Lt. Sigurd Christomannos

by Nikolaus Hagen.
(this article is also available in German)

Sigurd Theo[dor] Christomannos (alternative spelling: Christomanos)[1] was born in 1896 in Innsbruck and was a citizen of Meran. He came from a well-known austro-greek family with ties to the Austrian Imperial House. His great cousin, the historian Constantin Christomanos, was the Greek teacher of Emperess Elisabeth,[2] and his great uncle, chemist Anastasios Christomanos, a renowned professor at the University of Athens.

His father was the Viennese lawyer Theodor Christomannos (1854-1911), who had studied at the University of Innsbruck and had been notorious as a leader of the nationalist-liberal German student faction. He was a senior member of the “Gothia” fraternity and a member of the nationalist Academic Choral society (Akademischer Gesangsverein). After he finished his studies, T. Christomannos started an apprenticeship with a lawer in Meran. The antisemitic catholic newspaper Das Vaterland characterized him in 1888 as a

“young law apprentice of Meran, Dr Theodor Christomannos (born in Vienna, a national of Macedonia, of greek-oriental confession), who is only known for his wild student’s life and his dueling scars …”

It went on to call him an “oriental doctor.” In the following years, Theodor Christomannos became an important pioneer of Alpine tourism in Tyrol and, together with his parnters, he built a number of Grand Hotels, such as those in Sulden, Trafoi and at Lake Carezza (Karrersee). He was also elected into the Tyrolean parliament. Privately, Theodor Christomannos became known as womanizer, who had multiple children with different women, all born out of wedlock. His womanizing was so notorious that Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler modeled one of the characters in his tragicomedy „Das weite Land“ (1911) after him.[3]

One of these children was Sigurd Christomannos, who was born on January 6, 1896 in Innsbruck. According to the parish register of the St. Jakob church, his full name was „Alois Theodor Sigurt“. His mother was Aloysia Wellzensohn. A later remark from 1913 added that the correct spelling of the last name was Christomannos.[4] In 1909 his father Theodor married Franziska Lutz, with whom he already had two other children. Franziska Christomannos may have adopted Sigurd, because according to Army documents, she was his next of kin, and in her obituary from 1936, Sigurd was called her eldest son.[5]

According to the officers’s file card, Sigurd – who was occassionally also called Theo – graduated from a gymnasium (grammar school), perhaps the one in Meran, and besides his German native language, he also spoke (quite poorly) Italian.[6] When the war started in 1914, he was 18 years-old and joined Gebirgsartillerieregiment Nr. 8 (nountain artillery regiment). In 1916, by then still a cadett, he was wounded and hospitalized in Innsbruck.[7] On November 1, 1917 Sigurd Christomannos advanced to the rank of a lieutenant in the reserve forces.

After the war, Sigurd Theodor Christomannos moved to Carinthia, where we worked as a lawyer, just as his father.

[1] Both spelling can be found in documents and literature.

[2] ÖBL 1815–1950, Bd. 1 (Lfg. 2, 1954), S. 147.

[3] Arthur Schnitzler, Die Dramatischen Werke. Band 2, Frankfurt a. M. 1962, S. 223.

[4] TLA, Matriken, Pfarre Innsbruck-St. Jakob, Taufbuch 1876–1897, fol. 428.

[5] Dolomiten, 17.10.1936, S. 4.

[6] ÖStA, KA, LFT Offizierskartothek, Sigurd Christomannos.

[7] Neue Tiroler Stimmen, 6.5.1916, S. 3; Tiroler Volksbote, 10.5.1916, S. 10.

Aviators wanted

Aviators wanted! 5

Part 5 of our series Aviators wanted! includes once again ten avaitors from the historic crownlands of Tyrol and Vorarlberg. If you have any information concering these men (including photographs, documents, etc.) please do not hesitate to leave a comment below or get in touch with us via e-mail at

  • Grabmayr, Dr. Benno von, born 25 March 1885 in Meran/Merano
  • Gritsch, Rudolf, born 1897 in Meran/Merano
  • Guadagnini, German, born 11 October 1890 in Klausen/Chiusa
  • Haupolter, Hubert, born 6 September 1892 in Hall in Tirol
  • Hellriegl, Dr. Anton, born 24 November 1888 in Kitzbühel
  • Hesse, Max, born 1887 in Slaný (Bohemia). Pilot licence Nr. 31 from 19 October 1911, Feldpilot (Field Pilot) Oberleutnant in der Reserve.
  • Hillebrand, Karl, born 5 September 1897 in Innsbruck
  • Höfer, Osmin, born 1888 in Innsbruck, Observer
  • Hörmann, Josef, born 26 February 1887 in Mötz, Pilot
  • Hoffmann, Hermann, born 9 November 1890 in Innsbruck
Aviators wanted

Aviators wanted! 4

These ten Austro-Hungarian aviators were either born or lived for an extended period of time in the Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Part 4 of our series Aviators wanted!

