A military museum polarizes!

Paneuropa, the Order of St. George and the UEHMG – in the following jointly reffered to as the “Editor” – conducted a detailed interview on 3rd March 2020 with Dr. Christian Ortner, the director of the Museum of Military History, about the current situation around the museum.

Editor: The Museum of Military History (HGM) is certainly a unique museum. What is so special about it?

Christian Ortner: The Museum of Military History is not only the oldest real museum building in Vienna, it is also impressive in its overall concept, because in this institution, architecture, content and museum significance merge into one unique greatness. Its significance is not limited to present-day Austria, but has a strong Central European, perhaps even European dimension.

Editor: The museum has a special genesis. What was the original mission?

Christian Ortner: The museum itself owes its origins to an elementary event, namely the social and national revolutions of 1848/49. After they were defeated or stopped, it was decided within the military leadership to erect three large barracks buildings in the greater Vienna area as so-called defensive barracks in order to be able to control the city in the event of renewed unrest – in other words, a clear anti-revolutionary, perhaps even anti-democratic significance. These include today’s official building in Rossau, the Arsenal barracks and the third barracks no longer exist today; these were built “am Hof”. These three barracks form a triangle with which “the city could always be kept under control”. The emperor himself also ordered a cultural building for the Arsenal, which was to house the imperial weapons collection at the time. This resulted in the so-called k.k. Court Weapons Museum. Today’s HGM was first opened as a weapons museum in 1869, naturally on a smaller scale. In the years that followed, however, some of the collections were transferred to what is now the court and hunting chambers, and armoury, in other words to the Kunsthistorisches Museum (art-history museum). Now a new concept had to be found, which was especially promoted by Crown Prince Rudolf, and now envisioned the creation of a historical military museum. That was revolutionary at the time. This makes the Museum of Military History the oldest historical military museum in the world. It was then opened again in 1891 as k.(u.)k. Military Museum. After the end of the monarchy in 1918/1919 initiatives were taken to close the entire museum as a symbol of the k.u.k. militarism or monarchism, or even to tear it down or sell it in its entirety, i.e. collections and buildings, to the USA. Ultimately, however, it was the veterans of the First World War, among others, who asked the question of who would then tell their own story. In the end, these considerations prevailed.

Dr. Christian Ortner took over the management of the house in 2005, initially on an interim basis, and then finally in 2007. From around 58,000 to 60,000 visitors at that time, the HGM has now increased to around 287,000, and the income has quadrupled.

Editor: What is the museum’s mission today?

Christian Ortner: Today’s mission of the museum is to present Austrian military history from the end of the 16th century to the present day, in a geographically and historically broader context, in line with military technology, social and societal developments and political history. This means that military history is not merely the history of operations, but is embedded in a general historical strand. But Austrian military history functions as the “red thread” throughout the presentation.

Editor: When you hear critics, you get the impression that for them such a museum no longer fits into the present day because it supposedly glorifies war or weapons. Yet you have given a fairly clear answer to this accusation with the slogan “Wars belong in museums”.

Christian Ortner: We must not forget that military historical museums or army museums always polarise. Especially in German-speaking countries. It is simply a question of how a society deals with “armed power”, both in the present and in history. Accordingly, everyone will approach this subject from the perspective of their own personal history. It is precisely for this reason that I believe that one should not exclude the museum presentation of military history. On the contrary. Even if the subject matter is polarised, of course, military history has an important function. In modern society, it is precisely during phases of a long period of peace that people forget that it often came about as a result of war or military developments. Of course, the Museum of Military History cannot replace good history lessons, but it can accompany and support the understanding of one’s own history.

Editor: In a cultural programme of the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) it was pointed out in the introduction, almost accusingly, that the Habsburg rulers and their military commanders still stand here. What would remain of the HGM if this time were to be left out?

Christian Ortner: The HGM currently presents military history from the end of the 16th century to 1991, the history of the Armed Forces of the Second Republic is shown in the special exhibition pavilion. If one were to exclude the history of the monarchy, it would mean leaving out almost 350 years; de facto, this would mean that around three quarters of the museum would no longer exist.

Editor: That would mean sweeping a part of Austria’s history under the carpet.

Christian Ortner: We must not forget that it is a total representation of almost five centuries, the history of the republic covers about 100 years.

Editor: You yourself are a historian. As an observer interested in history today, one often has the impression that a strong direction in the science of history tends to interpret and evaluate everything historical from today’s perspective. Is something like that permissible?

