Prince Heinrich of Bavaria
|Prince Heinrich of Bavaria|
|House||House of Wittelsbach|
|Father||Prince Arnulf of Bavaria|
|Mother||Princess Therese of Liechtenstein|
24 June 1884|
|Died||8 November 1916
Argeş County, Romania
|Burial||Theatinerkirche, Munich, Bavaria|
Heinrich was born in Munich, Bavaria. He was the only child of Prince Arnulf of Bavaria and his wife Princess Therese of Liechtenstein. He was brought up in Munich, where he was tutored among others by Joseph Gebhard Himmler, the father of Heinrich Himmler. The elder Himmler was an ardent royalist who, following the birth of his second son, petitioned the prince to allow him to be named after him - Heinrich. The prince agreed and also became Heinrich Himmler's godfather. Heinrich did not marry but had a long term liaison with the daughter of a prominent Munich business man. Their son, named Heinrich after his father, was born posthumously (May 1917). Princess Therese, Heinrich's mother, agreed to support the son - and did so - until his 21st birthday. Copies of correspondence between Heinrich and the lady concerned and of the Urkunde or agreement signed by Princess Therese to pay 300 gulden a month for her grandson's upkeep are in the Bayerisches Staatsarchiv, München..
Military career and death
At the age of 17, following his Abitur, Heinrich joined the Bavarian army with the rank of Leutnant. Initially, he served with the Royal Bavarian Infanterie-Leib-Regiment, but later was re-assigned the 1st Royal Bavarian Heavy Cavalry “Prince Charles of Bavaria”. After the outbreak of World War I, the regiment saw action on the Western front, where Prince Heinrich was badly wounded. Upon recovering, he returned to his old infantry regiment and in June 1915, was promoted to Major. At the same time, he was put in charge of the III. Battalion of the newly established Deutsches Alpenkorps stationed in the Carnic Alps. In late 1916, the battalion was transferred to Romania where it fought at Turnu Roşu Pass. During the ensuing German offensive at Monte Sule by Hermannstadt (Sibiu) in Transylvanian Alps, on 7 November 1916, Prince Heinrich was fatally wounded by a sniper and died from these wounds a day later, on 8 November 1916.
Prince Heinrich's body was transported back to Munich, where he was buried by his father’s side at the Theatinerkirche. Posthumously on 6 March 1917, for his exceptional bravery, the Prince was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph. He had previously been awarded the Iron Cross, 1st class for actions in June 1916.
- Breitman, p. 9
- Jirí Louda and Michael MacLagan, Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, 2nd edition (London, U.K.: Little, Brown and Company, 1999)
- Breitman, Richard (2004). Himmler and the Final Solution: The Architect of Genocide. Pimlico, Random House, London. ISBN 1-84413-089-4.