Otto von Habsburg

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Otto von Habsburg (2004) Signature of Otto von Habsburg: Taken from a letter from "OTTO von HABSBURG - Member of the European Parliament", dated "Pöcking, November 17, 1995"

Otto von Habsburg , in Austria officially Otto Habsburg-Lothringen , mostly Otto Habsburg for short (born  November 20, 1912 in Reichenau an der Rax , Lower Austria ; †  July 4, 2011 in Pöcking , Bavaria ), was the eldest son of Karl I , the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, as well as a writer , publicist and politician . For the CSU he was a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1999 . He had the citizenships of Austria , Germany and Hungary and, after the independence of the state of Croatia in 1991, he also had Croatian citizenship.

From the mid-1930s Otto von Habsburg campaigned for European unification within the Pan-European Union - initially under Christian monarchist auspices . In order to prevent the “ annexation of Austria ” to Hitler's Germany, he was prepared to go to extremes, as his correspondence with Chancellor Schuschnigg in February 1938 shows. He appeared as a staunch opponent of Hitler and National Socialism and communism . An obituary stated: "In politics [...] he saw himself [...] 'as an instrument of God'."

Decades later, his stance on right-wing extremism and his statements about the influence of Jews in US politics were the cause of criticism and controversy. His speech in 2008 at an ÖVP commemorative event (on the 70th anniversary of “Anschluss”) in the Austrian parliament , in which he portrayed Austria as the first victim of Hitler and claimed that “there is no state in Europe that is more Has a right to call himself a victim! ”He described himself as a“ legitimist ”(for example in an interview with the weekly newspaper Junge Freiheit in 2002 ), by which he meant“ someone who was legally acceptable to the form of government at that time occurs in which this form of government exists ”.

In 1961 he signed the declaration of renunciation of claims to power required by the Habsburg Law as a condition for his entry into Austria. In the same year, however, his son was entered as Archduke in the Pöckinger baptismal register in Germany. The " Habsburg crisis " arose out of the uncertainty about his actual attitude towards the republic . 1966 after Chancellor Josef Klaus first time since 1945, a People's Party - one-party government might make, Otto Habsburg was allowed to legally enter Austria. In 1972 there was a "historic handshake" with the Social Democratic ( SPÖ ) Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky . Habsburg's political and historical statements repeatedly led to criticism and discussions in Austria until 2008, in which he primarily opposed the Social Democrats.

Otto von Habsburg was co-initiator and patron of the " Pan-European Picnic " on August 19, 1989. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989/90, his personal contribution to these events was repeatedly recognized.

Private person Otto (von) Habsburg

Birthplace Villa Wartholz (around 1900)
Tom von Dreger : Otto von Habsburg as Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, Laxenburg Castle , 1917
Postage stamp design with the portrait of Crown Prince Otto von Kolo Moser (1917)


Otto was born in 1912 in the Villa Wartholz in Reichenau an der Rax in Lower Austria. As the first-born son of the then number two in the line of succession, the later Emperor Karl I , and his wife Zita and as Crown Prince (from 1916), Archduke Otto was prepared for a future role as ruler. Four-year-old Otto appeared in public as Crown Prince for the first time in 1916 at the celebrations for the funeral of Emperor Franz Joseph I in Vienna and at the coronation of his father as King of Hungary in Budapest .

From 1916, from the day his father Karl became Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, until April 3, 1919, when the Nobility Repeal Act and the Habsburg Act came into force , Otto was Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary . At that time he was referred to as His Imperial and Royal Highness Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xaver Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius, Imperial Prince, Archduke of (to) Austria, Royal Prince of Hungary with all first names and full titulature .

After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy at the end of the First World War , he lived with his parents in Eckartsau Castle in Lower Austria until March 1919 - before the former imperial family emigrated in view of the impending internment of his father . From 1919 to 1921 Otto Habsburg-Lothringen lived in exile with his parents in Switzerland .

After two failed restoration attempts in Hungary, his father was banished to Madeira by the victorious powers of World War I. Zita accompanied him there and caught up with the children in early 1922. When Charles I was on his deathbed in April 1922, the nine-year-old son had to watch as one, according to his father, "dies as an emperor and a Christian". After Charles's death, the family moved to the Basque fishing village of Lequeitio, “where Alfonso XIII. - the Spanish king had visited the Theresianum in Vienna and his mother was an archduchess - provides for the livelihood ”.

Youth and Studies

His mother raised her son Otto even after the fall of the dual monarchy and the dethronization of the Habsburgs as a Roman Catholic monarch in Hungary in 1921 . He was in the languages of the peoples of the Austro-Hungarian taught monarchy and had to complete the old-Austrian and Hungarian old-schedule of a high school side by side. In addition to his native German, he was also fluent in Hungarian , Croatian , English , Spanish , French and Latin , both spoken and written. He wrote his later books not only in German, but also in Hungarian and French.

In October 1929 the family settled in Belgium . The age of majority and thus the end of the guardianship of his mother took place on November 20, 1930. Otto von Habsburg became head of the "House of Habsburg" and sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece .

Otto von Habsburg (left) in Berlin with Count von Degenfeld (1933)

After passing the final examination with honors, Otto von Habsburg took up a degree in political and social sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven in October 1929 and accepted the title Duke of Bar in Lorraine . He was enrolled under this name. As part of his dissertation on Austrian agricultural issues, he completed a study visit with Max Sering at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin . On June 7, 1935, Otto von Habsburg, after graduating with honors, received the title of Doctor of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Leuven .

From 1940 and starting a family

From 1940 to 1944 Habsburg lived in the USA, from 1944 to 1951 mainly in France, and later again in Spain. In 1951 he married Princess Regina von Sachsen-Meiningen in the Minoritenkirche in Nancy . Nancy was the historic capital of the Duchy of Lorraine and the Church of the Minorites was the burial place of his paternal ancestors, the Dukes of Lorraine. The marriage had seven children (see below, family members ). Since 1954 the close Otto family lived in Pöcking on Lake Starnberg in Bavaria . The family-owned “Villa Austria”, which Otto von Habsburg lived in until his death, was built around 1870 as “Villa Australia” by an Australian opera singer.

After the Second World War, Habsburg-Lothringen began working as a traveling speaker and also worked as a writer. Habsburg, who was supported in his political commitment by the Spanish dictator Franco , campaigned for him to be awarded the gold medal of the Mariazell Abbey , which Franco received in 1952.

family members

Otto von Habsburg portrayed by Oliver Mark , Pöcking 2006

With his wife Regina von Habsburg (officially in Austria: Regina Habsburg-Lothringen, in short: Regina Habsburg; 1925–2010) he had seven children (of which 22 were grandchildren and two great-grandchildren):

Head of the family

With the declaration of majority and thus the end of his mother's guardianship on November 20, 1930 until the end of 2006, Otto Habsburg was head of the Habsburg-Lothringen families (and of the "House of Habsburg", which perished in 1919). On January 1, 2007, he transferred this role to his son Karl Habsburg-Lothringen .

"To the Austrian Federal Government / Vienna I / Ballhausplatz 2" - waiver of May 31, 1961, signed with Otto Habsburg Lothringen (without the official hyphen between the parts of the name Habsburg and Lothringen ).

Declaration of waiver 1961

Entry into the Republic of Austria, which was proclaimed on November 12, 1918 , was forbidden to him and the other family members by Section 2 of the Habsburg Law of April 3, 1919, as long as they did not renounce membership of the House of Habsburg-Lothringen and the claims to power derived from it and themselves known as loyal citizens of the republic. Otto made this declaration against the declared will of his mother in May 1961 in order to be able to travel to Austria as a European politician, and signed the name Otto Habsburg-Lothringen, which had been valid for him since the Nobility Repeal Act of April 3, 1919 in Austria , but without the official hyphen between the two parts of the name Habsburg and Lothringen (for details see the section The "Habsburg Crisis" 1961–1966 ) :

“To the Austrian Federal Government

Vienna I Ballhausplatz 2

I, the finished man, hereby declare in accordance with § 2 of the law of April 3, 1919, State Law Gazette for the State of German-Austria No. 209, that I expressly renounce my membership in the House of Habsburg-Lothringen and all claims to power derived from it and that I am a loyal citizen confess to the republic.

