Imperial Ball 2022

For the first time we scheduled the traditional Imperial Ball in September – in the hope that Corona would not throw a spanner in the works again. At the beginning of summer, with the summer wave of the pandemic, we were still worried that it might not turn out after all. But the number 13 has brought us luck, even if it is said otherwise, and we were able to hold the 13th Imperial Ball like in the good old days.

But the preparations were more challenging than usual. Before the summer, many people do not want to plan a visit to an event and advance sales were quite slow at the beginning. We were all the more pleased that the historic town hall in Korneuburg was sold out again and that a wonderful event with many highlights could take place.

Among the many guests of honour, HIRH Gloria von Habsburg must be mentioned first and foremost. The great-granddaughter of Emperor Karl I, to whom the Imperial Ball is dedicated, signed the Golden Book of the City of Korneuburg in the early evening at a champagne reception in the City Hall. With this invitation, Mayor Christian Gepp, MSc, continued a tradition that is an honour for us year after year.

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 website of the Imperial Ball speak for themselves. In any case, we are very pleased that the ball of the traditional regiments – organised and hosted by Infantry Regiment 49 and Dragoon Regiment 2 together with the UEHMG – is so well received by the uniformed traditional environment.

One of the first highlights was already the dance opening by a top couple of HSV Wien. Dancing at this high level is a joy to behold and obviously encouraged the ball guests in the further. The soprano Jowita Sip enchanted the audience throughout the hall with her voice as part of her artistic interlude. She deliberately underlined the internationality of the UEHMG with a selection of songs in different languages. And of course, the ball guests did not let her go without an encore, which, in addition, musically made everyone dream.

As a novelty, the „Club Charles“ was presented for the first time this year – a discotheque powered by Radio Arabella. Cult hits from the past and present for all generations were played and those who did not want to dance visited the premises out of curiosity and for the sake of the good bar. We would like to keep this programme item in the future.

As every year, we also put together 13 main prizes for the tombola at the 13th Imperial Ball. High-quality gifts from supporters of the ball were handed over to surprised and delighted ball guests, above all VIP tickets for a boxing event with multiple Austrian champion Marcel Meinl, who also personally handed over the ball gifts at the beginning.

The catering was once again provided by our k.u.k. Court kitchen with à la carte specialities. Those who also wanted to enjoy a good glass of wine could take a break at the Habsburg Wine Bar with wines from the vineyard of Maximilian von Habsburg or retire to the smokers‘ lounge in the entrance area.

With the midnight quadrille and midnight snack, the official part of the ball ended, and for the organisers and many guests the communal entertainment really began. The hard core, of course, lasted until the taps at 4 am. All guests enjoyed a few hours of light-heartedness and regardless of whether it will be, February or September, one thing is certain: the 14th Imperial Ball will take place in 2023!

> Click here for impressions of the 13th Imperial Ball

Swearing-in ceremony of the AAB3

On Friday, July 22, 2022, the recruits of AAB3 (Reconnaissance and Artillery Battalion 3) were sworn in in Großschweinbarth, Lower Austria. Recruits from the Reconnaissance and Artillery Battalion 4 (AAB4) were also there and were able to meet the battalion commander, Colonel Michael Vitovec.

The ceremony took place in an exceptionally beautiful setting, namely in the park of Großschweinbarth Castle, with the participation of Federal Minister Mag. Klaudia Tanner. The participants of the Riding Artillery Division No. 2, RAD2, were: Hptm iTR W. Huttarsch, Lt iTR W. Billing, StbFwk iTR Michael Klammer and Obstlt iTR Michael Joannidis.

After the recruits had sworn in and the standards had been raised, three gun salutes were fired: the first shot in honor of Saint Barbara, the second shot in honor of the recruits and the third shot in honor of the Federal Minister and the guests of honor. The RAD2’s salute was commanded by Hptm iTR Huttarsch.

The very precise and interesting process led to Federal Minister Tanner personally thanking Obstlt iTR Joannidis and his comrades after the ceremony. She also pointed out the importance of maintaining tradition and encouraged RAD2 to continue to provide this support to the Austrian Armed Forces.

The RAD2 also received great praise from Brigadier Jawurek, Military Commander of Lower Austria, Colonel Hohlweg, AAB3, and Colonel Vitovec, AAB4.

Comradeship evening in Villingen

On May 7, 2022, Hajo Böhm, one of the four Vice-Presidents, invited members of the UEHMG to a meeting in Villingen.

Co-organiser was Corporal Bruno Unter of the VBO Südwest. Numerous groups from southern Germany accepted the invitation. Colonel Hajo Böhm, who is also the State Commander of the Baden-Südhessen Civic Guards and Militias and Honorary Commander of the Historischen Bürgerwehr und Trachtengruppe, welcomed representatives from the following groups:

The Stadtgarde zu Pferd Stuttgart with their honorary riding master Werner Frick with wife Cathrin, the Bürgermiliz Sipplingen with the deputy state commander Adrian Staiger, the Bürgerwehr Hüfingen with their newly elected commander Herbert Vogel, the Hohenzollern-Kürassiere Sigmaringen with the Union Liaison Officer Corporal Bruno Herunter, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Corporal Roland Ott with his wife Uschi, the Dragoner Ostrach and the Bürgerwehr Reutlingen under Commander Armin Schlachter with his wife.

