Passers-by Pera Palace Hotel… Former Chancellor of Germany Franz von Papen
Pera Palace Hotel; A rare structure designed for Orient Express passengers to stay in a luxurious and comfortable environment. This magnificent hotel of European standards was the first place where electricity was provided at that time, apart from the Ottoman Palaces. Moreover, the privilege of the hotel was not limited to this opportunity. Having an elevator with electricity and hot water facilities in the rooms made this Pera Palace Hotel the center of firsts.
Every timeframe that you spend with your loved ones in this magnificent building, which was opened with a special ball in 1895, turns into a privileged experience. The place to stay for one night at Pera Palace is completely a privilege. So, how can a hotel be respectable, indispensable, and timeless? Of course, with service quality and comfort…
In addition to these qualities, one of the most important details that make Pera Palace highly valuable is its mysterious visitors. Many world-famous names in the fields of art, politics, cinema, and literature did not neglect to see Istanbul during their visit to our country.
Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie, Greta Garbo, King of the United Kingdom Edward VIII, and many others had their way to Istanbul and even to Pera Palace Hotel. In addition to these mysterious visitors was Franz von Papen.
A Life Shaped by Wrong Choices
The German Franz von Papen was born in 1879 to a landowner and wealthy Catholic family. He was trained in the military academy for his education and graduated as a lieutenant. After working as a military attaché in Mexico from 1913-to 1915, he continued in Washington DC. However, when his name was involved for complicity in the planning of acts of sabotage, he was recalled to his country at the request of the US government. Franz von Papen, who joined politics in Germany, made a big mistake and supported the Nazis, as he later admitted himself. He formed a right-wing and authoritarian government with no parliamentary support. He allowed the work of The Sturmabteilung (Nazi Militia Force SA) to appease the second-party Nazis. In 1932, after failing to receive a vote of confidence, he resigned and later persuaded former President of Germany Paul von Hindenburg to make Hitler a Prime Minister. He assumed the post of Deputy Prime Minister during the Hitler era. He barely survived Hitler’s purge against the SA in 1934 and resigned soon after. After resigning, he worked as an ambassador first in Austria and then in Turkey.
Ankara Times, Failed Assassination Attempt
Franz von Papen, due to his duty in the darkest days of World War II, he faced difficult situations such as intrigue, espionage, and taking strategic steps. His most important task was to prevent Turkey from forming alliances with the allies. However, such complex and strategic events led to an even darker one. He was the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt in 1942. As a result of the early detonation of the bomb in the hands of the attacker, the assassin had died, and he escaped unharmed. However, to this day, it is still not clear whether this incident was caused by the Soviets or by the Nazis who wanted to drive a wedge between the Soviets and Turkey. Who knows, perhaps this issue will remain a mystery even after centuries.
Germany and Nuremberg Trials After Turkey Years
After returning to Germany from Turkey, Franz von Papen was captured by US military forces in 1945 and tried as a war criminal as one of the defendants at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. He was particularly accused of Austria’s actions during the Anschluss. However, there was no evidence found about him. Still, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison by a Federal Constitutional Court in Germany for being a Nazi. In 1949 he was released on the request of appeal and fined. Although he tried to return to politics in the 1950s, he failed and decided to write his memoirs. Franz von Papen, who somehow passed through the Pera Palace Hotel, passed away in 1969 at the age of 89.