I signed this declaration with my own hand.

Poecking, May 31, 1961.

[Signature as "Otto Habsburg Lothringen".] "

Political role

European politician

Otto von Habsburg at the presentation of the Coudenhove Kalergi Prize to Helmut Kohl (1991)

1957 to 1973 he was Vice President, 1973 to 2004 as successor to the founder Richard Nikolaus Graf von Coudenhove-Kalergi President of the International Paneuropean Union ; from 2004 to 2011 he was its honorary president.

From 1979 to 1999, after taking on both Austrian citizenship and German citizenship in 1978, he was a member of the European Parliament for the Christian-Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) and twice its senior president . Otto von Habsburg had been a member since 1982, but had not taken on any party offices. 

In connection with the drafting of the European Constitution , he always advocated a reference to God. From 1981 to 1999 he was chairman of the Political Affairs Committee of the European People's Party , chairman of the delegation in the EU-Hungary Joint Parliamentary Committee, member of the Political Committee for Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights and deputy member of the Development Committee and the Committee on Budgetary Control.

Otto von Habsburg left the European Parliament on June 13, 1999 at his own request for health reasons . After retiring from all political functions and relinquishing many of his offices, he ultimately only worked as a publicist .

Claims to the throne and title

Raised in this way by his mother Zita, Otto Habsburg-Lothringen held fast for decades to the claims to the throne, which had passed to him after his father's death in the interests of legitimism . In the following successor states of Austria-Hungary , claims to the throne of the House of Habsburg were explicitly excluded by law:

  • German Austria abolished the monarchy on November 12, 1918 and the titles of nobility on April 3, 1919; see Federal Constitution (Austria) and Nobility Repeal Act .
  • The Czechoslovak Republic , founded on October 28, 1918, revoked the title of nobility on December 10, 1918.
  • Hungary remained monarchy until 1946, but in 1921, after two attempts at restoration by Charles IV, at the request of the Triple Entente, passed the Dethronization Act, with which the king was deposed and his descendants excluded from the throne. Law IV / 1947 of January 14, 1947 abolished the nobility and nobility designations.

The stipulation cited in the imperial proclamation of Emperor Franz I of August 11, 1804, that the head of the House of Austria had the title of emperor regardless of the constitution of the hereditary countries, was no longer politically significant after the fall of the monarchy in 1918, since the empire Austria as a state no longer existed after Emperor Karl's declaration of renunciation and the proclamation of the Republic in November 1918.

As a citizen of the newly founded Republic of German Austria (1918/1919) and the Republic of Austria (since 1919), which came into being after the dissolution of the Danube Monarchy at the end of the First World War, Otto von Habsburg fell under the authority of the National Assembly from April 3, 1919 decided needle lifting law (in conjunction with the Habsburg law ) through which the dynastic house name Habsburg- Lorraine in Austria ver citizen light and became the family name.

In 1957 the Austrian Ministry of the Interior recorded that Otto's name was officially Dr. Otto Habsburg-Lothringen reads. At the same time he was officially forbidden to use the dynastic name Otto von Österreich on the basis of the Nobility Repeal Act . In an obituary in the period in 2011 , Joachim Riedl referred to Otto Habsburg's long "list of titles that sounded worthless."

Interwar period

Plans in Austria

Since around 1922, smaller traditionalist associations had emerged in Austria, for example in Vienna “Ö. StV. Ottonia ”(formerly Corps Ottonen), who wanted to establish a constitutional monarchy with the Habsburg prince at its head. However, this restoration movement (see Legitimists ) was only approved by a few politicians. Monarchist parties received only a small number of voters in all free elections in the First Republic and always failed to make it into parliament.

From 1930, in particular, individual politicians in Austria were considering, including the dictatorial Chancellors Engelbert Dollfuß and Kurt Schuschnigg , to appoint the son of the last emperor as head of state in a newly constituted monarchy. This should overcome the struggles between the political camps. With the return to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the state consciousness of the Austrians was to be strengthened and a counterweight to the German national efforts to join the German Reich was to be created.

In the course of the reconsideration, the corporate state also reintroduced the double-headed eagle in the state coat of arms (but without crown and scepter) and emphasized the kuk tradition in the armed forces , for example by partially reintroducing old army uniforms. However, Otto von Habsburg was asked several times by Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg not to enter Austria in order not to give other states a reason to attack.

On July 10, 1935, Schuschnigg's expulsion of the Habsburgs from the country and the confiscation of their private assets were legally repealed. In April 1936 the family pension fund was restored. At the beginning of 1937, after a meeting between Habsburg and Schuschnigg, a protocol for the preparation of the restoration is said to have been drawn up. On January 1, 1938, goods worth around 31.5 million schillings (April 2011 value: around 103 million euros) were returned to this fund. Otto Habsburg is said to have received a monthly allowance of 20,000 schillings. In 1937, however, the relationship between Schuschnigg and Otto cooled off, and Schuschnigg "postponed" ideas about reestablishing the monarchy.

Until the "Anschluss" of Austria to Hitler Germany in 1938, the "emigrant" Otto Habsburg had been granted honorary citizenship by 1603 Austrian communities . He received his first honorary citizenship in the municipality of Ampass in Tyrol on December 7, 1931, and other municipalities had followed this example. On February 11, 1938, there were monarchist mass events with around 80,000 participants in Vienna and the provincial capitals.

Will to defend against Hitler

Shortly before Austria was " annexed " to the National Socialist German Reich , Otto von Habsburg asked the then Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg to give him the chancellorship of the republic in order to organize military resistance. While Schuschnigg wanted to protest against a possible German invasion and surrender , Habsburg, like parts of the Austrian army and army command (other parts had long been National Socialists), was in favor of military resistance and wanted to take over government power from Schuschnigg.

In his letter of February 17, 1938 to Schuschnigg, Habsburg demanded active defense and strict rejection of National Socialism:

“For now, pacification to the left must be actively pursued. The workers have proven in the last few days that they are patriots. This group cannot be poisoned by National Socialism, so it will always be the safest way to stand up for Austria, whereas the government must give them the opportunity to actively participate in shaping the fatherland for which it is ready to work. "

Schuschnigg rejected this request; such an attempt would "with one hundred percent certainty mean the downfall of Austria".

Of Adolf Hitler , from Hungary and Czechoslovakia (became Czech pages politicians, according to the Sudeten German Homeland Association , the restoration goals in Austria were the watchword issued "Dear Hitler as Habsburg!") With invasion plans (the German invasion plan bore the code name " Operation Otto " , but possibly with reference to the Ottonians ), as they feared monarchist repercussions on their countries.


In the 1930s, Habsburg met Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi , who founded the Paneuropean Union (PEU) in 1922 . In 1936 he became a member. After the Second World War, Habsburg was President of the Union from 1973 to 2004, succeeding Coudenhove-Kalergi, and then Honorary President until his death in 2011. In Austria he was involved in the transformation of the monarchist movement into the Pan-European Movement Austria and was its president until 1986 when he handed over the function to his son Karl.

time of the nationalsocialism

Operations in continental Europe

After the Nazi rule in Austria had begun with the “Anschluss” to the German Reich , Habsburg was put out to be wanted on March 29, 1938 for high treason , as the Völkischer Beobachter reported on April 20, the “Führer birthday”. His personal fortune and the family fortune of the Habsburg family that he managed were expropriated on Hitler's personal orders. The leaders of the legitimist movement were immediately arrested and most of them executed. Between 1938 and 1942 between 4,000 and 4,500 Austrian monarchists are thought to have been arrested; around 800 to 1000 of them were executed or murdered in concentration camps .

On May 10, 1940, the Habsburg family narrowly escaped a bombing of the Steenokkerzeel Castle . The order was issued from the Führer deputy Rudolf Hess to the invasion troops in Belgium, Otto Habsburg and his brothers, if they were caught without any trial to shoot them immediately. Via Paris, Spain and Portugal (he received the necessary visa from Aristides de Sousa Mendes ), "Otto of Austria", as he then called himself in America, fled into exile in the United States on June 27, 1940 . His mother Zita and Otto's siblings also fled to the American continent. In the early 1940s he met in the Library of Congress (Library of Congress) the emigrant Fritz GA Kraemer know, who became after 1948 an influential adviser in US Department of Defense.

