What was the cause of death of the princes?


1. Biography

Rupprecht Eberhard Wilhelm Gero Maria Fürst von Urach Count of Württemberg was born on January 24, 1907 in Stuttgart as the son of Wilhelm (II.) Duke of Urach Count of Württemberg (1864-1928) and Amalie Duchess of Urach Countess of Württemberg (b. Duchess in Bavaria) (1865-1912) born. Prince Eberhard was the youngest son and the second youngest child of the ducal couple. His godfather was his uncle Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria (1869-1955).

From 1917 to 1922 the young prince attended the Karlsgymnasium in Stuttgart. From 1922 to 1927 he was a boarding school student in the Alte Kapelle seminar and in the new grammar school in Regensburg.

After finishing school, Prince Eberhard joined the Reichswehr on April 1, 1927. In 1931 he was made a lieutenant. Three years later he was promoted to first lieutenant and in 1938 to Rittmeister. During the Second World War, Eberhard was appointed major in 1942. A year later he was entrusted with the duties of a department commander. Based on the documents on the Prince's military or war service (in sub-heading 1.2) and the memoirs of Ursula von Kardorff (see below), the units and places in which Eberhard served during the war can only be partially identified determine: The young aristocrat was assigned to Cavalry Regiment 18 in Bad Cannstatt. Until 1939 Eberhard was chief of the 8th bicycle squadron, which belonged to the 2nd squadron of Reconnaissance Department 35 in the 35th Infantry Division. From October 1940 the prince became the commander of the 2nd squadron in the reconnaissance department 94 of the 4th mountain division. In 1942 Eberhard served as commander of the reconnaissance department 150 and later he commanded the Prince of Urach's Cossack cavalry department. In 1943 he was used in the Caucasus and fighting on the Kuban. In the summer of 1943, after Eberhard had set up Rapid Division 505, he was sent to France as its commander on the Western Front. When the Allies landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944, the prince was in Le Havre. On September 10, 1944, Eberhard was taken prisoner by the British, from which he did not return until 1947.

Since 1934, Prince Eberhard had a close relationship with the journalist Ursula von Kardorff (1911-1988). She was the daughter of the Impressionist painter Konrad von Kardorff (1877-1945) and had secret contacts with several members of resistance groups against the Nazi regime. In her Berlin recordings from 1942 to 1945, which were later published, von Kardorff showed herself to be a proven opponent of the Nazi regime. After returning from captivity in 1947, Eberhard ended this relationship. According to Ursula von Kardorff, the prince's family was against marrying the two of them because the relationship was not considered befitting. Individual letters from Kardorff to Eberhard von Urach have been preserved in Büschel 19 of the present collection. Fürst Eberhard's letters to Ursula von Kardorff can be found in her estate at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich.

Eberhard Fürst von Urach married On May 18, 1948 Iniga Princess von Thurn und Taxis (1925-2008), the daughter of Ludwig (Louis) Philipp Prinz von Thurn und Taxis (1901-1933) and his wife Elisabeth Princess von Thurn und Taxis ( born Princess of Luxembourg and Nassau) (1901-1950).

The children Amelie (born 1949), married. with Curt-Hildebrand Freiherr von Einsiedel, Elisabeth (1952-2012), Karl Anselm (born 1955), Wilhelm (IV.) Albert (born 1957) and Inigo (born 1962).

With this, the youngest son of Wilhelm II, Prince Eberhard, and his wife, Princess Iniga, secured the continued existence of the Urach family with their marriage and the birth of sons. Eberhard's eldest brother, Prince Wilhelm (III.), Renounced his dignity as head of the house because of an inappropriate marriage and only had daughters from this connection. The marriage of the second oldest brother, Duke Karl Gero, who was the third boss of the Urach house from 1928 to 1981, remained childless. The next elder brother, Prince Albrecht, married twice, also inappropriately, and had a son Peter from the second marriage, who died in 1977. Prince Eberhard thus became the progenitor of all agnates of the House of Urach who are currently living.

After his marriage, Eberhard lived with his family in Niederaichbach Castle near Landshut, which his wife had brought into their marriage, and managed the estate belonging to the castle. He was also involved in adult education.

Eberhard Fürst von Urach died on August 29, 1969 in Aufkirchen / Bavaria. He was buried in the cemetery in Aufkirchen.

2. The content of the inventory

The present collection is divided into six categories.

Section 1 starts with the documents on Eberhard's life at school and military or war service. In sub-heading 1.2 there are individual materials on the Prince's military service from before and during the Second World War.

Section 2, by far the most extensive, contains the correspondence of Prince Eberhard. Sub-heading 2.1.1 includes letters from members of the House of Urach to the Prince. These are Eberhard's parents Wilhelm (II.) Duke of Urach Count of Württemberg and Amalie Duchess of Urach Countess of Württemberg (born Duchess in Bavaria), the uncle Karl Prince of Urach Count of Württemberg and his siblings. Letters from relatives of Prince Eberhard also have sub-heading 2.1.2. In this sub-heading there are letters from his (step-) grandmother Maria Josepha (Marie José) Duchess in Bavaria (born Infanta of Portugal Princess of Braganza) in Büschel 40, from Friedrich Viktor Fürst von Hohenzollern in Büschel 48 and from members of the Princely House of Thurn and taxis gathered in clump 25. The young Prince von Urach had contact with the royal family of Thurn und Taxis already during his school days in Regensburg and thus long before his marriage to Iniga Princess von Thurn und Taxis. There are therefore letters among others. from Prince Albert, Prince Karl August, Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis and from Prince Max Emanuel von Thurn und Taxis, who, after joining the Benedictine order, bore the religious name of Father Emmeram. Sub-heading 2.1.3 consists of letters from Urach employees to Prince Eberhard.

