Author Topic: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich  (Read 123240 times)

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Offline bookworm857158367

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German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« on: August 14, 2005, 01:16:10 PM »
When looking for photos of Georg-Donatus and family on line, I came across a site that claimed they'd borrowed the plane that crashed from Goering, a Nazi party member. I also found a photo of Princess Viktoria-Luise's youngest children in Hitler Youth costumes. Princess Friederieke is posed with her two younger brothers, both of them wearing uniforms with swastika arm bands.

Since Georg-Donatus's brother married a British woman I find it really hard to believe there were any real ties between that family and the Nazis. What about Cecile's sisters and their husbands? Did they oppose the Nazi party?

Offline rita

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2005, 04:46:52 PM »
Many of the german aristocracy were in the NSDAP. A new book of Stephan Malinowski looks at this topic.
The correspondence of the hessian family which is closed in the Staatsarchiv Darmstadt to the year ?2007? can give information about the real ties between the family of Hessen-Darmstadt and the Nazis.
Cecilie's sister Sophie had married a Nazi, Christoph von Hessen.

Offline rita

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AlexP

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2005, 05:28:44 PM »
Quote
Many of the german aristocracy were in the NSDAP. A new book of Stephan Malinowski looks at this topic.
The correspondence of the hessian family which is closed in the Staatsarchiv Darmstadt to the year ?2007? can give information about the real ties between the family of Hessen-Darmstadt and the Nazis.
Cecilie's sister Sophie had married a Nazi, Christoph von Hessen.


Dear Rita,

Thank you very much for your posting.  This is a question that needed to be asked and it should also be asked within the greater scope of ALL of the Germans in the period 1933-1945.

Who WASN'T a Nazi....probably you could count the numbers as less than 10,000 in a country of 80 million.

Now back to the topic, I am sorry.  Indeed, please tell us more.  To what degree were they Nazis?  Did they assist the war machine?  Were they involved in all of the atrocities?  Did any of the German nobillity lead SS or Waffen troops?  Were any of them labelled as war criminals after the war? Were any of them subsequently shot by the Allies after Nuremberg?

Frankly, it's  a stain that just can't be washed out.

I very much look forward to your kind answer and thank you again for the posting.

With all of the best from Shanghai,


A.A.

Finelly

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2005, 08:31:25 PM »
80-90% of the young people in Germany were members of the Nazi Youth.  Less than that percentage of the adult citizens were registered with the Nazi party as members.

Perhaps one should ask these questions of all of the Germans.  However, it is the German leadership, including the Hesse family, who bore additional responsibility.  The nobility have always had a higher standard for behavior and decision-making.  It is part of the obligations associated with the privileges associated with membership in the upper stratums of society.  This is why we always look to them to be accountable for the failures of any system, be it a Russian autocracy or a German aristocracy.


Offline grandduchessella

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2005, 09:47:13 PM »
The Hesse Darmstadt line was pretty free of Nazism. It was the Hesse Cassel line that had some active members. Christopher of Hesse (Mossy's son and married to Sophie of Greece, Alice's daughter) was a member as was his brother Philip whose wife Mafalda was later killed in a concentration camp when the Nazis were angered at her father, the King of Italy.

Most of the Catholic royal families were pretty anti-Nazi including the Bavarians, the Saxony royal family (the Kingdom not the duchies), the Wurttembergs and many paid a high price.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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AlexP

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2005, 11:45:04 PM »
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The Hesse Darmstadt line was pretty free of Nazism. It was the Hesse Cassel line that had some active members. Christopher of Hesse (Mossy's son and married to Sophie of Greece, Alice's daughter) was a member as was his brother Philip whose wife Mafalda was later killed in a concentration camp when the Nazis were angered at her father, the King of Italy.

Most of the Catholic royal families were pretty anti-Nazi including the Bavarians, the Saxony royal family (the Kingdom not the duchies), the Wurttembergs and many paid a high price.


Dear Friend,

Thank you very much for all of this interesting information.

Was the nobility in Germany only Roman Catholic?  Were there any Lutheran nobility?  If so, what were their reactions to the Nazis and to all of the horros of that period?