Christian Ortner: That is a popular approach to history. This is also because there is a tendency to emphasise those elements of history that offer themselves as the historical foundation for one’s own world view, one’s own understanding of culture, perhaps even one’s own ideology. From this, then, little useful evaluations or judgments based on contemporary values arise. In order to prevent this, serious historical science makes use of contemporary comparison. This means that protagonists and events are placed and compared in an international contemporary context. In this way an assessment “from that period ” becomes possible. For example, if one approaches the person of a Chief of General Staff, one will not be able to compare him with a current Chief of General Staff, but must compare him with his European counterparts of that time. Only then is it possible to determine whether he was a particularly martial or a peaceful general.

In a cultural programme of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), it was pointed out in the introduction, in an almost accusing manner, that the Habsburg rulers and their military commanders still stand here. If the history of the Monarchy were to be left out, it would mean excluding almost 350 years, de facto meaning that around three quarters of the museum would no longer exist. 

Editor: That would also mean that historical studies would become a political tendency and thus also manipulable.

Christian Ortner: I believe the historical truth is revealed when one manages to consider as many perspectives as possible. That is sometimes difficult and, of course, also time-consuming. Sometimes we are tempted, because of simplicity or because it fits into our own concept, to take only one perspective. I think this is very problematic, because the history student learns this already in his first introductory lecture at the university: a lot of abuse can be made with dubious historical science.

Editor: That is, after all, one of the accusations made against this House. The critics then say: yes, there is an exhibition, and weapons are on display and it is not shown what these weapons were used for. Do you really have to present everything to museum visitors today in explained tidbits, or should they not be able to evaluate a museum and its history?

Christian Ortner: I think that the classical museum visitor should not be portrayed as a fool. As a rule, visitors are very reflective, especially adults. With young people, of course, the challenge is different. However, they almost always come in company, usually in school groups. They are then usually accompanied by in-house cultural mediators and familiarised with the historical context. Here, too, we find that the young people are very much involved and also actively participate in the individual educational programmes. 

Editor: And of course there is the accusation that in such a museum not only tanks are shown, but also pictures glorifying war, sometimes devotional objects from a totalitarian time, although there are very strict laws in Austria. Has the HGM ever violated laws here?

Christian Ortner: No, the Museum of Military History, as a department of the Federal Ministry of Defence, is of course exempt from certain legal requirements, especially with regard to war material and weapons. On the other hand, I don’t believe that it makes much sense to ban symbols that stand for totalitarian systems from the exhibition altogether. I think it makes more sense to show them in the museum as witnesses of the past than to find them as graffiti sprayed on a wall somewhere or on a Jewish gravestone.

Editor: There were also exhibitions where various dealers offered their goods, where again the accusation was made that they sold such symbols. How do you proceed with such things?

Christian Ortner: It concerns one single event where we also admitted flea market traders to increase income. All stand operators were required to comply with all legal requirements regarding the Weapons Act, the War Material Ordinance and the regulations regarding the handling of objects from the National Socialist era. They also gave a contractual assurance of this. We checked this several times during inspections. The executive was also on site and carried out checks. There was not a single violation of any of these regulations.

Editor: That would probably have caused a huge stir.

Christian Ortner: Of course. We have strictly instructed all stand operators to comply with these regulations and have also checked this. Whether someone is selling something underhand cannot be checked, but there was not a single reported violation of any of the legal regulations.

Editor: Is there anything in the exhibitions that documents resistance, especially against National Socialism?

Christian Ortner: Of course. In the hall “Republic and Dictatorship”, which covers the period from 1918 to 1945, we have a separate area with the topic “Resistance”. It is primarily concerned with those Austrians who, for example, were deployed with the Yugoslav Tito Partisans or served in Allied armies, such as the members of the little-known Austrian battalion of the French army. So the field of resistance, especially military resistance – we are also a museum of military history – is very prominently represented.

Editor: You have been the director for 15 years. How has the museum developed during that time?

Christian Ortner: I took over the management of the house in 2005, initially on an interim basis, and then definitely in 2007. At that time, the house was in a serious crisis, as the annual number of visitors was rapidly decreasing, and so was the corresponding income. The department’s instructions to my management were then very clear: to bring the museum back up to the level of a federal museum. And we actually succeeded in doing so. From around 58,000 to 60,000 visitors, we have now increased to around 287,000, and we have quadrupled our income, which means that we have once again arrived within the Viennese museum landscape. In addition, during this phase appropriate changes were made in the building itself. With the increase in income, larger projects were then also possible. The renovation and redesign of individual rooms was tackled. For example, the hall of the First World War was completely redesigned, and adaptation work was also carried out in other halls, especially with regard to conservation, inscriptions and lighting. The problem of the Panzer Garden was also solved. At that time the combat vehicles were not protected from the weather outside. We were now able to transfer all the vehicles into a hall. We also solved the problem of presenting the history of the Armed Forces of the Second Republic through a creative action – in which we built an exhibition pavilion. A lot has happened, but there is still more work to be done in the halls.

Editor: Another special feature of this museum is that it belongs to the military, the Ministry of Defence. Which is also criticized by some people who think that the HGM belongs in a kind of museum holding. What would change if the Ministry of Defence were no longer the owner?

Christian Ortner: The idea of finding another legal entity for the museum, either through a change of department or through “privatisation”, has already been examined very closely at the beginning of this millennium. It was found that, on the one hand, there were legal problems – provisions such as the Weapons Act or the War Materials Ordinance – and, on the other hand, that relying on the logistic systems of the Austrian military would be dropped. If all the services provided by the military had to be bought in, the museum would no longer be solvent after one or two quarters. Of course, we are very much dependent on the infrastructure of the Austrian military, for example for the storage, repair and restoration of large equipment. The museum would partially collapse without the military support. These services, which the Austrian army provides to the museum free of charge, are worth a six-figure sum in pecuniary terms, and in some cases even a seven-figure sum. In return, the HGM provides important representation and educational services for the armed forces and contributes to the historical self-image of the Federal Army. These are also the reasons why, by international standards, all state army museums – with one exception – are under the control of the ministries of defence.

Editor: In connection with the above-mentioned accusations that a platform for so-called right-wing forces was offered here, the personnel policy was also criticised. Asked directly, do you have problematic people in the museum?

Christian Ortner: No, all employees of the Army History Museum are employees of the Ministry of Defence. They are immediately subjected to a reliability check when they enter the museum. This means that the area of extremism is also checked. Among the approximately 80 employees of the HGM, there are more than 20 with university degrees. If one or the other has joined a student fraternity during his or her student days, or has joined a political faction within the Austrian National Union of Students, this is due to time and age. However, you will not find any political articulation by my staff within the framework of the House. Accordingly, I regard this accusation as absurd and grotesque.

Editor: Would it be possible for an employee of the HGM to become involved with a party?

Christian Ortner: Every employee has of course his active and passive rights as a citizen.

Editor: Another accusation is that the exhibits shown here are operational. In the evidence room, for example, care is also taken to ensure that the weapons on display there are still fully operational. Is it necessary for a museum that the exhibits are operational? 

Christian Ortner: The question is which philosophy is followed. I think that museum pieces should be preserved authentically, i.e. unchanged in their original condition. So weapons are functional, because it is also a question of documenting technical development. A second point concerns the vehicles in particular. Anyone who owns a classic car at home will know that a certain amount of equipment must be left in the vehicle to prevent corrosion of the technical parts. The idea that here in the HGM tanks would be fully refuelled and ready for operation is of course not correct: the batteries and the breeches of the weapons are removed. In order to put these vehicles into operation, numerous specialists are required, and numerous safety precautions must be observed. The advantage of partial operability also lies in the fact that combat vehicles can be moved independently. If, to take an example, you want to move a recovery tank with its 60 tons by three meters, it is of course extremely costly to do this with a transport or towing device.

Editor: It has often been mentioned in the media that individual exhibition objects are not critically enough pointed out what they mean and where they were once placed. Is it the task of a museum to transport this criticism?

Christian Ortner: Particularly in military museums, every visitor goes to an exhibition with his or her own history, usually for family reasons. That means that the level of knowledge is divergent. We cannot replace good history lessons, nor can we replace the study of relevant specialist literature. The crucial thing is that we do not necessarily always have to contextualise the objects with texts, but also by putting them together in ensembles. It is an often-discussed museum-philosophical approach, how the relationship of text to object should be. There are exhibitions that consist only of text without original objects, others only of original objects. If you put together groups of objects, for example in a mock battlefield, in which you represent the two opponents, then a context already emerges.

