnok after a painful parting. A few weeks before Leo had furnished two rooms in an employee’s house, next to the park, where her longtime nurse was living. Auguste was moved to this place, as staying in the castle seemed very dangerous. In their old loyal way, Lisi Pelesni, who was with her since her youth, and the cook Jancsi and his wife stayed in Tavarnok with her. From the big family, only Ödön Nesnera who was living in Janufalu, Nanine Spiess, and Ollo Krieghammer were left behind. Ödön was visiting Auguste regularly and Nanine always was concerned about her friend of youth.

Villa Oleander was overcrowded. Nevertheless, Koki took in temporarily Leo and his family who arrived unexpectedly after us with the Bumbus. Gradually Kammer developed as the center of the families Haupt and Haupt-Stummer. To relieve somewhat Oleander Villa, Gertrud and Judith moved to the landowner Jeszenszky’s farm buildings, where Judith was engaged as manager. Peter as a good medical doctor was beloved and he looked for and found a location at Villa Hackländer, for himself as well as for Dalszi and Katica. With “Grandma” Hamburger – the way all our children called her – soon very friendly terms developed. Carola and Tibor Thuronyi finally also found in Seewalchen a place to stay. Leo moved, after a short stay, with his family to Rottenman, where they found location with a forester of the Gutmann family. They also stayed a time at the Gutmann’s hunting lodge, Strechen, and in 1949 moved for good to Vienna.

On April 11th, 1945, was born our first great grandson, Herbert, in Unterach, son of Herbert and Ili. A beautiful, healthy child. A few days after the birth of the child, Hedwig and I drove back to Hellbrunn with the car of an officer. On our way, low- flying aircraft followed us, but fortunately no bomb was thrown. Liesl followed us next day by train. April was an exciting month; aircraft raids that forced us to stay several hours per day in the cellar shelters haunted us. In the beginning of May 1945 as Hitler appealed to the “People’s Storm Troops,” the German commander of Salzburg wanted to, according to Hitler’s order, defend the town to the last man. That would have resulted in destroying this wonderful city. As it was already obvious that all resistance offered against the enemy’s army was hopeless, the commander’s Austrian substitute opposed this order. We awaited with anxiety till late at night, as did the villa’s other inhabitants, the commander’s decision. On this would depend our future. We were all relieved to hear from the radio that Salzburg was declared an open city and as such would not be defended. Next morning, it was May 6th, 1945, Americans entered Salzburg with a great number of cars. In front of our window and in Moy Park they set up a camp. The Schoeller’s villa, as well as the one above Wagner’s, were requested to lodge the Americans. Inhabitants were asked to leave the house by the evening. That was a hard blow for Schoellers and us. All our imploring for postponement of clearing was denied, and we were allowed to stay with Liesl for only 24 hours more in the caretaker’s two tiny little rooms in the basement. The American soldier who was on guard before the entrance of our room had discovered my matchbox with Slovak inscription. As I could answer in the affirmative his question if I spoke Slovak, he got very happy and told us that he originated from Rosemberg in the upper Vág Valley and had emigrated to U. S. A. only shortly before the war. He gave me American cigarettes and chocolates as a present. Already next day we were told to leave the two little rooms immediately. We would have had to stay on the street if Countess Moy had not kindly accepted us and Liesl, as well as Professor Stumpfvoll with his wife and two little children, although her house was already crowded. Hedwig and Liesl were staying with Mrs. Stumpfvoll and the two children in a rather big room. Liesl and the children were sleeping on the floor. Professor Stumpfvoll and I got two camp-beds set up in the entrance hall of the house. This place, with its mosaic stone floor, was even in summer a very cold place. In spite of the confined state of the place, we lived on best terms with all the other inhabitants of the house. Liesl, Countess Moy, and Stumpfvoll even could play music together several times. We spent three months this way. Into this idyll blasted like a bomb a new order of the American military command; we were to clean the place, with the exception of the house owner’s rooms, within a short time. Our consternation was great. In our desperation, Liesl turned to Mrs. Dr. Forster, who owned a nice villa in the neighboring village of Gödig. Mrs. Dr. Forster in a generous way met our request and, although she and her three children gave up some of their comfort, she voluntarily took us in. She was musical; as a music critic for the newspaper "Salzburger Zeitung," and through their common interests, she became a friend to Liesl. We could move to her home the same day.

On July 8th, 1945, Steffi and Ursi, as well as Edith and August, celebrated their silver anniversaries in Kammer. As there were no accommodation possibilities, we unfortunately could not spend the day with them. Only Liesl had come from Grödig, and the rest of the family and friends came together in Villa Oleander. In August of this same year, Ili got sick with paratyphoid fever. Thank God, little Herbert who was only three months old was spared and Ili recovered soon. Ursi got contaminated while nursing Ili and had the fever in a more violent way. She at that time was living in a very primitive farmer’s house which complicated proper nursing. Once recovered, Ursi moved with Steffi and Marie-Louise to Jeszensky’s castle in Kammer. They stayed there until their emigration to Brazil.

As Mrs. Dr. Forster intended to give up her villa in Grödig and move back to her property in Bavaria, we decided to move to Kammer and join Edith and August at Villa Oleander, where Koki Meiss allowed us a room. Liesl stayed in two rooms in Grödig, which first were furnished very poorly but later, with our furniture from Vienna, got very comfortable. She intended to make her living by giving piano lessons. The exam she had to pass to be licensed she passed with honors; thereupon she was given a job as professor for piano at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Herbert had meanwhile come back from a British prisoner’s camp and moved with Ili and the baby to Castle Kammer. In March 1945, he was moved from Sleswig Holstein to Hamburg, and from there to the Danish border. In Neumünster he was interpreter for the Hungarian major who, after the end of hostilities, had passed over his regiment to the British. Herbert through this was put into “free custody” and was often used as interpreter by the British Chief Commandant’s officers. This way he got to Potsdam with a Scotch major from General Eisenhower’s Staff. The British treated Herbert very well and in September 1945 they let him drive by motorcycle to Kammer and Salzburg to visit his family. Only now he saw his son born in April. Middle of October Herbert was permanently demobilized. Unfortunately he could enjoy his wonderful child only for few months. On December 15 the little one suddenly got sick with intestinal cramps. As his condition was getting worse, Ili and Ursi took him to Vöcklabruck’s hospital. As the doctors suspected a stoppage of the bowels they tried to save him with surgery, but he did not respond and died on December 18th, 1945, to the great sorrow of the parents and all of us. The little corpse was brought back to Kammer, was laid out at the castle’s chapel, and after the benediction was buried in Kammer’s Schörfling Cemetery.

End of December we got the sad notice of my sister-in-law Auguste’s death on December 14th, 1945, in Tavarnok. In spring of the same year her doctor, Dr. Greschner, took Auguste to Topolcany’s hospital under his protection. It was for safety reasons as unrest was to be expected. In those days unknown wrongdoers set fire to Tavarnok castle’s roof truss. On her way back to her little apartment, they did not let Auguste see the disaster and she was never told of this destruction. It was a sad end of the year. August organized in Kammer a moving musical memorial celebration for his mother.

August decided to dedicate himself completely to music. He gave singing lessons in the Mozarteum and, through his very special method, he obtained remarkable successes in voice production. To begin with he was staying alternately in Grödig, near Salzburg, and Kammer; but later as his number of pupils grew he moved with Edith to Grödig. Werther, who had studied violin for several years with Christa Richter, passed the Mozarteum seminar’s final exam. He started to give lessons. Leonore also was a seminar student for piano and was preparing for exams. Finally also, Marie-Anne found suitable work in Salzburg with the American D.P. (displaced person) Organization.

55

 

Shortly before the end of the war the German Military Administration in Kammer had chosen an assembly point for the exiled Transylvanian Saxons just in front of Villa Oleander. This place enclosed, more or less, one hectare of land which was unused. Steffi realized that this place would be good for gardening, rented it, and started with Wolfi a gardening enterprise. Wolfi dedicated his whole energy and effort to his garden and found excellent hands in the Saxons. They were on very friendly terms and would have gone through fire for him. Steffi had brought from Hungary two horses and Herbert was taking care of them. The garden gave, already in the first year, a good yield. After the American troops came to Austria, sale of the vegetables was profitable, because these were exchanged for other foodstuffs which meanwhile had gotten quite scarce. *[Marie-Louise did this exchange.] Americans had transformed the largest hotel of Kammer into a military resort place which had a great telephone exchange center. Our three granddaughters, Marie-Louise, Marie-Anne and Leonore soon were employed there. The night shift was rather tiring but other than that they liked their job and were well paid. Unfortunately, Steffi had to quit the rented field as Jeszenszky gave him notice, but he soon found one twice as big in Seewalchen with Mr. Supper. There they worked with their Transylvanian Saxons until their emigration in 1948. As the operation was much bigger than the first one, produce had to go to the nearby villages by cart and truck. The “Haupt Gardening” became quite famous in the region and was known as a model enterprise. Steffi and Wolfi were occupied all day long with sales and Wolfi had passed many nights with preparations.

On March 2nd, 1946, we celebrated our golden wedding anniversary. For this occasion all the children and grandchildren joined us at Villa Oleander for the evening. We missed only Dorle very much. Gertrud, with Peter and Judith, and Dalszi, with Katica, also were invited. Unfortunately Koki and Lilly Meiss were prevented from coming. At the festive dinner party everyone found at his place a comic design and verse, made by Steffi and Marie-Louise. There was a festive and very happy mood, with a couple of bottles of champagne. Next morning there was a High Mass and we got from vicar Szépe the golden anniversary couple’s benediction. Numerous friends attended the ceremony and congratulated us. Lunch at Nefzker’s restaurant turned out to be a feast and united once more the whole family. Dorle, from whom we were separated through all the war years, and from whom we got only scarce news through Lolita Rodes from Barcelona, decided to come in September 1946 by boat to Europe to meet us again. By then the greatest travel difficulties were gone. She stayed a few days with Lolita in Barcelona, then took the train to Switzerland, via France. She had to stay some time in Switzerland as her entrance permit to Austria presented some difficulties. Finally she had to go a roundabout way through Vaduz to pass the frontier. Marie-Louise went to meet her in Innsbruck and we finally were happy to embrace Dorle on December 3rd, 1946, in Kammer.

Now Dorle felt for the first time what drastic changes had occurred in nearly all the European countries, changes which encroached on everyone’s personal life. Because in Switzerland war and the subsequent incidents had not interfered seriously, the more she was shocked by the way of living in Austria. Especially was this true as she met after so many years all persons dear to her in such very different circumstances. But the joy to have passed the worst, and not to have lost any of our beloved in those terrible war years has surpassed everything and let us bear the gravity of everyday life. Foodstuff shortage was still going on; food was rationed, so that the parcels sent by Dorle from Brazil were of great help. Under these circumstances to cook, and to cook well, was not easy. But Hedwig, assisted by Leonore and Marie-Anne, succeeded. Marie-Anne often went by bicycle far into the countryside, purchasing butter and flour from the farmers. Vegetables we had from “Haupt’s Gardening.” Everybody was busy the whole day long. The scenery of this charming Salzkammergut region had changed all at once with the flow of refugees out of countries threatened by Russians. In the sleepy little villages around the lake, which generally were crowded only by vacation guests in summer’s high season, now an active life was reigning. The Transylvanian Saxons exiled from Romania were put into camps. But in no time they modified those wooden structures into comfortable housing. On Sundays one could see them in their becoming native costumes, standing together, very different from the local population and not mingling with them. They were living their life apart, the way they were accustomed to at home. From this group Wolfi had chosen his efficient workers.

In Castle Kammer Ursi was managing with Nagy János, the former district presiding judge from Szombathely, a Hungarian Red Cross office which was helped by U. S. occupation forces in a very generous way and was carrying on its beneficent work all over the region. First of all, it was meant for the displaced Hungarians. Ursi was restlessly active, offering them medical help, visiting Hungarians gathered in camps, encouraging them, helping children to find their relatives, and a lot more. In addition to his administrative and practical job at the gardening, Steffi always found time to help by word and deed lots of people who could not find their way in these unknown surroundings. So Steffi and Ursi’s room in the castle soon was a meeting point in the evenings to discuss problems; but also, in spite of the uncertain and anxious times, to pass some happy hours at the bridge table. Villa Oleander grew to be the cultural center where old and new friends were meeting. Here one heard or played a lot of music like in old times in Duchonka and Tavarnok. In the small drawing room Liesl was sitting at the grand piano, when she could escape from Salzburg, and pleased us with her wonderful music. Often, also, August could interest people with his declamation of German and Hungarian poetry. Only a few days after Dorle’s arrival, we celebrated little Gyula's baptism. He was the second son to Herbert and Ili and was born in Vöcklabruck on November 15th, 1946. The baptism was celebrated in Kammer Castle’s Chapel and the godparents were Dorle and Wolfi Schmertzing. *[Gyula now lives in São Paulo, and is director of Banco Real de Investimento S.A. Asset’s Management. He has two children from his first marriage, Fernando (09, 01, 1979) and Ursula (06, 10, 1981). He is now married to Christine Brazil Salgado and they have two children, Julia (11, 18, 1991) and Eduardo (08, 26, 1996). His e-mail address is: julius@tecepe.com.br].

After many years we celebrated Christmas with all the children, grandchildren and the little great grandson. The whole family and friends were united for a happy New Year’s party in Villa Oleander. For this event Géza and Werther made humorous speeches.

On January 28th, 1947, Dorle traveled to Switzerland and Cap d’Ail, where she had several things to put into order, and came back to Kammer on May 7th. On her birthday we hired a little steamer and made a tour on the lake with all our friends. We were more than 40 persons; even little Gyula was with us. In Unterach we detected Liesl and August on the quay making signs to us. They had come from Salzburg and joined us as we ran ashore to pick them up. It was a great surprise for all of us and contributed to the success of the whole excursion. During Dorle’s stay Liesl gave a piano evening in Salzburg, which we attended by hiring a bus for all of us and many friends. The program contained Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin and she got tremendous applause.

 

Emigration – Brazil 1947 – 1948.

Now came for the first time the idea of Marie-Louise going with Dorle to Brazil. Marie-Louise had already met a few weeks earlier the Austrian Ambassador in Rio de Janeiro, Anton Retschek, during his vacation in Vienna. He proposed to her that she work as secretary at the Austrian Legation in Rio. Dorle was ready to take her along. *[Marie-Louise passed her exams at the Secretary of Foreign Affaires office and was admitted. As such she received the official Entrance Visa Number One at the Brazilian Embassy in Vienna.] This meant a new, difficult farewell, as this time not only Dorle was leaving but also Marie-Louise; and nobody knew when we would meet again. End of July Dorle left for Switzerland and Marie-Louise followed her in September. They first went to Cap d’Ail, where Dorle arranged for the clearing of Villa Thalassa. On her arrival Mari-Louise had brought a letter from Steffi with her, in which he informed Dorle about Marie-Louise’s engagement to Béla Thuronyi, which for the time being should be kept confidential. They embarked in Genoa and arrived, after having a very agreeable crossing of the ocean, end of September in Rio de Janeiro. On October 1st, 1947, Marie-Louise started to work at the Austrian Legation. She adapted fast and enjoyed wide popularity. Dorle, who had stayed all her time in Rio in Copacabana Palace Hotel, now was looking for an apartment. She soon found one in Copacabana, at Street Toneleros 180, apartment 503. In the beginning of May Béla arrived, who once he had escaped from Hungary went to bid farewell to his parents in France. They had moved in February, of this same year, from Kammer to their son Pista’s place. *[Pista (Etienne), a community member of “Chemin Neuf” with the aim of reunification of Christian religions, and painter, mostly of modern sacred art, moved back to Lourdes in April 1998, where he had lived with his wife Paule de Lescure and where she also died.] Viola had entered the convent of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Riedenburg, near Bregenz, in 1946. *[She is still there at the convent (1998) but now as a retired teacher.] Géza lived in Klagenfurt where he was an interpreter to the British occupation forces. *[He now (1998) lives in Washington for many years, with his wife Lilia (v. Eckersdorf). They have four sons: Victor, born April 13th, 1956, is an expert for tax legislation and works for the International Monetary Fund. He is married to Gail and they have a son called Ben, born in 1985; Paul Steven, born July 21st, 1958, a computer programmer, is married to Tina; Alexander (Alex) born April 3rd, 1960, is also a computer programmer. His wife Laura Roberson, a cartographer, had a baby, Peter, on February 10th, 1997; George, born May 29th, 1961, an editor at the Library of Congress, is married to Nancy a social worker with master’s degree. They also live near Washington and his e-mail address is: gthu@loc.gov ].

Béla had found a job soon after his arrival in Rio de Janeiro with the forestry department of South America’s greatest paper mill, Industrias Klabin, far in the south of Brazil. As Steffi and Ursi’s date of arrival in Rio was still uncertain, it was decided not to let the young people wait any longer. So the wedding took place without the participation of the parents, which was very painful for both sides. On September 2nd, 1948, the Austrian abbot Adrian Hoeck performed the wedding in the Polish Chapel of Rio de Janeiro. In his wedding sermon he made mention of the absent parents. Marriage witnesses were the Austrian Ambassador Anton Retschek for Marie-Louise and Felix Mayrhofer for Béla. After the ceremony there was a small lunch, with intimate friends, at Dorle’s apartment. The young couple left by the ambassador’s car to Teresopolis, where they spent their honeymoon in a bungalow at Smolka’s establishment.

In December 1947, to everyone’s astonishment Werther got engaged (he was only 22 years old) with Barbara Haas, daughter of the late Austrian Counsel General and his wife Nathalie, born Baroness Rastler. Barbara was living with her mother in Salzburg and worked at the Mozarteum. We hardly knew her, but she soon captured our hearts. Already on March 30th, 1948, the wedding was celebrated in Salzburg’s beautiful Franciscan Church. Both of us came from Kammer to attend the ceremony. Witnesses to the wedding were for Barbara, her uncle, and for Werther, Wolfi, substituting for Steffi. They renounced having a honeymoon and instead went immediately to Kammer’s Villa Oleander. *[Later they emigrated to U. S. A. Werther was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra and died in 1993. Barbara has died since. They had one adopted daughter, Sylvia.]

In January 1947, Herbert went to see his father-in-law in Keléd (Hungary) in spite of Steffi’s hesitation. Already at the Hungarian border he was arrested and after three days of cross-examination was transferred to Szombathely, where he was arrested again. In those days a conspiracy against the communist regime was discovered in Hungary, so Herbert would incur suspicion. They let him free only after 18 days so he could go to Keléd. Nevertheless he was full of optimism and hoped to work and live in Keléd. He had IIi and the child follow him in May. After some difficulties Ili arrived with a truck at the border, where Herbert went to meet her. They spent nearly a year in Keléd, but as insecurity was growing it seemed to be prudent to leave the country. This was not an easy task as the border was strictly guarded. They succeeded with the help of some of Herbert’s devoted friends to pass Ili over the border, dressed as a peasant woman with the baby in her arms and a hay rake on her shoulders. She walked through the meadows to Pali Erdödy in Eberau, Austria. Steffi had driven there to meet her. After a few days she arrived, in the beginning of April, in Kammer, where she first lived at Villa Oleander and not with the parents in Castle Kammer. It seemed to be advisable to keep her somewhat hidden as long as Herbert had not arrived, too. We were happy to have little Gyula, for a while, nearby. He was a very bright child. Herbert had stayed in Keléd but, when he was confidentially notified that his personal safety was in danger, he escaped by bicycle under cover of darkness. He passed the Hungarian border safely and arrived end of June in Kammer. Now as Herbert was persuaded that there was no way back to Hungary, they decided also to emigrate to Brazil. They left by ship with little Gyula on September 8th, 1948, from Genoa. To save money they took the Italian ship “Toscanelli’s” third class, where accommodation was very primitive. Herbert succeeded in arranging some facilities and so they could pass daytimes with the child on the first-class deck. Dorle, Marie-Louise, and Béla awaited them at Rio’s quay. Dorle had rented for them a small, furnished apartment to which they could move immediately. On November 1st, 1948, Ili had a daughter who was baptized with the name of Sonja. Godparents were Béla and Marie-Louise. Marie-Louise had stayed back in Rio to assist Ili with the baby, while Béla had already started his work with Klabin’s in Paraná. Once she had joined him in Monte Alegre they were lodged in the employees’ hotel. Later they were built a nice little house with garden.

As now Marie-Louise, as well as Herbert with his family, had left Austria, it was thought that Steffi and Ursi, who always were planning emigration, should now do so. The prospects of creating a new existence in Europe were very low. On the other hand, Steffi and Ursi felt themselves young enough to start a new life in a foreign country, together with their children. The permanent threatening danger of war in Europe was a further reason for emigration. Edith and August and their children were living in Salzburg, but they also were aware that sooner or later they would have to leave this beloved city. Under these circumstances, it seemed to be obvious that we should join Steffi, Ursi, and Wolfi, going along to Rio to Dorle’s place. She was happy enough to take us in when we put the question to her. Preparations for this voyage gave Steffi quite a lot of trouble but he had done everything with a lot of caution.

Nearly four years had passed since we had to leave our dear home and had taken refuge, first to Salzburg, and later to Kammer as displaced persons. This fate, that was the same as that of so many other persons, was very much eased by the fact that we had nearly always been together with our children. But now it meant saying goodbye to Edith, August, their children, and Liesl who stayed in Salzburg. Edith, Liesl, and Marie-Anne came in the last days to Villa Oleander in Kammer and accompanied us on a foggy December day to the car that took us, with Steffi, to the railway station of Attnang. It was a hard departure. During a short train stay in Salzburg August and Barbara came to greet us. Leonore had a bad flu and could not come. In Innsbruck we stayed overnight and next day Wolfi and Ursi arrived. On December 8th, we embarked in Genoa on the “Santa Cruz.” After a very good sea cruise we arrived on December 26th, 1948, in Rio where we were received and lovingly taken in by Dorle. We stepped for the first time on Brazilian soil that hereafter would serve us as a replacement for our homeland.

And so I am setting a last point to my memories, because what now will follow would not be any memories of an old man but the lived present of the younger generation. This present is up till now very hard, because two world wars have, with their exorbitant destruction, nullified the fortune I had inherited and improved and forced my offspring to start anew. But I see with satisfaction that they all possess the will and capacity to take up the fight with destiny; and so everything can take a favorable turn.

Your ancestor’s benediction accompanies you.

*P.S. A register of the“lived present of the younger generation”:[1998-07-30]

·        Stefan Haupt Buchenrode died October 4th, 1954, and was buried in the Haupts’ family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery.

·        Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode (Phull) died June 21st, 1967, and was buried in the Haupts’ family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery.

·        Steffi Haupt Buchenrode died November 16th, 1959, in consequence of car accident injuries he suffered in Goias. He was buried in the Haupts’ family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery.

·        Ursi Haupt Buchenrode (v. Bismarck) died September 24th, 1982, in Vienna, 80 years old, and it was her last will that her ashes go to the Bismarck family grave in Lüneburg (Germany).

·        Steffi and Ursi lived in Ceres, Goias with their son Wolfi. They started with a rice machine, and then went on to grow coffee and rice on a farm bought by Aunt Dorle. Ursi did a lot of charity work in Ceres, was well known and beloved, ran a small fashion boutique, and stayed there for another five years after Steffi’s death, when she moved to Vienna. She lived in Akademie Street 2, until her death. She lived after a stroke for only one week.

·        Stefan Wolfgang Haupt Buchenrode (Wolfi) died June 17th, 1987, in Sinop and was buried in Sinop’s Cemetery.

·        Dorothea Janotta (Haupt Buchenrode) died September 27th, 1982 in Vienna where she had spent the last years of her life, and her ashes went to the family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery. Her funeral service was held together with Ursi’s as their death days were separated only by three days.

·        Edith Haupt Stummer (Haupt Buchenrode) died September 13th, 1952, in Salzburg and was buried in the cemetery of Anif.

·        August Haupt Stummer died April 20th, 1973, in Salzburg and his ashes are in Erb’s Castle Chapel.

·        August and Edith’s daughters both live in Salzburg. Marie-Anne worked for many years in U. S. A., and afterwards in Geneva. Leonore is a retired piano teacher; she has been working for the “International Foundation Mozarteum,” and specialized on Mozart’s original instruments.

·        Hedalise (Liesl) Haupt Stummer (Haupt Buchenrode) married (12, 26, 1954) August Haupt Stummer after Edith, her sister, died. She died in Salzburg as a retired professor at the Mozarteum on January 21st, 1998. Her ashes are in Erb’s Castle Chapel since June 30th, 1998.

·        Leo Haupt Stummer died November 29th, 1973, in Vienna; his ashes are in Erb’s Castle Chapel.

·        Leni Haupt Stummer (v.Gutmann) died November 8th, 1988, in Vienna; her ashes are in Erb’s Castle Chapel.

·        Leo and Leni’s children: Eleonore (Pupa) is married to Neely Grant from Memphis. They live partly in Vienna and partly in Pupa’s house in Kitzbühel. She there gathers for special occasions the remaining Haupts and Stummers (in July 1998, for Leonore’s 70th and Judith’s 80th anniversaries). Ernst is a retired successful PR and advertising agencies owner and manager, dedicating his life now to arts. Music, painting and writing are his favorites. He and his wife Gretl live in Vienna and Erb (near Salzburg) and have two children: Max (12, 07, 1968) a graphic designer and co-partner of a “communication design” agency. His e-mail address is hauptstummer.jasensky@netway.at ; Christine (12, 01, 1970) has a master’s degree in history of arts, and works as a cultural consultant. Her e-mail is haupt.stummer@bogner-lord.co.at .

 

·        Gertrud Nesnera (Haupt Stummer) died in Kammer am Attersee on January 17th, 1979, and was buried in Schörfling’s Cemetery. She has written more than 500 poems. For her mother’s 80th birthday, Grace had the idea to have published in a booklet 80 of her grandmother’s best poems.

·        Ödön Nesnera died June 1st, 1958, in Janufalu and was buried there.

·        Gertrud and Ödön’s children: Judith, a widow of Imre Jeszenszky, lives with her daughter Grace in Kammer am Attersee; her son Thomas is married to Gabriele Lonny Treiber, has two daughters, Valerie and Susanne, and they are living in Switzerland. Peter, a retired heart specialist, is married to Olja Don. They live with their daughter Elizabeth (Toussik) who is married to Brian McCarthy, in New York and at Olivebridge, their summer home. Peter and Olja have also two sons: André and Alexander (Sandro). André, married to Ellen, with three boys (Peter, Matthew and Timothy) lives now in Virginia. Their e-mail is crosby@compuserve.com; André is a foreign correspondent for The Voice of America and was appointed for many years to Geneva, Moscow and London. Sandro, a medical doctor married to Susan, has a son Christopher and they live in New Hampshire.

·          Tibor Thuronyi died July 28th, 1972, in Paranavai and was buried in the family grave in Paranavai’s Cemetery.

·        Carola Thuronyi (Haupt-Stummer) died September 17th, 1981, in Paranavai and was buried in the family grave in Paranavai’s Cemetery.

·        Béla Thuronyi died August 12th, 1994, in Paranavai and was buried in the family grave in Paranavai’s Cemetery.

Béla and Marie-Louise have four children: - Maria-Antonieta (01, 11, 1950), married to Sittich Count von Berlepsch; her e-mail is manettavB@aol.com; they live at Castle Berlepsch, near Göttingen (Germany) and have four sons. Fabian (03, 11, 1976) lives in Paris, his e-mail is berlepsch@compuserve.com; Thimon (10, 24, 1978) studies goldsmithing, and is an excellent magician; Gabriel (02, 11, 1984) and Lucius Dominic (04, 09, 1988) are still at their studies. - Gabriela (09, 09, 1953) married to Carlos Hernando Londoño Botero, living in Cartagena (Colombia). They had four children. Frank Carlos (04, 19, 81), the eldest, is finishing the American School and preparing for his studies in U. S. A. They lost André (04, 02, 1984) when only a little over one year old. Maria Luiza (09, 23, 85) (my only granddaughter of nine grandchildren) and Jorge Eduardo (12, 25, 87) are both studying at Cartagena’s American School. Carlos is co-partner and manager of a “marina” port of call and maintenance place for boats; he is, as well, a sales representative for different naval engines. Gabriela is co-partner and manager of “Gema Tours” travel agency. – André (11, 21, 1954) is a graduated electronics engineer, got married to Marta (Portela) and has a tourist agency for adventure and ecological tours, with a hotel “Arára Azul” in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, Brazil’s bird and game resort. His e-mail address is araraslg@nutecnet.com.br. – Marcel (07, 17, 1959) married to Ana Paula (Lombardi), lives in Paranavai, and has two boys, Ricardo (06, 08, 1986) and Daniel (07, 03, 1988). Marcel is an agricultural engineer, is co-partner and manager of a grass seeds production firm and a shop for all needs for farming. He also manages our farm, Fazenda Angelus. His wife gives English classes at her home.

Béla and Marie-Louise started a sawmill in the north of Paraná State in 1951, switched to coffee plantations, and ended up with cattle breeding. This was really Béla’s passion. He was a pioneer in this region, an ardent Rotary member and a popular citizen. Béla’s parents, Tibor and Carola, lived with them in Paranavai since 1951. Marie-Louise left in 1969 for Rio de Janeiro to accompany the children as they pursued their education. She took a job with Lufthansa German Airlines as a Public Relations Manager for South America and held this position for 22 years. She retired in 1993, the year when she and Béla made a trip to Europe (for Cousin Ernst’s 60th, birthday when all the cousins met in Erb and Kitzbühel at Pupa’s house). From there they went to Columbia to see Gabi and her family and in January 1994 they returned to Paranavai, where they stayed till Béla’s death in August.

Wolfi left three children: Rosemary-Ursula (06,17,1975) studies nutrition in Cuiaba, capital of Mato Grosso; Steffi (11, 22, 1977) works and studies; Lucia-Lorena (02,16,1981) studies and works as an auxiliary, half a day, in a lawyer’s office. They live with their mother Leia in Sinop. They have sold Wolfi’s fields (he got back in Hungary about 200 hectares) and have bought a house for rent, and Leia runs a flower shop to make ends meet. They also run a small Guaraná plantation that Wolfi bought together with André, where they are producing Guaraná extract for sale. The kids are all very nice and diligent.

Herbert left Brazil in the sixties and is living in Senning, Southern Austria. His youngest son Alexander (03, 29, 1952) was born in Brazil, but lives with his wife Renate and their three children, Daniela (07, 24, 1978), Christine (08, 21, 1981), and Alfons (03, 24, 1983), in Tullnerbach, near Vienna. Herbert’s daughter Sonja Carruthers lives in Rio de Janeiro; her e-mail address is sonja02@ibm.net. She has three children: Marcus (03, 11, 1971), married in 1996 to Vanessa Conolly, is food and beverage assistant manager in Rio’s Meridien Hotel; Alessandra (06, 06, 1972) married in 1997 Artur Hintze, an IBM engineer (e-mail address: hintze@vnet.ibm.com); lives in São Paulo and she has a good job with Brazilian sugar export; Patricia (05, 14, 1977) is a Boston University student in marketing.

Marie-Louise lives partly in her apartment in Rio de Janeiro, or in Paranavai in a house 60 km from the farm “Angelus.” She spends two to three months with her daughter Gabriela in Columbia, mostly at the end of the year, and two to three months in Europe with her eldest daughter “Manetta” in Germany and relatives in Austria. Accustomed by her past job to travel, this does not seem to bother her. She has a Toshiba lap top 420CDT which she carries along everywhere and plays a lot of “solitaire” on it. Her e-mail address is thurony@ibm.net and she hopes to get messages from all of you. Since retired, she is a computer fan for “Word and Excel” and programmed a special bookkeeping and controlling system for the farm.

 

* APPENDIX TO REGISTER OF THE “LIVED PRESENT OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION.”

 

HAUPT-STUMMER von Buchenrode und Tavarnok Leo+ :                                                       pg.14, 72, 95,102

                                      Leo+                                                                                                                pg.                   74

Eleonore (Pupa) Grant                                                        pg.               102

Ernst:                                                                                                        pg.                      102

    Max                                                                                                        pg.                      103

    Christine                                                                                               pg.                      103

 

HAUPT-STUMMER von Buchenrode und Tavarnok August+ :

 Edith (Haupt v.Buchenrode)+1st wife :                                       pg.14, 94, 96, 102

Liesl (Haupt v.Buchenrode)+ 2nd wife                                       pg.               100, 102

                              Marie-Anne                                                                                                    pg.      68, 97, 102

    Werther+:                                                                                                 pg.            72, 100

    Sylvia                                                                                                   pg.                       100

Leonore                                                                                                   pg.      72, 97, 102

 

HAUPT-STUMMER Gertrud de NESNERA+ :                                                      pg.14, 45, 96, 103

Judith Jeszenszky:                                                                                 pg.      93, 94, 103

    Thomas: Valerie, Susanne                                                                pg.                       103

    Grace                                                                                                    pg.                       103

Peter:                                                                                                       pg.      45, 94, 103

    André: Peter, Matthew, Timothy                                                     pg.                       103

    Alexander (Sandro): Christopher                                                     pg.                       103

    Elizabeth (Toussik)                                                             pg.                       103

 

HAUPT-STUMMER Carola THURONYI  de Turony+:                                         pg.15, 45, 95, 103

            Lia+                                                                                       pg.                  46

Béla+  Marie-Louise (Haupt v. Buchenrode):                              pg.    46, 103, 104

  Maria-Antonieta v.Berlepsch: Fabian, Thimon, Gabriel,

     Lucius Dominic                  pg.                103

  Gabriela Londoño de Thuronyi: Frank Carlos, Andre+,

                                              Maria Luiza, Jorge Eduardo pg.                103

  André                                                                             pg.               103

  Marcel: Ricardo, Daniel                                                   pg.               103

 

Géza:                                                                                 pg.           46, 99

    Victor: Ben                                                                     pg.                 99

    Paul Steven                                                                    pg.                 99

    Alexander: Peter                                                             pg.                 99

    George                                                                           pg.               100

Pista                                                                                  pg.           46, 99

    Viola                                                                                                           pg.                  46, 99

 

HAUPT von BUCHENRODE Stefan (Steffi)+ :                                                                        pg.     21, 65, 102

Stefan Wolfgang (Wolfi)+ : Ursula, Steffi, Lucia Lorena          pg.     101, 104

Herbert:                                                                                                       pg.    87, 95, 104

    Herbert+                                                                                                   pg.                    96

    Gyula: Fernando, Ursula, Julia, Eduardo                                             pg.            98, 100

            Sonja Carruthers: Marcus, Alessandra, Patricia                               pg.                  104

  Alexander: Daniela, Christine, Alfons                                pg.                  104

Marie-Louise Thuronyi de Thurony                                                      pg.  72, 100, 104

 

HAUPT von BUCHENRODE Dorle de Janotta+                                                                         pg.          24, 102

 

HAUPT von BUCHENRODE Edith Haupt-Stummer+                                                pg.    25, 65, 102

 

HAUPT von BUCHENRODE Hedalise Haupt-Stummer            +                                             pg.    29, 74, 102

 

INDEX OF PICTURES TO “My Memories.”

Photo Number

Description

Ref Page

1

Geographic map.

 

2

Leopold Alexander Haupt and his wife Anna Schlemlein married 01,23,1858. Born 1827; died 01,28,1904 in Brünn.

2

3

The Haupt’s family grave in Brünn. (Sculpture by Professor Klotz)

  Transferred in 1935 to Sorokujfalu (Hungary).

27

4

Baron August Stummer von Tavarnok (10,31,1827 - 04,26,1909) married 1860 to Betty Melchior from Hamburg. Member of Parliament, Vienna 1864.

9

5

Tavarnok, bought by Baron August Stummer in 1868 (3,800 ha fields and 7,800 ha woods) for 500,000 Gulden.

10

6

Auguste Haupt Stummer (wife of Poldi) in the palms garden of Tökés with her children: Gertrud 10,27,1886; Leo 10,14,1887;

   August 01,22,1889; Carola 05,31,1892.

10

      7

Tök  Tökés Ujfalu; bought by Leopold Alexander Haupt in 1884, for his son Poldi, married to Auguste Stummer; (1,500 ha woods + 400 ha fields) for 280,000 Gulden and left to Poldi’s daughter Carola. (Carola and Tibor Thuronyi’s home).

10

      8

Baron August Phull (Papa Phull) and his wife Therese Staehlin (Mama Therese).

17

      9

Stefan and Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode’s wedding picture 1896.                           

18

    10

Mama Anna Haupt (Schlemlein), Leopold Alexander’s wife (died 02,01,1924).

18

    11

Baron Stefan Haupt Buchenrode (the author of ”My Memories”) and his wife Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode (Baroness Phull).

18

    12

Cousin Fritz Schoeller (2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Regiment) with his wife Zeska (daughter of Bavarian General Baron Fuchs von Bimbach); wedding in Berlin, February 6, 1899.

24

    13

Anna Überreiter, nurse who stayed 40 years with the family.

Died in Sorok 1939.

23

    14

Patent of nobility, awarded by His Majesty Emperor Francis Josef in 1901.

25

    15,16       

Zlin; property and castle was bought in 1860, 2200 ha, for 470,000 Guldens.

2, 28

    17

“Max & Moritz”; Steffi and Robert Bleyleben playing theater in Brünn.

28

    18

Ballhausplatz (Foreign Affaires Office) in Vienna.

54

    19

Stefan and Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode, in Rio de Janeiro 1950.

 

    20

Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode with her children in 1905 in Brünn: Steffi, Edith, Hedalise (Liesl) and Dorle.

29

    21

Steffi 1900; Dorle, Edith, Liesl in 1910.

 

    22

Haupt’s first car,1906; a 30 HP. Dion Bouton with an American roof.

30

    23

The castle of Zlin.

2, 28

    24

Baron Dr. Stefan Haupt Buchenrode in Brünn 1893 (24 years old).

  (Born 10,27,1869; died in Rio de Janeiro, 10,04,1954).

 

    25

Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode and her son Steffi (15 years old in 1912).

 

    26

Baron August Haupt Stummer (born 1,22,1889), a one-year volunteer of the 6th Dragoon Regiment in Brünn (1911); and Baron Leopold (“the beautiful Leo”) Haupt Stummer (born 10,14,1887), both sons of Poldi and Auguste.

36

38

    27

Brünn’s Kiosk 11 house bought by Stefan Haupt in 1914 from Baron Alfred Klein.

40

    28

Steffi, May 1916, a 6th Dragoon Regiment Lieutenant.

42

    29

Auguste as nurse in great dancing hall of Tavarnok; from 1914 - 1918 the castle was a hospital for 50 soldiers at Poldi and Auguste’s own expense.

45

    30

Auguste Haupt Stummer, wife of Poldi, daughter of August Stummer and Betty Melchior (died 12,14,1945). Her Thuronyi grandchildren: Béla, 11,24,1917; Géza, 10,15,1919; Pista, 03,06,1921; Viola, 10,03,1925.

46

     31

Sorokujfalu; bought by Stefan Haupt in June 1916 for 3,800,000 crowns (1Kr. = 43 SFr), 1,726 ha; Steffi and Ursi Haupt’s home in Hungary. The castle within a five-ha park.

46

     32

Ernst von Janotta 1919; diplomat at the Austrian Embassy in Bern; co-owner of Silesia’s sugar industry; married Dorle Haupt; their home was Stemplovec, (Troppau, CSR), and later Rio de Janeiro; died 08, 24,1943.

60

     33

Steffi Haupt Buchenrode and Ursi von Bismarck’s wedding participation (Lüneburg 07,08,1920).

65

     34

Edith Haupt Buchenrode's wedding in Zlin 07,15,1920, with August Haupt Stummer. The newly-wed Steffi and Ursi, Lüneburg 07, 08,1920; Liesl and Leo; Carola and Tibor Thuronyi, Tavarnok 10.30,1915; Gertrud and Ödön Nesnera, Tökés 08,09,1917; Dorle and Ernst Janotta, Bern 11, 22,1919.

65

     35

New Year’s Eve 1943 in Chalmova: Auguste Haupt Stummer at her last family reunion with: Gertrud, Leni (Leo's wife), Carola, Edith; Judith, Eleonore (Pupa), Ernst, Viola, Leonore, Marie-Anne; Ödön, Leo, August, Tibor; Werther, Peter, Géza, Béla, Pista.

 

     36

Sorokujfalu; Steffi Haupt Buchenrode (Gödig, 05,20,1997- died Rio, 11,16,1959); his wife Ursi (von Bismarck Schönhausen), (Lüneburg 07,22,1906 - Vienna, 09,24,1982).

66

 67

     37

Leo Haupt Stummer (born 10,14,1887, Poldi and Auguste’s son) with wife Leni Gutmann in 1928.

72

     38

Gertrud Nesnera (Haupt Stummer 1946), born Tavarnok, 10,27,1886.

97

     39

Leo and Leni Haupt Stummer (1937) with their children: Leo, 04,07,1929; Eleonore (Pupa), 07,11,1930; Ernst, 08,09,1933. Janufalu, the Nesnera’s home.

74

     40

Duchonka (Slovakia) built by Stefan Haupt in 1930-31 for his daughter Liesl (Architect Bauer from Vienna).

74

     41

Duchonka had a two-floor-high hall with an organ. The property was 2800 ha woods.

74

     42

Mama Therese Phull’s 80th birthday with her great grandchildren: Wolfi, Marie-Anne, Herbert and Werther in Brünn in 1931.

74

     43

Leopold Alexander, father of Stefan Haupt Buchenrode  (died 1904).

27

     44

Mama Therese Phull (mother of Hedwig) in younger years.

15

     45

Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode (Baroness Phull, born 11,20,1873; died in Rio, 06,21,1967) in 1959.

 

     46

Mama Therese with great grandson Wolfi; Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode.

74

     47

Aunt Sophie Staehlin (Mama Therese’s sister) 80th birthday 7,14,1938.

81/86

     48

Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode’s 60th birthday 11,20,1933 in Tavarnok.

77

     49

August and Edith Haupt Stummer (1933) with their children: Marie-Anne, 09,14,1922; Werther, 04,17,1925; Leonore, 07,10,1928, and their home Chalmova.

79

 

 

 

    50

Busso von Bismarck Schönhausen, Ursi’s father, died in winter 1943 in Klettendorf (Germany).

61/87

    51

Busso his son, 2nd Lieutenant, died August 14th, 1941; is Busso Jr, and Ina’s father.

84/85

    52

Hasso, Ursi’s twin brother, died June 22nd, 1941. Both died at the Russian front.

85

    53

Steffi Haupt Buchenrode in Sorok, in Hungarian nobility costume.

87

    54

Herbert and Ili Haupt (Szent Ivany) at their wedding in Sorok (May 1944). The wedding menu.

87

    55

Marie-Anne Haupt Stummer. August Haupt Stummer in Kitzbühel with his niece Viola Thuronyi, a Sacré Coeur nun in Riedenburg.

96

    56

Werther Haupt Stummer, 04,17,1925 - 07,29,1993, Cleveland.

96

    57

Leonore Haupt Stummer, living in Salzburg (07,10,1928).

96

    58

Her sister Marie-Anne (09,14,1922), with their Aunt Gertrud Nesnera.

96

    59

Béla Thuronyi, as a student (1934).

99

    60

Tibor and Carola Thuronyi, in Washington with their son Géza, wife Lilia (v. Eckersdorf) and their sons: Victor 04,13,1956; Paul-Steven 07,21,58; Alexander (Alex) 04,03,60; and George 05,29,61.

99 100

    61

Géza and Lilia Thuronyi, married 06,09,1954.

99

    62

Ursi Haupt Buchenrode (v. Bismarck) in Ceres, Goias, Brazil.

102

    63

Steffi and Ursi in Ceres (Goias, Brazil) 1954.

102

    64

Wolfi, 01,24,1922; Marie-Louise, 10,14,1926; Herbert, 11,05,1923;

   in Hungarian folklore costumes for  their Grandmother Hedwig’s 60th birthday 11,20,1933 in Tavarnok.

77

    65

Béla and Marie-Louise with their children: Maria-Antonieta (Manetta), 01,11,1950; Gabriela 09,09,1953; André 11,21,1954; Marcel 07,17,1959, in Monte Alegre, 1962 (Cidade Nova).

103

    66

Grandmother Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode (83) came from Rio in a three-person’s plane with Aunt Dorle to Bararuba farm in 1956; Steffi, Ursi with little André, Marie-Louise, Béla, Manetta and Gabi.

103

     67

Edith Marnegg von Wallerstein’s wedding at Vitkoc; Carola and Tibor Thuronyi, Georg Marnegg and wife, Mechtilde, her father Ottmar, Irmgard and Pista de Fedák, and Béla and Marie-Anne.

10

     68

Professor Hedalise Haupt Stummer, at the “Mozarteum” of Salzburg, (1986) with U.S. cellist, Dr. Linda Servuson.

102

     69

The five cousins visit to Aunt Liesl at Salzburg (July 1997); (she died 01,21,1998). Judith (Nesnera) Jeszenszky (1919), Viola Thuronyi (1925), Marie-Louise (Haupt Buchenrode) Thuronyi (1926),

   Eleonore (“Pupa” Haupt Stummer) Grant (1930),

   Leonore Haupt Stummer (1928).

 

    70

Helene (Leni) Haupt Stummer (Gutmann), wife of Leo, 12, 17, 1900 -

   11, 08, 1988.

102

    71

Eleonore Grant (Haupt Stummer), Leo and Leni’s daughter, born in Tavarnok, 07, 11, 1930.

102

    72

Leo Haupt Stummer with daughter Eleonore (Pupa) and daughter-in-law Gretl (Margarethe) Schenck.

