Baron Julius von Szilassy

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Julius Freiherr Szilassy von Szilas und Pilis
Austro-Hungarian Minister to Greece
In office
7 November 1913 – 21 November 1916
Preceded by Karl Freiherr von Braun
Succeeded by None
Personal details
Born (1870-08-21)21 August 1870
Bex, Switzerland
Died 1935
Spouse(s) Louise-May, née Hecker

Julius (Hope Joseph) (from 1918, Freiherr) Szilassy von Szilas und Pilis (Hungarian: Gyula báró Szilassy de Szilas et Pilis) (21 August 1870 – ? ? 1935) was an Austro-Hungarian diplomat of Hungarian origin serving in various posts including as an envoy to Greece during World War I and, for many years, as Secretary of the Austro-Hungary Legation to Washington, D.C.[1] He was a direct descendant of the British Hope family which owned the famous Hope Diamond.


Born in Bex in Switzerland on 21 August 1870 but spent much of his early childhood in Hungary. After studies in Switzerland and at Harrow, he entered the Austro-Hungarian foreign service and served subsequently in a number of diplomatic missions abroad. In 1898, he married Louise-May Hecker, daughter of Frank J. Hecker, in Detroit.[2] They had one child, Charles Henry de Szillasy (later Charles Henry Fletcher) but Hecker asked for divorce in 1905.[1]

In 1907, Szilassy was a member of the Austro-Hungarian delegation to the Second Hague Peace Conference and was appointed the following year to serve as counsellor in St. Petersburg before returning to Vienna in 1912. In November 1913, he was appointed to serve as Austro-Hungarian Minister at Athens and had to manage war-time complexities in Greece. In November 1916, he was expelled by the Entente from Athens.[3]

After his return to Vienna at the end of 1916, he served for a year in the Ballhausplatz before being dispatched to Constantinople as counsellor in October 1917, where he remained until the end of the war. There had been several rumours of his appointment as Imperial Foreign Minister in 1917/1918 but his ties to Károlyi had prevented this.[4] On 1 May 1918, he was created a Baron.

As one of few professional diplomats who remained in service following the fall of the Habsburg Empire in 1918, he served as the first Hungarian envoy to Switzerland from February to April 1919. After Béla Kun's revolution, he went into exile but did not return to Hungary during the Horthy years and devoted his remaining life to write several books on diplomacy as well as his memoirs. The latter are unusually frank, in particular the criticism of Count von Berchtold, the Imperial Foreign Minister from 1912 to 1915.

Baron Szilassy died in 1935.


Regarding personal names: Freiherr is a former title (translated as Baron), which is now legally a part of the last name. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.


  • Der Untergang der Donau-Monarchie. Diplomatische Erinnerungen, Berlin, E. Berger, 1921.
  • Manuel pratique de diplomatie moderne, Lausanne–Genève, 1925.
  • Traité pratique de diplomatie moderne, Paris, Payot, 1928.
  • Le procès de la Hongrie. Les relations franco–hongroises devant l'histoire, Paris, F. Alcan, 1932.


  1. ^ a b "Countess Asks Divorce". New York Times. 2 June 1905. 
  2. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "Szilassy de Szilas et Pilis". Genealogy.EU. [self-published source][better source needed]
  3. ^ 'New ultimatum to Greek king', New York Times, 11 December 1916.
  4. ^ 'Szilassy Gyula, báró', Magyar Életrajzi Lexikon

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Karl Freiherr von Braun
Austro-Hungarian Minister to Greece
Succeeded by