Ghosts of Imperial Vienna
1. Excursus from the Crypt: In memoriam, by Helene Vetsera
Privately Published from Manuscript for the Baroness Helene Vetsera1 by Johann N. Vernay, Vienna, 1889.
Amidst the first staggering impressions emerging from the Mayerling catastrophe, it had been impossible for those most closely involved with the event to assert the complete and full truth about it. The dreadful event came upon all without warning or preparation; the first reports rendered all downcast; those most closely involved knew neither what had occurred, nor how it had taken place. When scandal then began to raise its head and to send out its tendrils even as far as the public papers, the hallowedness of pain seemed to forbid us from doing justice to our duties towards the living and towards ourselves—not before the period of mourning for the dead had lapsed, before a period so full of despair had been given its due.
Now that this is accomplished, it would be a dereliction of duty towards the living and towards the memory of the dead to deny to truth her justice; we hesitate no longer in facing squarely the multifarious misstatements and attacks that the mournful event brought in its wake.
The events that found their most staggering conclusion in the castle at Mayerling2 were to that point a secret of the departed, guarded as carefully as possible; only later had they reached the awareness of those remaining here. No matter how painful it is to submit them to public scrutiny, they...
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