Gili Izikovich in Haaretz:
One morning in April 2007 journalist Sacha Batthyany was approached by an elderly colleague at the Swiss daily where they both worked at the time. The colleague waved a newspaper clipping in front of him. It was an investigative report entitled, “The Hostess from Hell,” published by a German daily.
Glancing at the headline, Batthyany didn’t understand why he was being shown this article, but then he looked at the picture of the hostess and recognized it immediately. It was Margit, his father’s aunt —someone to whom the family demonstrated the utmost respect and also around whom they tended to tread carefully.
So he started to read the piece. In March 1945, it said, just before the end of World War II, Margit held a large party in the town of Rechnitz on the Austrian-Hungarian border to fete her Nazi friends. She, the daughter and heiress of European baron and tycoon Heinrich Thyssen, and her friends drank and danced the night away.
At the height of the evening, just for fun, 12 of the guests boarded trucks or walked to a nearby field, where 180 Jewish slave laborers who had been building fortifications were assembled. They had already been forced to dig a large pit, strip, and get down on their knees. The guests took turns shooting them to death before returning to the party. The organizer of this operation was Margit’s lover Hans Joachim Oldenberg. Margit’s husband, Count Ivan Batthyany, Sacha’s grandfather’s brother, was also at the party.
More here. [Free registration required.]