29 August 2014

† Fürstin Melinda Esterházy of Galántha

On the night of 28.08.2014 Fürstin Melinda Esterházy de Galántha, born Ottrubay, feel asleep in the 95th year of life peacefully sourrounded by her family in Eisenstadt.
She was  was born on 24,05.1920 as a Melinda Ottrubay, daughter of Chief Justice Dr. Dezso Ottrubay in Budapest. In very young age, she was already a celebrated ballet star at the Budapest Opera. Love of her future husband, she finished her distinguished career in 1946 as a Prima Ballerina Assoluta.
In the same year she married the then chief and last reigning Fürst of the family, Paul V. Esterházy. Until then, the first major asset expropriation had taken place in Hungary already. 1949 was sentenced Paul Esterházy in a spectacular show trial, together with the Primate of Hungary, Cardinal Mindszenty József to a long imprisonment and confiscated his remaining assets in Hungary. During the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the couple was able to escape through Austria to Switzerland and lived in retirement until the death of Paul Esterházy in May 1989 there.
Melinda Esterházy was used by her husband as joint heiress of the major landowners and Cultural Heritage in Austria. On the widely branched, mostly expatriate family, she bestowed on the sale of the Viennese palace on the Wallnerstraße in generous manner. From 1994, she donated the historical rule Esterházy posession in various indissoluble burgenlandian private foundations. In 2000, she led in the management of foundations a generational change, and a broad modernization of farms. In autumn 2002 she retired - at the age of 83 years - from all official functions back.
Through their vision Melinda Esterházy succeeded to preserve the centuries-old cultural assets of the Esterházy family for generations and make long-term broadly accessible to the public.
Due to its prudent ministry Melinda Esterházy is considered one of the most important patrons of the cultural and touristic development of Burgenland and the entire eastern Austria and Pannonian region. For the preservation of the great monuments, such as Schloss Esterházy in Eisenstadt and Forchtenstein, the establishment of new museums and major exhibitions, and promoting public-nütziger and social institutions were thanked her with countless honors and awards at home and abroad.
Especially Eisenstadt and the significant palace complex was with Park and historic environment at her heart. By well-known contributions she has supported the attractiveness of the buildings and the grounds of cultural events.
Fürstin Melinda Esterházy always strove especially to the reconciliation with the political authorities in Burgenland and in the rest of Austria. Aware of the not always simple historical relationship between the historical aristocracy and the emerging Burgenland they strove with great personal commitment to maintain broad personal contacts. In this sense, they supported many important social and cultural projects in Burgenland. The opening of the Esterházy foundations for a suc-cessful development is largely thanks to her foresight and the close solidarity with the people of our Region.

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