Leopold Ferdinand of Habsburg-Toscane, Archduke of Austria

NOBLEMAN (ITALY)
BORN 2 Dec 1868, Salzburg - DIED 4 Jul 1935, Berlin
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Kirchhof Jerusalem und Neue Kirche III, Mehringdamm 21 (Halleschen Tor), Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

Eldest son of Ferdinand IV of Tuscany and princess Alice of Bourbon-Parma. He received a fine education and he was good in languages and in mathematics. Emperor Franz Josef didn't allow him to marry Elvira, the daughter of the Juan Carlos, the pretender for the Spanish throne.

In 1892/1893 he travelled with Archduke Franz Ferdinand to India and Australia. They didn't get along well and in Sydney he was told to return home. The emperor decided that he should leave the navy and join an infantry regiment. But in the Augarten in Vienna he had met Wilhelmine Adamovic and he had fallen in love with her. She was little more than a prostitute but he wanted to marry her. He was ordered to go to the remote Przemys'l, but he took Wilhelmine with him as his housekeeper. When the emperor heard this he ordered him to be taken to a nerve clinic in Koblenz.

Franz Josef wasn't ready to forgive him and in 1902 he wrote to the emperor that he wished to resign his rank and titles. He took the name Wölfling and went to Switzerland. Intially he had no means of living, but after a while his father made him provisions on the condition that he gave up his Austrian citizenship as well.

He married Wilhelmine in 1903, but by 1907 they were divorced and in that year he married Maria Ritter, a woman from the red light district in Munich. They moved to Paris, but Maria suffered from a nerve disease and this marriage failed as well.

After the First World War and the breakdown of the empire he was without means of living. He wrote two books of memories and published them in 1920 and 1921. In 1924 he was allowed to become an Austrian again and in Vienna he had to work for a living. He went to Berlin, where he was an enthousiastic supporter of national socialism. He had married for the third time and he and his much younger wife Klara Hedwig Pawlowski again had to work for a living. He was poor when he died and on his deathbed he still thought that the nazi's would bring a better future.

Related persons
• quarreled with Franz Joseph von Habsburg, Kaiser von Österreich

Sources
Historia 132, Tallandier, Paris, 1957
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
• Hammer, Klaus, Historische Friedhöfe & Grabmäler in Berlin, Stattbuch Verlag, Berlin, 1994
Leopold Wölfling – Wikipedia

Images

The grave of Leopold Wölfling (the former Archduke Leopold Ferdinand) at the Kirchhof Jerusalem und Neue Kirche III, Halleschen Tor, Kreuzberg, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (08 Apr 2003)

 


Leroux, Gaston

Published: 24 May 2010
Last update: 24 May 2010