Letters from other persons form sub-heading 2.2. These include several letters from officers and soldiers to the prince in Büschel 30. Reference has already been made to the letters of Ursula von Kardorff, the journalist and close confidante of Eberhard, in Büschel 19. In Büschel 19 there is also a letter from Lieutenant Jürgen von Kardorff (1918-1943) to his sister Ursula and to his mother. Jürgen von Kardorff fell on the Eastern Front in 1943. His death shook U. von Kardorff very much, as her above-mentioned notes showed.

Section 3 gives a little insight into the social life of the prince. The menus for dinners in the Thurn und Taxis Princely Family (Büschel 28) once again prove Prince Eberhard's close ties to this noble house. Prince Eberhard's membership in the German Automobile Club e.V. is reflected in a circular in Büschel 46.

Different types of printed matter are grouped under heading 4. The war news paper in Büschel 3 and the magazine Kämper im Caucasus in Büschel 45 are worth mentioning here. In addition, individual newspaper articles by the journalist Ursula von Kardorff in Büschel 42 and newspaper articles about relatives of the prince in Büschel 43 are included .

Photos and postcards make up heading 5. Particularly noteworthy are photos by Eberhard Fürst von Urach, Count of Württemberg in sub-heading 51.1.1. In Büschel 16 there is a photo of Eberhard as a baby: The group photo in Büschel 27 shows the young prince surrounded by his classmates, most likely from the New High School in Regensburg. A photo of the prince as an officer in Wehrmacht uniform has come down to us in Büschel 41.

Death pictures of Prince Eberhard's relative Wilhelmine Countess of Württemberg in Büschel 15 and of his (step-) grandmother Maria Josepha Duchess in Bavaria in Büschel 39 are evidence of the deep Catholic faith of the House of Urach and the families related to it.

A recording of the journalist Ursula von Kardorff, who has already been mentioned several times, is kept in Büschel 49, another in the above-mentioned correspondence in Büschel 19.

The caricatures contained in Büschel 56 may come from Eberhard's brother Albrecht Fürst von Urach.

An appendix (section 6) lists the milk teeth and a lock of blond hair of Prince Eberhard from his childhood (tufts 57).

The relatively few documents in this collection are only a small part of the written estate of Eberhard Fürst von Urach Graf von Württemberg and do not convey a complete picture of the prince's life. Only a few documents are available, especially from the period after the Second World War.

Archival materials about Prince Eberhard are also contained in the following GU holdings in the Stuttgart Main State Archives: GU 99 (photo archive of the dukes and princes of Urach, Counts of Württemberg), GU 117 (Wilhelm (II.) Duke of Urach, Count of Württemberg), GU 118 ( Amalie Duchess of Urach Countess of Württemberg, née Duchess in Bavaria), GU 119 (Wiltrud Duchess of Urach Countess of Württemberg, née Princess of Bavaria), GU 120 (Karl Fürst von Urach, Count of Württemberg), GU 123 (Carola Hilda Fürstin von Urach Countess of Württemberg), GU 128 (Margarete Fürstin von Urach Countess of Württemberg), GU 134 (Mechthilde Fürstin von Urach Countess of Württemberg, married Princess of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst) and GU 201 (Prelate Conrad Kümmel).

3. For the organization and listing of the inventory

Parts of the present holdings, together with the archives of the Dukes and Princes of Urach, Counts of Württemberg, were deposited under retention of title in the Main State Archives in Stuttgart in 1987. There, the Urach archive forms the GU inventory series within the inventory structure (tectonics). When the archive was reorganized by Ltd. Archive director Wolfgang Schmierer received the documents on Eberhard Fürst von Urach Graf von Württemberg the signature GU 132.

In 2004 a repertory was created for this collection, which at that time only comprised three tufts of 0.05 running meters.

In the course of the order and development work in the GU holdings, individual documents from the written estate of Fürst Eberhard have been taken from other holdings and assigned to GU 132 since 2004. These are clusters 4 to 18 of the present population.

In addition, on behalf of his father, S. D. Wilhelm Albert Herzog von Urach Graf von Württemberg, S. D. Karl Philipp, Prince of Urach von Württemberg, gave further materials from the written estate of Prince Eberhard to the Stuttgart State Archives for safekeeping in October 2020. These are the clusters 19 to 57 and 59 of the GU 132 population.

The milk teeth in clump 58 and Prince Eberhard's lock of hair were taken from inventory GU 117 (Wilhelm (II.) Duke of Urach, Count of Württemberg).

Archives of the holdings GU 132 that are more than 100 years old may only be viewed with the permission of the director of the Stuttgart Main State Archives. The inspection of materials in the holdings that are less than 100 years old requires the approval of the head of the Urach company.

The holdings GU 132 were made accessible by the undersigned in October 2004 and December 2020. It comprises 0.2 running meters with 59 numbers.

This repertory replaces the finding aid GU 132 created in October 2004.

Eberhard Merk

Stuttgart, March 2021

4. Literature

Kardorff, Ursula von: Berlin records from 1942 to 1945. Munich 1962.

Kardorff, Ursula von: Berlin records 1942-1945. Using the original diaries, new ed. and commented by Peter Hartl. Munich 1992.

Schmierer, Wolfgang von: [Article about] Eberhard Fürst von Urach Graf von Württemberg. In: The House of Württemberg. A biographical lexicon. Edited by Sönke Lorenz / Dieter Mertens / Volker Press. Stuttgart 1997. pp. 393f.

Genealogical manual of the nobility. Princely Houses Vol. XVIII. Complete series vol. 141 pp. 430-438.

Wikipedia article on Ursula von Kardorff