The friendly get-together started in bright sunshine with a guided tour of the town of Villingen with the leader of the Villingen traditional costume group, Ingrid Beck. Many beautiful corners of Villingen were explored with “history and stories”.

The guests were served by the Historische Bürgerwehr und Trachtengruppe Villingen in their clubhouse. Chairman Karl-Heinz Schwert and his team provided food and drink to round off the event.

In his welcoming remarks, Hajo Böhm particularly emphasised the importance of cross-border friendship between associations and people. These contacts would make it easier to overcome possible conflicts and to awaken understanding for each other.

Bruno Unter thanked all participants and helpers for organising this meeting and pointed out the importance of the UEHMG, which has 90 members from 20 nations.

Everyone parted with the wish for another social gathering soon to complement the usual formal events.

Text: Ingrid Beck, Historische Bürgerwehr und Trachtengruppe Villingen
Photos: Cathrin Frick

Military-historical presentation in Lower Austria

In the course of the Lower Austrian State Exhibition – this year in the beautiful ambience of Marchegg Castle – the UEHMG was invited by the organiser to a military-historical presentation of the old Austrian Imperial and Royal Army on May 22, 2022.

Former Federal Minister Dr. Werner Fasslabend, together with President Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, organised the details of this presentation as part of the Festival of the Regions. To the great delight of all participants and the spectators, HIRH Karl von Habsburg could be won as guest of honour and ceremonial speaker.

In his speech, Archduke Karl pointed out that in the Imperial and Royal army it was possible to bring together groups with various mother tongues, divergent mentalities and different types of weapons. He went on to draw the conclusion that it is precisely this cooperation that is needed again in a threatened Europe.

In the course of the event, President Major General Michael Blaha, MSc, gave an entertaining presentation of all the participating detachments, starting with the infantry, continuing with the artillery and ending with the cavalry. The presentation was supported by the Deutschmeisterkapelle Ravelsbach.

The successful performanceAus of the UEWHG ended with a large defilee and Erin with goulash and beer. As a memento, each participant was presented with a certificate of thanks and the 30-year commemorative medal.

Spring Parade 2022

The Linz k. u. k. Traditional Dragoon Regiment No. 7 “Herzog von Lothringen und Bar” under his commander Colonel iTR consultant Johann Marian Eckhardt held his already legendary spring parade in Linz on Saturday, April 9, 2022 in almost perfect weather

The parade marched at 2 p.m. from Martin Luther Platz across Landstraße, lined with a line of spectators, to the main square. Here then was the usual military procedure. (report, national anthem, pacing the front, salute, state anthem, etc.)

Besides the insignia troop of the HUAk Enns, 280 uniforms from Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Germany and from almost all provinces of Austria came.

For the first time at the parade were also the “Krizevacka Djevojacka Straza” (Kreuzer Girls Guard – an all-women detachment), the “Kostelska pistola – Kegleviceva straza Kostel” (Keglevic Guard Kostel/Grauenwarth) both from Croatia, the rifle club from the town of Stribro (Czech Republic) and the Polish Volunteer Legion.

Mjr iTR Alexander Sascha Eckhardt, MBA, was in command of the troops deployed.

The regimental band of LIR2 Linz played under the direction of Kapellmeister Ing. Michael Safnauer and Musikmeister Ostv Walter Forstner (parade, hymns, word service).

The intercessions were said in Croatian, Slovenian, Polish, Czech and German.

Before welcoming the guests of honour, Colonel iTR Cons. Johann Marian Eckhardt commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Blessed Emperor Karl I. of Austria, the late Kdt of IR 59 Ehg Rainer Mjr Guido Frhr von Zobel zu Giebelstadt und Darstadt and the people of Ukraine.

Guests of honour: Johann S. Habsburg-Lothringen (Honorary Colonel of DR7), the Academy Commander of HUAk Enns OberstdG. Mag. (FH) Mag. Klaus Klingenschmid MSS, GRtin Karin Decker (for the Mayor), GR Michael Rosenmayr (for the City Councillor for Culture Doris Lang-Mayerhofer), LAbg Michael Nell (for the Governor), the Commander of the Order of St. George of the House of Habsburg, Ing. Dr. Wilhelm von Zitzewitz, Mrs. Erna Koprax, Head of the Imperial Festival of Baden near Vienna, BO of the Tyrolean Kaiserjäger Mjr iTR Romed Giner, from the UEHMG Obstlt iTR Michael Joannidis and Bezirkskdt der Schützen der Stadt Salzburg SchMjr iTR Gottfried Grömer

At around 2.35 p.m., the regimental chaplain of the DR7, Samuel Josef Ebner, celebrated the service of the word.

After the marching out of the HUAk Enns insignia troop (without music), the marching out of the traditional units began with a defile in front of the Old Town Hall.

