Monday, August 15, 2011

More Leopoldskron history

There were several interesting stories that I learned about the schloss that I just had to share.  One was in the Reinhardt days and two were from WWII.
The first one was about a particular statue that Reinhardt bought to furnish his palace.  Remember the schloss had changed hands often and the art work was sold off through the centuries.
Max was a director and an artist, but he also was a businessman.  He had enough money to buy and rebuild the schloss...
He had seen this statue over a building in Vienna and liked it.  He thought it would be great for his entrance hall(the Great Hall we call it now).  He wasn't able to buy it himself, so he sent a trusted cousin(female) to do the transaction.  No one is sure exactly why, but maybe because she would be underestimated by the owner of the statue.
So she knocks on the door and says that Max Reinhardt really likes your Madonna and would like to have it.  The owner of the house refuses saying the Madonna is protecting my girls.  The cousin(who's name I never got) is a bit taken aback and realizes the sign is advertising a brothel.  So oops.  But after going back to Max and then back to the owner of the brothel(realizing maybe that she has a price for this along with everything else).  She did.  So Max got his Madonna.  I don't know what he paid for it in the end, but it is very nice.

So the next little vignette takes place in the 1940's.  The Schloss was seized by the Nazi's after the Anschluss.  The schloss was fought over by member of the Nazi party.  It was used a staging area for people who were going to the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgarten.  (Berchtesgarten is on the other side of the Untersberg so close...) But a Princess who was a fan of Reinhardt managed to finagle the schloss for a while and shipped out most of Max's things to him in California.  I don't know how, and would love to know.  Because it was 16 crates of stuff.  She got 16 crates of an enemy of Nazi Germany(and a Jew) stuff across war torn Europe to California.  I mean this wasn't just a few suitcases of clothes and paying a extra baggage fee on Lufthansa! 
This blows my mind.  16 crates of stuff!  Across war torn Europe!  To a Jewish director in the USA!

The final story had evidence scattered around the schloss.  This was late in the war.  An American bomber was flying over the area and was looking to drop his bomb.  Engine trouble I think.  He saw the lake and thought, Oh good a lake.  So he dropped the bomb.  Well the lake isn't really deep.  So he blew most of the water out of it and the concussion broke all the windows in the lake side part of the schloss.  So many areas have holes in the walls.  My favorite is in the White Room.  One of the portraits looks like he has a GSW in the forehead.
I don't have a photo of that, but here's one from the Chinese room.

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