102

    73

Werther (died in Cleveland, July 1993); Marie-Anne Haupt Stummer.

100

    74

Leo Haupt Stummer, Eleonore and Neely Grant, Leni Haupt Stummer

102

    75

Ernst and Gretl Haupt Stummer with their children Christine and Max.

103

    76

Erb (near Salzburg); Ernst and Gretl Haupt Stummer’s summer home.

103

    77

Peter Nesnera, Gertrud and Ödön Nesnera’s son, born 1919 in Janufalu.

9/10

    78

Olja Nesnera (Don), Peter’s wife, with Lucia Pretis-Cagnodo Sheaffer and son Johannes Mulford.

103

    79

André Nesnera (Peter and Olja’s eldest son).

103

    80

Peter Nesnera and Aunt Liesl Haupt Stummer (Haupt Buchenrode), Stefan and Hedwig’s daughter.

 

     81

Olja Nesnera and Elizabeth (“Toussik”), Peter and Olja’s daughter.

103

     82

Ursi Haupt in Ceres, 1963.

102

     83

Manetta and Gabi, 1964.

103

     84

Manetta’s wedding with Sittich Count von Berlepsch, Rio, 02,08,1971.

103

     85

Marcel and Ana-Paula Thuronyi in Maua, Brazil, 1994.

104

     86

Thimon (1978) Dominic (1988) Gabriel (1984), Fabian (1976) v. Berlepsch in 1998.

103

     87

Gabriela (“Gabi”) and Carlos Londoño with their children Maria Luiza (09,23,1985) Jorge Eduardo (12,25,1987) Frank Carlos (04,1981).

103

     88

André Thuronyi (two years old) in Hungarian costume when we bought the farm we named Angelus in 1956.

103

     89

André (born,11,21,1954), advertising in 1974 as a student.

103

     90

Béla and Marie-Louise Thuronyi 1979; Marie-Louise received the Aviation Award “Santos Dumont” 07,20,1989 in Rio de Janeiro.

104

     91

André Thuronyi, Manetta v. Berlepsch, Gabi Londoño,Marcel Thuronyi

   at André’s place, “Arara Azul”, in the Pantanal in 1994.

104

     92

Marie-Louise Thuronyi with her daughters Manetta and Gabi in 1996.

104

     93

Ricardo and Daniel Thuronyi (Marcel and Anna Paula’s sons) 1990 at Fazenda Angelus, Paraná, Brazil.

104

     94

Ricardo (06,08,1985) and Daniel (07,03,1987) Thuronyi in 1997.

104

     95

Gyula Haupt-Buchenrode (Herbert and Ili’s son) with wife Christina (Brasil Salgado) and daughter Julia.

98

     96

Alessandra Carruther’s wedding, Rio 08,15,1997, (Sonja and Philip’s daughter) with Artur Hinze.

Herbert Haupt Buchenrode with daughter Sonja (11,01,1948).

104

     97

André and Ellen Nesnera’s children: Peter, Matthew and Timothy.

104

     98

Sonja Haupt Buchenrode (Herbert’s daughter) with husband Philip Carruthers and children: Marcus, Alessandra, Patricia, Rio de Janeiro, 1986.

104

     99

“Back to the roots” trip 1996, (Marie-Louise, “Omi’s” 70th birthday). In Schönbrunn garden: Dominic, Manetta; Carlos, Marta Londoño; Gabriel, Thimon Berlepsch; “Mari” Londoño; Christine, Daniela and Alfons Haupt-Buchenrode (Alex Haupt’s children) and Frank Carlos Londoño (Gabi’s son).

104

100

Tavarnok’s Thalia Theater program (1934).

   78

101

George Thuronyi’s wedding with Nancy, Géza, Lilia, Olja Nesnera, Laura – Alex Thuronyi, Rostik Don (Olja’s brother), Brian McCarthy - Toussik Nesnera, Peter Nesnera, Victor, Paul-Steven Thuronyi and wives Gail and Tina (07.30.1994).

   Géza and Viola Thuronyi (08,1998).

100

102

The Stummer von Tavarnok’s coat of arms; Hungarian nobility awarded to Barons August and Alexander on Dec. 12th, 1884.

10

103

Alexander Stummer (07,23,1831-03,23,1914) brother of August and Carl Stummer (in 1885); his daughter Alexandra (Pretis de Cagnodo); Bodok (Slovakia), (3800 ha) inherited by Alexander’s grandson Sisinio Pretis-Cagnodo, (Lucia’s father).

   Lucia Sheaffer (Pretis de Cagnodo)

9/10/82

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now th’ evening glow of my life

Will sink in the dark lap of the night.

                                   What am I still searching for in this world?

Nothing – But memories bring me new life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY MEMORIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written in my 80th year of life,

                                                                                                                    With the help of my very dear wife

And my dear daughter Dorle.

Dedicated to all my descendants

 

 

 

Foto                                                                                         

                                  

 

Stefan Haupt–Buchenrode

 

Rio de Janeiro, 1949 – 1951

 

 Translated from German to English by his granddaughter:

 Marie-Louise (Haupt-Buchenrode) Thuronyi.

 Proofread by Barbara Yingling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE.

 

 

 

I finished translating my Grandfather’s “My Memories” on May 8th, 1998, in Paranavai, Brazil. It was Mothers’ Day and I would like to pay special homage to all the exemplary, outstanding “mothers” of the family written about in this book. I recall a sentence in my mother’s last will: “Love each other as I have loved you.” These words should unite - also in the future - all our family.

The idea of doing this translation was to keep this interesting family history alive for future generations and to carry on our aim “PRORSUM” (onward). Only a few of the younger generation will read German, so I chose English as the language most suitable for the future. Whenever I added information about an event that occurred after my Grandfather’s death I indicated it with a *[ ].

I enjoyed doing this work, living in the past and reviewing so many well-known memories of our wonderful childhood. I hope that some of my children and grandchildren and relatives will read this family history; if so, my work will not have been in vain. The original German book has no chapters, nor pictures. I made an overall selection of over 100 pictures to meet everyone’s interest, and to make it easier to understand “who is who” with Haupts and Stummers.

My gratitude goes to Barbara Yingling, who did a wonderful job with her precise proofreading. She is a niece to Jake Sheaffer, our cousin Lucia Pretis-Cagnodo’s late husband. Lucia also helped a lot, and we had fun doing some of the translation during evenings in Tucson, Arizona.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY MEMORIES

Stefan Haupt-Buchenrode

 

 

 

C O N T E N T S

 

 

 

Mährisch – Rotmühl 1676 – 1805.        1

Brünn 1805 – 1899.      1

Zlin 1899 – 1928.          24

Switzerland 1918 - 1920.        49

Sorokujfalu 1920 – 1945.         67

Duchonka 1928 – 1944.            74

The Second World War 1939 – 1945.  83

Salzburg – Kammer 1944 – 1948.        90

Emigration – Brazil 1947 – 1948.         99

*P.s. A Register of THE "lived present of the younger Generation"   102

*APPENDIX TO REGISTER OF THE "LIVED PRESENT OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION"       105

*INDEX Of PICTURES   …………………………………………………………………………………… 106

 

 

 

This document has:

Ø              112 pages

Ø              103 pictures

Ø              802 paragraphs

Ø           5,542 lines

Ø         66,313 words

Ø       321,285 characters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Family Castles’ pictures.

 

 

 

 

1/ BRÜNN, Kiosk 11, bought by Stefan Baron Haupt von BUCHENRODE in 1914. Rebuild by the well-known architect Leopold Bauer*.

        

2/ ZLIN,   bought in1860 for 470.000 Gulden by Leopold Alexander Haupt,

                 sold in 1929 for 11,950.000 Kč.crowns by Stefan Haupt v. Buchenrode.

 

3/ STEMPLOWITZ, bought by Ernst von Janotta and his wife Dorle (renovation in 1930*)

4/ JANUFALU,  bought by Poldi Haupt Stummer and left to his daughter Gertrud. The Nesnera’s home after 1918.

 

5/ CHALMOVA, bought by August Haupt-Stummer in 1930, (reformed in 1935*) it was their home after they left the southern wing of TAVARNOK.

 

6/ TÖKÉSUJFALU (Klatova Nova Ves), bought by Leopold Alexander Haupt in 1884 for 280,000 Gulden for his son Poldi when he married Auguste Stummer v. Tavarnok. Later left to Poldi’s daughter Carola. The Thuronyi’s home.

 

7/ DUCHONKA, was bought in 1928 and build by Stefan Haupt v. Buchenrode for his daughter Liesl, with a build in organ, in 1930/31

 

8/ TAVARNOK, bought by August Stummer in the late 1870’s; was later Poldi and Auguste’s home, and their first grandson Béla was born there. After 1928 Leo Haupt Stummer and Leni’s home, where their children: Leo, Pupa and Ernsti were born.

 

9/ BODOK,       bought by Alexander Haupt Stummer in the late 1870’s. He was Lucia  Sheaffer (Pretis de Cagnodo)’s great grandfather.

She lives now in U.S.A. (Maine and Arizona)

 

10/ SOROKUJFALU, bought in 1916 by Stefan Haupt v. B. for 3,800,000 crowns and donated to his son Steffi at his marriage with Ursi in 1918 (our home in Hungary, renovation in 1926).

 

11/ ERB,           bought by Ernst Haupt Stummer in the late sixties.

 

 

 

 

Mährisch – Rotmühl 1676 – 1805.

Our family comes from the northern part of Moravia, Mährisch–Rotmühl, where you can trace them in the church-books up to the year 1676. They surely were living there before this date, but the registration books were destroyed during the storms of the “30 years war.” Our forefathers owned a large farm and also ran a  “bleaching” and “pressing” operation for the linen weavings, common in this part of the country.

 

At this stage of a humble prosperity they stayed for over 200 years, until the troubles of the Napoleonic Wars shook them out of their quiet life and forced them to more and harder activities. My great-grandfather Josef Haupt, born 1763, got from the Austrian ministry of war a large order for a supply of linen for the Austrian army and consequently could already employ at the end of the 18th century a great number of home-workers.

 

Brünn 1805 – 1899.

For the management of this large trade the village of Mährisch–Rotmühl was too far away and so Josef Haupt moved in 1804 or 1805 to Brünn, where he bought a house in Fröhlicher Street. Since this time the military orders grew steadily and were, after the Viennese Congress of 1815, so remarkable that Josef Haupt at this stage employed all over Moravia more than 6,000 home-workers. He died in 1816. His enterprises, the farm and the bleaching in Mährisch-Rotmühl, went to his eldest son Leopold Georg who was only 20 years old. The inheritance was estimated to be 700,000 Gulden, Viennese currency. And Leopold Georg had to pay off his brothers and sisters.

 

In spite of his youth, Leopold Georg soon proved to be a very able businessman, who managed to run his enterprises on a high level. After the peace treaty, he extended his market to the newly gained Italian provinces of Austria, opening a new factory in Milan. This boom was mainly reached by his invention of a new way of packing the military-belts, by which the government could save several 100,000 Gulden, so he was rewarded for it. Leopold Georg married Therese Lettmayer, the daughter of an important leather industrialist, in Brünn in 1826. The Lettmayers owned, besides their factory, a very nice house with a large garden in the suburb Kröna, with a summer resort aspect. At that time the old Mr. Lettmayer was already dead and his widow Therese, born Ehrenberger from Upper-Austria, who had inherited this considerable fortune, lived in the Kröna house. She was considered by all her acquaintances a very resolute and able businesswoman.  She had not less than 13 children who were all deceased before her. Only two of her children reached the marital age: her daughter Therese, who married Leopold Georg Haupt and died in 1828, and her son Franz, who left behind a wife and two little boys, Richard and Eugen, when he died in 1846. His widow married a few years later the governor of Moravia, Baron Poche. Her two sons were adopted by their stepfather and got the name Poche Lettmayer. The old Mrs. Therese Lettmayer, born Ehrenberger, died in 1850 on a trip to the spa Carlsbad, falling from a carriage, at the age of 68. At the time of her death, out of her great family there was only one grandson left, Leopold Alexander, 23 years old. His father, Leopold Georg Haupt, had died during the cholera epidemic in 1851. He was married for the second time in 1834 to Emilie Schöll, the daughter of a cloth manufacturer. They had nine children, two boys and seven daughters; we will be referring to them later on. His son, Leopold Alexander, my father, lived with him till his second marriage. Then he moved to his Grandmother Therese Lettmayer’s house in the Kröna where he stayed till she died. Both his grandmother and his father died within a short time and so he suddenly inherited the whole Lettmayer fortune and half of the Haupt’s.

 

Leopold Alexander’s task was pretty hard, as he was not an expert in leather manufacturing. He therefore decided quickly to wind up the Lettmayer inheritance and to limit his activities to the linen manufacturing of the Haupt’s inheritance. The freed capital he invested in a banking business, which he opened in the beginning of the fifties in Brünn. The rate of interest in Austria was, after the troubles of the revolution in ’48 and the wars with Hungary and Italy, very high and offered owners of free capital very good chances of profit.  The rate of government bonds was extremely low. The bad financial situation of Austria didn’t keep my father from buying a great amount of these bonds. My father at that time was already considered a rich man and wanted to set up his own house. His choice fell on Anna, the 19-year-old daughter of a well known lawyer in Brünn, Dr. Schlemlein, from the Supreme Court of Judicature and his wife, Henriette Schlechta von Vsehrd. The wedding was on January 23rd, 1858, in the episcopate chapel of the cathedral of Brünn. The political confusion of this year didn’t make it advisable to go for a honeymoon abroad, so the young couple decided on a trip to the Haupt's house in the Kröna. There they also opened their household after Leopold Alexander’s stepmother moved to her newly-bought villa in Schreibwald Street.

 

At that time the constitutional movement in Austria started and the governor of Moravia let my father confidentially know that the government would be happy if he would take part in this movement and for this purpose would buy a property in Moravia. My father didn’t oppose this suggestion of the government; as a matter of fact he thought it would also be a good investment for his free capital. Among several offers there was the property of Zlin, in Moravia, which belonged to two eccentric bachelors, the Barons von Breton. The transaction couldn’t be realized, as the Bretons’ demand was too high. But as they were in financial difficulties they sold the property to the leather manufacturer Bergen in Brünn in the same year, 1856, who then sold within two years to Count Günther Stollberg. But as he died within a year, his widow called again on my father, offering him the property. The negotiations were satisfactory and my father bought the 2,400 ha property of Zlin for the price of 470,000 Gulden in July 1860. The estate was in poor shape as the Bretons were missing capital to equip the property properly in a modern way. The productivity of the forest, which was mainly beech trees, was badly handicapped by a very unfavorable contract of delivery with a timber dealer of Vienna. This contract obliged them, through many years, to deliver several hundred wagons of beech logs to Vienna. This unfortunate contract could be ended only after a long process. The farmbuildings of Zlin, Mlacov, and Cäcilienhof, as well as the castle, were in poor condition. Although the Bretons had started a renovation in 1850, they were forced to stop half way for monetary reasons. My father, who was not a passionate farmer or forester, didn’t change much of this situation in the beginning and started a partial renovation of the castle only in 1874.

 

On January 12th, 1859, their first son was born and was baptized with the name of Leopold Eugen (called Poldi). He was followed, after a long pause, December 5, 1866, by a daughter, Marianne, and on October 27th, 1869, a son, Stefan Viktor, the author of these pages. The purchase of the property Zlin brought quite a change in my parents’ day-to-day life. Until now they had stayed throughout the year in their town apartment except for a few weeks in summer on their estate in Rotmühl. From now on, the castle of Zlin, with its beautiful park and the charming surroundings, was chosen as their summer resort. As my father was no more interested in the estate of Rotmühl, it was sold soon after 1866. Next to be sold was the “bleaching” in street Zeile in Brünn and the big garden at the Kröna was divided into lots and built up. After this, the holdings of my father were only the houses in Brünn, the banking business and the estate of Zlin, on which he now could focus all his attention. Besides that he dedicated his time to public affairs. He was elected to the municipal board of the city of Brünn and a member of the chamber of commerce.

 

In 1864 he founded with his brother-in-law, Gustav von Schoeller, and some other prominent industrialists from Brünn the Escomptbank. He was elected to the administrative board. He now liquidated his own bank business (1865) as the threatening war with Prussia left the financial situation of small banks quite unsafe. Nevertheless the war of 1866 brought no change for the worse to Leopold Alexander’s pecuniary circumstances; not even the great breakdown of the stock exchange in 1873 modified his financial situation. This one had only disadvantageous consequences for his half sisters, who by making wrong speculations lost most of their fortunes. Indirectly these changes had an influence on my father as they supported his tendency of great economy. My father’s opponents often accused him of being paltry. But this reproach could be made only for small affairs. In important affairs he was always very broad-minded. For example, in the ‘60s he donated more than 100,000 florins for scholarships to small tradesmen and poor scholars. Besides that he left in his testament 100,000 crown to the city of Brünn for the establishment of a children’s recovery-nursery in castle Kiritein, next to Brünn.

 

Leopold Alexander was always on very friendly terms with his stepsisters and one of the sisters always was invited to spend the summer in Zlin. As these very dear aunts had a great influence on us children, their life should be mentioned here, too. They were all good looking and elegant figures who knew how to attain standing in society and were very popular, especially in officers’ circles. All married officers except one. This one was Leopoldine, born in 1835, married in 1855 to Sir Gustav von Schoeller, one of the greatest cloth manufacturers of Brünn. She was a highly educated and fine lady, but she suffered from poor nerves, - nevertheless she reached the age of 89 and left behind two sons and five daughters:

Leopoldine, (Putzi) married Carl Mühlinghaus, Brünn,

Marie married Gustav von Paumgarten, Brünn,

Sofie married Johann von Pfefferkorn, Brünn

Lisa married Alexander von Schreiber, Vienna,

Gustav married the actress Anni von Lighety, Vienna,

Hedwig married Colonel Géza von Szüts-Tasnád, Vienna,

Friedrich married Jovy von Bogdan.

 

The second stepsister was Sofie, born 1837, married to Baron Stanislaus Bourguignon. She died at only 23 years of age, from diphtheria, and left behind two daughters. Bourguignon soon married again, Princess Salm, whom he divorced two years later. His two small children were lovingly accepted and brought up by their stepmother. The elder one, Amelie Bourguignon, married Baron Wyttenbach, landowner in Styria. The second, Hermine, was taken in as a grownup girl, by her aunt, Adele Krieghammer, and married Count Jean Lubienski, a ”Ulanen” lieutenant, in Lemberg in 1890. This couple had three children: Stanislau (Stas), Jean (Jas) and Constance (Kocia). Hermine (Minni) Lubienska died in 1946, at the age of 86, in Pápa (Hungary), where she lived after her husband’s death with her daughter.

Adele, our favored aunt, born 1838, married in 1858 in Brünn an officer called Grognier d’Orleans, but they divorced after a few months because of his coarse character. She thereafter lived with her younger sister Marie in Vienna.They both spent a very jolly life. Adele was married a second time to Edmund Baron von Krieghammer, major in the 5th Dragoon Regiment. Later he was commander in charge in Krakow and from 1895 to 1902 Austro-Hungarian minister of war. He belonged to the very intimate circle of Emperor Francis Joseph, and was a steady guest at the stag hunting in Ischl. At one of these hunting parties in 1906 Edmund Baron von Kriegshammer died. He left behind, besides his widow, a daughter Olga and a son Kurt, Lieutenant in the 5th Dragoon Regiment. Aunt Adi stayed on in Vienna and, till the First World War, always spent a few weeks each summer in Zlin. As through the years of war living got more difficult in Vienna, she and her daughter accepted an invitation, of my brother Poldi, to Tavarnok. After the war he offered her castle Bossany as a place to stay. There she was lovingly nursed by Olga for another six years and finally died in 1925, to our great sorrow.

Marie (Riri) was born 1840 in Brünn and married in 1857 2nd Lieutenant Eduard Friedenfels, who died in 1859 during the battle of Solferino. He left behind a daughter, Marie (Mitzi), and a son, Eduard, posthumous, born in 1859. Marie was living after the death of her husband with her sister Adele in Vienna, where after a few years she married Baron August Normann, 2nd Lieutenant in a cavalry regiment. Some misunderstandings were the cause of their separation for a couple of years, but after reconciliation they lived, till their death, in a happy matrimony. They were both very good-looking people and very popular in the society of Graz. It was said that Aunt Marie looked very much like Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She died in Graz in 1900.

Carl, born 1842 in Brünn, entered the army in 1860, after finishing his studies, and was a lieutenant in a “huszár” regiment. He participated in the battle of Königgrätz and was wounded in his upper leg. After he recovered, he left the army and bought the estate Straussenegg near Gilli in Southern-Styria. His mother, who after the marriage of her youngest daughter, Julie, stayed alone in the Schreibwald Villa at Brünn, moved to his place. The house at Brünn with the nice garden was sold and she stayed at Straussenegg, where her daughters went to see her, till she died in 1883. Carl remained a bachelor but had a love affair with an actress of the German Theater in Laibach. He had two children from this liaison, Carl (Cari) and Margarete (Gitty). As the mother of his children was already married, but divorced, he couldn’t legitimatize his children by a marriage with her. Then Carl made a petition to the emperor to get the legitimization of his children through an imperial decree. Considering his war-indemnity and his decorations (Iron Crown), his petition was granted by decree. Uncle Carl was a famous horse breeder and expert; this brought him a nomination of the government of Styria. As a reward for his efforts in this field he was granted knighthood with the predicate “von Hohentrenk.”

My grandfather, Leopold Georg Haupt, had a younger brother called Julius who owned a signet ring with an old coat of arms showing an upstanding man in a shield. Carl Haupt wanted to use this old coat of arms for his patent of nobility. On searching for the origin of this coat of arms, it was found that an ancient noble family Haupt seated in Saxon (Germany) uses the same coat of arms. The consent of this family had to be applied for to transfer this coat of arms to Carl Haupt.  In the course of negotiations they agreed with Carl bearing this old coat of arms and expressed their opinion that the Haupt’s Austrian line originate from the same family as the Saxonians.

Carl died in 1916 in Straussenegg. In his testament he indicated me as the guardian of his children Cari and Gitty. As Straussenegg was very near the Italian battlefront and there was nobody to be in charge of the property, I sold it in 1917 and invested the money safely. Soon afterwards Cari entered the Austrian-Hungarian army, and after the end of the war married in Budapest a Baroness Dittfurt, whom he soon divorced. Gitty stayed quite a while in my house, traveled a lot, and married Mr. Klasing, co-owner of the well-known publishers “ Vellhagen and Klasing” in Berlin.

Therese (Thesy), born 1844 in Brünn, married in 1869 navy Lieutenant von Henneberg, who was aide-de-camp to Tegethoff during the navy battle of Lissa in 1866. After the marriage, he quit the navy, and settled down with his young wife in Cilli. There were born their two children, Nanine and Erni. Soon after Henneberg developed an illness in his spinal cord and in consequence became blind. Unfortunately his wife died even before him, in 1897. Nanine nursed her father until his death a few years later. Than she went to her brother’s place in Transylvania, where he was serving with a hussar regiment in Hermannstadt. Soon she got engaged to Silvio Spiess von Braccioforte. The wedding was celebrated in Zlin, in our place, in 1902. This couple had four children: Therese married Franz Vermeulen, a Dutchman, and professor at the Academy of Arts in Haag. Hans married a Czech called Mila Vavrik, divorced, and lives now 93 years old in Linz; Silvio married during the Second World War in Germany Helga Ries. Margarete (Putzi) married Tibor de Mérey, a Hungarian, who lost his life in 1945 escaping from the Russians. She was kept in a camp in Bohemia with her two little children, till her brother-in-law, Gyuri Mérey, could bring her to Switzerland where she learned of her husband’s death. *[She now lives in Yverdon, Switzerland with her daughter Desiré, who is a widow of Prince Friedrich Lobkowicz (her e-mail is: dlobkowicz@bluewin.ch ). Her son Peter Mérey works in Geneva.] Their father, Silvio senior, commander in charge of an infantry regiment was killed in the first winter battle in the Carpathians in 1915. Post-mortem he was decorated with the Maria Theresa Order. Poldi and Auguste took care of the orphans and invited Nanine to live in Tavarnok with her four children, where she stayed till 1949 even after the marriage of all of her children. When the circumstances in Slovakia were unbearable, and the castle inhabitants also had left, she decided in spite of her age to move to her daughter’s in the Haag, but there she soon died, in April 1950.

Gabriele, born 1847, married 1867 to Stefan Count Schlippenbach, a colonel of an Austro-Hungarian hussar regiment. They had two sons: Wolfram, born 1868, was killed as a German officer in the Herero-war in German-West Africa and Parcifall (Percy), who emigrated to Chile working as cabin boy on a steamship and not heard of again. The Schlippenbach couple got divorced; Gabriele converted to Protestantism and died in 1917 in a women’s home in Silesia (Germany).

The youngest daughter Julie was born in Brünn in 1848 and was married in 1868 to Prokop von Zeidler, 2nd Lieutenant in a Dragoon Regiment. They had four children: Alfred born in 1869, Egon in 1870, Helene in 1874 and Lilly in 1882. Both sons were soldiers in the 25th Fighter Battalion. Both completed the military high school, were appointed to the General Staff and achieved high missions. Alfred advanced in the 1st World War to field marshal-lieutenant, but after the war quit the Austro-Hungarian army. He was married to Jolán von Gábor and had two daughters. Alfred died in Vienna in November 1950. Egon was appointed chief of Emperor Karl’s military office. He was an ardent Austrian patriot and took the breakdown of his country badly to heart; when he then also lost his wife (Baroness Vivenot) he committed suicide in his despair. Helene and Lillie stayed unmarried and are living (1951) in Graz. Aunt Julie Zeidler died in 1922 in Graz.

The last child of the couple Leopold Georg Haupt and Emilie Schöll was a boy, called Richard, born in 1851 after his father’s death. He died as a child of ten from diphtheria, at the same time as his sister Sofie Bourguignon.

After this digression we come back to my father Leopold Alexander Haupt. He was an odd person, whose feelings had suffered a lot by the early loss of his parents and all of his uncles and aunts. He avoided all sociability and had disdain for all conventions, which you could even see in his clothing. His way of life was very Spartan and he hated any luxury; although he could have afforded any comfort, his way of living stayed very austere. In this way he also influenced his children, whose education, by the way, he left to his wife. My mother was the personification of kindness, whom we children loved in a divine way. She took care of the poor and sick people on the property Zlin in a charming way, and spent most of her income on charity. She was a very pious woman, but far from bigoted; this was the way she educated her children and influenced especially my religious feelings, as I was her youngest child.

There existed a very tight and loving union between my sister Marianne and me, which still was increased by the compassion I had for her terrible sufferings, caused by a meningitis in her early childhood. Nevertheless we spent a very happy childhood together, especially in summer in Zlin. Wintertime Marianne mostly spent in a southern climate. These trips took her to southern France and Italy, where in Rome she was delighted by the fine arts. On these trips she was accompanied by one of her invited cousins; mostly it was Nanine Henneberg, and her truthful attendant, Marie Holweck. Marianne was a kind, good, noble-minded person who endured her suffering, which imposed so many privations on her, with a remarkable equanimity. Her life was dedicated to alleviating the misery and distress of her fellowmen.

Very different was my relationship with my brother Poldi. As he was 11 years older than I was, I had no childhood remembrances of him. From hearsay, I knew he was not very fond of books - he had failed to pass his exams at high school in Brünn, whereupon our father sent him to a very good and severe boarding school in Vienna. But his stay there didn’t last long. As he didn’t like the severe treatment and the bad food, he decided with some other like-minded fellows to escape from the institute, which they succeeded in doing on a stormy night. His arrival at home didn’t receive great welcome. To return him to public school didn’t seem advisable, so it was decided to engage a private tutor for Poldi to continue his studies. Soon the right person was found; it was Josef Gottwald, himself a medical student who because of financial problems had to quit his studies and who had already been very successful in two former aristocratic homes, at Count Widmann’s in Wiese and Count Zierotin’s in Blauda. This Gottwald was a good example of a tutor, a very well educated, severe, law-minded person. But aside from being a humble and diligent schoolmaster, he nevertheless had the fault of too much pedantry, which prohibited him from earning his pupil’s love. Yet he succeeded in getting Poldi through his remaining classes of high school and baccalaureate. Poldi then carried courses at the Technical University of Brünn and founded there the Corps Marchia. The following year he went to the Technical University of Prague where he followed the chemical courses. Besides that, he participated in a lot of sports and was a very able, strong, muscular gymnast and a good fencer. He had a good sense for arts and a lot of smaller talents, which only needed to be trained. He had a fine musical ear, a nice tenor voice, and played cello and piano. He also was a good designer and would have been a good architect if he could have dedicated his studies to that. Our father didn’t want him to be an architect, because he wanted him to be a cloth manufacturer. This was understandable due to the importance of the textile industry in Brünn. Next Poldi was sent abroad to study textiles in Reims, where he stayed with the manufacturer Marteau’s family. Marteau’s wife was a very beautiful German lady and they had a very musically gifted ten-year-old son. Later he grew to be the very famous violin virtuoso Henri Marteau, with whom Poldi stayed in contact till his death. From Reims Poldi went one year later to Lille and from there, after a short stay, to Barcelona where he ended his practical formation.

Let’s get back to my own person. As I saw the light on October 27th, 1869, in Brünn, our old family doctor, Dr. Linhardt, said jokingly, as he looked at my uncommonly great head: “This one either gets hydrocephalus or he will be a genius.” I think neither of the prophecies came true; neither did I get a hydrocephalus nor was I a genius; I had to be satisfied with an extraordinary memory and a fast comprehension. This way I could manage my homework at high school in a very short time; although I had, besides school, French, English, Czech, piano and violin classes, I never used night hours for my studies. My teachers didn’t want to believe that I could manage all these classes and were foreseeing my failure. As I finally received my excellent grades as 3rd in a class of 39, I got credit for the rest of my school years and no warnings anymore. Of course I had no time left over for sports. Unlike my brother Poldi, whom as a child I admired for his strength, I wasn’t so strong and was not a good gymnast; but I was a quite good horseback rider and fencer.

My childhood memories go very far back and are mostly connected with the summer months we stayed in Zlin. So I remember very well the day, although I was only 2 ½ years old, when the stage-coach which made the connection to the train station in Napajedl, 15 km away, stopped at the gate of the park. Out came a lady from Alsace, whom my mother had hired, who introduced herself as the French governess Marie Holweck. The first impression for us children was crushing, because she was rather ugly and had an unusual beard that disfigured her face. She understood no word of German, so communication, for us children, was rather difficult in the beginning. Nevertheless, this young girl managed this difficult situation and in a very short time gained not only our love but also the love and confidence of my parents. Thereafter she stayed for 50 years uninterruptedly in our family. I was completely given over to her nursing and teaching of French, and she did that so well that after a year I was babbling just as well in French as in German.

As long as I hadn’t entered high school, I spent every summer with my parents and my sister at Zlin. My playmates were at that time the sons of the estate functionaries, a son of the mayor of Zlin and I didn’t disdain the company of some employees’ boys. Besides that, I found the company of a little French boy, who was temporarily sidetracked to Zlin with his mother and sister. His father, Mr. Robert, was manager of the Viennese branch of a French shoe factory. He had connections to Zlin, which at that time could already be called a shoemakers’ town because it had within 2,000 inhabitants 75 shoemakers’ workshops. Mr. Robert had a foreman called Slamena, who was from Zlin. Mr. Robert’s little son André had a natural defect of a shorter leg, which always had to be put in a splint. Viennese doctors advised them to strengthen him in fresh forest air. Slamena had called Mr. Robert’s attention to Zlin, famous for its healthy air, and that’s why he was renting a house on our property and moved his family to Zlin. They visited my parents and soon a friendship developed between the two children of same age.

In the neighborhood I had as playmates only the sons of Count Sternberg in Pohorelitz, who were of the same age. One of them was Moncsi Sternberg, who later on gained a rather dubious celebrity. He at that time was already a violent guy whom, because he was teasing me too much, I thrashed in the presence of both of our parents. For this I got appreciation from his father. Among our neighbors there were still Count Stockau in Napajedl and Baron Stilfried in Wisowitz, but with them we had no special contacts. We did have contact with Mr. Von Gyra in Klecuvka, mainly because of my mother’s friendship to Mrs. Von Gyra, and our families got better acquainted.  Katherine von Gyra was a born Zechani, niece of the ambassador to Greece, Baron Sina in Vienna, who gave her as a wedding present the estate Klecuvka, in our very near neighborhood. Her son Konstantin later married Mimi Baroness Isbary from Vienna, with whom Hedwig and I were on very friendly terms. Also, their only son Georges was a frequent guest in our house.

In 1874 the Emperor Franz Josef awarded my father the nobility, with the title von Buchenrode. It was in appreciation of his merits, which he gained as a longtime deputy of the landowners in the Moravian country council, as a member of the chamber of commerce and the municipal council of the city of Brünn, as well as through many charity foundations.

On October 1st, I started first grade at the German Gymnasium in Brünn. As our home in the Kröna was rather far from the school, I couldn’t come back for lunch. It was decided for me to take my lunch, during school time, with Mrs. Fanny Gottwald. She was a former helper at my mother’s household and married in 1878 Poldi’s tutor, Josef Gottwald, who meanwhile had a job as a librarian at the German University in Brünn. They had a nice home, quite near to the Gymnasium, so I could have a rest and study with Mr. Gottwald. This situation went on till Mr. Gottwald’s death in 1886.

At the end of April 1883, as all was prepared to move to Zlin, I came home from school with a shivering fit. The fever climbed to 41 degrees and I lost consciousness, which I recovered only nine days later. When I woke up after the crisis, bathed in sweat but saved, I was told that the doctors had diagnosed typhoid fever and pneumonia. I was released from school for the current period. My recovery was fast, and I could be taken to Zlin a few weeks later. To make up for the missed school time, my schoolmate Viktor von Geschmeidler was invited to Zlin and henceforth was a permanent vacation guest. In the following year my second school friend Franz Kreuter joined us, too. He was very musical and an excellent violinist. I also made progress with my violin, so we decided to form a string quartet. Kreuter played the first violin, I the second, and two other mates, Bayer and Kafka, played the cello and viola. We took great pleasure in these musical evenings at my parents’ place in Brünn. To satisfy our literary demands we founded, on suggestion of our schoolmate, Egon Zweig, a readers' club. The members, naturally only males, met regularly every Sunday afternoon to read dramas with distributed roles. This readers’ club was highly esteemed by all colleagues and often-violent struggles were fought for its presidency. The female roles were also represented by boys, and so it happened that a very ugly Jewish boy, but excellent declaimer, called Pollach was given the role of the Virgin of Orleans and of Desdemona, which by no means interfered with our enthusiasm.

In 1882 Poldi came back from his study tour in Spain and France and started to work as a volunteer in the worsted-spinning mill. The work there didn’t appeal to him and he was looking for distraction in social life. Among the families he met there was the machine manufacturer Ernst Krackhardt’s, whose two eldest daughters, Marianne and Helene, were good friends of Auguste, daughter of the great sugar industrialist Baron August Stummer of Tavarnok. The latter was born in Brünn and a good friend of my father Leopold Alexander Haupt. He married in 1860, in Hamburg, Betty Melchior, a former naïve actress of the City Theater of Brünn. She was called to a theatrical engagement in Hamburg and thereafter was living there with her mother.

The brothers Carl, August and Alexander owned the company “Carl Stummer,” in Brünn, which was managing, for many years, the national salt monopoly of Austria. The field of activity got narrow for the fervid activity of August Stummer and soon after the end of the Italian war in 1859 he moved, with his brothers, to Vienna. There they renounced the management of the salt monopoly and turned towards the sugar industry. After the early death of the eldest brother Carl in 1873, August was the leader of the great companies founded by him. After just a few years, through skilful transactions, he was able to found the sugar industries Pecek in Bohemia and Göding, as well as Oslawan in Moravia and to buy the two big estates, Tavarnok and Bodok, near Tapolcsány. To take better advantage of the large beech forests of Tavarnok, the sugar factory was established and was run (mentioned here as a curiosity) by firewood. At the same time a sugar refining plant was set up in Tyrnau. A few years later, by request of the Hungarian government, the great sugar factories of Mezöhegyes and Kaposvár were established as a joint-stock company. Fifty percent of the shares were held by the Hungarian Government and 50% by the Carl Stummer Co. In appreciation of the great merits he had achieved with the Hungarian economy August and his brother Alexander were awarded the Hungarian barony. Poldi got engaged in summer 1884 to Auguste, daughter of August and Betty Stummer. The engagement was celebrated in the castle of Tavarnok on July 15th and the wedding took place in Vienna on November 16th of this same year. As Auguste had no brothers I was asked to be the best man, although I was at that time only 15 years old. For this occasion I got a tailcoat and I admit to having been very proud of it.

Poldi received from our father the estate Tökés Ujfalu, 1,800 ha, adjoining directly to Tavarnok and henceforth this property would serve as a summer residence for the young couple. Auguste was a very noble lady and entered the family well educated, intelligent and unselfish, always considering the welfare of her fellowmen. She was a perfect example of wife and mother to whom all members of the family looked up with love and reverence. As August Stummer had no male descendant and everybody was anxious that the name Stummer not become extinct, he made a petition in 1886 to adopt both his sons-in-law and to pass on to them the Hungarian barony. Albert Hardt was married with the elder daughter, Amalie, and Leopold (Poldi) Haupt with the younger one, Auguste. The petition was granted and henceforth Poldi and his descendants bore the name Haupt-Stummer.

In July 1887 I graduated with first-class honors at the first German high school in Brünn. As a reward I was promised a vacation trip and so I visited, after a short stay in Zlin, Poldi in Tökés Ujfalu and went on a trip with him to the Tátra Mountains. We climbed the Schlagendorfer peak (2000 m) and looked at all the beautiful spots of the Tátra. After a 14-day stay I traveled to Vienna, where I met my best friend, Rudi Rohrer. We then went on a trip together to Salzburg and the Tyrolian Alps. While seeing the Gross Glockner, we made the rather daring and not very reasonable decision to climb it, although we were neither prepared nor equipped for such an expedition. The first day we climbed as far as Adlersruhe (3,300 m). I was rather exhausted, so I left Poldi to do the last 500 m by himself while I waited for his return at the Adlersruhe shelter. The descent was without problems.

In the beginning of October 1887 I enrolled at the Law College of the Viennese University, and moved into a furnished room in Schottenhof. Although university way of life impressed me quite a lot, parting from my parents and home, for the first time, was rather hard. First of all, I didn’t know what to do with my great “academic” liberty. The juridical lectures, with their dry contents, had no attraction and as one could buy the professors’ written lectures at the University, I only seldom visited them. Besides, I was attending lectures about practical philosophy, with Franz Brentano, and history of arts. There was not much distraction from Viennese student life. As I didn’t have a lot of acquaintances in Vienna, I was rarely invited and would have been rather lonely had I not had Poldi and Auguste who stayed in Vienna during wintertime. Most of my nights I spent at the opera and in the theater, as the Burgtheater was at its artistic height. Life got somewhat jollier at carnival time, which I spent in Vienna as well as in Brünn. I enjoyed the balls and parties in Brünn more than in Vienna, because there I had more friends.

To get to know university life in Germany I decided to go to Heidelberg, for the summer term 1888, as I was told that it was very attractive there. At the beginning of April I started my trip that way and stayed the first three days in Munich, where I was very much impressed by the art treasures. Once I arrived in Heidelberg, I immediately looked for an apartment and soon found one in a little pension on the outskirts of the city. An elderly lady, Baroness Müller, ran it. She was a very original, fine figure from Mecklenburg, in her sixties and an exasperated enemy of Bismarck. Even with her clothes she expressed that, wearing always a “crinoline” similar to the one the Empress Eugenie wore. She had a lot of relatives among the Prussian nobles. Three of her nephews were studying in Heidelberg, Barons Axel and Jasper Maltzahn and Henning von Bülow. They often came to the pension, where I met them and we became good friends. They were active members of “Corps Vandalia” and wanted me to join, too; but as I would have to enlist for three semesters and I was allowed to study only one semester outside of Austria, I was accepted only as an official guest. I joined one students’ association, the “black association” called “Karlsruhensia,” which was recommended to me by Baroness Müller. It was called black because they didn’t wear any colored caps. They were mostly medical students, nice but rather simple people. At Baroness Müller’s pension there were lots of foreigners, mostly British and American people. At the university I registered for the law lectures, but seldom attended them. I attended assiduously the famous Kuno Fischer’s lectures, who was lecturing about modern-time philosophy. I really enjoyed these lectures, not only for their deep contents but also for their highly finished performance. I was always amazed by this man’s remarkable memory; without any notes, he could maintain his lectures for hours. My obligations with the black association were to visit two pubs and the same amount of fencing days in the fencing room every week. Besides, if some “elder man” appeared, a dinner was offered for the whole group. On Sundays we made excursions on foot; if it was far away we took the train. This way we visited the interesting towns of Worms, Speyer and Mannheim. During the Pentecostal holidays I made a trip of eight days, with a friend, so we got to know Frankfurt, Coblenz, Cologne and Bonn. My best friend in the “Karlsruhensia” was a geology student, several semesters ahead of me. He was Carl Futterer, who later on became famous through his book about his journey to China (Mongolia). Unfortunately he died very early.

Soon I felt very much at ease at the pension, well cared for by Baroness Müller. I was taking all my meals there. We were sitting at a big table for 16 persons. At the head was sitting the Baroness who, helped by her assistant, Miss Taylor, was serving the plates in a patriarchal way. Miss Taylor was a very elegant, but obviously impoverished, English lady, about 28 years old, who had taken me into her heart. She was still looking very young. Besides us an American couple, Mr. and Mrs. Weir, were staying at the pension with their son who was my age and an extremely beautiful daughter of 16, with whom I fell in love pretty soon. Her name was Julia and I often went for a walk with her and Miss Taylor, in the charming environs of Heidelberg. As Mrs. Weir couldn’t always join us, she had passed the job as a chaperon to Miss Taylor. But she missed the boat, because Miss Taylor wasn’t an effective chaperon. I don’t want to say anything bad about her because I must be grateful to her for many lovely hours. Nevertheless when Miss Julia appeared, Miss Taylor had to give way to the younger rival. We enjoyed especially the boat tours at night on the Neckar with moonlight and Chinese lantern illumination.

Several times I visited the student’s fencing ground in Hirschgasse, where the Corps and students’ association carried out and decided their duels. Finally I had to present myself there, too, because of a nightly trouble which ended in a sword, duel demand. Although I had not much practice in this sort of fencing, and my adversary was a senior-semester fencer who had fought more than 20 duels, I didn’t bother much about the affair. I got two hits on my head and my adversary one, but as my wound bled badly the fight was interrupted. It didn’t hurt very much, but I had to have a bandage on my head for several days, which was rather annoying.

Once at the Baroness’s place there was also something like a ball, in which her nephews and the younger ladies who stayed at the pension participated. Although space was rather scarce, we had great fun and I could show my skill as an organizer. This way time went by very fast and suddenly the day of my departure from Heidelberg arrived. I left this wonderful little town very unwillingly, because these four months during summer semester of 1888, without any troubles, belong to my very best memories. To bid farewell to Miss Julia was very hard for me. With the Weirs, who left the same day as I, I still made an excursion to Baden-Baden and Strassburg. A farewell gallop with Julia on the beautiful riding alley in Baden-Baden was the end of our happy times together, because I haven’t seen her since.

For the winter semester 1888-89 I registered again at the University of Vienna, where I stayed faithfully until the end of my studies. At that time I was living in Bellaria Street. At carnival time I divided my dancing skills between Vienna and Brünn. It is strange that I was never quite at ease in Vienna. The reason was perhaps my shyness, but I believe it was mainly because I couldn’t enjoy my contemporaries’ conversation and kept away from them.

