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  #261  
Old 12-16-2012, 08:29 AM
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However, Artemisia, as discussed before, they can have a Vhurvh wedding with a civil one, but it won't be recognized by state. Thus I'm not so sure whether she would legally be allowed to carry the surname Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.

Biri, it does belong to a Nazi ideology. It means of "the pure race" or "master race", as they called it. Aryan people according to the Nazi ideology are/were "Nordic/Germanic people", who are not mixed with other "lesser races". Since Frau Axelsson's mother is of Mexican descent, she doesn't count as "Aryan".
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  #262  
Old 12-16-2012, 09:47 AM
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What does "Aryan blood" mean? Sorry, but IMHO it smells of hitlerism.
The "Aryan blood" clause was added at the height of World War II and Gustav Albrecht, 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg was himself a German officer who died in action in 1944. For the time, it made perfect sense for a prominent German officer to insist on "purity of blood" clause.
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  #263  
Old 12-16-2012, 10:37 AM
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That testament story is fascinating; does this mean that all the heirs in the next centuries to come will still have to comply to that will that was drawn up in the 1940's?
Or will this only last for a specific nr of generations?

And maybe a really silly question, but what would happen if the current head of the family made a will that stipulated the exact opposit and no heir could comply with both wills at the same time...?
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  #264  
Old 12-16-2012, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee-Z View Post
That testament story is fascinating; does this mean that all the heirs in the next centuries to come will still have to comply to that will that was drawn up in the 1940's?
Or will this only last for a specific nr of generations?

And maybe a really silly question, but what would happen if the current head of the family made a will that stipulated the exact opposit and no heir could comply with both wills at the same time...?
Gustav Albrecht, 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg wrote the will specifically naming his future grandson as his heir bypassing Prince Richard; thus, as far as I understand, the terms of the will should apply to Prince Gustav only. The will notwithstanding, there are also House Laws which are pretty strict on their own, especially in regards to morganatic marriages.

I am not entirely certain on this, however.
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  #265  
Old 12-16-2012, 10:57 AM
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Gustav Albrecht, 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg wrote the will specifically naming his future grandson as his heir bypassing Prince Richard; thus, as far as I understand, the terms of the will should apply to Prince Gustav only. The will notwithstanding, there are also House Laws which are pretty strict on their own, especially in regards to morganatic marriages.

I am not entirely certain on this, however.
Ah okay, so whereas probably all heirs have to comply with the House Laws (which probably requires a marriage to a noble woman at the very least), until Prince Gustav has to comply with the arian (and protestant) clause...
And his father Richard is the current head of the family, but not the heir of Gustav Albrecht, as he was bypassed in the will (probably to avoid huge succession payments?)...?

That's a fine mess this Gustav Albrecht has left (excusez le mot)
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  #266  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:23 AM
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Ah okay, so whereas probably all heirs have to comply with the House Laws (which probably requires a marriage to a noble woman at the very least), until Prince Gustav has to comply with the arian (and protestant) clause...
And his father Richard is the current head of the family, but not the heir of Gustav Albrecht, as he was bypassed in the will (probably to avoid huge succession payments?)...?

That's a fine mess this Gustav Albrecht has left (excusez le mot)
Again, I must point out that I'm not entirely certain the conditions of the will apply to Prince Gustav only. The reason I believe that to be the case is because, as far as I know German law, you cannot make any pre-conditions beyond one unborn generation (which, in Gustav Albrecht's case, meant children of his children).

As for the motives behind Gustav Albrecht's will, they might not be as straightforward as it may seem. The "Aryan" clause was perhaps not as much because of the Prince's Nazi sympathies (if they existed) but because at the time many non-Aryans and their descendants lost their properties; Gustav Albrecht had no way of knowing how long the Third Reich would last so he might have just been trying to protect the family fortune by ensuring his heir (grandson) marries an "acceptable" woman.

The decision to bypass his own son is slightly more difficult to explain; at the time of Gustav Albrecht's death, Prince Richard was not yet six years old and his younger brother - just a toddler. Gustav Albrecht might have tried to avoid inheritance taxes by ensuring the fortune is inherited "intact" by his grandson. There might have been other relevant, war-related reasons we cannot really understand now.

