Wednesday, October 21, 2009

German princess jailed by Dollfuss

October 21, 1933

The Associated Press reports today on the imprisonment of Princess Margot of Saxe-Meiningen because of her support of National Socialism. Austria's "fighting five-foot chancellor Dr. Engelbert Dolfuss" ordered the house imprisonment of a German Nazi princess in her "romantic Carinthian castle tonight 'for an indefinite period.'" The Princess' husband, Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen was sentenced to jail for six weeks.

The Prince and Princess were "declared guilty of a Nazi conspiracy against Austria.

The couple were arrested in Carinthia because the Prince's automobile "carried a Hitlerite flag as he drove through the streets of Klagenfurt." Police also confiscated "many incriminating documents including a letter to Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, the German Propaganda Minister."

Princess Margot "would be a prisoner in her own castle and would not be permitted to receive visitors" or be able to communicate with the "outside world."

It was also officially announced that "care will be taken to keep the German Consul away" from visiting the princess.

Police became suspicious when Prince Bernhard, already in custody, asked for permission to telephone his wife. The police overheard the prince instruct his wife to "destroy the documents." The police immediately notified officials at Pitzelstaetten, where the castle is located.

Twelve armed police "rushed to the castle," where Princess Margot was arrested and the house and grounds were searched. The documents were found, and the princess was "questioned extensively at Klagenfurt."

Although the "exact nature of alleged conspiracy was not revealed." the police acknowledged that they found the entire office files for the Nazi headquarters in Klagenfurt.

A "sardonic feature of the whole affair" was that Prince and Princess Bernhard "were only two of the many aristocratic Germans expressly invited to Austria after the war 'to make Carinthia more German.'"

Several hundred German aristocrats and many more German farmers and tradesmen moved to Carinthia "that when Germany became Nazi and most of Carinthia became Nazi, too."

Princess Margot is being guarded by six detectives. The police do not want the princess to escape, so the detectives have moved into the castle and "set up eight-hour watches."

The Princess is not permitted to receive visitors "and her mail was strictly censored."

An Associated Press reporter who was permitted to telephone the castle "was told by a woman friend of the Princess that she bore up well but 'went to her room and had a good cry.'" The Princess' friend was not under arrest, but was told if she left the castle, she would not be able to return. The AP did not name the friend.

The Princess is the former Margot Groessler, a German commoner. She married Prince Bernhard on April 25, 1931.

The German Legation in Vienna "will not take any steps in the case" until it receives a complete report from consul officials in Klagenfurt.


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Interesting story. Do you know anything about the further developments?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

I will try to follow this story. I looked to see if there were future stories, and there were ...

JNOTH said...

This woman was really a princess in that she was married to Bernhard morganatically. She was a rather horrid woman who sheltered Heidegger in the final months of the war...