On the day of the radio call for the armistice by Philippe Pétain in France, Habsburg returned to Bordeaux on June 17, 1940, according to an authorized biography, in order to obtain visas for the political escape from the German Reich with the help of the Portuguese Consul General, Aristides de Sousa Mendes to organize persecuted Austrians overseas via Spain and Portugal. The biography speaks of around 15,000 people who were saved in this way. The ORF documentary “Menschen und Mächte” broadcast on the occasion of his death speaks of thousands of saving visas that he would have organized for Austrians who had to flee the German Reich and the occupied countries. His name is said to have already been on a so-called "Wiesbaden list" of people who, in the event of unconditional surrender, would have had to arrest France immediately and extradite them to the German Reich.

Otto Habsburg, his mother and siblings were stripped of their citizenship on Hitler's orders. In a secret file of the Reich Security Main Office in Berlin from August 25, 1941, it says:

"After the lecture, the Fuehrer ordered that the former Empress Zita von Habsburg-Lothringen should be deprived of her German citizenship and that her expatriation should be extended to her sons and daughters with the confiscation of their property, some of which had not yet been confiscated."

The expropriated property fell to the Greater German Reich and, as far as it was in Austria, passed into the possession of the Republic of Austria after its fall.

The merit claimed by Habsburg to have prevented or postponed air attacks by the Allies on Austria (in the German Reich the " Danube and Alpine Gaue " were called "Reichsluftschutzkeller") is not accepted by science. The initial non-bombing was due to the fact that the bases of the British and American air forces, from which the bomber squadrons started, were initially too far away from Austria to guarantee the safe return of the aircraft. Only when the bases were approaching Austria in 1943/44 ( Foggia airport ) and US bombers with a greater range were available, bombing began.

Actions in the US and UK

In the USA and Great Britain Otto Habsburg had close personal contacts with President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill . He succeeded in successfully initiating “Austrian Day”, successfully admitting Austria to the “Occupied Nations” stamp series and, above all, participating in the 2nd Quebec Conference , where, with the support of Churchill, he successfully reduced the size of the Soviet zone with President Roosevelt . suggested the division of Vienna among the four allies. His attempt to form a government in exile and a Habsburg "Austrian Battalion" failed.

Through Otto Habsburg's efforts, Austria's state independence was to be achieved after the war, the zone planning of the Allies in occupied post-war Austria was to be changed in favor of the Western powers and Hungary was to be broken out of its alliance with the German Empire. With regard to Hungary, the Western Allied plans of a Hungarian surrender to the Western powers, an air landing by Allied troops in Hungary or a landing in Yugoslavia in support and an intended appointment of Otto von Habsburg within or at the head of the Hungarian government by the surprising occupation of Hungary by the Red Army destroyed. Churchill was an advocate of these plans to curb the impending advance of the Soviets into Central Europe .

Another realistic possibility of restoration for Habsburg existed during the Second World War when he won Churchill for the concept of a Danube federation or Habsburg was led in plans of British diplomacy for such considerations: In the area of ​​the former Austria-Hungary, according to his ideas, a new multi-ethnic state should be Austria-Hungary emerged on the model of Belgium , which united two large population groups. The states of Bavaria , Baden , Württemberg and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen were also to be re-established as monarchies and united in a so-called "South German Confederation". Churchill also proposed the isolation of Prussia and the creation of an enlarged Danube federation. "When Bruno Kreisky found out about it in Swedish exile, he noted:" Do they really believe in these circles that the feelings of hatred associated with the name Habsburg have already disappeared today? "

Churchill wanted to create a modernized version of the old Austria-Hungary as a counterweight to the German Empire, whereby he said with regard to the latter: "If it did not exist, one would have to invent it." (This bon mot was originally given to the Czech historian and politician František Palacký , 1798– 1876, attributed). Churchill's concepts in this regard, however, failed because of the rejection by Josef Stalin at the Tehran conference . Roosevelt estimated the realistic chance of implementing this project due to the extensive advance of the Red Army as low and therefore did not represent this project in the same way as Churchill. The Americans and British did not associate this federation with the goal of re-enthroning the House of Habsburg.

In a private meeting between Archbishop of New York Francis Spellman and President Roosevelt on September 3, 1943, the President answered Spellman's explicit question whether Austria, Hungary and Croatia would fall under any kind of Russian protectorate with a resounding yes. Regarding Austria, Roosevelt said that there would be no opposition to a communist-ruled Austrian regime. The only possibility would be if Otto von Habsburg could win the throne with the help of Hungary - but even he would have to come to terms with the Russians.

From 1944 until the waiver in 1961

In November 1944 Otto von Habsburg traveled "as one of the first refugees" from the USA via Lisbon to liberated Paris, and in 1945 after the end of the war to western Austria; he stayed with his brother Robert for a few weeks in the French zone, in Innsbruck .

In a signed with "Otto of Austria" and with the Habsburg crown ornate letter Otto wrote on July 2, 1945, US - President Truman , recommended the creation of the Austrian government in the Western Allies occupied provinces and warned of the recognition of the Provisional Government under Head of the Social Democrat Karl Renner in Vienna, "because otherwise" the communist-ruled regime "in Vienna would" lead the country to anarchy "." Habsburg's suggestion was not complied with because it would have strengthened the division of Austria along the demarcation line to the Soviet zone. Renner managed to get recognition from all four allies for his government in Vienna in 1945.

The decision of 1945 to return the Second Republic to constitutional law prior to 1933 (including the Habsburg law) forced Otto Habsburg to leave Austria again in 1946: “At the urging of the American occupying power, Foreign Minister Karl Gruber travels to Tyrol to persuade the annoying Habsburgs to leave. "

Habsburg had to leave because he had not given a waiver. Habsburg was suspect to the socialists for decades; they by no means approved of his entry. In addition, despite resistance from the French, the departure was probably necessary to appease the Soviets, who wanted to prevent a Habsburg renaissance in their sphere of influence and therefore demanded that the validity of the Habsburg law be anchored in international law in 1955 in order to approve the Austrian State Treaty .

The expulsion in 1946 did not affect Otto Habsburg's Austrian citizenship. Since he did not have a valid Austrian passport , he received a Monegasque passport or a passport of the Sovereign Order of Malta , to which he had belonged since 1932, through the intermediary of Charles de Gaulle . He later received a Spanish diplomatic passport . In 1949 Otto Habsburg raised "a number of people to the nobility, in contravention of the Austrian constitution ". Shortly afterwards, in an interview in a Viennese daily newspaper, Habsburg advocated "a form of government made up of" monarchical and republican elements "".

Since May 10, 1954, the permanent residence of the Habsburg-Lothringen family has been the "Villa Austria" (also known locally as the "Kaiservilla") in Pöcking on Lake Starnberg . In 1957, the Austrian Ministry of the Interior named the name Dr. Otto Habsburg-Lothringen , at the same time he was officially prohibited from using the dynastic name Otto von Österreich . Habsburg had previously tried to have his daughters Andrea and Gabriela registered in their places of birth with names that referred to the former dynastic function of his family. With Andrea his attempt to have her registered as Archduchess in 1953 in Würzburg , where three of his children were born at the university women's clinic there, failed; with Gabriela he succeeded in doing so in 1956 in Luxembourg .

On May 8, 1956 Otto Habsburg-Lothringen was certified by the Lower Austrian provincial government to be an Austrian citizen and he was issued a passport. However, this contained the restriction "Valid for all countries in the world, with the exception of Austria" (see citizenship of Karl ).

At the beginning of 1958, Maximilian Hohenberg , a son of the heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand who was murdered in Sarajevo, felt in Austria because of Otto Habsburg's chances of returning, but that the socialists had shown themselves reserved. The basis was the declaration drawn up by Otto's lawyer on February 21, 1958, the sole purpose of which was the possibility of returning, but without express recognition of the Habsburg Law and without formally - as required by the SPÖ - waiving any claim to power:

"In order to be able to return to my homeland, I declare in my own name and in the name of my wife and my underage children as an Austrian citizen that I recognize the laws currently in force in Austria and that I am a loyal citizen of the Republic."

