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
Full name
Elisabeth Sarolta [1]
Father Wilhelm Isak, Ritter von Gutmann
Mother Ida Wodianer
Religion Catholicism
(previously Judaism)

Elisabeth von Gutmann (6 January 1875 – 28 September 1947) was Princess of Liechtenstein as the wife of Prince Franz I.[2]

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.[3] Her father was a Jewish businessman from Moravia. His coal mining and trading company, Gebrüder Gutmann,[4] was in a leading position in the market dominated by the Habsburg monarchy. He and his brother were knighted in 1878 by Emperor Franz Joseph I. They were made knights of the Order of the Iron Crown which simultaneously meant being given a hereditary knighthood. Between 1891–1892 he was president of the Vienna Israelite Community.

Marriages[edit]

First marriage[edit]

In January 1899 she was baptised on the name Elisabeth Sarolta and became a Catholic. A few days later, on 1 February 1899, 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 at the small parish church of Lainz near Vienna. They had no children. 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.[5] In addition, there was the Princess Elsa Foundation for hospitals. 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.[6] 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 on Lake Lucerne 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 (previously she was buried near the pilgrimage chapel of Dux in Liechtenstein on 2 October 1947).

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 1875–1899: Elisabeth von Gutmann.
  • 1899–1908: Elisabeth, Baroness of Bethlenfalva.
  • 1929–1947: Her Serene Highness The Princess of Liechtenstein.

Ancestry[edit]

Notes and sources[edit]

Liechtensteiner royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Franziska Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau
Princess consort of Liechtenstein
1929–1938
Vacant
Title next held by
Georgina von Wilczek