Ghosts of Imperial Vienna
Afterword: Beyond Necrophilia
The story that here began with Helene Vetsera must now return to her, for she, too, is part of Habsburg history-making, not just Habsburg history. The three days that led her young daughter into necrophiliac immortality are well-narrated in the Denkschrift by a widowed mother who still had another daughter to marry off, and a young son who needed to be launched on a career. Helene Vetsera tells the story of an innocent, girlish love gone wrong. But as one reads this story, it is well to remember that Helene wrote it “as told to” a journalist, Filipp (or Philipp—both variants occur in the secondary literature) von Newlinsky, correspondent for the Temps.1 Significantly, the family ran the text by a lawyer before it was printed, to avoid any charges that they were trying to insult the monarchy. In memoriam, the Denkschrift, is not and was never intended to be entirely a private story, but rather a contribution to public understanding of the history of a fateful moment. This is history written by a limited woman from a family that had lived off the court for two generations and who needed both to protest her treatment by those highest powers and guarantee some continuance of that living into the third. It pulls the curtain back on who was involved in the official story-telling, but in such a way that, if the story leaked, as it was sure to do, it would cast her and her family...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.