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Joachim Ernst, Duke of Anhalt

Joachim Ernst, Duke of Anhalt

German nobleman
The basics
AKA Joachim Ernst
Date of birth Dessau, Dessau-Roßlau, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Date of death Feb 18, 1947 Buchenwald concentration camp, Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
Sister(s): Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt
Children: Friedrich, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt Eduard, Prince of Anhalt
Father: Eduard, Duke of Anhalt
Mother: Princess Louise Charlotte of Saxe-Altenburg
The details

Joachim Ernst, Duke of Anhalt (11 January 1901 – 18 February 1947) was the last ruler of the Duchy of Anhalt.


He was born in Dessau, the son of Duke Eduard of Anhalt (1861–1918) and Princess Louise Charlotte of Saxe-Altenburg (1873–1953), the daughter of Prince Moritz of Saxe-Altenburg.

He succeeded his father as Duke of Anhalt on 13 September 1918. However, due to his age, his uncle Prince Aribert of Anhalt was appointed regent. His brief reign came to an end on 12 November 1918, with his uncle abdicating in his name following the German revolution. The duchy became the Free State of Anhalt.

He died at the Buchenwald concentration camp after World War II as a prisoner of the Soviet Union, when it was called NKVD special camp Nr. 2.

Following his death, the headship of the Ducal House of Anhalt was disputed between his elder son, Prince Friedrich, and brother Prince Eugen.

Marriages and children

In Ballenstedt Castle on 3 March 1927, Joachim Ernst married firstly Elisabeth Strickrodt (Plauen, 3 September 1903 – Berlin-Zehlendorf, 5 January 1971), a daughter of an opera singer. She was created Countess of Askanien, but they were divorced in 1929.

In Ballenstedt Castle on 15 October 1929, Joachim Ernst married secondly Edda-Charlotte von Stephani-Marwitz (Düsseldorf, 20 August 1905 – Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 22 February 1986), who was adopted as an adult by Bertha von Stephani, reputedly for a payment of 10,000 marks, in order to improve her social standing. They had five children:

  • Marie Antoinette Elisabeth Alexandra Irmgard Edda Charlotte (14 July 1930 – 22 March 1993), married firstly 1957 (div. 1968) Karl-Heinz Guttmann and secondly 1974 (div. 1976) Max Riederer.
  • Anna Luise Marie Friederike Elisabeth Alice (26 March 1933 – 1 November 2003), married 1966 (div. 1970) Thomas Birch.
  • Leopold Friedrich Franz Sieghard Hubertus Erdmann (11 April 1938 – 9 October 1963).
  • Edda Adelheid Antoinette Emma Elisabeth (born 30 January 1940), married 1974 Albert Darboven.
  • Eduard Julius Ernst August Erdmann (born 3 December 1941)


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