The estate of Elsa (1865–1946) and Hugo (1863–1941) Bruckmann bears the signature “Bruckmanniana”. It contains letters from artists, writers and representatives of public life to Hugo and in particular to Elsa Bruckmann as well as manuscripts of poetry, political records, notes, books of correspondence and letters to her family by Elsa Bruckmann.
The daughter of the royal Bavarian Ulan officer Prince Theodor Cantacuzène from the old Byzantine nobility was one of the most dazzling figures of Munich society in the first half of the twentieth century. From 1899 to 1941, she maintained a salon attended by influential personages from politics, culture and science. Later she became a patron of Adolf Hitler (1889–1945), whom she encountered for the first time in 1920 at a party event in Circus Krone. In 1898, she married the Munich publisher Hugo Bruckmann. Before the turn of the century, he had given the renowned art-historical publishing house founded by his father a nationalistic direction and had included anti-Semitic writings in the publishing programme. His early commitment to the National Socialist movement through his entry into the party and his promotion of the “National Socialist Society for German Culture” as well as his commitment to party politics as a member of the NSDAP in the Reichstag (from 1932) contributed to the establishment of a far-reaching personal network. Through its help, after the outbreak of WWII, Bruckmann was able to obtain the classification of his publishing house as “important for the war” so that he was still able to publish and print.
The correspondence of Elsa Bruckmann with Hugo von Hoffmannsthal has been digitised for bavarikon and is available here.