In July 1889, my sister Marianne went to the health resort of Franzensbad. After she ended her medical treatment she was supposed to take a few more weeks at the seaside. She decided to go to Sassnitz on the island of Rügen and I was to accompany her there, too. I first traveled to Franzensbad and from there, with her and Miss Holweck, to Sassnitz. The rough climate of the island appealed to neither Marianne nor to me, so we traveled back home without having achieved the wanted result. During the trip I already didn’t feel well, and when we arrived back home I had to go to bed with fever. As I had no major complaints I didn’t give much importance to this flu. But as after five days there was still no change for the better, the estate’s doctor from Lukov was called. After a thorough examination he said: “You have passed a pneumonia.” My parents and I were set at ease, as the danger seemed to have passed. Unfortunately, a few days later pleurisy showed up. I had to go back to bed and felt for a few days very miserable. It was decided to end the stay in Zlin and to move back to Brünn, where our family doctor, Dr. Netolitzky, would take care of me. His opinion was that a prolonged summer would do me good and my family was advised to take me to Meran. My parents agreed to this and at the end of September the bags were packed for Meran.  Completely unexpectedly a blood vessel burst while I was lifting a heavy object and few minutes later this repeated. My parents were naturally very much upset, and I was brought to bed with greatest care. I thought my last hour had come. Happily the affair was not as bad as it had appeared; nevertheless, I had to lie still on my back for several weeks. The plan to take me to Meran was canceled; I should spend the winter in an even more southern climate. We decided to go to the French Riviera, to Cannes, the place less visited by consumptives and where we knew a doctor, Dr. Veraguth. As my sister Marianne also should spend the winter in the South, it was decided that we would travel together along with her attendant, Miss Holweck. My father agreed to invite my schoolmate Gschmeidler to spend the winter with me, so I would have a good companion. He gladly accepted the invitation. Considering my weakened state, Poldi and Auguste offered to accompany and help us on our journey. So we traveled on November 19th with the Orient Express to Paris, stayed there overnight and continued next day with the Southern Express to Cannes. The sight of the sunny Riviera was for me, who never had seen a southern landscape, overwhelming. We stayed at Hotel Mont Fleury, recommended by Dr. Veraguth, and had two great rooms with alcoves on the first floor, so we could use them also as living rooms. The owner of the hotel, an honest Saxon from Leipzig, was very attentive to us.  He was a passionate card player, so Gschmeidler, I, and another youngster from Vienna often played cards with him. For meals one sat at long tables and was seated by the headwaiter. We were lucky because we received very nice table-neighbors: the landowner Baron Plessen, his wife, and a five-year-old son from Schleswig Holstein. As we also were room-neighbors, we soon got into active communication and small Carili often came to play with us. We also made quite a few excursions. Further guests were two young couples from Argentina, Mr. and Madame Louro and Mr. and Madame de Souza, with whom only I maintained contact. Mr. Louro was a passionate card player and spent most of his time, better said of his nights, at Monte Carlo’s Casino. He was rather lucky in his game and once won 600.00 Frs., but at the same time he neglected his wife. You can’t blame her if she tried to take comfort elsewhere. I surely didn’t blame her for it. We had poker parties, but played for a very low stake, with the Souza couple and Mrs. Louro. One night Mr. Louro appeared and wanted to join us, but as the stakes were too low for him, he immediately risked 1000 Frs. which frightened the others. I sensed the bluff and held the stake; it turned out that my card was higher and I would have won the game, but both ladies protested that the stake was too high. So I delivered the 1000 Frs. bill, after which Louro tore it into pieces. Besides that, there were no disagreeable incidents. The most remarkable appearances in Hotel Mont Fleury were two Russian ladies, Princess Schahovskoy and Countess Woronzoff, who were striking not only by their beauty but also by their flashy jewelry. The Woronzoff woman had a little Mongolian touch, which granted her beauty certain piquancy. The rest of the guests were mainly from Britain and not very interesting.

The weather in December was often rainy, but with the beginning of January we had splendid weather, which often helped us to realize nice excursions. We went to see Marseille, where we stayed for a few days. At carnival time there was a ball in the hotel and I was appointed leading dancer. Besides that we went to see the carnival of Nice, and participated in a battle of “confetti” which was great fun. We were in Monte Carlo only twice. Gschmeidler and I played with little success, but Marianne had the rare luck to win twice “plein” (full) on one afternoon. She played the number 23, which was her age.

In March we received a visit from Uncle Schoeller and Cousin Heda, who on their way home from Paris stopped for a few days at the Riviera. Our stay in Cannes also came slowly to its end. The stay had done us both, Marianne and me, much good and Dr. Veraguth could dismiss me from his care as completely recovered. We left Cannes the 13th of April, but this time we took our journey through Italy and stayed a few days in Genoa and Milan. Finally we arrived in Brünn the 23rd of April and were received by our parents who had missed us throughout the whole winter they had stayed alone.

Soon afterwards I received an invitation to Uncle Gustav Schoeller’s sixtieth birthday celebration. Among the invited guests was Baron August Phull with his wife and daughter Hedwig, a young girl of 16, who on this day made her first step into big society. The happiness she felt about this filled her eyes and whole face with such a radiant look that my heart stood still for a moment when I saw her. This first impression stayed forever, and five years later this girl was my wife.

Meanwhile, my brother Poldi’s family fortunately increased. In their Viennese winter-apartment, Teinfal Street 1, the following children were born: Gertrud, 10, 27, 1886; Leo, 10, 14, 1887; August, 01, 22, 1889. The successively close births of her children had affected Auguste’s health and she was prescribed a cold water cure, which she took in August 1890, in the Suisse spa of Rigikaltbad. As I had finished my studies at the University of Vienna, and was free, I also traveled to Rigikaltbad to visit Auguste and Poldi. I loved the place and stayed for 14 days until Auguste finished her treatment. We then took a coach tour (no car existed at that time), starting in St. Gotthard, going first to the Como Lake, then over the Rhone Glacier to the Lake of Geneva. Poldi and Auguste turned back home from there, while I still made a side trip to the Rhine-falls in Schaffhausen.

In Rigi I made the acquaintance of a young Turkish diplomat called Osman Bey. He told me a lot of interesting details about the situation in Turkey. Later on, he was an important person during the young-Turkish revolution in 1908, but he seemed to have perished with it because I never again heard from him.

In October 1890, I went back to Vienna to the university and took first-class honors with my first public law exam.

Christmas Eve I spent with my parents in Brünn, where I also stayed for the forthcoming carnival. Social life in Brünn was a very active one. Besides the four nobles’ picnics, there were great official balls at the governor and major’s places and two officers’ balls. Besides that, seven or eight house balls (at the Haupts’, Phulls’, and Offermanns’, Teubers’, Brands‘ and Reibhorns’ places.) I danced the “cotillion” with Hedwig Phull at the first picnic, immediately at the beginning of carnival. We had a very good time and excellent conversation and as I arrived at home early morning, I was convinced I had found my future life’s companion. The next balls, where I had opportunity to dedicate myself to Hedwig, brought me the conviction that she had the same feelings that I had. With this certainty in our hearts we spent a wonderful and happy time through this winter and spring.

In November 1891, Hedwig’s grandmother, Mrs. Jacobine Staehlin, died in Brünn, unacceptably quickly by a stroke of apoplexy at the age of 74. This death destroyed our hopes for frequent get-togethers in the following winter season, because Hedwig naturally couldn’t take part in carnival events and at that time there was no winter sport; so we met only frequently at the skating court. So carnival 1892 passed without attraction. No matter with whom I was dancing Hedwig’s image accompanied me and I found no interest in the young ladies of Brünn’s society. I immersed myself into my studies and managed from January 1 until July 31st, 1892, to pass three exams of law, two of them with honors, and got hold of my doctor’s title.

Poldi and Auguste decided to spend the winter with their children in the south and rented for this reason a villa in Meran from their property neighbors Weiss. They also invited Marianne and me to join them. I happily accepted this invitation and left, in the beginning of March, for four weeks with them. Meran at that time was the meeting point for nobles from the Alp countries and was cramped with good-looking countesses but only very few young men to match them. Therefore, I was very cordially received and passed an extremely amusing time. In springtime Poldi went back to Tökés with his family as Auguste was again awaiting a baby. The grandparents Haupt (and I as a substitute of grandfather Leopold) were the chosen godparents. So my mother and I left for Tökés at the end of May, where on May 31st, 1892, a girl, named Carola, was born.

Once back in Brünn I asked for admission to the political composition department of the government and my request was granted. On August 15th, 1892, I received my attachment to the department 1 (culture), whose boss was Baron Bamberg. He was a very intelligent and educated person but extremely malicious and let his subordinates feel it. Physically he was a caricature; two meters long, deaf and very shortsighted. He liked to tease me that I was dispatching too few documents, until one day I lost my patience and replied to him: “Yes, so many documents a boss can sign but a subordinate can’t supply.” My companion in the room, Dr. Gerstner, burst into loud laughter, but my friendly terms with Bamberg weren’t interrupted. Poor man, a few years later, he became blind and committed suicide.

The Phulls passed the summer months in Adamstal, near Brünn, where they rented a small villa from Dr. Klob. My parents were staying in Zlin while I, even in summer, was bound to Brünn, with my work at the government. As a diversion I went on Sundays to Phulls, where usually a lot of youth were gathering. As I had horses at my disposal I could make the 15 km through the beautiful woods with a coach; this trip was especially romantic at night.

In November 1892, my schooldays friend Rudi Rohrer, in spite of the opposition of his future mother-in-law, married his longtime beloved Margarete (Gretl) Krackhardt. Hedwig, who was a great friend of Gretl, was naturally at the wedding party, as was I.

Carnival ’93 started very promising. Governor Loebl had brought to Brünn a bunch of young Polish composition probationers and they were a welcomed increase to the dancing-men material. They were, among others: Count Michalowski, Count Lassowski, Baron Hajdl, and Taddeus Loebl, son of the governor. In the following Lent, one was playing theater at the Haupts in the Kröna. The big hall in the garden section was just perfect for this purpose. April ’93 Clara Reibhorn married Count Eugen Braida, Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Regiment. The bishop celebrated the wedding in the cathedral of Brünn with great pomp. The bridesmaids were looking very sweet in their pink dresses; Hedwig was among them.

At the beginning of August I started my first four-weeks vacation. First I went to Heidelberg to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Karlsruhensia. There I met my old friend Futterer, who invited me to go on a tour through the Ziller Valley Alps, where he wanted to make his geologic analysis. This just suited me, as I knew that the Phulls were staying for the summer in Landro, whereto my hiking would take me without any problems. We started middle of August and drove first to Mayerhofen, stayed there overnight, started next day early morning to reach the shelter of the Pfitscher Ridge, 2000 m high. Futterer got sick there and I had to leave him and continue my wandering to Landro alone. I arrived, just before dinner, after 13 hours of walk. The Phulls weren’t yet in the dining room, because they had come back late from a picnic. The chief waiter appointed me a place next to theirs. Mother Therese was quite astonished as, on entering, she caught sight of me as a neighbor. Hedwig was very happy and showed this without any fear. I stayed for a few days in Landro, as long as the Phulls were there, and left together with them. The rest of my leave I spent in Zlin and afterwards started my work at the government office again.

November 1893, I passed my practical political exam with first-class honors. At the same time I was transferred from department 1 to department 3  (municipality and citizenship affairs) under municipal alderman Nasowsky. Work here was much more interesting and stimulating than in department 1 and I devoted myself with so much eagerness that I became known as an expert for citizenship affairs. Oktav Bleyleben, who was a member of the presidency, told me later that the governor Baron Spens-Boden, who meanwhile had been nominated instead of Loebl, told him that I was his best composition probationer. This good opinion helped me a lot later when I reentered Moravia Governor’s Office.

In the year 1894 there were no big changes in my life. Now, as before, my heart was engaged and Hedwig and I were only waiting for my call to the Foreign Office to declare myself definitively. This occurred in December 1894, and I started my work in Vienna on January 1st, 1895. I wanted to participate at the carnival of Vienna to make sure that my conviction and decision to marry Hedwig was steady and confirmed. I plunged into the so-called second society (military, high civil servants and also finances). Mostly I mixed with the families of Gablenz, Oldofredi, Konradsheim and Pasetti. Among the gentlemen of the society there was a young man, Baron Forstner, with whom I made friends, but unfortunately he died very soon. In summertime Forstner and I used to go to the Gablenz to Neu-Waldegg, where a lot of youth met on Sundays. I also was quite busy with my studies for the diplomatist exam, which was to occur in November ’95.

In August I traveled to the summer resort Weissenbach on Lake Attersee, where the Phulls were staying at a summer resort. In the beginning of September Cari and I went for a fortnight to Tökes, where we spent very delightful days. At Countess Matuschka’s, an estate neighbor, there were three jolly ladies, the castle owner’s visiting nieces, whom we often went to see. They were: Baroness Malenitza, called Pitzi; Gabriele Rodakowska, a cousin of Mimi Rodakowska Lamezan; and Angele von Haut-Charmony. We did a lot of horseback riding, hunting, and once we danced in our host’s castle in Tavarnok. After this lovely stay I went back to Vienna. I was staying with Poldi and Auguste, who at that time were moving to Budapest. I stayed for another couple of weeks in this empty apartment and registered, middle of November, for the diplomatic exam.  We were only three candidates: Prince Carl Schwarzenberg, Count Herbert Herberstein, and I. I succeeded in the exam with honors, Schwarzenberg with good result, and Herberstein, who didn’t know anything, was rejected and as a consolation he was appointed military attaché in Paris.

The hard studies had affected my nerves, so I asked for six weeks of holidays that I spent in Meran, where Marianne was staying for medical treatment. There I met a lot of acquaintances and also learned to know many new people. Among them were the Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Berlin, Count Széchényi and his juvenile son László, who followed me closely, because we were both flirting with a good-looking English girl. He later married a Miss Vanderbilt and became the Hungarian ambassador in Washington.

I got a nomination as first secretary to the Legation in Tokyo, and had to go to thank His Majesty for it. For this reason I was ordered to an audience. It was the first time that I got to see Emperor Francis Josef. Immediately after that I got my attachment to the Austrian-Hungarian Legation in Tokyo, which I wasn’t happy about. When I got back to Brünn I told my parents I had accepted the job for Japan. The thought of so long a separation alarmed them very much. At the same time I also told them I wanted to marry Hedwig Phull before I left, since she and I had been as one for quite a while. I asked my father to call on Baron Phull and to announce me for one of the next days. As for myself, I had to leave once more for Vienna, so I could appear before the parents Phull to propose officially on the evening of January 20th, 1896. I got their consent, but at the same time they let me know that the thought of their daughter leaving for Japan troubled them a lot. But as Hedwig said she would go with me till the end of the world, all my doubts vanished.

Baron August von Phull originated from a very ancient noble family from northern Germany whose genealogical tree can be proved way back to the 13th century. Through the centuries one branch of the family moved south to Würtenberg, while the other part stayed on the ancestral seat in Jahnsfeld next to Berlin. Baron August von Phull derives from the Würtenberg line. His wife Therese, born Staehlin, comes from a patrician family from Lindau (Bavaria) who emigrated to Brünn. Hedwig was born November 20th, 1873, and had two brothers, August (Gustl), born March 24th, 1870, and Walter, born March 11th, 1876.

After having waited for several years, we now were officially engaged. To celebrate this event our true friends, the Rohrers, Aunt Auguste and Sofie, as well as Cousin Fritz Schoeller, gathered at the Phull’s house. All preparations for the wedding had to be rushed, because the ship we wanted to travel with, “Sachsen”(Saxon) 6000 t, from the North-German Lloyd, was leaving Naples on March 11th. The wedding day was fixed for March 2nd. Mother Phull and Hedwig had their hands full of work preparing the trousseau and shipping it to Japan, while I was in Vienna fixing all the details and formalities of our journey.  Even before our departure about six big tin-plated chests, with silver, glass, china and linen, were shipped to Tokyo on an Austrian freight-steamer. I was travelling up and down between Vienna and Brünn till the wedding day on March the 2nd arrived. I got the permission of Brünn’s bishop, Dr. Bauer, to have our wedding celebrated in the Episcopalian chapel of the cathedral by St. Magdalene’s vicar, Jakob Bartos.  After the ceremony at the cathedral we had, in the apartment of Aunt Auguste Schoeller, an evangelical blessing by Dr. Trautenberger. Our wedding witnesses were, for me Uncle Raul Krieghammer, and for Hedwig, Uncle Gustav Schoeller. After the church ceremonies, all the guests gathered at the Phull’s apartment, where the lunch was served. At 3:30 p.m. the moment arrived when we had to say goodbye to parents, brothers and sisters. Due to the circumstances, it was understandable that this was a very hard moment. We left by train to Vienna where we stayed at the Hotel Bristol. Next day, we received a charming visit from the grandparents Stummer, who wished to see us once more. We took the sleeping car, at night, to Venice, where we stayed at the Grand Hotel. There my cousin Edi Friedenfelds, a navy lieutenant stationed in Pola, visited us. I questioned him a lot about the circumstances in Japan and China. He had recently spent two years on an Austrian cruiser in East Asia. He stayed mainly on the Jangsekiang River and from there they went to different places in China. His descriptions weren’t very encouraging. No railways were existing in China. Travelling had to be done on the great rivers or by horseback. The night stops were in very miserable places. Summarizing, he explained to me, only very healthy people with excellent nerves could stand the burdens of such a kind of journey. But these were the qualities I least possessed. My decision to dare this journey was badly shaken. After a walk on the Marcus Square, cousin Edi left that very evening, back to Pola.

Next day we left for Rome, where we stayed at the Grand Hotel; and as it was overbooked we got the Prince’s room for the normal price. There awaited us my old driver Emil, an honest Saxon, now our chamberlain, and our maidservant Marie, an elderly, well-traveled, but not very pleasant person. They were supposed to accompany us on our way to Japan. In Rome we stayed only two days and looked at the most famous objects of interest. I also paid my respects to the Austro-Hungarian ambassador and my colleague, Baron Flottow, recently nominated an attaché. I was envying him this position, which I rather would have had. On March 9th we traveled to Napoli, where we stayed for only one night and then boarded the Lloyd’s steamer “Sachsen” that had just arrived. There we had our first disappointment. Due to overbooking, my reservation for a first-class double-bed cabin to Japan couldn’t be accommodated and we got a small cabin next to the engine room. The heat was unbearable, besides having cockroaches, which weren’t helpful in making our stay more agreeable. I of course created a rumpus, but could get a promise for a better cabin only after Bombay. So we went to bed very concerned about it. As I couldn’t sleep, I went before sunrise to the upper deck to scrutinize once more my decision to start this journey. A messenger came up at that time with a telegram from the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office asking me to wait for the Ambassador, Count Wydenbruck, in Shanghai and to accompany him to Peking. This meant I would have to leave Hedwig in Shanghai under our counsel general Mr. and Mrs. Haas’s guard. I also wasn’t equipped for such an expedition that would occur mainly on horseback. This telegram brought the decision. The thought of being separated from Hedwig in a foreign country for a long time seemed to me unbearable. I also wasn’t disposed for the harassment of such a ride. I conferred about this new situation with Hedwig and our decision to cancel the journey was very quickly made. Our innumerable luggage had to be unloaded in haste and taken to the island under the control of Emil and Marie, who were very disappointed to leave the boat just when the military band was playing for the farewell of the boat. I sent a telegram to Aulic Councilor von Mittag that I was not able to travel because of sickness and that I was ready to take the consequences and to quit the diplomatic service. We wrote letters of similar content to our parents, but telling them we were in good health and intended to make a longer honeymoon. With a relieved feeling I saw the “Sachsen” in the distance disappear. Only then we started our beautiful honeymoon.  Italy’s journeys were so often described that I will not repeat all that was said before or make a Bädeker’s “Italy” (German travel guide) excerpt. I am content to enumerate the places we visited. First we stayed a few days in Naples, especially to be able to see Pompeii. From there we sent Emil and Marie, with the unnecessary luggage, back home to wait for us there. In Rome we stayed about six days and stopped at a smaller hotel, because I wanted to avoid a meeting with my colleagues from the Embassy. Our next stop was Florence where we stayed four days. Meanwhile it turned springlike and we went, passing Milan, to Palanza at the lake of Maggiore, where we spent the Easter holidays and set out for Bellagio at Lake Como. Once we made an excursion with two oarsmen rowing boat and got into a bad storm, which left our trip rather unpleasant but we eventually got out of it safe and sound. From Bellagio we went back for three days to Milan, then to Verona where the tremendous Scaliger’s gothic tombs impressed us more than Julia’s supposed home. From Verona we left for Venice where this time we stayed longer. Our next aim was Triest. There we inquired, at the Austrian Lloyd, the whereabouts of our big luggage that was shipped directly to Japan. We were told that it was unloaded in good shape in Kobe, the nearest harbor to Europe, and was awaiting shipping orders. I immediately ordered it back to Triest. At the Lloyd’s agency in Kobe they, by mistake, shipped back another diplomat’s luggage instead of ours. It took several months to get this mistake straightened out, but finally we received in a miraculous way our luggage undamaged. From Trieste we made a few days’ trip to Abbazia and then started, mid-May, our way back to Zlin. My parents, with Marianne as well as the Phulls, were waiting for us there. Unfortunately our return wasn’t unclouded because we found my mother in a very bad mood. The melancholic depression she had after our departure was still continuing, and it wasn’t before another few years that she more or less reached her balance again. After the wonderful weeks of honeymoon this contrast of depressive mood at home was painful. On top of this, a few days after our arrival, I also got sick with fever. As the doctors couldn’t explain the reason, they were supposing I could have gotten a malaria infection in Napoli; they suggested for the benefit of the nerves to take a cold water cure in Reichenhall. This proposition suited us very well and so we left already mid-June with Marianne and Miss Holweck to the salt city. We met different friends there: the Couple Count Dessewffy, and a young Baron Bruxelles, with whom we had a steady tennis party. Walter Phull joined us, too, when he came to visit us. The cold water cure did me a lot of good and just a few days later I felt excellent. After a three-week stay at the spa we got back to Zlin. We visited from here Aunt Jenny Pokorny, my mother’s sister, in Pressburg (Bratislava), where her husband was seated with his division. I also took Hedwig to Tökés to Poldi’s where she was very well received and liked to stay. We met there Aunt Thesy Henneberg and Nanine. Aunt Thesy died a few months later in Gilli.

The worries about my future followed now, because it seemed dubious that after my withdrawal from the Foreign Office I would be readmitted to Moravia’s Government Service. The governor still was Baron Spens, who formerly had praised me a lot; this happened to be useful now. When I personally went to see him and asked for my readmission to the Government Service, he greeted me very heartily and immediately gave his approval to my request. I asked for a job at the district office of Göding, which I preferred because it was very near to Zlin. Baron Spens also approved this wish of mine. From Brünn I went to Gödig to present my homage to the district manager, Baron August Fries, whom I also knew from former times; he also greeted me very cordially. The next days I spent looking for an apartment. Finally I succeeded in finding an empty schoolhouse with four rooms, which were divided by a large porch into two pairs of two rooms each, plus side-rooms.

As I wanted to have horses and a carriage I also had to find a place for them. Now we drove with my mother-in-law Therese for several days to Vienna to order the furniture. From the stock of Archduke Otto (von Hapsburg) I bought a pair of wonderful half-blood horses, and although they were over 12 years old they served me well for another ten years. One of the mares, Ariosa, brought me four beautiful foals. A few weeks later I bought a riding horse from Roderich O’Donnell, 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Regiment. The setting up of our apartment, with which our cousin Fritz Schoeller, (at that time a 6th Dragoon lieutenant there), was very helpful, progressed quickly and so we were able to move to it in the beginning of August, 1896. I was able to start my job at the district management of Göding on September 1st. On September 17th, 1896, Hedwig’s grandfather, Gustav Adolf Staehlin (1816-1905), was celebrating his 80th birthday. For this occasion there was a big family and friends get-together at the Phull parents’ apartment.

Once back in Göding I dedicated myself with great eagerness to my job. The district management’s personnel consisted of, besides the manager Baron Fries, an older district clerk named Hlosek, and the composition (law clerk) Baron Sterneck, who soon was transferred to Ungarisch Hradisch. I then had to take over his jobs. Baron Fries was a very nice boss but lacking in energy; however, his much younger wife, born Marie-Luise von Tersch, possessed enough of it.   She was like her mother a very much in need of love and gay person, who was most popular with the dragoon officers stationed in Göding. Hedwig, although of the same age, didn’t get along with her. Among the 6th Dragoon 4th squadron stationed in Göding there were two younger couples, Baron Weber and von Rodakowski, who were our best friends. Hedwig’s best friend was Mimi Rodakowska, born Countess Lamezan. Carl von Dittel and his wife Elsa, born Mautner Markhof, also were among our acquaintances. They had a small property (Josefsdorf) just next to Göding. In our cozy little apartment we felt very much at ease, although during my office hours Hedwig was sometimes lonely. Mama Therese came visiting from time to time, as well as other friends from Vienna and Brünn. The warmer months’ evening hours we spent by driving out with the horse coach to the beautiful valley woods full of deer and large game. The only annoyance was the great number of gnats. The excellent terrain for horseback riding in the Emperor’s property let me have lovely gallops in the morning hours, when I often was joined by Helen Weber and Mimi Rodakowska.

Christmas we spent in Brünn with the Phulls in a big family circle.

In winter 1897 Baroness Fries, as president of the Red Cross, was organizing a benefit theater and I also had to act a part. Unfortunately Hedwig couldn’t take part, as she already was expecting.  Mama Therese came already at the end of April with the midwife Lady Zopp. On May 21st, Professor (medical doctor) Riedinger arrived from Brünn and on the 22nd, at six in the morning our first child, a beautiful, well-shaped boy, was born. Happiness was great and for the first time in my life I embraced and kissed my mother-in-law. At that very moment a squadron headed by Fritz Schoeller rode by our window and I could immediately tell him the good news. The first visitor next day was Papa Phull, the happy grandfather, who came from Brünn. The baptism was four weeks later in Göding’s church and the child was named Stefan Leopold August. The godparents were Grandfather Leopold and Grandmother Therese. But as Grandfather Leopold had a hemorrhage in his eye and couldn’t come, Rudi Rohrer represented him. The baptism dinner guests were the parents Phull, Gustl, Mama Anna, Marianne, Miss Holweck, the Rohrer couple and Mrs. Zopp. Mrs. Zopp stayed for four weeks and in this time Hedwig recovered fast and the baby was doing fine.

As there was not much space in our apartment, we looked for a larger one. Luckily, the mill owner Gmeiner, who was living in a nice one-story house, had to rent the lower floor of six rooms and offered it to us. We were happy to take it, and after cleaning and de-bugging the apartment we already could move to it on July 1st. End of July I took my vacation and spent it with Steffi in Zlin. At that time I also got my nomination as district law clerk. In August the 6th Dragoon Regiment was transferred to Enns and Wels. Instead of them the 15th Dragoon Regiment moved to Göding’s barracks. Among the married officers there were three very compatible couples with whom we made friends very soon. The officers were Captain Baron Skrbenski, Count Merveld and Prince August Lobkowitz. At the same time the state-owned stallion depot was transferred to a newly built barrack in Göding. The depot’s commander-in-chief was Baron Felix Bianchi, who also was a good and eager tennis player. As tennis was played also by the 15th Dragoons we often had good tennis parties in summer.

In 1897’s following months I had to master difficult and extensive tasks. First there were the municipal and district elections to be organized and managed which I succeeded in doing without any incident. Moreover it was striking how little interest the Czech population took in the district elections in contrast to the municipal elections where they took active part, although these had much less importance. This went along the line of Czechs’ politics, whose concern had been to hinder every strengthening of central authority.

In October 1897, the German centralism suffered a bad blow. At that time the Prime Minister, Count Badeni, a Pole, released language decrees in favor of the Slavic federations, without having asked the German parties’ consent. Through this so-called Baden’s language decree, German, which was used unlimitedly as the official language in governmental offices all over Austria, was pushed back. It meant that communication between governmental departments had to be made in the language of the first petition. The official German language that had partly replaced the Czech language was in a way deposed. Through this acknowledgment of the Czech public law we entered a disastrous way. This acceptance led to Mr. Benes’s (Czech politician and their first Prime Minister after the peace treaty) saying “détruisez l’Autriche Hongrie” (destroy Austria-Hungary) and finally to the peace treaty of St. Germain. Service at the political departments was extremely more difficult. The extremely crossed German parties immediately went into hard opposition and tried to hinder the coming into operation of this decree through obstruction in the Imperial Diet. For this reason Dr.Otto Lecher, Brünn’s deputy, made his famous 12-hour speech, whereupon the Czechs answered with street riots in Prague. Eventually Badeni was overthrown; the language decree got a slight mitigation but mainly stayed the way it was, so that the political tension remained.

All these occurrences preoccupied my father, especially because Zlin’s administration gave him a lot of trouble; and because of his high age, he couldn’t favor a solid reform. In agreement with Poldi and Marianne, I made the suggestion that he should donate the property of Zlin to Marianne and me and submit the administration to me. The value of the property, which was in a rather neglected state, was accepted with 300,000 Gulden. The castle was hardly habitable in wintertime because of its open corridors, the poor water supply, and the bad stoves. I started my administration by providing a water supply from a source above the Gertrud-wood, to the castle and to the farm, as well as two bathrooms with W.C, which were badly needed. With suitable changes in the castle, a second apartment was arranged for us so we could keep house independently.

My second administration deed was solid personnel reorganization. The employees were mostly over-aged, which resulted in misuses. The main guilt lay with chief-forester Jelinek, 75 years old, who had placed his son as economic clerk, as well as his son-in-law as forester controller, at the property. I retired first the old chief forester and dismissed controller Pfiffl, who had permitted a lot of arbitrary irregularities. Provisionally I stayed with son Jelinek as forester, but he soon quit on his own. After a few months, through administrator Elias’s death, this position also became vacant. So I had in a short term to replace the chief-forester, a forester, and the administration clerk. I appointed as chief-forester Alois Gabesam, a forester in Lukow with Count Seilern; as forester in Mlacow, Ludwig von Poglies; as administrator in Zlin, Ludwig Dolezal, an administration clerk with the sugar factory in Napajedl; and as a clerk Leo Vojtech, who just got his degree at the Agricultural University of Vienna. He was the son of a long time chief accountant Emanuel Vojtech, who up to that time was bearing the title of account-director, besides representing the property at the different municipalities as well as acting as the patron at the church competition-board. Simultaneously with this personnel reorganization went salary raises and as at that time there was no retirement pay for private employees, I insured all of them with the government’s retirement-insurance in Brünn. This was a great relief for them and took care of their future. As I had to do all these reforms in Zlin after my daily work at the district office, I had not much free time left.

After the Badeni fuss was over, work at the office got back to normal. I would like to mention only one extraordinary happening, which will not so easily happen again. I had to assist, as clerk and witness, at a deathbed marriage. This ceremony left me with an extremely sad impression, especially because the housing conditions were so desolate.

Christmas we spent for the first time with Steffi comfortably in Brünn. The same for New Year’s Eve. On that occasion Papa Phull made an amusing retrospective speech about the past year, in a poetic form.

Winter and spring 1898 we spent rather quietly in Göding as Hedwig was awaiting another child and we had great trouble with the different nurses for Steffi. June 13th, 1898, our second boy was born. Everything went so fast that Professor Riedinger, as well as Mama Therese (who was informed by telegram) came too late. As the second child succeeded the first so quickly the doctor’s opinion was she herself shouldn’t nurse, and so a wet-nurse was hired. Mama Therese found a new nurse in Vienna, Anna Überreiter, a Bavarian who immediately proved truly excellent. She stayed for over 40 years, faithful and loving for children and grandchildren in our family. As the children grew up, she continued as housekeeper for several years and asked for her retirement in 1932, because she wanted to spend her life’s last years in her hometown Waldkirchen, next to Passau. But she couldn’t accustom herself any more to the simple conditions and she always came back to us. She was happy to accept Steffi’s invitation to move to Sorok where she spent her last days. She died January 6th, 1939, after only a short illness and was buried in Sorok’s mausoleum garden.

Work at the district management was a lot of stress on my nerves, and as the cure at Reichenhall’s spas had done me a lot of good we decided to again spend my vacation there. Aunt Auguste and Mama Therese had rented in St. Zeno, near Reichenhall, an apartment where there was also room for us. We left already on July 1st to Reichenhall with Nana (Anna Überreiter), a wet-nurse, and the two children. Our hopes for the cure’s good result were soon frustrated as I got sick on the third day with mumps and the cure was jeopardized. Besides, little Wolfgang, who got this name when baptized, troubled us a lot because he, neither with this wet-nurse nor with three others we had for him, was not developing well. So we went back earlier than planned at the end of July to Göding, where a lot of work waited for me because in the meantime the district manager also had left for vacation. This overwork strained every nerve of mine and I decided to ask for my transfer to the governor’s office in Brünn, as office service at the second level was physically less straining. District manager Baron Fries backed up my petition and so I was transferred October 1st, 1898, to the district management. I was ordered again to the cultural department with my old boss, Baron Bamberg. We were lucky to get a nice and big apartment on the second floor of Kiosk 11. The owner of this apartment, Baron Alfred Klein, because of business moved to the sugar factory Drahanowitz and kept only night quarters in Brünn, on the ground floor of his house. Moravia’s governor, Count Vetter von der Lilie, inhabited the first floor; by all means we had good house companions.

In November 1898, we went to Vienna to attend the wedding of our cousin Robert von Schoeller with Mimi Seybel. This couple had four children: Leo, Ellen, Wolfgang and Werner. Christmas Eve we for the first time celebrated in our apartment in Brünn with the two children, both sides’ grandparents, brothers and sisters, great-grandfather Staehlin and the aunts. On February 6th, 1899, our cousin Fritz Schoeller, a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Regiment, got married with Zeska, daughter of Bavaria’s General Baron Fuchs von Bimbach, with an extravagant reception in Berlin. The German Emperor sent, by his adjutant, his compliments to the young couple and a flower bouquet to the bride. Fritz’s witness was Papa August Phull. This same year we were invited to three more weddings. One was Cari Rohrer’s in Vienna, with Marianne Schuster, whose father was a director at Nathanael Rotschild.

Other than these weddings we spent the winter very calmly, mainly because little Wolfgang’s health worried us a lot. Towards springtime the baby’s health got visibly worse and in spite of Hedwig’s careful and sacrificed nursing, helped by Nana, he finally got pneumonia and died on April 22nd, 1899. Hedwig was exhausted from nursing and badly needed recovery, so we traveled in the last days of April, with Steffi, Nana and Mama Therese to Abbazia’s Pension Quisana. The sea air was very good for her stressed nerves and little Steffi was looking very well. At the end of our stay Hedwig and I took a cruise to Ragusa, where we stayed for a day to visit this nice old city. After three weeks, well recovered, we went back to Brünn and, after a short stay, on to Zlin where we spent most of the summer.

 

 Zlin 1899 – 1928.

This year (1899) we made our first visits to our neighbors and were received very cordially by all. They were the couple von Gyras in Klecuvka, Baron Stillfried in Wisowitz, Count Seilern in Lukov, Count Wrbna in Holeschau, von Baltiazzi in Napajedl and Count Serenyi in Luhacowitz. In 1900 we were invited to Seilers who gave a big garden party for the celebration of their castle’s rebuilding. They had a fair, different popular games, a bicycle race, an exposition of the famous Belgian cold-blooded stallions from Lukov’s stud, and many more activities. Many guests arrived from all over Moravia, and they were met at the railway station of Zlin with old-fashioned stage coaches pulled by four horses and driven by postilions blowing a fanfare of trumpets. This caused a big sensation in Zlin, at that time a small little town. The festival went on for two days and ended up with a big dinner party.

The combination of government service and administration of Zlin taxed my abilities, so I decided to quit the political department on December 31st, 1899. As every year, we got together for New Year’s Eve at the parents Phull. The new century brought us a family increase, in form of a much-desired little girl (on May 18th, 1900) who was baptized with the name of Dorothy. Aunt Auguste Schoeller and Poldi were the godparents. We spent the summer and most of autumn in Zlin.

In November we moved as usual to Brünn. In this year I rented, together with Edwin Offermann, the shooting ground of Cernowitz and Kirlitz, near Brünn. We had an excellent result in the first year and shot in Cernowitz over 1,000 and in Kirlitz over 700 hares and partridges. As hunting guests we had Papa Phull and Gustl, as well as Serenyi, Victor Bauer, Mitrowski, Huyn, Carl Offermann, Pepi Teuber, August Paumgartten and Diller. From now on, till the 1st World War, we held this hunting party every year, which ended up with a great dinner party at our place or Edwin Offermann’s.

As my father Leopold was no hunter, hunting in Zlin was very much neglected. Only the gamekeepers did the killing of the roebucks. On the other hand, Papa Phull’s hunting passion was enormous and he immediately succeeded on his first stalk in Zlin to shoot an excellent six-antler roebuck. This was the first roebuck shot by a guest. From this time on I paid more attention to hunting affairs as I also wanted to start hunting. The number of roes wasn’t very large but they were of excellent quality. Since 1896 Papa Phull was a steady guest in Tökés for the stag rutting season and was lucky enough to shoot his first stag this same year. With his extremely charming way and good humor he quickly got hold of Poldi and Auguste’s friendship and the children’s love. In this wonderful harmonious family he felt very happy and had a great veneration for Auguste. These days of stag rutting were Papa’s biggest distraction and had a “fountain-of-youth” effect on him. Gustl also was invited once for the rutting-season and had the huntsman’s luck to shoot three good stags. A permanent hunting guest was also Edi Rittershausen, Poldi’s contemporary, who once, because the high level of game had to be reduced, during one season shot 14 inferior stags. For myself I only arrived in the year 1900 for the rutting season in Tökés, as my public function with the government hadn’t left me any time. In winter 1901 we had a beautiful day of game and wild boar shooting, with good snow coverage and minus 23°C.

In 1898 the whole Empire was celebrating Emperor Francis Joseph’s fiftieth anniversary of accession to the throne. The Emperor announced that he would be happy to see on this occasion many charity donations made. My father donated 300,000 Gulden, which he paid to the Governor Count Zierotin.  Following the Governor’s petition, His Majesty awarded my father in 1901 the heritable barony. His name hereafter was Leopold Alexander Baron Haupt von Buchenrode.

In 1902 there were elections in Moravia for the Diet. I was elected by the German great landowners to the Diet and entered there the group faithful to the constitution (conservatives) of great landowners, whose president was His Excellency Baron Chlumetzky.

On March 3rd, 1902, our second daughter Edith was born. She was an extremely strong baby and her weight was 4×250 kilogram. Godparents were Rudi Rohrer and Marianne. In springtime we moved with the three children to Zlin. 

In August 1902, the great emperor-maneuvers took place in Zlin’s surroundings. We had the corps commander with his staff of 17 officers quartered in the castle and all the soldiers at the farm. During a few days the military band was playing in the park every afternoon, which was a great attraction for the local population. Finally we invited all the gentlemen for a big dinner party and I had to toast to H.M. the Emperor and the army. Hardly had the last troops left when new guests were announced. Our cousin Nanine von Henneberg’s wedding with Silvio von Spiess Braccioforte, major in an infantry regiment, would be held at our place. A big crowd was invited to this wedding. They were: Erni, the bride’s brother; Lieutenant Field Marshal Spiess with his wife (parents of the bridegroom) and their son Orestes; Aunt Adi Krieghammer with Ollo and Kurt; Alfred and Helen Zeidler; the couple Rudi Rohrer; Géza and Heda Szüts; the Phull parents; Gustl; Poldi; the Haupt parents with Marianne and Miss Holweck. It wasn’t easy to fit all the guests in the castle but Hedwig managed the difficult task. The evening before there was a presentation in which Papa Phull submitted the poetic text. The presentation was followed by a dinner, during which I welcomed the young couple and the new relatives. Everybody was in high spirits, and we were especially very happy that our mother’s nervous condition had improved that much, during the last months, that she could enjoy these days without being troubled by so many guests. Next day the wedding was solemnized in the patronage church in Zlin and was celebrated by Parson Ignaz Nepustil. At the wedding dinner Papa Leopold and Papa Phull made a toast to the newly wedded and Erni, instead of the young couple, thanked this beautiful family feast’s sponsor and organizers.  Nanine and Silvio left right away to their garrison town Hermannstadt (Transylvania).

In 1902 I shot in Tökés my first rutting stag with an extraordinary, setback eight-point antler, weighing 4×250 kilogram. Hedwig, who inherited her father’s hunting passion, escorted me on all my stalks and with her good eyes often served me as spyglass.

On December 8th I got sick with a bad pneumonia, but due to Dr. Mager’s good medical care and Hedwig’s sacrificed nursing I got over it well and could already participate at the Christmas festivities. For my recovery we decided to spend the winter at the Riviera, where 13 years ago the stay had done me so much good. We started our journey with the three children and Nana on January 20th, 1903. I had invited Papa Phull to accompany us to Cannes. We stayed overnight in Vienna and were frightened by Edith, at that time ten months old, who suddenly got a high fever. Dr. Mager, who happened to stay in the same hotel, advised us to continue our journey, as there were no symptoms of any serious sickness. We left the same day, the fever stopped during the journey, and we arrived in good shape in Cannes where we had rented a very nice apartment in Hotel Mont Fleury. We went immediately to see Dr. Veraguth, who had attended me so well 13 years ago and who was satisfied with my and the children’s physical condition. During our whole stay we needed him very little. Among the hotel’s guests there were several young couples with small children. Among others, Béla Zichy, who had an American wife and a son who was Steffi’s age; further, a Baroness Buxhoeveden, with several little girls and some other children so that ours had a lot of entertainment and in spite of the different languages got along with each other very well. At Easter we arranged for all the children to search for Easter eggs; that was a great success. Papa Phull who could stay only a few days enjoyed it a lot, and we also made a side trip to Monte Carlo from which he came back very happy with a small profit. We both were twice to Monte Carlo without big differences in games. The weather conditions were good during our whole stay. I recovered fast and the children were visibly doing well; only Hedwig, due to the lukewarm air, felt less brisk and suffered quite often from sick headaches. We started our way back on April 5th, 1903, but as weather reports from home were reporting cold winds, we made a 14-day break in Bozen and visited my old friend, Nelli Bittner married Koerting, who was living there with her family. On April 20th we traveled by Brünn to Zlin. Being with our parents and Marianne was very harmonious; they enjoyed the grandchildren and Grandpa Leopold never missed the children’s evening bath. Frequent guest was Aunt Adi Krieghammer, who had made great friends with the parents Phull. Evenings they always had a nice Tarok party together with the parents Haupt.

Moravia’s Diet sessions started in September 1903. At consultations for a new teacher’s salary law I made a motion, whereupon married teachers shouldn’t be contracted anymore, and the ones who were in office should renounce their job in return for a one-year’s cash payment. I was brought to this motion by the experience I had had in Zlin’s primary school, where the director’s wife, also an employed teacher, was permanently on birth vacation, which badly prejudiced the regular lessons. On this occasion I made my maiden speech, which was accepted by the majority with great applause. Curiously, German and Czech agrarians composed this majority, while the German liberals led by D’Elverts were against it. My own club’s chairman, His Excellency Chlumetzky, who had prophesied my defeat and had tried to dissuade me from making this motion, had voted against it. Nevertheless, the motion was accepted with a two-third majority.  Old Chlumetzky has never forgiven me this unexpected success for a maiden speech.

On afternoon January 28th, 1904, I visited my parents and on this occasion my father dictated to me a letter about his house in Ferdinand’s Street which he had sold to Moravia’s Savings Bank. This letter was quite logical with faultless construction; there was no sign that this would be his last utterance. I left him in the evening completely unalarmed. At night we were wakened by a telephone call from Miss Holweck, saying that Papa was feeling very unwell. Hedwig and I immediately drove to him, but we arrived too late. Papa had died shortly before we came in from a heart attack that put an end to his life without pain. He reached the age of 77. The funeral was on January 31st, 1904, starting from Jacob’s church and attended by a lot of participants. He was buried at Brünn’s Central Cemetery in the family grave where little Wolfgang had also been buried. As there was no grave monument till now, we entrusted the Viennese sculptor Professor Klotz with the execution of one. It was set up during the year 1904. The old Haupt and Lettmayer tombs were disinterred and transferred to the new family grave. Later, in 1935, I transferred all family members and the grave monument to Sorok, to the mausoleum’s beautiful garden where the monument was set up again. Papa had left a testament by which Poldi, Marianne and I were equal heirs and his widow was to receive a yearly rent of 180,000 crowns, payable by us children. The inheritance was about 12 million gold crowns, in addition to six millions which Papa had given to us children in life. One hundred thousand crowns were given to charity and, to gifts for employees, a further great sum was distributed. Dr. Otto Janicsek, a lawyer in Brünn, was nominated the testament’s executor, to whom I also passed the administration of the houses in Brünn. At the distribution I stayed with the seven houses of Brünn valued at a rather low price, while Poldi stayed with the equivalent in Hungarian government bonds. Marianne and Mama passed the administration of their fortune on to me, as Poldi had little interest, comprehension and time for affairs in Brünn.

As the apartment in the Kröna didn’t meet the modern standards of comfort, I bought for Marianne in summer 1904 the houses number 3 and 5, with a large garden, on Carlsglacis. The price was 320,000 crowns. Marianne furnished a beautiful, sunny eight-room apartment for Mama and herself. 

A further important decision I took after Papa’s death was to rebuild the castle of Zlin. With this task I charged a young gifted architect from Vienna, called Leopold Bauer, who was recommended to me by my friend Carl Reissig. The plans he presented to us were very well discussed and changed several times, as Bauer, a very modern artist, was anxious to carry through his ideas completely. We rejected many of his plans and finally convinced Bauer to maintain, at least outside, the old style of the castle. Bauer’s practical ideas and advice were excellent. The most important changes were:

1. - Completely new woodwork on the roof and eliminating the little ugly wooden tower.

2. - The completion of the arcades of the courtyard, where the fourth wing was missing.

3. - The addition of a stairway. The old stairway was demolished and in its place a large eight-meter-high hall was erected, from which an open oak stairway led to the second floor.

4. - Upgrading the existing water system, and building three additional bathrooms.

5. - The installation of a private electric-generating system for the castle and the outbuildings, as well as for the houses of employed personnel.

Rebuilding started on July 1st, 1904. As the castle was uninhabitable during this time we rented on the Semmering the Hotel Panhans’ annex, where we stayed with the three children from July 1st till August 18th. We had a few acquaintances there, such as Robert Schoeller, Skene and others. Painter Rosenthal Hatscheck was also staying at that time on the Semmering and wanted to continue there with Hedwig’s portrait with Dorle which she had started in Zlin and then finish it in Vienna. It was a unique warm and dry summer. On August 18th following an invitation of Poldi, we traveled to Tökés Ujfalu. The heat was unbearable. To everyone’s relief there was a tremendous thunderstorm with showers in the evening. A flash of lightning caused a terrible fire in the village of Bossany, which nearly devastated the whole place. Nevertheless we thanked God because there had been no rain for 80 days, causing a lot of harm to agriculture. We spent a very nice time with Poldi’s family and stayed on till the rutting season. Then we went back to Brünn.

