Author Topic: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II  (Read 200946 times)

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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2004, 08:39:53 PM »
Here is some additional info gleaned from the internet:

The best known case of looting by American personnel was the theft of the Hesse Crown Jewels. The primary instigator of the theft was Captain Kathleen Nash. Nash, Major David Watson and Colonel Jack Durant, Nash’s lover, found a fresh patch of concrete in the cellar as they were exploring the castle. They chipped through the concrete and found zinc lined boxes full of jewels. The trio removed the jewels from the tiaras, bracelets, etc and sold them in Switzerland. In late 1945, the trio returned to the United States. In addition to the jewels and gold, the trio had looted silverware, books, and hundreds of other items. In January 1946, the jewels were reported missing by a member of the Hesse family. The Army’s Criminal Intelligence Division determined the extent of the theft and soon arrested the trio. Durant married Nash so she would not be allowed to testify against him. Watson was sentenced to three years in prison but was released after four months. His family owned a large West Coast grocery store chain that apparently had connections to people in power. Durant was sentenced to fifteen years and released after six years. Nash however, was described as a difficult prisoner and served her entire sentence of five years. About one half of the jewels had been mailed to Nash’s sister.


The Hesse Crown jewels were discovered by an American soldier and a civilian in November 1945 in a castle used by Allied soldiers. The two turned the jewels over to the soldier's company commander, Capt. Kathleen Nash, after which the jewels disappeared. After an extensive investigation, Capt. Nash and another officer were convicted of smuggling the valuables out of the American Occupational Zone. In 1951, the collection of 270 diamonds and other jewels was returned to the Hesse family.

The Americans prosecuted a theft in the millions by a U.S. welfare officer, Captain Kathleen Nash and Colonel James Durant, from the castle that the Army was using as a recreation club. The army had requisitioned the Hesse family home and castle, driving the family elsewhere. The jewels were discovered although they had been well hidden, in a welded-shut metal box behind brick and mortar, and the officers thought that the Hesse family were just a bunch of Nazis anyway and why not take their share of victor's loot. 60
60. A video tape on this (Secret Plunder -- GI Loooters) is available at The History Channel.

As a result of the increased attention given to its public image after World War II, the Corps suffered few ignominious incidents like the one that occurred in 1946-the court-martial of Capt. Kathleen Nash Durant, her husband, and several others in Germany for the theft of the royal jewels of the House of Hesse from Kronberg Castle in Frankfurt. Most of the jewels, valued at over a million dollars, were recovered, and Durant was found guilty of larceny, dishonorably discharged, and sentenced to serve five years at hard labor at the Federal Reformatory for Women in Alderson, West Virginia. She was paroled on good behavior in 1949
10 History of the Second Year of the Occupation Forces in Europe, 1 Jul 46-30 Jun 47, Office, Chief of History, European Command, p. 26, CMH Ref Br; New York Times, 29 Jul 49, p. 1.

One website had a picture with the following caption:
In February 1947, the 709th MP Battalion provided an escort detail to accompany the evidence that was collected in Germany during the investigation of the theft of the Hesse Crown jewels. The evidence was transferred to the US for the trial. The photo to the left appears to show members of the 709th MP Battalion carrying a crate of evidence relating to the Hesse Crown Jewels Robbery from an Air Transport Command aircraft at Bolling Field, Washington DC. (Acme News Photograph, February 3, 1947.)

« Last Edit: October 28, 2006, 07:47:01 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2004, 11:01:13 AM »
Thanks for the clarification Thomas. I had just posted what I'd seen online-I should've read more carefully.  :-[  But then we all know what we read on the Internet is correct, right? LOL I think the problem is most information was gleaned from contemporaneous accounts and certain facts might've been erroneous (ie the majority of jewels recovered) and the info just wasn't double-checked.
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Offline RomanovFan

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2004, 06:27:27 PM »
Did any of Victoria and Freidrich's 8 children (besides Kaiser Wilhelm II) become rulers of a country?
~LESLIE~

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2004, 07:39:55 PM »
Of the sons, no. But 2 died very young Didn't they? Ages2 & 11 I think. Of the daughters, Sophie became Queen Consort of Greece [Consyantine ].
Best,
Robert
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2004, 09:44:49 PM »
Quote
Of the sons, no. But 2 died very young Didn't they? Ages2 & 11 I think. Of the daughters, Sophie became Queen Consort of Greece [Consyantine ].
Best,
Robert


And Margaret almost became Queen of Finland. When they broke off from Russia, they offered her husband the throne but he wanted to wait for a vote by the people who ultimately decided to go with a Republic.

They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2004, 10:48:06 AM »
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Remembering today especially the good Kaiserin Friedrich - August 1901+

Especially in light of the suffering she endured--emotional (loss of 2 sons and a beloved husband to a cruel disease; estrangement from her elder children; vilified in Berlin; loss of her dreams of she & Fritz creating a more liberal Germany) and physical (the horrific cancer which finally killed her as well as many other serious ailment throughout her life). Through it all, she never lost her faith, her thirst for knowledge and culture, her love of travel, her keen interest in life and was blessed with a handsome, loving husband whose devotion and fidelity never wavered throughout 30 years of marriage,  3 younger daughters who she adored and was adored in return and many grandchildren. In the end, she was at least reunited with her 'beloved Fritz' as well as spared the ordeal of England and Germany at war with her eldest son denounced as a war criminal, the further calumnies heaped upon her in biased books for years after her death and who is know being recognized (thank you Hannah Pakula!) for the fascinating, complex, cultured, brilliant woman she was.



« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 01:03:31 AM by Svetabel »
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2004, 09:01:48 AM »
I am trying to find a colour reproduction of Vicki & Fritz's wedding at Windsor, as painted by John Phillip.
Anyone know wheri that might be?
If it was in grandduchess ella's last post here, sorry, none of those pictures showed up for me-drat- that happens sometimes on my pc, & I have no idea why. It seems totally random as to which pics this pc will reproduce & which not !!
Cheers,
Robert
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2004, 03:34:25 PM »
My husband and I stayed in the Kronberg Castle-Hotel [Friedrichshof] and it was marvelous.

I have other photographs of this castle built by the widow of Frederick II, King of Prussia and German Emperor, mother of Willliam II.    The little pamplet found with the stationary tells us: "....This house designed by her, embellished by her, marks her disappearace from the broad stream of German life;  it is a monument to her husband and a reminder of the world which they had together hoped to create.

"The Empress lived for seven year after Friedrichshof was finished ...."

She died here on 5 Aug 1901.


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« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 01:28:59 PM by Svetabel »
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Offline Martyn

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2004, 11:03:43 AM »
Lovely photos of Friedrichshof.  It really is quite beautiful and a fitting tribute to Fritz and Vicky.
I have just reread Jerrold Packard's book "Victoria's Daughters" and had quite forgotten how difficult Vicky's life really was in Prussia.
I think that Grandduchessella's comments about Vicky were entirely apposite and I think that the tragedy for her and Fritz is that they didn't have a chance to make a difference.  No one expected the old Emperor to live as long as he actually did.
Albert and Victoria expected that an English princess imbued with the liberal principles of her parents would have a huge liberalising influence at the Prussian court; instead Vicky was marginalised and denigrated and her and Fritz's liberal principles wre igored and ridiculed by Bismarck and Willy.
There really is no point in speculating as to waht might have been if Fritz had come to the throne earlier, but one can't help but wonder..........
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2004, 11:21:11 AM »
Although it was an extremely brief reign, were thare any official state portraits made of them [F&V] as Emperor & Empress ?
Also, any formal funeral paintings.
I may have just not looked for them in the right places, but I have not found any.
Thanks,
Robert
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Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2004, 12:26:35 AM »
Quote
Although it was an extremely brief reign, were thare any official state portraits made of them [F&V] as Emperor & Empress ?
Also, any formal funeral paintings.
I may have just not looked for them in the right places, but I have not found any.
Thanks,
Robert


I don't think there were any formal portraits made since he was so ill at that point--he may not have been up to even a photographic session and probably a portrait would've been out of the question. I've seen some photographs that maybe of the ceremony, I'll have to check. They're certainly not clear if they are (too wide or far). There were some sketches published I think. Coming so soon on the heels of Wilhelm I's state funeral, Fritz got sort of the short-shrift funeral wise (maybe by his own-wish, I don't know) but it was pretty quiet.
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Offline Martyn

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2004, 06:24:28 AM »
In Jerrold Packard's "Victoria's Daughters" he recounts Vicky and Fritz's visit to England for the Golden Jubilee in 1887.
Fritz was very ill at this time but he made a superhuman effort to take part in the celebrations; this fact was picked up by the press and the public and he was much admired for his courage and for the effort that he had made to honour his mother-in-law.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2004, 10:08:15 AM »
Quote
In Jerrold Packard's "Victoria's Daughters" he recounts Vicky and Fritz's visit to England for the Golden Jubilee in 1887.
Fritz was very ill at this time but he made a superhuman effort to take part in the celebrations; this fact was picked up by the press and the public and he was much admired for his courage and for the effort that he had made to honour his mother-in-law.


That story always make me tear up. I love Fritz.  :'( Queen Alexandra who rarely had anything good to say about Prussians (though she did like Fritz & Vicky) commented on how dashing and brave he was. He also apparently received some of the loudest cheers riding in the parade with his glistening silver breastplate and white uniform and noble bearing. He seemed Lohengrin come to life. Also the story about how he went to Henry & Irene's wedding even though he could barely stand at the time (some reports had him wheeled in, others that he walked in). Regardless of how he got there, the photo of the wedding shows him standing next to Vicky looking so handsome and noble. Bismark's son Herbert made the remark on that occasion that a monarch who couldn't speak shouldn't rule and the Prince of Wales (who was close to Fritz) wrote that he wanted to toss him out bodily but didn't because of foreign relations (and probably not to embarass his proud brother-in-law). Go Bertie!
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Offline jfkhaos

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Re: Kaiser Friedrich III, his spouse Victoria and their family, Part II
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2004, 12:20:33 PM »
Do you happen to have a picture of the wedding of Irene and Henry?  I am sure more than I would enjoy seeing it!  ;D