Max Margrave of Baden had headed the House of Baden since 1963. That experienced some cuts under him. Now an era ends.
Salem (dpa / lsw) - Max Margrave of Baden is dead. He died early Thursday morning at the age of 89 in Salem Castle on Lake Constance, the house of Baden announced. Since 1963, Max von Baden had been head of the formerly ruling Grand Duchy of Baden, which from 1112 to 1918 provided the rulers in the Baden part of today's federal state of Baden-Württemberg. His successor is Bernhard Margrave of Baden, the previous hereditary prince.
According to the information, two funeral services are planned: an open one for companions, friends and acquaintances as well as current and former employees and retirees together with the margravial family. As well as a closed funeral service for the family circle, friendly houses as well as for the representatives of politics, economy and culture. Concrete dates for this were not initially set.
The house of Baden has published account details for "Germanaid-Baden" on its website, an association founded 40 years ago by Max von Baden that takes care of refugees from all over the world. He said he was happy about the support.
HRH the Margrave of Baden - in full: Maximilian Andreas Friedrich Gustav Ernst-August Bernhard - was born on July 3, 1933 at Salem Castle as the son of Margrave Berthold. His mother Theodora was Princess of Greece and Denmark.
After school in Salem and Scotland, he studied economics and forestry in Heidelberg and Munich. In the mid-1960s, he primarily promoted viticulture on Lake Constance.
In 1966 Max von Baden married Her Imperial and Royal Highness Valerie of Austria, with whom he had four children: Princess Marie Louise (born 1969), Hereditary Prince Bernhard (1970) and Princes Leopold (1971) and Michael (1976). The deceased also leaves behind four grandchildren. Baden is related to almost every European royal family - King Charles III. is a cousin.
When Hereditary Prince Max inherited the title of Margrave after the death of his father on October 27, 1963, he also became the owner of several castles and factories, as well as more than 6,000 hectares of forests, vineyards, fields and gravel pits. The grandson of the last imperial chancellor was in charge of a house that can look back on almost a thousand years of history. In the Middle Ages, the territory of the family that goes back to the Zähringer family stretched from the Black Forest through Burgundy to western Switzerland.
"The industrialization and internationalization of the Margravial group of companies, which began in the 1960s alongside the core agricultural and forestry business, stalled at the end of the 1980s and ultimately led to considerable losses," says Haus Baden. Because the margraves accumulated debts, savings had to be made: Since 1994, companies have been sold, the traditional forestry department has been dissolved, numerous employees have been laid off and Schloss Kirchberg on Lake Constance, including the marina and campsites, have been sold.
In 1995 the margravial collections in Baden-Baden were auctioned off and the castle there was then sold. Even the renowned Salem Castle School, which Max von Baden tried to dismiss because it was too liberal in management, was suddenly to be given a new lease. In 2009, the majority of the huge ensemble of Salem Castle - against much resistance and after a long tug-of-war - went to the state of Baden-Württemberg for a proud 57.8 million euros.
Son Bernhard von Baden has been the margrave's general representative since 1998. On the occasion of his 65th birthday, Max von Baden had handed over the economic responsibility for the Margravial Baden administration and the property to his heirs.
"Margrave Max always felt a great responsibility for the common good and was involved in many functions in the state of Baden-Württemberg," said the House of Baden on the day of his death. The retired colonel of many years was a member of more than 60 clubs and associations. He was a member of the Synod of the Baden State Church for several legislative periods. "The Red Cross was particularly close to his heart." Until the end he was an honorary member of the district board of the DRK-Bodenseekreis. He was also committed to the preservation of monuments and the preservation of historical heritage.
"The Margrave led a modest and reclusive lifestyle," writes his family. "He was free from conceit and cultivated good contacts with the people of his homeland." He always had an open ear for people in need who asked him for help.