Governor Count Vetter, who was staying on Klein Villa’s first floor, quit this apartment on December 31st, 1904. I rented it and joined it by winding stairs to the second floor, where we now had all the bed- and children’s rooms. To this enlarged apartment belonged a great hall which was excellent for theatrical plays.  Hedwig had the good idea to let the children play the dramatized “Max and Moritz” by Wilhelm Busch. Besides our children, there were as actors Fritz, Lotti and Gretl Rohrer, Willi, Lila and Reserl Teuber, Gorge and Robert Bleyleben. Steffi and Robert played Max and Moritz. A stage was set up in the hall and a stage manager from Brünn’s City Theater was hired for the rehearsals. The children were delighted and played so well that the stage manager said actors wouldn’t have done better. The costumes, all made at home, were a perfect copy of Busch’s original designs. The performance was on March 2nd, 1905, and started with a little poem, written by Papa Phull, recited by the three little ones, Dorle, Gretl and Reserl. At one time even Edith (three years old) was acting. “Max and Moritz” was such a success with the numerous spectators (more or less 100) that on general request we had to repeat the performance twice more.

Our third daughter was born June 30th, 1905, and got the name Hedwig Elisabeth (Hedalise). Her godmother was Auguste Haupt Stummer, with Gertrud as substitute. It was again a terribly hot summer. Staying in the rooms with about 34°C temperature was hard to bear; so we hurried to the country. At that time rebuilding in Zlin was nearly completed, so we moved at the end of July in a private railroad coach with all the children, Nana and Mrs. Zopp. It should be said that the castle’s rebuilding was very well done, providing all modern comforts and amenities.

Hedwig’s grandfather (maternal side), Gustav Adolf Staehlin, died September 8th, 1905, in Brünn at the age of 89, well cared for and nursed up to this date by his two unmarried daughters, Elise and Sofie. I went to see him a few days before his death. To all her sorrow, Hedwig couldn’t go to see him as she was taking care of Hedalise.

The year 1905 brought about the Portsmouth Peace Treaty on September 28th (Russia and Japan’s end of war). Russia’s bad defeat very soon started a revolutionary movement, mainly in the Baltic provinces; it, however, also was directed against the German nobility. Numerous wonderful castles with their rare artworks were destroyed by the raging mob. This same movement was also making itself felt in Austria-Hungary, although still in the underground. To prevent further growth of this movement, the Austrian Government decided to bring in an electoral reform, which was debated in Parliament in 1906. I reviewed the Government’s bill in several newspapers’ articles. In the New Free Press (Neue Freie Presse) I stood for universal suffrage, with plural vote for higher educated and propertied classes. This motion I sent as a brochure to all the members of the Diet and Parliament. Lots of them looked upon it favorably and Dr. Stransky, the leader of the Czech liberals, had discussed it at length in Parliament. He called special attention to my impartiality and mentioned that I could be seen as the successor to Baron Chlumetzky as leader of Moravia’s Germans. Nevertheless, the Government denied my motion, because they had already decided for equal suffrage. Through the reviews I had written I got a good contact to the “Neue Freie Presse” and henceforth they accepted all my articles.

Aunt Elise Staehlin died after serious suffering at the age of 57 on February 23rd, 1906.

In March I was appointed trustee of Moravian Silesia’s nursing home for the blind. This appointment started intensive charity work for Hedwig and me in almost all the country’s charity associations. At much the same time I received an offer from the German Ambassador in Vienna, Heinrich von Tschirschky (Maria Stummer von Tavarnok’s husband), to assume the post of the Imperial German Honorable Consul for Moravia and Silesia in Brünn, as the successor to Baron Carl Offermann. I hired a secretary, named Pavlik, to be in charge of the consulate’s chancellory and I also charged him with the oversight of my seven houses in Brünn.

In April 1906 we decided to make a journey to Paris, which we both had never before visited, and on our way visit our cousins Johanna and Julie, as well as Richard Conz. We liked Stuttgart very much; it was at that time a friendly, not-yet industrialized, city and we had there a very nice time with our relatives. Olga Krieghammer, who was for two years attending the painters’ academy in Paris, made reservations for us in a hotel on Place de l’Etoile. This was excellent because there was no traffic noise, but on the other hand it took us an hour to get downtown, to Place de la Concorde. Some cars existed there already. We naturally visited the museums, especially the Louvre. In the evening we went to the opera to see Wagner’s “Meistersingers” and concluded that the Viennese orchestra was much better than the one in Paris. We also visited the theater Antoine; they were giving mostly modern plays. Olga invited us once for lunch in her apartment with the couple Seher-Toss Biedermann and her professor at the academy. Seher-Toss took us in their car to Versailles where we visited the castle and the wonderful gardens. But Versailles gave us a rather sad impression of a decayed greatness. Also in Paris I had the impression that its best and loveliest days had passed. But I was greatly impressed by the enormous distances, which largely surpass Vienna. Comparing the buildings’ beauty, I prefer Vienna. In the last days of April there was a gloomy spirit in the city, one which was pointing to an imminent great strike on May 1st which would stop all traffic. This unpleasant situation made us change our departure date to April 30th and we traveled back through Germany. We visited first Wiesbaden, which impressed us very favorably, and went on to Heidelberg, where I showed Hedwig my happy student-time places. We found my house lady, Baroness Müller, still alive and she was glad to meet my wife. She kindly invited us for lunch. We stayed for two days in Heidelberg; I visited the Karlsruhensia house and was happy to meet some of the “old boys” of my time. We also made a side trip to Eisenach to meet my school friend, Franz Kreuter, who had a job there as city architect. He recently had married a very nice girl from Nürnberg. Naturally we also visited the Wartburg and then left for Brünn.

Marianne had, at an earlier time, donated to me her part of Zlin’s property. Poldi had suggested to her that she rebuild at her own expense the little castle of Janufalu, quite near to Tökés. He had just bought the property after the Baroness Pidolis’ death. It should be a comfortable, nice home for her and Mama. Rebuilding had been started the same year, 1905, and was finished in spring 1906, so they could move that same year. Of course, every year they also spent a few weeks with us in Zlin.

I bought my first car in summer 1906, a 30 H.P.Dion Bouton, with an American roof.  We made a trial trip with Papa Phull to Trenchin’s spa to visit Mama Therese who was there on cure. On our arrival we found Steffi had a high fever; at first there was a suspicion of typhoid fever, but it turned out to be measles which were passed on, of course, to Hedalise. Nana was on her vacation so Hedwig took over the nursing and finally caught the measles, too. Our plan to travel to England with Auguste, Gertrud and Carola had to be abandoned. The children recovered quickly but Hedwig was badly worn out. For her recovery we drove by car to the Semmering and took Steffi along. After we got back from the Semmering we left for the rutting season at Tökés; there we also met Papa Phull.

The year 1906 was for Moravia of great political importance. In this year, following long and difficult negotiations, the “Moravian Compromise”, which had gotten famous in old Austria, was settled. This mainly consisted of Germans who (since the constitutional area’s beginning had the majority in the Diet as well as in the representative chamber of the country, although this didn’t correspond to the national population’s majority) spontaneously renounced this majority in the Czech’s favor. In exchange, Czechs had to guarantee exactly described national safeguards which assured the Germans far-extending national autonomy. The Diet’s deputy numbers were raised from 100 to 150; these, according to the national distribution code, were given only to commoner parties, whereas the great estate owners stayed unchanged with 30 mandates. Two national courts were established and their consent was necessary for all constitutional decree changes. This way Germans had a far-reaching national security. Great estate owners’ deputies had a prominent role in passing this compensation decree; the compensation board’s president, Alfred von Skene, who also was the great estates’ central party leader in the Diet, had done a good mediating job among the national parties. Finally all the Diet’s parties approved the whole operation. After this the Diet was dissolved and, according to the new electoral order, new elections were held. These resulted, for the first time since the Westphalia Peace Treaty, in a Czech majority in the Civil Service. The Emperor appointed Count Otto Serenyi, a great estates conservative, as Governor. The Diet elected eight board members: four Czechs, two Germans and two great estate owners. Through this Czechs could get a majority only in union with the conservatives. This compromise has done a lot of good and spared a lot of national struggles in Moravia. Changes were made among the German great-estate-owners’ party leaders. Baron Chlumetzky retired because of his advanced age; in his place Baron Richard Baratta was elected. Vice-presidents were Philip von Gomperz and myself.

On September 15th, 1907, Steffi entered high school in the German Gymnasium in Brünn, the same school where I had done my studies. He had been studying thus far at home with high school teacher, Josef Tonner, and was very well prepared for high school. I made a grateful farewell speech to Tonner and asked him to be in charge of Dorle and Edith’s instruction. On this occasion Tonner thanked us for the confidence we gave him, but confessed that he was leaning toward the left politically and didn’t know if this would suit us. I answered him that I didn’t mind his political persuasions because I learned to know and appreciate him as a human being. Steffi’s friends, Robert Bleyleben and Ernst Marschall, enrolled into the same class as his. The latter was an excellent student, but unfortunately died only one-and-a-half years later from a middle ear infection. Steffi adjusted well to school life and learned very easily.

Our children were great friends with Rudi and Gretl Rohrer’s children of the same age. This was the third generation with so close a friendship, because my mother had been the best friend of these children’s grandmother. In winter times, every Sunday, the children met alternately at our or Rohrer’s home. They formed a group that was joined by Fritz Schoeller, Teuber and Bleyleben’s children. Also dancing and Dalcroze lessons gathered the children’s group with us. But the very best for our children was vacation time in Zlin, to which they could invite all their friends.

Winter 1906 to 1907 we passed in Brünn. My mother’s nervous system had recovered so much that she again enjoyed sociability and decided to invite friends for a big evening party in her new Brünn apartment. Gertrud came to Brünn in April to participate in the evangelic church’s concert. She sang beautifully the alto part of Mozart’s Requiem. We had a gathering in the evening at our home and Gertrud delighted everybody with her singing.

End of May 1907 the famous botanist Gregor Mendel’s monument was solemnly unveiled. He was a son of Brünn and in the last century’s 81st year, in old Brünn, the Augustan Monastery’s abbey. A committee was founded with me as leader and other foreign botanists as participants for the purpose of erecting this monument. The famous artist Charlemont was charged with the monument’s execution. It was put up on the Augustan Monastery’s free square in Alt Brünn and I had to give the ceremony’s speech of the day. Afterwards there was a big feast in the German House’s hall. A great number of famous foreign botanists had come to attend this event. As chairman of the committee I had to welcome all of them, and they delivered their partly very interesting speeches of gratitude. This gave rise to attending Deputy Dr. Otto Lechner’s nasty remark, “Never had the German House seen so many intelligent people in its hall.” 

That summer during vacation time we went with all the children and Nana to Levico. We did the trip with Steffi by car (driver Krause), while Nana and the girls traveled by train. There the cure was drinking water from an iron source, which did the kids some good, but the rest of the stay was not much fun. We took a wonderful drive with Steffi through the Dolomites (mountains in North Italy). We made our lunch stop on the Rolle Pass in front of a wonderful meadow covered with Alpine roses. The mountains around us were covered with snow. We went on to Madonna Di Campiglio, where we stayed for a few days. We met there the couple Deutsch and undertook with them a mountain tour.

In autumn 1907 I caught a bad cold on a car drive in Zlin but it luckily turned out to be only a slight pneumonia. About the same time Steffi, who was staying for his school term at Mama Theresa’s, caught a bronchial catarrh. We therefore hurried our move to Brünn. Arriving there, we found Steffi already better but both of us were in need of recovery.

On New Year’s Eve, 1907, my nephew Leo was wounded by a shot fired by Adolf Leidenfrost on the occasion of a battue (hunt) in Hornyán, at the Leidenfrosts. Leo was standing 80 steps away from Adolf, the next hunter in line, who fired his automatic “Mannlicher“ rifle and missed the escaping fallow deer between them. With the third shot he lost direction and hit Leo through both liver lobes. Alfred Matuschka had just before this battue given Adolf L. some special lead-bullet samples to be tried; he otherwise would have used an exploding bullet with a hole in front. As August arrived from his distant position to the hunting-box, Leo was already lying in the bed. Gábor Matuschka, who was experienced with medical concerns, had ordered absolute immobility and took over full responsibility. Alfred L. ran in three-quarters of an hour, to Krenc and back, to bring bandaging material. Auguste (his mother) was sent a written note by a messenger. In spite of the bad wounding Leo recovered very quickly and won six weeks later a toboggan race in the Tátra.

In January 1908 we wanted to drive to Caux, above the Lake of Geneva, to condition the children by doing winter sport. Our departure date was already fixed when suddenly Liesl got very sick with diphtheria of the larynx. Due to Dr. Engelmann’s in-time diagnosis she was treated with serum which proved to be effective immediately and she recovered fast. So we could start our planned journey 14 days later. As we had to take Steffi out of school we took along a tutor, Mr. Neuhofer, for his studies, in addition to Nana. But we had bad luck; a few days after our arrival in Caux a measles epidemic broke out that made us leave in a hurry and we settled down in Territet at the Lake of Geneva.  We were very sorry about this, as Territet was not good for winter sports and at that time of the year didn’t have Caux’s nice sunshine. But we liked Territet and met there a few very nice people: Baron Pallandt, a Dutchman, and Baron Diengard, of the Rhineland, with their wives. They both were excellent clay pigeon shooters; I also tried this sport but with no success. But our teacher Neuhofer became famous by winning the hotel’s American skittle players’ competition against the best American player, much to the anger of the Americans and to Steffi’s greatest joy.

End of March 1908 Marianne, Miss Marie and Gertrud joined us in Territet where Gertrud wanted to take part in a tennis tournament. Gertrud was in very good form and lost only in semifinals with a slight difference against Territet’s best player, Baroness Trautenberg. In mixed doubles she reached with her German partner, Baron Lersner, the finals; but much to her sorrow she had to scratch at the last moment, as we hadn’t realized that according to our sleeping-car tickets we had to leave earlier. In Territet we engaged Marthe Dubath as governess for the girls. She stayed for many years with us and was very attached to the family. End of April we got back to Brünn and a few weeks later to Zlin for our summer stay. Soon we were starting preparations for Mama Anna’s 70th birthday that was to be celebrated on July 8th. The first guests were Gustav Schoeller and Rudolf Rohrer, Sr. They were followed by Poldi and Auguste, Gertrud, Carola, the parents Phull, Gustl, the Pokornys with their daughters, Aunt Adi and Ollo, the couple Rohrer, Jr. In the evening we had illumination and fireworks in the park, followed by a very sweet musical performed by the three girls along with Papa Phull; Aunt Adi had rehearsed them. Gertrud expressed, in poetic form, her and her brothers and sister’s compliments and good wishes. Poldi and Aunt Jenny Pokorny performed, in comical costume, a ballad song composed by Papa Phull, which added a cheerful note to the festival. The birthday ceremony started with the Holy Mass in Zlin’s patronage church, followed by all the property employees’ congratulations given at the castle. Finally, acting on the Governor Baron Heinold’s order, I had to transmit to our dear mother the Second Class Elisabeth Award given to her by H.M. Emperor Francis Josef for her great merits at the Red Cross, at the Crèche Association, and other charity associations. The Governor also informed me that H.H. the Pope sent the apostolic benediction to Mama by telegram. At the feast I made an enthusiastic, metrical toast celebrating the jubilee. Besides the houseguests, Vicar Ignaz Nepustil attended the party.

After dinner we took, with Papa Phull and some of the guests, a long walk. On our way home we noticed for the first time that Papa couldn’t keep his balance going downhill so that we had to support him. This incident didn’t last for long, but unfortunately repeated frequently.

In this year of 1908, Emperor Francis Josef’s 60th Jubilee was celebrated with a festive procession in Vienna. We observed it with Mama Anna and Miss Marie from a balcony in Praterstrasse. For this occasion the Emperor granted numerous awards and I got, at that time, the Francis Josef Commander Cross Award.

In autumn a military revolt, provoked by the Young Turk’s party, occurred in Saloniki. The revolters, headed by their officers, marched against Konstantinopel. The Sultan tried to hold up this onward march with faithful troops, but most of them joined the rebellion. The Sultan had to flee and was deposed. The rebellion leaders brought in a constitution based on the Belgian example and a younger member of Osman’s house was appointed to be the Sultan. Because of this the Bulgarians, who up till now were a Turkish protectorate, proclaimed their independence and Prince Ferdinand claimed the title of king similar to all the other Balkan rulers. Already one could hear the rumblings of Europe’s threatening thunderstorm, although only from far away and only perceptible to sensitive political ears.

Winter 1908 Marianne spent in Tökés. In early spring she came back to Brünn. Her physical condition caused us much worry. She had respiration and heart troubles, which could only be soothed with constant oxygen inhalations. We called for a heart specialist from Vienna, but he couldn’t give us any hope for recovery. Marianne was well aware of her condition, and her only wish was to help her different cousins who were in financial difficulties. She gave them large sums, and was happy to receive numerous letters of thanks, full of gratitude and love. These transfigured the last days of her stay on earth. She died like a saint, with complete trust in God’s grace, on May 22nd, 1909, at the age of 43. She was deeply mourned by her many friends and us. Besides her previously mentioned gifts, she bequeathed her eight nephews and nieces 1,400,000 crowns. A foundation was set up to establish a hospital in Zlin, which she endowed with 100,000 crowns.

A few weeks before Marianne’s death, Poldi’s father-in-law, Baron August Stummer von Tavarnok, died in April 1909 from pneumonia in Vienna, in his 81st year.  He was a man of mark, of uncontested authority, in the field of sugar industry. He was: President of the Austrian, as well as the Hungarian, Sugar Industry Association; the Austrian Credit Institution’s Vice President next to the President Albert Rotschild; on the board of directors of Hungary’s Creditbank. The Hungarian government esteemed him that much that he was awarded, as first tycoon, the honor of Privy Councilor, holding the title of Excellency.

My mother, who held out bravely during Marianne’s sickness, had a bad relapse after her death. She again fell into deep melancholic depression, so following the doctor’s advice we took her to the Purkersdorf Sanitarium next to Vienna. The faithful Marie Holweck accompanied her. After several weeks of stay, her nerves had calmed down so she could enjoy the rest of the summer in Tökés. She didn’t want to stay anymore in the little castle of Janufalu, as the memories of Marianne would have been too painful.

Steffi’s first grammar-school term came to an end and his grades were very good. As a reward he was allowed to invite his two friends, Robert Bleyleben and Ivo Kralicek, to Zlin. But there was an outbreak of scarlet fever, so we turned to Tökés with a request for accommodations. As we happened to be ten persons, they set us up in Janufalu. These vacations were very amusing; especially the three boys enjoyed their horseback riding instruction with stud manager Konrad. Naturally communication with Tökés was very intensive, as Nanine and her children were visiting there. As Mama Therese was on cure in Bad Gastein, we had Papa Phull as guest with us in Janufalu. Being together with him was very pleasant and he enjoyed the children very much.

Turkey‘s riots started to overlap into Austria in summer 1909, as the Young Turks Government didn’t want to recognize the Austrian-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and incited the Mohammedan population against the double monarchy. This induced Austria’s Secretary of State, Count Aehrenthal (after a famous conference in Moravia’s Berchtold castle Buchlau, where he came to an agreement with Russia’s Secretary of State, Iswolski) to declare the “annexation” instead of the thus far “occupation” of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This step caused great sensation in all of Europe and it seemed it would come to war. Iswolski affirmed that he was taken by surprise in Buchlau by Aerenthal and Berchtold and held firm as though he wouldn’t recognize the annexation. But as Russia was still suffering from the Russian-Japanese war and the painful consequences of the 1905 Russian Revolution, they weren’t prepared for a war. Influenced by Britain, they finally found a compromise by which Turkey had to recognize the annexation and in return received from Austria 30 million crowns. In addition, Austria was required to withdraw its troops from Sandschak-Novipazar, which was reunited with Turkey. For the time being war’s danger was removed, but the sparks were glowing under the ashes.

Prime Minister Baron Beck, on my recommendation, called my brother-in-law Walter Phull to the Department of Interior. Until now, Walter had been working in the district government of Bukovina under Aktav Bleyleben. He now came to see us in Zlin quite often, to the children’s greatest joy, as he was their favorite uncle.

In summer 1910 Hedwig went with Dorle to Bad Hall, where the little one was supposed to take iodine baths. I stayed with the other children in Zlin. In those days I had an accident which could have had serious consequences. I wanted to take a little drive with two of my own bred-and-raised young horses, taking Aunt Ady and Ollo along. Before I could get hold of the reins the horses suddenly bolted before the castle. I jumped from the coach to stop them, but the coach tumbled, and surprisingly, except for small scratches, we all were intact. The horses were rushing like mad through the park and smashed the coach to pieces. We celebrated Papa Phull’s 70th birthday on September 19th, 1910, in Zlin. At that time he was already very sick, so we celebrated only strictly within the family. The grandchildren, very sweetly, congratulated him in verses. After this we went to Tökés for the rutting season. Papa, to his greatest sorrow, couldn’t participate anymore in this beautiful hunting activity which he had enjoyed so much since 1896. He, therefore, went back to Brünn with Mama Therese.

As Dorle sometimes had trouble with her appendix, we went to Vienna midst of October to see Professor Hochenegg, who advised us to undergo an immediate operation. Next day the surgery was done in Hohenegg’s Hospital Löw with excellent result and we could leave for Brünn after only 14 days.

Papa Phull’s health had visibly gotten worse in recent times, but in the doctor’s opinion there was no immediate danger. That’s why we left in the beginning of December to go to a small shooting party at Zlin, but we were already called back on the third day. Papa had had a strong stroke that henceforth confined him to his bed. His sturdy constitution offered resistance for a few more days and he greeted us on our arrival from Zlin with the words: “How much did you shoot?” Shortly afterwards he fell unconscious and died calmly on December 14th, 1910, at the age of 70. His death left great emptiness and Mama Therese and we deeply mourned him. With his charming and lovable attitude he was very popular, even with strangers, so that deepest sorrow was general. Papa Phull was born in Esslingen, state of Würtenberg, in 1840 as the Royal Würtenberg Assessor Carl August Baron von Phull’s son, but lost his father when six years old. His father had died in 1846 from typhoid fever. His mother moved with both of her children, August and Anna, to her father, Supreme Court Councilor August Schickardt’s home where the children were brought up. His mother’s brother, Georg Schickardt, owned a chemical factory with Carl Hochstetter in Brünn and he influenced his sister to have her son August study chemistry so that he could later be admitted to his uncle’s factory. This is how Papa Phull came to Brünn in 1860 and, after having finished his chemistry studies, entered the Hochstetter and Schickardt Co. As one of the owners died soon after, the company was taken over all by Carl Hochstetter. After Carl Hochstetter’s death, Papa was appointed director general and he managed the company in the name and interest of Hochstetter’s widow, Justine, and their minor children.

In summer 1911 we wanted to go to the seaside and traveled with all the children to Lovrana. We went by car with Steffi and stopped on the way at Straussenegg to see Uncle Carl Haupt. From there we took along Cari Haupt, Jr. In Lovrana, where meantime Nana and the three girls had arrived, we met Walter, as well as Zeska Schoeller with her children. Everybody loved beach life. From there I drove by car to Brünn and on to the emperor’s-maneuver at Iglau to be present, as German Honorable Consul, at the German Emperor’s reception. Meantime Hedwig traveled with the children to Bad Hall, where I joined them after the emperor’s-maneuver was over. All the Rohrer family was there too, which helped the children to pass this rather dull stay. After three weeks of cure, which had good effect on the children, we turned back to Zlin.

On October 1st, 1911, August Haupt Stummer joined up as a one-year volunteer, with the 6th Dragoon Regiment in Brünn. Of course he came often to see us and was very popular with his three little cousins. Six-year-old Hedalise had already at those times signs of great musical talent and August, himself a fine musician, was first to identify her absolute musical ear.

We gave a big ball during carnival 1912, with more or less 150 invited persons and for which I had ordered the very popular Bachrich Quartet from Vienna. It first played humorous selections from the Viennese popular singer’s repertory. During the following dinner they played entertainment music, and afterwards dance music. Leading dancer was the 6th Dragoon Regiment’s 2nd Lieutenant Count Van der Straaten. Gertrud and Dalszi Latinovits had come from Hungary.

During summer 1912 we traveled with the girls, partly by car and partly by train, to Portorose next to Triest, a newly opened sea bath. Steffi had to stay for his school in Brünn, and roomed in with Mama Phull. Bathing in the sea did us all much good. We made a few nice excursions with the car to the Karst region and also some steamboat tours along the coast. We met nice people, among others the couple Baron Konradsheim who visited us later in Zlin. Back from Portorose, we received my mother who after this spent every summer in Zlin; the long trip to Tökés was inconvenient for her. Also Mama Phull was a steady summer guest in Zlin, and Gustl came often. In November 1912 Uncle Gustav Ritter von Schoeller died in Brünn at the age of 82. He was one of the most important cloth manufacturers and president of Brünn’s Chamber of Commerce. His successor was the printer, Rudolf Rohrer, and I was elected in Rudolf’s place as vice president on two conditions. I met the requirements that I resign my position as vice president of the German Section of Moravia’s Cultural State Council and retire from the Agrarian Party.

End of September 1912 a universally historic event occurred in high level politics. Four Balkan states (Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro) came to an agreement, with Russia’s sponsorship. Their purpose was to banish the Turks from Europe. They addressed an ultimatum to Turkey demanding that Turkey transfer the provinces mostly inhabited by Christians to the four allied Balkan countries. Romania, although a Balkan country, was not considered. The Sultan denied the order with indignation; the four allies declared war on him and went across the Turkish frontiers with their armies. On three battlefields the invaders were victorious. After several successful battles, the Bulgarians were directly before Constantinople’s gates, the Serbs in Macedonia’s heart, and the Greeks before Saloniki. With all this, a dangerous situation was created for Austria-Hungary. Romania also was exasperated, without prospect of being considered in the imminent division of Turkey, and was seeking approach to Austria-Hungary. I thought the moment was appropriate for Austria-Hungary‘s intervention and put my arguments in a memorandum that I transmitted to Alexander von Musulin, Councilor Legate at the Foreign Office. My trend of thought was: Romania is ready to take action with Austria-Hungary to procure relief for Turkey. The Balkan states’ armies have had great successes but are much weakened by many bloody battles. Their armies are all at fronts to the South and Southeast, 600 to 1,000 km away from their catering and reinforcement bases. If Austrian-Hungarian and Romanian troops would fall on their backs and the Turks at the same time attack from the South, the Balkan armies would be in a desperate strategic situation. With the enemy’s army on their back, they would have to do a 180-degree turn, an operation that, even without hostile actions, would be most difficult. Without foreign help, their extermination could be taken for granted. From where should this help come? Russia would be willing to interfere but they are not prepared for a new war after their war with Japan and their own internal revolution. Besides that, Russian interference would mean a Russian declaration of war on Austria-Hungary and Romania. This would immediately call on Germany, according to the Triple Alliance, a risk that Russia probably won’t take. Italy would probably make a lot of noise, but they also aren’t mobilized for a great war. Even if they would mount an offensive, they couldn’t break the Austrian’s resistance reinforced by the German army. One could negotiate one’s neutrality by small territory concessions. France is committed to Russia to help them with their whole army in case of war. As the majority of the French people are against a war, the French Government would surely agree with any measure to prevent a war. Britain could be sure of France’s support, proposing a solution to the Balkan question. Austria-Hungary should be glad to accept such a proposition, because it would give them the chance to express their opinion at this conference. As things were our staying neutral would mean we would be excluded from the peace negotiations. To prevent this should be the utmost aim of Austrian policy. Count Berchtold, who succeeded Count Aehrenthal in charge of Foreign Affaires, had no understanding of my ideas. But this way the first Balkan war was ended 1912, as well as the second in March 1913, without the cooperation of Austria-Hungary.

On January 1st we gave a lunch in honor of Oktav Baron Bleyleben, District Manager of Bukovina, who was recently appointed as Moravia’s governor. I personally greatly influenced this nomination, as I persuaded his Ex. Baron Chlumetzky to propose Bleyleben as governor. Conservative candidate Baron Albert Widmann was defeated. Oktav always gratefully recognized my intervention.

In the beginning of January 1913 Rudi Rohrer, after a serious sickness, was taken from life by a stroke of apoplexy. He was only 49 years old and I lost my very best friend since my childhood. After we both had married, our families got still closer. In his testament he had appointed me as co-guardian to his minor children. They were:

Rudi, born 1893, killed as pilot officer in 1917 in the First World War;

Fritz, born 1895, married to Margarethe Baroness Stöger-Steiner, died in 1945 (during his escape with his wife to Tyrol) due to the stress as he had to leave his hometown Brünn because of his involvement in political occurrences;

Lotti, born 1897, married to Geno Krützner;

Gretl, born 1900, married to Cary Machanek, died in an air-raid shelter during 1944’s bombing of Vienna;

Elisabeth, born 1905, married to Iwan Jassikoff.

The large printing management was taken over by his widow together with her father-in-law, Vice Mayor Rohrer. After the First World War, her son Fritz who had participated on the battlefield managed and enlarged the enterprise; his wife also actively participated.

Our good results on the children’s health from mountain vacations took us in 1913 for a longer stay to St. Moritz, a very popular winter sport resort. We left with the whole family, as well as Nana and Miss Renée. For Steffi, whom we had to take from school, we hired a student called Eschner. He was supposed to teach Steffi and do all sorts of winter sports with him. We were delighted with St. Moritz’s beauty and its sunny winter climate. Having received positive reports, our nephew Leo made up his mind to join us. He was doing a lot of winter sport, mainly bobsleigh. As a good dancer, he was very popular and in Hotel Kulm was known as the “beautiful Leo.”  Our children were skating, learning to dance on ice, tobogganing and trying to ski. At a Milan art dealer’s auction I bought at good prices a landscape by Poussin, a cross bearer by Bassano, and an old man’s head by Jordaens. On March 1st we got back to Brünn very satisfied with our St. Moritz stay.

Dr. Friedrich Klob, a lawyer in Brünn, died April 1913. He had been the Moravian Escomptbank’s board president. I was elected to his position. Moravia’s Diet was very active in autumn sessions, 1912 and 1913. In the first session a new hunting law was passed. I was elected to be the reporter at the plenary meeting and I succeeded in effecting the law against the opposition of the extreme agrarians. In this same session my proposition was accepted to pass on the Sylesian Moravian Blind’s Asylum, whose guard trustee I had been for several years, to the Government‘s Civil Service Administration. This institute, which was founded thanks to Moravia’s estates of the realm, couldn’t keep abreast of modern blind-care requirements. Their means were hardly enough to carry on the asylum. The existing reserves of about 600,000 crowns, which had been gathered by collections, were left to the board of trustees for the construction of an asylum for blind men. Another important law that was effected in this Diet’s session was the teacher’s salary law. The aim was for considerable salary raise; I was elected to this reporting, too, and as co-reporter got a Czech lawyer. Although the law was more or less meeting the teachers’ requirements, the radical elements weren’t satisfied and mounted an aggressive offensive. I had to defend the law against these attacks and did it in a rather cutting way. This caused present Governor Oktavo Bleyleben to whisper a remark: “At last a great landowner with courage who knows how to express himself.” Although my speech had caused a great row in the council-hall, the law was accepted in my suggested version.

On December 30th, 1913, we left for the second time with all the children, Nana, and Miss Reimann to go to St. Moritz. We had rented the villa Languard, an annex of Hotel Kulm. This time we had no teacher for Steffi but registered him in the local German gymnasium. Leo had enjoyed his last year’s stay so much that he influenced his parents, brother, and sisters to make a winter stay here, too. They brought as guests Dalszi Latinovics, Flora Selevér and Margaret Quimby. For help the former nurse Bernacek came, too. They were staying in the same villa as we and it was a very pleasant time together. Extremely delightful were, among others, the parties to Maloja, Pontresina, Morteratsch and the glacier. We were in big four-horse-drawn toboggans and the children hung on, some on small sleighs and others on skis. The evenings were always spent at Hotel Kulm, where they had dancing competitions at which Leo and Carola won the second waltz prize. We also participated in a bridge contest arranged by Count Leopold Sternberg.

My brother-in-law Walter, after a short service time in the Department of Interior, had been appointed district manager in Tamsweg (Salzburg). He soon was very popular, but contracted pneumonia after a year there. To recover, he went to Sanatorium Martinsbrunn, near Innsbruck. After a temporary improvement his condition worsened with pleurisy, which was seriously alarming. I learned this news at the beginning of March 1914, when I returned to Brünn from St. Moritz with Steffi who had to go to school. Having received a telegram that reported Walter’s condition as life-threatening, Mama Therese, accompanied by Fritz Schoeller, (I couldn’t leave Brünn at that time) left immediately for Martinsbrunn. But while on her way, poor Mama got the news of Walter’s death. He died on March 11th, the day Hedwig arrived in Brünn with the girls. The corpse was brought to Brünn and buried in the Phull tomb. This unexpected death of her youngest son, whose merry temper enchanted everyone, was a heavy blow for Mama. Although young, he was only 38 years old, he had achieved a good standing and had a promising career ahead.

In spring 1914, I bought from Baron Alfred Klein the house on Kiosk 11, where we had been living since 1898. It was a beautiful structure, planned by the architect Ferstel in Vienna, but very impractical in its inner arrangements. To shape this luxurious building in a more practical way, I decided to enlarge it with an out-building in the large courtyard. Further, I had added a third floor to the two existing ones on Carlglacis houses numbered 3, 5 and 7, which I had inherited from my sister Marianne, as well as courtyard wings to the large gardens and in this way raise income from these properties. To carry out these complicated changes I called the well-known architect Leopold Bauer from Vienna, who had done an excellent job rebuilding Zlin’s castle. After we came to an agreement about plans and costs, work was started May 2nd at Kiosk as well as at Carlglacis. Rebuilding and enlarging made the apartments partly uninhabitable, so Mama Phull had to quit temporarily her apartment in Glacis’ 2nd floor and move to a small apartment in Franz Josef’s Street. Our apartment in the Kiosk’s house also had to be cleared and I kept only two rooms on the first floor for the German Consulate’s office.

For Whitsuntide’s days we had invited Mr. Tonner, our children’s excellent and beloved primary school teacher, to come to Zlin with his two eldest boys. We went to pick them up by car in Brünn. In this cozy atmosphere, we received the news of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, successor to the throne, and his wife Duchess von Hohenberg. They had been on an inspection trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia, and were shot by a fanatic Serb. It was June 23rd, 1914. This terrible action shocked the whole world and caused the greatest sensation, because everybody could foresee that danger of war was near. To be better informed I went immediately to Brünn and contacted with Governor Oktav Bleyleben, who promised to inform me by telephone if the situation should take a threatening turn. He shared my opinion that war was now inevitable. In fact, the Austrian-Hungarian Government sent an ultimatum to Serbia, which, if accepted by them, would have placed several restrictions on the Serbs’ independence. Everybody assumed rejection; but, to general astonishment, they accepted the ultimatum except for one single, not very important, item. Nevertheless at the decisive Cabinet Council on July 22nd, 1914, a declaration of war against Serbia was decided. It is remarkable that only one member of the Cabinet Council voted against the declaration and that was Count Steven Tisza. It was he who, through his policy as Hungarian Prime Minister and Secretary of the Interior, had done everything to poison our relationship with Serbia so that eventually there was no way out. This is intentionally forgotten by those who lay the blame for the declaration of war only on Austria and Germany. I was against the war and fought against Berchtold’s policy. But once war was declared, I felt it my patriotic duty to support the Government and to promote all the measures that would help to win and end the war. I condemn the attitude of those Old Austrians who never could forget the year 1866 and, out of hatred against Prussians, even wished for defeat of Germany. That would have drawn Austria into depravity.

Upon the declaration of war, two army corps were mobilized against Serbia. Hereupon Russia, as an ally of Serbia, declared war on Austria. This was followed by general mobilization in Austria, as well as Germany, and war was declared on Russia and France. General mobilization in Germany brought a rush of German citizens living in Moravia and Silesia to the German Consulate in Brünn. They all wanted to go back to Germany as long as they were liable for service and their papers had to be arranged. My only secretary wasn’t able to manage this rush alone. So I sent a petition to the Foreign Office in Berlin and asked for help to handle the increased office service. I suggested they send an active consul to Brünn. My petition was granted promptly and they sent to Brünn a young vice consul, Mr. von Bülow, as my aide. My different obligations in Brünn made my presence there necessary. Therefore, we all, including Mama Anna and Miss Marie, left Zlin earlier and moved back to Brünn, where we settled provisionally at Hotel Padowitz. The children, with Miss Brown, stayed at Jundorf with the Rohrer’s, since our apartments were still uninhabitable. Luckily next to Rohrer’s there was a small villa vacant so we could rent and furnish it with Gretl Rohrer’s help. We stayed there until our house was finished. The rebuilding of my houses halted for the time being, as a lot of workers and craftsmen had to join up; also, the necessary materials were hard to get. Eventually difficulties were overcome and work could be finished during this same year. Mama Anna could move in October and took with her the granddaughters with Nana and the governess, Miss Reimann. Steffi stayed with Mama Phull in her provisional flat. Hedwig and I moved provisionally to a small two-room apartment on the second floor of our Kiosk 11th house.

The “Old Rohrer,” Brünn’s burgomaster for many years and chairman of Brünn’s Chamber of Commerce, died at age 76 in November of this year 1914. He was the Germans’ leader in Brünn and a very popular and original personality. I was elected his successor as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, but only after a rather vehement struggle with Brünn’s Jewish cloth manufacturers who wanted badly to have one of their own on the chair.

With the beginning of war, the Red Cross started extensive activity. Among other things, it took over the use and management of the Czech Technical Sciences building which had recently been finished and then confiscated by military authorities. The Red Cross established there an army hospital with 1500 beds. The ladies and gentlemen who had been active in Red Cross management already in peacetime formed a committee, with Hedwig’s participation. Their first priority was to organize everything for the admission of the wounded soldiers crowding in after Galicia’s first battles. Medical Superintendents were Professor Katholitzky and Dr. Leischner, assisted by numerous medical doctors and volunteer nurses from Brünn’s different societies. Hedwig and Aunt Sofie Staehlin were organizing, along with others, the kitchen for the right way of serving food and checking the prescribed diets. For her work during the war Hedwig was awarded the Red Cross’ Order. In addition to the Red Cross, Hedwig was participating in several charity associations. She was chairman of the children’s hospital, member of the board at the asylum for blind women, women’s employment association, etc.

From now on our life was marked by the war. Although there were no food restrictions, we simplified our standard of life and as self-supplier we lived without great privation. There was a bad harvest in 1914 and so serious economy was prescribed, even for articles that existed in abundance in the country; for example, sugar and malt. People didn’t quite understand these measures, because at that time they didn’t yet know that sugar would be needed as payment for vital imported goods and as raw material for explosive production. At the malt factory in Eiwanowitz, where I was actively involved, malt production was completely stopped; most until now had been exported. In great haste a beet-drying plant was installed; its product was used for molasses production.

As the first troops left for East Galicia people’s mood was still confident; but soon it was depressed as the first news of two lost battles near Lemberg came in. Even the fantastic victory of the German Army under Hindenburg, near Tannenberg, couldn’t completely compensate. In addition, the Germans’ initial successes in Belgium and West France (the battle by the Marne River in the French theater of operation) didn’t bring the hoped-for results. In Galicia, Field Marshal Conrad was forced to retire his troops over the rivers Vistula (Weichsel) and San, moving into a new defensive line east of Krakau. Luckily they succeeded in holding up the Russian advance in the battle near Limanova in December 1914. During all this very exciting time of war we stayed in Brünn. Nevertheless, as the situation near Krakow got better, we could go to Zlin in November for two hunting parties. We had invited as guests Rudolf Stillfried and Jaromir Bukuwky.

In October 1914 Turkey entered the war as the Central Powers’ ally. Although their military strength wasn’t too much to be appreciated, it was a disagreeable circumstance for Britain. Hereafter the Dardanelles was no longer useful for commerce and Egypt could be threatened from Palestine. An attempt to attack the Suez Canal was in vain; the desert was an insurmountable obstacle for a large army’s supply transport. Nevertheless, in the Dardanelles, Britain tried to force a breakthrough with its fleet and as a result suffered a great defeat at Gallipoli. They never tried this again.

This first war-year Christmas we celebrated in a modest way at Mama Anna’s with Mama Phull and Gustl. Before our distribution of presents, we participated at the Czech Technical Red Cross Hospital’s Christmas celebration. In each room there was a lighted Christmas tree, and the soldiers were given presents. Then Hedwig went to the distribution of presents at the children’s hospital.

In March 1915, after a long siege, the Russians took the fortress Przemysl. This Russian success turned out to be futile because shortly afterwards a great Russian ammunition depot was exploded in Galicia and the Russians thereafter suffered a severe shortage of ammunition. This shortage was already felt at the battle near Gorlice.

In May 1915, before conclusion of his eighth-year gymnasium class Steffi got an excellent certificate. It was an emergency graduation as he at the end of July had to join, as a volunteer, the 6th Dragoon Regiment, stationed in Brünn. Soon thereafter he was transferred to Holics where different cavalry regiment volunteers were gathered for their training. The young men’s housing was rather primitive. Steffi was living with a young Thun from South-Tyrol in a farmer’s house, and we could visit him every Sunday, by car from Zlin. On a drilling ride he got a press wound on his foot that, due to bad medical care, degenerated into a slight blood poisoning. Hedwig drove immediately to him and with the right care things got better fast. Other than that, Steffi was happy, in good mood, and stood the rather strenuous training time all right. His roommate Thun was soon transferred to Tyrol, and Steffi moved with Egon, Amelie Hardt-Stummer’s son, to a better lodging. Egon was an enthusiastic soldier and was killed soon after being drafted. He had volunteered for a patrol ride and never came back. When Steffi’s training was over in Holics, he was sent on September 15th to Bruck on the Leitha. This was quite distant from Zlin, so we couldn’t continue our regular visits. A month later he was transferred to the 6th Dragoon Regiment based in Brünn.

After we had passed the summer, as usual, in Zlin we could move in autumn 1915 to the nice, new apartment at the Kiosk. On the first floor were located the banquet hall with a great terrace, a dining room, three drawing rooms, a study for me, two bedrooms with bath for us, and a room and a bath for each of the three girls. Steffi got the two rooms behind the hall. The kitchen and service quarters were on the ground floor level, as was the consulate’s office. The whole house had central heating. On the second floor there were three apartments with seven, six and three rooms, which we immediately could rent out. Under the terrace was the coffeehouse “Bieber.” Furthermore, in the courtyard there were two garages, a stable for two horses, and apartments for the coachman and chauffeur. Because of the war we could enjoy this beautiful apartment very little and only for a short time.

The break-through battle near Gorlice started on May 1st under the Field Marshals Conrad and Falkenhayn. They led the Austrian-Hungarian and German troops, in only a few days, to complete success. After a series of successful attacks, Russians were driven back behind Lemberg, and this town as well as the fortress Przemysl were taken back. This way the Russian’s entire, long Carpathian frontline, extending from the High Tatra until the Bukovina, was taken and rolled back. They could escape complete annihilation only by a fast retreat. Nevertheless they suffered great losses of prisoners and war materials. Through constant German and Austrian-Hungarian troop advances, the river Dnjester was reached by June 1915, and a unified frontline was established till Brest Litowsk. Meanwhile also, Warschau was conquered by the German troops. The main attention of the two Army commands was directed toward the South, where in July 1915 a large offensive against the Serbs was started with the purpose of crossing the Danube. Bulgarian troops took part in this offensive, as allies of the “Central Powers.” Following our troops’ great victories in Northern Carpathia, Bulgaria declared war on Russia and Serbia. After especially bloody battles the Serbian Army was split and only a small part, with old King Peter, could safely cross Albania and reach the Island of Korfu. There the fleeing Serbian soldiers could be gradually gathered again. Steffi stayed from October 1915 till April 1916 with his company in Brünn; his commander was Baron Klemens Preuschen. In the beginning of April he and three of his comrades (Wolf Schnehen, Max Braida and Parish) were moved to the frontline at the Dnjester, under Cavalry Captain Scheff. We accompanied Steffi to the railway station where the young men were taking leave of their families. Many of them would never again see their families. One was conscious of this, but everybody did his best not to show his heartbreak at separation and so the young soldiers left in good mood. Max Braida was killed in one of the first battles.

In May 1916 the Russians, under Chief Commander Brussilow, started a counter offensive, in which they succeeded in breaking through the Austrian-Hungarian frontline near Luck. With the help of a German division that approached in a hurry, they succeeded in holding up the offensive. For participation in these battles Steffi was awarded the Silver Bravery Medal. In June Steffi got sick. First they suspected typhoid fever, but then pneumonia was diagnosed. He first was sent to Ungvar’s Hospital; afterwards he was transferred to the Czech Technical Red Cross Hospital in Brünn where Hedwig was working. Thank God he got better and could join us in Zlin for recuperation.

In October 1915 Carola’s wedding with Tibor Biedermann de Turony was celebrated in Tavarnok castle’s chapel. Due to the war the celebration was kept at a small level. Carola was dressed as a nurse. Immediately after the wedding Tibor joined the 6th Dragoon Regiment in Brünn and Carola followed him and was staying with Mama Anna (her grandmother). But shortly afterwards Tibor was sent to the frontline.