On September 3, 1958, he wrote to Federal Chancellor Julius Raab , with whom he deposited his wish to return. Raab replied to him on October 17th and in the letter expressed his concerns, "that with the sensitivity of Czechoslovakia and Hungary it will be impossible to develop any political activity here in Austria." In addition, he asked for the restitution of the former Habsburg property the so-called family pension fund.

Shortly afterwards, he again explained to the New Courier that in his eyes the constitutional form of government was the best form of government. On December 20, 1958, he was quoted by the French magazine Paris Match , a statement which he later denied having made in this form:

"But once I have returned and become a simple citizen, who will prevent me from fighting politically for my ideas, and what law could prevent citizens from electing me as emperor?"

Also in 1958, according to a Spiegel report, von Habsburg demanded an authority for Europe that could protect the general interest from the special interests of individuals. Such an authority used to be the emperor. Neither the former League of Nations nor the UN would have been able to solve this task. The European flag is more reminiscent of the emblem of a department store that could never replace the cross, under which Europe arose and under which it could live alone.

All of this seemed unacceptable to the SPÖ and aroused resistance. The Federal President Adolf Schärf then wrote to the (then) State Secretary Bruno Kreisky at the beginning of January : “The Habsburg question comes up again and again. If you consider that Otto is at the same time in Austria declaring the opposite of what he is saying in France, then you have to expect that he would only use his return to start the restoration. [...] For this reason I believe that everything should be done to make it difficult to return. "

At the suggestion of the Spanish ministerial advisor Sánchez Bello, Habsburg was to be brought into discussion for the Spanish crown after Franco's death, but this was never really an option for the dictator .

The "Habsburg Crisis" 1961–1966

From 1961 the coalition of ÖVP and SPÖ got into a serious crisis over the Habsburg issue ("Habsburg Crisis"), with which fundamental constitutional questions were connected. As a result, there were domestic political disputes about Otto Habsburg's possible return, which was to continue even after an officially recorded waiver, dated May 31, 1961. With a time lag of more than forty years, the parliamentary correspondence ( hereinafter abbreviated as PK ) as Parliament's media office in 2006 published a detailed description of this, which is the basis of the following summary:

Property question

Initially, the domestic Habsburg crisis was only sparked by the question of property. While the Austrian Federal Chancellery, led by the Austrian People's Party, commissioned a review of what acquisitions could have been in the event of a return and discussions were held with the federal forests, and Federal Chancellor Raab in his department commissioned a draft law on the restitution of the Habsburg Working out assets, on the other hand, blocked the SPÖ and attacked Otto Habsburg in the media. He, in turn, now recognized that he would not be able to assert himself on the property issue, and limited himself to enabling his entry into Austria. The journalist Hellmut Andics suspected that Habsburg could also have realized "that for him, as head of the family, the reactivation of the family pension fund would result not only in rights but also in obligations towards other family members."

Title for Habsburg children

A few months before his declaration of renunciation at the end of May 1961 (the so-called "declaration of loyalty") Otto Habsburg had his newborn son Karl (born January 11, 1961) in the Pöckingen baptismal register as "Karl von Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, royal prince of Hungary" register. Habsburg explained the process in a 1965 Spiegel interview:

“This whole story went like this: The local priest made the entry without asking me, of his own accord. After all, it's his book too. Incidentally, he did not refer to my son as heir to the throne. The pastor also communicated the facts in a registered letter to the SPÖ press, which wrote about the entry. But she never published his letter. "

He had already made such an entry (and probably for all children born before Karl) for his eldest daughter Andrea Maria (born May 30, 1953) - according to an APA press release by the Hungarian "party official" daily newspaper Népszabadság on June 5, 1963:

“The registry office of pöcking carefully keeps the entry that the daughter otto von habsburgs, andrea maria, archduchess of austria, was baptized royal princess of hungary. in hungary you will certainly not find a sensible person who takes the title of royal princess seriously. "

At the same time, the party organ feared:

“His emphatic pose is based on the encouragement of very real forces. The reactionary circles inside and outside Austria are active and, with the return of otto von Habsburg, intend to begin liquidating the foundations of the bourgeois-democratic regime in Austria itself, repealing the state treaty, liquidating Austria's neutrality and integrating it into the western military alliance. "

And further:

“We hungary cannot ignore this new Habsburg provocation. we cannot forget that ..... otto habsburg, albeit disguised as a 'simple citizen', intends to cross the austrian border as + emperor of austria and king of hungary +. "

Disclaimer dated May 31, 1961

Political evaluation

Otto Habsburg-Lothringen announced in a declaration "To the Austrian Federal Government", dated "Pöcking, on May 31, 1961", handed over to Federal Chancellor Alfons Gorbach on June 5, 1961 by his lawyer, the former Finance Minister Ludwig Draxler to expressly renounce his membership in the House of Habsburg-Lothringen and all claims to power derived from it and to profess to be a loyal citizen of the republic (see exact wording above).

In its essential parts, this formulation literally corresponded to Section 2 of the Habsburg Law. At the same time, he asked the government, in agreement with the main committee of the National Council, that this declaration was to be regarded as sufficient to lift the expulsion from the country imposed on him in 1919 with the Habsburg law.

No agreement could be reached in the Council of Ministers on June 13 and 21, 1961. A few days later, the minutes of the meeting were supplemented with the addition that the request is deemed to be rejected. The application was therefore not forwarded to the main committee of the National Council. The applicant was also not notified.

Legal evaluation

Otto Habsburg-Lothringen then appealed to the Constitutional Court , which on December 16, 1961, however, declared that it had no jurisdiction. The Supreme Court justified its position with the fact that there was no decision and that the government had to seek agreement with the main committee, which in turn was not an administrative organ and whose members had the constitutionally guaranteed free mandate. The VfGH therefore has no decision-making authority.

That is why Habsburg appealed to the Administrative Court on February 6, 1962 with a complaint about default (that is, a complaint that his application had not been decided) . This called on the government to either draw up a statement or to make a decision. After the government also let this deadline pass, the Administrative Court (which was entitled to rule in place of the competent organs in the case of default complaints until the introduction of comprehensive administrative jurisdiction in 2014) ruled on May 24, 1963 that the declaration of loyalty was sufficient ( This ended the expulsion of Otto Habsburg-Lothringen from the state in accordance with the law). The VwGH assumed that the Parliament's right to participate in this decision had been laid down in the Habsburg Act of 1919, but not transferred to the Federal Constitution of 1920 and that it could therefore decide on its own in place of the defaulting Federal Government.

Political aftermath

Political debate

This VwGH finding sparked a very controversial public debate. Strikes and demonstrations against Habsburg broke out, including with the participation of the trade union federation . In the parliamentary dispute, on the other hand, the constitutional and rule-of-law aspects in particular were hotly debated. In particular, the different ruling practices of the two highest courts raised serious constitutional concerns.

On June 5, 1963, an urgent request from the SPÖ to the Federal Chancellor “regarding the preservation of legal unity in Austria” was debated in the National Council. Among other things, the SPÖ objected to the fact that the Administrative Court had ignored Parliament's authority to participate in this decision. (SPÖ chairman, Vice Chancellor Bruno Pittermann , spoke of a “judicial coup” at the party congress on June 6, 1963 in Vienna.) The ÖVP was of the opinion that the declaration made by Otto Habsburg-Lothringen fully complied with the legal requirements and was to be accepted. The FPÖ supported the SPÖ's view that the National Council had been unlawfully passed over by the VwGH. At their request, the National Council, with the votes of the SPÖ and FPÖ, adopted a motion for a resolution that the federal government should submit a bill to parliament in order to avoid contradicting decisions by the highest courts in the future. In addition, an authentic interpretation of the Habsburg Law is required so that the main committee is not diminished in its rights in the future.

Federal Constitutional Law "Authentic Interpretation"

On the basis of this resolution, the ÖVP-SPÖ federal government Gorbach II submitted a relevant federal constitutional law. It was decided unanimously on July 4, 1963 in a very turbulent National Council meeting after heated discussions. It affirmed that it is up to the Federal Government, in agreement with the Main Committee of the National Council, to determine whether a declaration under the Habsburg Law is sufficient.

Resolution of the National Council

However, since the law cannot be passed retrospectively, as the SPÖ wanted, and therefore the decision of the VwGH of May 24, 1963 in favor of Otto Habsburg-Lothringen could not be revoked, and since the ÖVP the SPÖ's suggestion, the VwGH judgment of a referendum refused to undergo because of unconstitutionality, the National Council also adopted with a SPÖ-FPÖ majority a resolution to the federal government regarding the “demonstration of the will of the people’s representatives for a return of Dr. Otto Habsburg-Lothringen ”. In it “the federal government is' commissioned ',' in recognition of the fact that ... a return of Dr. Otto Habsburg-Lothringen is not wanted to Austria because it would undoubtedly have grave consequences for the Republic of Austria and, because of the risk of resulting political disputes, would also lead to economic setbacks', this statement as a declaration of will of the Austrian people's representation would be appropriate correspond. "(PK).

The ÖVP, however, had argued that the resolution was nothing more than a mandate to the government to ignore the legal force of a supreme court decision. It was countered that the federal government would be asked to comply with the demonstration of will in an “appropriate way” so that unconstitutional and illegal measures would be ruled out from the outset. The ÖVP rejected the idea expressed by the SPÖ in the discussion that an individual decision by the government and the main committee would take place as a political issue "in a court-free area" and could therefore not be examined by the highest courts as incompatible with the rule of law.

In return, an SPÖ speaker pointed out that the Christian Social Mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger, had already organized mass rallies in 1899 against a VwGH decision that his party did not approve of. It was also pointed out that the legal opinion that the main committee is not responsible has not been mentioned anywhere in the specialist legal literature since 1920. In interjections, the two governing parties threw each other incidents from the years 1927 ( Justice Palace fire according to the leading article of the Arbeiter-Zeitung ), 1933/1934 (elimination of democracy by the predecessor party of the ÖVP) and 1950 (alleged passivity of the ÖVP during the communist-led October strikes ) and theirs respective considerations on the coalition with the FPÖ.


Otto Habsburg-Lothringen was initially not allowed to enter the country. For Interior Minister Franz Olah and Foreign Minister (and later Federal Chancellor) Bruno Kreisky had given instructions (allegedly on May 24, 1963, the day of the Administrative Court decision) not to issue a passport to Habsburg, who did not have an Austrian passport but a Spanish diplomatic passport and thus prevent his entry. False alarms at border stations are said to have led to several operations by the executive.

In 1964, the ÖVP and the SPÖ agreed to resolve the Habsburg question "peacefully and permanently, while preserving the constitution and every constitutional state," as the government declaration of April 2, 1964 said. It was also agreed to refrain from hasty steps, which meant that Otto Habsburg-Lorraine would no longer be an option until the end of the legislative period . "Even Bruno Kreisky's Solomonic proposal to deport Otto Habsburg as Austrian representative to the Holy See does not meet with approval."

End of the crisis: entry permit 1966

It was not until the National Council election in 1966, from which the ÖVP emerged with an absolute majority, that the Habsburg question turned around and the crisis ended. Under the sole government of the ÖVP, Klaus , the Ministry of the Interior issued Otto Habsburg-Lothringen with an unrestricted passport on June 1, 1966. Two SPÖ motions for resolutions tabled in response to an urgent request by MP Leopold Gratz (later Federal Minister, Mayor of Vienna, President of the National Council) on June 8, 1966, which on the one hand aimed to "reaffirm" the resolution of 1963 and, on the other hand, to "that Habsburg assets, [...] also to 'continue to be preserved undiminished for the Austrian people' ”(PK), were rejected with the votes of the ÖVP and FPÖ. However, a majority of the ÖVP and FPÖ found the FPÖ motion for a resolution, in which the federal government was called upon to "suspend any pending claims or claims still to be asserted by Dr. Otto Habsburg-Lothringen or other members of the House of Habsburg-Lothringen to ensure that these are decided exclusively by the competent courts of the Republic of Austria on the basis of the law ”. This ended the parliamentary treatment of the declaration of loyalty.

Der Spiegel wrote in June 1966:

“In order to avoid red riot, however, ÖVP Chancellor Klaus made the Habsburg's promise to carefully savor the new feeling of home: Otto is supposed to convince the people of the republic of his harmlessness and slowly get used to his sight through brief visits in a simple loden coat. The Habsburg family's residence - next to Otto's wife Regina von Sachsen-Meiningen and seven children - is to remain Pöcking in Bavaria for the time being. "

Otto Habsburg-Lothringen first entered Austria on October 31, 1966, which resulted in protests and a strike by around 250,000 workers on November 2.

Decades later, Norbert Leser , Social Democrat and political scientist, stated that Social Democracy and himself as Habsburg cannibals were not afraid of a monarchist restoration, but rather feared being pushed into the background by Otto Habsburg-Lothringen. This conflict was mainly used to divert attention from internal party problems (the exclusion of Franz Olah from the party ). In his opinion, the SPÖ party congress in 1963 was all about warding off the imagined danger of Otto Habsburg, with Justice Minister Christian Broda being in charge of this , according to Reader .

Since the 1970s

Otto Habsburg in front of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna (1998)
Otto Habsburg speaks (2006)

On May 4, 1972, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Paneuropean Union in Vienna, there was a "historic handshake" between Otto Habsburg-Lothringen and Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky. From then on, Otto Habsburg-Lothringen's stays in Austria were no longer discussed, and the relationship between the Austrian Social Democrats and the Habsburg family relaxed.

In his European information center in Madrid , an “elite circle” that was founded “under the wing of his old friend”, the Spanish dictator Franco , which sought “European unification under Christian auspices”, Habsburg had met the top Bavarian politician Franz Josef Strauss , “his later mentor ”from 1970.“ The bearer of a famous name spans a worldwide network of relationships, but he avoids the aristocratic rainbow world. "Futil," he says, is his class. He says in vain. "

On June 8, 1978, Habsburg-Lothringen - bearing the name Otto von Habsburg in Germany - received his German passport and thus German citizenship in the town hall of his place of residence in Pöcking . Habsburg “went through the Cold War as an anti-communist itinerant preacher, and especially he demonized Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik .” In the 1979 European elections , Strauss helped him win a CSU mandate in the European Parliament , to which he was a member until the 1999 European elections . There he was, among other things, the foreign policy spokesman for the EPP Group and, against great opposition, initiated the resolution which, through an empty chair in the European Parliament, drew media attention to the people behind the Iron Curtain . On July 13, 1988 Otto von Habsburg traveled to Budapest in still communist Hungary for the first time since 1918 .

He was co-initiator and patron of the “ Pan-European Picnic ” on August 19, 1989 on the Hungarian-Austrian border, where Hungary began dismantling the Iron Curtain in May 1989 . A still existing gate was symbolically opened for three hours during the picnic. 661 GDR citizens vacationing or waiting in Hungary (who had been made aware of the event by word of mouth by the organizers) used this historic moment to leave for Austria in an uncontrolled manner and not prevented by the Hungarian border guards. After the Pan-European Picnic, Erich Honecker dictated the following statement to the Daily Mirror : “Habsburg distributed leaflets far into Poland, on which East German vacationers were invited to a picnic. When they came to the picnic, they were given presents, food and German marks, and then they were persuaded to come to the West. "" After his fall ... Honecker claims that this Habsburg drove the coffin nail into his coffin. "

Otto von Habsburg was one of the signatories of the declaration “ For freedom and self-determination - against totalitarian efforts by lesbian and gay associations ”, which was launched in spring 2009 to support the 6th International Congress for Psychiatry and Pastoral Care . He justified his signature with the words: “For me this is a question of principle and courage to admit to values ​​and to stand up for them. Too often there is a lack of courage to confess. If you have the courage to confront a despot like Hitler, you don't need courage to defy the zeitgeist even today. "

Criticism and controversy

At the end of 1998, Habsburg was targeted by criticism and the Munich public prosecutor's office because he compared the allegations and calls for resignation against his son Karl Habsburg in connection with the World Vision donation affair with the National Socialist persecution of Jews:

“Karl is attacked because he has that certain yellow star, the name Habsburg. [...] The poor Jews endured terrible things. I often think of them in this context. "

Karl Habsburg's EU election campaign for the ÖVP was financed in 1996 - according to Habsburg without his knowledge - in part with misappropriated donations from the aid organization World Vision Austria , which were diverted to the Paneuropean Union .

