Henckel von Donnersmarck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Henckel coat of arms

The Henckel von Donnersmarcks are a Silesian noble family from the former region of Spiš in Upper Hungary, now in Slovakia. The founder of the family was Henckel de Quintoforo in the 14/15th century. The family estate is in Donnersmarck (slovak: Spišský Štvrtok).


In 1417, during the time of the Council of Constance, the German and Hungarian King Sigismund of Luxembourg granted the three brothers Peter, Jakob and Nicholas a coat of arms.

During the 15th and 16th Centuries lived John II (1481–1539), an eminent scholar who corresponded with Martin Luther, Erasmus of Rotterdam and Philipp Melanchthon. He began his career as a pastor in Levoča and Košice. Later, he stayed at the court of the Hungarian King Ludwig II and his wife Maria of Austria. In 1531, he came to Silesia and became a canon in Breslau (Wroclaw), Silesia. He died there eight years later and was buried in the local cathedral.

Lazarus Henckel (or Lazarus the Elder) (1551–1624) was a banker and mine owner, and financier to Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor for his war with the Turks. In return for his service he gained a number of privileges; in 1607 he was ennobled and became Lazarus(I) Henckel von Donnersmarck. In 1615 he became a baronet. The family seat became the castle at Neudeck (Świerklaniec).

Lazarus the second (or Lazarus the Younger) (1573–1664), called the lazy received the title of Freiherr (Baron) from Ferdinand of Habsburg at Regensburg in 1636, in 1651 from Ferdinand Karl of Austria and Tyrol he received the title Graf (Count) in Innsbruck. In 1661 Leopold I Habsburg gave him in Vienna also the title of a Bohemian count. In the following centuries the descendents of Lazarus II split into several lines and branches.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the family was the second richest in Prussia after the Krupps.[1] Hugo I Henckel von Donnersmarck (1811–1890) (a steelworks founder and owner), and Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck (1830–1916) were both wealthy industrialists. Guido received the Prussian title of Fürst (Prince) from Emperor Wilhelm II.

Following the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945, the Henckel von Donnersmarcks completely lost their fortune due to the forced expulsion from eastern Germany by both Polish and Soviet forces, but retained their position as aristocrats.

In 2007 the family name was all over the news when director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck received the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for his spy drama The Lives of Others.

Family members[edit]

  • Lazarus(I) Henckel von Donnersmarck (1551–1624), banker and mining entrepreneur.
  • Carl Maximilian Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, castle owner
  • Lazarus III. Henckel von Donnersmarck (1729–1805), mining industrialist.
  • Elias Maximilian Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, Prussian major general (1746–1827)
  • Eleonore Ottilie Maximiliane Henckel von Donnersmarck (1756–1843)
  • Carl Lazarus Henckel von Donnersmarck (1772–1864), industrialist.
  • Wilhelm Ludwig Viktor Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, (1775–1849), Prussian Lieutenant-General
  • Leo Victor Felix Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, (1785–1861), German botanist
  • Hugo Henckel von Donnersmarck, (1811–1890), land owner and industrialist
  • Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck, Prince, (1830–1916), land owner and industrialist
  • Lazarus IV Henckel von Donnersmarck (1835–1914), landowner and member of the German Reichstag
  • Dr. Victor Parry Amadeus Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck (1854-1916) envoy at the German Embassy in Copenhagen
  • Katharina Eleonore Veronika Irma Luise Henckel von Donnersmarck (1902–1965), actress, who played the Queen of Transylvania in My Fair Lady (film). Married in 1925 to Baron Erich von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (1899–1987)
  • Gregor Henckel-Donnersmarck (Ulrich Maria Karl Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck), (born 1943), Abott of Heiligenkreuz Abbey
  • Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (b. 1973), film director, screenwriter and film producer, Oscar-winner 2007 (Best Foreign Language Film)
  • Heinrich Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2000 to 2008 CEO of the SIX Swiss Exchange
  • Georg Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, (1902–1973), politician of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, member of parliament
  • Carl Joseph Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck (November 7, 1928 Romolkwitz, Neumarkt, † April 16, 2008) ∞ Princess Marie Adelaide of Luxembourg (1924–2007), father of Felix Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck (March 2, 1960 † October 28, 2007)
  • Herr. Augustine Heinrich Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, Priest (1935–2005)
  • Leo-Ferdinand Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, (1935–2009), 1997-2006 President of the German Association of the Order of Malta
  • Winfried Henckel von Donnersmarck, a member of the Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta
  • Odo Deodatus I. Tauern (1885–1926), anthropologist, D.phil., father of the family Tauern.
  • Count Hugh II and Edgar Henckel von Donnersmarck, resident in the Castle Polnisch Krawarn


  1. ^ Spiegel49 2010, p. 144


  • Henckel von Donnersmarck, A. Perlick, w: Neue Deuitsche Biographie, Bd 8, Berlin 1969, s. 516
  • Henckel von Donnersmarckowie. Kariera i fortuna rodu, A. Kuzio-Podrucki, Bytom 2003
  • Beier, Lars-Olav (2010). "Unter Genieverdacht". Der Spiegel (in German) (Spiegel-Verlag Rudolf Augstein) (49): 144. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  • Zamki Donnersmarcków, J. A. Krawczyk, A. Kuzio-Podrucki, Radzionków 2002
  • Herbarz bytomski, A. Kuzio-Podrucki, P. Nadolski, D. Woźnicki, Bytom 2003
  • Henckel von Donnersmarckowie. Kariera i fortuna rodu, Arkadiusz Kuzio-Podrucki: . Rococo, Bytom 2003 ISBN 83-86293-41-1 (polnisch)
  • Zamki i pałace Donnersmarcków. Schlösser der Donnersmarcks, Jarosław Aleksander Krawczyk, Arkadiusz Kuzio-Podrucki: . 2. Auflage. Drukarnia Skill, Bytom 2003 ISBN 83-86293-41-1 (deutsch und polnisch)
  • Guido Graf Henckel Fürst von Donnersmarck:in: Schlesier des 19. Jahrhunderts (= Schlesische Lebensbilder; Band 1). Hrsg. namens der Historischen Kommission für Schlesien von Friedrich Andreae. 2. Auflage. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1985 ISBN 3-7995-6191-9, J. Bitta
  • Henckel von Donnersmarck Graf (seit 1901 Fürst) Guido: H. Nussbaum, in:Biographisches Lexikon zur Deutschen Geschichte. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1967, Karl Obermann, Heinrich Scheel u.a. (Hrsg.)
  • Hugo Reichsgraf Henckel Freiherr von Donnersmarck und die Geschichte seines Hauses. Wien nach 1890?
  • Henckel von Donnersmarck Hugo, in: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexicon 1815-1950. Band II. Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien 1959
  • Allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste. Zweite Sektion H-N. Leipzig, 1829 S.389
  • Günther Probszt (1969), "Donnersmarck, Lazarus I. Henckel von", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German) (Berlin: Duncker & Humblo) 8: 517–518 

External links[edit]