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Copyright 2004
by Dr. Albrecht von Zedlitz.
No reproduction permitted

This is my family crest of the aristocratic lineage of FREIHERR VON ZEDLITZ, awarded in 1610 by Emperor Rudolph II of Habsburg/ Austria first and awarded by Kind Frederick the Great of Prussia 1741 to my ancestors in the same form. The motto means “strong and true”.

These positive examples of the past are important and encouraging: great personalities which took part in public affairs and played a role in international diplomacy and intellectual history. Of course, there must have been also more negative sides (like militaristic traditions, backward orientation, class conceit). Aristocracy and nobility have always two sides like most other social phenomena, too.

Members of nobility will not always benefit but often also suffer from both exaggerated positive expectations (to have to be of higher standard than normal) and negative prejudices (such as being a stubborn, arrogant, anti-social, oppressor, racist, nationalist, reactionary, colonialist, capitalist etc.). My personal life is an example of trying to strive for the contrary of any such attitudes, see my Vita below: Being neither for the reintroduction of aristocracy, nor for a return to past exploitative or militaristic patterns, but pleading for a new world order where intellectual achievement would be the new currency (see below under my “life achievement” vision), based on the ideals of human rights, international law, social and humanitarian integration and development cooperation policies, such as represented by the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals (

Paying tribute to one’s noble family tradition in a positive sense, however implies also the principle of “noblesse oblige”, i.e. striving towards above average excellence as a special responsibility for our One World. And in this sense, taking an open, innovative and altruistic stand on nobility through one’s inherited genes, could still be a better way of serving the world than by the meant to be new “perfectionism” through genetic manipulation of humans under development.

Some ideals expressed in the ethical codex of the European Federation of Nobility Associations (CILANE, see and German nobility federation’s website may also be cited: emphasis on the intellectual dimension of human personality; respect for the rights and dignity of all humans irrespective of origin, race, social status; cultivating of honour and reliability; sense of responsibility, achievement of excellence and leadership; lifelong strife for acquisition of skills, competences; surpassing mediocrity, professionalism; spirit of entrepreneurship, civil responsibility; sense of politeness and humour; respect for the family and intergenerational traditions; respect for nature, environmental and resource protection.

For further questions about the family history, you can inquire at:

© 2009 VON ZEDLITZ. All rights reserved.