Middle of January 1916 a group of National-German politicians, headed by a Prince Salm, and his spokesman, university professor Diedrich Schaefer, addressed an invitation to the German great landowners in Austria to attend a conference in Berlin. The purpose was to discuss the “Central Powers’” war aims. This invitation was accepted by Abbot Helmer from Marienbad, for Bohemia; Count Rudolf Coloredo for Lower Austria; Baron Baratta and I for Moravia, while the other Austrian Alp countries did not participate. Hedwig accompanied me to Berlin, and used the opportunity to visit her cousin Heino Phull and his wife in Jahnsfelde, the Prussian Phull’s ancestral seat, while I was having meetings all day long. War aims that Professor Diedrichs Schaefer tried to make us favor, in a very well presented speech, frightened us Austrians. He didn’t ask for anything less than the following:

1. Annexation of Belgium, Luxembourg and the iron-ore layers in Lorraine.       

2. Annexation of the French Colonies in West Africa, Morocco and Senegambia, as well as Tunis, in North Africa.

3..India’s independence from Britain, as well as the Baltic Sea Provinces’ independence from Russia.

These war aims were disapproved as too far going by Coloredo and Baratta. I agreed with them and recalled Bismarck’s words saying that: “Policy is to aspire to the possible.” To reach these aims would have meant to annihilate our three largest enemies, England, Russia and France. Although I believed in the Central Powers’ victory, this seemed to me an unreachable goal. The conference ended unsuccessfully as the Prussians were not to be diverted from their point of view.

Hedwig and I stayed for another few days in Berlin, and visited there an old General von Phull and his wife, who received us in a charming way. Food was at that time not yet scarce in Berlin, so that Heino Phull and his wife invited us to an excellent dinner in a first-class hotel.

In winter 1916 I quit the German Honorable Counsel’s function in Brünn and a new man was appointed to replace me. The Foreign Office in Berlin appointed Mr. Wever as General Consul, who was soon very active and in his jovial way soon became popular with Brünn’s Germans. We also were on friendly terms with him and his wife.

End of July 1914 August joined the 13th Corps Command in Temesvár. He took with him his big Mercedes and his 17-year-old chauffeur, Conrad, the longstanding stud master’s son. In autumn he got to Galicia, where his Corps Command under Archduke Josef was facing Premysl. Here he met Sylvio Spiess, and soon afterwards he was standing, deeply moved, before his dead friend’s coffin. In summer 1915 August’s corps was moved to Italy and a year later he was in a car convoy to Cattaro. Here he caught a bad stomach complaint; so he was transferred to Horn to the drivers’ school, and from there to hospital nursing in Tavarnok. Later he was relieved from service in order to be Tavarnok’s farm manager. He stayed there till war’s end. Leo, as a result of his gunshot wound, wasn’t capable of frontline service. Captain Professor Lumnitzer, Budapest’s well-known surgeon and chief head of the Hungarian Red Cross assigned him to Red Cross duty. He had to check on different hospitals as well as establish new ones. He established one of them in Molnos near Neutra and summoned there his sister Gertrud as food manager. In this same hospital was serving a young Hungarian reserve medical officer, Dr. Ödön de Nesnera, with whom Gertrud found herself fighting military bureaucracy. Soon they were engaged and the wedding was held in Tökés middle of July 1917. We also were included in the party and drove by car from Zlin to Tavarnok where we stayed for some additional days.

Shortly after their wedding Gertrud accompanied her husband to Udine, Italy, where Ödön had been transferred as a doctor. There he could perform some sensational healing with people who had had physical and mental shocks. After the war they settled in Janufalu and Ödön mainly did medical scientific research, but was also looking after the farm and the related enterprises. Gertrud started medical-herb production on a large scale, helped by her friend Gaby Schmertzing. Both her children were born there, Judith (1918) and Peter (1919).

Once back in Zlin, Dorle and Edith implored us to let them go with Flora Selevér, who had spent the summer with us, for a few days to Tavarnok to visit the relatives. We consented and soon afterwards the three of them went happily by train. Although life in Tavarnok was completely involved by war, which impressed the girls a lot, they nevertheless enjoyed their first trip on their own to Tavarnok which they had never before visited.

Soon after the outbreak of war, Auguste had arranged a large part of the castle as hospital for 50 wounded, and maintained this at her own expense till war’s end. Active nurses were: Auguste as manager; in the beginning, Gertrud and Carola; further Aunt Ady, Ollo, Nanine, Betty Chohanowski, Maziska, and temporarily Louise Anne Schell. At the hunting lodge Kulhany a recovery establishment was set up for soldiers with pulmonary problems. The hospital’s management required Poldi and Auguste‘s removal from Tökés to Tavarnok.

In February 1916 Auguste’s mother, Baroness Betty Stummer, 81 years old, died in Tavarnok after a short sickness. Till the end of her life she was full of interest and love for her children and grandchildren, and she accepted with great understanding the big changes that had happened in her castle with the hospital’s establishment. Often she went to see the wounded and cheered them with her visit.

In 1916 Carola had her first child who was baptized Lia. Hardly a year old, she died of dysentery. On November 24th, 1917 Béla was born and October 15th, 1919 Géza. Her younger children, Pista and Viola, were born March 6th, 1921 and October 3rd, 1925.

On the battlefield the Central Powers’ situation had changed for the worse. The well-planned great offensive against Italy, who had declared war on Austria end of May 1916, failed; also the German’s offensive against Verdun brought no success. After the Russian’s victory near Luck, Romania changed sides to join Russia and marched in to the completely undefended Transylvania.  But after initial successes, they were thrown back over their frontiers by the hurriedly transferred German and Austrian-Hungarian army under Field Marshal Falkenhayn’s masterly leadership. At the same time, Field Marshal Mackensen, who went across the Danube with Bulgarian auxiliaries, caught them from the back and practically annihilated them. Survivors fled to Russian-occupied Moldau.

These events had a bad influence on Austria’s financial situation, and the Austrian crown started to fall on foreign exchange markets. This situation gave me some problems and I thought about doing a safe investment. The best I could think of was to buy a great estate in West Hungary, because in my opinion Hungary would come out strengthened by this victory. Through an agent called Sereny, I was offered the estate Sorokujfalu, near Szombathely. It was 1,726 hectares from which 1,318 ha were land for cultivation and 343 ha woods and pastures. I liked the location, and so we went with Hedwig end of April 1916 to Sorokujfalu. The owner was a real estate dealer called Gött. He had bought this estate very cheaply, three years ago, from bankrupt Count Pali Szapary. Gott now had financial troubles and was short of capital. We were met at the railway station of Szombathely by a very elegant, rubber-wheeled closed coach and a coachman dressed in Hungarian costume. We drove the 14 km to Sorokujfalu through pouring rain. We found a charming, not-too-large castle, partly with valuable old furniture and copper etchings. It had illumination by its own electric works, its own water supply, and was located in the midst of a five-ha-large, beautiful park. The agricultural fields were, due to the war, badly neglected but well situated, and with intensive management should earn a good profit. The asked price including the furnished castle and a lot of livestock and inventory was four million crowns. Its rate of exchange in Zurich was 43. After long negotiations, helped by my friend Gustav Skutetzki who was an agricultural expert, we agreed on paying 3,800,000 crowns. One million could be paid in war-bonds, of which I had plenty, and another million as a mortgage on the estate with 4 % interest, entitled to Mr. Gött. The contract of sale was signed beginning of June 1916 in Vienna in Sereny’s office by Gött and me. As a curiosity I am mentioning that Gött’s lawyer in Szombathely was called Rohrer and the Vice Governor of Vas’s district was Reissig, both names of two good friends in Brünn, but who had no relationship with them. In the beginning I had some difficulties in administrating the farm, as Gött and his son had poorly managed more or less without stewards. After some searching I found an administrator called Korab from East Galicia, who had fled from the Russians to Szombathely and who could speak German as well as Hungarian. So I could leave Sorokujfalu at ease and leave to my Zlin’s director Vojtech the inspection.

After Steffi’s long recovery vacation, which he spent partly in Zlin and partly in Brünn, he joined his company again at the end of 1916, via Huszt, to Monte Saralui (at Romania Bukovina’s frontier). This was in the Carpathian’s high mountain chain, where they stayed till May 1917 in retirement. At 2,000 meters altitude, the most beautiful winter weather did Steffi’s health a lot of good. He was promoted to 6th Dragoon Regiment lieutenant, in the reserve. As neighbors they had a Hussar Regiment under Commander Jean Lubienski, who shortly afterwards was taken Russia’s prisoner of war and escaped in a very adventurous way.

On November 16th, 1916, Emperor Francis Josef died in Schönbrunn at the age of 86, after having ruled for 68 years. He was no great monarch with creative ideas, but through his exceptionally long rule had gathered with a lot of application so much experience that he could manage his vast empire of multi-language people with far more wisdom than most politicians and statesmen of his time. He therefore was also considered abroad with great esteem and could, as long as he was in full possession of his mental capacity, through his unquestioned love of peace avoid the outburst of a European conflict. Only as a weak old man could a declaration of war on the Serbs be elicited from him. Luckily he didn’t live to see war’s sad end and the total destruction of Austria-Hungary. This sad fate was to be faced by his successor, Archduke Karl, who ascended the throne as Karl 1st.

Our cousin Major Fritz von Schoeller, who had been for several years Archduke Francis Salvator’s aide, was, like Steffi, also in Saralui at the frontline. Since for some time signs of a beginning mental disorder were perceptible, his comrade Captain Prince Ferdinand Auersperg had to take him to Budapest, where his wife and daughter came to meet him and to accompany him to Brünn. Soon afterwards he had to go, for some time, to a mental hospital in Vienna.

In January 1917 Fritz Rohrer, son of my school-day friend Rudi, got married to Margarete von Stoeger-Steiner, General Baron Stoeger-Steiner’s daughter. General Stoeger-Steiner was Divisional Commander in Brünn at the beginning of the war and became Secretary of War under Emperor Karl. The wedding took place in Brünn and I was witness for Fritz. Soon after, Fritz became his father- in-law’s aide and the young couple could enjoy an interesting time at Italy’s frontline.

My work in Brünn hadn’t changed much since war’s beginning. Hedwig was most of the time at the Czech Technical Red Cross Hospital and I was busy as president of the Chamber of Commerce and Moravia’s Escomptbank. We spent summer always in Zlin, but since we bought Sorokujfalu there was a change and we spent a part of summer there. Food was abundant and our countrymen weren’t missing anything. I even was able to take four fattened pigs to Brünn’s Chamber of Commerce to improve the clerks’ and employees’ food supply.

In March 1917 the well-known German Member of the Reichstag, Fredric Naumann, arrived in Brünn for a conference about Central Europe that called forth utmost interest with all the parties. I invited the author, along with Governor Baron Heinold, District Manager Count Serenyi, as well as the German Counsel General Wever to a lunch.

In spring 1917 Fritz Schoeller seemed to have recovered and could come home to his family in Brünn. His mother, our Aunt Auguste Schoeller, having seen her son died after a long illness on April 22nd, Fritz, who is supposed to have realized his incurable malady, took on June 12th, 1917, his life with a revolver. This was a terrible blow for Zeska, who remained behind with her four minor children, Erika, Rainer, Axel (killed in 2nd World War) and Isy, at that time only four years old.

On May 1st we went for the first time with the three girls, Miss Riebe, and Nana to Sorokujfalu. They all were very keen to see the new property. Railway connections were bad; the army requisitioned all the cars. We took a passenger train from Vienna, where we had to stay overnight in a small hotel near to South Station and reached Dömötöri, which was Sorok’s railway station 5 km away, after six hours’ ride. The castle and the park with an island, which they immediately took over, enchanted the children. There was no rain for weeks and the drought troubled me because of the crops. The fields’ outlook wasn’t satisfying. After a short stay in Sorok we went back to Zlin.

From May to June 1917 Steffi was participating in Mesti Canesti’s offensive (Italy) and received the award Signum Laudis. After a short vacation from July 14th to 25th in Zlin he joined the regiment again. In the beginning of August we got a telegram saying he was transferred as orderly officer to the Infantry Brigade Fritsch. As he could get to them only by detour over Budapest, both of us went there and spent two very happy days with him. Steffi continued farther on via Mármaros-Sziget and Czernowitz, where he joined with his brigade. Alfred Zeidler commanded the neighboring brigade.

Rudi Rohrer, who as the 6th Dragoon Regiment’s active 2nd Lieutenant since the beginning of the war, was a very brave officer who participated in the East front’s heavy battles. He had asked for transfer to the air force. Unfortunately, he was killed in an aerial battle next to Tolmein, at the Italian frontline.

In February 1917 the Russian Revolution broke out. Many army troops mutinied and soldiers deserted in crowds. Lenin, who was brought to Russia with German help, tumbled Kerenski’s provisional government and chased Czar Nicholas 2nd with his whole family to Siberia. There they later were murdered on the Bolshevist Government’s order.

In autumn 1917 the great breakthrough battle was fought in Caporetto, at the Italian frontline, which brought a great victory to our troops. Isonzo’s warfare had already cost Italians seven defeats; this time they were attacked from the rear. After bloody losses most of their army was taken prisoners. Reinforcement was brought in a hurry from England and France, but they couldn’t halt the advancing Austrian offensive except at Brenta, after they had succeeded in defeating the Austrian’s attack in South Tyrol.

In April 1917 Germany declared absolute submarine war; as a response U.S.A. declared war on Germany. In the first three months the allies had a lot of ship losses, but the English and Americans succeeded in taking effective defense measures against the U-boats, so that finally the absolute submarine war didn’t reach its goal. Nevertheless, in autumn 1917 in the Central Powers’ camp the mood was confident, since after 1917’s October Revolution Russia’s frontline was eliminated and the war there could be seen as brought to an end.

When President Wilson, in January 1918, proclaimed his famous Fourteen Points for reinstalling peace, all parties disapproved of them as a basis for peace negotiations. Unfortunately Austria-Hungary was also among those who rejected them and by this missed the opportunity to spread discord among our enemies.  It was obvious that Britain would never have accepted Wilson’s point of freedom of the oceans. If the Central Powers would have accepted Wilson’s points without reservation, as basis of peace negotiations, and the allies had done the same, England’s unity with the States would have been at risk. At that time an article of mine was published in the paper “Neue Freie Presse,” but unfortunately in vain. Peace treaties with Russia and Romania couldn’t be introduced immediately, because both countries had no internationally acknowledged governments. For the purpose of carrying on peace negotiations after long hesitation, the Central Powers gave de facto recognition to Russia, as well as Romania’s government. It was decided to have the negotiations in the Russian town of Brest-Litovsk and to send the Central Powers’, as well as the allied Bulgarian representation, there. The delegation’s leader was the Austrian-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Count Ottokar Czernin; on the part of Germany it was General Hoffmann. The notorious communist leader, Trotsky, represented Russia. It was more difficult to find a representative for Ukraine. Finally the Central Powers, to represent this still-to-be-established country, accepted two young students who had actively participated in agitating against Russia. Negotiations at first were protracted by Trotsky who acted in a very arrogant way and had to be reprimanded as to his limits as a representative of a country conquered by General Hoffmann. Finally he gave in, considering the danger in which the Bolshevik Government found itself due to Russia’s civil war, and he complied with all the items. This was how in March 1918 the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk came about.

During these negotiations the Brigade Fritsch, to which Steffi was assigned as orderly officer, was moved, in February 1918, to Tarnopol-Brody’s surroundings. On this ride they got into a bad snowstorm and were nearly frozen. With daily slow marches and no resistance, the brigade was moving up towards Odessa. Beginning of March they reached and occupied Odessa together with Alfred von Zeidler’s brigade. At the same time German troops arrived from the North. Together they could capture rather great amounts of supplies.

On May 1st, 1918, Steffi got a three-month study vacation. He spent most of it in Vienna where he passed his first law state exams with success. He was staying at Schneider’s pension in Dreihufeisen Street 13.

 

Switzerland 1918-1920.

Meanwhile important events occurred for us in Brünn. After the Caporetto victory, which had raised the Central Powers’ confidence considerably, it was rumored that the time had come for Austria-Hungary to make an attempt to revive old commercial contacts with the neutral countries, of which Switzerland was in the center of interest. For this purpose a special commission was to be sent to Switzerland. As Governor Baron Heinold mentioned this to me, I declared to him I would gladly be at the government’s disposal for such a commission. He was very much interested to know that. A few days later he told me that the Minister of Commerce considered my offer with satisfaction. I was to come to an understanding with Vienna’s Chamber of Commerce in a hurry, so they could suggest a program for my activities in Switzerland. I immediately went to see in Vienna the Chamber of Commerce secretary Thayenthal, who was very satisfied to know that I would take over this very important commercial policy mission. But as he said, he didn’t know anything about it and had not yet worked on a program. He thought a program for the time being wasn’t necessary. I should first dedicate myself to the purchase of food for the city of Vienna. With this, he dismissed me and I have never seen him again. News of my Austrian Chamber of Commerce’s mission to Switzerland, and the fact I could take my family with me, delighted them, although we found it hard to separate from our mothers and Steffi. All preparations had to be made in a great hurry as we were supposed to leave yet in May 1918. Steffi was still on his study vacation in Vienna and so we could say goodbye to him on our way to Switzerland. After passing his exams, and before he joined the army again, he invited a couple of friends who also were on their vacation from the front with their wives, sisters and girlfriends to Sorok for a jolly young people’s happening. The guests were: the couples Fritz Rohrer and Edwin Offermann, Mädi Offermann, Lotti and Gretl Rohrer, Mimi Meraviglia, Leo, Ernstl Reissig and Georg Bleyleben. Old Nana kept house, taking care to provide plenty of food and drinks and she enjoyed the young ones. Mood was perfect all week long and time passed only too quickly with sports, games and dancing.

During winter 1917-1918 Ludendorff transferred all free German troops to the West, due to war’s suspension on the Russian front. His intention was to break through, with great superior power, the French-British frontline before America’s main body auxiliaries had disembarked in France. Two pushes, end of March and middle of May, 1918, were partly successful; but Marshal Foch, with recently arrived American help, could stop German advances just before they got to their fixed target. The third push in July 1918 failed completely, because of the disembarkation of nearly one million Americans. The great superiority of power was now on the allies’ side.

We started our journey to Switzerland on May 20th, 1918, with the three girls, Miss Riebe, maid Marie and Franz Patka as butler. Our way was via Munich, where we stayed overnight. Next day our train started very late to Lindau on Lake Boden, where we missed the boat’s connection and had to stay for the whole day. This was disagreeable as we had no German bread coupons and, lacking them, no food was served. A fellow traveler showed mercy on us and helped us out with his coupons. Later I had the opportunity to meet this gentleman in Switzerland. We arrived late at night in Zurich were we stayed at Hotel Baur au Lac. Next day we made a stroll through the city with the girls, where the great number of beautiful shop windows (especially the ones with the long-not-seen and tempting chocolates) delighted them most. I went to see the Austrian-Hungarian General Consul Maurig, an old friend of mine, and introduced myself as the Ministry of Commerce’s representative. He was quite astonished, as he was not informed of my mission. He also introduced me to the Chamber of Commerce’s secretary in Zurich, Dr. Smelensky. We had lunch with Maurig and left next day to Bern, where we stayed at Hotel Bellevue. Ambassador Baron Musulin had made the reservation for our rooms. We had hardly unpacked, when a Mr. Bukovics announced himself, bringing with him the German Commercial Mission representative’s (Mr. Ravené) invitation for Hedwig and me. Ravené was for Germany what I was supposed to be for Austria, with the difference that he had an office with 60 employees, while I, at least for the time being, had only one secretary. But this difference didn’t continue for long due to a change for the worse on the German-French battlefield, which left our missions without purpose. On the same day I paid my official respects to Ambassador Baron Musulin, an old friend of mine; and, after I had explained my mission to him, which was very well received, he invited the whole family for next day’s lunch. Besides us all the Embassy’s gentlemen attended. They were 1st Councilor Baron de Vaux, 2nd Councilor Baron Hye, First Secretary Ernst von Janotta, Paul von Hevessy and the Attachés Prince Alfred Hohenlohe and Paul von Otlik.

In order not to interrupt our daughters’ education, we registered Dorle and Edith at the College of Philosophy in Bern’s University as extraordinary auditors. They were attending lectures about arts, literature, German, French and music history. Liesl was yet too young and had Miss Riebe as a teacher. Due to her obvious musical talent most emphasis was put on this. But it wasn’t easy to find the right music master for her. Friends called our attention to Professor Ernst Kurth, Bern University’s lector on musical history. We contacted him immediately, and after Liesl had played him a few pieces of music, he perceived her great musical talent and gladly accepted her as a student. Besides piano he taught her counterpoint and composition theory. Dorle and Edith were attending these classes, too, while for Liesl’s piano practice he suggested a student of his. Under Professor Kurth’s guidance Liesel made fast progress and could play, after a few months, Beethoven’s B major concerto in a Kurth-conducted students’ performance. I myself played in the orchestra, while Liesl executed a self-composed cadenza and got the teachers’ and audience’s full applause. Professor Kurth was originally Austrian, but had been living in Bern for many years and was married to a Swiss. He was known as a good musical writer and especially as a Bach researcher. His teaching put less emphasis on virtuosity than on spiritual penetration of each composition. Teacher and student were on very friendly terms and he and his wife were often our guests. Kurth was seeing in Liesl a great composer’s talent. When we had to go back to Austria two years later, and I explained to him that it was because of currency exchange difficulties that I couldn’t stay on, he offered to take Liesl to his home and teach her gratuitously; but we naturally didn’t accept this. In fact Liesl at that time already was improvising beautifully and in later years made very sweet compositions and cadenzas to two Beethoven concertos. But she herself felt that her talent wouldn’t be sufficient, contrary to Kurth’s opinion, to be a really prominent composer. In spite of her youth (she was only 14 years old) she had quite certain views about her musical career.

After a few weeks of hotel life we found and rented a nice villa in Bern’s Schlössli Street and moved to it immediately. It was modern, but furnished with good taste and had a small garden.

I started my activities by introducing myself to Switzerland’s president Calonder, as well as to the different confederation councilors, and visited some great industrialists. Unfortunately I got a friendly reception only by confederation councilor Schulthess, while the others maintained a cool reserve. As I found no great response to start negotiations about reactivating Swiss-Austrian commercial relations and due to the bad military situation, no further directions from Vienna’s Ministry of Commerce reached me. I tried to promote the subject through the media. I sent to “Neuen Züricher Zeitung’s” chief editor, Dr. Funder, who was known to be hostile to Germans, several articles on this subject. I was somewhat successful that the most important of these articles was published in “Neuen Züricher Zeitung.” I also visited the chief editor of “Journal de Geneva,” William Martin, to see if he would publish a similar article in his paper; although he assured me of his sympathy for Austria as well as for me, he refused to publish any report. With this I had to be content.

As midsummer was coming up, when diplomats and foreigners left Bern, we chose as our summer resort St. Beatenberg, 500 m above the Lake of Thun. The nice big hotels were all empty and served partly as recovery resort for French wounded soldiers. Beatenberg’s location was wonderful, in front of the treble mountains Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger.

From Steffi we got news that he was commanded to a Slovenian regiment located at Assa’s Gorge in South Tyrol and he would join them in July. As he was coming from the East frontline, he had to go through Innsbruck, so we arranged to meet in that town. Earlier we had invited Mama Therese to spend summer with us in Beatenberg for her recovery. She arrived at the same time as Steffi in Innsbruck. It was a short and sad stay and the hardest farewell to Steffi, as the conditions at the Italian frontline had changed in the last months for the worse for Austria. The attempt to break through the Italian’s Brenta line failed, by which the troops stationed at Assa’s Gorge were also compromised. Steffi arrived at the frontline just at the time when British and French artillery put them under heavy fire. Although they were in caverns more or less protected from shots, supply was extremely difficult and could be brought to the frontline only by night and fog. As Steffi told us later, these were the most horrible weeks he had passed throughout the whole war because of the danger and the bad spirit in this Slovenian regiment.

From Innsbruck, after we had left Steffi, we went straight to Beatenberg with Mama Therese where the girls had stayed with Miss Riebe. She was very much alarmed as Ernst Janotta showed up several times.

At this time I sent a report to Defense Minister Stöger-Steiner, about the unpleasant behavior of different officers attached to the Embassy’s military aide’s office. In fact the military aide’s office (at that time Baron Berlepsch who was very soon relieved by Baron Einem) was a place of refuge for all sort of rig (manipulative) types and a lot of them hadn’t yet been at the frontline. High stake gamblers in Hotel Bellevue’s hall caused disagreeable circumstances and were severely criticized by Swiss society. The impression even got worse, as many of these gentlemen had British or American wives and under their influence were trying to make up to English and American people, while with Austrians they were extremely reserved. Baron Berlepsch would appreciate a removal of some of these gentlemen. I fully agreed with his opinion.

As I didn’t see any possibility of doing some useful work, under these circumstances, I decided to go to Vienna to report to the Minister of Commerce and to get some further instructions. We therefore set out from Beatenberg and first made a car drive to Interlaken, Grindewald and took the “Jungfrau” train to station Eiger. We stayed here for a few hours and looked at the Eiger glacier with Mama Therese and the girls. We had sent Miss Riebe from Beatenberg directly to Bern to prepare the apartment in Schlössli Street for our coming. Edith made use of the nice autumn days and went horseback riding with Ernst Janotta and the Musulins in Bremgarten’s forest. Mid-September 1918 we traveled with Mama Therese and the girls to Vienna and Brünn, where we found Marie Anne, who two months ago celebrated her 80th birthday, hardly changed.

At a tea party at Gretl Rohrer Stöger’s in Brünn I met Heinold and other friends who would have liked to have some information on the war’s status, as they had had no official news for a long time. But as I was in the same position, I couldn’t help them. The military situation was seen by me to be much worse than the German General Consul  Wever viewed it. He jumped out of his skin when I mentioned that Germany had to accept the fact that Alsace-Lorraine must be returned to France and that the Emperor must be moved to resign. But even I had only a slight idea of the menacing danger; otherwise, I wouldn’t have invited a few guests for a shooting party end of October to Sorokujfalu. Leo, August, Count Franz Deym and Edi Rittershausen came, and to join the girls, Ellen Schoeller and Lotti Rohrer. We drove to Sorok via Vienna in the beginning of October. The city gave us a very gloomy impression. We were able to stay overnight at Sacher Hotel, but had to leave by foot at six o’clock in the morning, with our baggage to South Station, as there were no more cabs available. Our train trip was all right till Dömötöri where we were awaited by Sorok’s carriage. We got a telegram from Steffi with the good news that he got an eight-day leave from 23rd to 31st October, so he would join us for the shootings. We were infinitely happy about this, although we at that time couldn’t foresee the importance this absence of Steffi’s would mean. At Sorok a lot of work was to be done, as I had to dismiss manager Korab because of irregularities. Fortunately I found soon as a substitute Mr. de Iby, who was recommended to me by the Vice-Governor in Szombathely and was known as a good farmer. Luckily he also spoke German. The shootings had quite good result. Steffi arrived already on the 25th and was enjoying his short vacation. The evenings were spent in a happy mood, with music and dancing. At his vacation’s end Steffi had to go back to the front. It was again a hard departure. The few notices that reached us were very alarming and a complete breakdown of the Central Powers seemed unavoidable. We all wanted to leave for Vienna on October 30th, 1918, but as Liesl had suddenly caught a bad cold, she and Hedwig couldn’t come along. In spite of the uncertain situation I had to leave them behind with Nana and left with the two older ones and all the guests for Vienna, where we arrived at night as the train was very late. How great was our astonishment as entering Hotel Sacher we there found Steffi. He couldn’t reach his Regiment due to the events at the Italian front. The following had happened. The concluded armistice of October 28th was announced by Italians 24 hours later, as well as by Austrians. Immediately after the announcement the Austro-Hungarian troops started withdrawing. The Italians, who pretended not to know of the armistice, used this to make war prisoners out of those retreating troops. At this time the whole 6th Dragoon Regiment was captured. That is why Steffi couldn’t reach his Regiment and had to stay in Vienna awaiting orders. After a short stay in Vienna I left with Dorle and Edith for Brünn.

On arrival, October 31st, 1918, I found the following situation. Early morning on October 28th several crowds of workers from the suburbs rushed to the city and besieged the City Hall of Brünn, where the German Burgomaster Schnitzler and the city councilors of Brünn were assembled. Threatening to storm the City Hall the Czechs succeeded in capturing all the City Hall and other institutions’ German employees. To the governorship they sent a delegation of the very best Czechs and invited Governor Baron Heinold to abdicate and hand over the management to his Czech replacement, Dr. Cerny. After my arrival in Brünn the Chamber of Commerce’s first secretary reported to me that the Czech Chamber of Commerce’s Councilors demanded his, as well as all other German employees’, dismissal. An active resistance was naturally not possible. I tried at least to get a reasonable pension for the functionaries. I naturally offered my resignation. After long discussions I succeeded in having the first secretary, Dr. Meyer, dismissed with full pension, while the second secretary, Dr. Lieblich, could hold onto his position. The third secretary, Dr. Marek, who had not completed ten years in office, had to content himself with a solitary indemnification. He then entered the consular service with the Foreign Affaires Secretary of Austria and later on was appointed Austrian Ambassador to Prague, where he did a very good job for many years. After the end of the Second World War Russians deported him, and no more was heard of him.

From Hedwig and Liesl I received no news, as postal service was not working in those days. As I understood later, Hedwig had been in great worry.

The “Green Cadre” (deserted soldiers and war prisoners who formed a band of robbers) were haunting the nearby Croat woods. The population was completely loyal, and the war prisoners who worked at the farm assured Hedwig they would defend her against any attack. Liesl had recovered fast and so they could start on their way home, with Nana, just six days later. This was a rather disagreeable affair. To begin with, the train Hedwig wanted to take arrived at four o’clock in the morning, many hours delayed, in Dömötöri. It was completely overloaded with mainly Czech returning soldiers, who had sacked a convalescent home. The compartments and corridors were full of sleeping soldiers, there was no illumination, and only due to the fact that they were carrying on a lot of cigarettes and food they got three seats in a half compartment to share with three soldiers. After a 12-hour run they finally arrived at six in the evening at Vienna’s South Station, which, to prevent disturbances, was guarded by soldiers. They drove immediately to Hotel Sacher where, to their utmost joy and surprise, they met Steffi. After a short stay they traveled on to Brünn, where they finally realized the big changes.

The Austrian Parliament was in complete dissolution. The deputies of each nationality declared themselves as the only legal representatives of their people. The German Austrians did the same and declared, on November 12th, 1918, Austria to be a Federal Republic and demanded the annexation to the German Empire. It became an independent Government with Dr. Carl Renner as Federal Chancellor and the well-known socialist leader Otto Bauer as Foreign Minister. But nobody had thought of naming an independent representation of German Austrians abroad. As this seemed to me a highly important task for the new government, I addressed a letter to the chief of the German Party in Parliament, Mr. Pacher. In this I drew his attention to the importance of forming such a taskforce before the Peace Conference in a neutral country like Switzerland. At the same time I told him I had been working for several months in Switzerland representing Austria’s Commercial Secretary of State and for this purpose maintaining my own office in Bern. I put this office and myself at his disposal. This letter’s result was that just a few days later I got an invitation to see the Foreign Secretary, Otto Bauer. He revealed to me that the new Austrian Government was willing to appoint me as its plenipotentiary deputy in Switzerland, if I was in agreement with the government program’s main goal - the annexation to the German Empire. (The title of Ambassador was not possible, as German Austria was internationally not yet recognized as an independent country). As at that time I was a follower of the annexation idea, we could come to terms quickly. November 30th, 1918, was fixed as travel date. By this date the members of the new Legation had to be chosen as the old Austro-Hungarian one was already in liquidation. The Secretary for Foreign Affaires appointed these gentlemen already in Switzerland: Legation Secretary Count Brandis; Consul Steiner as chief of office; and Dr. Bach as Press-Attaché. Dr. Bach was, before the war, commercial policy reporter for the “Neuen Freien Presse” and as such worked for several years in England. As Legation Councilor I chose Baron Leopold Hennet, who had been since the beginning of war Commercial Attaché with the old Legation. As First Secretary I had Ernst Janotta in mind, but as he had already left Vienna, I had to get in touch with him in Troppau by phone. He accepted my offer and traveled immediately via Brünn to Vienna to join us in time. From Austria’s Federal Railway management I got a sleeping car at our disposal, for me and my family, and the Legation’s gentlemen. Besides those already mentioned, there was His Excellency Slatin Pascha traveling with us on a Red Cross mission and a mysterious elderly lady, for whom a half compartment was reserved. This Mrs. Berta Zuckerkandl was the famous Viennese professor’s widow whose sister was married to Paul Clemenceau, brother of French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau. Our Foreign Office hoped to get in touch with the French Embassy in Bern through this lady, as direct communication between the diplomatic representations was still strictly forbidden. But hope of realization was very limited. Our sleeping car was annexed to a train that should have departed at seven in the morning from Vienna’s West Station. As a precaution we were at the railway station at six, but found our train blocked by a great crowd. With the help of the station’s personnel we got into our sleeping car from behind; but as the crowd took notice of it, they tried to storm it. Luckily Slatin Pascha and I succeeded in calming down the excited mob by explaining that our aim was to get food in Switzerland for the hungry city of Vienna. The rest of the journey was without any disagreeable incidents and we arrived in Feldkirch after hours of delay. As there was no hotel in Feldkirch we stayed overnight in our sleeping car. Next day we went on to Bern. We arrived in the afternoon and Count Brandis was waiting for us at the station. We went immediately to our old apartment in Schlössli Street. Edith had had a fever during the journey and now it turned out to be a flu, which at that time in Switzerland was an epidemic and was known as “Spanish Flu.” We at once started the Nesnera cure (invented by Dr. Ödön Nesnera; taking aspirins) but the cure was not effective. Only Edith’s good health overcame the crisis, but she took several weeks to recover. Ernst Janotta also caught this bad flu on the trip and was in bed with high fever for a couple of days. Soon afterward all the other gentlemen got sick. Legation Secretary Brandis and an office clerk died, so for a time I was the only one to carry on the Legation’s work. The Spanish Flu was at its worst in Switzerland, but it also was epidemic in other parts of Europe and the people named it the “black pest.”

The day after our arrival I paid my respects to the Federal President Ador (a French Swiss) and turned over my credentials which he accepted without saying a word. Austria was at that time not yet internationally recognized as a country.

Our most important problem was to find food for the City of Vienna; their reserves were sufficient only for a few more months. The Legation was confidentially notified that in Triest’s harbor there were seven Italian freighters with food, so far without destination. We needed to find a way to contact the Italian Legation in Bern and arrange to have this food sent to Austria. This was a difficult task because any contact with the Entente representations was forbidden. With the Swiss Government’s help we eventually succeeded in arranging a conference with two Italian and two Austrian delegates. I appointed for Austria Legation Councilor Hennet and Legation Secretary Janotta as negotiators; I as chief of mission wanted to stay in the background. In spite of all the difficulties, we succeeded in making an agreement with the Italian Legation; it is to be mentioned that they were very willing to co-operate. The first great steamer would unload promptly and its load would be transported to Vienna. The other six freighters would be unloaded at due intervals, so that their loads would arrive in Vienna at the latest December 31st, 1918. Italians accomplished this agreement with precision and so the Viennese could celebrate a less sad Christmas than was expected.

Christmas we celebrated at Schlössli Street with just a small group; it was the first after the end of war and we were all happy to have Steffi with us. We had invited Hennet and my secretary, Mrs. Gnevkov; Janotta was recovering from his flu in St. Moritz and the other gentlemen were still in bed. At the beginning of January Steffi went to St. Moritz’s Hotel Survretta for winter sports. Hedwig soon followed him with Dorle and Edith, who after her bad flu needed still more recovering. They made nice sledge drives and the Musulins, who also stayed at Suvretta house, were participating. Dorle and Edith did a lot of skating. Edith also joined Steffi’s skiing tours with Marie-Luise Vischer Stockert and others. In the evenings there was a lot of dancing and especially Steffi had a great time. Liesl stayed during this time with Miss Riebe and me.

In early spring the International Socialist Congress was meeting in Bern and our Press Attaché Dr. Bach was participating at the presidential table without having informed me. This participation of an official deputy of Austria was badly taken by the Swiss Federal Council, who at that time had a strictly anti-socialist attitude. It took a lot of effort to prove to them that Dr. Bach was participating only as a private person. I visited the Congress for my information and attended a dinner party to which the Swiss socialists had invited other countries’ participants. During this dinner I had the opportunity to meet Kurt Eisner who became well known through a riot in Munich, and who later, when he was Bavaria’s Prime Minister, was shot by a Bavarian officer, Count Arco, on an open street. During a conversation with him I got the impression that this man was taken unaware by the events and by no means was prepared for a government leadership position. I also met London Times’ chief editor, Norman Angel, who was disapproving the Congress’ actions. At this moment Macbeth’s words occurred to me: “I have supp’d full with horrors.” (Shakespeare Act V, Scene 5.)

Hedwig and the girls were back from St. Moritz mid-February, and soon afterwards we got news from Brünn that Mama Therese was seriously sick. Hedwig left right away with Edith for Brünn; Steffi escorted her to Vienna and came right back to Bern. He was travelling in the same compartment with a very talkative man making strange conversation and Steffi got suspicious. Upon arrival in Buchs, Steffi hurried to the police and called their attention to this suspicious traveler. Police at once instituted an inquiry and on searching the man’s baggage discovered that he was a dangerous Hungarian communist agitator. The police naturally arrested him. A few days later the Austrian Legation in Bern got a letter signed by Minister Paravicini in which he expressed the Swiss Government’s thanks for Steffi’s successful intervention. 

After the doctors’ apprehensions proved groundless and Mama Therese recovered fast during Hedwig’s stay in Brünn, Hedwig could soon come back to Bern. Before the peace treaty was concluded Bern’s society was rather reserved with us. Nevertheless we were enjoying a social life on a small scale. Among others we gave a musical tea party, to which Swiss people were invited. Mr. von Herrenschwand sang some songs and Liesl played Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata from memory to the great astonishment of the audience. Count Courten from Bavaria’s Legation, himself very musically gifted, was deeply touched by this performance by a child and told me, “But there you have a pearl.” With his two daughters, who were the same age as ours, a great friendship developed and lasted even when the two families had left Switzerland and were back home in Austria and Bavaria. Mrs. Paravicini, who had just come back from St. Moritz where she met our three elder children, told me a lot of flattering words about them.

Upon Emperor Karl’s escape to Switzerland nothing was changed with my position. I had asked the Secretary of State, Otto Bauer, not to ask me to report on my old colleagues of the Foreign Affaires Department at Ballhausplatz, as well as about Ex-Emperor Karl and his “hangers-on” attitudes in Switzerland. For this problem the Press Attaché, Dr. Bach, would suit much better. Dr. Bach was in special favor with our Secretary of State, who wanted him as independent as possible from me, and so he was granted the right to send his reports directly to the Foreign Affaires Department without letting me have knowledge of them. I very soon remarked that his main job was to spy on me and to inform Otto Bauer of my connections to conservative circles. My relations with him soon were very stressed. In those days a parody adaptation to actual wording of Austria’s National Anthem was circulating with Austrian conservatives in Switzerland. The words run as follows:

 

     “God maintain, God save, our Renner, our Seitz

     And also - as one never knows - Emperor Karl in der Schweiz (Switzerland).”

 

At the end of 1918 my cousin Alfred Zeidler, who was a Brigade Commander in Agram before the war and promoted during the war to Field-Marshall Lieutenant, came to ask me if I couldn’t get him a job and housing on Sorokujfalu’s estate. He was chased from his apartment in Agram by the Croats and was now with his family, his wife Jolan and two little girls, in a very desperate situation. This petition was not so inconvenient to me as the castle in Sorok was vacant and the management of the property was completely in the hands of the newly hired manager, Mr. von Iby, who could and had to manage without any control. So I answered Alfred that I could let him have two rooms in the castle and that I was asking him to check in an inconspicuous way manager Iby’s activities and to report to me in Bern in case of irregularities. Alfred was happy to accept and arrived, first alone, in Sorok at the beginning of January 1919. At the beginning of March, the communist riot, led by Béla Kuhn, broke out and the rebellions approached Sorok. Alfred, who as a former Austrian General had to expect the worst treatment, fled to nearby Styria's border. He came back to Sorok with his family only after Admiral Horthy and his Romanian auxiliaries had crushed communism. As communism spread more and more in Hungary and the communist government in Budapest ordered the confiscation of all great land properties, I made a petition to our Foreign Affaires Department. I asked the Secretary of State to draw the attention of the Austrian Ambassador in Budapest, Baron Knobloch, to my estate Sorokujfalu in West Hungary. As an Austrian diplomat’s property abroad, the property should be free from any confiscation and should be put under protection of the Austrian Legation in Budapest. This request of mine was granted, so that when the Bolshevists appeared in Sorokujfalu Mr. Iby could produce the Hungarian Government’s order and deny them entrance to the castle. They accepted the order with favor and in this way my property was in no way harmed. In this difficult situation, manager Iby proved to be unafraid and open-eyed. Subsequent to communism and growth in commercial calamities, a new party arose in Vorarlberg that demanded annexation to Switzerland, claiming that this province was geographically and commercially pertaining to Switzerland. Although only a small Vorarlberg group supported this agitation, they got a lot of publicity in Swiss media. I tried to contrabalance this with articles but it was in vain as the Swiss press wouldn’t publish them. On behalf of our Foreign Office I asked for a personal hearing with Federal President Calonder, and asked for discontinuation of this agitation against Austria. He tried to defend the democratic institution of the Swiss Press, but after I convinced him of their unacceptable attitude, he promised to use his influence with the media for a friendlier outlook towards Austria. Indeed agitation was stopped at once and the old friendly terms were reinstalled.

During March 1919, I received a visit from several politicians from Austria and Sudetenland (German-speaking part of Czech Republic) who all wanted to know the prevailing local opinion about the political situation. I will mention only the more important ones: Burgomaster Seitz from Vienna; Worker’s Leader, Domes; Austria’s Ambassador in Berlin, Ludo Hartmann. I quickly learned that Hartmann had the purpose of checking my management and convincing himself about my correct attitude. After our official discussions, I invited, as usual, the three socialist gentlemen to dinner at our place. On my question about how food supply was in Berlin, Ludo Hartmann answered, quite unembarrassed, that as Ambassador he received triple food supply, besides parcels from Switzerland, so he was in no need. Our Miss Riebe, who was an idealist socialist, was puzzled by this answer and badly disappointed in her belief of Hartmann’s self-sacrificing devotion. For me this visit had no disagreeable consequences and passed in friendly terms. Some weeks later I was asked on behalf of our Foreign Ministry to sound out the French Embassy if they would receive the former Austrian Prime Minister, Professor Lamasch (who was known as a great pacifist) before the beginning of the official peace conferences with Austria. I now used the help of Mrs. Berta Zuckerkandl, who seemed to me useful for her good French connections. Soon I got the answer: “Qu’on recevra le célèbre savant à bras ouverts” (“that one would receive the famous scientist with open arms”). Thereafter, the Austrian Government sent Professor Lamasch to me to exchange views about how to proceed. Lamasch had excellent proposals and was rather an optimist. But as he came to discuss with me his instructions, and mentioned that a separation of South Tyrol to Italy was not in question, it was clear to me that his efforts to better the peace conditions would be of no success with the French Government. But this didn’t interfere with Lamasch’s optimism. Lamasch stayed on in Switzerland because he was chosen, next to Federal Chancellor Dr. Carl Renner, as a Deputy to St. Germain’s Peace Conference.

In spring 1919, a delegation from Tyrol, led by Deputy Guggenberg, showed up. They asked for my help in presenting a petition to President Wilson to leave the Germans of South Tyrol with Austria. I naturally promised to help and drew up a dramatic appeal, in English, to the American President. Unfortunately it had no hoped-for result, because Wilson had already promised Italians all of Tyrol.

I had some trouble with lovely Mrs. von Einem, the wife of our former Military Attaché, General von Einem, in Bern. The Austrian Red Cross had charged her with organizing the railway transports to Switzerland of Austrian children, mainly natives of Vienna, who were undernourished and who required recuperation. In Switzerland they were taken over by Swiss authorities who found accommodation for them with Swiss families who lovingly took care of them. Mrs. Von Einem accompanied personally each transport and organized the whole affair excellently. But she did not hesitate to misuse these trains for large-scale, irregular, currency and jewelry shifts. As this was openly discussed in Switzerland I saw myself obliged to inform the Secretary of State in Vienna. When she again wanted to organize such a train her passport was taken away by Viennese police, so that she could not return to Switzerland. Her husband became greatly excited and stormed at me to issue a passport for her in Bern, which I naturally couldn’t do. Nevertheless, due to Mrs. von Einem’s ability, she succeeded in a few days to get hold of a passport in Vienna. There was a pun, in Swiss-Austrian circles, saying she wasn’t the wife of “Einem” (Einem means “of one” in German). Hereafter the ministry didn’t allow her to accompany the children’s trains and she soon disappeared from Switzerland.

On May 1st, 1919, we moved from Schlössli Street to Kömiz Street, to my friend’s (the former Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, Baron Musulin) villa, which we took over completely furnished. This was rather an act of friendship, as Musulin got into financial difficulties after the fall. He had lost his job as Ambassador and for political reasons also couldn’t go back to Vienna. Musulin stayed for the present in Switzerland. He rented a small chalet in Spiez at Lake Thun where we visited them frequently. For Pentecost holidays we made an excursion with all the children for several days to Vitznau on Lake Vierwaldstätt. From the Legation, Janotta, Hohenlohe and Hevesy with his sister joined us there. Steffi, who was in good form, was playing a lot of tennis with Hohenlohe. At the end of our stay we made a roundtrip of the Lake and stayed in Luzern.

