Louis von Rothschild (1882-1955)
Viennese-born Louis provided his support for the Austro-Hungarian cause on the home front as the director of the Viennese Rothschild banking house. Although he was called into active service on 16 August 1915, he was stationed in Vienna to be part of the monarchy’s consortium of banks to focus on the empire’s finances and war bond campaigns. Louis wrote an article in the Neue Freie Presse calling for the Austro-Hungarian public to purchase war bonds: “Just as the soldier in the trenches fulfils his duty to the fatherland, everyone should contribute within their means toward the fulfilment of the fatherland’s financial needs.” While Louis’s words and actions exuded patriotism, the international character of his family stirred up feelings of suspicion in the press. The Armeeblatt criticised Louis for his family connections in enemy lands and not having translated his 'French' name, thus calling into question his allegiance. The honours Louis received for his financial contributions on the home front, however, speak greater volumes about his loyalty to his home country: he received the Komturkreuz des Franz-Joseph-Ordens mit dem Stern in 1915 and the Großkreuz des Franz-Joseph-Ordens in 1916.
Alphonse von Rothschild (1878-1942) and Eugène von Rothschild (1884-1976)
Upon Austria-Hungary’s official declaration of war against Serbia on 28 July 1914, Alphonse and his younger brother Eugène were called out of the reserves to serve with the Imperial and Royal 6th Dragoon regiment as first lieutenants on the eastern front against the Russians in Galicia. Alphonse served as an administrative officer. At the start of the war, he served under the first army and was then transferred to the seventh cavalry division, before being promoted to the rank of cavalry captain in the reserves. In June of that year, he was recognized for his outstanding performance under the second army for his work as a legal advisor and communications officer. At the end of November 1917, he was posted to the Italian front near Asiago with the eighteenth infantry division and then to the second army on the eastern front. In September 1918 he was officially discharged from military service and was awarded the kaiserlich-ottomanische Kriegsmedaille.
Eugène served primarily on the eastern front in Galicia and Romania. Like his brother Alphonse, Eugène served initially in the role of administrative officer. On 6 December 1914 during combat in Iwkowa, Galicia, he and his horse fell, resulting in a broken leg. Two months later, he was back on the front again. During a defence manoeuvre against the Russians on December 27, 1915, he stepped in as a commanding officer of a platoon and was awarded the Silberne Militärverdienstmedaille am Bande des Militärverdienstkreuzes mit Schwertern in recognition for his service in battle. On 9 May 1915, Eugène was promoted to the rank of cavalry captain in the reserves. When Romania declared war against the Central Powers in 1916, Eugène’s regiment moved to the front lines, where he took on the position of chemical warfare officer and was given command of his own reserve squadron. He was discharged from military service, leaving a highly decorated military career. The highest honour he received was the Militärverdienstkreuz 3. Klasse.