This is the castle from which the House of Liechtenstein derives its name. From Wikipedia:
The castle, originally built during the 12th century, was destroyed by the Ottomans in 1529 and 1683, and remained in ruins until 1884, when it was rebuilt.
Liechtenstein (“bright stone”) Castle is the origin of the name of the Liechtenstein family, the ruling house of the country of the same name, which owned the castle from at least 1140 until the 13th century and again from 1807 onwards.
Today, the castle is mainly known for the Nestroy Theatre Festival held annually during the summer months.
designed by Josef Seger
On the reorganization of Liechtenstein’s postal administration. The presence of the Austrian flag on this stamp is striking, and I wish I could say more about it. Keep in mind that in 1964, close alignment with Austria was still within living memory in the Principality.
“Simple Man” — Two Rocks Band
Two Rocks Band is a mixed Swiss-Austrian-Liechtensteiner country band.
Because they are historically accurate.
Prussia was very protective of the Liechtenstein region in the Middle Ages.
They were allies and they did join together in the 19th century due to the giant German Confederation.
Also, Lily was sympathetic to the Nazi movement and the Prussians in general (as they lost their “countryhood” in the 1930’s).
(And you know everyone likes a bad boy.)
In point of fact, none of this is true. Historically speaking, Liechtenstein was never closely aligned with Prussia, but rather with Austria. The Princely House descends from the Counts of Bregenz, in Southwest Germany. The territory that is now the Principality began to acquire its modern form (through the union of the Counties of Vaduz and Schellenberg) in 1434. Prussia didn’t come into existence until 1525, when the Duchy of Prussia was created out of the territory controlled by the Teutonic Order.
The Princely House’s main financial enterests were located in Moravia and Bohemia, and they aligned themselves politically with Vienna. Members of the Princely House routinely held high-ranking positions in the Austrian civil service (including Johann II’s cousin Prince Eduard circa World War I), and indeed the Princely House did not relocate to Vaduz until after the First World War.
As far as the German Confederation goes, that could hardly be more blatantly false; see, for example, the leadup to the Austro-Prussian War (which Bismarck, incidentally, attempted to blame on Liechtenstein), where Liechtenstein joined Austria in voting for a declaration of war on Prussia. Hardly the friendly relationship portrayed above.
As far as Nazi sympathies and “losing their countryhood”, Liechtenstein was never occupied during the Second World War. Hitler consistently spoke derisively about the Principality, regarding it as beneath his notice. There was in 1939 an attempted coup by Nazi sympathizers: see Beattie’s account of the VDBL’s attempted coup in 1939 for more information. It is certainly true that there were people with Nazi sympathies in the Principality, but the Liechtenstein government was consistent in its opposition to Nazi policies as far as it was able to (see also: Liechtenstein’s continued naturalization of Jewish [and other] refugees, despite German and Swiss pressure to stop; also, Franz II’s wife was part Jewish, though by the time of their marriage she was a practicing Catholic).
So, in fact, Prussia/Liechtenstein is not a historically accurate pairing.
From Pierre Raton’s Liechtenstein: History and Institutions of the Principality (1970).
For Austria, the Liechtenstein question became a vital issue, because of its influence on that of the border province of Vorarlberg, whose population was demanding annexation to Switzerland on the basis of the right of self-determination.
Vorarlberg representatives were already in Berne and were planning to go on to Paris. Liechtenstein’s step threatened to set a dangerous precedent and could precipitate developments to the disadvantage of the Austrian Republic which feared that already the loyalty of several rich border provinces was in considerable doubt. The leaders of the new Austrian state were obviously nervous, but quite unexpectedly, on August 30, the Cabinet accepted the denunciation of the [Customs] Treaty and immediately the border guards were ordered to their posts and food deliveries from Vorarlberg were held up. From September 1 on, Liechtenstein was, for the Austrian customs officials, a foreign country. The Austrian customs officials on duty at the border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland withdrew without turning over the customs houses in proper order. The [Liechtenstein] Legation in Vienna protested many times and was successful at least to the extent that the duty on Liechtenstein’s exports to Austria was lifted and the customs offices eventually handed over in an orderly manner. At the end of November the Austrian Government declared its readiness to negotiate a new Customs Treaty.
It occurs to me to wonder how, if at all, later history might have been different had Vorarlberg successfully arranged to join Switzerland. Would Liechtenstein have followed suit, or would it have become an enclave as San Marino? Would Burgenland and Klagenfurt have followed suit in leaving Austria? What of the impact of Austria’s altered borders on Nazi politics and/or Nazi-Swiss relations?
From Pierre Raton’s Liechtenstein, History and Institutions of the Principality.
1918—The Austro-Hungarian Empire came to an end. Liechtenstein lost its only supporter and found itself isolated before the victorious Powers who seemed inclined to regard the Principality as merely another province of an enemy state. Liechtenstein stood on the edge of an abyss and had to fight energetically for its very existence. First and foremost, it had to prove that it had remained neutral throughout the war. The now dangerous close ties with Austria had to be severed and new ones sought with another benevolent neighbour, the Swiss Confederation. This new direction in Liechtenstein’s foreign policy meant a complete about-face which brought with it a number of problems. Two men were its leaders. Although of quite different origins, they were united by the common wish to serve their country. They were Prince Eduard of Liechtenstein, the Principality’s Minister in Vienna, and Dr. Emil Beck, the Minister in Berne. Their task was made doubly difficult by the internal situation in the country. After a reign of over sixty years, Prince Johann II was suddenly faced with the opposition of the majority of his people. True, the crisis of November 7, 1918, could be overcome by the guarantee of a new democratic constitution, but it took a number of years still before the internal unrest began to subside. Prince Johann died in 1929 after ruling for 71 years, and with his death the modern age began, including a period of prosperity after the hard times of World War I.
