Deutschmeister Tradition Day

Every 18 June, the “Deutschmeister” celebrate their traditional day in commemoration of the Battle of Kolin in 1757, in which the Austrians succeeded in defeating the Prussian King Frederick II for the first time thanks to the special efforts of the “Hoch- und Deutschmeister”. In honour of this military achievement, 18 June was declared Tradition Day of the “Hoch- und Deutschmeister” and is celebrated by the military successor organisations, currently the “Jägerbataillon Wien 1 Hoch- und Deutschmeister”, as well as the “Deutschmeisterbund” with its traditional groups.

The 2024 ceremony took place at the residence of the Teutonic Order in the heart of Vienna. The celebrations began with a festive church service, celebrated by H.E. Grand Master P. MMag. Dipl.-Bw. (FH) Frank Bayard, MBA. Afterwards, the band “Kapelle Original Hoch- und Deutschmeister” under the direction of Kapellmeister Reinhold Nowotny performed a musical programme as part of a concert in the square, which delighted all those present.

During the official part of the event, the President of the „Deutschmeisterbund“ and Media Officer of the UEHMG Lieutenant Colonel Andreas Tarbuk welcomed numerous guests of honour, including the Procurator of the Order of St. George Baron Vinzenz von Stimpfl-Abele as well as the President of the Union of European Historical Military Groups Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, who represented the historical traditions of the highest umbrella organisation. In his speech, H.E. Grand Master Frank Bayard emphasised the great importance of the connection between the spiritual authority, which has always been provided by the Teutonic Order for the “Hoch- und Deutschmeister”, and the military associations throughout history, which has endured to this day and which was once again underlined by this ceremony.

Baron Vinzenz von Stimpfl-Abele emphasised the importance of tradition, especially in disorientating times like these: “Traditions are our living connection with the past and at the same time a bridge to the future. They are an expression of timeless values and principles that are worth passing on from generation to generation.” The courage to take responsibility for protecting and maintaining tradition is therefore very important for a society. The commitment of organisations such as the “Deutschmeisterbund”, but also the knightly orders, cannot be valued highly enough, especially today. “Because we know our roots, we know our values and we are raising the flag – each in our own way, but by joining forces. This gives us reason for hope and optimism for the future. VIRIBUS UNITIS!” concluded the Procurator.

President Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, took the opportunity, in the presence of Secretary General Captain iTR Christian Zehetmayer and Financial Officer Financial Councillor iTR Frank Kasteliz, to award our deserving comrade Corvette Captain iTR Peter Hofer the Merit Mark of the UEHMG for his many years of support in keeping up tradition.

After the ceremonial speeches and honours, the social part of the Tradition Day began. In glorious imperial weather, the guests had the opportunity for many conversations and personal exchanges at the residence of the Teutonic Order. The event was a great success, characterised by the dignity of the occasion and the joy of being together. We would like to thank the Teutonic Order and the “Deutschmeisterbund” for their hospitality!

750 years Habsburg dynasty

In October 1273, Rudolf I, the first Habsburg, was elected and crowned king. Our Grand Master actually wanted to commemorate the 750th anniversary of this historic event last autumn, but then he was diagnosed with cancer… Thankfully, he overcame this and was able to invite guests to a very special evening at the Palais Ferstel in Vienna on 13 June 2024. It was very important to Archduke Karl to use this event to create a link between Austria, Europe and the world. This combination of a certain value-based timelessness with an internationality deeply rooted in Austria still characterises the Habsburg-Lothringen family today and was reflected in the programme – both in terms of content and music.

As the Grand Master remarked in an interview, it would have been nice to have even more people connected to the archducal house around him, but then the Stadthalle would probably have been needed. As it was, the time-honoured palace in the heart of the former imperial capital and residence city could only hold just about 300 guests. Numerous members and friends of the imperial family, high-ranking personalities from the clergy, nobility, politics, diplomacy, economy, art, culture and media as well as, of course, the sponsors queued up to pay their respects to Archduke Karl.

Another highlight of this unforgettable evening was a musical world premiere: the FALCO SYMPHONIC CHAMBER ORCHESTRA. Falco stood and stands like no other artist for modern Austrian music with an international dimension. His timeless work now connects generations. In order to emphasise all these facets and honour the occasion, not “only” the original Falco musicians played, but a classical ensemble accompanied and amplified them. The world hits of Austria’s only pop superstar were interpreted by local and international vocalists. Archduke Karl’s decision in favour of this unique musical melange was confirmed by the enthusiasm of the guests, who celebrated the artists frenetically.

Thanks to President Major-General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, the UEHMG was represented at the festivities by a strong delegation including Vice President Colonel iTR Hans-Joachim Böhm, Administration Officer Captain iTR Franz Schlosser, Financial Officer Financial Councillor iTR Frank Kasteliz, Media Officer Schützenfähnrich iTR Andreas Georg Tarbuk and Secretary-General Captain iTR Christian Zehetmayer. A worthy celebration of a truly important dynasty in Europe!

Call for donation on the occasion of 25 years of Rainermusik Salzburg

To mark the 25th anniversary of Rainermusik Salzburg, an anniversary concert was organised in February 2024 together with the Tiroler Kaiserjäger, which was celebrated as a double concert in the Kongresshaus Salzburg and in Erl.
> Click here for the programme of the concert

Rainermusik was founded in 1999 by Dr. Herbert Glaser and Honorary President Dr. Manfred Holztrattner and, with the support of a sponsor, was able to organise concert tours to Hungary, Germany, Spain, Merano (Salzburg’s partner city) and, of course, Austria. Unfortunately, all funding has now been cancelled, which is why it is no longer possible to plan international concert tours.

That is why Rainermusik Salzburg is looking for donations so that such trips can take place again.

Bank details:
Rainermusik Salzburg
IBAN: AT43 3500 0000 9101 5123

Many thanks on behalf of Rainermusik Salzburg!

39th Corps Meeting

Year after year! On 13 April 2024, the 39th corps meeting of the “”Hohenzollern-Küurassiere Sigmaringen” took place in the Reiterstüble “St. Georgs Klause” in Pault (near Sigmaringen). At the beginning of the event, the cavalry captain and chairman of the corps Anton Rädle welcomed the comrades present, followed by the trumpet corps, which performed a serenade.

Traditional opening of the corps meeting by the trumpet corps

The 39th Corps Meeting was a busy one, as both the Advisory Board and the officers had to be newly elected this year. In addition to the commemoration of our comrades who had died in the previous year, the annual report, presented by Lieutenant Gregor Meichelbeck, for the year 2023 was also of great interest! The treasurer’s report and the auditors’ report not only showed the great commitment shown by the comrades, but also provided the basis for the discharge of the entire board, which the meeting gave unanimously at the suggestion of Honorary Cavalry Captain Christian Baum.

The elections also showed a clear picture and the unity of the club, so that Gregor Meichelbeck was confirmed as lieutenant and Felix Bösch was elected cornet. Johannes Herre was elected to the advisory board in his new role as secretary and Bruno Herunter as a member of the advisory board. The other previous members of the advisory board, Ruth Bösch, Uwe Gruber and Hans Stoll, were confirmed unanimously in their positions. 

In addition to the usual honours for numerous appearances, promotions were also awarded this year. Our corporals Max Bischofberger and Bruno Herunter were both promoted to the rank of constable. The formal part of the 39th Corps Assembly ended with the outlook for the coming year and the ” Kürassierlied”.

Then it was time to get to the cosy part. The comrades were offered a rich buffet of sausage salad and other dishes. The camaraderie was enjoyed in stimulating conversations until the late hours! All comrades were extremely satisfied with the successful corps meeting.

