Alfred von Henikstein

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Alfred Henikstein, 1852

Alfred Freiherr [1] von Henikstein (August 11, 1810 in Oberdöbling near Vienna – January 29, 1882 in Vienna).

Von Henikstein was the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Austrian army and chief of staff before the battle of Königgrätz in the Austro-Prussian War.

Von Henikstein was the youngest son of the Jewish banker Ritter Joseph von Henikstein, was baptized as a child and in 1828 entered in the Austrian engineering corps.

In 1829 he became lieutenant, in 1832 first lieutenant and in 1842 captain. In 1835 he married in Verona Santina von Scholl, daughter of the fortress architect Franz von Scholl, the "Austrian Vauban".

In 1848 he fought in Italy before Venice, participating in the construction of Fort San Pietro. He also took part in the Hungarian campaign and became in the same year major in the general staff, and in the following year colonel. With the IV. Corps he occupied Altona. In 1852 he lived in Venice, where his wife died in 1853. In 1854 he became major general, and in 1859 lieutenant general in Tyrol. He became chief of staff in 1863. An efficient officer on the corps level, he was promoted above his qualification and in spite of his own initial rejection of the appointment.

In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 his role as chief of staff was revoked the day before the battle of Königgrätz, although he participated in the battle. After the war he was court-martialed; the process was stopped by the Emperor, but Henikstein had to retire.

Alfred von Henikstein died on January 29, 1882 in Vienna.

  1. ^ Regarding personal names: Freiherr was a title before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baron. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a legal class, titles preceded the full name when given (Graf Helmuth James von Moltke). Since 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), can be used, but are regarded as a dependent part of the surname, and thus come after any given names (Helmuth James Graf von Moltke). Titles and all dependent parts of surnames are ignored in alphabetical sorting. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.

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