It is unforgivable that an academic such as Felix de Taillez and others in the series repeat the family legends of overall material war loss, as if they were fact. Ironically the castle administration sat somewhere completely different, namely with Rotterdamsch Trustees Kantoor in Rotterdam. Fritz too opposed the abolishment of the German and Austrian monarchies and the rise of social democracy. But how could this be made palatable for the men returning from the horrors of the First World War, who were turning in droves to pacifist and democratic organisations?
Thus the connection between radical nationalism and war was celebrated within the cult for the fallen heroes and those still willing to fight on.
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Without the shadow of a doubt, these associations would have been backed by Heinrich as well, but as a purported Hungarian privatier, he managed to keep out of all media reports about the topic and thus was not publicly perceived as a supporter of the extreme right in the German-speaking world. By not clarifying this circumstance, de Taillez adds to the picture of Heinrich drawn by the series as not being in any way a sympathiser of the far right.
It is an allegation based purely on the absence of public sources, which was deliberately engineered by Heinrich and his associates. Absence of proof is not proof of absence and this should have been exposed by de Taillez. For the Thyssens, there were always conflicts of interests between their national affiliation and their economic ambitions.
After they had transposed the ownership structures of their works to the neutral Netherlands before the First World War, Fritz and his father August participated shortly after the war in talks about the formation of a Rhenanian Republic. It does not cross his mind that this man might have needed to do so in order to keep his, or indeed any, job.
Soon after the war, Fritz Thyssen also began to establish for himself an alternative domicile in Argentina by buying, first of all, the Estancia Don Roberto Lavaisse in the province of San Luis. According to de Taillez, Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza sold it in for 4.
In Brazil too the family had owned property for years and advertised commercial trade there. What a pity that his wife Amelie Thyssen gets so little attention in this series, apart from her role as co-founder of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. Since Amelie was the driving force in successfully reclaiming the Thyssen organisation after the Second World War, any bad light on her would, once again, harm the Thyssen family mythological reputation.
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This unrequited activity encouraged Fritz in considerable political activity. He says the relationship between the two brothers was bad. Now they might not have loved each other wholeheartedly; it is normal for there to be certain jealousies between siblings. But this had indeed more to do with image than realities. Heini too wished to give the impression of discord, because his own, the Thyssen-Bornemisza side of the family, had managed to keep disassociated from discussions about the Third Reich.
Instead of being objective, de Taillez repeats parrot-like old Thyssen-internal myths, which have become dogma. As such he had it exhibited in in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. According to de Taillez, the Munich Pinakothek was willing only in the case of 60 out of paintings to take them temporarily into their own stock after the end of the exhibition. Meanwhile, it was striking that Heinrich was not presented anywhere as the son of the famous Ruhr industrialist and creator of the family fortune, August Thyssen.
What is troubling is that de Taillez does not openly decry this as the obvious Thyssen manipulation of public perception that it was. Felix de Taillez goes way further than he should by not just obfuscating existing Thyssen manipulations but even generating new ones. There, however, only 32 paintings are mentioned as having been sold between and Thyssen-internal lists available to us show that paintings bought by Heinrich up to were inherited by his children in This would mean that only 23 paintings had theoretically been sold between and And of course, Heini Thyssen became an art collector on a completely different scale to his father and did indeed buy some very good, mostly modern, paintings.
It must be remembered in this context that Heini Thyssen bought back most of the paintings that went to his siblings in the inheritance share out, so that most of the questionable paintings would have ended up in his possession.
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In this, they sought to emulate the prestige which the Rothschilds possessed. Most members of the general public, influenced by the media — who are possibly submitted to a VIP equivalent of the royal rota whereby journalists are excluded from access to members of the royal family if they publish negative stories -, have always seemed to accept this version of reality. What is noticeable throughout the book and the series as a whole is that it comprises not a single personal quote from a living member of the Thyssen family. So much new history is being written about them and one wonders what they feel now that some of the plates that had, for so long and at great expense, been kept spinning in the air are starting to come tumbling down.
But Felix de Taillez would not be Felix de Taillez if he did not release us from the world of Thyssen art with yet another piece of white wash. Various art advisors, museum directors and the Baron himself had made contradictory statements about when exactly the paintings had been bought. Had they ever been at Rechnitz Castle, as the name of the collection suggested? Sometimes they said yes, sometimes no. The Thyssen-internal lists available to us show that he bought his first painting in and all works remained in safe deposits until the exhibition the foreword to the exhibition catalogue makes this very clear — see here.
Which did not, however, stop the Baron from saying sometimes that he had made his first art purchase in , the year he married into Hungary. For the import of his paintings and other works of art into Switzerland he was able to use, vis-a-vis the Swiss authorities, the reference to the exhibition with said catalogue as proof that around valuable paintings had been in his possession already for a longer period of time.
As the collection at the time of the inheritance share-out contained a total of paintings, he also leaves unexplained where the other almost paintings are supposed to have come from and when they got into Switzerland. The fact the Thyssens themselves were intransparent concerning this matter is understandable. Particularly as no family members have been quoted. On the whole, while Felix de Taillez is remarkably obstinate in prolonging the myths surrounding Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, he seems somewhat more direct in his presentation of Fritz.
Meaning of "Bekümmertheit" in the German dictionary
We dont suggest the Fritz Thyssen Foundation or the Thyssen Industrial History Foundation have steered the results of these academic investigations. By which Fritz used the extremist language of the National Socialists against political opponents. Chance to win daily prizes. Get ready for Prime Day with the Amazon App.
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Meaning of "Bekümmertheit" in the German dictionary
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