Today marks one hundred years since the birth of Prince Dedo of Saxony.
|Prince Dedo in the arms of his mother Princess Sophie with his father Prince Ernst Heinrich behind them.
Also pictured are Dowager Grand Duchess Maria Anna of Luxembourg, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg with Prince Jean, Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg, Princess Hilda of Luxembourg, and Crown Princess Antonia of Bavaria, 1922.
Born on 9 May 1922 at Munich, Prince Albrecht Friedrich August Johannes Gregor Dedo of Saxony was the first child and eldest son of Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony and Princess Sophie of Luxembourg.
|Princess Sophie of Luxembourg and Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony on their wedding day, 1921.
Prince Ernst Heinrich, the third son of King Friedrich August III of Saxony and Archduchess Luisa of Austria-Tuscany, and Princess Sophie, the sixth and youngest daughter of Grand Duke Guillaume IV of Luxembourg and Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal, had married on 12 April 1921 at Schloß Hohenburg.
|Princess Sophie with her three sons, 1932.
Prince Dedo of Saxony was joined by two younger brothers: Prince Timo (1923-1982) and Prince Gero (1925-2003). The three brothers lost their mother in 1941, when Princess Sophie died at the age of thirty-nine. Once the Nazis took power in Germany, the Saxon royal family was put under house arrest. With the advance of the Soviet Army on Berlin in early 1945, Ernst Heinrich and his sons came up with a plan to hide some of the royal family’s treasures, so that these would not be pilfered by the Soviets. Prince Dedo and his youngest brother Gero spent five nights digging two pits in a forest near Moritzburg Castle; the princes then hid forty crates of the family treasure in these pits. In 1999, Prince Gero recalled the harrowing situation: “After the crates had been unloaded from the vehicle, Dedo had to return to the castle. I dragged the crates to the trench and realised that we had made it too small, which is why I had to put one of the crates upside down. I didn’t like doing this but had no other choice due to shortage of time. After I’d carefully covered the trench with earth and trodden it down with my rubber boots, I then raked over the area and covered it with pine needles and leaves.” Aside from the Saxon princes, only the forester who worked at Moritzburg Castle was aware of the location of the buried treasure. The Soviets arrived and forced the man to reveal the main hiding pit – a massive amount of the patrimony of the Royal Family of Saxony was taken to Russia. However, in 1996, a couple with a metal detector came across the pit with the remaining crates. The Saxon government negotiated with Prince Dedo and Prince Gero and eventually agreed to return the objets d’art to the princes. “It can only be described as divine providence that this family treasure has returned to our family after so many years,” the brothers said in a statement.
For many decades, Prince Dedo lived in Canada, as did his younger brother Prince Gero, who passed away in Ontario in 2003. Their other brother, Prince Timo, had died in 1982. Prince Dedo died on 6 December 2006 at Radebeul, Germany. He was eighty-seven years-old. Dedo outlived both of his younger brothers. Prince Dedo of Saxony was buried at Sigmaringen, where his father Ernst Heinrich and his brother Gero were also buried.