Prince Leopold and Princess Gissela: Children--Prince Georg (1880-1943)

Figure 1.--Here we see Prince Georg wearing a sailor suit with a tam in 1885. Notice the dog, we wondered if Georg insisted on having him in the portrait. The Prince was about 3 years old. The sailor student was becoming a standard for German boys in the 1880s.

We have little information at this on the children of Gissela and Leopold. There appear to have been several children. As the children's father was Bavarian the boys would have grown up in Germany rather than Austria. (Bavaria became a part of the German Empire when it was created (1871). We know of four children. One is Prince Georg.

Georg (1880-1943)

The third child of Gissela and Leopold was Georg (1880-1943). Here we see Prince Georg wearing a sailor suit with a tam in 1885 (figure 1). Notice the dog in the wonderful portrait here. We wonder if Georg insisted on having the dog in his portrait. The Prince was about 3 years old. The sailor suit was becoming a standard for German boys in the 1880s. His Uncle Rudolf did not wear a sailor suit when he was a boy. We have no further information about Georg's childhood and clothing at this time. Georg married Isabella, Archduchess of Austria (1912). The marriage was, however, dissolved the next year (1913). He than had an affair with a Czech woman and they had a child--Franz. I don't know if Franz was close to his father. Georg seemes to have been kind of odd, having his marriage annuled, then having an affair with a Czech woman, and ending up as a Catholic cleric at the Vatican. Georg became a canon at the Vatican. He died in Rome in 1943 and was buried in the Campo Santo Teutonico.

Franz Zapletal (1919-99)

Georg had an affair with a Czech woman named Zapletal, who bore him one son in 1919, Franz Wittelsbach von Bayern. He was born in Czechoslovakia with a Czech mother and a German (Bavarian) father related to the Hapsburgs. He was born in Bistritz am Hostein, Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately we have few details about his childhood. He took his mother's name and lived in Bohemia as Franz Zapletal. We have no details about his relationship with his father. We do not know where he went to school. Perhaps there were German schools in Czechoslovakia. Perhaps he attended those rather than the regular Czech svhools. Perhaps he attended schools in Germany. I'm not sure when he went to Germany. Apparently he became an ardent German nationalist, even though his mother was Czech. Zapletal became an officer in the German army Franz joined the Panzer Division of the Wehrmacht in 1937. He trained at the military academies in Potsdam and Munich (1938). He took part in the annexation of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, his native country, also in the Blitzkrieg against Poland (1939) and the Western campaign (Belgium and France) (1940). Was promoted to Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant). Earned the Iron Cross 1 and 2. He was called "The Panzer Prince". He was assigned to the Headquarters of 15th Panzer Division in Darmstadt (November 10, 1940). He was imprisoned at Dachau the day after Christmas (December 26, 1940). He was apparently released from Dachau (January 14, 1941). (I don't know the reason why.) He was cashiered from the Wehrmach 3 days later. Another source says that he was nor relaeased from Dachau until February 1944. I'm not sure what he did after he left the Wehrmacht. Notably he was released by the NAZIs a year before the camp was liberated. I'm not sure if he was reassigned for military service, but after over 3 years in Dachau he could not have been in very good health. The Spruchkammer (Principal de-Nazifiction) Court in Nürnberg determined him to be "not affected" by the Law of Liberation from Nazism and Militarism (March 5, 1946). After the war he returned home to Czechoslovakia. Interesting that he considered Czechoslovakia home when he left the country to enter the German Army. Despite his war service with the Germans. He remained in Czechosolvakia after the War which is also interesting because Germans remaining in Czechoslovakia were forcibly repatriated by the Czechs. (This was not only the Sudeten Germans but Germans in Bohemia and Slovakia as well.) He must have had a difficult time under the Communists, having served in the German Army and being being a member of one of Europe's most illistrious royal families. I am actually surprised that he was not expelled like the 3 million Sudeten Germans. Presumably he claimed Czech nationality, because his mother was Czech and a commoner. He spent most of his time studying agriculture. He was perhaps best known for creating a new kind of peaches and apples. Zapletal died in 1999 at 80 years old, in Javornik where he lived most of his life. Javornik lies in the hills east of Prague between Lytomisl and Olomouc, south of the Polish border. I am not sure, however, that he lived there as a boy. know nothing about his wife other than she died before him. They had three children: Maria, Georg, and Franz.


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Created: April 2, 2004
Last updated: April 3, 2004