Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Archduke Eugen: paternity suit

November 2, 1925

A "sensational law suit" will soon be filed in the Czechoslovak mining town of Maerorsch Ostrau, where the wife of a cabinet maker named Adam, will sue "former Archduke Eugen of Austria for acknowledgement of the paternity of her daughter, Anne Marie, a pretty woman, 34 years old."

The New York Times reports that for more than thirty years "the girl's imperial descent was a secret known only to her mother and old grandmother."   A few weeks ago, the dying grandmother told Anne Maria that her father was an Austrian archduke.  Anne Marie went to her mother for more information, and her mother confirmed the story.

The mother told Anne Maria that Archduke Eugen  "not only never contributed a penny to the girl's upkeep, but also threatened to lock her up for life in a convent if she molested him."   During the war, one of the Archduke's officers called on her "with dire threats to recover from her a photograph representing her with the Archduke."

By an odd coincidence  an Austrian army officer, who served in the Archduke Eugen regiment, fell in love with the young Anne Maria and married her.  She had been acknowledged by her stepfather, the cabinet maker,  although she was "ignorant of her real father's identity."  It was only after she divorced the Austrian ex-officer that Anne Maria decided to "get her claims recognized."

Now over 60, Archduke Eugen, "the handsomest member of the House of Habsburg, is the Grand Master of the Order of Teutonic Knights, an order "entailing celibacy."   About a year ago, a Countess Haugwitz "committed suicide out of unhappy love" for the Archduke.

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