Author Topic: Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death  (Read 172486 times)

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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #330 on: July 01, 2009, 05:23:17 PM »
This is personally not my area of interest, however..........  If the cause of death was initially suggested to be "heart failure,"  how were they to explain the MOST obvious bandage-wrappings to his head later as he lay within the open coffin?  I have seen at least one photo many years ago of the displayed body with the top part of his cranium neatly swathed in wrappings.  The supposition would be that the bandages covered/hid head trauma of a shattered skull, potentially as a result of a bullet entrance/exit.    AP
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 05:26:54 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #331 on: July 01, 2009, 06:02:52 PM »
  If the cause of death was initially suggested to be "heart failure,"  how were they to explain the MOST obvious bandage-wrappings to his head later as he lay within the open coffin? 

Hi Aleksandr Pavlovich, that was the point I was trying to make above. When they (i.e. Count Taffee on behalf of the Emperor) issued that first statement (the heart failure story) at noon on 30th January, no one in Vienna knew that the cause of the Crown Prince's death was a bullet to the brain. The Imperial family and court were under the impression that he had been poisoned. It was only when the court medical commission headed by Dr. Widerhofer arrived in Mayerling that afternoon that the true cause of death was established. Transport and communications in those days being less rapid than is the case today, it was not until 6h00 the following morning (31/01/1889) when Dr. Widerhofer made his report to Emperor Franz Joseph that the true state of affairs became known. At that stage the "heart failure" version was quickly amended to the "hunting accident" version, which of course explains the damage to the head and the bandages etc.

One fact that has always puzzled me is why Loschek was so quick to jump to the conclusion that Rudolf and Mary had been poisoned with strychnine. My personal theory is that Loschek (and also Bratfisch) knew far more than he (they) admitted.

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #332 on: July 01, 2009, 06:17:16 PM »
Hello, "Greenowl," and thank you (as always) for your kind and informative comments!  I appreciate the courtesy!   Kind regards,  AP.

Offline Carolath Habsburg

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #333 on: July 01, 2009, 06:30:32 PM »
For the dioscussion, i d like to add a PM illustration of rudolph  . Is this a realistic one or just an allegory?

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aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #334 on: July 01, 2009, 08:49:39 PM »
 Referencing the illustration and reply # 91 above:  In my opinion, it only vaguely resembles the very small photo (emphasis:  PHOTO, not sketch) that I saw:  The photo showed the close-up of an open coffin/bier surrounded by flowers (?), but only the bust of the body was shown in the photo.  He was in military uniform; the head (top of the head was to the right of the photo) capped tightly with white bandages, almost down to the eyebrows.  The moustache was large and prominent and the face was fuller (swollen ?) than the drawing above.  I seem to remember lighted candles close by the body.  I have no idea who took the photo or where. (I DO remember at the same time, someone wrote in comments related to the photo, that they heard that the skull had been crushed by blows from a "pool cue"!  OBVIOUSLY, that was wrong!  It has been so long ago, but I think that it was in a correspondence column (one reason why the photo would be small) in "Life" Magazine (an American magazine that is no longer in existence) in response to a letter/comment from a previous issue.    AP
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 08:53:23 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #335 on: July 02, 2009, 01:55:44 AM »
Thanks for your kind words Aleksandr Pavlovich! I'm always happy to be of assistance!

With regard to the illustration above: It seems to be a drawing based on a photo. As AP says, the resemblance is not very close (at least in my opinion). I have never seen it before. However, there are a large number of allegorical drawings/sketches and several photos. As far as I know, the photos depicting the dead Crown Prince with the large bandage over his head and forehead and his whole body concealed under a sheet were taken on the night of January 30th after the body was brought back to Vienna but before the autopsy took place. After the autopsy the head was "repaired" with wax and cosmetics and photos were taken of him without a bandage and wearing a uniform, where only a very small mark is visible in the right temple (the entry wound....the exit wound was much larger and the bullet is said to have blown the top of his head off....gruesome). However, this is not something I have studied in any detail, as I find the topic rather upsetting and distasteful (I'm one of those people who become weak at the sight of blood!!). By the way, the final "official statement" was issued after Dr. Widerhofer's audience with Kaiser Franz Joseph at 6h00 on the morning of 31st January and followed "the hunting accident" version. It read: "Suicide by revolver in a state of temporary derangement".