I must also note that the situation of bypassing an heir or of setting conditions for the marriages of future heirs is not unique to this family. Karl Friedrich III of Oettingen-Wallerstein named his grandson as his heir, bypassing his own son, Prince Moritz (although as soon as the said grandson came of age, he gave the control of the family fortune to his father). On the background issue, the Leiningen Family Edict of 1897 similarly states that members of the family can only marry representatives of aristocracy. Just years ago, the German High Court made a ruling in favour of the edict, stating that it was basically up to the owner of an estate to stipulate who or how can inherit it (Karl-Emich von Leiningen, the eldest son of the 7th Prince Leiningen, had to renounce his rights to marry his second non-noblewoman wife, and was contesting the edict). A similar ruling was made in the Hohenzollern case.
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  #267  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:36 AM
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I'm quite sure that by house-laws adopted children have NOT the right to inherit - so they could only inherit their part of the personal fortune, but not anything of the estate belonging to the head of house... and never become head of house
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  #268  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:48 AM
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I'm quite sure that by house-laws adopted children have NOT the right to inherit - so they could only inherit their part of the personal fortune, but not anything of the estate belonging to the head of house... and never become head of house
By German law, if Gustav has a child out of wedlock and then proceeds to legally adopt him, the baby would become an Heir to the Berleburg estate.
There is no clause in Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg House Law (that I know of) that prohibits such children from inheriting.
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  #269  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:54 AM
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By German law, if Gustav has a child out of wedlock and then proceeds to legally adopt him, the baby would become an Heir to the Berleburg estate.
Is this something you could imagine Gustav doing?
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  #270  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:58 AM
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Why not? Gustav and Carina's struggle to overthrow the will can take years and may ultimately fail.
If they want to have a child together, they can do so now, with Gustav adopting the baby as his heir.

Carina is 44 already so they should really start thinking about the scenario (assuming they want to have children, of course).
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  #271  
Old 12-16-2012, 12:48 PM
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Why not? Gustav and Carina's struggle to overthrow the will can take years and may ultimately fail.
If they want to have a child together, they can do so now, with Gustav adopting the baby as his heir.

.
If that would be a possibility - they would have done it already, that I'm sure of.

The stipulation is: children born in legal wedlock according to houselaw .. there is no room for adoption.
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  #272  
Old 12-16-2012, 12:52 PM
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If that would be a possibility - they would have done it already, that I'm sure of.
The will may contain clauses we are not aware of (it was never made public) but with the information we do know, such a scenario is very much possible both under German law and Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg House Law. Why they chose not to do so is another question. Or, alternatively, Gustav Albrecht's will contains provisions which somehow prohibit that without breaking German law.
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  #273  
Old 12-16-2012, 02:55 PM
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I'm flabbergasted that such a will is not struck down by either the German courts or the European Court of Human Rights. It's a fundamentally racist, discriminatory and inequitable 'house law'. Does this mean that if a German makes a will stating that their estate be divided between their children, except if one of them marries a black person, it would be lawful?

I've forgotten most of my law degree, but I believe that in UK such a will would be nullified. It used to be the case that people would leave wills which stated that all the beneficiaries must be solicitors or whatever, but the British courts would reject such a will as inequitable. I'm astonished that Germany doesn't take the same view.
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  #274  
Old 12-16-2012, 03:02 PM
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I'm flabbergasted that such a will is not struck down by either the German courts or the European Court of Human Rights. It's a fundamentally racist, discriminatory and inequitable 'house law'. Does this mean that if a German makes a will stating that their estate be divided between their children, except if one of them marries a black person, it would be lawful?

I've forgotten most of my law degree, but I believe that in UK such a will would be nullified. It used to be the case that people would leave wills which stated that all the beneficiaries must be solicitors or whatever, but the British courts would reject such a will as inequitable. I'm astonished that Germany doesn't take the same view.
Different countries have different laws. In France, children and spouse are automatically entitled to certain portions of an estate. In Germany, the owner of an estate has the right to oversee it in any way he/she wishes to. If a person wrote a will leaving his entire fortune to his dog, bypassing his 15 children and wife, it would be perfectly legal (providing he was in sound mind, of course). Basically, in Germany the legal opinion is that a persona is the absolute and undisputed owner of his fortune and how he distributes it or who he names as his heir is entirely up to him.