Habsburg's public advocacy for the New Right weekly newspaper Junge Freiheit , to which he repeatedly made himself available as an interview partner, met with criticism. As the first signatory of two petitions initiated by the editors, he campaigned against the background of a legal dispute against the categorization of the newspaper as "right-wing extremist" at the time and in 2006 against its publication at the Leipzig Book Fair.

In 2002, in an interview with Junge Freiheit , Habsburg said in response to the question of what he saw as the reason for the "unusually militant tones" before the impending US intervention in Iraq that US domestic policy was split in two halves, namely one in the key positions "Ministry of Defense occupied by Jews", "today a Jewish institution", on the one hand, and a State Department occupied by "blacks, for example Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice" on the other. According to Habsburg, however, the “Anglo-Saxons, that is, the white Americans” played “hardly a role”.

In November 2007, Habsburg commented on his position on Engelbert Dollfuss ' coup . He had “infinitely respected Dollfuss. The man was brave, ready to stand up for Austria to the last resort. At that time I saw everything from this perspective: We have to preserve Austria ”. He also had "no problem at all" with the dissolution of parliament and the ban on parties and unions: "When it comes to the country, I'm ready for anything."

On the occasion of a ceremony by the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) in Vienna in March 2008 to commemorate the National Socialist takeover of power in Austria in March 1938, there was a scandal over Otto von Habsburg's statement that Austria was the “first victim of Hitler”. No country in Europe has more right than Austria to call itself a victim. The “real scandal” is the discussion about whether Austria was complicit in the crimes of the Nazi regime or its victims. In this context he called the Moscow Declaration of the Allies of 1943, which stated that Austria was jointly responsible, "one of the greatest acts of hypocrisy and lies", since Austria had long since disappeared from the map by that time. The greeting of Hitler by the masses on Hitler's inaugural visit to Vienna's Heldenplatz in March 1938 was "a matter of course" and as harmless as at a football game, since, after all, at every "big hype" many people come together to applaud. According to the press, "the ÖVP mandataries [...] enthusiastically cheered this apotheosis of the victim myth". Ex-Chancellor Schüssel replied, however, that the Austrians “unfortunately also became perpetrators”, while the Social Democratic Defense Minister Norbert Darabos Habsburg called his remarks a “veritable democratic political scandal” and spoke of “mocking the victims of the Nazi regime”. It is unbelievable that seventy years after the “Anschluss” such theses would be put forward at an ÖVP commemorative event. Austria has a responsibility to face its history and not to deny it. Habsburg's position is referred to in Austria as the victim thesis .


In addition to domestic and non-European awards, honorary citizenships and honorary doctorates, European heads of state and heads of government honored Otto Habsburg-Lothringen on his 90th birthday for his life's work for Europe and his advocacy in a grand ceremony in the Vienna Hofburg in 2002 , at the invitation of Federal President Thomas Klestil against National Socialism and Communism . At this event, the former French President and later President of the European Convention , Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, emphasized that Otto Habsburg tried to spare the local population from the agony of the bombing in World War II through various interventions. In honor of Otto Habsburg's 95th birthday, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn celebrated a mass on November 19, 2007 in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna . During the mass celebrations, Schönborn wore the so-called "Elisabeth regalia" donated to the cathedral by Empress Elisabeth . The then Nuncio in Austria, Archbishop Edmond Farhat , was present as the representative of the Holy See . He transmitted from Pope Benedict XVI. His apostolic blessing to “the head of the House of Habsburg”, his family “and all those who are connected to the House of Habsburg” . In the afternoon Otto Habsburg and his family were received by Federal President Heinz Fischer in the presidential office in the Leopoldine wing of the Vienna Hofburg .

Habsburg was a member of the Mont Pelerin Society , Honor and Devotion Grand Cross Bailli of the Sovereign Order of Malta , and from 1930 until it was handed over to his son Karl in 2000, sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece .

As head of the Habsburg-Lothringen families, from 1922 to 2002 he was also the chief owner of the Academic Association of the Catholic-Austrian Landsmannschaften . On his 90th birthday, he handed this office over to his son and presumptive heir Karl in a solemn act in the Augustinian Church in Vienna . He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Forum of German Catholics .

Otto von Habsburg, President of the International Paneuropean Union , opened the 7th European Symposium Kaisersteinbruch # Otto von Habsburg as guest of honor and keynote speaker on June 20, 2004  . Works of art from Great Britain and Lithuania were presented in the presence of the ambassadors . A European devotion took place in the parish church of Kaisersteinbruch and since then there has been the "Otto von Habsburg" rose in the Rosarium # Austria in front of the European fountain.

In 2006 he joined the German Language Association as an honorary member .

Death and aftermath

Funeral ceremonies

The laying out of Otto von Habsburg and his wife Regina in the Capuchin Church on July 15, 2011
Sarcophagus of Otto von Habsburg in the Capuchin Crypt
Heart grave of Otto von Habsburg in the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma

Otto von Habsburg died on July 4, 2011 at the age of 98 in his house in Pöcking. Public laying out of the coffin took place first in the St. Ulrich Church in Pöcking, in the Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan in Munich and in the Mariazell Basilica in Styria . Otto von Habsburg's coffin was laid out in Mariazell before it was brought to the Capuchin Church in Vienna .

On July 16, 2011 Otto Habsburg's coffin was transferred to St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna , where the Vienna Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn as the representative of Pope Benedict XVI. held the funeral mass in the presence of foreign heads of state and the Austrian Federal President. Schönborn's concelebrants were Archbishops of Prague , Dominik Duka , and Trnava , Róbert Bezák , and other bishops and abbots from the former monarchy. At the ceremony, the “ imperial anthem ” was played at the request of the Habsburg family .

Accompanied by a funeral procession of 3500 participants, the coffin was brought from St. Stephen's Cathedral to the Capuchin Crypt , the traditional burial place of the Habsburgs, after the mass ; Thousands of interested people and onlookers watched the conduct through downtown Vienna. The coffin was only let into the Capuchin Church after a similar knocking ceremony in 1989 at Otto's mother, Zita . The funeral took place in the closest family circle. His wife Regina was buried at the Habsburg side. His heart was buried the next day in the Hungarian Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma .

According to the Stern magazine , some Austrian politicians and historians have criticized the great honor “which the Republic of Austria bestowed on the eldest son of the last emperor, as well as the high level of security paid by the state. Around 400 police officers were on duty and a unit of the armed forces took part in the funeral procession . A small demonstration by the Socialist Left Party, which demonstrated against 'falsification of history and the funeral procession', is said to have been peaceful. "

On the occasion of his death, Pope Benedict XVI. a condolence telegram to Otto Habsburg's son Karl, in which he pays tribute to the deceased and as "S. kk H. Archduke Otto von Österreich ”, who, in“ responsibility before God and in the awareness of an important heritage ”, worked as a“ great European tirelessly for peace, the coexistence of peoples and a just order on this continent ”.


At the end of 2016, it became known that his sons Karl and Georg Habsburg-Lothringen had decided to give their father's estate to Budapest. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán made the family an offer that could not be refused. The Hungarian Parliament specifically passed a new law on foundations. The archive remains the property of the family.