The Peace Conference of St. Germain between the allies and Austria began mid- July 1919. Vienna sent as Chief of Mission, Federal Chancellor Renner, and among his diplomatic staff there was Professor Lamasch. The delegation was travelling in a Pullman car, which was attached to the, so-called, Entente-Express. Ernst Janotta went to meet the Federal Chancellor at the Austrian border and escorted him till Zürich. There I went to welcome the Federal Chancellor, who invited me to join him in the Pullman car and ride with him to Basel. The gentlemen all had quite happy faces, which I thought wasn’t suitable considering the situation’s seriousness and the disappointments we were about to face. The French press reported negatively about this “happiness.” As it is not my intention in this book to contribute to the secret story of the St. Germain Peace Treaty, I leave behind in my thoughts our delegation at the moment they were quartered, by the French Government, in St. Germain castle near Paris. There they were confined from the external world by barbed wire and hundreds of policemen. I turn back again to my personal experiences.

Among the German diplomats who left Switzerland after the war was the German Military Attaché Lieutenant Colonel Busso von Bismarck. Steffi had met his daughter during wintertime and took a serious interest in her. As Steffi took notice that Mrs. von Bismarck and her daughter would leave in the next few days, he was at the railway station to bid her goodbye. As the train was leaving, he jumped onto it and, to mother Bismarck’s great astonishment, appeared at their compartment and escorted them until Basel. Once returned, he informed us that he was in love with Ursi Bismarck and was determined to make her his wife. For us this was quite a surprise, but as Ursi was very charming, we voluntarily gave our consent although they both were very young. Soon thereafter Steffi traveled to Lüneburg, where Bismarcks were staying, and asked the astonished father for Ursi’s hand in marriage. He was very cordially received but, due to Steffi’s unconcluded studies and the uncertain situation in Mid-Europe, Ursi’s father didn’t wish an official engagement for the time being. Steffi came back to Bern with this answer.

Since for the next eight weeks (so long would the peace conference take) high politics was sleeping in Bern, I thought it might be a good moment to begin on July 16th, 1919, a four-weeks’ leave. I intended to pass this time with the whole family in Engadin’s Flims. Ernst Janotta came to the railway station to bid us farewell and handed over to Dorle some flowers. Steffi had gone a few days earlier to Flims and made our reservations in Forest-house Flims, which was beautifully situated in the forest’s midst. A few days later Dorle received by a messenger a letter from Ernst Janotta with his declaration of love. It was not unexpected, as we knew for quite a while that he was interested in her. Dorle accepted his offer of marriage and so he arrived on August 1st in Flims to make his official marriage proposal. In the evening we celebrated the engagement just within the family. The Janotta family was not far from us. Ernst’s mother, Marianne, born Krackhardt, was a friend since youth of Auguste Haupt Stummer, and our best friend Gretl Rohrer’s eldest sister. Ernst’s father, Heinrich, a sugar industrialist and landowner in his homeland Silesia, was in the monarchy’s time a Member of Parliament. In old Austria, as well as in Czechoslovakia, he was of great importance in the sugar industry. He was President of Troppau’s Chamber of Commerce, President of Troppau Sugar Refinery A.G.’s administrative board, whose founder he was, as well as active in the management of many other companies. Ernst had graduated in law in Vienna after a period of studies in Paris at the “Ecole des Sciences Politiques” and he passed his diplomacy exams with honors in Vienna. He first was in the Home Office, but was soon transferred to Triest’s “Governo Maritimo.” His first post as Attaché abroad was in Tokyo, his second in Sofia. In 1914, shortly before war’s outbreak, he came as Legation Secretary to Bern. Due to the war, his diplomatic career was interrupted for a short time, as he had to join up as an officer in reserve. As such he was attached to the Military Attaché in Sofia. In 1917, exempt from military service, he came back to Bern’s Legation. His brother, Heini, was killed in 1916 in Galicia. He never came back from a voluntary patrol-ride. His sister Gretl was living with her parents on their estate in Stiebrowitz, near Troppau. Ernst unfortunately could stay only a few days in Flims as in my absence he was as Chargé d’Affaires running the Austrian Legation.

Steffi had a wonderful time in Flims. He was participating with great success at a tennis tournament that was going on there. He won the men’s singles, open and with handicap, as well as the mixed doubles with a Swiss player. These victories were unexpected by the Swiss, as they didn’t know Steffi as a player. After the distribution of prizes there was a celebration party with dance. Suddenly they also played the Swiss anthem. Steffi, who was just dancing in an intensive way, didn’t realize that instead of dance music they were playing the Swiss anthem and everybody stood up. He with his lady remained the only dancing couple. This caused hard feelings with some Swiss people and ended in their sending me a rude anonymous letter. As Steffi did this only by mistake I didn’t want to accept this insult, so I advised Ernst to raise a protest with the Foreign Affaires Minister Paravicini, who at once sent a written apology and so the affair was finished. Steffi, who had succeeded so well in Flims, now also enlisted in Lucerne’s tournament where the Swiss men’s singles championship was to be played. To the astonishment of everybody, Steffi won all the competition classes and made the Swiss champion. Some players, who didn’t like this, raised protest with the tournament’s management, reasoning that Steffi as a defeated country’s citizen should not have participated in an official championship. But as Steffi could show his certificate of domicile from the city of Brünn by which, according to the regulations of the St. Germain Peace Treaty, he became a Czech citizen, the jury acknowledged his arguments and dismissed the protest.  He then came back happily to Bern as Swiss champion. My vacations also were over and we all returned to Bern, where I took over again the Legation’s lead. It was my intention that Steffi should take over the estate of Sorokujfalu and that is why it was decided that he should study agriculture. We sent him to the University of Halle at the Saale (river). He traveled via Lüneburg, where now the official engagement was celebrated in Ursi’s grandmother’s house. The grandmother in second nuptials was married to a General von Bodungen. Ursi’s father, Busso von Bismarck, is a descendant of the line Bismarck von Schönhausen II. The property of Schönhausen had been divided between the “Chancellor’s” father and his brother, Ursi’s great grandfather. Later this property was sold and afterwards Prussia’s Government donated it again to the Chancellor for his merits.

Ursi’s father entered the cadet corps Lichterfelde, served in the second regiment of the Guards and was admitted to the general staff. After he served in different German garrisons, he was appointed Military Attaché to Bern in 1911. This position, due to the war in 1914, was extremely important and although he had asked for transfer to front service several times, he was thought to be indispensable in Switzerland. He was called several times to report to headquarters, where he reported personally to Emperor Wilhelm as well as to Hindenburg and Ludendorff. After the war ended and treaties were signed, he quit active service and retired to Lüneburg, where he worked as commercial manager in his mother-in-law’s company. Ursi’s mother, born Frederich, descended from an old Lüneburg patrician family, who owned a distinguished wholesale wine trade house and were dealing in particular with the import of Bordeaux wines. They had in Lüneburg a nice family house, which was the center of the family. Ursi had a twin brother Hasso, and a younger one, Busso born in 1911.

After a short stay Steffi left for Halle. There he was due to stay with Bismarck’s relatives, von Gravenhorst, who willingly took him in.

Meanwhile I decided to go to Vienna to clarify my citizenship and my position at Foreign Affaires, and Hedwig accompanied me with the girls. Mrs. Riebe, whom we all appreciated very much, had left us as the girls were now grown up. As I also intended to visit Zlin, I had to arrange the necessary papers to enter Czechoslovakia for all of us. For this reason I went to see the Czechoslovak Chargé d’Affaires in Bern. This unpolished, coarse fellow declared to me in an impossible French: “Autant longtan ke vu frekentez l’Archiduc vu ete très souspect” (“As long as you are seeing the Archduke you are a very suspicious person”) and he wouldn’t issue me the papers. I then wrote immediately to President Massaryk in Prague, explaining my situation and asking him to give orders to his deputy in Bern to issue the necessary papers. After only three days I had a telegram signed by the Czech Foreign Minister Benes, saying that the Czechoslovak Chargé d’Affaires was ordered to supply my necessary papers. I hurried to him and after some hesitations and grumbling he gave me the travel documents. Now we hurried with packing and just got on the next Entente-Express in Zurich. The Federal Chancellor Renner and his staff also took this same train, after they had signed the peace treaty on September 10th, 1919. When Renner saw me, he kindly invited us all to take places in his reserved car. Arriving in Vienna, we stayed at Hotel Sacher, and next day I went to the Foreign Affaires’ Secretary to discuss with the Federal Chancellor my situation after the St. Germain Peace Treaty. We both were of the same opinion that by the new regulations I automatically was a Czechoslovak citizen, unless I would opt in favor of Austria. This was not on my mind for the time being. We also were in agreement that I had to resign as Austria’s Ambassador in Bern, but should carry on at the Legation until December 31st, 1919, and also install my successor. Till then I could continue with my full allowance. I thanked the Federal Chancellor and we parted good friends. Now we could go on with our trip to Zlin.

The butler couple Franz Patka had already left us in Bern and headed back to Zlin, because in case of the confiscation of large properties, they wanted to be on the spot in good time!

Immediately after I had bought the property at Sorokujfalu, I had started to divide the 400 hectares fields around Zlin into lots, to make money and cover the greater part of my purchase. The larger part of these lots, which had been bought by the shoe manufacturer Tomas Batá, was already industrial lots. Further lots went into peasants’ hands. Mama Therese and Nana had come to receive us in Zlin. Soon afterwards the parents Janotta and Gretl came to Zlin to learn to know their future daughter-in-law. Aunt Sophie, who had been Marianne’s friend in youth, came, too, and we spent some very nice days together. I wrote from Zlin to Sorok’s manager Iby, whom I didn’t know, that he was to come and meet me in Vienna on October 10th, and report about circumstances on the property and his activities. He should also bring our cook Gisela, a native of Sorok, to Vienna as we wanted to take her along to Bern as a substitute for Angela Patka. In Zlin I signed a lot of bills of sale, by which the greater part of the fields (with the exception of 80 ha around the farmhouse I wanted to keep) were sold to Batá’s company and to some peasants. Because of this change in my property, Manager Leo Wojtech’s field of activity no longer existed, so I asked him to look for another job. I was soon able to find him one as estate manager of Julius May’s Ungarisch Hradisch Sugar Industry. For the rest of my farming I employed a simple steward called Fischer, who after a short time proved unsatisfactory so I dismissed him.

At the end of our stay we got Steffi’s telegram, announcing his official engagement with Ursi Bismarck. Then we went to see Mama Anna, whom we found in good health, in Brünn and from there after a few days we went on to Vienna. Manager Iby had also arrived on time. He made a good impression on me and the news he brought from Sorok was not bad. After the communists had left, Alfred Zeidler came back to Sorok, this time with his family, and was installed in four groundfloor rooms of the castle.

On October 14th, we were able to start our trip back to Bern. That day an empty train left for Zurich, to return with Viennese children who had been recuperating in Switzerland. I got permission to use it. As the train was completely empty, we had plenty of place to ourselves, on this long trip that had really been very agreeable. In Zurich Ernst was waiting for Dorle on the railway platform. We stayed a few days there to make some purchases for Dorle’s trousseau and then drove on to to Bern. The wedding day was fixed for November 22nd, 1919. The parents Janotta and Gretl had already arrived in Bern on the 20th. From our side of the family only Steffi came from Halle. On the wedding eve Heinrich Janotta gave a big dinner party in the Hotel Bellevue to which, besides the wedding guests, some friends of Ernst were invited. The next day the wedding took place in the Catholic Church in Bern. Witnesses to the marriage were, for Dorle, the former Ambassador Baron Musulin and for Ernst, Legation Councilor Baron Hye. It was a small but charming wedding that moved us all. Afterwards there was a lunch at our place, to which besides the family, the following guests were invited: the couples Musulin and Alfred Hohenlohe, Leon DeVaux, Demeter Hye, Franz Vetter von der Lille, Walter Berchem and Alice Oldofredi. In the afternoon the young couple left for their honeymoon in Lugano. After a few days the Janotta parents went back to Silesia.

Soon afterwards I received a visit from Hungary’s former Prime Minister Count Julius Andrássy, who tried to sound me out as to how the Austrian Government would react to an eventual monarchist riot in Hungary. I left him in no doubt that, although my political convictions were conservative, in my opinion the present time was completely inappropriate to make such an experiment. Considering the Petite Entente and Italy’s attitude it could only end in a catastrophe for Hungary and the Habsburg dynasty. I tried urgently to warn him and his followers of the danger of the course of action. He left me rather disappointed. He gave me the impression of being a highly intellectual person but whose nerves were completely shattered. He was no more of great importance in Hungary and had to leave the Hungarian Royalist’s leadership to Count Antony Sigray.

After the peace treaty of St. Germain was signed there was a period of relative inactivity for Austria’s Legation in Bern. There was no important policy to make in this region. But a new activity arose, issuing passports and visas. I used this quiet time to make an inspection visit to our consulate in Geneva, to which our Consul General Montlong kindly invited me. He gave in my honor a dinner party to which some ladies came in long evening dresses. The lady I took into dinner was a young, fairly pretty, but somewhat too plump native of Geneva, Madame de Saussure, who had recently returned from Paris. She was telling so many stories about parties, where the “patriotic décolleté” was very in fashion: “Le décolleté jusqu’au “Rhine” ou jusqu’aux “reins.” (River Rhine in French is pronounced like kidneys “les reins”). I responded to her: “Mais alors c’était une societée très pieuse, puisqu’on y voyait tous les saints (seins).” (“But then this was a very pious society, as you could see all the saints.”) (In French “seins” means breast).

Mid-December Ernst and Dorle were back from their honeymoon, which had taken them to Lucerne, Lugano and at the end to Rappallo. Soon afterwards Steffi arrived from Halle and Ursi from Lüneburg, and so we celebrated a very happy Christmas. In December I carried out my last official function as Austrian Ambassador. I had to sell by order of the Government a small Austrian military plane, which had made a forced landing on Swiss territory just before the end of war. It was detained by the Swiss Government at Zurich’s airport and was now released. The only interested purchaser was the Swiss Government. After a lot of negotiation the Swiss deputy offered 20,000 Swiss francs, which our Government and I accepted.

Mid-December, Legation Councilor Baron von Seidler presented himself as my successor. I was astonished to see that he wasn’t happy about his appointment. He told me he thought he was unfit to replace an Ambassador. I had great trouble to convince him that in peacetime Bern’s position was Europe’s quietest and nicest of appointments. He then decided to take over the Legation and work a few days with me, so I could familiarize him with the work.

Our stay in Bern was fast coming to an end, but we spent a very nice New Year’s Eve with the Courten family. Immediately after New Year, Steffi went back to his studies in Halle, while Ursi traveled back to her parents in Lüneburg. Ernst and Dorle traveled via Vienna to Zlin, where they remained for several months. They spent a nice time there, were visited by Mama Therese and Gretl, and got to know the neighbors. We wanted to join them in January but had to postpone our departure to March 9th, as we were unable to make earlier reservation for a sleeping car on the only well-connected Entente-Express to Vienna. As our house was already closed, we decided to spend the interval in St. Moritz. This time we stayed in the Hotel Calonder, a somewhat simple place, but just opposite the Hotel Suvretta where all our other friends were living. My two years’ political mission in Switzerland ended with this lovely stay in St. Moritz. We always loved to remember that friendly and beautiful country. I now used my free time to prepare the basic concept of my pamphlet “Europe’s Future.” It was edited and published in 1921 by the editor of “Der Neue Geist” (“The New Spirit”) in Leipzig (Germany).

Our large luggage that we hadn’t taken to St. Moritz I dispatched to Brünn, in a closed container, through a forwarding agency in Berlin. As railway transport was still very unsafe and luggage often robbed, I had a safety agent accompany our transport so that everything arrived in perfect state in Brünn. At the beginning of March we all left Switzerland. In the city of Lundenburg (now called Breclav) which was now the border-city between Austria and Czechoslovakia, we stepped again onto our homeland. The first impression was not very pleasant. The confusion and the horrible shouting crowds gave a revolutionary impression and were for us who came from Swiss orderliness quite a change. We arrived late at night in Brünn, where Nana waited for us at Kiosk 11. She had taken care of the house and was able to prevent more soldiers’ billeting there. There were only two French officers, Commander Caquet and Captain Rot, quartered in the first floor, while there was a Czech legionary with his family spread all over the beautiful new kitchen. The French officers behaved very well and were on most friendly terms with Nana, giving her lots of silk stockings, perfumes, and cigarettes. On the other hand, the Czech legionary was a dirty fellow who used the kitchen at one time as bedroom, hen house, etc. Later we found out that he was a gangster.

About that time Dorle and Ernst left Zlin to move to Troppau. Ernst had decided, as his diplomatic career had come to an end with defeat, to dedicate himself entirely to the management of the Troppau sugar-refining industry.

In mid-April 1920, August asked to come to Zlin to see Edith and to exchange views with her. We had known for a long time of their mutual affection; and so we drove next day with him to Zlin, where we celebrated their engagement “en famille” that same evening. Gertrud was also with us. We asked the young couple to keep the engagement secret for the time being, as Hedwig was going to undergo surgery on May 1st. Dr. Leischner operated with success (a myoma had to be removed from her uterus), and Hedwig could leave the hospital after 10 days and move back to the Kiosk. On May 20th, Leo took her by car to Zlin where she was happy to be back with the engaged couple. According to the couple’s wish, the wedding was fixed for July 15th, 1920, in Zlin.

Now it was Steffi and Ursi’s turn; they had already been engaged for 10 months, but had honored the wish of both sets of parents to wait until Steffi’s graduation from University. They were eager to arrange their wedding day. Their wish was fulfilled and the wedding day was settled for July 8th, 1920, in Lüneburg; these newlyweds would then be able to participate at the Zlin wedding, too. It wasn’t so easy for Hedwig to make all the wedding preparations in so short a time, but she succeeded; therefore, we could leave on July 6th with Liesl and Edith for Lüneburg. (August was escorting Auguste for a cure in Kissingen and was prevented from coming). Besides us from our family, only Dorle and Ernst could come, while the Bismarck and Frederich families were present in great number. The eve before the wedding all the guests were united in the Bismarck’s pretty villa at Lüneburg. The marriage ceremony was in Lüneburg’s Catholic Church and afterwards there was an evangelic blessing in the beautiful great patrician house of Ursi’s grandmother. Witnesses to the marriage were Ernst for Steffi and General von Bodungen for the bride. The wedding lunch was at the family house and at this opportunity I made a long speech, with a political touch, to the nuptial couple. The young couple left for Hannover. We could stay only a very short while, as we had to hurry back to Zlin. On the nuptial eve the newlyweds Steffi and Ursi arrived, as well as all the other numerous guests. For the festival eve, the young ones performed some tableaux vivants about love during the centuries, which was met with enthusiastic applause. Edith was wearing the beautiful diadem she had received as a wedding present from Poldi and Auguste, and she really looked like a queen in her jewels. Next day the wedding guests assembled in the castle and drove in old-fashioned horse-driven coaches to church. Our neighbors, Stillfried and Gyra, also lent us their equipages. The entrance into the church was accompanied by old Emanuel Proskowetz playing the organ in a most touching way. The wedding ceremony was held after the Holy Mass, celebrated by Dean Ignaz Nepustil who made a German speech to the nuptial couple. Witnesses to the marriage were Hubert Skutetzky for August and Robert Schoeller for Edith. For the wedding breakfast we had 40 persons. They were, besides both sets of parents: Mama Therese Phull (Mama Anna couldn’t come because of her age and health conditions), Gustl Phull, Aunt Sophie, Dorle, Ernst, Steffi, Ursi, Liesl, Leo, Gertrud and Ödön Nesnera, Tibor and Carola Thuronyi, Emanuel Proskowetz, Mimi and Willi Proskowetz, Herbert Doblhoff, Hubert and Amalie Skutetzky, Margarete Rohrer, Robert Schoeller, Rudolf Stillfried, Gabrielle Draskovich, Dean Ignaz Nepustil. Bridesmaids and grooms were: Liesl - Leo, Lotti Rohrer – Sisinio Pretis, Gretl Rohrer – Jenerl Szüts, Gretl Bleyleben – Niki Rohrer, Erika Schoeller – Georges Gyra. After the newlyweds and all the guests had left, Steffi and Ursi stayed on for a few days in Zlin before they started their journey to Sorokujfalu. That journey had been a real adventure. Because of non-existent railway connections, they first had to stay overnight in Bratislava, in a third-class bug-ridden hotel, as everything was overcrowded with Czech soldiers. Next day they had to take a train to Komorn, escorted by Franz Patka, who was to be helpful with border customs control. This was known to be a disagreeable place and without Patka’s help, who proved his Slovak identity, they hardly could have passed. Jewelry and documents couldn’t be passed, so Patka had to return them to Zlin. On the other side of the Danube Bridge electrician Toth, from Sorok, was to have met them to serve as an interpreter and escort them to the train to Szombathely. But they missed each other and spent some hours wandering up and down the Danube banks. Luckily the train to Szombathely was delayed several hours, so after they had finally found Toth he was a helpful escort. In Sorokujfalu they were received solemnly by Zeidlers, Manager Iby, who had ridden ahead with a group of peasant boys to meet them at Kisunyom, the employees, the household servants and a part of the village citizens. Manager Iby made a Hungarian welcoming speech and Steffi answered in German, which was translated to Hungarian by Iby. After a well-prepared, excellent breakfast, made by the cook, Gisela, Steffi and Ursi went to bed dead tired. During the following months Steffi used to inspect the property with Mr. Iby to get acquainted with everything.

As soon as the wedding tumult was over we started with Nana’s help to remove our apartment on Kiosk in Brünn. Several furniture vans were loaded: one was sent to Troppau to Dorle, another one to Sorok for Steffi, and the rest went to Zlin’s castle and served there to renew the existing furniture. From the empty apartment I leased our two bedrooms with bath to Brünn’s acting Burgomaster and Government Councilor Körndelmeyer, a moderate Czech. The rest of the rooms went to a Czech museum company. We remained only with the big hall and two adjoining bedrooms as temporary quarters. After two years, the Czech Agrarian Party bought the whole palace, for three million Czech crowns.

 

Sorokujfalu 1920 – 1945.

This same autumn 1920, we made our first visit, with Liesl, to Steffi; Dorle and Ernst also joined us. As Steffi had to continue his studies at the Agricultural University of Leipzig, our stay was just a short one because they had to leave at the beginning of October. We arrived in Leipzig at the same time, as Liesl was recommended by August to Professor Teichmüller, who was going to take over her studies. Before that Professor Teichmüller had sent one of his best pianists, Miss Gregor, to Zlin to prepare Liesl for her classes with the professor. Liesl made remarkable progress in a very short time. In Leipzig we all stayed in the Pension Austria. For Christmas Steffi and Ursi went to Lüneburg to the Bismarck parents, while we stayed in Leipzig with a modest little Christmas tree. In the beginning of 1921, Edith and August came for a short time to Leipzig and stayed until our mutual departure.

On March 21st, 1921, we celebrated our silver wedding anniversary and at the same time Mama Therese’s 70th anniversary, which actually had been on March 9th. The three young couples came, as well as Gustl and Aunt Sophie and Uncle Heinrich. At the celebration dinner I made a nice speech about the companion of my life, and Steffi, in the name of all the children, made a speech to honor Hedwig and me. Many congratulatory telegrams had arrived and Steffi read them aloud at coffee time. Our mood was the very best, when all of a sudden Steffi stopped reading and, in answer to our astonished questioning, he showed us a telegram that Papa Bismarck had sent informing us of his wife’s sudden death from a heart attack. Now consternation replaced our happy mood. Ursi was very distressed. The travelling documents had to be arranged so that Steffi and Ursi arrived in time for the funeral in Lüneburg and to support her father and both of her brothers, especially little Busso who was only nine years old.

In summer 1921, Steffi and Ursi stayed in Sorok so Steffi could end his studies and in autumn take his graduation exam at the University of Leipzig. He succeeded very well and got his agricultural degree. Now I transferred the estate to his name. He started management at once in a very energetic way so that there was no more need for a manager. Iby had himself asked for his release and everything took place on very friendly terms. Hereafter Steffi and Ursi spent the whole year in Sorok, where Steffi had a lot to do with the reorganization and development of the property. The innovations were so successful that Sorokujfalu soon had the reputation of being a model farm. Steffi started artificial fertilizers, based on methodical analyses; produced ennobled seeds for all different cereals; changed the cattle breeding to studbook-registered cattle, and so on. He also was very busy as Vice President of the Agricultural Association, was elected president of the Cattle Breeders Association and member of the Agricultural Chamber. In addition to his agricultural activities, he also made himself known through the years in banking. From 1925 on, he was the President of the Municipal Vas savings bank. Under his management this institute developed extensively. Later he was also a member of the board at the British-Hungarian Bank in Budapest, president of Szombathely’s linen and hemp factory, manager of West-Hungary’s Seed Export Co, and board-councilor to different other companies.

In autumn 1921, Liesl resumed her studies with Professor Teichmüller in Leipzig, escorted by Hedwig who stayed in Hotel Hauffe until Christmastime. Liesl had made great progress with Professor Teichmüller and acquired a wonderful, soft, and at the same time, vigorous touch. At Christmas we went with Liesl to Sorok. Unfortunately I became ill with flu just before Christmas Eve and had to spend the time there in bed. After Christmas Liesl went back to Leipzig, but this time escorted by Miss Dorle Daler.

On January 24th, 1922, Ursi gave birth to a bonny boy, our first grandchild. Bishop Count Mikes in Szombathely baptized him with the name of Stefan Wolfgang, nicknamed Wolfi. His godparents were Hedwig and Busso Bismarck. This same year, on September 14th, 1922, Edith gave us the joy of a daughter, called Marie-Anne. Hedwig spent a few weeks in Tavarnok, while I stayed in Brünn and just arrived for the baptism. Godparents were Liesl and Hubert Skutetzky. In the autumn Liesl returned to Leipzig to conclude her studies with Teichmüller. With Günther Ramin, the later famous singer at Leipzig’s Thomas Church, she had classes in composition and harmony. She enjoyed the musical life of this city and didn’t miss a Gewandhaus concert as well as other events.

At Christmas 1922 we were again united in Sorok, where this time Ernst and Dorle joined us. Wolfi’s eyes were radiant admiring his first Christmas tree. While Hedwig and Liesl went for a short stay with Edith in Tavarnok, I stayed with Mama Therese in Brünn. Gustl, who had not been feeling very well for several months, died on February 26th, quite suddenly from a heart attack. I called Hedwig by telephone in Tavarnok and she hurried back to Brünn to help her mother, who now had also lost her eldest son in his best years. He was only 53 years old. Gustl was a dear good soul and intelligent person with a lot of interests, in particular natural science, but who never really developed his talents. As a chemist he was working in Hochstetter and Schickardt’s factory in Brünn. He was buried in the family grave, as the last male descendant of his family, in Brünn’s Central Cemetery.

On November 5th, 1923, a second boy was born in Sorok and christened Herbert. Hedwig had gone earlier to Sorok, while I came three weeks later with Mama Therese for the baptism that again was celebrated by Bishop Mikes. Godparents were Dorle and Hasso Bismarck. General happiness was troubled only by the news of my brother Poldi’s bad health, which had afflicted him for the last few months. His health had worsened so much that there was thought of an operation, for which he was brought to Budapest. Unfortunately, according to medical opinion, an operation was not possible. So I left with Steffi for Budapest to visit him in hospital, where he was with his children. We were very much concerned about his greatly changed appearance. After some time he went back to Tavarnok and I drove with Steffi back to Sorok. Christmastime was getting near and we celebrated it for the first time with Mama Therese in Sorok. We were preparing for a New Year’s Eve celebration when we got a telegram from Miss Holweck, calling us urgently back to Brünn as Mama Anna’s health was so bad that we had to be prepared for her death. We left that same, awfully cold, night with Mama Therese and Liesl and arrived in Brünn in the early morning of December 30th, 1923. We found Mama Anna still alive but unconscious. August and Edith arrived on January 1st from Tavarnok and our dear mother parted from us on January 2nd, 1924, at the age of 86 without any death agony. Faithful old Miss Holweck, who nursed Mama in a devoted way till the end, could do her the last loving service of closing her eyes. The burial was in the family grave in Brünn’s Central Cemetery. A few weeks later we had a second death to lament. As Poldi’s illness was declared incurable and his loss of strength made us fear the worst, we wanted to see him once more; and so we drove to Tavarnok, at the beginning of April, with Miss Marie. As we arrived, Poldi was still conscious and I could have a last conversation with him. But in the next few days he lost consciousness and died on the night of April 7th, surrounded by his wife and children, at the age of 65. He was buried in the Stummer family vault in Tavarnok, where the Stummer parents had been buried. Later Leo made a beautiful memorial of his own design.

In June 1924, Miss Marie Holweck left us to return to her native Alsatian place. She was then 80 years old and had spent 52 years with us. She was still in full strength, and her only wish was to return to her home *[which now was France] to spend her declining years there as well as to be buried in earth of home. We would have loved to keep her, but also understood her feelings; so after a short visit to Zlin, from where she departed in deep sorrow with a broken heart, she left for Barenbach in Alsace. After two years there she quietly passed away.

From now on we wanted to spend the winter months in Vienna, and in the first year we lived in the Pension Schneider; later in a very nicely furnished apartment. This way Liesl had the opportunity to continue her music studies in Vienna. We turned to the famous composer Professor Franz Schmidt who, after our visit and hearing Liesl play, was willing to take her as a private student. With his very interesting way of teaching, which was quite different from Teichmüller’s, he encouraged his pupils’ mental evolution and understanding for the work of the great masters. Liesl admired and was devoted to Franz Schmidt and enjoyed his lessons for several years. As she wished to learn a second instrument, she took violin lessons with Christa Richter. Strange to say she didn’t show any special talent for this instrument, so she gave it up after two years and instead wanted to dedicate herself to playing the organ as well as the piano. As a teacher she was given, on Professor Schmidt’s recommendation, the Viennese Music Association’s organist Professor Franz Schütz, who soon discovered her talent for this instrument and encouraged her in a very friendly way. He wasn’t only a full-blooded musician, but also a politician, so I had in the following years many interesting talks about Vienna’s new situation. He was a great idealist and in the beginning a follower of the new course. I tried to influence him to moderation; but in 1938, after Hitler’s marching into Vienna and the national socialists’ atrocities, he completely turned away from the party.

In July 1924, Zlin’s Music Association wanted to organize a festival for Smetana’s 100th anniversary of birth and asked Liesl to participate with the well-known “Moravian Quartet.” She should play the piano part in Smetana’s vivacious trio. Liesl accepted voluntarily and thought that this first official appearance in Zlin would be a good experience in preparation for her forthcoming concerts. The posters were already printed, the quartet lodged in the castle where the first rehearsals had taken place. At that time the shoe manufacturer Bata, with whom I was in clinch for many years, let me know through one of his employees that he would not allow a German artist to participate at a Smetana Festival in Zlin. If we would proceed with the concert, he would summon his 6,000 workers and march up to the concert hall to prevent the performance, if necessary even with force. In this way the purely well-meant artistic event got a bad political touch. I couldn’t expose Liesl to such a danger and so the concert was canceled.

Zlin had grown very much in the last years. Thomas Bata, who worked for several years in shoe factories in U.S.A. and had learned thoroughly the mechanical fabrication, came back to his native Zlin at the turn of the century. He bought there a piece of land next to the railway station of a newly-opened local railway, Otrokowitz-Zlin-Wisowitz. There he built a one-story factory building and started to produce cheap shoes according to American pattern. As in the beginning this operation was a modest one, I had no fears it would affect my summer stay in Zlin. But when in 1914 the First World War broke out, Bata realized the situation faster than any other shoe manufacturer. According to the contract he settled with the military administration, he was asked to supply a great part of the army’s shoe needs. To accomplish this he had to increase his factory in a large scale. But this was only possible if he could get hold of a great part of my land that was surrounding his establishments. He sent me a proposal referring to this. After long negotiations I agreed to sell him, for a reasonable price, more or less 100,000 square meters of building sites. But I kept all rights reserved in the contract that on the sites next to the park and the castle neither factory buildings nor worker colonies could be built. This contract was accepted and signed by Bata before November 1914. At first he respected this condition. But as war lengthened, and military demands grew, the enlargements of the factory had to be accelerated and soon his enterprise was one of the most significant of Europe. After the downfall in 1918, he thought his position so strengthened that he could ignore the reserved rights in the purchase contract which were restricting his freedom of movement and started to build, without my consent, on the forbidden lots. The first step was to build a big annular brick kiln. At first I maintained a reserved attitude, but when he started with a 60-meters-high chimney, I sent him a registered letter alerting him that I would have to stop this construction and requested him to pull down the already-started chimney. As he didn’t do this in due course, I asked my lawyer, Dr. Emil Tomanek in Ungarisch-Hradisch, to bring an action for demolition of the mentioned buildings and for amends of damages. I was lucky in my choice of Dr. Tomanek as my representative because he turned out to be very able and an honest man who, although being Czech, succeeded in representing a German great landowner against the mighty Czech industrialist. I worked very well with him, while Bata only had second-class lawyers. Bata neglected my letter and went on building; he finished the annular brick kiln and now went on to build worker houses on the prohibited lots. This process went on for two years. It was a sad sign of the corruptibility of the Czech lower body of judges that my complaint was rejected in Ungarisch-Hradisch’s lower county court. I naturally redressed to the next higher court, Brünn’s Provincial Court, but they also couldn’t resist Bata’s tempting artifice and denied my appeal. At last I lost my patience and I went to see the President of the Supreme Court in Brünn, Dr. Popelka, whom I knew from old times and to whom I explained the whole situation. I asked him to save the Czech judges’ honor, to invalidate the two former misjudgements, and to make a decision. The president received me very well, promised to study the process personally, and after that make his decision. After few weeks I received the Supreme Court’s decision, through which the two former judgements were, as misjudgements, invalidated. Thomas Bata was sentenced to: abolish all unallowable constructions on the mentioned lots; abolish the 60-meters-high chimney which was contrary to the terms of agreement; reinstall the former conditions at his own expense; make amends for the plaintiff’s expenses. The Supreme Court gave as reason for this judgement the accuracy of all my explanations and ordered the county court of Ungarisch-Hradisch to observe this judgement and, if not attended by Bata, begin with the court’s execution. My costs were calculated to be 150,000 Czech crowns and were paid by Bata to me. For the demolition he got several months of delay, with a deadline of December 1927. Even so, Bata wasn’t willing to fulfil the regulation and was making passive resistance to its execution. At that time a new complication arose. Zlin’s vicar, Father Anton Dvorak, died and the vicariate’s management went temporarily to the assistant priest. This priest was an eager friend of Bata and, as such, not acceptable to me. Bata was trying hard to get the Archbishop of Olmütz, Dr. Stejanand, to appoint this assistant priest as Zlin’s vicar. But as I was the patron of Zlin’s church, I had the right to propose three candidates to the Archbishop for Zlin’s vicar position; and so Bata’s candidate didn’t have many good prospects. But Bata went on to try to influence the Archbishop by sending delegations of Zlin’s workers and citizens, asking him to ignore my patron’s rights as I was a German and shouldn’t have any patron’s rights in the Czechoslovak Republic. The Archbishop decisively denied this unreasonable demand, especially because I had a much better-qualified candidate than Bata’s. It was Dr. Franz Vavrusa, a native of Zlin, who got his education at the Collegium Germanicum in Rome and who was private secretary for many years to the former Archbishop of Olmütz, Dr. Kohn. After Dr. Kohn’s death he was vicar in North Moravia and I brought him from there. He was very able, wriggling through between Bata and me, and managed his vicar’s job with tact.

Steffi and Ursi had soon a very animated social life with all the landowner neighbors. In summer 1923, a large number of youth decided to arrange a so- called “youth week.” A large group of friends and acquaintances were invited, not only from West Hungary but also from all over the country, Slovakia, and Moravia, so that the group was about 150 persons. They all were lodged in different nearby castles. Different sports events and festivities were planned. There was a great ball in Vép with Erdödy’s, another with dancing competitions in Sorokujfalu, and the third at Peter Szechényi’s in Rum. There were car gymkhana, competitions with horses, bicycles, tennis and others.

Besides that, there were annual autumn hunting parties in Sorok. Steffi had fostered with great care the small game, and Sorok’s hunting parties were one of the best in Vas District. Generally it was four days of hunting, one for pheasants and three for hares; a lot of partridges also were shot. The bag per hunting day was from 600 to 1,000 pieces and the total bag was around 1,500 pheasants, 2,400 hares and around 500 partridges. Each shooting day was followed by an entertaining dinner party, at which the ladies also appeared. Two of the invited best shots were the Hungarian Prime Minister, Count István (Steve) Bethlen, and Count Toni Sigray.

On April 17th, 1925, a very strong boy was born in Tavarnok who was named Werther. Godparents were Hedwig and Sisinio Pretis. Hedwig had gone earlier to Tavarnok but came back to Brünn for Liesl’s debut. Liesl played the piano part of Schumann’s wonderful Quintet with the George Steiner quartet with whom she stayed in contact thereafter.

This same year Ernst and Dorle had a bad car crash, which could have had serious consequences for them. They were on their way back from Prague when their chauffeur had a stroke while driving. The car turned over, they were thrown out, and like a wonder they weren’t hurt; but the driver was dead.

On October 14th, 1926, a very much-desired little girl was born in Sorok. Bishop Count George Mikes gave her the name of Marie-Louise during the baptism ceremony, which again was celebrated in the castle. Godparents were August and Lily Batthyány. Nurse Lotte Janich, who had been since 1924 with the boys, now took over little Marie-Louise since her birth and stayed on for seven more years. The children, especially Marie-Louise, were very much attached to her.      *[Lotte Janich left Sorok in 1933 and went to Leo and Leni Haupt Stummer as their third child, Ernst, was born in Tavarnok.]

In March 1928, my nephew Leo got engaged to Helene (Leni) von Gutmann, daughter of Max von Gutmann, member of the mining board and his wife Mimsch. Mimsch’s parents were the famous actor-couple Hartmann of Vienna’s Burgtheater. The wedding was in June 1928, in Vienna’s Schotten Chapel and the famous singer Durige sang wonderfully. I was Leo’s wedding witness and as such made a very well applauded speech during the dinner. Prince Franz Lichtenstein, married to Elsa, Max Gutmann’s sister, congratulated me on my speech after dinner and assured me he had heard a lot of wedding speeches but never one so highly finished and so fertile in ideas.

July 10th, 1928, our granddaughter Leonore was born in Kulhany. In Kulhany’s wonderful sylvan solitude Edith had very desirable recovery and agreeable weeks, and Hedwig enjoyed the time with them there.

At the end of August 1928, I got sick with painful sciatica in my right leg. As things were getting worse and home nursing wasn’t sufficient, the children advised me to go with Hedwig to the Cottage Sanatorium in Vienna, to which August escorted us. There I took a treatment of injections for three weeks, which did me a lot of good, so that we could leave for an after-cure to Baden’s Gutenbrunn Sanatorium near Vienna. The stay there was excellent and we spent an agreeable autumn in Baden where we met often with Oktav and Rudolf Bleyleben. The next winter of 1928 we mostly spent in Tavarnok with Edith and August.

Soon after Poldi’s death, his children started to dissolve their company, Schmitt and Co., in Topolcsany. To this firm belonged a large saw mill, 70 km of forest railway, as well as some lots for construction. The main part fell to August who, in this year, also had the difficult discussions with the Land Office. The dissolution process of Schmitt and Co. took a long time and Leo and August often consulted me about the difficulties that came up. So my longer stay in Tavarnok seemed to be desired.

On December 31st, 1927, demolition of Zlin’s brick-kiln ought to have started; instead Bata asked the court for a prolongation of the execution deadline and did some further delaying tricks. Court denied all his requests and already wanted to start execution when I unexpectedly received, through Cary Rohrer, an invitation to see the Czech Ambassador, Vavrecka, in Vienna, letting me know he had some important messages to tell me referring to the Bata process. I went to see him and we agreed that both parties wished to prevail concerning the sale of my property to Bata’s firm. Vavrecka, as Bata’s intimate friend, could influence him to make a higher offer. I told him that my demand of 15 million KC, considering the high land prices in Zlin, was a very moderate one. I recently had sold two lots and woodland for more than two million KC, so that the value of the rest of the property decreased to 12 million KC. For this price I was willing to sell the whole property, with the exception of the living and dead inventory, the timber and cereal stocks, as well as the whole castle’s furniture. Vavrecka informed Bata of this demand. A several-hours-long telephone conversation between Vavrecka and Bata resulted in Bata changing his offer from six to 12 millions, but as a matter of prestige he asked for a small reduction. Vavrecka advised me to accept this offer, as a demolition of the brick-kiln probably would be prevented by the workers and undoubtedly would provoke great workers’ demonstrations. I asked for 24 hours for consideration and called for a family consultation with Hedwig, all children and children-in-law. They all consented to selling, although they found it hard to lose this wonderful family property. Next day I went to see Ambassador Vavreck, this time accompanied by August, and informed him about a purchase price reduction of 50,000 KC. He phoned again to Bata and confirmed, in the presence of August as witness, that Bata accepted the deal. After some months, which I used to liquidate the remaining inventory and stocks, Bata and I signed the purchase contracts on June 30th, 1929. The delivery of the empty castle was set for October 1st, 1929. During the summer all the children, grandchildren and Mama Therese, as well as good old friends, all came for the last time to Zlin. After the last furniture van was dispatched, Hedwig, Liesl and I were standing in a melancholic mood in the empty rooms that were recalling to my mind the times of my most wonderful childhood and the happy years we had had there with our children. But the changes that had occurred in Zlin, through American way of industrialization, grew so big that memories of beautiful old times faded away. I since have seen Zlin only once for a few hours on my way driving through, probably for the last time.

Christmas 1928 we spent in Sorokujfalu and Ernst and Dorle joined us there, too. The terrible winter 1929 started already in January with bad snowstorms and minus 20°C lasting for days. Midst of January Count Sándor Erdödy died in Vép. The funeral was in Szombathely with very big attendance. Despite the bad snowstorm all the neighbors had come with their cars. Steffi and Ursi also couldn’t be hindered from going and, despite the great amount of snow, they came home all right. Two Batthyany cars got stuck a few hundred steps short of Sorok in a two-meters-high snowdrift. The passengers had to fight their way through to the castle with snow up to their knees. There was no way to shovel the cars out at night. They all had to stay at our place for two days till the roads were cleaned up.

We used a snowstorm pause to go back to Vienna, where we spent a time with Liesl. Steffi and Ursi, as well as Ernst and Dorle, went for a few weeks to St. Moritz and Liesl joined them there.

Directly after their wedding Leo and Leni moved to Tavarnok. They occupied the northern wing of the castle. August was living in the south tower. The joint living of the two young couples was very harmonious and Leni soon enjoyed wide popularity. Here were born Leo’s children: Leo, born April 7th, 1929; Eleonore (Pupa), July 11th, 1930; and Ernst, August 9th, 1933.

In June 1929, we found a very nice eight-room-large apartment in Vienna’s Argentiner Street 20-A, near Carl’s Church. The yearly rent of 3,600 Schillings wasn’t much, but I had to pay a ransom of 42,000 Schillings and spent another 15,000 Schillings for repairs. The contract was for five years. This apartment was furnished with Zlin’s furniture and we could already enter on October 1st.

Soon thereafter our first visitor was Mama Therese to have a look at our great town apartment. All our friends from there came to see her and she was very happy about this. We also managed to take a picture of her with her first great-grandson Wolfi, by the famous photographer Kosel, which turned out very good and became for us a lasting souvenir.

We were looking for a year for available properties as compensation for Zlin. First I thought of Styria and Lower-Austria, which would be near to Vienna and Sorokujfalu, but none of the seen properties was quite to our taste.

At the same time, August also had found a property in the Nyitra Valley, 30 km from Tavarnok. After the death of its former owner Vépy-Vogronics, a friend of August, he bought this estate from the heir. It was the estate Chalmova with about 572 ha. By this purchase August had increased his landed property in Slovakia quite a lot, so there was the danger of trouble with the Land Office (Secretary of Interior). Besides that, it wasn’t easy to get hold of the necessary purchase money during the crises of 1929-31.

 

Duchonka 1928 – 1944.

 I then had the idea to buy from August half of his hunting ground Duchonka (2,800 ha) and through this be helpful to him. To save the death duty, I would register the property in Liesl’s name. August welcomed and was most happy with the idea. Now it was necessary to build a house in Duchonka. So we got in touch with architect Bauer, who already had done quite a lot of building for us, and charged him with making plans for a 15-room (beside the necessary adjoining spaces) hunting castle. First we had to find the right spot for building, at the forest’s fringe. We succeeded after some searching to find a place, 400 steps from the forester’s house and our forest’s track station, on a salient hillock. From this place one had a beautiful view of a great part of the Nyitra Valley and it’s commanding 1,300 m-high Ftacnik. Water supply could be assured from a source 1,000 m away. Bauer projected a stone building, made out of a pale violet stone, which was found in a quarry near Nyitra and which gave the whole building a very particular look. All building material could be transported on our private track, which made everything much cheaper. But now a few complicated problems concerning the inside of the building had to be solved. Liesl was passionately longing for an organ, and I decided to make her this present. She asked her master, Professor Schütz, to help her find a real good Bach organ and he took great interest in it. Schütz traveled with Liesl to several German cities that had famous old organs. The setup he discussed with Bauer and us. Bauer now had to create the right esthetic and acoustic space for this organ and he succeeded in a spectacular way. Professor Schütz ordered the organ from the well-known organ builder Steinmeyer in Öttingen, Bavaria, and it was delivered on time. The construction of the house was started in spring 1930 and was finished on June 30th, 1931. The house was inaugurated on June 20th, 1931, and it was a solemn and stirring moment as Professor Schütz for the first time played this wonderful organ and the music resounded in the forest’s solitude. The numerous guests were all moved and didn’t spare acknowledging words to the house and organ constructors. Schütz loved this child of his so much that he spent, every year, several days of his vacation with us in Duchonka, playing and improvising for many hours. This was a great pleasure for us and especially Liesl was delighted. We had the great joy of having our family matriarch, Therese Phull, in our midst at the inauguration. A few months earlier she had celebrated her 80th birthday, in full control of her mind. For this occasion had come to Brünn: Steffi and Ursi, with Wolfi and Herbert; Edith and August, with Marie Anne and Werther; and Dorle and Ernst. For the dinner party also were present: Aunt Sophie, Uncle Heinrich, Robert and Mimi Schoeller, Alfred and Elsbet Hochstetter and Nelböcks. Fritz Nelböck and I gave the toasts and the celebrant answered with a few words. The great grandchildren presented a play, written by Gertrud, to everybody’s enjoyment. Lots of friends dropped by and Mama Therese got numerous flower arrangements. In summer 1932, Mama Therese spent, still very well, several weeks in Duchonka. Precisely it was from June 28th till September 9th.

Ernst had started as manager of the administrative board of Troppau’s sugar refinery in 1920. Soon thereafter he developed a remarkable activity. He recognized the precarious situation of this industry that, by the breakdown of the Austrian Monarchy, had lost a part of its market; and so he was searching for compensation. For this reason he purchased first the majority stock of several small sugar factories in Prussian Silesia’s area, and later the majority of Klettendorf’s unrefined-sugar factory. A large property belonged to this factory, directly next to Breslau. Outgoing from this center he bought a few other sugar factories in Upper Silesia, which were in a terrible competition struggle with each other and therefore without profit. All these plants he closed by fusing them into one great enterprise, which he named East-Sugar and the management was in his hands. This ingenious consolidation very soon became profitable for all parts, for the factories in Prussian Silesia as well as for Troppau’s Sugar Refining S.A. who were in close relationship with them. I was a member of the administrative board of Troppau’s Sugar Refining S.A. since 1921. In this enterprise a good field of activity was found for Busso von Bismarck, Ursi’s father, who since the Versailles Peace Treaty hadn’t found a satisfactory job. He moved to Klettendorf in 1930 with his second wife Helene (born Baroness Friesen) and his little son Klaus. They lived there in a nice villa with a beautiful garden.

We spent Christmas 1932 in Sorok and intended to stay for a few weeks. There we received on December 25th a phone call from Aunt Sophie, informing us that Mama Therese fell in her room because of dizziness on the morning of December 24th and fractured her thigh. Her condition was critical. Hedwig decided to travel immediately and arrived the same night in Brünn. She could see Mama only next morning; although Mama had bad pains she was fully conscious. The x-ray showed the fracture of her thigh but, considering her age and her general condition, no operation was attempted; this was decided to avoid all the excitement that would have caused her. Besides Dr. Mager, Dr. Leischner was consulted. Poor Mama suffered a lot but with great patience. Although she was clear in her mind, her interest in her surroundings was visibly decreasing. Hedwig had hired a sister of a protestant nursing order to help, and Aunt Sophie also was staying many hours with her. As the end was to be expected I came with Liesl and the Steffi’s to Vienna so that we could be contacted easier. On January 22nd, 1933, at four o’clock in the morning Mama Therese died, deeply mourned by grandchildren, great grandchildren, and us as well as lots of friends who had the luck to know her. She was the most unselfish person, always ready to put aside her own interests if she could help or add to a joy for somebody else. She was an ideal mother-in-law. Steffi and Liesl, as well as Robert Schoeller with Ellen, drove to Brünn for the funeral. I had to stay in Vienna as I had caught a rather bad flu; Ursi stayed with me. Dorle also couldn’t come as Ernst was hospitalized after a tongue surgery. Edith left at once to be with Hedwig, while August came late because of heavy snowstorms. There was a very great participation at the funeral.

The decade 1925 – 1935 was for all family members Haupt-Buchenrode, Haupt- Stummer and Janotta full of building activities. Before I had started construction in Duchonka, Steffi had started in 1926 a part renovation of Sorok’s castle, planned by chief architect Leopold Bauer who was already so successful with my houses in Brünn. The castle was improved with a new beautiful baroque-style roof and a new special plaster was applied to the walls from outside, which proved excellent. Further, the small private power plant was improved by setting up a turbine instead of the old paddlewheel. The dam in the park was elevated and through this so much more horsepower could be generated that it provided electricity, besides for the castle and the farmhouses, to two more neighboring villages, Sorokujfalu and Polány.

In 1928, Dorle and Ernst had bought the nice little castle Stemplovec, with its beautiful park, just 9 km away from Troppau’s sugar refining and also the same distance from the Janotta parents’ home, Stiebrowitz. As this building was vacant for a long time it badly needed repairs and so they decided to renew the place and take up residence there. By adding a big terrace, the castle got larger and much better looking. This rebuilding also was one of Leopold Bauer’s projects. These works were finished in spring 1930, so that they could move from their Troppau apartment to Stemplovec. It was well appointed with furniture from Zlin and completed with some from Mama Anna’s apartment in Brünn. The staircase was decorated with Papa Phull’s hunting trophies, which he had shot in Tökes Ujfalu at Poldi’s. The castle was very cozy and we could spend several weeks of the year as our children’s guests. Chalmova also needed some adaptation works that were done during 1934. A new water supply had to be set up for the castle as well as for the distillery. Also, several guest- and bathrooms were added.

On February 1st, 1933, occurred the great revulsion in Germany in consequence of Hitler’s seizure of power. The important political events to follow I will relate in detail only if they affected my family or me. On April 5th, 1933, Ernst was put under arrest by the Gestapo during a board meeting of Breslau’s East-Sugar enterprise, whose president he was, without any reason or explanation. Dorle who was on a cruiser tour with Liesl in Sicily had no idea of anything when Ursi, August and we received her on her arrival in Vienna. She was only informed now that Ernst had been for 11 days in protective custody and so she left at once with Ursi to Breslau. Ernst could receive them at the railway station, escorted by a policeman, but had to go back into custody immediately. Custody was eased somewhat through short walks with Dorle and Ursi, and sometimes a lunch at home at the villa, but always accompanied by the policeman. During all this time Ernst wasn’t questioned a single time. Examinations were done in all the factories but, as nothing could be found, the public prosecutor dropped the charge. On the other hand it was found out that a recently dismissed employee made the charge as revenge. Cases like this weren’t unusual in those days. Even so Silesia’s chief police president, Brückner, refused to let Ernst free and it was necessary to have very important personalities’ intervention, like Göring in Berlin, to force Brückner to set Ernst free. Only after the second telegram from Berlin, after four weeks of custody, did the police obey the order. Ernst left the same night, on April 29th, (escorted by a spotter) by car over the Czech border and next day to Vienna, where he went for recovery to Sanatorium Perchtoldsdorf. Dorle and Ursi drove to Vienna the same day, and Dorle followed Ernst to Perchtoldsdorf.

Since 1932, Robert and Mimi Schoeller were our regular guests for Pentecost and it was a special joy to spend some pleasant days with them in our new home. From now on Gustl Angeli was among the regular Pentecost guests. Life in Duchonka was very agreeable from the very beginning. They were nice and relatively calm times; in autumn, for the stag rut, the children loved to come, as well as later on the grandchildren and friends. Much attention was paid to music. Excellent artists, such as Georg Steiner and Christa, who meanwhile became a couple, as well as Professor Schütz came often for a visit. In August 1933 we made a 14-day tour by car with Liesl through the Dolomites, which took us to Ischl, Innsbruck, Landeck and through Finstermünz’s pass to Italy. First we went to Sulden, and then via Bozen to Lake Karer. From there we made several excursions to the Brenta group and to the wild mountain lake Prax. On our way back we passed Lake Millstätt and from there we drove directly home.

On November 20th, 1933, Hedwig’s 60th birthday was celebrated in Tavarnok. To this event came Aunt Sophie from Brünn, Dorle, the ones from Sorok, with all the children. For this celebration Marie-Anne wrote a fairytale in poetry, “The Forest’s Wonder on One Day,” which was interpreted by the children as a play; this was followed by Gertrud’s very humorous recital, in Bohemian dialect.

In Vienna the socialist agitation started in 1934. For this reason, Federal Chancellor Dr. Dollfuss took serious measures against the socialist party which, led by Burgomaster Seitz, controlled the municipality of Vienna. After Dollfuss gave orders to capture the most important socialist party leaders, they entrenched themselves in fortified municipal buildings and made armed resistance. Thereupon Dollfuss brought cannons into action and had the fortifications cannonaded, partly destroying the buildings and in this way forcing the members to surrender. With this event the immediate danger for Vienna’s city was put aside. The municipal council was dissolved and a new Christian social community representation was convoked. Dorle and Ernst happened to be in Vienna during these exciting days.

In early spring we accepted an invitation of Ernst and Dorle to join them on an Italian journey and our first stay was Sorrent. From here we made excursions to Amalfi, Pompeii, Naples and other interesting places in South Italy. On our way back the two of us stopped in Rome where we recalled memories of our honeymoon. We were very much impressed by the huge new excavations Mussolini had had done. We now went back to Duchonka while Dorle and Ernst, who had stayed in Sorrent, still made a trip to Sicily.

In 1932, Leo had made arrangements for a large stage in Tavarnok’s great ballroom. For the inaugural play he had invited a lot of people. Among other presentations, a humorous operetta’s parody was played, composed by Liesl. The main actors were Edith, Fritz Rohrer, Leo and Leni. Leo named the stage T.T.T (Thalia Theater Tavarnok). In May 1934, Leo organized a second great theater evening. This time it was an opera’s parody that was performed. Liesl had composed for this very sweet as well as witty music; and while playing the piano she also conducted the singers. They were: Leni, Leo, August, Gertrud, Edith, Géza and in the choir Andor Pállfy, Gretl Bleyleben, Béla, Péter, Judith and I. The main credit for the tremendous success was Liesl’s. Besides the opera, beautiful scissors cuts were shown, planned and performed by Leo as background for a few tableaux vivants. The numerous guests from Hungary, Slovakia and Austria were delighted with the various, very artistic, performances.

In Sorokujfalu some cases of infantile paralysis had occurred in the beginning of July 1934 that made the Steffi’s bring the children for a longer stay at Duchonka. Steffi and Ursi went back again to Sorok, but on their way stopped at Stampfen, Luki Károlyi’s place, where Steffi, due to the great heat, took a very cold bath. On the way he had two flat tires, and as he was driving without a chauffeur he had to repair them on that very dusty road himself. He arrived in Sorok already with fever and got a bad bronchial catarrh. As his condition was getting worse, his family doctor, Dr. Varasdy, advised him to go to Vienna to see Professor Neumann who was one of the best lung specialists in town. When we got notice we also hurried to Vienna and met them at Hotel Sacher on July 27th. After the radioscopy, Professor Neumann took over treatment and Steffi had to stay for three months at Sanatorium Himmelhof, in Upper Saint Veit, near Vienna. Ursi stayed the whole time with him. The coughing and fever stopped soon and Professor Neumann was very satisfied with the course of the disease. *[No antibiotic existed at that time.]

 We stayed for a few days more at the Sacher, Hedwig mostly at the sanatorium. I just had finished my after-lunch nap at the hotel (it was July 23rd) when my attention was drawn to an abnormal incident, unusually heavy traffic and loud walkers in Anna Street near the central radio station. I wanted to get to the sanatorium with our car, but was forced to make a large detour as a military barrier had closed the Ring Street near the Opera. I learned from some policemen that the radio center in Anna Street was occupied, after a short struggle, by national socialists and a truck with 12 heavily armed Nazis entered the Federal Chancellor’s gate entrance. Fighting for that place was still going on. I could drive on to the sanatorium and we spent the evening there with Steffi’s. News from Vienna about the Federal Chancellory’s situation was alarming and confusing. Nevertheless we decided to go back to Hotel Sacher. We were stopped at the Opera but when I showed our Czechoslovak passports they let us pass as foreign tourists. At the Sacher it was rumored that the invading Nazis heavily wounded Federal Chancellor Dr. Dollfuss with a revolver shot. The rumors unfortunately were true and the Chancellor died this same night, July 24th, 1934, due to his mortal wounds. The rebels were forced by the police and soldiers to surrender and got a heavy penalty, while the murderer Planetta was shot.

Thank God Steffi was recovering well. During his absence I was looking after Sorok’s management. Everything was running well, when one day while reviewing the cash flow, I found there was a 3,000 Pengö outgo. I went to Sorok at once to see what had happened. The investigation found that the treasurer Gördl had 3,000 Pengö debts at the Hangya that he was managing as a director. (Hangya was a food store chain in Hungary’s villages). As a Hangya revision was imminent and he didn’t have the money to pay his debt, he embezzled the Sorok property’s money. He claimed to have lost his briefcase with the 3,000 Pengös on a trip by horse cart to Szombathely, where he was supposed to pay taxes. His briefcase really was found, but empty. Wolfi and Herbert were driving daily by horse-driven carriage to school in Szombathely and that day Grödl went along with them. Herbert had remarked that Grödl was trying to distract their attention while at the same time throwing something out of the carriage. This remark of the boys and the fact that his whole behavior was so strange meant that nobody believed Grödl’s story. After a few hours of discussion I got him to confess the whole story by promising I wouldn’t enter a complaint with the police. But he had to leave his job immediately.

During the children‘s stay in Duchonka Miss Elisabeth Roth, called “Ki,” was employed for educational purposes. She stayed for years with them, up till the last farewell to Sorok (1945), and was loved as well as esteemed by everyone.

In November 1934, Steffi had recovered and could come back with Ursi to Sorok, where we with the children and all the employees received him.

In the same year at the beginning of August we were at Duchonka and made an excursion to visit the Marneggs at Slavy. It was a very hot day and Liesl took a swim in the icy pond. On her way back to Duchonka she already didn’t feel well; the next day she had high fever and Ödön, whom we had asked to come, verified pneumonia. Ödön stayed several days in Duchonka and we spent some anxious days. Edith also came to help with nursing. The couple Steiner were at that time visiting and were deeply depressed and concerned to find Liesl that ill. Before leaving they played before the open doors of Liesl’s room the most beautiful duets so Liesl could listen with great pleasure to this great music. Thank God, Liesl recovered fast and during the stag’s rut could do some easy hunting.

In the beginning of 1935 the alterations in Chalmova were finished so that August and Edith could move there with the children and his whole household. A part of their Tavarnok furniture was taken there, as well as a part of Mama Therese’s heritage. Leo now took over the whole castle in Tavarnok, while August just kept small temporary quarters there. Later Leo made some improvements to the attic in the north wing for bed- and children’s rooms.

In summer 1935, castle Chalmova was inaugurated. August invited to this event, besides all the family and friends of the neighborhood, the two former owners of the property, Ely Vépy-Vogronich and the couple Schreiner. At this occasion Marie-Anne recited as usual a self-composed poem. The Vépy-Vogronich family was especially moved as she made reference in her poetry to August’s friend, the late Vépy-Vogronich. Already as a small child Marie-Anne could express her feelings in poetry; the deepness of her feelings was astonishing and her way of expression admirable.

In March 1936, Liesl went on a Mediterranean journey with Ernst and Dorle. They took the luxury steamer “Conte di Savoya.” They went via Naples to Port Said, from where they made a three-day trip to Cairo, on to Haifa, with an excursion to Bethlehem and then to Greece. Because of political unrest the boat couldn’t land in Athens, so it went straight on to Villefranche at the Riviera. On this trip, which partly was very stormy, Dorle became acquainted with Lolita Rodes and her parents. This casual meeting later on turned into a real friendship.

In June 1936, we had the famous Viennese regent Professor Kabasta and his wife, as well as Professsor Schütz and the Secretary of the Viennese Music Association, Hlawatsch, as guests in Duchonka. Kabasta was deeply impressed by Liesl’s musicality and enthusiastic about the wonderful sound of the organ.

In this year’s August we made a trip, accompanied by Liesl, Wolfi (grandson) and the chauffeur Stelzer, in our Tatra (a car with motor in the rear). This new type of streamlined shape caused everywhere great sensation. We drove first to Velden on Lake Wörther, where we stayed for a few days. Wolfi loved to swim in the lake. From there we went over the feared Katschberg to Zell on the Lake, where we stayed again overnight. Here we wanted to go by the newly opened and well-laid-out Great Glockner road. With excellent weather this trip was really pleasant and offered the most splendid sight of the mountains. We drove up to Franz Joseph’s summit (3,300 m). The new car was doing fine driving over the high mountains; the air-cooled engine improved on the climbs so to Wolfi’s greatest joy we could overtake most other cars. We drove the same road back to Salzburg. Liesl there met Edith, Gertrud and Peter with whom she wanted to attend Salzburg’s festivals. Although we had made reservations, we could get no good hotel, so we went on to St.Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang. After a short stay we drove on through the Gesäuse, stayed a few days with the Robert Schoellers in their villa at the Semmering, and then went back to Duchonka.

Shortly after Ernst was discharged from custody in Breslau, he started to liquidate his interests in Central Europe, mainly in Czechoslovakia and Germany. The general political situation seemed to him very threatening with the growth of Germany’s National Socialist Party. He first decided to sell his different enterprises in Germany. These mainly went to “Süd Zucker” which also had Italian interests. His freed capital he invested as far as possible, and to do so he had to travel in the following years to Switzerland, France, England, Sweden and Holland. Since 1930 Dorle and Ernst were Liechtenstein citizens. Summer 1934 they didn’t spend in Stemplovec as usual, but were travelling. The next summers they still came to Stemplovec for a three-month stay; the rest of the year they mostly were spending in Vienna and at the Riviera. In 1936 Ernst had bought for a favorable price a villa in Cap d'Ail, not far away from Monte Carlo and very well situated at seaside.

In 1937, I several times had trouble with my bladder and mid-December I went to see a urologist at Vienna’s University, Professor Rubrizius. The examination showed that my prostate was very much enlarged and Professor Rubrizius advised me to undergo surgery. I decided to do it right away and so Hedwig moved with me to Sanatorium Löw, on December 16th, where we got a very nice room with a large bathroom that Hedwig used as her bedroom. This surgery always requires a preliminary treatment, which in my case provoked a high fever so that the surgery had to be postponed. On Christmas Eve Dorle and Ernst, who had stayed in our apartment, visited us. On January 5th, I was that well recovered that the surgery could be done by Professor Rubrizius. This surgery is done with local anesthesia and only at the end I was weakly anesthetized and fell asleep instantaneously. The whole surgery took one-and-a-half hours and I had no pain whatsoever. When I was returned to my bed I could see Hedwig and the children immediately. Edith was staying for a few days next door. Recovering was normal without any complications and with less pain than I had expected. On January 17th, I could get up for the first time. The families from Sorok and Chalmova were visiting alternately and many Viennese friends came, too. Dorle traveled to the Riviera on January 18th, where Ernst had gone before. She wasn’t aware at that time she would never see Vienna again. *[Nevertheless Dorle moved back to Vienna in her last years and died in Vienna on September 27th, 1982, 82 years old, long after the author’s death in Rio de Janeiro, on October 4th, 1954, 85 years old.]

On January 30th, 1938, I left the sanatorium completely recovered and returned to our apartment in Argentina Street. Due to the excellent stay and nursing in the sanatorium and the favorable recovery I have no bad recollections of this event. February we stayed quietly in Vienna with Liesl.

On March 11th, we were having tea with Edmund Marnegg and his wife when Steffi called by telephone from Sorok, suggesting we come to Sorok as the German troops were advancing toward Vienna. I was quite astonished as no excitement or unrest was to be seen. Edmund rushed to the street and came back after a few minutes informing us that German troops were already on Schwarzenberg Platz. After this, many exciting events were happening. Streets were full of crowds and one could hear sporadic calls of “Heil Hitler” (hail). The population was maintaining calm. Next day Hitler came driving by car from Linz to Vienna, taking up quarters in the Imperial Hotel. Austria’s “Anschluss” (annexation) to Germany was proclaimed. No street demonstrations occurred and we could go on with everyday life as before. Ernst had arrived in Vienna from Prague the very day the troops marched in. Due to the events he wanted to leave Austria as soon as possible and wanted to reach the nearest frontier (Hungary), but this was impossible as it was already closed. So he took the express train to Italy, reached Milan without difficulties, and informed Dorle, who was in Menton, to meet him in Geneva. We drove on April 17th, 1938, to Brünn for Aunt Sophie Staehlin’s 80th birthday celebration. Robert and Mimi came to this event, too. On April 23rd, we drove directly to Sorok where Ernst and Dorle also had arrived. Soon thereafter I had some complaints that forced me to go to see Professor Rubrizius in Vienna at the beginning of May. He suggested a somewhat lengthy treatment, so Hedwig and I again went to Sanatorium Löw. I nearly had ended my treatment when the terrible news of Czechoslovakia’s general mobilization was announced. In this case the Hungarian frontier’s closing was to be feared and, as Professor Rubrizius assured me that any hospital doctor could do the rest of my treatment, we decided to leave at once by car for Sorok. There we met with August, Edith, the children and Liesl, who also had fled because of the alarming news from Slovakia. Soon this news turned out to be false and the Czechoslovak Government issued its denial. Everybody calmed down but, as the situation remained menacing, August decided to stay on in Sorok with his family. During this time all the children proceeded to have measles. Marie-Anne soon afterwards caught a bad pneumonia with high fever that caused us lots of troubles. Fortunately she overcame the crisis due to her healthy nature, but her recovery took quite a long time. In the beginning of July we returned to Duchonka with Liesl.

Ernst and Dorle had driven by car to the Adore, where they met the Janotta parents and Gretl and spent a few weeks with them there. After this they went to Cap d’Ail where the setup of Villa Thalassa was started. In July and August we had visiting us in Duchonka Baron Heinold, our steady summer guest, the couple Pillerstorff, as well as Dr. Felix Luschka, a Christian-Socialist deputy from Prague. Together with him I made a plan with all details for the German-Czech understanding and Luschka was in charge of presenting this plan to Czechoslovakia’s German Party leaders. Unfortunately we arrived one day late with our plan, because the day before the German Party had accepted, as basis for the understanding, Henlein’s more radical plan. As Hitler’s meetings with Chamberlain in Berchtesgaden and Godesberg had no practical result, the political tension was increased by Hitler’s violent and illegal measures. As the danger of war beginning was always more threatening, Steffi called us by telephone and urged our coming to Sorok. Liesl was returning at that moment from her morning hunting with Hanni Schmertzing. She was very excited, because on her way back home her car caught fire in the Klausen Valley when she wanted to start it. Luckily they could jump out in time, but the car burned completely. We discussed with her our departure, but she preferred to stay as long as possible in Duchonka and to go on with stag’s rutting. Our hunting guest Sisinio Pretis had arrived. His mother and Lucia happily accepted Liesl’s invitation for a longer stay in Duchonka, so they wouldn’t have to remain alone in Bodok. Sisinio made a daily report in Duchonka’s guestbook of events as reported on the radio. *[Lucia Pretis-Cagnodo, born July 13th, 1922, daughter of Sisinio and Liesel Baroness Somaruga, is a great granddaughter of Alexander Stummer (brother of August and Carl Stummer von Tavarnok). Alexander’s daughter married a Baron Pretis-Cagnodo. Their son Sisinio (Lucia’s father) was a 2nd cousin of Leo, August, Gertrud and Carola Haupt-Stummer. Lucia is 3rd cousin to Haupt-Stummers, Nesneras and Thuronyis.]

On September 30th, we followed with great tension the radio reports about the four great powers’ successful meeting in Munich. In this way we heard that Czechoslovakia, under the pressure of Hitler and the Western Powers, had accepted the demands to abandon Sudetenland in favor of Germany; so peace seemed to be assured for a while and we were embracing each other with tears in our eyes. President Benes had to resign. Dorle and Ernst passed these exciting days in Bern. They were meeting Ernst’s` parents who had preferred to leave Stiebrowitz temporarily and went to Bled (Yugoslavia) near the Austrian frontier. When the situation calmed down, they went back to Cap d’Ail.

We spent winter 1938-39 as usual with Liesl in Vienna. As the atmosphere was relatively calm, Edith decided to travel with Marie-Anne for a long stay with Dorle at Villa Thalassa in Cap d'Ail. The weather was sunny and they enjoyed their stay. Gretl Janotta also was there. The calm was seriously interrupted when Hitler marched into Prague on March 15th, 1939, occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and declared them German Protectorates. Slovakia used this opportunity to end their eternal disputes with the Prague government by disconnecting from Prague, declaring independence, and electing as President Monsignor Tisso. At the same time Hungary occupied Carpathian Russia *[before 1918 Hungarian territory.] At a conference in Komárom, with Italy’s Foreign Affaires Chancellor Ciano as chairman, Slovakia’s frontier line was newly demarcated and all areas that had a Hungarian population majority were annexed again to Hungary. With this change, Slovakia reached a certain prosperity; their main export articles were wheat, flour, wood and saw mill products, as well as sugar and malt, which sold well for top prices in Germany and Italy. This favorable situation in Slovakia didn’t change after the outbreak of war.

From August 10th, till 16th, 1939, Dorle was staying with us. It would be her last visit to Duchonka. From us she drove by car to Sorok and on August 23rd via Milan and Genoa to Cap d’Ail, where Ernst was waiting for her in Villa Thalassa. They found their stay at the French Riviera not sure enough, so they went on this same night to Geneva and Bern were they stayed for a longer period. Marie (her maid) and Miss Hensel (Ernst’s secretary) followed them soon after.

 

The Second World War 1939 – 1945.

Hitler succeeded in continuing his flush of victory without war, and so occupied the city of Memel, taking a great piece of Lithuanian territory. Poland rejected Hitler’s claim to the right to allow his army to tread over the Polish Corridor. Hitler therefore ordered his troops to march over the Polish borders. This resulted in England and France declaring war on Germany. It was September 2nd, 1939, the beginning of World War II. The Polish war was ended in a few weeks in favor of Germany. In this campaign Ursi’s younger brother, Busso von Bismarck had participated as active Lieutenant in the second Tank Corps and was several times distinguished. He had married a few months before Charlotte (Charli) Baroness Kottwitz, the daughter of a Silesian landowner in Langheinersdorf. He luckily came home safely to his young wife.

The large distances between the battlefields and our homes, and the victorious advances of the German troops, allowed us to continue our lives in Sorok and Duchonka for a long time undisturbed. After the Polish campaign, there was a period of relative silence. In this time period I reached my 70th birthday (on October 27th, 1939), but because of the war, I had to miss the presence of Steffi’s and the children, as well as Dorle and Ernst. We celebrated just in the family with the ones from Chalmova and relatives from the neighborhood. Gertrud had written special humorous verses for each present that was handed over to me by the celebrating participants. Just before my anniversary I had hunter’s luck and shot two stags. One of them had 12 antlers, weighing 5 900 kilogram. For Christmas celebration 1939 we were with Steffi’s and stayed a longer time in Sorok.

April 9th, 1940, the Germans without any combat occupied Denmark. But Hitler’s try at invading Norway was met with Britain’s strong resistance. They intervened with their navy and a big naval battle was fought, causing great material damages and casualties on both sides. Nevertheless, the Germans succeeded in landing in south Norway an army large enough to occupy all of Norway and superior to the Britons. This way the big iron-ore enterprises in Narwik fell into German hands and they stayed there till the end of the war. On May 10th came the German occupation of Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg; and after the Belgian army’s capitulation the Germans marched into north France. The British troops who had come to help the Belgian army were now forced to withdraw to Dunkirk. Britons had tremendous casualties while rescuing and returning their army to Dover. As Germans could attack the Maginot Line from the back, French resistance became paralyzed. And as Italy had also declared war on France, on June 21st, 1940, a ”cease fire” was declared. Busso Bismarck had also participated in this campaign and reached Dunkirk, as well as later the Swiss border. We were satisfied with these results because we hoped peace would come soon. This hope unfortunately did not come true as war now extended to the Balkan Peninsula and Crete.

Ernst had decided already in December 1939 to leave Switzerland and move to Portugal. At that time Italy had not yet entered the war. But navigation in the Mediterranean Sea was carefully controlled by the allies. Large passenger steamers did not travel. Accompanied by her maid, Marie, and his secretary, Miss Hänsel, Dorle and Ernst embarked on a small Italian cargo steamer which went through all the little coast harbors and took three days to travel from Genoa to Barcelona. While the passengers had a very good sleep at night, French controllers investigated the ship searching for spies and contraband. The passengers took notice of this incident only next day. In Barcelona they met Lolita Rodes, with whom they spent a lot of time during their stay of eight days. In the city one was well aware of the destructive civil war they had fought. The rest of the way they traveled by trains, through all of Spain to Portugal, where they took an apartment in Mont’ Estoril, near Lisbon, and stayed there till end of May 1940. When the German troops occupied Paris and advanced farther in France, Ernst did not want to await the refugee wave that was to reach Portugal and decided to go, first alone, to Brazil to see if circumstances for a permanent stay would suit him. A few days after his arrival in Rio, he sent a telegram to Dorle asking her to follow him as soon as possible. In July, Dorle took the same ship Ernst had taken six weeks earlier for Rio, with the difference that this time the ship was overloaded. Refugees of all nationalities and social classes, who fled from the Nazis to France and now were going beyond, were the steamer’s passengers. The great majority were Poles. After a twenty-day journey the “Angola” arrived in Rio on August 4th, 1940, where Ernst was awaiting Dorle. They settled in Copacabana Palace Hotel.

In spring 1941 we were staying a few weeks in Sorok. Many German troops passed through, heading to Yugoslavia. The friendly terms between Germany and Russia became troubled, as Russia made exaggerated claims on Germany concerning the occupied territories’ distribution. Germany did not want to accept these demands.

In summer 1941, Leo’s eldest son injured his tibia insignificantly during a stay on the Ftacnik. After 10 days he got bad pains with high fever, so that the doctors who had diagnosed a blood poisoning wanted him in hospital. Leo and Leni were day and night worrying about him. He was a marvelous patient. In spite of all the nursing the poor kid could not be saved and died, not yet 13 years old, on October 1st after bad suffering.

In June 1941, we were at war with Russia. Among the German troops who attacked in the East was Ursi’s twin brother Hasso. He had been working for the last 10 years in U.S.A., first with a brokerage firm in New York and later with I. G. Farben (a German chemical company). As war broke out he reported for military service and came back to Germany from Mexico, where he was stationed at that time, on an adventurous journey through Japan, China, and Russia, at that time not yet at war. Enlisted in the Second Tank Regiment, he made his first entrance as war broke out with Russia. On June 22nd, shortly after crossing the German-Lithuanian border, in Tauroggen, he was killed in battle at a vanguard. He was shot in his head (through his helmet) by an enemy soldier on top of a tree. A few hours earlier he had seen his brother Busso. German troops arrived during their victorious advance at a point, south of St. Petersburg, where they were stopped by heavy defensive battles. During these battles on August 14th, 1941, Ursi’s younger brother Busso was badly wounded and died a few hours later. He was 2nd Lieutenant and in command of the First Tank Regiment. Just before his death he got the happy news of his daughter Ina’s birth, his second child. His son Busso was just one year old. The close deaths of both of her brothers had deeply affected Ursi. She loved Busso dearly, although he was many years younger than she. After their mother’s early death, Busso had spent all the summers at Sorok and spent his loveliest childhood times there. In 1932 he had made a training trip on a German ship that took him from Bremen to Japan, passing through India, Manila and Shanghai. After the German army was reactivated he entered the active military service.

Ursi had found in Sorok a large field of activity that, as the children were growing up, was expanding. The chicken farm she had started got very famous, was considered a model farm, and was often visited. Much before the outbreak of war she had been involved in a Red Cross training course under the chief doctor, Dr. Ernö Petö, in Szombathely’s hospital. The aim was to practice her medical knowledge which she wanted to use in her social work. During the war she founded a women’s club in Sorok where she introduced a postnatal center and rendered assistance, and she also taught young country folks first aid and nursing. To ease the mothers’ situations during harvest time, she set up a kindergarten and Marie-Louise had taken over supervision and the kids’ activities. During good weather they were playing in the park. As Sorok did not yet have a medical doctor, people came daily from the whole region to ask for Ursi’s advice and, in case of accidents, they came to get first-aid assistance. Ki helped Ursi in all possible ways with all her activities. *[“Ki” is an abbreviation of “kisasszony”= “Miss” in Hungarian, invented by Marie-Louise]. To improve the cultural level, Ursi gave lectures in Hungarian at the women’s club, teaching with practical examples the importance and know-how of growing vegetables, chickens, fruits and other plants. She set up a cinema for teaching purposes and entertainment. She really had a lot of success with all this.

At the end of June 1941, Hungary and Romania were forced by the Germans to declare war on Russia.

In November 1941 Hedwig and I went for a cure in Pistany’s spa. This did us a lot of good, so we repeated it in the next year, but this time with Liesl.

In December 1941 a further enlargement of the battlefields occurred by North America joining on Britain’s side and Japan on Germany’s.

Midst of December, German troops had advanced to 20 km before Moscow, but they were stopped there by, even for Russia, unusual icy weather. The Chief Commander of the German Army, General von Brauchitsch, wanted to stop the advance; but Hitler did not agree, dismissed the general, and took over personally the chief command. This change brought at the same time a change in war luck. Although the battlefields were far away from our homes in Sorok and Duchonka, it was the first time that we felt the pressure of forthcoming danger. Our everyday lives in Duchonka, Chalmova and Sorokujfalu were going on normally, except for some restrictions generated by general high cost of living. At this point Slovakia was better off than a lot of other countries, as they produced all their food requirements. A lot of new enterprises were founded in Slovakia, some of which were partly transferred Bohemian-Moravian industries, achieving a remarkable commercial progress that lasted till the collapse. The biggest advantage of this prosperity was enjoyed by the Carpathian Mountains’ beechwood owners, as their wood now was wanted for production of cellular wool, reaching unknown highs in demand, while formerly they could sell it only as low-priced firewood. The sawmill in Topolcsany, owned by the four Haupt-Stummer brothers and sisters, also took advantage of that favorable change.

With the hot season entering Rio de Janeiro, in the beginning of January 1941, Dorle and Ernst spent several agreeable weeks at Poços de Caldas’ spa. But soon Ernst did not feel well and returned to Rio to consult his doctor. The doctor, Dr. Andrade, considered an operation necessary; it was done at the beginning of April. His condition was temporarily better, but the graveness of his sickness was already confirmed. Ernst had to stay in the hospital in Rio until September, while Dorle stayed at Copacabana Palace. Later she rented the first floor in the Austrian Ambassador Anton Retschek’s house in Leblon. Soon she was on excellent terms with Retschek and his wife, Maria. In December 1941 she moved to a villa in Petropolis’ Buenos Aires Street. During the next months Ernst felt pretty well and could take small walks. In November 1942, he had to have another operation in Rio de Janeiro. In January 1943 they moved again to Petropolis, this time to another house. Although he had the very best nursing his condition was getting worse and he died on August 24th, 1943, after having endured his long sickness with heroic patience. He was buried in Petropolis’ Cemetery. *[On Aunt Dorle’s wish Marie-Louise had his urn transferred in 1975 to the Haupt Buchenrode family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery, tomb number 188-E, 1st square number 5. This tomb was bought in May 1950.]

Now poor Dorle was alone in that foreign far country. Miss Hensel and Marie were in those difficult days a great help. The couple Retschek, who had come from Rio to Petropolis, proved to be real friends and took care of her. A year before, Ernst’s mother had died after a short sickness at the age of 85 in Stiebrowitz. She was nursed and taken care of by her daughter Gretl and her old friend Marika Rhemen.

On August 4th, 1943, Aunt Sophie died at the same age, in Brünn. Hedwig tried hard for days to get a visa but it was in vain; so to Hedwig’s greatest sorrow, she could not be with her. Aunt Sophie was the last of the four Staehlin sisters, and she loved Hedwig and our children dearly. Until her high age she was very active, always ready to help, and in old Brünn a very popular person.

In summer 1943 Ursi went to Klettendorf to visit her father and stayed a few weeks with him. His health was not doing very well. The pain of having lost his two sons and the worries about his home country’s fate were wasting him and had worsened his heart troubles. Nevertheless, his death in winter 1943 came unexpectedly. He was spared witnessing the war’s end, with the collapse that he probably was foreseeing. For Ursi the loss of her beloved father was at the same time the loss of her former home. Her love and care was now directed on Busso and Ina, her brother Busso’s two little children.

Wolfi and Herbert could finish their agricultural studies at the Universities of Budapest and Keszthely and had to report for military service only in 1944. Herbert got engaged in spring of 1943 to Ilona (Ili) Szent-Ivány, daughter of Egon Szent-Ivány de Liptó Szent-Iváni (and his late wife, born Baroness Podmanitzky), landowner in Keléd, not too far away from Sorok. The wedding was in Sorok, arranged by Ursi, in May 1944. The evening before, all the neighbors and friends came to a big party. In spite of no good news from the battlefields, everybody was in great mood. Unfortunately August, Edith, their children, and Liesl could not come from Slovakia; and from the Szentiványs several were also missing. On the wedding day Peter Nesnera arrived as the only one of the Haupt Stummers. The wedding was celebrated by the family’s good old friend Archbishop Count Mikes, who in spite of his bad heart trouble did not want to miss this opportunity and drove to Sorok for the celebrations. Witnesses were for Herbert, in place of August, Peter Nesnera; and for Ili, Baron Egon Schmertzing.

In summer 1944, Heinrich Janotta died in Stiebrowitz at the age of 88. He did not learn of his son Ernst’s death. Gretl could spare him this great pain. After her father’s death Gretl stayed on in Stiebrowitz, survived the Russian occupation, was in custody for several weeks in Troppau, and was then like all the Sudeten-Germans dislodged from her beloved home and country. She is living in Dillingen on the Danube, Bavaria. *[She died since.]

To avoid foreign-forced quartering, we had rented for a couple of years our apartment in Vienna, with all its furniture, to Gretl Machanek. Gretl wanted to spend some time in Vienna because of her daughters’ education. During a bombing raid of the city, on September 10th, 1944, poor Gretl was killed with a group of friends in Löwelstreet’s air-raid shelter, behind the Burgtheater. Her corpse could be recovered only after many hours. All Haupts have lost in her a very dear and faithful friend.

During our stay in Sorok, Bratislava’s bombing-raid alarms were frequent, and so countryside shelters were sought for many families of the city. On a request, Liesl decided to take in Mrs. Ludin, wife of the German Ambassador to Bratislava. Mrs. Ludin was a charming, discreet lady who, with her six very-well-educated and nice children, did not cause any disturbance to our family life. The Ambassador came only from time to time to visit his family. They stayed from July 6th, to August 28th, 1944, in Duchonka, when they returned to Bratislava because of the undefined political situation. For us this was a sign that we should not stay any longer in this lonely place in the midst of the woods, as rumors were heard about partisans in our woods. In a few hours we had packed the essentials for a longer stay in Bratislava. On August 24th, 1944, at four o’clock in the morning with a wonderful sunrise, we started out with Liesl and Mimsch Gutmann. Leo had put at Mimsch’s disposal a small truck, called Bumbus. Nobody would have dreamed that this would be our farewell forever from our beloved Duchonka. The country was like dead. We had not met a person on our whole way until Tyrnau. But as we passed the city unhindered, at its border a Slovak infantry patrol who were taking care of the road blockade jumped out of a ditch and forced us to stay in Tyrnau. Meanwhile a return journey to Topolcany was also forbidden. So we were in a trap. The soldiers confiscated the Bumbus. In this miserable situation I called General Manager Prochaska of Tyrnau’s sugar factory, of which I was Vice President, and asked him to send me his service car, which surely would be granted passage for our ride back. And that is how it happened. The Bumbus we had to leave behind in Tyrnau. But our chauffeur Pelezni was clever enough to use an unwatched moment and escaped at high speed with the Bumbus in the sight of the startled Slovak soldiers. As we arrived in Tavarnok, the castle was empty as Leo and family were staying in Kulhány’s hunting lodge. We had Jancsi, the cook, serve tea for Mimsch and planned to drive on to Kulhány when we were frightened by a rumbling noise at the door. I opened the door to see what was happening and was confronted by a Slovak infantryman armed to the teeth who, with fixed bayonet, wanted to enter. He asked me in rude manner: “Are you the Stummer?” As I denied it, he said, “He must be here, you have hidden him.” I told him he could see for himself that nobody was in. Then Hedwig took three soldiers with fixed rifles around the rooms. As they could not find my nephew Leo, the leader said he had to arrest me instead. Hedwig insisted on going with me to jail. First they objected but afterwards they took both of us in a truck to the nearby artillery quarters. The prison they took us to was a big hall in a four-floor house that had no other furniture than 18 relatively clean straw sacks. To our greatest astonishment we met there Leo’s manager, Balzar, with a German student who had been arrested, too. We experienced a few very exciting hours, as it was dangerous that the arriving partisans would impede our being set at liberty. Balzar was hoping to escape, but it did not happen. For dinner they brought us two dishes with potatoes and pickled cabbage, a black sauce that was supposedly coffee, everything without eating implements, and a loaf of bread. Luckily manager Balzar could bribe one of the guards and he took a letter to Liesl at castle Tavarnok, describing our situation. She sent to us, with the same guard, cold meat and beer. Liesl was undertaking all possible ways for our liberation. When we had left she had immediately telephoned to the German Ambassador in Bratislava, asking him for his intervention with the Slovak Army to get us released. The Ambassador called the Slovak Secretary of War, Caklos, and requested him to call on Topolcany quarter’s commander-in-chief and order him to set us free, as well as General Manager Balzar. This request was the same as an order and was attended. But next day the Secretary of War disappeared because he passed over to the Partisans. Soon afterwards, during the fights between Slovaks and Germans in the upper Vag valley, he was taken into German imprisonment. They treated us politely as they released us and drove the three of us with two military cars to the castle, where Liesl and Mimsch Gutmann received us happily. As our staying in Tavarnok did not seem very safe, we all left the next day for Kulhány, to Leo’s. There we were quite astonished to meet Werther who, because of the menacing attitude of the nearby Batovány’s Bata factory workers, had left Chalmova. He had walked the whole night through the woods to Kulhány. He passed himself off as a Slovak woodcutter and when, during the night, he was several times halted and controlled by the Partisans he could with his fluent Slovak pretend to be their friend. He also reported that August had fled with his family and all personnel, as well as his cattle, to the woods of Chalmova. Only the housekeeper stayed in the castle. As we were told later on, German soldiers rescued them from that dangerous situation only 10 days later, after Bistricsány’s fighting was over.

In Kulhány, we were just having our coffee on September 3rd as 70 armed men with machine guns rushed out of the woods, surrounded us, and aimed their guns toward the house. The leader of this group, whose members were no more Slovak soldiers but mostly deserters and war prisoners, was a Russian. He asked for Leo, and told him: “You have hidden here 20 German officers; hand them over on the spot so I do not have to lay violent hands on you.” Leo naturally denied the presence of officers and I confirmed his statements. Now the Russian had the whole house investigated. As they had found neither German officers nor other suspicious persons the leader ordered the group to leave without further molestation. Surprisingly they pilfered only a drug kit. But they forced an old forester to show them the way through the woods to the next village. Now we knew that the Partisans’ number was much larger than we thought. Without risking our own personal security we could not stay on in Kulhány, so all of us decided to leave next day for Tavarnok. Our intention to use our forest train was not possible anymore as we were informed that there was the danger that we would on our way fall into the insurgents’ hands. We now had to take field paths with horse-driven carriages to get to Ludanice’s railway station and from there get to Bratislava. On our way it was already getting dark, when we noticed a cart chasing after us at a gallop and the driver making signs for us to stop. Luckily Leo recognized the cart as one of his own from farm Jacovce, with administrator Palugyai. He came to advise us not to drive on, as there was hard fighting going on near Ludanice between Partisans and arriving German troops. He said we would drive straight into firing. He advised us to stay overnight at farm Jacovce and put his home at our disposal. We all (20 persons) were very well accommodated, although some of the servants were sleeping in the hayloft. We stayed for three days. The weather was wonderful, harvesting was just finished, and it was a touching moment as the harvesters came in the old traditional way to offer the thanksgiving harvest crown. None of us is ever to forget that moment. Meanwhile German troops had occupied Tavarnok’s castle as well as Topolcany’s barracks. Partisans had fled to the North and took position 30 km from Topolcany near Bistricany, two km from Chalmova, in a new defensive line. After two days of fighting they were chased away and took refuge in the northern Vág Valley. There they struck against German troops withdrawing from Poland, got encircled, and were completely destroyed. Only now could August get back with his family to Chalmova’s castle, as well as the farmhands to the farm and the cattle to the stables. Meanwhile the train track to Bratislava was freed and we could move with Liesl to Edith’s temporary quarters, with Mrs. Major Platt, in Bratislava. Werther joined us pretty soon. Although the Russians were quite far away, I considered the military situation daily getting worse and so I thought it prudent to search for a way to the West. For this reason Hedwig wrote to Cousin Zeska von Schoeller, who lived in a nice villa in Salzburg, and asked her if she would take Liesl and us in, in case we were obliged to take refuge. She was kind enough to accept us. We stayed several weeks more in Bratislava, but it was not quiet anymore because during the frequent bombing raids we had to escape to cellars that did not offer much security.

