Author Topic: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef  (Read 116181 times)

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Offline Greenowl

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2007, 03:55:53 PM »
Greenowl, you have provide us a very good briefing about all the tragedies suffered by Helen. It is unnatural for a mother to bury all of her children. I wish to imagine her as an old ruined woman finding a little measure of hapiness in her grandchildren...the son and daughter of Hanna (Edouard and Maria) and the three daughters of Feri by his wife Margit von Bissingen (Ferdinanda "Nancy", Alexandrine "Alitschi" and Eleonora "Nora").
Helen had a bad reputation...but I don´t know why. As far as I know, she was a virginal creature when she married Albin von Vetsera, and it seems she was a faithful wife to her "freiherr". One of her sisters, Marie Virginie (Bibi), was a woman who divorced her first husband and marry for a second time, but the others -Lizzie Baltazzi Nugent and Evelyne Baltazzi von Stockau- were well married women. I wonder why Helen was linked to both Franz Joseph and Rudolf...I find it really amazing!

That is a good question Yseult, but I'm afraid I don't know the answer either. I can only speculate.... one speculation is the fact that Helene was extremely young when she married Albin von Vetsera in 1864. She was 17 years old, while he was 22 years her senior. He died aged 62 in 1887, at which point she had just turned 40. Albin von Vetsera was a diplomat and often posted abroad....as far as I know (and I stand open to correction on this) he died alone (i.e. without the presence of his wife or children) in Cairo. His family appear to have spent most of their time in Austria and Hungary when he was abroad. Thus Helene may have been bored (A) because her husband was so much older and (B) because he was posted abroad. She gained access to the best circles through her brothers, who were founder members of the Austrian Jockey Club. She was also friendly with Grafin Marie Wallersee-Larisch. How this friendship came about I do not know (Do you?), but it could have been through her youngest brother Heinrich ("Henry") Baltazzi, who was rumoured to have been the father of two of Grafin Larisch's children (although obviously her husband, Graf Georg Larisch, acknowledged the children as his own). Grafin Marie Wallersee-Larisch was always short of money (gambling debts I think) and was given a substantial sum of money by Heinrich ("Henry") Baltazzi. At a later date she borrowed money from both Helene Vetsera and Crown Prince Rudolf. Grafin Marie Wallersee-Larisch did not have the best of reputations (although whether this was also the case before the tragedy of Mayerling I cannot say), so perhaps Helene's association with the latter led to her getting "a bad name".... unfortunately I have never come across any concrete information (merely comments such as: "she was socially very ambitious" "the wife of the Austrian Ambassador refused to receive her" and a comment of Franz-Joseph to one of Elisabeth's ladies in waiting about her inappropriate behaviour towards Crown Prince Rudolf), but perhaps a study of the literature pertaining to Grafin Marie Wallersee-Larisch might reveal some clues. Needless to say, I shall start searching!!!! Sorry I have nothing more interesting or definite to add. By the way, does anyone have any photos of Helene and her family?? She always seemed to me to have a great resemblance to her unfortunate daughter Mary (Marie Alexandrine).

YaBB_Jose

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2007, 10:33:13 AM »
Some pretend that Helene had been not Franz Josef's mistress, but Rudolf's, despite the age gap.
And that there were reasons to believe that Rudolf could have been Maria Vetsera' s father, making their relation an incestuous one.
Giving the way Helene pushed Maria to Rudolf, would she be so eager to see her daughter well off at the point of throwing her to her "father's" arms ?
Do you actually believe that ?

Yseult

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2007, 10:54:54 AM »
Well, José, I have my doubts about Helen "pushing" her daughter Marie to Rudolf. Helen was not a stupid woman, she was clever enough to know well that her daughter reputation was not entirely good due to all the gossip about a not very innocent flirt between the girl and a young british officer settled in Cairo. Helen needed to make clear that Mary was a virtous heiress to marry her within the hight society. An adulterous relationship with Rudolf was not the way to marry well the daughter, I believe. Helen was aged enough to know that the crown prince had contracted venereal diseases with his many mistress, by the way. I suppose there were a good deal of "viennese gossip" about the women who shared Rudolf´s bed, specially about Mitzi Kaspar. I don´t imagine Helen dreaming about Rudolf breaking his marriage with a rich princess of blood as Stephanie of Belgium was to marry after a young baroness as Mary Vetsera was. So, Helen had not a reason to push her unmarried daughter to the arms of a man with a wife, many mistress and venereal diseases...

