Markus Salvator Habsburg-Lothringen Kaiservilla Marek Sobola Servare et Manere Memorial Medal of Tree of Peace

A direct descendant of Emperor Franz Joseph I received the Servare et Manere award

Rep. n° 03/2024

Kaiservilla, Bad Ischl, March 29, 2024. The Secretary-General of Servare et Manere handed over the association’s high award today in Kaiservilla. The Memorial Medal of Tree of Peace was presented to His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Markus Habsburg-Lothringen, great-grandson of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and a member of the Tuscan line of the House of Habsburg. The granting of the award was already announced on September 28, 2022, when Servare et Manere celebrated the 4th anniversary of the international initiative Tree of Peace. Due to other obligations, the Archduke could not participate in this event held in Žilina.

As has already been mentioned several times, the initial idea for the creation of the now international initiative Tree of Peace was the tragic death of Ondrej Sobola (*7 August 1880), the great-grandfather of Marek Sobola, who fell on the battlefield of the First World War around 1915. In 2018, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of this global war conflict, the 8th Tree of Peace in a row was planted in Kaiserpark and a memorial pillar with the likeness of Ondrej Sobola by the sculptor Michal Janiga was installed. In addition to this tree, other were planted in the park, which came directly from Slovakia, some even from Ondrej’s birthplace, from Lalinok village (now a part of the Divinka village).

The Memorial Medal was symbolically handed over in the original study of Franz Joseph I, where on July 28, 1914, the Emperor co-signed the manifesto To my peoples!, which started the First World War, which had a huge impact not only on the family of Ondrej Sobola, as well as on millions of other human destinies, but also on the Emperor’s family itself. After the assassination on June 28, 1914 of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand d’Este in Sarajevo, the government and military leaders of the monarchy, who were among the supporters of the war conflict, after weeks of discussions decided to risk a war with Serbia and hoped for a short and victorious campaign. In addition to the Emperor, the above-mentioned manifesto was signed by Prime Minister Karl von Stürgkh, who strongly advocated the entry of Austria-Hungary into the war without parliamentary consultation. The next years showed how it turned out in the end.

The fact that the direct descendant (great-grandson) of a fallen ordinary soldier handed over the award to the direct descendant of the Emperor (great-grandson) in the office where the fateful document was signed only confirmed and strengthened the main idea of the Tree of Peace initiative: friendship and understanding between nations.

Author of text / messages: Marek Sobola
Source of the photo: Ladislav Kučkovský, Marek Sobola, Wikimedia Commons
Source of text: Servare et Manere