Five youthful years in Vienna. It was then and there that Adolf Hitler's obsession with the Habsburg Imperial family became the catalyst for his vendetta against a vanished empire, a dead archduke, and his royal orphans. That hatred drove Hitler's rise to power and led directly to the tragedy of the Second World War and the Holocaust.
The royal orphans of Archduke Franz Ferdinand-offspring of an upstairs-downstairs marriage that scandalized the tradition-bound Habsburg Empire-came to personify to Adolf Hitler, and others, all that was wrong about modernity, the twentieth century, and the Habsburg's multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Austro-Hungarian Empire. They were outsiders in the greatest family of royal insiders in Europe, which put them on a collision course with Adolf Hitler.
As he rose to power Hitler's hatred toward the Habsburgs and their diverse empire fixated on Franz Ferdinand's sons, who became outspoken critics and opponents of the Nazi party and its racist ideology. When Germany seized Austria in 1938, they were the first two Austrians arrested by the Gestapo, deported to Germany, and sent to Dachau. Within hours they went from palace to prison. The women in the family, including the Archduke's only daughter Princess Sophie Hohenberg, declared their own war on Hitler. Their tenacity and personal courage in the face of betrayal, treachery, torture, and starvation sustained the family during the war and in the traumatic years that followed.
Through a decade of research and interviews with the descendants of the royal Habsburgs, scholar James Longo explores the roots of Hitler's determination to destroy the family of the dead Archduke. And he uncovers the family members' courageous fight against the Führer.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Hitler at the Hotel Imperial, 1938 1
Chapter 2 The Artist, the Archduke, and the Emperor 11
Chapter 3 Can This Be a Jew? 19
Chapter 4 The Lion and the Lamb 31
Chapter 5 The Granite Foundation 43
Chapter 6 The Spy, the Draft Dodger, and the Peacemaker 54
Chapter 7 Fate 64
Chapter 8 Inscrutable Destiny 75
Chapter 9 A Kind of Dull Cataleptic State 88
Chapter 10 Exiles 102
Chapter 11 The Most Golden Tongued of Demagogues 112
Chapter 12 Impending Horrors 123
Chapter 13 One Blood Demands One Reich 133
Chapter 14 Witches Sabbath 144
Chapter 15 Duel 155
Chapter 16 Bargain with the Devil 168
Chapter 17 The Eleventh Commandment 179
Chapter 18 Apocalypse 188
Chapter 19 The Whole Country Was As If Under a Spell 196
Chapter 20 Phantoms and Patriots 207
Chapter 21 Answered and Unanswered Prayers 218
Chapter 22 The Good Fight 228
Chapter 23 The Destiny of One Family 235
About the Author 315