  • Fessler, Dr. Alois, born 6 September 1881 in Hohenweiler, meteorologist
  • Ficker, Dr. von Feldhaus Heinrich, born 23 November 1881 in Munich (Germany), resident of Innsbruck, meteorologist
  • Flatscher, Dr. Rudolf, born 4 September 1885 in Franzensfeste/Fortezza, meteorologist
  • Flatz, Ernst, born 25 September 1884 in Travnik (Bosnia), father from Bregenz, telegraph controllor of the b.-h.-Heeresbahn (military railway), field pilot, deadly crash on 20 June 1914.
  • Folk, Hans, observer and field pilot, born in Milovice/Moravia
  • Franzelin, Adolf, born 8 August 1892 in Innsbruck
  • Frena, Otto, born 31 March 1895 in Kufstein
  • Fritz, Artur, born 8 March 1890 in Landeck, resident of Innsbruck
  • Gasser, Alois, born 28 January 1892 in Innsbruck
  • Gattinger, Alois, born 1858 in Innsbruck

If you have any information about any of them, please get in touch via or leave a comment below this article. We appreciate it!

Aviators wanted

Aviators wanted! 3

Here are ten more aviators from the Tyrol and Vorarlberg. We are looking for any information you may have on these aviators, including their family history, war service and of course photographs. Any contribution is much appreciated and will be given appropriate credit!

  • Depauli, Anton, field pilot, downed in July 1918, prisoner of war. Unknown birthplace and birthdate
  • Diesner Erwin, born on 27 October 1883 in Innsbruck
  • Dinkhauser Dr. Josef, born on 20 February 1881 in Innsbruck, meterologist
  • Dreher Ernst, born 6 January 1891 in Dornbirn
  • Eccher, Edler von Marienberg, Alfred, born 3 November 1878 in Innsbruck
  • Eichler, Oswald, born 19 November 1895 in Nowosielca in Romania, citizen and resident of Dornbirn (“heimatzuständig”)
  • Eller Franz, born 31 December 1896 in Innsbruck
  • Endrizzi Leopold, born 28 August 1881 in Bozen
  • Fabjan, Hermagor, born 23 October 1883 in Triebsdorf in Rudolfswörth (Krain), citizen and resident of Bregenz (“heimatzuständig”)
  • Fels Otto, born in 1884 in Dornbirn

Please also have a look at the German version of our website, which contains further information. While we do try to eventually translate most of the articles into English (and Italian), our most current articles and updates appear in German first.

If you have any information on these or other aviators from the historic regions of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, please leave a comment below or contact us via e-mail at!

Aviators wanted

Aviators wanted! 2

This week we are looking for the following Austro-Hungarian avaitors from the Tyrol and Vorarlberg:

  • Bernhard, Oskar Franz, born 6 October 1888 in Dornbirn, Feldpilot (field pilot), resident of Satteins
  • Bibiza, Franz, born in 1896 in Lienz, baloon operator, died in the field on 30 November 1917
  • Bösch, Eugen, born 19 July 1894 in Lustenau, Feldpilot (field pilot), place of residence and death are unknown
  • Brunner, Heinrich, born 18 May 1886 in St. Gallen/Switzerland
  • Büchele Hans, born on 24 September 1892 in Dornbirn
  • Chizzali de Bonfandini, Franz, born 1 April 1890 in Innsbruck
  • Christomanos Sigurd Leo, born 6 January 1896 in Innsbruck
  • Coreth-Starkenberg August, born 11 June 1894 in Trento
  • Czernin von Dirkenau, Egon, born 24 February1888 in Riva
  • Dechant, Friedrich, officer and pilot, unknown birthplace and birthdate

If you have any information about these aviators please get in touch!

Aviators wanted

Aviators wanted!

Who is a WWI aviator from the Tyrol or Vorarlberg? For our project we decided that anyone who was either born in the Tyrol (including South Tyrol and Trentino) or Vorarlberg, or who spent a significant part of their adult life in that region is relevant to us. However, finding these aviators is difficult. Many documents and records from that era were either lost or destroyed. Most others only contain very basic information, often even lacking information about birth places and places of residence prior to military service. In many cases we only have subtle hints that a certain aviator indeed falls within the scope of this project.

We will regularly update you about our findings in our blog. From time to time we will also publish lists of aviators, which may have been from the Tyrol and Vorarlberg, but where we lack further evidence and information.

  • Altadonna, Georg, Rovereto February 2, 1891
  • Anderl, Rudolf, Korporal, 1. Tiroler Kaiserjäger-Regiment, pilot at Artilleriefliegerlehrkompagnie (AFLK).
  • Anesi, Anselmo, Barselga Piva, December 14, 1885
  • Appel, Hans, Landeck, July 22, 1894
  • Aschberger, Hans, born in Meran/Merano (when?), Offiziersstellvertreter, in July 1918 he wrote about his pilot training in Klagenfurt
  • Bachlechner Hugo, Silz/Tyrol, May 12, 1896
  • Baier Maximilian, Brünn (Brno)/Innsbruck, 1890
  • Baier Otto, Loschau 1897 [Lochau?]
  • Baur, Fritz (Friedrich), Flugzeugführer (pilot), Oberleutnant (Hofrat Dr. Baur, Bozen, Museumstraße 35, perhaps his father?)
  • Bednarzik Maximilian, Innsbruck, January 28, 1891

If you have any information concering these persons, please get in touch and contact us: