Emperor Karl: Swiss Exile (1919-21)

Figure 1.--Here we see Karl and Zita with their family in 1919. I believe that they are in Switzerland, but do not have the exact location. Notice that the boys all have long hair and curls. Prince Otto was the oldest boy. He would have been 7 years old in 1919. The royal family was exiled without much money, but Emperess Zita kept the children very elergabtly dressed.

When the Austrian Parliament declared a republic (November 12, 1918), Karl, Empress Zita, and the children were forced to flee Vienna. Coditions there were chaotic and Communist mobs a threat. Karl once away from Vienna and immediate danger, Karl issued a Manifesto and Diplomatic Protest at Feldkirch (March 24, 1919). He took issue with the Renner government’s failure to hold a plebiscite and proposed Anschluss with Germany. While they had managed to escape, the royal family were virtually destitute.Their Austrian property and funds were confiscated by the new Austrian state. Zita was pregnant with Rudolph. When he was born, Zita had to find a donated laundry basket for a crib. Karl took his family to Switzerland. After the tumultous War and post-War years, the time in Swizerland were placid. Karl no longer had his crown and the family had little money, but they were together. Karl was left, however, with very little money. Karl had not abdicated. Emperor Karl from his Swiss exile, plotted regaining his Hungarian throne. Austria had declared a republic, but Hungary was still tituraly a monarchy.


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Created: 1:54 AM 2/22/2006
Last updated: 1:54 AM 2/22/2006