January 29, 1929
Austrian society is gasping over the latest sensational news about Archduke Joseph Ferdinand. He is said to have received a communication from the spirit world regarding his marriage. During the war, he commanded the Austrian Fourth Army with "little success." At the "conclusion of peace," Joseph Ferdinand retired to a villa, near Mondsee, and devoted himself to farming. He dropped the use of his titles, and called himself Joseph F. Habsburg. Eight years ago, he married a farmer's daughter, Rosa Jockl, and "for several years they lived happily." Then "their relations cooled" when the former archduke became interested in spiritualism. He took part in a seance, where "a message from a Habsburg ancestress came through the medium," imploring the archduke to "divorce your wife; marry a younger girl and raise heirs to the House of Tuscany."
It is not known "whether the advice was actually received," but it is evident that Joseph Ferdinand "acted along the lines indicated." He divorced Rosa about a year ago, and moved into a house in the Schwarzenbergplatz, Vienna, and married secretly Getrude Tomanek, who is thirty years his junior, a few days ago.
The first reports stated that his new wife had worked as a chambermaid in a top Vienna hotel, but it turned out that the hotel had employed a Prussian woman with the same name. The new Mrs. Habsburg is the daughter of Colonel Tomanek, a distinguished Austria officer.
Joseph Ferdinand has declined to discuss "the story of a spirit message directing his actions, considering that the motives of the romance concern himself and his wife and no one else."
Joseph Ferdinand is a younger brother of the former Crown Princess Louise of Saxony.