Text: Noah Bakó
Photos: Erwin Schultheiss

Promoted to sergeant: Bruno Herunter and Max Bischofberger
Cosy ending to the meeting with a buffet

Imperial Ball 2024

Exactly 510 days after the last Imperial Ball, the Imperial Ball 2024 took place – once again during the traditional ball season. The organisers were once again delighted to welcome a full house to the 14th Imperial Ball in the wonderful atmosphere of Korneuburg’s historic town hall.

Among the many guests of honour, Archduke Karl-Konstantin von Habsburg deserves special mention. The great-grandson of Emperor Karl I, to whom the Imperial Ball is dedicated, signed the Golden Book of the City of Korneuburg early in the evening at a champagne reception in the town hall. With this invitation, Mayor Christian Gepp, MSc, continued a tradition that has honoured us year after year.

To everyone’s delight, Archduke Karl-Konstantin appeared accompanied by his parents H.E. Ambassador HIRH Georg von Habsburg and his dear wife HIRH Eilika von Habsburg, which once again emphasised the high status of the Imperial Ball in the context of the imperial and royal tradition.

It is not possible to list the many representatives of the traditional regiments here, but we are happy to let the numerous pictures on the Kaiserball website do the talking. In any case, we are delighted that the Ball of the Traditional Regiments – organised and hosted by Infantry Regiment 49 and Dragoon Regiment 2 together with the UEHMG – was once again so well attended by the uniformed traditional community in 2024.

One of the first highlights was the opening dance by the dance couples from the Wopienka dance school. The dance couples – active as a formation in the Tanzsportclub Rot-Weiss Wien – showed us their skills at the highest level even at midnight. In any case, the ball guests were obviously motivated to take to the dance floor themselves.

Our discotheque “Club Charles” was also very popular again. And those who just wanted to have a quiet and cosy time visited the frizzante bar and smokers’ lounge in the inner courtyard. As every year, we also put together 14 main prizes for the tombola at the 14th Kaiserball. High-quality gifts from supporters of the ball were handed over to surprised and delighted ball guests – ranging from original posters from the imperial and royal era to dance lessons, a wellness weekend and a candlelight dinner.

Catering was once again provided by our k.u.k. court kitchen with à la carte specialities. The official part of the ball ended with the midnight quadrille and midnight snack, which was the start of the real entertainment for the organisers and many guests. The hard core, of course, stayed up until the final stroke at 4am. A few hours of light-heartedness and camaraderie were good for all the guests and we are already looking forward to the interim anniversary at the 15th Kaiserball!

> Click here for impressions of the Kaiserball 2024

Expression about condolences about Major-General iTR Günther Mayer

With great dismay and sadness we have the duty to announce that our comrade Major-General iTR Günther Mayer fell asleep peacefully on 5 January 2024 and passed away.

The President of the Union of the European Historical Military Groups, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, the Board, the Presidium and all comrades of the UEHMG express their deep sympathy to the bereaved for this heavy loss.

The UEHMG will keep an honorable memory of its well-deserved comrade.

Tradition unites Baden and Württemberg

Ehingen had never seen such a large number of soldiers in colourful jackets before, with more than 50 militia corps announcing their presence at the national meeting on 23 and 24 September 2023. Around 1500 city soldiers marched into the stadium on Saturday evening for the „Big tattoo“.

It was the first joint tattoo of the civil defence corps of Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Baden-Südhessen; only in 1956 had there been a joint parade. “The Baden-Württemberg idea is thus brought to life,” said the commander of the Württemberg-Hohenzollern corps, Colonel iTR Jürgen Rosenäcker. Correspondingly, there was also the interest of the people who sat and stood close together in the stands, including the head of the House of Württemberg, Duke Wilhelm, with his speaker Joachim Butz. On behalf of the UEHMG, President Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, personally attended the two-day celebrations.

