Tuesday, May 25, 2010

German nobles a twitter at Wrede case

May 25, 1906

The German nobility "is in a high state of excitement" owing to the recent disclosure that silverware stolen from leading European hotels was found at Basedow castle in Mecklenburg. The castle, which was owned by a Count Hahn, who had to "give it up on account of heavy debts," is being leased to Prince Adolf of Wrede, who is married to Carmen Dolores Josefa de Benitez, a wealthy Argentine. The prince was, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune, was previously married to a "variety actress," Ludmilla Maldaner. They were divorced in 1902 in Munich, but a Paris tribunal did recognize the divorce.
Princess Adolf's son from her first marriage is the owner of large estates in South America, and her daughter, Edda, is married to Adolf's first cousin, Prince Eugen's son, Prince Edmund of Wrede.
Prince and Princess Adolf made plans to move into Basedow a few weeks ago with a "retinue of thirty servants and three automobiles." Their main residence is a "magnificent palace in Madrid filled with the rarest art treasures."
But last week, their plans changed with one of the prince's servants arrived with the state's attorney of the district, and entered the castle, where they found "silverware which had been stolen from the leading hotels on the continent."
Despite their financial problems, the Hahns were very popular in Basedow, but the same cannot be said of Prince and Princess Wrede, who were advised badly by the castle's housekeeper.
Recently, a washerwoman sued the prince, declaring that she received only 13 cents for a day's work, when she should have received 30 cents a day.
The Prince and Princess love their cars, and they "keep no horses." The Princess keeps' "several colored female servants, who must kneel whenever they approach their mistress." She is also a kleptomaniac, "which explains her mania for stealing hotel silverware."
The servant, who blew the whistle on his employers, has now been arrested at the request of Prince Adolf, who charges that the servant "endeavored to blackmail him for 50,000 marks for remaining quiet."

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