Baroness Gisela Josephine von Krieger
Baroness Gisela Josephine von Krieger was the only daughter of Baron Benno Julius Leopold von Krieger and Baroness Ines Josephine Claasen Wilfert von Krieger, a family from old Prussian aristocracy.
Gisela was born in Frankfurt in 1913 and as an adult, before World War II, the young baroness led a life of leisure not only in the ‘upper climes’ of International society, but at its very apex.
Rich in both 'cash and looks’, Baroness von Krieger’s ethereal beauty, which was an ash-blond version combining the facial features of both Garbo and Dietrich, as well as her matchless elegance, bear credence to the account that one desperate admirer threw himself out of his plane over the English Channel when she refused to marry him. As a testament to her popularity amongst the male of the species, Gisela received virtually all of her important jewelry from her numerous admirers.
Scaling the heights of social prominence, Baroness Gisela von Krieger lived in Paris from 1933 until 1938 either at the Hotel Meurice or the Ritz Hotel.
Frequent trips to England established her renown there as well and made her the toast of London society, where she was nominated as one of the ’10 Best Dressed Women in the World’ in 1936. In January, 1938, she purchased the Villa Las Guerreos in Cap d’Antibes, but did not spend much time there, preferring to reside in the Carlton Hotel and the Hotel Martinez in Cannes.
As the European situation reached crisis stage, the baroness’s German nationality caused her to be interred in Val les Bains in 1939 until she was permitted to return to the south of France.
Instead of obeying German orders to return to native soil, Baroness von Krieger and her mother took up residence in neutral Monaco at the Hotel de Paris. When German authorities tried again to force her to return to Germany, she feigned illness long enough to obtain a Swiss visa.
Embarking on her journey to freedom in style, Gisela drove her 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, encountering no German officials on the journey by automobile from Monaco to Switzerland, Baroness von Krieger and her mother were able to repair to the Baur au Lac in Zurich and stayed at numerous resorts, including Lugano, Davos, Luzern and Arosa, with short stays in Geneva, for the remainder of the war.
At the end of the war, the Swiss authorities exonerated Baroness von Krieger of any implication with pro-Nazi sympathizers in Switzerland and she obtained a permanent residence there.
The United States Department of State was also satisfied that the baroness harbored no Nazi sympathies and granted her United States citizenship in the mid-1950’s. For approximately a decade, Baroness von Krieger resided at either the St. Regis Hotel or the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. She was an avid traveler and enjoyed visits to the West Coast and summer vacations in Connecticut.
At her death, the baroness left important property in London’s fashionable Mayfair, as well as in Switzerland and Germany.
An interesting and fascinating unfolded with regard to the baroness and the beautiful Mercedes that had played such an important role in her life some fifty years before.
In comparison to other models during the same period, the Mercedes Benz 540k Special Roadster was certainly one of the most beautiful cars of the 1930s. If one considers it closely, when this car was made in 1937, it was on the heels of what one would normally associate with the high style design of Art Deco. Objects during that era had such an aura of opulence and beauty and wealth and luxury. All defined and confirmed in this particular automobile, which certainly captures all of those qualities.
A stylistic greyhound of the road, there is the graceful line that goes from the front fender and melts effortlessly down into the running board, and then curves up into the back fender very gracefully. Refined, and yet very dynamic, coming together and melding into design perfection.
What the automakers and the clientele preferred at this period of time was the quality of motion and movement captured and held true, even when these automobiles were static. So it is easy to imagine that in 1937 this silver automobile just going down the street would have been quite a sight, so much so that it would take your breath away, just as it still does today.
After the war, when the baroness immigrated to America, taking her car with her on the R.M.S. Queen Mary. Although she settled in Manhattan, Gisela summered at the Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut. The special Mercedes Roadster accompanied her and stayed in storage at the Homestead, while the baroness paid the storage fees for many years even after she returned to Europe.
By the late 1980’s, with the Mercedes-Benz having become quite valuable, many people tried to purchase it. During a trip to Switzerland, in an attempt to buy the car, the son of the Homestead’s caretaker tried unsuccessfully to call on the baroness. After receiving no answer at her apartment, he convinced the landlord to let him in. Sadly, they discovered that the baroness had died in squalor surrounded by her collection of precious jewelry.
After considerable challenging negotiations, the present owners, Lee and Joan Herrington, were able to purchase the Von Krieger Special Roadster and arrange for its restoration by Paul Russell and Company in Essex, Mass.
According to Mr. Herrington, when he bought the car it “was in remarkable, entirely original condition, although the black paint was peeling off in large patches. In the ashtray,” Herrington said, “we found cigarette butts with Gisela’s lipstick still on them, and one of her white gloves was under the front seat.”
Frequency and Resonance
In third density (3D) we are holographic cartoons of our fifth density (5D) true selves. There is no time and space only frequency. Our bodies our spaceships and our consciousness project time as a manifestation of the NOW moment!
Each life is like a single chapter in the progression of a soul.
Match the same frequency and you get resonance.
Road to and from Vevey
1936 While living in Paris, the 23-year-old Baroness Gisela von Krieger buys a Mercedes-Benz 540K 2-door coupe. Her 19-year-old brother, Henning, buys a Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, which Gisela—considered one of the most fashionable women of her time—commandeers soon after. The Von Krieger family crest is hand-painted on the door.
SEPTEMBER 1939 Germany invades Poland, and the Von Kriegers are briefly placed in a French internment camp. Henning quickly returns to Germany to join the Luftwaffe, while Gisela and Josephine return to neutral Monaco to live in the Hotel de Paris.
1943 Ignoring the Third Reich’s orders to return to Germany, Gisela obtains a Swiss visa by stalling in Monaco and rotates the Roadster between the Swiss resort towns of Davos, Luzern and Vevey. Henning returns to Switzerland.
MAY 1949 The family moves to the U.S. in a bid to ease Gisela’s mounting depression. The car is shipped to New York on the RMS Queen Elizabeth and is serviced in the city by Zumbach’s, a famous foreign car garage on Manhattan’s West Side.
FEBRUARY 1953 After returning from Europe to finalize details of their now deceased mother’s estate, Gisela and Henning settle with their beloved Mercedes in Greenwich, Conn. When Henning starts driving a 1951 Lincoln, the Roadster is left solely for Gisela’s use.
1959 Henning dies in Switzerland of melanoma. Gisela puts the Roadster in storage in the Homestead Inn barn in Greenwich, Conn. and returns to Switzerland to mourn her brother. She would never return to the U.S.
JUNE 1989 Gisela’s body is discovered in her apartment in Vevey. A longtime recluse, she’s buried in a pauper’s grave despite owning considerable property in London, valuable bank securities and diamond jewelry by Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Quantum Journey of Coincidence
Dry slope practice.
Nous avons assisté à la classe de neige 1998 et 1999 à La Chapelle d’Abondance.
Where we both learned to ski. Since then have returned on several occasions (Only 11.6 miles as the crow flies).
View from Vevey