  • Coutumes et droits successoraux de la classe paysanne et l'indivision des propriétés rurales en Autriche. Dissertation, 1935.
  • Letters from exile. Edited by Karl Werkmann , Ralph A. Höger, Leipzig / Vienna 1935.
  • Decision about Europe. Tyrolia Verlag, Innsbruck 1953.
  • Problems of the atomic age. World political and social aspects. Tyrolia, Innsbruck 1955.
  • Tomorrow's social order. Society and State in the Atomic Age. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1957.
  • Bernhard von Baden or From Confidence in History. Vorwerk, Stuttgart 1958.
  • In the spring of history. Herold, Vienna 1961.
  • The Far East is not lost. Herold, Vienna 1963.
  • Européens et Africains - L'entente nécessaire. Hachette, Paris 1963.
  • Europe, great power or battlefield? Herold Verlag, Vienna 1963.
  • Africa is not lost. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1964.
  • God's hand in history. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1966.
  • Karl V. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1967, ISBN 3-85002-286-2 .
  • Politics for the year 2000. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1968.
  • Les Transports et l'Europe. Center de recherches européennes, Lausanne 1969.
  • So far and on. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1974.
  • Saint Hedwig of Silesia and our time. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1974, ISBN 3-7008-0126-2 .
    • With God for history. St. Hedwig of Silesia and our time. Herold Verlag, Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3-902694-05-8 .
  • La naissance d'un continent. B. Grasset, Paris 1975.
  • The idea of ​​Europe, the offer of freedom. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1976.
  • Charles IV. A European Prince of Peace. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1978, ISBN 3-87332-003-7 .
  • Yalta és ami utána következett. Újváry Griff Verlag, Munich 1979.
  • Europe - guarantor of freedom. Herold Verlag, Vienna 1980.
  • The imperial idea. History and future of a supranational order. Amalthea, Vienna / Munich 1986, ISBN 3-85002-228-5 .
  • Power beyond the market. Europe 1992. Amalthea, Vienna / Munich 1988, ISBN 3-85002-267-6 .
  • Igy láttam… Vörösváry, Toronto 1992.
  • Európáért. Tevan K., Békéscsaba 1992.
  • Not shooting is also a miss. Finanz und Wirtschaft AG, Zurich 1992.
  • Úvahy o Evropě. Nakladat. Panevropa, Prague 1993.
  • Peace power Europe - great moments and darkness. Amalthea, Vienna / Munich / Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-85002-368-0 .
  • The pan-European idea - a vision becomes reality. Amalthea, Vienna / Munich 1999, ISBN 3-85002-424-5 .
  • A struggle for Austria 1938–1945. Amalthea, Vienna / Munich 2001, ISBN 3-85002-460-1 .
  • Our world has become small. The globalization of politics. Amalthea, Vienna / Munich 2006, ISBN 3-85002-539-X .
  • The Habsburg Factor Interview Collection, ed. by Eva Demmerle, Redline, Heidelberg 2007


in order of appearance

  • The Habsburg dispute (1958–1966). In: APA historical, - Dossier.
  • Austria / Habsburg: The Otto complex . In: Der Spiegel . No. 37 , 1960 ( online - figures, data and facts on the prevented asset provision, triggered by a forester, late 1950s to 1960 by the ÖVP with its Federal Chancellor Raab.).
  • Ulli Kulke, Felix Müller: The imperial puller. Interview with Otto von Habsburg. In: Die Welt , June 28, 2007 ( article online ).
  • Christian Ultsch, Michael Fleischhacker: Otto Habsburg: "I knew them all". Otto Habsburg, soon 95, about the Kaiser, Hitler and the “bigger” Austria. In: Die Presse , print edition, November 10, 2007 ( article online ).
  • Gerhard Oberkofler : Heinz Fischer receives Otto Habsburg. Aside from the historical context. In: Communications from the Alfred Klahr Society. No. 2/2008, pp. 15-20. ( Full text online (PDF; 166 kB; 6 pages) on the website of the Alfred Klahr Society. Association for Research into the History of the Labor Movement.)

Web links

Commons : Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen  - Collection of images


Pedigree of Otto von Habsburg

Franz Karl of Austria
⚭ 1824
Sophie Friederike of Bavaria

Ferdinand II of Naples and Sicily (1810–1859)
⚭ 1837
Maria Theresia Isabella of Austria (1816–1867)

John of Saxony (1801–1873)
⚭ 1822
Amalie Auguste of Bavaria (1801–1877)

Ferdinand II of Portugal (1816–1885)
⚭ 1836
Maria II of Portugal (1819–1853)

Charles II of Bourbon-Parma , King of Etruria (1799–1883)
⚭ 1820
Maria Theresa of Savoy (1803–1879)

Charles Ferdinand of France , Duke of Berry (1778–1820)
⚭ 1816
Maria Karolina of Naples and Sicily (1798–1870)

John VI of Portugal (1767–1826)
⚭ 1785
Charlotte Joachime of Spain (1775–1830)

Hereditary Prince
Konstantin zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1802–1838)
⚭ 1829
Maria Agnes Henriette zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1804–1835)

Great grandparents

Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria
⚭ 1862
Princess Maria Annunziata of Naples and Sicily

King George of Saxony (1832–1904)
⚭ 1859
Princess Maria Anna of Portugal (1843–1884)

Duke Charles III. of Bourbon-Parma (1823–1854)
⚭ 1845
Princess Louise of France (1819–1864)

King Michael of Portugal (1802–1866)
⚭ 1851
Princess Adelheid zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1831–1909)


Archduke Otto of Austria (1865–1906)
⚭ 1886
Princess Maria Josepha Luise of Saxony (1867–1944)

Duke Robert of Bourbon-Parma (1848–1907)
⚭ 1884
Princess Maria Antonia of Portugal (1862–1959)


Emperor Karl of Austria , King of Hungary (1887–1922)
⚭ 1911
Duchess Zita von Bourbon-Parma (1892–1989)

Otto von Habsburg (1912–2011)