Modesty and restraint are poor assets for the conduct of a successful foreign policy. Liechtenstein learned this lesson the hard way. Until 1914 Austrian diplomats had handled Liechtenstein’s affairs everywhere abroad and the country was practically unknown in the diplomatic world. When the name of Liechtenstein was heard, it was usually connected with the generals of the family who had served in the Imperial Army in the previous century and so led to the fiction that Liechtenstein was simply part of the Hapsburg Empire—hence, in the eyes of the victorious Powers, enemy territory. This created many difficulties for the Liechtensteiners. Already during the war, those of them resident in France and in England had known the hardships of internment camps, and the economy of the country had suffered serious setbacks.
In these circumstances Liechtenstein risked disappearing from the map altogether except as an annex to the new Republic of Austria. To give up would have been fatal. The only solution was to revise completely the country’s foreign relations and to look to the west instead of to the east, as any connection with Austria had become too dangerous. This shift in foreign policy was reflected within the country by the growth of the Volkspartei which advocated close relations with Switzerland as well as constitutional reform. Two men were the principal architects of this new policy. The first was Prince Eduard Liechtenstein, a cousin of the Reigning Prince, a high-ranking Austrian civil servant and the Liechtenstein Minister in Vienna from 1918 to 1921. He was the driving force in the movement of gradual detachment from Austria and the complete separation of the two states.
The other, Dr. Emil Beck, was a native of Triesenberg and had dual Swiss-Liechtenstein citizenship. He was the Chargé d’Affaires of the Principality in Berne, and in this capacity undertook the highly responsible task of preparing the way for closer relations between his fatherland and his adopted country. He also represented the Vaduz Government at the League of Nations, for Liechtenstein had not only to cultivate its diplomatic relations with Switzerland and Austria but also to establish contact with the world community, and present its standpoint to the victorious Powers.
From Pierre Raton’s Liechtenstein: History and Institutions of the Principality:
More important for the future was the problem of the postal services in the Principality. Since 1827, the Austrians had been operating their postal system throughout the country, although there had never been any formal agreement. At various times the Imperial Post Service had declared that this did not mean an infringement of the sovereign rights of the Prince of Liechtenstein; nevertheless, it was an obvious unlawful interference which could not be allowed to last for ever.
On December 5, 1905, the Diet passed a bill stating that “in view of the increase in postal traffic, the time has come when it is necessary to reach an agreement defining the competences of each partner”.
In addition to this the five postmasters of the country complained that their wages were lower and their terms of work less favourable than those of their Austrian colleagues. In a memorandum addressed to the Government they did not specify their complaints but developed their ideas regarding a future postal greement, including the possibility of issuing Liechtenstein stamps.
These ideas were taken up by the Diet, which on November 6, 1907, expressed the wish to conclude a postal treaty. At first, cold water was thrown on this proposal by the Head of Government, Herr von In der Maur, but gradually the idea of issuing stamps appealed to him as a good source of state income, and he became more friendly to the project. In 1910, he opened negotiations with the Austrian Ministry of Commerce, which reacted very coolly.
Liechtenstein sought an agreement resembling that between France and Monaco. The Prince liked the idea of Liechtenstein stamps, and the Government therefore got in touch with two great stamp collectors, Rudolf Caspart and Hugo Krötzsch, who in turn opened negotiations with a Leipzig firm, Giesecke & Devrient, specialists in the printing of stamps.
When the Austrian Ministry was eventually convinced that Liechtenstein was determined to issue stamps of its own, it proposed printing them in Vienna, in the value of 5, 10, or 15 Heller. On October 4, 1911, the postal agreement between Austria and Liechtenstein was signed, and came into effect on January 1, 1912.
Austria retained the administration of the postal service in Liechtenstein but agreed to issue special stamps, which were to be sold in the Liechtenstein post-offices along with the Austrian ones. The latter also remained valid in Liechtenstein.
The new stamps were first issued on February 1, 1912, and since then Liechtenstein has always had its own stamps.
Again the Principality had proved that it knew how to negotiate successfully, and had shown the world that it was not simply a province of the Danubian realm.
And yet the Principality referred to its “sovereignty”. Its relations with Austria were not on a basis of internal law but of international law. All the treaties signed by Austrian diplomats in the name of Liechtenstein were valid in Liechtenstein only, when ratified by the laws of the Principality. On this basis, Liechtenstein concluded treaties with Austria and also renewed and modified the Customs Union in 1863, 1875, 1876, and 1888.
Liechtenstein remained true to the Austrian Monarchy during the War of 1866. Thanks to Austria’s support, the Principality could then take part in international life and on the eve of World War I a postal agreement made the ties with Vienna still closer.