Offline Princess Susan

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2007, 12:11:07 PM »
In 'Kaiser Franz Josef ganz privat' (Emperor Franz Josef absolutely privately) is mentioned that, Helen Baltazzi was emperor's mistress from his youth. Franz Jozef knew her even before his wedding in 1853. So he was very young and Helen had to be aproximately in his age. Propably little bit younger. Therfore I think she couldn't be 17 years old in 1864. It means that she had to be much more older. I presume at least 28, 29.
Exept this book I read some simular information in another book. But unfortunately I don't remember name.

Yseult

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2007, 01:06:22 PM »
In 'Kaiser Franz Josef ganz privat' (Emperor Franz Josef absolutely privately) is mentioned that, Helen Baltazzi was emperor's mistress from his youth. Franz Jozef knew her even before his wedding in 1853. So he was very young and Helen had to be aproximately in his age. Propably little bit younger. Therfore I think she couldn't be 17 years old in 1864. It means that she had to be much more older. I presume at least 28, 29.
Exept this book I read some simular information in another book. But unfortunately I don't remember name.

I think it´s unbelievable. Helen Baltazzi was born in 1847, so in 1853 she was SIX years old. She married Albin von Vetsera on april, 1864, in the British Embassy Chapel in Constantinople. I suppose Helen could have been in Vienna with her husband after may, 1864. She had her firstborn son, Ladislaus, in 1865, and her firstborn daughter, Hanna, in 1868. Remember that no one gossiped about Franz Joseph fathering Ladislaus or Hanna...the rumour was about Franz Joseph fathering just Mary, who was born on march 1871. So, if Helen was involved in a relationship with the emperor, this could have happened in the year 1870, not before, not after of 1870.

Offline Princess Susan

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2007, 01:50:37 PM »
Yes, I have seen her cv on Wikipedia on internet. Acording this she was born in 1847.
But in 'Kaiser Franz Josef ganz privat' you can find this information, that she was his love from youth.
Another loves from his young years were mentioned Elisabeth Ugarte and Katharina Abel.
In this book you can also find that around 1870 he had relationship with Rosa Moskowitch and her daughter, who
was born in 1870 was maybe his daughter as well. This could be true or not. Of course nobody can confirm this rumour.
But anyway it's strange that you can find simular informations in many books.
Is it possible that authors (G. Praschl-Bichler and J. Cachee) were mistaken?

Yseult

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2007, 02:28:08 PM »
I don´t know, Princess Susan. To say the truth, I have not such a deep knowledge about the private life of Franz Joseph to clarify the question. All these names (Elisabeth Ugarte, Katharina Abel, Rosa Moskowitch...) were unknown to me until right now. Of course, I have read about the relationship between Franz Joseph and Anna Nahowski and between Franz Joseph and Katharina Schratt.
But I find quite strange one question: some people gossiped about Franz Joseph fathering Mary Vetsera, some people gossiped about crown prince Rudolf himself fathering Mary Vetsera. It seems that Helen was linked to both Franz Joseph and Rudolf. I wonder myself when aroused all these rumours about Helen, the emperor and the crown prince.

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2007, 12:29:25 PM »
I personally think the relationship(s) between Helena Vetsera and Crown Prince Rudolf and/or Emperor Franz Joseph was/were nothing more than rumours and gossip. Helene Vetsera was obsessed by social ambition and dreamed of entering “the closed circle at the centre of which stood Franz Joseph” (Marek). Franz Joseph, usually indifferent to the social manoeuvring around him, was aware of Helene Vetsera’s ambitions and commented to Marie Festetics (who recorded it in her diary) “The way that woman goes on about Rudolf is incredible. She chases him everywhere. Today she even gave him a gift” (Festetics diary entry of 03rd. December, 1879). Marek concludes that Helene was trying to use Rudolf to introduce her to the Hofburg. When that did not work (she was too old for Rudolf, who had no interest in her) she attempted to use her daughter Mary instead, although at the same time she was trying to cover up an affair that Mary had with a young English officer in Cairo AND marry her to Duke Miguel of Braganza, a widower living in Vienna. She later claimed that she did not know about Mary’s affair with Crown Prince Rudolf…but that seems unlikely. She was naturally devastated by Mary’s murder and her subsequent treatment by the imperial court.

