Post WW I German nobility

+3 votes
I couldn’t find if this has been discussed before (searching through older G2G threads), but how have we handled post-WW I surnames and titles for German royalty and nobility? Is there a page on this site explaining it?

Does the same also apply to other European countries that no longer recognize titles and such? Austria, Hungary, and such?

Seems to me that some countries are recognizing a legal right to property by titled people. Serbia, for example?
in The Tree House by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.5m points)
retagged by Pip Sheppard

2 Answers

+6 votes

I'm not sure about post-WWI German nobility, but I do know that we at least have this page for European aristocratic naming conventions. I'm not sure how much it will help with your specific question, but perhaps it could give you a general idea?


by Amelia Utting G2G6 Pilot (191k points)

Thanks for the link, Amy. I think this is one of the reasons why I’m not pre-1500 certified. It’s bewildering! So glad to have those who are!

After WW I, the German government mandated that there would be no more titles, so titled people were allowed to use von, zu, and such, plus the “house” name as a surname, but not a title. My question is: is there a naming convention on WikiTree that determines how these formerly titled people would be named? So, normally we see formerly titled folk still using titles in certain situations, but not when it came to official German government business, such as birth certificates or marriage documents. 

Waiting on Helmut to weight in!

Thanks again, Amy.

+5 votes
About Serbian Royalty and their Right to Property I can tell you a story I heard myself: In Belgrade there is the "White Castle", which was finished in 1936 that the Royal family might live in there. After WW 2, monarchy was abolished in Serbia and the house was used as guest house of the Government. The Crown Prince of Serbia, Aleksandar Karadjordjević, who was born and raised in the UK, (the hotel suite where he was born is said to have been declared Yugoslav territory for the time of the birth, because the future Yugoslav King had to be born in Yugoslav territory to be able to claim the throne) moved in 2000, after the NATO-bombing of Serbia of 1999, to Serbia. He now lives in the White Castle, but he and his family can only use it. They are not the owners  of the Castle, which is also shown in the sentence of Aleksandar: "We have the same problems like most of you (visitors of the Castle). Sometimes the heating doesn't work, because the tubes are broken or it rains through the roof." Those were really his words. The Serbian Government doesn't care about maintenance, which is a real shame. If Aleksandar and his family were the owners of the Castle, there would not be holes in the roof or damage in the heating, I'm very sure of that.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
That’s really sad to hear, Jelena. Really. As a history major in college, probably even before that, I read many a biography of royalty and nobility (I still do). I guess I have always been fascinated with “the other life.” So much history tied up in these families. I suppose all things must pass, but that doesn’t mean I can’t grieve over it. I like continuity.

Back in the late 90s, I was in touch with Prince Aleksandar, just briefly a time or two, when Serbia was going through such a terrible time. I’ve followed his life up to the present to a degree. I believe he would have made a decent king for such a hurting country.

I believe it sent shock waves through the royal and noble communities in Europe when Spain again took a king, albeit a Franco engineered return. But, the Spanish royal family kept their lesser titles, if I am correct, during the Franco regime. I think a lot of royals did elsewhere. However, the German families didn’t. Not legally anyway. Legally, they had to take surnames like everybody else.

A very sad story about the White Castle. Didn’t they get some other minor properties back, though?
They were returned their vineyard and produce a good red wine. And (I think) also the area where there is the mausoleum of the Karadjordjević dynasty with the St. George's Church. If you want to know more, here is the website of it.

Considering the acceptance of Aleksandar's return to the throne: There are Royalists in Serbia, and directly after the bombing there were polls huge in favour of getting back to monarchy. Many people are disappointed of Aleksandar though, because he in all the time he now lives in Serbia, still makes huge grammatical mistakes. When I was in the Castle with my mum and Aleksandar welcomed us, mum told me: "You speak far better than him." (And I still do grammatical mistakes a lot!) When I chatted to him later, I used English. It was for me the normal choice.
Citizen Alexander Karađorđević's grandfather, one Alexander I Karageorgevitch of Yugoslavia is the person who abolished Serbian kingdom and merged it with the para-"State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs" into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Thereafter there was no Serbian kingdom and now Alexander the Pretender who claims to be a "crown prince" even though his father never gave him that title as he was in exile himself and no state assembly could have adopted that, is claiming the Serbian throne.

Well, tough luck. Go ask your own grandfather in the grave not to abolish the Serbian monarchy, Alex. One cannot claim the Serbian crown, because Serbian Kingdom had been dismantled/discontinued by its own ruler, your grandpa. Oops...

Related questions

+9 votes
0 answers
176 views asked Mar 25, 2017 in The Tree House by Richard Shelley G2G6 Pilot (223k points)
+26 votes
16 answers
+28 votes
4 answers
+4 votes
2 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright