• a Jagdhaus in Spessart

    In the early years of the 20th century, the German banker, Emil Sulzbach, decided to have a 'Jagdhaus' - hunting lodge - built in the forested Spessart mountains to the east of Frankfurt. It was finished in February 1912, soon after Herbert's eighteenth birthday.

    The lodge was decorated in a traditional rustic manner and everyone in the family loved visiting. It was inaugurated on 25 May 1912 and the first visitors were invited three weeks later. Fifteen people signed the guest book at the end of their stay, and two days later Emil's brother was invited with his wife and daughter.

    Guests were invited every few weeks to share the rural setting, the walks, and some hunting with the Sulzbachs. Over the Whitsun weekend of May 1914, Herbert was there with his parents, his governess, a family friend (Dr Bückner) and the singer, Delia Reinhardt – as well as 'the household'. He saw 'roe deer and bigger game' and wrote in his diary that,

    'It was very pleasant. Everyone enjoyed the day up until about 9 o'clock and then the night brought peace, stillness, and melancholy thoughts.'

    A few weeks later, over the weekend of 27 and 28 June 1914, Dr Bückner was again a guest and Herbert discussed with him his plans for a future career while they were on a long walk.

    'I decided to start military service on 1 October. Dr Bückner advised the cavalry.'

    However, while they had their walk, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were murdered in Sarajevo and world events changed Herbert's plans for him.

    After the First World War Herbert married and his daughter was born in May 1920. Six weeks later he and his wife holidayed at the Jagdhaus and were 'blissfully happy'.

    'It is heavenly here'.

    Herbert's friend Hans Ado von Seebach joined them for a week of their holiday and it is his signature – with a few lines of verse – which is the last entry in the guest book on 12 – 18 July 1920.

    (photo: the interior of the Jagdhaus at its inauguration 25 May 1912)


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On my blog I write about biography, Anglo-German reconciliation, and the life of Herbert Sulzbach.


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