On April 1, 1922, also for hundreds of years, Karl von Habsburg, the last Kaiser of Austria and König von Ungarn - after only twenty-five years - was born on the island of Madeira (Portugal). Karl I. von Österreich (Karl IV. von Ungarn) was then for several months on Portuguese soil, where he had to live in exile after the first world war in November 1921 with his family. A few months after his death, the health condition of the Kaisers changed. Ultimately, a long life was to be spent. Her wife, Kaiserin Zita, who gave birth to her oldest child, had her until the end of her life. Her name is in the Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte (Unsererer Lieben Frau vom Berge) in Funchal, Madeira, a stone's throw from the Kapuzinergruft in Vienna, where many of the members of this dynasty, who lived for centuries in Europe, are buried.
His name was given special prominence in the Catholic world when he was selected in a ceremony in Rome on October 3, 2004 by Pope Johannes Paul II. Kaiser Karl was recognized as a Christian orphan because he supported the teachings of Pope Benedict XV. during the first world war. The Church also saw in him a good Christian leader, who was committed to the common good and to the lessons of the Christian social life: Karl was to be the first and particularly experienced Christian leader, to reduce the luxury at the Hof and to create the first ministry for social development in the world. Not least, he became the "Volkskaiser".
Georges de Habsbourg-Lorraine (Enkel von Kaiser Karl, ist seit Dezember 2020 Botschafter Ungarns in Frankreich. He has the Austrian and Hungarian statehood (his official German name is Georg Habsburg-Lothringen), on Ungarisch heißt er Habsburg-Lotaringiai György) würde heutet den Titel einer kaiserlichen Hoheit und eines Erzherzogs von Österreich, Prinz von Ungarn, Böhmen und Kroatien führen, wenn das Kaiserreich noch bestehen würde. The bot masters are taking us to a meeting of the Hungarian Botswana Botswana in Paris.
A century after the death of your grandfather, Karl Kaiser, Mitteleuropa is once again in war. What do you think about this event?
There are two points that seem to me to be fundamentally important for the understanding of my grandfather's heritage. Karl was a soldier in the first line. Wir dürfen nicht dürfen vergessen, dass er nie daran dachte, Kaiser zu werden, da seine Reihung für die Thronfolge unwahrscheinlich schien. Er kannte den Krieg und seine Folgen sehr gut. Das ist ein wichtiges, hinsichtlich seiner Friedensbemühungen zu bedenkendes Kriterium: Er wusste, was Krieg bedeutet und wollte deshalb Frieden.
A further reason I would like to emphasize is the fact that he was still very young at his death: He was 29 years old. But we must remember that his death as a follower of his grandfather Franz Joseph I. of Austria was difficult. Dieser war nicht weniger als 68 Jahre lang an der Macht, mit allem, was dazugehört: Was Kaiser Karl geerbt hatte, war ein ganzes System. The Generäle Franz Josephs wanted the war, because they were betraying the power and size of the kaiser's armies. Karl rejected this system first and foremost. The Kaiserreich was risky, and Karl quickly realized that the integrity of the Reich had been jeopardized by a war, and that this was the only way to achieve it.
Despite the widening of the state apparatus in the state party, my grandfather achieved a number of reforms, particularly in the social sphere. Since he was a believer in Christian socialism, he had a very good understanding that some social changes were necessary and that a new government style had to be introduced. This was to encourage him to take up the subject in order to learn about people's lives, their problems and their hopes and dreams. This was not so simple. He made the world's first Ministry for Social Development a global priority and also set the timetable for the protection of the environment, which in times of crisis, when many people had no money to pay for the election of the Mieten, was very much in danger.
Is the attitude of your big brothers and sisters in these times of crisis still the same?
- There is something in the life of my grandfather that particularly impresses me and can inspire many people around the world. I have heard about it in the Vatican during the days of his self-preservation. Kaiser Karl was not self-proclaimed because he was successful or because he had great abilities, because politics did not allow him to create peace and he had to spend his life in exile. What is missing in life from a Christian point of view is the alltag, that which one tries to find every day, to find good things to do and to find a place for the community. Und in dieser Hinsicht war mein Großvater vorbildlich. For me personally, this is the great partnership that he has built up for us and which is very important to us in today's society, because today we need to make a lot of effort to achieve the best results and to make the best possible use of our resources.
