Princess Pauline of Württemburg was born on 19 December 1877 as the daughter of the future King William II of Württemberg and Princess Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont. She was just four years old when she lost her mother, who died six days after giving birth to a stillborn daughter. Her father remarried in 1886 to Charlotte of Schaumburg-Lippe. They would have no children, and as her only other surviving sibling had died in 1880, Pauline was to remain an only child.
On 29 October 1898, Pauline married the future William Frederick, Prince of Wied and they had two sons.
Princess Pauline is perhaps best known for her actions just after the Second World War when she helped shelter two prominent Nazis. Princess Pauline was also a registered member of the Nazi party. By then she was 68 years old, and she had lost her eldest son in 1941 and her husband in 1945. Princess Pauline admitted to having deliberately provided a haven for Gertrud Scholtz-Klink and her husband former Major General August Heissmayer of the SS. Both Princess Pauline and her nurse were both indicted by a United States Military Government Court. They were initially released on bail and were set to appear before a judge on 23 March 1948.
Princess Pauline had been the director of the German Red Cross for the Rhineland, Hesse-Nassau and Westphalia for a few years when she met Gertrud Scholtz-Klink. Both Frau Scholtz-Klink and her husband admitted to seeking sanctuary with the Princess. The Princess reportedly told them that as a German she could not deny them shelter. Princess Pauline made arrangements for them to live in the village of Bebenhausen, outside Tübingen, where they found by the French, United States and German authorities.
Gertrud Scholtz-Klink told the police that she did not if Adolf Hitler was dead, but “as long as he lives in the hearts of his followers, he cannot die.” She was a fervent member of the Nazi Party and the leader of the National Socialist Women’s League. Her husband was a leading member of the SS. She had last seen Hitler in the autumn of 1944.
In the end, Princess Pauline was fined 25,000 Reichsmarks by the court. Her nurse was fined 500 Reichsmarks for complicity. Gertrud Scholtz-Klink was imprisoned for 18 months for forgery and an additional 30 months after a review led to her being seen as the main culprit. Her husband was sentenced to three years of imprisonment.
Princess Pauline died on 7 May 1965, after spending the last 20 years of her life devoted to breeding horses.