Interior minister of Baden-Württemberg, Thomas Strobl, was escorted to the stadium by chief mayor Alexander Baumann, mayor Tobias Huber and state parliament member and parliamentary group leader Manuel Hagel. All spectators would have liked a little more illumination in the stadium, because unfortunately they couldn’t see much of the colorful uniforms of the more than 50 corps, but everyone was still greeted with lots of applause.

The commander of the Ehinger militia, Captain iTR Josef Stocker, took over the report to the two national commanders, Colonel iTR Jürgen Rosenäcker and Colonel iTR Hans-Joachim Böhm, “Big tattoo started”. Then followed the serenade, played by the marching band of the Ehingen militia.

An important part of the national meeting was the handover of the national standard from the organizer of the last Württemberg-Hohenzollern national meeting, the Menges militia guard, to the Ehingen militia guard. Then came the luring by the marching band, reminiscent of the drum signals, the fanfare calls and the command “helmet off” for prayer.

Afterwards, many spectators and city soldiers sang the national anthem together. After Commander Captain iTR Stocker had signed off on the Great Tattoo, all the militia corps marched past the front of honor to celebrate in the large marquee. The musicians from the Neuhausen Citizens’ Guard soon created a great atmosphere here, before the Dächingen Music Association played to entertain the guests.

At the commander’s reception at the mayor there were many words of praise for the Ehingen Historical Citizens’ Guard, after a field mass had already taken place in the morning with all uniformed officers in the stadium.

Ehingen’s chief mayor Alexander Baumann described this national meeting as nothing less than a “historic hour” for the city of Ehingen, but also the state of Baden-Württemberg – the first of its kind with both national associations in one place. Colonel iTR Jürgen Rosenäcker, commander of the Württemberg-Hohenzollern corps, spoke of a “unique meeting” and emphasized that the militia preserve “cultural and traditional values”. Colonel iTR Rosenäcker described the citizens in colorful jackets as an “unmissable splash of color” at many receptions and thanked Ehingen for the organization. His counterpart, Colonel iTR Hans-Joachim Böhm from the Baden-Südhessen militia, spoke of a “Herculean task in preparation” and insisted on calling his corps “big brother”. Although the association is smaller, it was founded 92 years ago and is therefore the older one.

Joachim Butz, the personal advisor to the deceased Carl Duke of Württemberg, spoke on behalf of the House of Württemberg and was able to posthumously award the Herzog Carl Medal of Merit to Commander Colonel iTR Jürgen Rosenäcker and Professor Urban Bacher for their services to the circle of friends of the militia.

The President of the UEHMG, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, from Vienna, who described himself as a living traditionalist and also claimed “appropriate speaking time” for his 1,300 kilometer journey to and from Ehingen, had one of the longest journeys to the Danube city. He described this unique national meeting of the two associations as “truly a highlight” and said: “Here we can transport the values of the past into the present and pass them on to the future.” Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc also used the opportunity to award Colonel iTR Hans Härtl the Great Golden Medal of Honor for his decades of voluntary work in the UEHMG.

During the subsequent parade through Ehingen’s city center, the „citizens in colorful jackets“ showed off their best side, always accompanied by the respective marching and city bands. The music clubs from Kirchbierlingen, Mundingen, Kirchen and Frankenhofen were also there and were able to contribute their part to the success of the parade. The end of the national meeting took place both in the city center and in the festival tent.

Fotos: Landesverband der Bürgerwehren und Milizen Baden-Südhessen

General Rapport 2023

The first comrades had already arrived in Karlovac on Thursday, 24 August to get in the mood for the days ahead at a convivial dinner. It was particularly pleasing that some accompanying persons and even children took part in this first meeting.

After a visit to the Karlovac Brewery on Friday morning, the participants met for a get-together at the Korana Hotel, where the main meeting of the General Rapport was held in the conference room.

