Saturday, July 16, 2011

Funeral in Vienna

As was reported in the news feed last week, Otto, the “last of the Habsburgs”, the son of the last emperor of Austria-Hungary, died recently at the age of 98. Our Austrian correspondent AMT sends this reflection on the ecumenical sentiments championed by Otto Habsburg, and their meaning for Modern Multicultural Austria.

Funeral in Vienna
by AMT

Otto HabsburgAfter a week of funeral services in both Bavaria and Austria, Otto Habsburg, the last crown prince of Austria — actually, Austria-Hungary — was finally laid to rest in Vienna. He joined not only his wife, but also his ancestors such as Emperor Franz Joseph, his wife Elisabeth (Sisi), Empress Maria Theresia and her husband, Joseph II, in the world-famous Imperial Crypt.

Although Austria has been a republic since 1918, Otto Habsburg’s funeral turned out to be a state funeral, albeit unofficially. According to Habsburg’s eldest son and “successor”, Karl Habsburg, Otto Habsburg was intimately involved in the lengthy planning for his own funeral. His provisions included the attendance and involvement in the funeral of representatives of the “three monotheistic religions.” And so it came that along with Austrian cardinal Christoph Schönborn and a rabbi, Reis-el-Ulema Mustafa Ceric from Bosnia and his veiled wife also attended the requiem in St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

More galling, however, Ceric, a proponent of sharia in Europe, was asked by the Habsburg family to recite a funeral prayer at Habsburg’s requiem in Munich, Germany, last week. According to a Catholic website, Ceric’s presence was sign of Otto Habsburg’s advocacy of a free and independent Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since the Bosnian war, Ceric had been a friend of Otto Habsburg and attended the latter’s 95th birthday celebration in 2007.

The understanding among the three “Abrahamic religions” was always a central concern to Habsburg. The close relationship of the practicing Catholic former crown prince with Judaism and Islam not only has historical dimensions, but also grows out of his family history as well as his own life history. Otto Habsburg was convinced that Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in a Lord of Creation and thus have a common ground in beliefs and responsibility despite all that separates them.

In conclusion, the world can say thanks to the Habsburg family not only for World War I, but also for the Law on Islam, which was introduced in 1912 to integrate the Bosnian Muslims into the Austrian-Hungarian empire. And while historians today gush in happiness about this law that “all of Europe envies us for”, it is precisely this law that causes the problems Austria is currently facing due to the growing presence of Muslims.


Takuan Seiyo said...

Common affliction of Habsburgs and Muslims: centuries of inbreeding. There have been many instances of severe misjudgment by Habsburgs. One example of many: Joseph II, Mozart's benefactor, generated so much chaos in his realm that his name is linked to the most tragicomic battle in history, too.
The Battle of Karansebes in 1788, though largely apocryphal, is a metaphor both for the Hapsburgs and for the prospects of muticulti empires. 100k-strong Austrian army was in Romania, seeking to engage the Turks. No Turks were around, but the soldiers got drunk, Romanian soldiers started shouting “Turks!,” Austrian soldiers who were in fact Slavs, Lombards, Croats, Hungarians could not understand each other’s language nor the German shouts of their Austrian commanders, "Halt!”, “Halt!" that they interpreted as “Allah!,”Allah!" Chaos ensued, running around, fleeing, more shooting, Austrian artillery firing on Austrian cavalry believing it was Ottoman, etc. Tradition has it that the whole Austrian Army retreated, Emperor Joseph II fell of his horse, and when the Ottomans arrived two days later, they found 10,000 Austrian corpses.

Professor L said...

Takuan - a brief glance at wikipedia casts doubt upon your account as an actual historical event. It's funny, yes, but amusement is hardly a prerequisite for something's veracity.

I can't exactly oppose you on the count of inbreeding though. Suffice to say, combating this makes royalist politics very messy. Just look at the Russians and the French.

I also find AMT surprisingly harsh towards the Hapsburgs (yes, they started WWI without intending to, but they did try to stop the damn thing by negotiating a peace). And the Law on Islam was done with the same intent as the Quebec Act. Only problem was, and no one realised it at the time, such a concept can work with Catholics and Protestants, but never with Muslims.

And, out of curiosity - why does republican Austria, with its shame for its imperial past, maintain an imperial law as such? Another point of utter stupidity on the part of the political establishment.

Elisabeth said...

LAW Wells--

just to clarify regarding the Law on Islam: It is a law that originated during the imperial reign; however, so are many, if not most, of current Austrian laws (except those handed down by the EUdSSR). The Law on Islam is convenient for the Austrian Establishment as well as the Islamic Religious Community. As long as its contents are not checked, as was done with EVERY OTHER religious group, Islam in Austria is free to do whatever it likes.

I did not find AMT harsh. You have to understand the Austrian attitude towards the Habsburgs: Austria is now a republic; Habsburgs, get used to it! You've had since 1918 to get used it.

Sidenote: It was the socialists who exhibited a special hatred towards the Habsburgs prior to the late 1960's. Ironic that it was a socialist chancellor and an atheist, socialist president with his Jewish wife sat in first row in St. Stephen's cathedral.

Takuan Seiyo said...