I must admit that I have never heard of Katharina Abel, Rosa Moskowitch or Anna Nahowski. They are new to me. Everybody knows about Katharina Schratt, while Countess Elisabeth Ugarte was ten years older that Franz-Joseph and often his partner at court balls in the late 1840s and early 1850s, before his marriage. She was apparently very beautiful and in her diary she wrote about Franz-Joseph as follows: “I danced each time with our delicious young emperor. It created quite a sensation. He is agreeable in conversation and improves each time one talks to him”. That does not really sound like they were lovers, although I think I may have read somewhere that Archduchess Sophie “selected” Elisabeth Ugarte to provide Franz-Joseph with his first sexual experience.

Yseult

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2007, 01:00:06 PM »
Greenowl, I find your post very interesting, but, by reading it, I have more and more doubts about the idea of Helen pushing Mary to Rudolf. If you are the mother of a pretty and rich girl, and you are trying at the same time to cover up a flirt of the girl with a young officer and to marry the girl with a widow prince, to push the girl to a married man with many mistress and venereal diseases is...a stupid thing.

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2007, 07:19:51 AM »
Yes Yseult, I agree.

The situation seems extremely contradictory, thus all aspects cannot be true and some must be based on mere gossip. Could it be possible that the term “used” (as in “Helene was trying to use Rudolf to introduce her to the Hofburg. When that did not work she attempted to use her daughter Mary instead”) has a different meaning? However, the next question is “what other meaning (apart from sexual “favours”) could it possibly have?”

I found out a great deal about Anna Nahowski on Wikipedia and in the Kaiserin Elisabeth forum and from the details provided, her long affair with Kaiser Franz-Joseph sounds most likely. However, I wonder why this fact is omitted by both Marek and Hamann and why it never came to my attention before (I have been interested in the Habsburgs for close on 30 years)? I searched the Internet for information about Katharina Abel and Rosa Moskowitch, but found absolutely nothing, other than the fact that the former appears to have been a ballet dancer.  Why are they (in particular Anna Nahowski) relatively unknown, while Katharina Schratt is famous?

Questions, questions and still more questions, yet few answers!

Yseult

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2007, 12:01:56 PM »
I think that Katharina Schratt was "a star" in her times. She was a "royal actress" since 1887 and, if I´m not mistaken, the first time she caught an "imperial eye", she caught the eye of the tsar Alexander III (but I believe it was merely a social flirt, cause I always supposed Sasha being a faithful husband to his Minnie...). When she became the "special friend" of Franz Joseph, of course it was noticed by the viennese people.
I don´t know nothing about Katharina Abel or Rosa Moskowitch, but Anna Nahowski had not the same background of Katharina Schratt. Anna was only a common woman, married with a common man, with a very common life but for her affair with an emperor.

Offline Princess Susan

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2007, 03:39:57 PM »
I presume that, reason why Hamman and Marek didn't mention Anna Nahowsky in their books is, that relationship betwen Franz Josef and Anna was unknown till 1980. I don't know when Marek wrote his book (I've never read anything from him), but I am sure that Hamman biography about Elisabeth was first published in 1978.
Katharina Abel was realy ballet dencer and affair between her and young emperor was probably only very short. They knew each other somewhen in early 50s. But I don't know another details about their adventure.
Rosa Moskowitch worked as a laundress in hofburg's laundry, so she was common woman. This affair didn't last very long time too.
Presumably only around 1870, when she gave birth of girl. According gossips this girl was emperor's daughter and Rosa got from him quite a lot of money. Therefore she could give up her job in laundry. And daughter (Margaret?) got regulary amout from royal office.
I found out as well, that Elisabeth Ugarte was Franz Josef's dance partner and they met on court ball when he was 18 and she was 26 years old. But in Gerd Hollers book about archdukess Sophia I read, that she didn't approve this beginning relationship.
She invited countess Ugarte to her appartmans and told her, that her old ill father living in countryside urgently needed her help.
But is possible that she realy was his first sexual experience. You can find this information in 'Kaiser Franz Josef ganz private' by P-Bichler and Cachee.
But his first even childish love from boyhood was Bertha von Marvitz. Actualy she was lady in waiting of his aunt Elisa of Prusia.
Young archduke met her and fell in love with her when he was 14. This friendship or rather 'little affair' :) was of course only platonic. His mother Sophia noticed all matter in her journal. We can find it also in Holler's biography about Sophia.
And what about reliationship between Helen Baltazzi Vetzera, Rudolph and Franz Josef? I think that most of thing about this affair is very strange and unlikely,especially gossip, that emperor was Mary's father is nonsence.