Afterwards, the DR7 command asked for a reception at the Old Town Hall.

100th anniversary of the death of Emperor Karl I.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Blessed Emperor Karl I. on 1 April, commemorative events took place all over the world, first and foremost, of course, in Madeira, where the last Austrian Emperor died in exile.

The UEHMG – represented by its President MajGen iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, took part in the commemorative mass of the Order of St. George in the Salesian Sisters Church in Vienna on 1 April, which was also complemented by lectures on the topic. Delegations from the Dragoon Regiment 2 and the Dragoon Regiment 7 as well as some other Board members were also present.

On 2 April – in the presence of President MajGen iTR Michael Blaha, MSc and Deputy President Lieutenant Colonel iTR Michael Joannidis – a short service was held in a small setting at the Kaiser Karl Chapel in Biedermannsdorf. The chapel itself is a purely private initiative and built with our own funds.

Last but not least, a commemorative mass took place on 3 April in St. Pölten, where the UEHMG had already supported the installation of relics two years ago. President MajGen iTR Michael Blaha, MSc followed by the delegation of the Hussar Regiment 5 under the leadership of the Secretary General Colonel iTR KR Ernst Kugler were allowed to represent the UEHMG.

All three events showed the close connection to the blessed Emperor Karl and were carried out with great dignity. Below are a few impressions of the events.

Christmas ride 2021

On December 24th the traditional Christmas ride was carried out by the Dragoon Regiment 2 Nikolaus Graf Pejacsevich with the delivery of the “Light of Bethlehem”.

Autumn conference of the Austrian Cavalry Association

On November 14, 2021, the Austrian Cavalry Association was allowed to be a guest at the residence of the Order of St. George in Vienna and hold its autumn conference there. The theme of the conference was the “Pan-European Movement”, presented by its Secretary General Rainhard Kloucek.

The welcome was given by the procurator of the Order of St. George, Baron Vinzenz von Stimpfl-Abele. In his words, he emphasized the solidarity with the Austrian Cavalry Association, which shows itself through the preservation of tradition and through the symbol of St. George. “Connectedness” is also what distinguishes the House of Habsburg, which places what is common above what divides and connects different nations.

Baron Vinzenz von Stimpfl-Abele

The President of the Cavalry Association Colonel Franz Prandstätter was pleased about the presence of the President of the UEHMG, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, and in his welcoming words he discussed the importance of maintaining tradition, which not only includes wearing a uniform, but also dealing with the history and clinging to it with dignity and respect. The autumn conference should contribute to deepening this knowledge.

Podium
Generalsekretär Rainhard Kloucek

Secretary General Kloucek also opened his lecture on the Pan-European Movement with reference to the tradition that forms our roots – we shouldn’t “put everything away” right away.

The Pan-Europa movement was launched on November 17, 1922 by Japanese-born Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, who saw Europe as a whole. He advocated a European order, especially externally, regarding security policy and the free internal market, and even then the idea of a common currency (based on the gold standard) was born.

In 1926 he organized a congress which was attended by over 2,000 people and in which the idea of a united, peaceful Europe was promoted. The movement was banned by the emergence of National Socialism – Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi fled to Pressburg, then to the USA. The unification of the European nation-states initially failed because of the erection of the Iron Curtain.

Publikum
Publikum

After 1945 there was a major congress in The Hague, in which the idea of European integration was revived. The movement was continued by Archduke Otto von Habsburg, who became Vice President of the Paneuropean Union in 1957. During his presidency, the first opening of the Iron Curtain on August 19, 1989 on the Austro-Hungarian border became legendary, when the first citizens of the East were able to cross the border into Western Europe under the co-organization of the Paneuropean movement.

In earlier alliances of states, such as the EEC and EFTA, the European idea was only partially reflected, and in today’s European Council a single country often prevents an agreement. With the focus on expanding to Southern / Eastern Europe, the Pan-European Movement is still pursuing the idea of a united Europe and will celebrate its 100th anniversary on November 17, 2022.

After a short discussion, Colonel Franz Prandstätter pointed out further celebrations for the coming year:

  • April 1, 2022: 100th anniversary of the death of Emperor Karl
  • November 20, 2022: 110th birthday of Archduke Otto von Habsburg

Then Mjr. iTR Mag. Georg Reichlin-Meldegg presented his book “Stormed Fortress. War and Love in Times of Cholera and Typhus ”.

The commander of Dragoon Regiment 2, Obstlt.Michael Islinger, then informed about an event that is also planned for the coming year:

350 years of the establishment of the regiment – an exhibition on Heldenberg about dragoons, lancers and hussars regiments since 1672. Approx. 80,000-250,000 spectators are expected for the exhibition planned from April to November 2022. He asks for loans.

The autumn conference 2021 ended with a leisurely lunch in a nearby restaurant.

Mjr. iTR Mag. Georg Reichlin-Meldegg
Obstlt. Michael Islinger

Photos: Renate Berka, Public Relations Office of the Austrian Cavalry Association