Editor: One gets classified quite quickly by the reports: that one is a monarchist or a rightist when one goes to the museum. That bothers me personally. I don’t like being pigeonholed when I go to a museum. I have also never experienced when I go to the Natural History Museum that someone says I am following the attitude of the Stone Age people. Are there any approaches to counteract this image?

Christian Ortner: It’s relatively easy to counteract this image. Firstly, there is already the inscription on the outside wall that says “Wars belong in the museum”. This clearly indicates the pacifist attitude of the museum. The second point is the number of youth and school groups we can welcome each year. Of the approximately 2,600 guided tours, around 1,700 are school groups. It is presumptuous to put them all into a politically right context. We also have around two thirds foreign visitors. So we have correspondingly different perspectives. I would be very careful to assign these visitors to a politically extreme camp, whether right-wing or left-wing. They are simply interested people. If I’m not interested in animals, I won’t visit a zoo; if I’m interested in military history, I’ll go to a museum of military history without having to be considered an extremist.

Editor: There are events where you can participate as an outsider. I call “Montur und Pulverdampf” (equipment and gunpowder steam), where the traditional associations are very much involved. Now one could also take the view that a certain time is glorified because it is portrayed, even with a camp life. Is that something where one thinks about changing something?

Christian Ortner: No. I think this is an important event. On the one hand, there has been a massive demand from visitors to see uniforms, equipment or even the historical weapons “in action” or even to touch them. That is not the case with museum objects. We make sure that the quality of the presentations is also very authentic. Not everyone who wears a historical uniform can participate here. The groups are carefully selected and precisely checked for authenticity. To already see the depiction of a camp life as its glorification is, in my opinion, completely exaggerated and absurd. Even if it is only a weekend, the actors do not live luxuriously in their camps, especially not when it is wet and cold.

Editor: Thank you very much for the interview.

> Link to the interview on the website of Paneuropa

Copyright images: HGM by Nadja Meister

Letter of the president of the UEHMG

Dear comrades,

Due to the development of the situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus and the associated measures by the various governments in Europe, we can only recommend the following points on the part of the UEHMG for the next two months:

  • Not participating in events in other countries
  • No participation in events with international guests
  • Postponement of own events in public
  • No participation in events with more than 100 people
  • Avoid shaking hands – you can also greet them politely in other ways
  • Compliance with hygiene measures – especially in washing hands

I don’t think you need to overreact in panic, but everyone has to do his part to curb the spread of the virus and nobody wants to make the headlines because of a massive contagion at a traditional event.

In the hope that the situation will soon be eased again, I remain with kind regards,
MajorGeneral iTR Michael Blaha, MSc

Expression of condolences about Honorary Major d.Ldw. Karl Zeller

With great dismay and sadness we have the duty to announce that our former deputy commander Honorary Major d.Ldw. Karl Zeller fell asleep peacefully with his family on March 7, 2020 and left us.

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 serious loss.

The UEHMG will honor and commemorate its deceased comrade with gratitude and memory.

Imperial Ball 2020

“The dozen is full!” – Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, euphorically opened the 12th Kaiserball on February 15, 2020 in the historic city hall in Korneuburg. And the organizers – the k.u.k. Dragoons regiment Nikolaus Graf Pejacsevich No 2 and the k.u.k. Infantry Regiment FM Heinrich Freiherr von Hess No 49 – come up with many small and large attentions.

But one after the other. The evening started with a reception in the town hall Korneuburg at the invitation of Mayor Christian Gepp, MSc, where the evening’s guest of honor Archduke Ferdinand von Habsburg was allowed to register in a historical book and even received the chain of honor of the Mayor for this ceremony. Ferdinand von Habsburg, who is currently completing basic training in Korneuburg, followed this invitation in the basic uniform of the Austrian Armed Forces and thus showed his close relationship to the military and military tradition.

Arrived in the ballroom, the ceremonial entry of the guests of honor and the grand opening immediately continued. To the delight of the numerous guests, a few couples from Korneuburg came forward this year to open the ball – in combination with the historically uniformed dancers a really beautiful and elegant performance.

Member of the National Council Andreas Minnich delivered the words of greeting from Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner before SKKH Ferdinand von Habsburg took the microphone for the official ball opening. As a special surprise, the chef de cuisine, Christian Sehner, handed over a cake in the shape of an Aston Martin racing car before the archduke took the waltz himself – the competitive athlete also met all expectations in this regard.