In a concrete and spiritual way, I believe that my great father before God is in favor of the return of peace to Europe. Es gibt viele Menschen, die für dieses Anliegen zu ihm beten. There are many relics of him. I do not believe that your person in Hungary is so well known. I would like to point out that you can know much better in France, which is what I am very impressed by. In the city of Angers, for example, a school was opened for him. I believe that this is the only school worldwide that was founded with "Seliger Karl von Österreich". Another example: a few days ago, one of the guests at an official meeting in Versailles reported that her son was told by my big brother Charles: when he asked me who I was, he was very impressed!
It has been said that Hungary has decided to adopt a neutral position in this war. How is your government doing?
- In my opinion, this criticism is not very well-founded. My country is a member of the European Union and NATO, and as such we are following the sanctions and resolutions that were adopted. On the other hand, we have already provided a great deal of humanitarian aid in Ukraine and already around 500,000 refugees. In Budapest, the consequences of the war are already visible due to the anxiety of these third parties. In my own house in Budapest, for example, we have two Ukrainian families.
On the other hand, we have decided not to include any waivers in the conflict. We do not want to bring our citizens into danger. It is clear that after the First World War, with the collapse of the Austrian-Ugarvian monarchy, which was declared open by the Treaty of Trianon 1920, more than three million Hungarians no longer live in Hungary. Today there are about 150,000 Hungarians living in Ukraine, which we want to support. In this war, we have already declared the death of six Ukrainian soldiers of Hungarian origin.
Finally, as far as energy independence is concerned, our situation is not comparable with that of other members of the European Union. Our energy independence from Russia is actually 80 %. A conflict with Russia would represent a major challenge for our population. Whether we like it or not, this independence is real and an example of the most recent history of our country.
Today, in the midst of the war in Middle Europe, he is a Habsburg-born botcher in Paris during the French EU presidency. Was your grandfather a symbol of your career as a diplomat?
- Historical places are very dear to me. So, for example, I have for some days now been reading my book on the monarch of Monaco, because I am not only a bot expert in France, but also a bot expert in the foreigner's country. And I say: "The history of history: a Habsburger, who overlooks his own destiny in Monaco"! In view of the historical facts, I must say that my father is a constant source of inspiration, but at the same time, I must also recognize that my father had a much greater influence on my Karriere. My father, Otto von Habsburg, the oldest son of the Kaiser and head of the Habsburg House, was a visionary politician and a member of the European Parliament for more than 20 years. He played an important role in the process of the European elections and in the accession of the former (Austrian) champions to the European Union.
He was very aware of the historical responsibility of our family in the 21st century. Finally, he played an important role in European politics for many years. He teaches us to live, study and work in modern society like everyone else. I have studied Jura, history and political science in Austria, Germany and Spain. In the last country I was at the Complutense (University of Madrid), in order to study contemporary Spanish history and Islamic culture, which was not taught in Munich. I started working in audiovisual communication companies. For three decades I have been working in Hungary, where I have been working since 1996 as a botanist. My father has always had a great interest in the language. Thanks to him I speak - as he does - six languages (German, Hungarian, French, English, Italian and Spanish), which was naturally very important to me in my work as a diplomat.
What activities have been planned for April 1, 2022, the hundredth anniversary of your grandfather Carlos?
-The main activity of this Hundertjahrfeier is to be a Mass in the Church, where my grandfather was born on the island of Madeira. More than a hundred family members will be present. For the first time, I did not have the opportunity to participate, because on Sunday, April 3, important events were held in Hungary and we had a lot of work to organize them in the French base in order to organize the events. However, the former Prime Minister of Hungary was so friendly that I was very pleased with this visit to Madeira. I am also pleased to be able to participate in this great event.