Welcome to the pages that will inform you about one of the biggest disputes relating to the return of illegitimately confiscated property in the Czech Republic.
Adolph Schwarzenberg (1890 - 1950) was a descendent of the Hluboka branch of the aristocratic Schwarzenberg family. His family mainly owned property in South Bohemia and contributed for hundreds of years to the general cultural and economic development of the region. He lost his estate, inclusive of all his personal belongings, in abuse of Decree No's. 5/1945 Coll. and 12/1945 Coll. already in 1945. In 1947 he was divested of all of his business properties “in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, industries, commerce and trade” under the so-called Lex Schwarzenberg. His substantial non-business assets were stolen by the totalitarian regime after June 1948. What was the reason for the ongoing injustice? Political and social persecution, and greed too. By that time Adolph did not possess any property in Czechoslovakia as it had been seized by the Nazis in 1940 and later by abuse of the Benes Decrees.
Jindrich Schwarzenberg Hluboka, Elisabeth’s father, instructed his adopted son Karel Schwarzenberg from the Orlik line in his will to claim restitution for the lost Czech estate in the interest of the Hluboka family as soon as possible.
Before the promulgation of the restitution laws, in December 1990, Karel Schwarzenberg told Elisabeth that he did not want to apply for restitution during his service for President Havel until 30 June 1992, but that he would do so afterwards; he confirmed this to her in 1991 and in March 1992. However to date he has not done so – at first he told her this is due to “conscientious objections” and later he argued that he could not do so, because his adoption by her father was not valid under Czech law and therefore he was not an entitled person under the restitution laws. However, he argued in other proceedings at the district court at Pisek that his adoption by her father was valid and the court confirmed this in its valid decision, which was confirmed by the instances and the Czech Constitutional Court. To date Karel Schwarzenberg argues in inheritance proceedings at the County Court at Leoben in Austria, that his adoption by Elisabeth’s father was not valid under Czech law.
Elisabeth von Pezold, the granddaughter of Adolph Schwarzenberg took matters into her own hands. Since the beginning of the 1990s she has been trying to clear her grandfather’s name and obtain a just decision from the courts.