As a specialty this year, a wine bar with a smoking lounge could be visited in the inner courtyard of the building. There the high-quality wines of the Maximilian von Habsburg winery were served and the wine bar quickly became an insider tip. But the rest of the culinary delights were also enjoyed and those who did not visit the wine bar found their way to the champagne and long drink bar in the gallery.

During a break of the Lower Austria Military Music Dance Orchestra, Elisabeth Jahrmann and Max Buchleitner delighted the auditorium with lively operetta melodies before moving on to the draw ceremony of the tombola. Of course for the 12th Kaiserball there were also 12 main prizes and the 12 winners were impressed by the high-quality prizes. The new day was started in an atmospheric manner with the traditional imperial anthem, sung by all ball guests to candlelight at midnight. With the rapid quadrille you could work out your midnight goulash and recharge your batteries for the rest of the ball night.

In the early hours of the morning, many guests took the opportunity to stop at the Habsburg wine bar before the 12th Kaiserball ended officially. For all guests and contributors one thing was clear – the 13th Kaiserball is a fixed point in the 2021 ball calendar!

>Ball impressions of the Imperial Ball 2020

Expression of condolences about Major d.Ldw. Helmut Müller

With great dismay and sadness we have the duty to announce that our comrade Major d.Ldw. Helmut Müller fell asleep peacefully with his family on January 13, 2020 and left us.

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 serious loss.
The UEHMG will honor and commemorate its deceased comrade with gratitude and memory.

By the imperial train with the imperial couple to the imperial city of Bad Ischl

On the occasion of the opening of the Imperial Days for the birthday of SM Emperor Franz Josef I on 18 August, there is a historic special train from Attnang-Puchheim to Bad Ischl.

The arrival in a special train is still an experience and something special. Almost reverently you approach the “Emperor and his Sissi”. The highlight is the arrival in Bad Ischl. There is a cheering crowd, music and an Imperial carriage. The road on the way to the Kurpark is lined with an enthusiastic crowd.

Wreath-laying ceremony in Artstetten

Loyalty and honor – that the 105th anniversary of the death of the last regimental owner of the Dragoon Regiment No. 4 was not forgotten

A delegation of the Confederation of the former Dragoons from Wels, under Kdo Obst TR Manfred Weickinger, laid down solemnly a wreth in memory in the castle Artstetten in Lower Austria (picture) to the sarcophagi of the heir to the throne Franz-Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, who were an assassination victim on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo.

Article and photo: k.u.k. OG 1867-1918 Wels

Memorial Mass for the Blessed Emperor Karl I in Biedermannsdorf

On the initiative of the Biedermannsdorfer Kapellenverein, the beatification of Emperor Karl I was celebrated on 10.11.2019 as part of a Holy Mass, celebrated by Rev. Dr. Bernhard Mucha and concelebrant Mag. Stanley Zlnay (Chairman of the Emperor Karl Prayer League Slovakia), followed by a wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Emperor Karl chapel.

Among the guests of honor were the Adjutant General of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine Gen.Mjr. i.Tr. Peter Pritz, the knights of the Order of St. George and the military, hospital order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem.

The welcome speeches were given by Mjr. Peter Fuhrich (community doctor and chairman of the Emperor Karl Kapellenverein) and the vice-commander of the Order of St. George Chief.Insp. Heinrich Stickelberger, who was also allowed to send greetings from your KKH Camilla Habsburg-Lorraine.

As a traditional association, the Deutschmeister Schützenkorps was represented by marksman Alfred Cunat. The FF Biedermannsdorf put down the honorary wreath in front of the chapel again.

After the ceremonial event, the Kapellenverein invited all the persons present to an agape and a cozy, comradely get-together.

Award for the UEHMG with “Sub Auspiciis”

During the public ceremony the UEHMG received a special award at the General Rapport in Sopron: the “Sub Auspiciis” seal of the House of Habsburg in the name of SKKH Karl von Habsburg.

The following are the speeches given by President of UEHMG Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, and Baron Vinzenz Stimpfl-Abele:

Speech of Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc:

Dear comrades, dear guests,

for us, the general rapport is not only the annual general meeting of the Union of European Military Historical Groups, but also a time to perform together in public.

This year we have chosen Sopron as the location for our general rapport, because geographically it is almost the center of our union. This union with almost 100 clubs in 15 European countries is a network of tradition and camaraderie across time and borders.

