BIOGRAPHY Coat of arms of Dr. Donatus Prinz von Hohenzollern

The philosopher and theologian, Dr. Donatus, Prince von Hohenzollern, is a professional author on subjects relating to epistemology and systematic theology ( His work, for example, his book on the coordination of knowledge and belief (Coordinate Magisteria), which appeared in 2008 and has a foreword by His Eminence Joachim, Cardinal Meisner, is published under the pen name of Markus von Hänsel-Hohenhausen.

He was married to the industrialist, Dr Viola, Princess von Hohenzollern. Viola, formerly Hallman, née Flachmeier, was the daughter of the industrialist, Dr. Werner Flachmeier and granddaughter and heir of Friedrich Gustav Theis, founder of the eponymous steel works. In a career spanning 40 years, she succeeded in establishing the company as a global player with production facilities across Europe, the USA and Asia.

The European champion of Icelandic horse racing, she brought the stud farm and Schloß Aldenghoor in the Netherlands, along with Killochan Castle in Ayrshire, to the marriage. Up to her death in December 2012, Dr. Donatus, Prince von Hohenzollern, who is a British subject, lived with his wife in England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Singapore and Pepin Island, New Zealand. The Prince declined his wife’s legacy in favour of Princess Viola’s daughter, Olivia Hallman (, a top model (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar etc.) based in New York.


Hohenzollern, born 1961, initially studied theology and philosophy at the Jesuit University Sankt Georgen, and then Catholic theology, modern history, ecclesiastical, theological and legal history at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University in Frankfurt a.M. His academic lecturers were the theologian and chronicler of the Second Vatican Council Klaus Wittstadt (1936-2003), the founder of Medieval History of Law (“Oberhöfe”) Adalbert Erler (1904-1992) and the theologian and Melanchthon laureate Siegfried Wiedenhofer, who is one of Pope Benedict XVI's students. After gaining a Magister in theology and law (1986), he was awarded a doctorate in theology with greatest distinction (summa cum laude) and a university prize (1990).
The printing of the dissertation on the history of theology and the church on "Clemens August Freiherr Droste zu Vischering, Archbishop of Cologne, 1773-1845, the Freedom of the Church in Conflict with the Prussian Government" (2 vols., 1990, complete text (in German part1 and part2, review here) was supported by the universities in Frankfurt a.M. and Münster i.W., by the cities of Bonn and Münster, by the archdiocese of Cologne, by the diocese of Würzburg and by the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung. The Prince is a member of the Society of the Historians of Germany.

Publishing work

While still a doctorate student, Prince Donatus established his first publishing company „Verlag der Deutschen Hochschulschriften DHS” in 1987 where within a couple of years several thousand dissertations were published. Numerous companies arose from this scientific publisher including Fouqué Publishers Inc. at Fifth Avenue in New York (until 2000), The London House of Literature Limited in London, the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe Holding AG with offices in Frankfurt a.M., Munich, London and New York.

The first chairperson of the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe up until her death (in 2010) was the 103-year-old literature prize-winner and the oldest active writer in the world, Ilse Pohl (Ilse Pohl), succeeded by the authoress Barbara von Braun-Lacoste (Ludwig II., Ein Leben zwischen Krone und Dornen", Briefroman, u.a. ), the present Honorary Chairperson, and the British writer Michael Lord Montagu Douglas Scott (Michael Montagu's Memoirs).
As the chief executive of the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe, Donatus was responsible for around 5,000 book releases and media until he retired to private life in 2003. The scripts and manuscripts of famous writers he was in contact with are kept and displayed at the publishing house in Frankfurt.

Involvement for authors

In 1999, Hohenzollern created the Frankfurter Cornelia Goethe Akademie at Großer Hirschgraben in Frankfurt (at the Goethe Haus) with the distance learning course "Literary Writing", which has received state approval. In the first 10 years, 1000 book authors completed the course which was approved as professional training in literary writing by the Federal Employment Agency (
Blind writers and those with sight impairment have also been able to gain the writer-diploma awarded by the academy since the course and teaching material was adapted for the blind. The founder of the academy oriented the guidelines of the academy to a large extent towards the support of blind and visually impaired people.
The Cornelia Goethe Akademie unites leaders in industry, science, art and culture in its board of trustees. The Prince is president of the board of trustees (see The Cornelia Goethe Akademie is a member of the Weimarer Goethe-Gesellschaft and of the Freies Deutsches Hochstift/Frankfurter Goethe Haus.

In the street of the Goethe Haus and the Cornelia Goethe Akademie, Prince Donatus also established the Frankfurter Goethe-Gesellschaft, today Brentano-Gesellschaft Frankfurt/M., which each year publishes a new book of the "Frankfurter Bibliothek" as a yearbook for new poetry – the largest collection of poetry in the history of German publishing, in which 50,000 poems by living poets are published. (

As a former publisher, Donatus still supports writers who are not yet established. In a memoir he opposed in 2007 the discrimination against new authors looking for success by associations and unions of authors already established, see

The creation of the large free public internet portal with its daily news from press agencies also traces back to him, as well as other innovative media such as (authors read from their works in front of a camera) and (qualificatory discussions of recently published books from the entire book market).

Hohenzollern supports the Tilford Bach Society, the PrimArte Orchestra of the Awardeans (Orchester der Preisträger) and the London Cuisine Schools.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: The Inspiration of the Evangelist Matthew