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« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 02:06:10 AM by Greenowl »

Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #336 on: July 06, 2009, 07:40:54 PM »

Rudolph's parents said that he died for a heart disease, but people
didn't believe the official explanation and many strange rumours ere invented.


One must bear in mind the fact that Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth were not aware of the true cause of their son's death until 6h00 on the morning of January 31st when Dr. Hermann Widerhofer, Franz-Joseph's personal physician, who had headed the medical commission that was sent to Mayerling the previous afternoon, made his report. Up to that time they were under the impression that the Crown Prince had been poisoned by Mary Vetsera, as that was what Count Hoyos said when he arrived in Vienna with the dreadful news. It was the Prime Minister, Count Taffee, who wrote the official bulletin for the newspapers at midday on January 30th which stated: "His Imperial and Royal Highness, the most serene Crown Prince, Archduke Rudolf died suddenly of heart failure". Strangely enough, even Mary's mother did not question the fact that her daughter was said to have poisoned the Crown Prince. Obviously the presence of Mary was a great scandal that had to be hushed up at all costs, and from that time until the end of the monarchy, her presence at the side of the Crown Prince was never officially admitted.

I find it difficult to believe in the murder theory, as after Mary "went missing" on the morning of January 28th her sister Hanna discovered a suicide note in her (Mary's) bedroom, which read "Dear Mother, by the time you read this I will be in the Danube", so Mary was obviously aware of what was going to happen well in advance and due to her infatuation with Rudolf was willing to do anything that he asked her. However, I often wonder whether the note was motivated by a subconscious desire to prevent her death? I think that Rudolf was very wrong and selfish to have used Mary in such a way and taken advantage of her youthful devotion. He should have known better.

True :-)

Offline Valancy

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #337 on: July 08, 2009, 10:39:32 AM »
While it's obvious that convincing a teenager girl to die with you is not (to put it mildly) a nice or good thing to do, I would refrain from accusing Rudolf too much. It's obvious that he was mentally ill and I'm not sure we can hold him accountable for his actions the way we could for people who are completely mentally sound. Usually nobody in their right mind shoots themselves to death, and also nobody in their right mind asks other people to die with them. It's perfectly obvious that Rudolf shouldn't have done what he did, but I also think it's perfectly obvious he was beyond being able to think clearly of what he should do and act accordingly.

This is what often bugs me about the discussions around Rudolf, Elisabeth etc. I'm not for over-romanticising and over-victimising them, but often people take far too little time to consider the fact that neither Rudolf nor Elisabeth was mentally quite healthy. Rudolf less so, I think, but also some of Sisi's extravagances can be put down to a less than ideal state of mental health. Of course we have no psychiatrist's analyses of them because they didn't exist at the time, but it's pretty obvious from reading their biographies that something was wrong with their mental health and so they didn't see their actions in a light that a completely normal person would. Do remember that mental illness is not a choice.

Offline aor

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #338 on: July 08, 2009, 09:21:19 PM »
While it's obvious that convincing a teenager girl to die with you is not (to put it mildly) a nice or good thing to do, I would refrain from accusing Rudolf too much. It's obvious that he was mentally ill and I'm not sure we can hold him accountable for his actions the way we could for people who are completely mentally sound. Usually nobody in their right mind shoots themselves to death, and also nobody in their right mind asks other people to die with them. It's perfectly obvious that Rudolf shouldn't have done what he did, but I also think it's perfectly obvious he was beyond being able to think clearly of what he should do and act accordingly.

