Carl Schlessinger, besides being the first owner of the former Schlessinger Palace – today’s Palace Hotel Zagreb, was also a Mrs Freund’s great great grandfather. Elizabeth stayed in our hotel this time with her daughter to share her story about her ancestors and her relation with hotel Palace.
Carl Schlessinger had eight children. One of his sons, Jacques, was Elizabeth’s great grandfather who lived with her wife in Budapest at the time. After the birth of his daughter Trude, they moved back to Zagreb in 1915. Elizabeth’s grandmother Trude grew up in Zagreb where she fell in love and married to Milan Freund, with whom she also got Elizabeth’s father – Michael.
When World War II began, Michael was only two years old and Trude and Milan decided to leave the country. However, every time they decided to escape, the authorities were already informed and again preventing any attempt to immigrate.
After several unsuccessful attempts, Trude was already slowly losing hope when she decided to try to leave the country one more time, but this time she did not inform any of her fellow neighbors and relatives, except, of course, his husband Milan, suspecting that some of them gave information on their attempts to leave. They told families they go on a ski holiday in Italy. With packed ski equipment they went to Italy from where they managed to escape to America.
Michael grew up in New York where he got two daughters – Elizabeth and Eugenie. Although the Trude’s grandchildren did not grow up here, she took every occasion she had to visit Zagreb and Croatia with her granddaughters.
With the desire to continue to cherish the tradition and family history, Elizabeth brought her daughter Finnea to Zagreb for the first time. Our dear guests were delighted with the hotel as well as the football euphoria that caught the whole city due to the reception of amazing Croatian football players.
For now we greeted them with hope that dear Finnea will also continue the tradition and get to know their future descendant with the history of their ancestors and that they will soon again be guests of the former home of their family.