As an umbrella organization, it is our job to maintain this network. Mutual information and internal communication is an essential element. But if we come together as in these days, we also want to show our diversity, especially in the historical uniforms. I am therefore particularly pleased that some Hungarian clubs, which are not yet members of us, have found to us today.

We all face great challenges again and again. Not everywhere we find equal recognition for our commitment, sometimes there are also external disturbances. And sometimes we just struggle with financial problems. We raised these issues in our plenary session yesterday.

I am all the more pleased that our work has been honoured by the highest authorities and that today we can welcome Baron Vinzenz Stimpfl-Abele, procurator of the Order of St. George and in the name of His Imperial Highness Karl von Habsburg. He will then address a few words to us.

I look forward to our time together this afternoon on our visit at Esterhazy Castle and later dinner together. Tradition care also means care of camaraderie and today we have really opportunity to do so.

I wish the Union of European Military Historical Groups further on strong cohesion and I will use all my strength for our common values.

Thank you!

Speech of Baron Vinzenz Stimpfl-Abele in the name of SKKH Karl von Habsburg:

It is an honor to be here present at the General Rapport in the name of SKKH Karl von Habsburg and to hand over the seal “Sub Auspiciis” to the umbrella organization of the Union of the European Military Historical Groups.

Therefore, I am personally very happy to be able to make this high distinction, because I feel to the military historical groups from two perspectives especially connected. On the one hand, because I am myself from an old family that has produced many officers and therefore knows how important the personal past, individual memory and remembering is. On the other hand, there is also the big aspect, namely, that you can only understand history if you know it, and only if you understand it, you can learn from it.

Therefore, what the military historical groups do is extremely valuable and important: you keep the story alive by cultivating the tradition. And you do that in a serious, profound way. George Bernhard Shaw is said to have said: “Tradition is a lantern, the stupid clinging to her, the wise shining the way.” In that sense Union of the European  miltary historical groups certainly counts among the wise!

And because of that, I hereby grant you, dear President, the personal seal “Sub Auspiciis” of Archduke Karl. It is awarded for 3 years and can then be extended.

This personal seal of Karl von Habsburg is of course an award for the achievements so far, but also proof of confidence and mission for the future. In this sense: keep it up!

​The UEHMG is proud of these seal and will do everything in its power to live up to this vote of confidence!

General Rapport 2019 in Sopron

From 11. – 13. October 2019 this year’s General Rapport was held in Sopron/Hungary. With over 120 participants and accompaniments from our member clubs from all over Europe, the event was well attended.

To kick off, President Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, welcomed the attendees to an aperitif in the beautiful setting of Hotel Pannonia, which was to be the center for all three days.

While the accompaniments had a tourist train ride and a visit to the Fire Tower, delegates worked their way through the plenary’s extensive agenda. The President and all other officials presented the extensive work of the past year in detail and were pleased to accept the approval and discharge of the participants.

With Wachtmeister iTR Roland Ott as Chairman of the Justice board, Major iTR Wolfgang Hess as a member of the Justice board and Rittmeister iTR Martin Keller as Secretary General, several vacant positions have been filled. The first day then found its comradely conclusion with a dinner together with Hungarian buffet and drinks.

Saturday morning was marked by the public ceremony. Under the command of Lieutenant iTR Alfred Cunat more than 100 uniformed men – reinforced by some Hungarian comrades – marched on. In his ceremonial address, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, talked about the close and necessary cohesion of the UEHMG in public. As a special highlight, Baron Vinzenz Stimpfl-Abele handed over the “Sub Auspiciis” seal of the House of Habsburg to the UEHMG on behalf of SKKH Karl von Habsburg. Also the honoring of some deserving comrades could be accomplished during the ceremony. With a General de Charge and a Defilee the ceremony came to a dignified end and they gathered to the joint photo in front of the monument in the park.

In the afternoon, a visit to the nearby Esterhazy Castle in Fertöd was on the program, which took place in the Deutschmeister Bus. Returning to Sopron, the Hussar Regiment 9 invited to its small, lovely museum, where salami, cheese and wine were waiting for a local refreshment.

In the evening, the gala dinner of the General Rapport took place, with live music and dancing once again offering a highlight. The evening in an amicable and comradely environment lasted until the early hours of the morning, during which good conversations gave birth to some interesting ideas for the future. With the mass in the Dominican Church on Sunday this successful General Rapport 2019 ended, bringing the taste for the 30th anniversary of the UEHMG next year in Varazdin.