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von Hoyos, Freiherr
|Alexander Graf von Hoyos Freiherr zu Stichsenstein was born on 13 May 1876 in the Hungarian port city of Fiume. The Hoyos family hailed originally from Spain. Over the centuries, the head of the house had become a Hungarian magnate, and the family was also mediatized, able to marry into the highest royal houses of central Europe. Alexander's father, Josef Graf von Hoyos, was adjutant and personal friend of Crown Prince Rudolf, and was present at Mayerling in March 1889 when Rudolf committed suicide along with an actress. Josef Hoyos was the first to break down the door and witness the body of the Crown Prince, and also the first to relate the tragedy to Kaiser Franz Josef, Rudolf's father.
Alexander Hoyos chose to also serve the House of Habsburg as his father had done, and he dedicated his whole life to diplomacy. From 1900, he was an attache to consulates in Peking, Paris, Belgrade, and Berlin. In 1905, he became first Legation Secretary in Stuttgart and then in London. From 1912, he was the chief of the cabinet of Ministers, and thus was the go-between for the court and the foreign office. Hoyos was also the chief adjutant to the Imperial Foreign Minister, Leopold Graf von Berchtold. On 5 July 1914, Hoyos was personally dispatched to Berlin by Berchtold to sound out German feelings concerning the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Serbians and Austria's intended military response.
Hoyos was a member of the so-called "war party" in Vienna, whose members considered Serbia a dangerous neighbour and one that should be eliminated as soon as possible. Hoyos met with Kaiser Wilhelm, Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, and the members of the German Foreign Ministry. Hoyos was happy to report that the word from them was to strike against Serbia quickly, the sooner the better. However, General Conrad von Hötzendorf replied in the negative to such an undertaking and Hoyos lost momentum in the Foreign Office.
He was relegated to a minor role following the declaration of war on Serbia at the end of July 1914. Then in 1917, Hoyos became consular attache in Christiania, capital of Norway, until the end of the war. Alexander Hoyos died in Schwertberg on 20 October 1937.
GWS, 7/01 [rev. 9/03]