Heinrich XLV, Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line

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Heinrich XLV
Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line
Heinrich XLV RjL.jpg
Prince Heinrich XLV ca. 1914–1918
Born(1895-05-13)13 May 1895
Ebersdorf, Principality of Reuss-Gera
Died1945 (disappeared)
Full name
German: Heinrich
HouseHouse of Reuss Younger Line
House of Reuss
FatherHeinrich XXVII, Prince Reuss Younger Line
MotherPrincess Elise of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

Heinrich XLV, Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line (German: Heinrich XLV Erbprinz Reuß jüngere Linie; 13 May 1895 – presumably 1945) was the head of the House of Reuss from 1928 to 1945, as well the last male member of the Reuss-Schleiz branch of the Younger Line.

Early life[edit]

Heinrich XLV was born at Ebersdorf, in the Principality of Reuss-Gera (present-day Thuringia), only surviving son of Heinrich XXVII, Prince Reuss Younger Line (1858–1928), (son of Heinrich XIV, Prince Reuss Younger Line, and Duchess Agnes of Württemberg) and his wife, Princess Elise of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1864–1929), (daughter of Hermann, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Feodora of Leiningen).

He attended high school in Dresden[1] and served as a lieutenant in the First World War. After the war he studied in Leipzig, Marburg, Munich and Kiel, literature, music and philosophy.

He was a great theatre lover and supporter and was a director, writer and consultant. In 1923, Heinrich XLV became head of the dramaturgy department at Reussian Theatre in Gera.

Prince Reuss[edit]

At the death of his father on 21 November 1928 he became head of the House of Reuss after the Younger and Elder Lines merged, when the Elder Line became extinct in the male line in 1927.

In 1935 he adopted one of his relatives, Prince Heinrich I (1910–1982) a member of the Köstritz branch of the Princely family of Reuss. The adoption took place for inheritance reasons, not for succession rights for the headship of the House of Reuss. In 1939 Heinrich I married Duchess Woizlawa Feodora of Mecklenburg, the niece of Heinrich XLV.

During the 1930s Heinrich XLV became a Nazi sympathizer and member of the Nazi Party.[2] In August 1945 he was arrested in Ebersdorf by the Soviet military and disappeared. Although he was most likely interned and killed in NKVD special camp Nr. 2 in Buchenwald, his name is not in any of the special camps' lists of the dead. On 5 January 1962 he was declared dead by a court in Büdingen.[3] His entire fortune was seized and confiscated in 1948 by the Soviet Military Administration, including the Ebersdorf Castle, Thallwitz Castle, Osterstein Castle in Gera.[4]

Heinrich XLV remained unmarried and childless and the succession of the House of Reuss passed to Prince Heinrich IV of the Reuss of Köstritz branch.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 13 May 1895 – 29 March 1913: His Serene Highness Prince Heinrich XLV Reuss of Schleiz
  • 29 March 1913 – 1945: His Serene Highness The Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line


Notes and sources[edit]

  1. ^ OTZ.de: Verschollen in Buchenwald: Heinrich XLV. Reuß, abgerufen am 17. August 2012
  2. ^ Lionel Gossman: Brownshirt Princess; A study of the "Nazi Conscience". Open Book Publishers, Cambridge 2009. ISBN 978-1-906924-07-2, S. 68
  3. ^ "Monarchies of Europe - Formerly-reigning monarchs and present-day claimants in Europe". Btinternet.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  4. ^ The "Wolfgang Rosenthal Clinic Thallwitz / Saxony in the two German dictatorships, inaugural dissertation by Kerstin Ackerman, Giessen 2008, p. 51
Heinrich XLV, Hereditary Prince Reuss Younger Line
Cadet branch of the House of Reuss
Born: 13 May 1895 Died: 1945
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Heinrich XXVII
Prince Reuss
1928 – 1945, officially 1962
Reason for succession failure:
Principality abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Heinrich IV Reuss of Köstritz