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2007, 06:56:54 AM »
Good point! Marek’s book (The Eagles Die) dates from 1974. I have the ninth edition of Hamann’s “Kaiserin wieder Willen” which dates from 1996, but the copyright is 1981, so as you suggest, it was probably written in the late 1970s.

Princess Susan, do you know why the information about Anna Nahowsky first came to light in 1980? Was it because her diaries were first published at that time? And who made them public? Her daughter Helene Berg (reputed to be the daughter of Kaiser Franz-Joseph) died in 1976. According to information on the internet (how accurate it is I cannot say, as no source is quoted) the diaries do not specifically state that Helene is the daughter of the Kaiser. However, another article claims that “it was common knowledge in Viennese society at that time that Helene Berg (who was married to the composer Alban Berg) was the daughter of Kaiser Franz-Joseph” and mentions that various people in the music world, including Bruno Walter and Alma Mahler-Werfel, were well aware of this fact. The strange thing here is that the above-mentioned George R Marek has written many books and biographies about composers, including Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Richard Strauss and “The Eagles Die” has a chapter devoted to music and literature in Vienna during the reign of Kaiser Franz-Joseph, and includes references to Alban Berg, whose Third Quartet was composed in 1910. Surely if the affair was “such common knowledge” in the music world he would have been aware of it and included some reference to this fact? Thus it seems more likely that the information was first revealed and made public in 1980 as you suggest, although the fact that Franz-Joseph is supposed to have bought a house for Anna near Schonbrunn and visited her there on a fairly regular basis over a 14 year period makes it difficult to imagine how it could have been kept so secret and for such a long time.

The affair is supposed to have started in 1875, when Anna was 15 years old, and continued until shortly after the Mayerling tragedy, thus at one time Franz-Joseph was involved with both Anna Nahowsky and Katharina Schratt. Helene Nahowsky-Berg was born in 1885, thus ten years after the affair began. There was also a son (called Franz-Joseph or Frank) who was also rumoured to be the son of Franz-Joseph, but for some reason this appears less certain. Did Anna Nahowsky have other children apart from the two mentioned above?

Interesting to imagine how Franz-Joseph found the time to indulge in all those liaisons (as well as making sure that they remained fairly discreet) rule a huge empire with many problems and go hunting on a regular basis. Indeed, maybe that explains why he was at his desk at some unearthly hour every morning (4h00 I think)!

Offline Princess Susan

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2007, 03:45:10 PM »
Yes, diaries of Anna Nahowsky was published first time somewhen after 1980. I suppose, that it was Helene Berg's will to keep it in secreet until her death. At least I read somthing like this, if I remember it correctly.
I also heard, that it was common knowledge especialy in Hitzing-what is area wher Anna lived. People from her surroundings were aware, that emperor sometimes used to visit her in her house (witch she got from him) in the mornings.
It's possible that also people from music world were very well informed about this affair.
Helene herself was very pround of her possible royal background. She remembered Franz Josephs vists from her early childhood.
So it's likely, that this matter was known between musicans after her wedding with Alban Berg. Berg was confident, that she was realy emperor's daughter. But Franz Joseph's paternity of Anna's son Franz is more doubtful, then his paternity of Helene. Because this son was born in 1889. But Anna's relationship with emperor was getting still colder and colder approximately since 1887, when Katharina Schratt in the contrary was still closer to him. During year 1888 he visited her realy only few times.
She complained that, he ignored her, although he acted so that was everithing all right.
During her marriage with Franz Nahowsky and relationship with Franz Joseph she had perhaps 5 children. But i don't know, why especialy Helene was consider for emperor's daughter.  ???

Offline Greenowl

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Re: Mistresses and illegetimate children of Emperor Franz Josef
« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2007, 06:00:41 PM »
Thanks for that information Princess Susan!

Yes, I wonder why, out of the five children, only Helene was definitely considered to be the emperor's daughter? Perhaps she bore some physical resemblance to him? I think a saw a photo of her on either the Kaiserin Elisabeth Forum or in Wikepedia and I did not notice much resemblance, but then I am not a good judge of such things.

Gosh, we have moved slightly off topic!