The bombing damages were insignificant. Bratislava at that time was full of German Army members and also a lot of landowners of Slovakia were coming in. There was lots of traffic in the streets and in shops, which still were well stocked. Mrs. Platt made us daily a very good breakfast, while for lunch and dinner we usually went to Carlton Hotel where one often met some friends. Leo and family stayed for a time also at this hotel. Miss Marthe Dubath, who had been staying for several years with Leo’s children, returned at this time to Switzerland.

 

Salzburg – Kammer 1944 – 1948.

In the beginning of September, soon after we had bid farewell to our beloved Duchonka, our dependable Schwarz who was employed at Topolcány’s saw mill brought us sad news to Bratislava. He had dared to make his way near the castle and was told by loyal people that a mob from nearby villages drew up to the castle with horse-boxes and loaded as much as they could. The wonderful organ and Liesl’s Bechstein grand piano were destroyed in a barbaric way. Hearing this description Liesl burst into tears. Also the family pictures and oil paintings were destroyed by this vandalism. Under these circumstances we could not think any-more of going home, so we decided with Liesl to accept Zeska Schoeller’s friendly invitation and fixed October 15th as the day of our moving to Salzburg. Mrs. Ludin, the German Ambassador’s wife, was a great help in arranging our necessary border-passing papers; and she also took us with the Embassy’s car over the Slovak-Austrian frontier, just after the Danube’s bridge in Bratislava. This way we passed the country’s border without any inspection. We took a regular bus to Vienna. We went directly to our apartment in Argentina’s Street, where Cari Machanek after his wife’s death was living with his daughters. Vienna, which we had not seen for the last five years, made upon us a desolate impression. We stayed for only two days and Cari was very attentive during these days. We went to see Robert Schoeller in Wildpretmarkt; it was the last time that we have seen him. He died on June 7th, 1950, in Vienna. In the afternoon we received Mimi Schoeller, Mimi Rodakowaka and Alexandra Pretis. In between we packed as much as possible in our handbags. We had some difficulties to get the heavy trunks to the railway station as there were neither horse-boxes nor cars available. By Robert’s kind intervention we got a small truck, so Liesl drove with it to West Station on the eve before our departure and dispatched the heavy luggage to Salzburg. We wanted to use the express to Salzburg, leaving October 18th, at seven in the morning. To reach it we had to get up at four. As no cars were available we had to go by foot, carrying our luggage. Cari and his daughters helped us with it. The train was pretty crowded, but with Cari’s help we got three seats. To our surprise the train left on time and arrived without delay in Salzburg. Thank God on that day there were none of those frequent aerial attacks on rail tracks. After Linz, we even had a dining car. In Salzburg we had to stay for three hours, as there was quite a bit of confusion at the cargo station because of the previous day’s bombing raid. Finally we could get all our hand baggage into the local electrical train and ride to Zeska in Hellbrunn. There, Erika and Isy were waiting for us with little baggage carts to take us to the nearby Villa. At this point the displaced person’s life started for us. Until now we had felt the war only from far away.

Zeska’s villa was beautifully situated. Our room’s windows were looking directly to the Untersberg (mountain) that, illuminated by the morning sun, was a wonderful sight. On the other side the house was bordering Hellbrunn’s marvelous park with its famous water fountains. We had our lunch at the castle’s restaurant and dinner was taken care of by Erika, while our brought-along provisions helped a lot to ameliorate our nutrition.

No devastated area was to be seen in our neighborhood, so we could take very nice walks with Zeska in this enjoyable autumn weather. But the air raids soon started which made a stay outdoors rather unpleasant. Mostly they occurred in the morning from 10 to noon, but sometimes also at night. As the villa’s cellar was no real protection, we went during the bombing time to the opposite castle-like villa of Countess Moy, born Duchess Radolin, a very charming lady of Hedwig’s age. This cellar offered much better protection. At this underground meeting some other neighbors joined us, too, so we sometimes were quite numerous. The air raids were mainly in Salzburg’s railway-station region, but some bombs also reached the cathedral’s cupola and caused its collapse, as well as Mozart’s birth- house which was completely destroyed. No bomb fell in Hellbrunn, just on a farm house about 300 meters from our villa, destroying half of it. In the neighboring villages Anif and Grödig some damage was caused.

With Countess Moy (called Doudouce) we soon were on very friendly terms, particularly as she was very musical and as such very much interested in Liesl’s art. She herself was a very good pianist and put her grand piano at Liesl’s disposition. In the lower floor of Zeska’s villa was living Professor Stumpfvoll with his Dutch wife and two little children. He was a professor of viola at the Mozarteum and sometimes played music with Liesl. Soon after the end of war, he was killed in an air accident with his little son on a short flight over the Salzburg Alps. In 1944 there arrived as refugees from Croatia Prince Erwein Lobkowitz with his wife, born Countess Elz, and their three grownup daughters. As Countess Moy’s son had highly recommended them to his mother, she took them in. They were very nice people, and I had a good conversation partner with Erwein Lobkowitz who lately had been the diplomatic representative of Croatia to the Vatican.

We had some difficulties with the heating. Zeska’s house had central heating that had been supplied with brown coal. This coal was now difficult to obtain, and some necessary repairs could not be done, so we had to be satisfied with electrical heaters in our rooms. We were very cold in November and December 1944. But in January 1945 there was an unforeseen change for the better. All of a sudden a wagon of coal and foodstuffs arrived at Grödig’s railway station for us. Edith had sent them many months ago from Topolcany and we had thought they got lost. This solved our main problem for the winter. Christmas Eve 1944 we spent with Zeska and her children, and Rainer had come with his wife, born Baroness Menshengen, and the little Dieter.

From Sorok we had news that the Defense Ministry had requested in autumn 1944 the whole castle as a refugee place for Archduke Josef, his family and suite. They all arrived in October. Besides the archduke’s family there were others who had taken refuge in Sorok: Countess Louisanne Majláth, born Baroness Schell, with her six children; Dalszi Radnótfay with husband and daughter Katica; the economics delegate of the Ministry of Commerce, His Excellency Alfred Nickel; and retired lieutenant colonel Gyula Pataky (called by the children uncle “Poci bácsi”). Pataky was a longtime friend of the house. *[He loved little Marie-Louise dearly and always brought her lovely chocolates besides teaching her to shoot with pistol and rifle (Winchester).] On a drive with Steffi to Szombathely he had a stroke and died after three days. He was buried at Sorok’s mausoleum garden. György Radnótfay was on his way back from Köszeg, where the Hungarian Government had installed itself, and he was killed in Szombathely’s Episcopal Palace during the only bombing that Szombathely had. His corpse was brought to Sorok and he, too, was buried in our mausoleum garden. It was a terrible shock for Dalszi and Katica and all castle inhabitants participated sincerely in their grief.

Wolfi got his notice of induction in October 1944 in Szombathely and was then transferred to Sopron for his frontline artillery training. For Christmas 1944 Steffi’s were with all three children in Sorok. It was to be their last one there. The castle was crowded and everybody concerned for the future. Wolfi participated in heavy fights for the recovery of the city of Székesfehérvár. Later he was appointed as liaison driver to the Germans. The Russians twice encircled his regiment. While the rest of his regiment retreated to Bavaria, he succeeded with the help of a compass to reach Upper Austria. It was April 1945 when Wolfi appeared unexpectedly, safe and sound, in Kammer am Attersee. At that time he could not join his regiment in Bavaria anymore. He reported to military authorities in Linz and was detailed to Linz’s railway station’s guard. After several nights of guard, he suddenly was released at nine p.m. On this very night there was a heavy bombing of the station and all the guards were killed. Wolfi was sent for vacation to Kammer and later demobilized there.

Herbert got his notice of induction in September 1944 and was attached to the anti-aircraft department in Szombathely. At Archduke Josef’s special request, he was granted two days more of leave to spend Christmas with his family and Ily in Sorok. On December 27th, he was transferred to Sleswig Holstein (Northern Germany).

End of February 1943, preparations were started in Sorok for a further escape to the West. First to leave was Louisanne Majláth with her family to Austria. Next was Ursi, who left with three horse-rack wagons full of food, trunks and boxes. She was accompanied by Józsi Majláth, the electrician Szabolcs, two coachmen and Marcsa, a longtime house employee. As the road over the Semmering was closed, she had to take the road through the Mur Valley to avoid the main roads because of the danger of air raids. She succeeded in escaping from these, but the weather was very bad and roads in an awful condition. In this region the population was rather unfriendly, but there existed also exceptions. One of them was an elderly lady who at first was very suspicious and afraid of an attack, but she finally invited Ursi for dinner and even served a champagne. At one of the passes beyond Tamsweg they got into a terrible snowstorm which within a few hours made transiting on the snow-filled roads impossible. The coachmen of Sorok, who were accustomed to the mild climate of the plains, got frightened by the sight of the high mountains. As the horses refused to go on (having never before had to climb mountain tracks, and completely exhausted), the coachmen declared they wanted to return to Hungary. Only Ursi’s courage and constancy could make them stay on. Their situation was very serious as night was coming and no place or living person was in sight. But suddenly a solitary peasant appeared on the snow-filled road. He agreed to go for help to the next village. After a few hours he came back with 10 young fellows, equipped with shovels and ice axes. It took them several hours of hard work to get the road cleaned so that the horse wagons could pass and reach passable roads. Now they could get along somewhat faster and finally Ursi reached, after three weeks of driving, Anif (near Salzburg) with the whole transport. There the burgomaster lodged her in a barn. Most of the nights they had spent in the wagons. Ursi knew that we were with Liesl staying with Zeska in Hellbrunn and was asking how far it would be to reach us. Fortunately one of Hellbrunn’s zoological gardens’ gamekeepers was present by chance and offered to take her there. Marcsa, who also was exhausted, nevertheless made a point of it to accompany Ursi. We were just having dinner at Zeska’s when the doorbell rang and I went to answer it. To my happy surprise there was Ursi in good health. Her eyes were shining with happiness and the gamekeeper said, “A fesche Frau, ihre Schwiegertochter” (“A smart woman your daughter-in-law”). She started immediately in her very lively way to tell us all about her adventurous journey and we realized only now how much danger she and all her companions had passed through. After a short time she left with Marcsa to go back to Anif, from where she wanted to leave, with her people and Józsi Majláth, for Kammer early next morning. The idea to choose Kammer as our common refugee place came from August and Edith. Already as we moved to Hellbrunn in 1944, they had made contact with Koki and Lilly Meiss-Teufen, a cousin to Ernst, asking, in case it would be necessary, if they could get accommodation. For this purpose they had rented a part of Meiss’ Villa Oleander. In spring 1945 one after the other arrived there. First it was Gertrud, Judith, and Peter Nesnera with Marie-Anne, Werther, and Leonore. Later Edith and August followed, as well as Steffi, Ursi, and their children. To this family group soon other relatives and friends joined all taking temporary refuge at this beautiful place.

Steffi started his way to Kammer a few days after Ursi with a car put at his disposal by the district’s presiding judge, Nagy János. He took along Nagy’s wife with their two children, Marie-Louise and Ili, who was to have her baby soon and they even arrived a few days before Ursi in Kammer. He found a room to rent for him and Ursi in Villa Klug, while Marie-Louise and Ili were staying in Meiss’ Villa Oleander. Soon afterwards Ursi left with Ili to Unterach, where she went to a very good German maternity hospital. Steffi and Marie-Louise again went back to Sorok to try to save some more things. But they could stay only a few days, as the Russians had advanced that much that the roar of cannons could already be heard. They had to pack in a rush, took Dalszi and Katica Radnotfay with them, and left. That same night Archduke Josef and Augusta with their whole suite were picked up with private cars and three trucks to be transported to Regensburg, Germany. Wolfi arrived shortly afterwards to bid farewell to his father and found the castle already empty, so he turned back to his regiment. Thirty-six hours later the Russians had occupied the castle.

We were deeply concerned for Edith and August as we were without any news from them for so long. Also we were yearning to meet our children and grandchildren who now were in Kammer, so we decided to take advantage of an opportunity to visit them. It was Easter week 1945 when we, picked up by Peter Nesnera, went by train with Liesl to Kammer. As we changed trains in Vöcklabruck we saw, to our greatest astonishment and happiness, August and Edith stepping out of a just-arriving big car. They had come some days before from Tavarnok to Bratislava and waited there for an opportunity to get to Kammer. In Bratislava at Hotel Carlton they learned to know a gentleman who was leaving the next day with his large car for Austria and offered to take them to Vöcklabruck. The trip was tedious and dangerous because of raids by low-flying aircraft. The car was hit once by a machine gun bullet, but thank God nobody was hurt. Edith and August thankfully bid farewell to their rescuer who hereafter went on alone. Happily united with our loved ones, we waited at Vöcklabruck’s railway station for the next local train to Kammer. Steffi and Werther were waiting for us with a handcart at the train and were quite astonished to see Edith and August descending from the train. In the dark we groped our way to the nearby Villa Oleander, where Koki and Lilly Meiss were waiting for us. There, August and Edith happily met all their children again, after a long separation. Only Auguste was missing. Because of her ailing health she was not able to risk such a troublesome journey; but recognizing the dangerous situation, in her very unselfish way, she urged her children and grandchildren to leave the country as fast as possible. It was hard to give in to her wish and leave Tavarnok after a painful parting. A few weeks before Leo had furnished two rooms in an employee’s house, next to the park, where her longtime nurse was living. Auguste was moved to this place, as staying in the castle seemed very dangerous. In their old loyal way, Lisi Pelesni, who was with her since her youth, and the cook Jancsi and his wife stayed in Tavarnok with her. From the big family, only Ödön Nesnera who was living in Janufalu, Nanine Spiess, and Ollo Krieghammer were left behind. Ödön was visiting Auguste regularly and Nanine always was concerned about her friend of youth.

Villa Oleander was overcrowded. Nevertheless, Koki took in temporarily Leo and his family who arrived unexpectedly after us with the Bumbus. Gradually Kammer developed as the center of the families Haupt and Haupt-Stummer. To relieve somewhat Oleander Villa, Gertrud and Judith moved to the landowner Jeszenszky’s farm buildings, where Judith was engaged as manager. Peter as a good medical doctor was beloved and he looked for and found a location at Villa Hackländer, for himself as well as for Dalszi and Katica. With “Grandma” Hamburger – the way all our children called her – soon very friendly terms developed. Carola and Tibor Thuronyi finally also found in Seewalchen a place to stay. Leo moved, after a short stay, with his family to Rottenman, where they found location with a forester of the Gutmann family. They also stayed a time at the Gutmann’s hunting lodge, Strechen, and in 1949 moved for good to Vienna.

On April 11th, 1945, was born our first great grandson, Herbert, in Unterach, son of Herbert and Ili. A beautiful, healthy child. A few days after the birth of the child, Hedwig and I drove back to Hellbrunn with the car of an officer. On our way, low- flying aircraft followed us, but fortunately no bomb was thrown. Liesl followed us next day by train. April was an exciting month; aircraft raids that forced us to stay several hours per day in the cellar shelters haunted us. In the beginning of May 1945 as Hitler appealed to the “People’s Storm Troops,” the German commander of Salzburg wanted to, according to Hitler’s order, defend the town to the last man. That would have resulted in destroying this wonderful city. As it was already obvious that all resistance offered against the enemy’s army was hopeless, the commander’s Austrian substitute opposed this order. We awaited with anxiety till late at night, as did the villa’s other inhabitants, the commander’s decision. On this would depend our future. We were all relieved to hear from the radio that Salzburg was declared an open city and as such would not be defended. Next morning, it was May 6th, 1945, Americans entered Salzburg with a great number of cars. In front of our window and in Moy Park they set up a camp. The Schoeller’s villa, as well as the one above Wagner’s, were requested to lodge the Americans. Inhabitants were asked to leave the house by the evening. That was a hard blow for Schoellers and us. All our imploring for postponement of clearing was denied, and we were allowed to stay with Liesl for only 24 hours more in the caretaker’s two tiny little rooms in the basement. The American soldier who was on guard before the entrance of our room had discovered my matchbox with Slovak inscription. As I could answer in the affirmative his question if I spoke Slovak, he got very happy and told us that he originated from Rosemberg in the upper Vág Valley and had emigrated to U. S. A. only shortly before the war. He gave me American cigarettes and chocolates as a present. Already next day we were told to leave the two little rooms immediately. We would have had to stay on the street if Countess Moy had not kindly accepted us and Liesl, as well as Professor Stumpfvoll with his wife and two little children, although her house was already crowded. Hedwig and Liesl were staying with Mrs. Stumpfvoll and the two children in a rather big room. Liesl and the children were sleeping on the floor. Professor Stumpfvoll and I got two camp-beds set up in the entrance hall of the house. This place, with its mosaic stone floor, was even in summer a very cold place. In spite of the confined state of the place, we lived on best terms with all the other inhabitants of the house. Liesl, Countess Moy, and Stumpfvoll even could play music together several times. We spent three months this way. Into this idyll blasted like a bomb a new order of the American military command; we were to clean the place, with the exception of the house owner’s rooms, within a short time. Our consternation was great. In our desperation, Liesl turned to Mrs. Dr. Forster, who owned a nice villa in the neighboring village of Gödig. Mrs. Dr. Forster in a generous way met our request and, although she and her three children gave up some of their comfort, she voluntarily took us in. She was musical; as a music critic for the newspaper "Salzburger Zeitung," and through their common interests, she became a friend to Liesl. We could move to her home the same day.

On July 8th, 1945, Steffi and Ursi, as well as Edith and August, celebrated their silver anniversaries in Kammer. As there were no accommodation possibilities, we unfortunately could not spend the day with them. Only Liesl had come from Grödig, and the rest of the family and friends came together in Villa Oleander. In August of this same year, Ili got sick with paratyphoid fever. Thank God, little Herbert who was only three months old was spared and Ili recovered soon. Ursi got contaminated while nursing Ili and had the fever in a more violent way. She at that time was living in a very primitive farmer’s house which complicated proper nursing. Once recovered, Ursi moved with Steffi and Marie-Louise to Jeszensky’s castle in Kammer. They stayed there until their emigration to Brazil.

As Mrs. Dr. Forster intended to give up her villa in Grödig and move back to her property in Bavaria, we decided to move to Kammer and join Edith and August at Villa Oleander, where Koki Meiss allowed us a room. Liesl stayed in two rooms in Grödig, which first were furnished very poorly but later, with our furniture from Vienna, got very comfortable. She intended to make her living by giving piano lessons. The exam she had to pass to be licensed she passed with honors; thereupon she was given a job as professor for piano at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Herbert had meanwhile come back from a British prisoner’s camp and moved with Ili and the baby to Castle Kammer. In March 1945, he was moved from Sleswig Holstein to Hamburg, and from there to the Danish border. In Neumünster he was interpreter for the Hungarian major who, after the end of hostilities, had passed over his regiment to the British. Herbert through this was put into “free custody” and was often used as interpreter by the British Chief Commandant’s officers. This way he got to Potsdam with a Scotch major from General Eisenhower’s Staff. The British treated Herbert very well and in September 1945 they let him drive by motorcycle to Kammer and Salzburg to visit his family. Only now he saw his son born in April. Middle of October Herbert was permanently demobilized. Unfortunately he could enjoy his wonderful child only for few months. On December 15 the little one suddenly got sick with intestinal cramps. As his condition was getting worse, Ili and Ursi took him to Vöcklabruck’s hospital. As the doctors suspected a stoppage of the bowels they tried to save him with surgery, but he did not respond and died on December 18th, 1945, to the great sorrow of the parents and all of us. The little corpse was brought back to Kammer, was laid out at the castle’s chapel, and after the benediction was buried in Kammer’s Schörfling Cemetery.

End of December we got the sad notice of my sister-in-law Auguste’s death on December 14th, 1945, in Tavarnok. In spring of the same year her doctor, Dr. Greschner, took Auguste to Topolcany’s hospital under his protection. It was for safety reasons as unrest was to be expected. In those days unknown wrongdoers set fire to Tavarnok castle’s roof truss. On her way back to her little apartment, they did not let Auguste see the disaster and she was never told of this destruction. It was a sad end of the year. August organized in Kammer a moving musical memorial celebration for his mother.

August decided to dedicate himself completely to music. He gave singing lessons in the Mozarteum and, through his very special method, he obtained remarkable successes in voice production. To begin with he was staying alternately in Grödig, near Salzburg, and Kammer; but later as his number of pupils grew he moved with Edith to Grödig. Werther, who had studied violin for several years with Christa Richter, passed the Mozarteum seminar’s final exam. He started to give lessons. Leonore also was a seminar student for piano and was preparing for exams. Finally also, Marie-Anne found suitable work in Salzburg with the American D.P. (displaced person) Organization.

Shortly before the end of the war the German Military Administration in Kammer had chosen an assembly point for the exiled Transylvanian Saxons just in front of Villa Oleander. This place enclosed, more or less, one hectare of land which was unused. Steffi realized that this place would be good for gardening, rented it, and started with Wolfi a gardening enterprise. Wolfi dedicated his whole energy and effort to his garden and found excellent hands in the Saxons. They were on very friendly terms and would have gone through fire for him. Steffi had brought from Hungary two horses and Herbert was taking care of them. The garden gave, already in the first year, a good yield. After the American troops came to Austria, sale of the vegetables was profitable, because these were exchanged for other foodstuffs which meanwhile had gotten quite scarce. *[Marie-Louise did this exchange.] Americans had transformed the largest hotel of Kammer into a military resort place which had a great telephone exchange center. Our three granddaughters, Marie-Louise, Marie-Anne and Leonore soon were employed there. The night shift was rather tiring but other than that they liked their job and were well paid. Unfortunately, Steffi had to quit the rented field as Jeszenszky gave him notice, but he soon found one twice as big in Seewalchen with Mr. Supper. There they worked with their Transylvanian Saxons until their emigration in 1948. As the operation was much bigger than the first one, produce had to go to the nearby villages by cart and truck. The “Haupt Gardening” became quite famous in the region and was known as a model enterprise. Steffi and Wolfi were occupied all day long with sales and Wolfi had passed many nights with preparations.

On March 2nd, 1946, we celebrated our golden wedding anniversary. For this occasion all the children and grandchildren joined us at Villa Oleander for the evening. We missed only Dorle very much. Gertrud, with Peter and Judith, and Dalszi, with Katica, also were invited. Unfortunately Koki and Lilly Meiss were prevented from coming. At the festive dinner party everyone found at his place a comic design and verse, made by Steffi and Marie-Louise. There was a festive and very happy mood, with a couple of bottles of champagne. Next morning there was a High Mass and we got from vicar Szépe the golden anniversary couple’s benediction. Numerous friends attended the ceremony and congratulated us. Lunch at Nefzker’s restaurant turned out to be a feast and united once more the whole family. Dorle, from whom we were separated through all the war years, and from whom we got only scarce news through Lolita Rodes from Barcelona, decided to come in September 1946 by boat to Europe to meet us again. By then the greatest travel difficulties were gone. She stayed a few days with Lolita in Barcelona, then took the train to Switzerland, via France. She had to stay some time in Switzerland as her entrance permit to Austria presented some difficulties. Finally she had to go a roundabout way through Vaduz to pass the frontier. Marie-Louise went to meet her in Innsbruck and we finally were happy to embrace Dorle on December 3rd, 1946, in Kammer.

Now Dorle felt for the first time what drastic changes had occurred in nearly all the European countries, changes which encroached on everyone’s personal life. Because in Switzerland war and the subsequent incidents had not interfered seriously, the more she was shocked by the way of living in Austria. Especially was this true as she met after so many years all persons dear to her in such very different circumstances. But the joy to have passed the worst, and not to have lost any of our beloved in those terrible war years has surpassed everything and let us bear the gravity of everyday life. Foodstuff shortage was still going on; food was rationed, so that the parcels sent by Dorle from Brazil were of great help. Under these circumstances to cook, and to cook well, was not easy. But Hedwig, assisted by Leonore and Marie-Anne, succeeded. Marie-Anne often went by bicycle far into the countryside, purchasing butter and flour from the farmers. Vegetables we had from “Haupt’s Gardening.” Everybody was busy the whole day long. The scenery of this charming Salzkammergut region had changed all at once with the flow of refugees out of countries threatened by Russians. In the sleepy little villages around the lake, which generally were crowded only by vacation guests in summer’s high season, now an active life was reigning. The Transylvanian Saxons exiled from Romania were put into camps. But in no time they modified those wooden structures into comfortable housing. On Sundays one could see them in their becoming native costumes, standing together, very different from the local population and not mingling with them. They were living their life apart, the way they were accustomed to at home. From this group Wolfi had chosen his efficient workers.

In Castle Kammer Ursi was managing with Nagy János, the former district presiding judge from Szombathely, a Hungarian Red Cross office which was helped by U. S. occupation forces in a very generous way and was carrying on its beneficent work all over the region. First of all, it was meant for the displaced Hungarians. Ursi was restlessly active, offering them medical help, visiting Hungarians gathered in camps, encouraging them, helping children to find their relatives, and a lot more. In addition to his administrative and practical job at the gardening, Steffi always found time to help by word and deed lots of people who could not find their way in these unknown surroundings. So Steffi and Ursi’s room in the castle soon was a meeting point in the evenings to discuss problems; but also, in spite of the uncertain and anxious times, to pass some happy hours at the bridge table. Villa Oleander grew to be the cultural center where old and new friends were meeting. Here one heard or played a lot of music like in old times in Duchonka and Tavarnok. In the small drawing room Liesl was sitting at the grand piano, when she could escape from Salzburg, and pleased us with her wonderful music. Often, also, August could interest people with his declamation of German and Hungarian poetry. Only a few days after Dorle’s arrival, we celebrated little Gyula's baptism. He was the second son to Herbert and Ili and was born in Vöcklabruck on November 15th, 1946. The baptism was celebrated in Kammer Castle’s Chapel and the godparents were Dorle and Wolfi Schmertzing. *[Gyula now lives in São Paulo, and is director of Banco Real de Investimento S.A. Asset’s Management. He has two children from his first marriage, Fernando (09, 01, 1979) and Ursula (06, 10, 1981). He is now married to Christine Brazil Salgado and they have two children, Julia (11, 18, 1991) and Eduardo (08, 26, 1996). His e-mail address is: julius@tecepe.com.br].

After many years we celebrated Christmas with all the children, grandchildren and the little great grandson. The whole family and friends were united for a happy New Year’s party in Villa Oleander. For this event Géza and Werther made humorous speeches.

On January 28th, 1947, Dorle traveled to Switzerland and Cap d’Ail, where she had several things to put into order, and came back to Kammer on May 7th. On her birthday we hired a little steamer and made a tour on the lake with all our friends. We were more than 40 persons; even little Gyula was with us. In Unterach we detected Liesl and August on the quay making signs to us. They had come from Salzburg and joined us as we ran ashore to pick them up. It was a great surprise for all of us and contributed to the success of the whole excursion. During Dorle’s stay Liesl gave a piano evening in Salzburg, which we attended by hiring a bus for all of us and many friends. The program contained Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin and she got tremendous applause.

 

Emigration – Brazil 1947 – 1948.

Now came for the first time the idea of Marie-Louise going with Dorle to Brazil. Marie-Louise had already met a few weeks earlier the Austrian Ambassador in Rio de Janeiro, Anton Retschek, during his vacation in Vienna. He proposed to her that she work as secretary at the Austrian Legation in Rio. Dorle was ready to take her along. *[Marie-Louise passed her exams at the Secretary of Foreign Affaires office and was admitted. As such she received the official Entrance Visa Number One at the Brazilian Embassy in Vienna.] This meant a new, difficult farewell, as this time not only Dorle was leaving but also Marie-Louise; and nobody knew when we would meet again. End of July Dorle left for Switzerland and Marie-Louise followed her in September. They first went to Cap d’Ail, where Dorle arranged for the clearing of Villa Thalassa. On her arrival Mari-Louise had brought a letter from Steffi with her, in which he informed Dorle about Marie-Louise’s engagement to Béla Thuronyi, which for the time being should be kept confidential. They embarked in Genoa and arrived, after having a very agreeable crossing of the ocean, end of September in Rio de Janeiro. On October 1st, 1947, Marie-Louise started to work at the Austrian Legation. She adapted fast and enjoyed wide popularity. Dorle, who had stayed all her time in Rio in Copacabana Palace Hotel, now was looking for an apartment. She soon found one in Copacabana, at Street Toneleros 180, apartment 503. In the beginning of May Béla arrived, who once he had escaped from Hungary went to bid farewell to his parents in France. They had moved in February, of this same year, from Kammer to their son Pista’s place. *[Pista (Etienne), a community member of “Chemin Neuf” with the aim of reunification of Christian religions, and painter, mostly of modern sacred art, moved back to Lourdes in April 1998, where he had lived with his wife Paule de Lescure and where she also died.] Viola had entered the convent of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Riedenburg, near Bregenz, in 1946. *[She is still there at the convent (1998) but now as a retired teacher.] Géza lived in Klagenfurt where he was an interpreter to the British occupation forces. *[He now (1998) lives in Washington for many years, with his wife Lilia (v. Eckersdorf). They have four sons: Victor, born April 13th, 1956, is an expert for tax legislation and works for the International Monetary Fund. He is married to Gail and they have a son called Ben, born in 1985; Paul Steven, born July 21st, 1958, a computer programmer, is married to Tina; Alexander (Alex) born April 3rd, 1960, is also a computer programmer. His wife Laura Roberson, a cartographer, had a baby, Peter, on February 10th, 1997; George, born May 29th, 1961, an editor at the Library of Congress, is married to Nancy a social worker with master’s degree. They also live near Washington and his e-mail address is: gthu@loc.gov ].

Béla had found a job soon after his arrival in Rio de Janeiro with the forestry department of South America’s greatest paper mill, Industrias Klabin, far in the south of Brazil. As Steffi and Ursi’s date of arrival in Rio was still uncertain, it was decided not to let the young people wait any longer. So the wedding took place without the participation of the parents, which was very painful for both sides. On September 2nd, 1948, the Austrian abbot Adrian Hoeck performed the wedding in the Polish Chapel of Rio de Janeiro. In his wedding sermon he made mention of the absent parents. Marriage witnesses were the Austrian Ambassador Anton Retschek for Marie-Louise and Felix Mayrhofer for Béla. After the ceremony there was a small lunch, with intimate friends, at Dorle’s apartment. The young couple left by the ambassador’s car to Teresopolis, where they spent their honeymoon in a bungalow at Smolka’s establishment.

In December 1947, to everyone’s astonishment Werther got engaged (he was only 22 years old) with Barbara Haas, daughter of the late Austrian Counsel General and his wife Nathalie, born Baroness Rastler. Barbara was living with her mother in Salzburg and worked at the Mozarteum. We hardly knew her, but she soon captured our hearts. Already on March 30th, 1948, the wedding was celebrated in Salzburg’s beautiful Franciscan Church. Both of us came from Kammer to attend the ceremony. Witnesses to the wedding were for Barbara, her uncle, and for Werther, Wolfi, substituting for Steffi. They renounced having a honeymoon and instead went immediately to Kammer’s Villa Oleander. *[Later they emigrated to U. S. A. Werther was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra and died in 1993. Barbara has died since. They had one adopted daughter, Sylvia.]

In January 1947, Herbert went to see his father-in-law in Keléd (Hungary) in spite of Steffi’s hesitation. Already at the Hungarian border he was arrested and after three days of cross-examination was transferred to Szombathely, where he was arrested again. In those days a conspiracy against the communist regime was discovered in Hungary, so Herbert would incur suspicion. They let him free only after 18 days so he could go to Keléd. Nevertheless he was full of optimism and hoped to work and live in Keléd. He had IIi and the child follow him in May. After some difficulties Ili arrived with a truck at the border, where Herbert went to meet her. They spent nearly a year in Keléd, but as insecurity was growing it seemed to be prudent to leave the country. This was not an easy task as the border was strictly guarded. They succeeded with the help of some of Herbert’s devoted friends to pass Ili over the border, dressed as a peasant woman with the baby in her arms and a hay rake on her shoulders. She walked through the meadows to Pali Erdödy in Eberau, Austria. Steffi had driven there to meet her. After a few days she arrived, in the beginning of April, in Kammer, where she first lived at Villa Oleander and not with the parents in Castle Kammer. It seemed to be advisable to keep her somewhat hidden as long as Herbert had not arrived, too. We were happy to have little Gyula, for a while, nearby. He was a very bright child. Herbert had stayed in Keléd but, when he was confidentially notified that his personal safety was in danger, he escaped by bicycle under cover of darkness. He passed the Hungarian border safely and arrived end of June in Kammer. Now as Herbert was persuaded that there was no way back to Hungary, they decided also to emigrate to Brazil. They left by ship with little Gyula on September 8th, 1948, from Genoa. To save money they took the Italian ship “Toscanelli’s” third class, where accommodation was very primitive. Herbert succeeded in arranging some facilities and so they could pass daytimes with the child on the first-class deck. Dorle, Marie-Louise, and Béla awaited them at Rio’s quay. Dorle had rented for them a small, furnished apartment to which they could move immediately. On November 1st, 1948, Ili had a daughter who was baptized with the name of Sonja. Godparents were Béla and Marie-Louise. Marie-Louise had stayed back in Rio to assist Ili with the baby, while Béla had already started his work with Klabin’s in Paraná. Once she had joined him in Monte Alegre they were lodged in the employees’ hotel. Later they were built a nice little house with garden.

As now Marie-Louise, as well as Herbert with his family, had left Austria, it was thought that Steffi and Ursi, who always were planning emigration, should now do so. The prospects of creating a new existence in Europe were very low. On the other hand, Steffi and Ursi felt themselves young enough to start a new life in a foreign country, together with their children. The permanent threatening danger of war in Europe was a further reason for emigration. Edith and August and their children were living in Salzburg, but they also were aware that sooner or later they would have to leave this beloved city. Under these circumstances, it seemed to be obvious that we should join Steffi, Ursi, and Wolfi, going along to Rio to Dorle’s place. She was happy enough to take us in when we put the question to her. Preparations for this voyage gave Steffi quite a lot of trouble but he had done everything with a lot of caution.

Nearly four years had passed since we had to leave our dear home and had taken refuge, first to Salzburg, and later to Kammer as displaced persons. This fate, that was the same as that of so many other persons, was very much eased by the fact that we had nearly always been together with our children. But now it meant saying goodbye to Edith, August, their children, and Liesl who stayed in Salzburg. Edith, Liesl, and Marie-Anne came in the last days to Villa Oleander in Kammer and accompanied us on a foggy December day to the car that took us, with Steffi, to the railway station of Attnang. It was a hard departure. During a short train stay in Salzburg August and Barbara came to greet us. Leonore had a bad flu and could not come. In Innsbruck we stayed overnight and next day Wolfi and Ursi arrived. On December 8th, we embarked in Genoa on the “Santa Cruz.” After a very good sea cruise we arrived on December 26th, 1948, in Rio where we were received and lovingly taken in by Dorle. We stepped for the first time on Brazilian soil that hereafter would serve us as a replacement for our homeland.

And so I am setting a last point to my memories, because what now will follow would not be any memories of an old man but the lived present of the younger generation. This present is up till now very hard, because two world wars have, with their exorbitant destruction, nullified the fortune I had inherited and improved and forced my offspring to start anew. But I see with satisfaction that they all possess the will and capacity to take up the fight with destiny; and so everything can take a favorable turn.

Your ancestor’s benediction accompanies you.

*P.S. A register of the“lived present of the younger generation”:[1998-07-30]

·        Stefan Haupt Buchenrode died October 4th, 1954, and was buried in the Haupts’ family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery.

·        Hedwig Haupt Buchenrode (Phull) died June 21st, 1967, and was buried in the Haupts’ family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery.

·        Steffi Haupt Buchenrode died November 16th, 1959, in consequence of car accident injuries he suffered in Goias. He was buried in the Haupts’ family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery.

·        Ursi Haupt Buchenrode (v. Bismarck) died September 24th, 1982, in Vienna, 80 years old, and it was her last will that her ashes go to the Bismarck family grave in Lüneburg (Germany).

·        Steffi and Ursi lived in Ceres, Goias with their son Wolfi. They started with a rice machine, and then went on to grow coffee and rice on a farm bought by Aunt Dorle. Ursi did a lot of charity work in Ceres, was well known and beloved, ran a small fashion boutique, and stayed there for another five years after Steffi’s death, when she moved to Vienna. She lived in Akademie Street 2, until her death. She lived after a stroke for only one week.

·        Stefan Wolfgang Haupt Buchenrode (Wolfi) died June 17th, 1987, in Sinop and was buried in Sinop’s Cemetery.

·        Dorothea Janotta (Haupt Buchenrode) died September 27th, 1982 in Vienna where she had spent the last years of her life, and her ashes went to the family grave in Rio de Janeiro’s São João Batista Cemetery. Her funeral service was held together with Ursi’s as their death days were separated only by three days.

·        Edith Haupt Stummer (Haupt Buchenrode) died September 13th, 1952, in Salzburg and was buried in the cemetery of Anif.

·        August Haupt Stummer died April 20th, 1973, in Salzburg and his ashes are in Erb’s Castle Chapel.

·        August and Edith’s daughters both live in Salzburg. Marie-Anne worked for many years in U. S. A., and afterwards in Geneva. Leonore is a retired piano teacher; she has been working for the “International Foundation Mozarteum,” and specialized on Mozart’s original instruments.

·        Hedalise (Liesl) Haupt Stummer (Haupt Buchenrode) married (12, 26, 1954) August Haupt Stummer after Edith, her sister, died. She died in Salzburg as a retired professor at the Mozarteum on January 21st, 1998. Her ashes are in Erb’s Castle Chapel since June 30th, 1998.

·        Leo Haupt Stummer died November 29th, 1973, in Vienna; his ashes are in Erb’s Castle Chapel.

·        Leni Haupt Stummer (v.Gutmann) died November 8th, 1988, in Vienna; her ashes are in Erb’s Castle Chapel.

·        Leo and Leni’s children: Eleonore (Pupa) is married to Neely Grant from Memphis. They live partly in Vienna and partly in Pupa’s house in Kitzbühel. She there gathers for special occasions the remaining Haupts and Stummers (in July 1998, for Leonore’s 70th and Judith’s 80th anniversaries). Ernst is a retired successful PR and advertising agencies owner and manager, dedicating his life now to arts. Music, painting and writing are his favorites. He and his wife Gretl live in Vienna and Erb (near Salzburg) and have two children: Max (12, 07, 1968) a graphic designer and co-partner of a “communication design” agency. His e-mail address is hauptstummer.jasensky@netway.at ; Christine (12, 01, 1970) has a master’s degree in history of arts, and works as a cultural consultant. Her e-mail is haupt.stummer@bogner-lord.co.at .

·        Gertrud Nesnera (Haupt Stummer) died in Kammer am Attersee on January 17th, 1979, and was buried in Schörfling’s Cemetery. She has written more than 500 poems. For her mother’s 80th birthday, Grace had the idea to have published in a booklet 80 of her grandmother’s best poems.

·        Ödön Nesnera died June 1st, 1958, in Janufalu and was buried there.

·        Gertrud and Ödön’s children: Judith, a widow of Imre Jeszenszky, lives with her daughter Grace in Kammer am Attersee; her son Thomas is married to Gabriele Lonny Treiber, has two daughters, Valerie and Susanne, and they are living in Switzerland. Peter, a retired heart specialist, is married to Olja Don. They live with their daughter Elizabeth (Toussik) who is married to Brian McCarthy, in New York and at Olivebridge, their summer home. Peter and Olja have also two sons: André and Alexander (Sandro). André, married to Ellen, with three boys (Peter, Matthew and Timothy) lives now in Virginia. Their e-mail is crosby@compuserve.com; André is a foreign correspondent for The Voice of America and was appointed for many years to Geneva, Moscow and London. Sandro, a medical doctor married to Susan, has a son Christopher and they live in New Hampshire.

·          Tibor Thuronyi died July 28th, 1972, in Paranavai and was buried in the family grave in Paranavai’s Cemetery.

·        Carola Thuronyi (Haupt-Stummer) died September 17th, 1981, in Paranavai and was buried in the family grave in Paranavai’s Cemetery.

·        Béla Thuronyi died August 12th, 1994, in Paranavai and was buried in the family grave in Paranavai’s Cemetery.

Béla and Marie-Louise have four children: - Maria-Antonieta (01, 11, 1950), married to Sittich Count von Berlepsch; her e-mail is manettavB@aol.com; they live at Castle Berlepsch, near Göttingen (Germany) and have four sons. Fabian (03, 11, 1976) lives in Paris, his e-mail is berlepsch@compuserve.com; Thimon (10, 24, 1978) studies goldsmithing, and is an excellent magician; Gabriel (02, 11, 1984) and Lucius Dominic (04, 09, 1988) are still at their studies. - Gabriela (09, 09, 1953) married to Carlos Hernando Londoño Botero, living in Cartagena (Colombia). They had four children. Frank Carlos (04, 19, 81), the eldest, is finishing the American School and preparing for his studies in U. S. A. They lost André (04, 02, 1984) when only a little over one year old. Maria Luiza (09, 23, 85) (my only granddaughter of nine grandchildren) and Jorge Eduardo (12, 25, 87) are both studying at Cartagena’s American School. Carlos is co-partner and manager of a “marina” port of call and maintenance place for boats; he is, as well, a sales representative for different naval engines. Gabriela is co-partner and manager of “Gema Tours” travel agency. – André (11, 21, 1954) is a graduated electronics engineer, got married to Marta (Portela) and has a tourist agency for adventure and ecological tours, with a hotel “Arára Azul” in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, Brazil’s bird and game resort. His e-mail address is araraslg@nutecnet.com.br. – Marcel (07, 17, 1959) married to Ana Paula (Lombardi), lives in Paranavai, and has two boys, Ricardo (06, 08, 1986) and Daniel (07, 03, 1988). Marcel is an agricultural engineer, is co-partner and manager of a grass seeds production firm and a shop for all needs for farming. He also manages our farm, Fazenda Angelus. His wife gives English classes at her home.

Béla and Marie-Louise started a sawmill in the north of Paraná State in 1951, switched to coffee plantations, and ended up with cattle breeding. This was really Béla’s passion. He was a pioneer in this region, an ardent Rotary member and a popular citizen. Béla’s parents, Tibor and Carola, lived with them in Paranavai since 1951. Marie-Louise left in 1969 for Rio de Janeiro to accompany the children as they pursued their education. She took a job with Lufthansa German Airlines as a Public Relations Manager for South America and held this position for 22 years. She retired in 1993, the year when she and Béla made a trip to Europe (for Cousin Ernst’s 60th, birthday when all the cousins met in Erb and Kitzbühel at Pupa’s house). From there they went to Columbia to see Gabi and her family and in January 1994 they returned to Paranavai, where they stayed till Béla’s death in August.

Wolfi left three children: Rosemary-Ursula (06,17,1975) studies nutrition in Cuiaba, capital of Mato Grosso; Steffi (11, 22, 1977) works and studies; Lucia-Lorena (02,16,1981) studies and works as an auxiliary, half a day, in a lawyer’s office. They live with their mother Leia in Sinop. They have sold Wolfi’s fields (he got back in Hungary about 200 hectares) and have bought a house for rent, and Leia runs a flower shop to make ends meet. They also run a small Guaraná plantation that Wolfi bought together with André, where they are producing Guaraná extract for sale. The kids are all very nice and diligent.

Herbert left Brazil in the sixties and is living in Senning, Southern Austria. His youngest son Alexander (03, 29, 1952) was born in Brazil, but lives with his wife Renate and their three children, Daniela (07, 24, 1978), Christine (08, 21, 1981), and Alfons (03, 24, 1983), in Tullnerbach, near Vienna. Herbert’s daughter Sonja Carruthers lives in Rio de Janeiro; her e-mail address is sonja02@ibm.net. She has three children: Marcus (03, 11, 1971), married in 1996 to Vanessa Conolly, is food and beverage assistant manager in Rio’s Meridien Hotel; Alessandra (06, 06, 1972) married in 1997 Artur Hintze, an IBM engineer (e-mail address: hintze@vnet.ibm.com); lives in São Paulo and she has a good job with Brazilian sugar export; Patricia (05, 14, 1977) is a Boston University student in marketing.

Marie-Louise lives partly in her apartment in Rio de Janeiro, or in Paranavai in a house 60 km from the farm “Angelus.” She spends two to three months with her daughter Gabriela in Columbia, mostly at the end of the year, and two to three months in Europe with her eldest daughter “Manetta” in Germany and relatives in Austria. Accustomed by her past job to travel, this does not seem to bother her. She has a Toshiba lap top 420CDT which she carries along everywhere and plays a lot of “solitaire” on it. Her e-mail address is thurony@ibm.net and she hopes to get messages from all of you. Since retired, she is a computer fan for “Word and Excel” and programmed a special bookkeeping and controlling system for the farm.

 

* APPENDIX TO REGISTER OF THE “LIVED PRESENT OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION.”

 

HAUPT-STUMMER von Buchenrode und Tavarnok Leo+ :                                                       pg.14, 72, 95,102

                                      Leo+                                                                                                                pg.                   74

Eleonore (Pupa) Grant                                                        pg.               102

Ernst:                                                                                                        pg.                      102

    Max                                                                                                        pg.                      103

    Christine                                                                                               pg.                      103

 

HAUPT-STUMMER von Buchenrode und Tavarnok August+ :

 Edith (Haupt v.Buchenrode)+1st wife :                                       pg.14, 94, 96, 102

Liesl (Haupt v.Buchenrode)+ 2nd wife                                       pg.               100, 102

                              Marie-Anne                                                                                                    pg.      68, 97, 102

    Werther+:                                                                                                 pg.            72, 100

    Sylvia                                                                                                   pg.