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Until the constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic (1918), Bohemia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Our great-grandfather, Ferdinand Zdenko Lobkowicz, deceased in 1938, was the last reigning Duke of Roudnice and the head of the Lobkowicz House. The custody of the families land and movable possessions, which were constituted as Fideicommis in 1677 by his ancestor Vaclav Eusebius in order to preserve le family patrimony, was transmitted by primogeniture, in a fashion somewhat similar to English family trusts.

The Lobkowicz Fideicommis comprised:
- Roudnice (Raudnitz)
- Bilina (Bilin)
- Vysoky Chlumec (Hoch-Chlumetz)
- Libceves (Liebshausen)
- Jezeri (Eisenberg-Neudorf)
- Encovany (Enzowan)
- Nelahozeves (Mülhausen a.d. Moldau)
- Brozany (Brosan)
- Mireschowitz (Mirejovice)
- Strekov (Schreckenstein)
- Kostany
- Lobkowicz Palais, (Prague Castle)
the real estate represented 28 000 ha when the Czechoslovak Republic was founded, and were reduced by the 1919/1922 land reform to 15 000 ha (the nationalisations mainly affected agricultural land)
- the Lobkowicz archives (deposited in Zitenice cloister)
- the Roudnice-Lobkowicz art collection (presently displayed mainly in the Lobkowicz Palace and the Nelahozeves castle

Ferdinand Zdenko Lobkowicz further possessed the following allodial assets:
- the Lobkovice estate
- the Lobkowicz Palace in Vienna, and the adjoining house in Augustinerstr.
- farm and forest land in Vysoky Chlumec
- agricultural land in Bilina
- buildings in Roudnice, Bilina, Vysoky Chlumec
- a dozen of businesses (spas, sources, mines, quarries, power plants, breweries, etc...)
- the movables (art and furniture) in Bilina, Jezeri, Nelahozeves, Vysoky Chlumec castles
The real estate totaling about 1500 ha more than de 150 buildings, which were managed by the central office in Bilina, together with the Fideicommis possessions.

Ferdinand Joseph Lobkowicz (our grandfather) was by order of primogeniture the first postulant (claimant) to the Fideicommis body. However, he renounced to his right in 1921 as a consequence of his "unequal" marriage, in application of the internal family law dating from 1611 This renunciation followed his father's who, confronted with a new republican order, has ceded his position to his brother Max, who had received an education more in line with Masaryk’s spirit. The family must have believed that that Max was in better position to preserve the patrimony in this new environment.

Max then also marries against the family precepts, but does not renounce his control on the fideicommis. This was a first source of conflict between him and his father, who retains the control of the allodial properties. Zdenek Hyacinth was born in the meanwhile (1924) and became first postulant of the Fideicommis by the primegeniture rule. His father Ferdinand Joseph's renouncement was personal and did not affect his rights.

To complicate the matter, a law was passed in 1924 to abrogate the Fideicommis. It required that an agreement was made between the curator of the FK (Max) and the postulant of Fideicommis (our uncle Zdenek) on the affectation of the the freed possessions. A first accord, dated de 1925, which meant that Max would receive the totality of the fideicommis in exclusive property, without compensations to the postulants, had been rejected by the ad-hoc fideicommis court, for the reason that the legal representative of the minor Zdenek was one of Max's lawyers. A series of court cases followed as a consequence. A second corrective accord (dohoda, in Czech) signed in 1927 (ref) between the parties (Zdenek being this time represented by his father) allows Max to take possession of the Fideicommis real estates, with compensatory provisions in favor of Zdenek and his family. This compromise put an end, in theory, to the conflictual situation between Max's and Ferdinand Joseph's respective branches.
The agreements's clauses relating to real estate were written down as mortgages and liens in all the land books when the transfer on the defunct Fidecommis was undertaken (ref). This state of affairs had not changed until the communist confiscations after 1948.

My grandfather Ferdinand had two children:
Ludmila (my mother), born in 1922 and died in 1952 in Prague.
Zdenek Hyacinth, born in 1924 and died i 1964 in Munich.
His wife, born Clotilde (Ilka) Wolke died in Munich in 1970.

Prague and Bohemia.
Resume of possessions and rights
of Ferdinand Joseph Lobkowicz's branch
1918-1948
en français
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