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„Du bist wie ein Verhängnis in mein Leben getreten“

Franz Conrad von Hötzendorfs Liebesbriefe an Gina Reininghaus (1907–1915)

Renate Stauf

Pages 61 - 80

This study is devoted to the more than three thousand love letters, unpublished to this day, that Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf sent daily over eight years to a young married woman and mother of six. While historical research believes that the aging chief of staff of the Austro-Hungarian army (“Generalstabschef”) was in an epistolary love frenzy that distracted him from his military duties and inspired his warmongering, the letters, most of which were filed in a diary, turn out to be monologically structured records of suffering from the perspective of recent love letter research. In them, no love conversation involving the beloved is conducted or continued. Rather, Hötzendorf’s love letters function as a medium of multi-faceted self-reflection, which is existential as an emotional and spiritual outlet and becomes an indispensable prerequisite for coping with military tasks and the events of the war on a daily basis.


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