Thorleif Paus

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Thorleif Paus
Born (1881-10-08)October 8, 1881
Died June 9, 1976(1976-06-09) (aged 94)
Nationality Norway
Other names
  • Thorleif de Paus
  • Thorleif von Paus
Occupation Army officer, consul-general, businessman, estate owner

Thorleif Paus (8 October 1881 – 9 June 1976), also known as Thorleif de Paus or Thorleif von Paus, was a Norwegian businessman, consul-general in Vienna and estate owner.[1][2]

Background and family

A member of the patrician Paus family, he was a son of the steel industrialist and banker Ole Paus and Birgitte Halvordine Schou, and grew up at Bygdøy in Oslo. His father was a first cousin of Henrik Ibsen, whereas his mother was a first cousin of the industrialist Halvor Schou. Prime Minister Sigurd Ibsen was Thorleif Paus' second cousin. He was the brother of the businessman Christopher Blom Paus (1878–1959) and the brother-in-law of the historian of nobility Otto von Munthe af Morgenstierne. His nephew was the steel industrialist Per Paus, who was married to Hedevig Wedel-Jarlsberg.

In his first marriage, he was married to Ella Stein (1883–1971), who belonged to a bourgeois Viennese family of Jewish origin. In his second marriage, he was married to the former countess Ella Moltke, née Glückstadt (born 1899 in Copenhagen), a daughter of the prominent Danish Jewish businessman Valdemar Glückstadt and widow of count Erik Moltke of Nør. In his first marriage, he was the father of Helvig Paus (born 1909 in Vienna) and Major-General Ole Paus (born 1910 in Vienna). In his second marriage, he had a stepson, count Erik Moltke. He was the grandfather of the troubadour Ole Paus and the great-grandfather of the composer Marcus Paus.


He graduated from the Norwegian Military Academy and became a second lieutenant in the cavalry in 1902; he was promoted to first lieutenant in 1909. He served as a consular secretary (deputy head of mission) and commercial attaché at the Swedish-Norwegian and subsequently at the Norwegian Consulate-General in Vienna 1902–1910, and as Norwegian vice consul and acting consul-general between 1910 and 1917. During his tenure Norway had no legation or embassy in Vienna, and the consul-general was the highest-ranking representative of Norway residing in Austria-Hungary; in 1906 Thor von Ditten became Norwegian minister to Berlin with secondary accreditations to multiple countries including Italy and Austria-Hungary. From 1906 to 1918, Paus operated his own business as an agent in Vienna, representing large Norwegian industrial companies, mainly Norsk Hydro, in Austria-Hungary. As consul he became the only Scandinavian to witness the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo in 1914.[3]

Kvesarum Castle

He returned to Norway in 1918 and continued his business as Thorleif Paus A/S in Oslo. He also became the owner of two factories in Ålesund. He lived in Scania, Sweden from 1935 to 1964, where he owned Kvesarum Castle from 1936 and the large estate Ejratal from 1948. He also inherited the manor house Magleås outside Copenhagen from his relative, count Christopher (de) Paus in 1943, but sold the property to the Catholic Church in Denmark a few years later. During the Second World War he received many Norwegian refugees at his castle Kvesarum, and there was built a Norwegian refugee camp near the castle. He moved to Copenhagen in 1964.[4][3]

In Austria-Hungary, his name was usually and officially spelled Thorleif von Paus (commonly abbreviated to v. Paus).[5] He also sometimes used the spelling Thorleif de Paus.[6] The spelling von Paus was regarded as a rendering of the name in a German/Austro-Hungarian linguistic and cultural context, and not a native form of the name, which he continued to spell simply as Thorleif Paus within Scandinavia. In Austria-Hungary, he received the Order of the Iron Crown, one of the country's highest orders and which previously conferred automatic ennoblement.



  1. ^ "Paus, Thorleif," in Vem är Vem? ; Skåne [Who's Who; Scania], 1948, p. 440
  2. ^ Alf Petersen, "Paus, Thorleif," in Den norske hærs vernepliktige officerer : 1864–1933, Hanche, 1936, p. 447
  3. ^ a b Palle Koster Jacobsen: "Han så erkehertugen dø ...," Fædrelandsvennen, 14 December 1968, p. 4
  4. ^ "90 år: Tidligere konsul i Wien, Thorleif Paus," Aftenposten, 8 October 1971, p. 10
  5. ^ E.g. Verordnungsblatt des K. K. Justizministeriums, vol. 24, 1908, p. 8 and p. 12, and vol. 33, 1917 p. 46 and 47, K. K. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, and High-Life-Almanach: Adressbuch der Gesellschaft Wiens und der österreichischen Kronländer, vol. 9 p. 253, 1913
  6. ^ E.g. Mitteilungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Geographischen Gesellschaft, vol. 52 p. 615, 1909, and vol. 59, 1916, p. 310
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