The Aryan clause is the only one that has high chances of being nullified because it may be argued that it's racist and discriminatory and was just a necessary clause for the time to ensure the inheritance remains intact (as I mentioned earlier, many non-Aryans had their properties confiscated). The requirement to marry a woman of noble origin * though is unlikely to be uplifted; by German laws, the late Prince was at right to specify who can inherit his estate and under what circumstances (German law's take on this is clear from the Leiningen and Hohenzollern cases). After all, Gustav Albrecht didn't forbid his grandson to marry Carina - Gustav can do that at any time. It's just that if he does, he will lose the inheritance that his grandfather left him under certain conditions.


* Just to clarify, by "noble" it is meant a woman who comes from nobility in several generations. So, even if Queen Margrethe wanted to help her nephew's case by ennobling Carina, it wouldn't help.
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  #275  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:49 AM
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c In Germany, the owner of an estate has the right to oversee it in any way he/she wishes to. If a person wrote a will leaving his entire fortune to his dog, bypassing his 15 children and wife, it would be perfectly legal (providing he was in sound mind, of course). Basically, in Germany the legal opinion is that a persona is the absolute and undisputed owner of his fortune and how he distributes it or who he names as his heir is entirely up to him.
Actually this is not right, Artemisia. We have what is called the "Pflichtteil"-clause.

Normally an estate (meaning here the whole of one's possessions) is divided by law in several parts which form the "gesetzliche Erbteil" - this "Legal inheritance" is the way the estate must provide for the relatives if no will is being made. Half of it goes to the spouse, the rest is divided through the number of children. Children of late children inherit the part their late parent would have gotten.

E.g. A man was married and had three children. One son predeceased him and left two children. Then the spouse gets half of the inheritance, each child gets a third of the second half = 1/6 and the grandchildren get their fathers 1/6, so each gets 1/12.

Each of these direct line relatives have a right to half of their "legal inheritance". That's what we call "Pflichtteil" - enforcable inheritance.

So in fact a person can only decide about one half of the estate, the other half has be given to the legal heirs.

But of course there are ways around this. In former times a "Fideikommis" was installed, a kind of trust which bound the estate and made it available only to one heir according to primogeniture. Most of these family trusts had such an equality clause.

In 1919, after WWI, in Germany these trusts were ended. But another legal form of trusts were introduced and most head of aristocratic families decided to bring the family fortune into such a family foundation in order to save inheritance tax. The chairman of the board of directos of this family foundation was the Head of the family and he in most cases could make the rules. And these can be discriminating, there's no legal way against it.

As these trusts are legal persons, there is legally no "inheritance", just a change of control of the trust. And just like you cannot legally go against the church and claim that the control over a doecese should be open to men and women, you can do nothing against the stipulation that the chairman of the trust has to marry equally.

As long as we have no information about the legal form the estate is in and the stipulations around it, we cannot say anything about it, really.
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  #276  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:17 AM
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That's very interesting, Kataryn; I wasn't aware of the Pflichtteil clause.

Just one question, when was that clause adopted and, if after World War II, was it adopted retroactively?
I'm asking because if it wasn't retroactive, then it shouldn't affect wills made prior to its passing, including Gustav Albrecht's will.
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  #277  
Old 02-05-2013, 07:43 PM
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I am wondering if anybody knows if they are still together? I haven't seen her or heard anything about her in some time now. Did she do her Christmas Festival this year? There where no pictures of her anywhere.
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  #278  
Old 02-09-2013, 06:55 AM
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I'M sure that Danish royalty magazine Biled-Bladet would have picked up if they had parted ways!

Legally and financially the situation of Gustav and Carina is a bit complicated however so far they seem to be able to cope.


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  #279  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:33 AM
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That's very interesting, Kataryn; I wasn't aware of the Pflichtteil clause.

Just one question, when was that clause adopted and, if after World War II, was it adopted retroactively?
I'm asking because if it wasn't retroactive, then it shouldn't affect wills made prior to its passing, including Gustav Albrecht's will.
The clause is funded on historical Roman law, later introduced into the Code Civil of Napoleon which was the basis of our German laws. So it was always there.
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  #280  
Old 04-06-2013, 11:16 PM
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Wow, am I glad I am not in her shoes! I cannot believe that such an antiquated thought process is still adhered to. It seems so silly to follow that way of thinking, I mean, hello, we are in the 21st century for cryin out loud. There has to be a way to abolish such nonsense and let this couple get on with their lives.
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