Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein

Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein

Infobox_Monarch | name =Franz Joseph II
title =Prince of Liechtenstein

caption =Franz Joseph II on his 82nd birthday (1988-8-16)
reign =July 25, 1938 - November 13, 1989
coronation =
predecessor =Franz I
successor =Hans-Adam II
consort =Georgina von Wilczek
issue =Hans-Adam II, Phillipp, Nikolaus, Nora, Franz Joseph
royal house =House of Liechtenstein
father =Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein
mother =Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria
date of birth =birth date|1906|8|16|mf=y
place of birth =Schloss Frauenthal, Styria, Austria
date of death =death date and age|1989|11|13|1906|8|16|mf=y
place of death =
buried =|

Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein, (Franz Joseph Maria Aloys Alfred Karl Johannes Heinrich Michael Georg Ignaz Benediktus Gerhardus Majella), (August 16, 1906, Schloss Frauenthal, Styria, Austria – November 13, 1989) was the sovereign prince of Liechtenstein from 1938 until his death. His full title was "Fürst von und zu Liechtenstein, Herzog von Troppau und Jägerndorf, Graf zu Rietberg."

He was son of Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein and his wife Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria (daughter of Archduke Karl Ludwig). He succeeded his childless cousin, Prince Franz I, after his father renounced his right of succession in his favour in 1921.

During his reign women received voting rights for the first time, following a referendum on the topic (among men only) in 1984.

Franz Joseph was an extremely popular sovereign in Liechtenstein. He was the first ruling prince to live full-time in the principality. He also oversaw the economic development of Liechtenstein from a poor agricultural backwater into one of the richest countries (per capita) in the world.

World War II

Liechtenstein remained neutral throughout World War II, and its neutrality was never violated by any of the combatants. However, two factors have linked the Liechtensteinian state to the Axis cause:

*In 2005, it was revealed that Franz Joseph II profitted directly from the Holocaust. Labourers from the Strasshof concentration camp, provided by the "SS", had worked on estates in Austria owned by the Liechtensteinian royal house. [ [ BBC, "Nazi crimes taint Liechtenstein" 14 April, 2005] Access date: April 3, 2007.] The family also bought property in Austria and Czechoslovakia which had been taken from Jews by the Nazis.

*At the end of the war, Liechtenstein gave asylum to about 500 soldiers of the First Russian National Army (a collaborationist Russian force within the German Wehrmacht). Eventually, Argentina agreed to permanently resettle the asylum seekers. In contrast, the British repatriated the Russians who fought on the side of Germany to the USSR.

Marriage and children

On 7 March 1943, at Vaduz, Franz Joseph II married Georgine ("Gina") Countess of Wilczeck (24 October 1921-18 October 1989). They had five children:

* Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein (b. 1945)
* Prince Phillipp of Liechtenstein (b. 1946)
* Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein (b. 1947)
* Princess Norberta of Liechtenstein (b. 1950)
* Prince Wenzeslaus ("Wenzel") of Liechtenstein (b. 19 November 1962 - d. 28 February 1991)

Final years

Franz Joseph handed over most of his powers to his son, Hans-Adam, in 1984.Franz Joseph II died in november 13, 1989, a mere twenty-six days after his wife. Ruling Liechtenstein for 51 years, he was the longest ruling sovereign in Europe at the time of his death.


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1= Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein
2= Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein
3= Elisabeth Amalia of Austria
4= Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein
5= Princess Henriette of Liechtenstein
6= Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria
7= Princess Maria Theresa of Braganza
8= Prince Franz of Liechtenstein
9= Julie Potocka
10=Alois II, Prince of Liechtenstein
11=Franziska Kinsky
12=Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
13=Princess Sophie of Bavaria
14=Miguel I of Portugal
15=Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg


ee also

*Princely Family of Liechtenstein

NAME=Franz Joseph II
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Prince of Liechtenstein
DATE OF BIRTH=August 16, 1906
PLACE OF BIRTH=Schloss Frauenthal, Styria, Austria
DATE OF DEATH=November 13, 1989

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