There is also a family secret, which has remained unsolved since the 19th Century.Descendants of the Donnersmarck family have visited Katowice recently to unravel a long time family mystery, informs Gazeta Wyborcza, which discloses the interesting story of Odo Deodatus II Tauren, the great grandson of Guido von Donnersmarck.
The Donnersmarcks were Silesian magnates who owned great parts of land and industry. They gained their position in the 19th Century during the industrial revolution. Due to their activity, they became one of the richest families in Silesia and Germany. Guido, being a close friend of Alfred Kruppa and Otto von Bismarck, had great political power and influence. Just after Alfred Kruppa became the richest person in Germany, Willhelm II, emperor of Germany, pronounced him as Prince von Donnersmarck.Odo Deodatus II Tauern is the great grandson of Guido von Donnersmarck.
His grandfather was the firstborn son of the prince. The issue, however, is that he was an illegitimate baby. His first name was exactly the same: Deodatus, which means in Latin “given by God.” His last name was taken from the Tauern Mountains, where he was probably conceived.When Guido was 85 he officially recognized him as his firstborn son. He kept in touch with Odo Deodatus until the end of his life. “Usually it is difficult to find the father of an illegitimate baby. In case of Tauerns, it’s just the opposite. We are looking for the mother of our grandfather, the ancestor of our family,” Odo Deodatus II told Gazeta Wyborcza while explaining the reasons of his visit in Silesia.
His grandfather Odo Deodatus I was born in 1885 in New York. Rozalia Coleman, an American merchant’s wife was his mother. It is believed that Guido met her in Paris at one point. But in 1885 she had already reached the age of 50, making it very unlikely that she would still be able to bear children. Donnersmarck thought the baby should have a mother, at least officially.
Presently, Tauerns live in Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Odo Deodatus II is a computer scientist. He came to Poland with his wife Beata and sister Cornera, and her husband Pedro. They have been searching for their great grandmother for many years now. They checked all family archives and even traces in America, which show that it was probably one of countesses in Guido’s court.
The National Archives in Katowice, however, did not provide any definite information. These archives include official business documents, which may possibly lead Taerns to descendants of people who remained close to Prince Guido. “Maybe they would have some documents, diaries for example, in which we would find information of our great grandmother,” he hopes.