The district prefect Martina Furdek Hajdin and the mayor of Karlovac, Damir Mandić, were welcomed as guests of honour. After the solemn commemoration of the dead and the playing of the national anthem, the agenda of the meeting was worked through. An essential part was the presentation of the tradition workshop from June of this year. The most important results were presented, such as the establishment of a support fund, the redesign of the UEHMG folder and the production of new merchandising articles.

Innovations were also presented in terms of personnel. Captain iTR Christian Zehetmayer was elected Secretary General and the Austrian associations were divided between two liaison officers: Sergeant iTR Ralph Schweiger will be responsible for Austria North-East (incl. the Czech Republic and Hungary) and Warrent Officer II iTR Hans-Peter Haberditz for Austria South-West.

In the evening, a joint dinner was held, during which the President, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, encouraged all the country representatives to sing a song typical of each country at the end of the day.

Saturday morning began with the parade in front of the Karlovac Theatre and a march to the memorial of deceased war veterans, where a wreath-laying ceremony and the lighting of numerous candles took place. The rest of the day was dedicated to the social programme, such as a shooting competition, a guided city tour, a visit to the Nikola Tesla Museum and the Aquarium.

The official part of the General Report 2023 ended with a convivial dinner on the outskirts of Karlovac, where the award ceremony for the shooting competition was also held.

Interested persons could voluntarily attend the mass in St Joseph’s Church on Sunday, where President Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc also gave the reading.

The UEHMG would like to thank the Karlovac Guard for the great organisation. With great motivation we are looking forward to the continuation of the Tradition Workshop in November and the General Rapport 2024.

See here impressions of the General Rapport 2023:

Imperial birthdays in Laxenburg

On Sunday, 20 August 2023, the k. u. k. Dragonerregiment 2 Nikolaus Graf Pejacsevich celebrated the imperial birthdays of Emperor Karl I (136th birthday on 17 August) and Emperor Franz Josef (193rd birthday on 18 August) in Laxenburg for the first time.

The 33 degrees outside temperature was more than a challenge for all present, but with perseverance, joy, comradeship and dignity befitting the occasion, it turned out to be a successful afternoon. A traditional group consisting of the Deutschmeisterchützenkorps, the Landwehr IR2 from Linz, the riding Artilleriedivision 2, the Landwehr Ulanen 6 around the Dragonerregiment 2 held a solemn ceremony, which was under the honorary patronage of HIRH Camilla von Habsburg-Lothringen.

The report was sent to the highest-ranking military officer, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, President of the UEWHG, who also provided organisational support for the event.

Father Sebastian Hacker celebrated the field prayer at the field altar of the Landwehr IR2, which houses a relic of the blessed Emperor Karl. The subsequent triple cannon salute of the RAD 2 with a WW I gun was impressive.

At the end of the celebrations, the Military Chancellery took the opportunity to pay tribute to deserving comrades of the former Board.

Over goulash and cool drinks, many good, comradely conversations were held and it was firmly resolved that these commemorative days would also be celebrated in the future.

> to the article on the website of the Dragoon Regiment 2

Photos: Austrian Cavalry Association

Uniform and Gunsmoke 2023

According to this slogan, the traditional large-scale event called “Montur und Pulverdampf” took place in the heat of the day at the Vienna Museum of Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum Wien) on 8 and 9 July. A colourful programme was offered with field camps, medieval market, show fights, handicrafts, children’s programme and performances by various groups.

Unfortunately, the comrades in “uniform” were only represented by the Lützower Artillerie 1813 “Traugott Fritze” and us, the traditional battery of the “Reitende Artilleriedivision Nr. 2”.

On Sunday, we received support from some comrades of the k.u.k. Infanterie Regiment “König der Hellenen” Nr. 99. I was also very pleased about the visit of a delegation of Hungarian comrades, and we have already planned joint activities for 2024 (110th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War) and will continue to work on this as well as maintaining in contact.

I truly hope that more regiments and groups will present themselves in “uniform” next year at this event next year.