This is what often bugs me about the discussions around Rudolf, Elisabeth etc. I'm not for over-romanticising and over-victimising them, but often people take far too little time to consider the fact that neither Rudolf nor Elisabeth was mentally quite healthy. Rudolf less so, I think, but also some of Sisi's extravagances can be put down to a less than ideal state of mental health. Of course we have no psychiatrist's analyses of them because they didn't exist at the time, but it's pretty obvious from reading their biographies that something was wrong with their mental health and so they didn't see their actions in a light that a completely normal person would. Do remember that mental illness is not a choice.

Ever heard about Dr. Freud??

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #339 on: July 09, 2009, 05:41:06 AM »
...or Richard von Krafft-Ebing (with whom I believe Crown Prince Rudolf had at least one meeting)?

Offline aor

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #340 on: July 09, 2009, 07:19:41 AM »
I do not disagree with the 'need' to see a shrink on both, but I do not believe either was mentally ill. One mostly needed a few very swift kicks in the behind, the other a job! Neither got what they really and truly needed! A very cruel fact! In my native language we have a saying that "kind doctors make for stinky wounds". The theory that Rudolph was mentally ill at the time of the incident with his lover was only a ploy to get a Church 'sponsored' burial. Did he and his mother have issues? YUP they did, mentally ill? NO.
Modern research into some of the issues the Empress Elisabeth had, nowadays, points to abuse (sexual?) in childhood.

Also, during the late 1800's, there were many folks that dove off the bridge into the Danube because of love, money or whatever......maybe something cultural?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 07:27:19 AM by aor »

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #341 on: July 09, 2009, 05:23:22 PM »
Very difficult to define what "mentally quite healthy" means. According to an article I read, one in every three people suffers some form of mental disorder (dissociative disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, developmental disorders, personality disorders, ambulatory disorders etc etc as defined in the guideline criteria listed in the ICD, DSM and other manuals) at some stage in their life.

Empress Elisabeth did suffer from an eating disorder as well as probable anxiety disorders and depression and Crown Prince Rudolf appears to have suffered from depression. However, it was widely accepted that the official finding "Suicide by revolver in a state of temporary derangement" was, as aor states, a ploy to ensure a Catholic burial, as in those days the Catholic Church claimed that anyone who deliberately killed him/herself and was aware of what he/she was doing was a sinner who was not worthy of a catholic burial in consecrated ground. I am of the opinion that the Crown Prince knew what he was doing when he pulled the trigger...

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #342 on: July 09, 2009, 05:26:59 PM »

Modern research into some of the issues the Empress Elisabeth had, nowadays, points to abuse (sexual?) in childhood.


That is interesting aor! Can you tell us more? Would the abuse refer to her marriage, as after all, she was only 16 years old when she married Kaiser Franz Joseph.

Offline aor

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #343 on: July 10, 2009, 10:29:27 AM »
Let me see if I can find that specific research paper and I'll post a link. It seems that 85% of women (they only did women) that do suffer from some kind of mental disorder that affects the 'me', have suffered some form of abuse in childhood, mostly sexual abuse. Not certain if the abuse, if so, occurred in childhood or her marriage. Most women that are effected by this, long back to childhood with it's innocence. Also Anorexia, in more severe and lengthy cases, stops the monthly cycle and give the body the look of a child. Very interesting material.
There is not much known about sexual abuse in that timeframe, however, it must have occurred.

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Re: Crown Prince Rudolph--controversies, affairs & his death
« Reply #344 on: July 10, 2009, 06:13:52 PM »

Modern research into some of the issues the Empress Elisabeth had, nowadays, points to abuse (sexual?) in childhood.


That is interesting aor! Can you tell us more? Would the abuse refer to her marriage, as after all, she was only 16 years old when she married Kaiser Franz Joseph.

Sissi considered that Franz Joseph rapped her in their wedding night, is well known that she disliked
sex very much and she was frigid, but before this unfortunately event I haven't heard anything