Karl Max Lichnowsky
history of European diplomacy in the 20th century presents no more tragic
figure than imperial Germany's last ambassador in London, Prince Karl Max
Lichnowsky (1860-1928). As the son of a rich and historied family he seemed
destined for a distinguished career. He had joined the diplomatic corps
at the age of 23, and when he left the service some twenty years later to
attend to his inherited properties he was recognized as a man of good will
and who had faith in the international system and the values of western
civilization. He had just married a beautiful woman (Countess Mechtilde
Arco-Zinneberg) who was a writer of considerable gifts. And he could have
led a life of honorable ease if, in the fall of 1912, his sovereign Wilhelm
II had not called upon him to be his representative at the Court of St James".
F. Young: Prince Lichnowsky and The Great War (preface).
Karl Max Lichnowsky was the man who tried the hardest to preserve peace,
who fully conceived the whole of nonsense and insanity of the approaching
menace in its immediate and more distant consequences, and yet to the last
seeked to avert it. For that reason and also because of his atractive personality
he was highly esteemed both by the British and the French.
Not so in Germany; there he met with scorn and hatred. At first he was blamed
for having let the English delude him stupidly and credulously. Than after
1917, reproaches were made that he, strictly speaking, had committed high
treason by publishing a memorial in which he sharply criticized German politics
before the war.
With Harry Young's book "Prince Lichnowsky and The Great War"
full justice has at last been done to Lichnowsky. Young has done his work
with exactitude, tact and remarkable understanding".
from Golo Mann's review of Harry Young's Biography.
Max Lichnowsky was the 6th prince. He was borned in Krzyzanowice in Poland,
when it was part of the German Empire. He was the son of Karl, the fifth
prince, and Marie, princess of Croy-Dulmen. He was named in honor of the
Lichnowsky ancestor who in the 17th century had gathered his family's scattered
and encunbered possessions and laid the basis for the florishing domains
of 1860. He was baptized by his uncle Mons. Robert Lichnowsky, Papal Prelate
and canon at the cathedral chapter at Olmutz in Moravia (Oloumuc, Czech
Prince Lichnowsky was neither a Junker nor a typical Prussian, but the product
of a cultural and political frontier. His family's estate lay largely in
the angle formed where the River Oppa flows in to the Oder. This was a region
blending industry and agriculture, Slav and German, Austria and Prussia.
Karl Marx was the heir of his father wealth and his family's accumulated
distinctions which marked him from birth for a carrer in his sovereign's
understand what made Lichnowsky so different from the Prussian Junkers needs
only a simple explanation. He was not a Prussian, nor even a German. He
was utterly Slavic, descedent from the Bohemian Lichnowskys, who since the
14th century, when Bohemia was a centre of European culture, had their estates
in the Czech part of Silesia, which Frederick, the Great, in the Seven Years
War, stole from Austria."
New York Times april 28, 1918.
grand-father was a person that was very much worried and involved with social
problems in his native land and with the welfare of the people from the
areas where his properties where located: Poland and Czech Republic. He
worked and invested in this areas and his name is still remembered by the
local people from there. He was also a lover of the arts and he contributed
a lot with the purchase of works of art and antiques, which today are at
display at the Museum in Hradec nad Moravici. Most of his properties were
taken from him after the first world war and the land reforms in Poland
and Czech Republic, but he was spared to see the Nazi regim and the final
stone thrown on our family when we were expelled from our mother land in
1945, by the same people whom we had helped so much.
persons that helped to form the history of the Czech Republic and are part
of it were unjustly expelled from their mother land, a place where they
lived for 15 generations and so much contributed for its development and
the welfare of its people. We hope that future generations of politicians
will make proper changes on the constitution of this wonderfull country
and one day we will be able to proudly say that we are Czechs and also enjoy
the new country that was formed after the Velvet revolution. The text above
and many other documents prove our strong relation with this country and
its a pity that such great persons are not considered Czechs anymore. There
is not much that we, the descendants from this people, can do about this
unfair situation, but to at least express our feelings here in our home
by Max Liebermann_______________________________________________Photo:
Familiy Archives ___
THE COMPLETE ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES HERE