@LAW Wells
I am aware of the unverifiable nature of that battle, and several historians looked into it too and could not find reliable contemporaneous sources. That's why I described the account as "apocryphal" and indicated that the significance is in its being attributed to a Habsburg monarchy, i.e. even as a metaphor only. If you read “The Good Soldier Svejk” or Stephan Zweig’s account of his visits to the Austrian front, you’ll find a no more flattering description of events 150 later, and in the intervening years all of Austria’s wars were military disasters as well, if often salvaged politically. I am however a big fan of Franz Josef; it’s his heirs to or on the Austrian throne that did the Habsburgs (and Austria with it) in .

Theo Prinse said...

Descriptions of WWI always begin with: The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was the proximate trigger of the war ... and than deeper causes like hegemomism etc.
But I think the first and main reason was the rise of the faith in the communist doctrine as perverted by the Bolsheviks all over Europe and well perceived in the
Rerum Novarum which in turn was translated into corporate fascism
by Musolini ... by the time the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna.
Communism basically equals re-distribution policy first ! and innovation (the only source of wealth !) second.
In the Dutch version on the subject of the "welfare state" Umar ibn al-Khattab (590–644) is mentioned as the founder of this economy stagnant re-distribution.
At that that time Aristoteles dialectical philosophy of moral relativism was rediscovered in Europe and started the era of Enlightenment that put western man on the Moon.
So the Great War could well just the first successful insinuation by early jihad resulting in a monstrous battle for a dialectical view of nature versus that of mono causal islam.

Germany has opted for closure of its nuclear reactors under the pressure of das Grüne Totalitarismus (this younger generation wants to proof the world something good for what their parents did in WOII to the jews) in exchange for RWE (Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk) to make a deal with Gazprom (Russia) Russia is delivering Iran’s nuclear capability so Russia is preventing any support to bomb Iran's atom bomb program. The USA is financially strangled by the Chinese triad were the provoke a stagnation of the world's economy by a high energy price by a artificial high demand for (islam) oil. China thus prevents the US to bomb Iran's nuclear underground facility as well.
That's why the western world must opt for a massive nuclear power & a worldwide Electric Automobile Industry because of artificial Peak Oil !
Frank Gaffney's plea for Energy Freedom lacks the vision of both massive as well as much cheaper energy
Israel is now on the brink to defend the western values as well as the US & Europe for the cannot defend themselves anymore !
If Israel were to bomb Iran's evil works then Israel saves my freedom ..
If Egypt were to attack Israel then Israelis left no other option than to permanently occupy Sinai. The same with Hezbollah and the liberation of the Christians in Libanon ..
I thank Caroline Glick to examine the financial status within the Arab Uprise of countries like Jordan & Syria.
Most unfortunately Israel is one of two fronts. The second is the rise of the Pakistani Neo Taliban and its jihadis infiltrating the atom bomb complex and secondly the construction of more atomic bombs thus provoking an arms race in that region.
So, here we have the two levers:
1. Russia over Germany and
2. China over the US to stay neutral in the islamic attack on the western world by attacking Israel .. and secondly the Pakistan front.
What the kenyan did on the 4th of June in 2009 in Cairo did Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in Suid Afrika were already 69.000 White Afrikaners (former Dutch !) have been murdered by blacks.
genocide museum
This is all not a fun game anymore.
It is about the future of free mankind
Not only islam must be out rooted form the face of the Earth but US liberalism as well !

Professor L said...

Elisabeth - I appreciate that Austria is a republic. But to say that getting rid of the Hapsburgs was a fine development is rediculous. Had there been an Austrian monarchy, even without a German one, Hitler would never have gone as far as he did (had Dolfuss managed a restoration, Austria would have been invaded under Operation Otto). And please also note - I'm a monarchist. Given an option between monarchy and republic, I'd choose monarchy.

And touche on the Socialists.

Takuan - point conceded on your acknowledgement. However, I'd like to point you to Alan Sked's The Decline and Fall of the Hapsburg Empire, which is a title that he notes does not actually reflect the conclusion of his book. I guess the general myth of Austro-Hungarian collapse being inevitable is one of those truths that has seeped into our education system. I mean, just look at what Gadaffi did to the West's proclaimation of inevitability.

Czechmade said...

Our spiritually illiterate Otto could crack real jokes such as "islam is a child of Christianity"...unpunished and stay for decades as one of 3 kafir members of the "Islamische Akademie".

Such aristocratic deeds might be greatly appreciated by any sort of socialist except Adolf Hitler, who admired islam just "for being the opposite of the meekness of the Christianity".

I may doubt overall bashing of the Austrian Empire in the "Brave Soldier Schweik", but monsieur Otto came very close to its mockery of his own free will.

Elisabeth said...

Where did I or AMT say that we "that getting rid of the Hapsburgs was a fine development?" And the ifs and buts are no good. The monarchy is gone, and that's that.

I am certainly no monarchist. I do not need a monarchy. However, given what democracy is currently doing to us here in Europe, I would plead for a "benevolent dictator". An oxymoron, yes; but perhaps just what the doctor will one day order.

Professor L said...

Elisabeth - you told the Hapsburgs to "get used to" Austria being a republic. That usually implies some level of preference for the present system of governance (which you yourself did profess).

But let's not make this a monarchy v republic thread. Suffice it to say, we're probably working on the same problem from very distant opposite ends (said problem being the affirmation of the superiority of the Western tradition).