Habsburg's black hours | This is how emperors resign # 2020

The most prominent deaths of the ruling dynasty

The name Habsburg is bathed in tragedy. The small hall in the Capuchin Crypt, in which Franz Joseph, Elisabeth and Rudolf rest next to each other, contains more emotion than one can actually grasp. All the funerals of this family were charged accordingly.

Especially the death of Franz Josef on November 21st, 1916 was one of the darkest hours of the dynasty. Many of his contemporaries, including himself, suspected that the monarchy would also be buried with him. With the death of the emperor it became clear how what a strong role the personality of the emperor Franz-Josef played for the multinational empire. With him, the common denominator of an empire had disappeared.

The monarch himself was unfortunately also put under test. First his brother was executed in distant Mexico. Afterwards, his son and heir to the throne committed murder and suicide. Finally, his wife Elisabeth is stabbed to death by an anarchist. Every stroke of fate was a tragedy for the ruling house. The numerous deaths were received very differently among the people: while Rudolf was mainly the liberal elite in his mourning, Elisabeth was reserved and had only a few tears cried in Vienna. The political framework also changed after each funeral procession. Especially after the assassination attempt in Sarajevo, where Archduke Franz-Ferdinand and his wife Sophie fell victim.

In this new ORF III Erbe Österreich production, Florian Kröppel investigates the most prominent deaths of the ruling dynasty and shows their importance for the further course of imperial history.

Among others, the Habsburg expert Katrin Unterreiner and the military historian Manfried Rauchsteiner analyze the upheavals that the death of a monarch have triggered. The Viennese tour guide Ulrike Koller also tells us about the importance of the Habsburg funeral ceremonies and the myths that the death of a ruler may trigger.

Co-production | Clever Contents GmbH and ORF III

Friendly support | the Vienna Chamber of Commerce for leisure and sports and Funeral Service Vienna GmbH

Genre | documentary

Director | Florian Kröppel

Production manager I Saskia Netousek

Cut I Marcus Gotzmann

Length | 45 minutes

Year of production I 2020

First Broadcasting | October, 27th 2020 in „Erbe Österreich“ on ORF III

Saskia Netousek
+43 699 100 56 296


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