Elisabeth von Gutmann

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Elisabeth von Gutmann
Princess consort of Liechtenstein
Elsa von Gutmann.jpg
Tenure 22 July 1929 – 25 July 1938
Born (1875-01-06)6 January 1875
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 28 September 1947(1947-09-28) (aged 72)
Vitznau, Switzerland
Burial St. Florian Cathedral,
Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Spouse Baron Géza Erős of Bethlenfalva
Franz I, Prince of Liechtenstein
Father Wilhelm Isak, Ritter von Gutmann
Mother Ida Wodianer

Elisabeth von Gutmann (6 January 1875 – 28 September 1947) was Princess of Liechtenstein as the wife of Prince Franz I.[1]

Early life[edit]

Elisabeth (also known as Elsa) was born at Vienna, Austria-Hungary. She was the daughter of Wilhelm Isak Ritter von Gutmann and his second wife Ida Wodianer.[2] Her father was a Jewish businessman from Moravia. His coal trading company was in a leading position in the market dominated by the Habsburg monarchy. He was knighted in 1878 by Emperor Franz Joseph I. Between 1891–1892 he was president of the Vienna Israelite Community.


First marriage[edit]

Elisabeth was married in Vienna to Hungarian Baron Géza Erős of Bethlenfalva (1866–1908). He died on 7 August 1908. They had no children.

Second marriage[edit]

In 1914, she met at the relief fund for soldiers, Prince Franz of Liechtenstein. Prince Franz's brother Prince Johann II did not approve of this relationship. On 11 February 1929 Prince Franz succeeded his brother as Franz I, as his brother had died unmarried and childless. On 22 July 1929 Elisabeth and Franz I married in Vienna. They had no children. His wife was, as a wealthy Jewish woman from Vienna. The couple was the first Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein to make proper contact with the public by an active representation. As Princess, Elisabeth participated in official ceremonies, visited institution and the poor, and became quite popular. She founded Franz und Elsa-Stiftung für die liechtensteinische Jugend, an organisation for teenagers, which still exists.[3] She was, however, identified by local Liechtenstein Nazis as their Jewish "problem". Although Liechtenstein had no official Nazi party, a Nazi sympathy movement had been simmering for years within its National Union party.[4] In early 1938, just after the annexation of Austria into Greater Nazi Germany, 84-year-old Prince Franz I relinquished decision-making to his 31-year-old grandnephew, who would later succeed him as Prince Franz Joseph II.

Later years[edit]

After the death of her husband in 1938, she lived at Semmering Pass, until the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany, when she went into exile in Switzerland, where she died at Vitznau in 1947.

Elsa von Gutmann commemorative stamp

She was the first princess who was buried not in Vranov, but in the new royal crypt next to the Vaduz Cathedral.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • Elisabeth von Gutmann
  • Elisabeth, Baroness of Bethlenfalva
  • 1929–1947: Her Serene Highness The Princess of Liechtenstein

Notes and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Princess Elisabeth of Liechtenstein
  2. ^ Genealogy
  3. ^ Fürst und Volk
  4. ^ "LIECHTENSTEIN: Nazi Pressure?". TIME. 1938-04-11. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
Liechtensteiner royalty
Title last held by
Franziska Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau
Princess consort of Liechtenstein
Title next held by
Georgina von Wilczek