With many thanks from Shanghai,


A.A.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2005, 11:51:17 PM »
Hello

Probably most of the nobility/royalty were Protestant. In addition to the above the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringens were Catholic and one of the Coburg branches.

Many of the Hohenzollerns were involved in Nazism, many perhaps hoping there would be a Hohenzollern restoration. Wilhelm II's son August Wilhelm was an ardent Nazi. QV's grandson Charles Edward, Duke of Coburg was a very outspoken supporter and he was in fact tried and imprisoned for a time after the war (as was August Wilhem I believe). QV's granddaughter Princess Alexandra of Coburg, later Hohenlohe-Langenberg and 2 of her daughters were supporters as well.

I'd have to look the information up again but there was a list someone of German princes and their Nazi ties.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2005, 12:15:55 AM »
Pro-Nazi (usually very sincere in it and not just because of pressure or because 'most' were in the party)

Empress Hermine of Germany (widow of Kaiser Wilhem) unlike husband vocal supporter

Duchess Luise of Anhalt-Dessau (ex-wife of Duke Eduard ) (she was an early financer of Hitler)

August Wilhelm of Prussia (son of Kaiser Wilhelm II) -- was an SA member and propagandist before 1933 hoping to bring other German royals into the movement

Prince Philipp of Hesse (Cassel)

Prince Christoph of Hesse (Cassel) -- a Luftwaffe officer who was KIA in 1943. Some say that he was disillusioned at the end but others reject the theory. There were even rumors that Hitler had him killed. I don't know enough to make a judgment.

Prince Wilhelm of Hesse (Philippsthal-Barchfeld)

Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz (V) of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Duke Carl Eduard of Coburg--his daughter Sybilla's wedding to Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden (parents of the current Swedish King) into a Nazi event; this caused a lot of controversy and GV wouldn't let his son attend the wedding and the groom's grandfather, Gustav V wouldn't attend. It was a source of much trouble later on in Sweden, especially during WW2 He was president of the German Red Cross and the institution was basically a Nazi organization. One story said that when inmates of the concentration camps saw Red Cross vehicles drive up to the camp gates, they typically rioted, because the arrival of the Red Cross meant that more people were going to shipped off to the
camps or to medical experiments. Because of CE's position as a cousin to the British King he had a high profile and even wore his Nazi uniform to GV's funeral in 1936. Was prosecuted and imprisoned after the war and suffered confiscation of wealth and properties.

Prince Stefan of Schaumburg-Lippe -- Nazi diplomat in
South America

Prince Friedrich Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe (Stefan's brother)  protégé of Goebbels and continued to praise his 'genius' even after the war ended

Hereditary Prince Josias of Waldeck Pyrmont -- member of the SS.  After the war, he was prosecuted and found guilty of war crimes (for his role in the governance of Buchenwald) and sentenced to prison.

I think that Nicholas of Oldenberg and his sisters Sophie Charlotte (ex-wife of Eitel Friedrich of Prussia) and Ingeborg and Altburg were pro-Nazi as well.

Also when CPss Juliana of Netherlands married Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld the was a good deal of embarrassment over the groom's family who were photographed at pre-wedding festivities giving the Nazi salute (much to the horror of Duke of Kent and Princess Alice of Athlone). Many German relatives were denied passports for the wedding.

More ambiguous in nature--halfhearted support or conflicting reports:
Ernst August Duke of Brunswick (father of Queen Frederika of Greece) -- some sources make him out to be anti-Nazi; others claim he was an early financial backer.  Yet his sons were forcibly discharged from the Armed Forces and his eldest son Ernst August was arrested & detained by the Gestapo in 1944. Still this could've been part of the general anti-Hohenzollern feeling that the Nazis came to practice. The rumors dog the entire family--Queen Frederica is believed still by many Greeks  to have been pro-Nazi--but Frederica was sent to school in England and married and in Greece before the war. Others are probably more knowledgable here.

Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia -- he supported Hitler's failed Presidential campaign, but later in the war, Hitler was convinced that the Crown Prince was involved in the 20 July 1944 anti-Nazi coup attempt. Support was probably in hopes of a restoration rather than any ardent beliefs. He did speak favorably to his father though.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2005, 12:27:45 AM »
Anti-Nazi

Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria -- involved in
attempts to keep Bavaria (which was a major Nazi stronghold and where the infamous Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden in located) from being Nazified ; his wife Antonia of Luxemburg was imprisoned in Buchenwald

Prince Albrecht of Bavaria (Rupprecht's son) -- followed in his father's footsteps; was also was imprisoned in concentration camp as were his sisters

Kaiser Wilhelm II -- while sent Hitler congratulatory telegram, didn't trust the regime and had a note in his will expressly forbidden any Nazi regalia at his funeral

Princes Oskar, Adalbert and Eitel-Friedrich of Prussia (Kaiser's sons) -- Adalbert was living in Switzerland; his brothers were in the military though so were photographed in Nazi uniforms

Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (2nd son of the Crown Prince) & his wife GDss Kyra of Russia (whose parents were pro-Nazi) -- involved with the anti-Nazi underground in military and people who attempted
the July 1944 coup.  Gestapo interrogated him after the failed coup but apparently he used charm and his family legacy (as grandson of Kaiser) to convince him of innocence and they wrote a clearing report.

Prince Friedrich of Prussia (4th son of the Crown Prince) -- was in England when war broke out and remained as an interned enemy alien throughout the war.  Later, he married an Englishwoman.

Prince Ludwig of Hesse (Darmstadt)-- married to an
Englishwoman (Margaret Geddes).  

Hereditary Prince Georg of Saxe-Meiningen -- religious convictions as a devout Catholic

Crown Prince Georg of Saxony (who had become a Catholic priest) -- was killed on Hitler's orders in 1943

Dukes Philipp and Albrecht of Wurttemberg -- Before
Hitler became Chancellor, a group of Nazi supporters severely beat Philipp not voting in the early 1930s.  Both brothers were very vocal throughout the war

Berthold, Margrave of Baden (BIL of Prince Philip) friend of Kurt Hahn, the Jewish schoolmaster who founded Schloss Salem (which Philip attended) and helped him flee to England where he founded Gordonstoun
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by grandduchessella »
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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AlexP

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2005, 01:09:24 AM »
Grand Duchess Ella,

Thank you for all of your kind information.

With all of the best regards from Shanghai,


A.A.

bluetoria

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2005, 04:03:07 AM »
Without in any way defending the Nazis and all they stood for, I think it is very important to remember that, as Alex wrote earlier, the majority of the people at the time were 'swept up' by Hitler and his promise of restoring pride to Germany. Children were brainwashed from a very early age and so could not help but be taken in by Nazi 'ideals' how ever repellent those ideals may have been.
With regard to the royalties, I think it is perhaps still more understandable that some of them - at least initially - became involved in the Nazi movement. They had seen their way of life destroyed by the loss of WWI and the shame of Versailles, which was so extreme in its demands. If Nazism represented a way of restoring their pride in their country, it is unsurprising that they involved themselves in it. While I do no for one second defend any of the Nazis cruelty, prejudice, genocide etc. etc. I think the Movement would have had great appeal for patriotic Germans, and more especially aristocratic Germans who might have seen it as a means of counteracting Bolshevism.
When I first read of the Hessians involvement with Hitler, I thought it was really appalling but on reflection, you can see why they chose it, particularly since many had been raised in an atmosphere of anti-Semitism anyway.

Offline rita

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2005, 04:57:37 AM »
Thank you dear grandduchessella for this detailed list. where have you found it?
I think highly of your great knowledge about history. Have you studied history?

Dear bluetoria, I agree with you in every items. You meet exactly the difficult situation where the german people were in this dark time of history. Normal people could hardly join the opposition against the naziregime.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: German Royals and Nazism/Royals and the Reich
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2005, 10:00:07 AM »
I gathered the info from the web and various books.

I must disagree somewhat with BT. I tried to make clear in my post that some didn't necessarily support the full ideaology but many did and were as ardent as anyone. The trials and imprisonment of a few was evidence of this. Others could, and did, actively resist them and many--such as CP George of Saxony--paid the ultimate price.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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