Individual evidence

  1. a b cf. the Austrian party from 4./5. July 2011 (bold emphasis, note): " Otto von Habsburg / November 20, 1912 - July 4, 2011 / Last heir to the throne of Austria, 22-time grandfather and two-time great-grandfather, is on Monday, July 4, 2011 - in the presence of his seven Children 'fell asleep peacefully'. / Tuesday evening (July 5, 2011) Otto Habsburg's body will be… / […] /… the coffins of Otto and Regina Habsburg will be brought to Mariazell. / […] / On Saturday, July 16, 2011, the Requiem for Otto and Regina Habsburg will take place in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna - celebrated by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. / Then both will be solemnly buried in the Capuchin Crypt. "(=  Obituary notice of Otto von Habsburg, November 20, 1912 - †… July 4, 2011, final resting place: Capuchin Crypt. In: Website of Aspetos GmbH, accessed on May 10, 2019.)
  2. Emperor's son Otto Habsburg died at the age of 98. In: ORF .at, July 4, 2011, accessed on July 4, 2011.
  3. Cf. DDr. Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen died. ( Memento from April 10, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) In: Website of the Magistrats Eisenstadt, undated; Retrieved July 6, 2011.
    See He was 98 years old. Emperor's son Otto Habsburg dies. In: Wiener Zeitung / APA , July 4, 2011, accessed on July 6, 2011.
  4. Peter Seewald: "You can never have enough passports". Interview with Otto von Habsburg. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung - Magazin, issue 25/2003, June 20, 2003, pp. 20-25.
  5. Otto Habsburg's statement "You can never have enough passports" had its origin at least before / in November 2002, when Habsburg was reported in an interview in the German national weekly magazine Zur Zeit . - See quoted in: Günter Traxler : Company Otto, the second. Instead of being clever like the Ahnl and simply saying, "It was very nice, I was very happy", I felt ... In: Der Standard , print edition November 22, 2002 ( article online in version November 27, 2002 , accessed on May 10, 2019). Herein (taken from the source in italics): “But it is not the first time. The fall of man began when "Zur Zeit" bought a house rabbi as a miracle weapon against Peter Sichrovsky , because he suddenly discovered anti-Semitism in the Freedom Party . […] / And that's not all, Otto was asked - in the character mask "Majesty" - for his opinion on the world situation, for which the interviewer struggled to slip into the role of Alice Schalk in order to create a flair when we experienced the last days of mankind ... / [...] / Then the Schalk came up with a strange question. May I ask, do you feel like an Austrian? Do you have an Austrian passport? How can you graft such a great spirit onto such a small country? The answer was accordingly. You can never have enough passports. I learned that from my previous life as an emigrant, when I was standing there without a passport. I have an Austrian, a German, a Hungarian and a Croatian passport. Imperial Highness are a real passport, they don't give emigration a chance. "
  6. a b c d Joachim Riedl: One last touch of the monarchy. With the death of Otto Habsburg, a chapter in Austrian history finally comes to an end. In: Die Zeit , No. 28/2011, Austria edition, p. 13.
  7. a b c “I am a legitimist.” - Otto von Habsburg on the crisis in the West and the challenges of the 21st century. In: , November 22, 2002; Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  8. See the obituary of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation on ORF 2 repeated several times on July 4, 2011 .
  9. a b Joachim Kronsbein: Yes, your majesty! In: Der Spiegel . No. 27 , 2007 ( online ).
  10. a b c d Stefan Müller: Emperor and Caudillo. In: Die Zeit , No. 48/2010.
  11. Otto Habsburg: The last Crown Prince . In: Salzburger Nachrichten , July 4, 2011.
  12. The most important cornerstones in the life of Otto Habsburg . Die Presse , July 4, 2011, accessed July 15, 2011.
  13. Habsburg's heart comes to Hungary: Otto Habsburg's body is currently being laid out in Bavaria. In:, July 4, 2011, accessed on July 15, 2011.
  14. ^ Frieder: Otto von Habsburg died. Otto von Habsburg, the eldest son of the last reigning Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, is dead. He died this morning at the age of 98 in his house in Pöcking on Lake Starnberg. ( Memento from July 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In:, July 5, 2011, accessed on July 15, 2011.
  15. ^ Stations in the life of Otto von Habsburg. In: Münchner Merkur , November 20, 2002. ( Online ( Memento from May 9, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) on the website Genealogie der Habsburger. Heinz Wember (Ed.) In the version April 13, 2010, accessed on May 10, 2019 .)
  17. a b "To the Austrian Federal Government / Vienna I / Ballhausplatz 2" : Declaration of waiver of May 31, 1961, signed with Otto Habsburg Lothringen (without the official hyphen between the parts of the name Habsburg and Lothringen ).
  18. When the "scion of the imperial family" came back to Austria. Fifty years ago, thousands of Austrians struck and the grand coalition slid into a serious crisis. The reason: a passport for Otto von Habsburg. In: Die Presse , June 1, 2016, accessed May 9, 2019.
  19. ^ Pan-European Union. In: Südkurier, September 10, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
  20. Otto von Habsburg: Fight for the Faith. In: , March 17, 2007.
  21. Till Janzer: Time of decline - the Bohemian nobility in the 20th century. Radio Praha website, broadcast on December 27, 2008.
  22. See decision of the VwGH 2008/06/0144 of November 25, 2008. ( Online in RIS . Accessed on July 4, 2011.)
  23. a b The last "Empress" and "Würzburgerin" Regina von Habsburg has died. In: Lexicon "Our Würzburg". Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  24. ^ Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz : Austrian sociologists in exile 1933 to 1945. ( Memento from May 13, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) In it: “Otto Habsburg-Lothringen / di Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xaver Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius of Austria, Crown Prince of Austria and Hungary / since 1919 or officially confirmed 1957: Otto Habsburg-Lothringen ”. Listed with the other forms of name: "Otto de Habsbourg (-Lorraine)", "Otto von Habsburg", "Ottó Habsburg", "Otto de Habsburgo", "Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen" and "Ottó Habsburg Lotharingiai". Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  25. a b c Brigitte Hamann : The Habsburgs, a biographical lexicon. Vienna 1988, p. 379 ff.
  26. The Mayor of Ampass, Josef Kaltenbrunner, had read in September 1931 in the “Volkszeitung”, an organ of the Tyrolean Socialists, that Otto's return was to be expected soon, since 50 communities had made him an honorary citizen. Kaltenbrunner liked this, and on December 6, 1931, the Ampass municipal council granted Otto Habsburg-Lothringen honorary citizenship. What Kaltenbrunner did not know, however, was that the report in the Volkszeitung was an invention of the socialists in order to use it to propaganda against Otto. See Stephan Baier, Eva Demmerle: Otto von Habsburg. The biography. With a greeting from Pope Benedict XVI. , 5th edition, Amalthea Verlag, Vienna 2002, ISBN 978-3-85002-486-0 , p. 109.
  27. See e.g. B. Günter Kottek: Dr. Kottek: About an unsuccessful statement by Bernd Posselt in his celebratory speech in Augsburg. The whole truth about the genesis of the Munich Agreement was missing. ( Memento from August 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: Press release of the Sudetendeutschen Landsmannschaft in Austria (SLÖ), Vienna / Augsburg, June 15, 2011. Retrieved on July 4, 2011.
  28. a b c d Oliver Meidl: Monarch. A life for Europe - Republican tribute in black and yellow. ( Memento of October 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  29. a b Stephan Baier, Eva Demmerle: Otto von Habsburg. The biography. 5th edition. Amalthea Verlag, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-85002-486-0 , p. 166 ff.
  30. Documentation of the ORF from the series “People and Powers”. Broadcast on ORF 2 on July 4, 2011 at 9.10 p.m.
  31. ^ Stephan Baier, Eva Demmerle: Otto von Habsburg. The biography. Amaltea, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-85002-486-5 , pp. 139ff.
  32. ^ Stephan Baier, Eva Demmerle: Otto von Habsburg. The [authorized] biography. Amalthea, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-85002-486-5 , p. 122.
  33. ^ Stephan Baier, Eva Demmerle: Otto von Habsburg. The biography. Amaltea, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-85002-486-5 , p. 165; and Erich Feigl : Otto von Habsburg. Profile of a life. Amalthea, Vienna 1992, ISBN 3-85002-327-3 , p. 133.
  34. Peter Broucek: Military Resistance: Studies on the Austrian state sentiment and National Socialist defense. Böhlau, Vienna 2008, ISBN 3-205-77728-X , p. 414.
    Manfred Scheuch : Historischer Atlas Österreich. Brandstätter, Vienna 2008, ISBN 3-85033-033-8 , chapter air raids on cities in Austria .
  35. ^ Stephan Baier, Eva Demmerle: Otto von Habsburg. The biography. Amaltea, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-85002-486-5 , p. 180.
  36. Vanessa Conze: The Europe of the Germans. Ideas of Europe in Germany between imperial tradition and western orientation (1920–1970). Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-486-57757-3 , p. 104.
  37. a b c d e f Joachim Riedl: One last touch of the monarchy. With the death of Otto Habsburg, a chapter in Austrian history finally comes to an end. In: weekly newspaper Die Zeit , No. 28, 7 July 2011, Austria edition, p. 14.
  38. a b c d e f g See literature: Maria Wirth: Christian Broda . A political biography. Göttingen 2011, here: p. 250ff.
  39. The Grand Master at the solemn funeral of Otto von Habsburg. ( Memento of November 15, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: Website of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Rome July 18, 2011, accessed on May 10, 2019.
  40. ^ Stephan Baier, Eva Demmerle: Otto von Habsburg. The biography. Amalthea, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-85002-486-5 , p. 217.
  41. a b c d Quoted from Oliver Meidl: Monarch. A life for Europe - Republican tribute in black and yellow. ( Memento of October 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  42. ^ Otto von Habsburg . In: Der Spiegel . No. 21 , 1958 ( online ).
  43. Erich Feigl: Otto von Habsburg. Profile of a life. Amalthea, Vienna 1992, ISBN 3-85002-327-3 , p. 208.
  44. ^ The Habsburg Crisis - more than party-political disputes. In: Parliamentary Correspondence of September 15, 2006, No. 743.
  45. Hellmut Andics: The case of Otto Habsburg. A report. Molden, Vienna / Munich 1965, pp. 165ff.
  46. "If you want to shoot your dog ..." In: Der Spiegel . No. 20 , 2006, pp. 101-107 ( online - interview with Otto von Habsburg).
  47. a 24 Budapest, 5.6. (mti) - under the title = the case of habsburg = writes the hungarian party official = nepszabadsag = today. Austria Press Agency - apa historically: Press release from June 5, 1963; Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  48. a b Administrative Court: VwGH 0245/62, May 24, 1963, VwSlg 6035 A / 1963, chain of legal sentences in the RIS . In particular, RS 1 and 20 (for sufficient explanation), 14 and 16, 22–24.
  49. ^ René Marcic : What is right in the case of Otto Habsburg. No contradiction in the case law of the highest courts - Article 1 of the Federal Constitution is cited incorrectly - Even the legislature does not move in an unlawful area - Individual action laws are prohibited. In: Salzburger Nachrichten , June 1, 1963, pp. 3–4. ( Full text of p. 3 as jpg. ( Memento from April 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive ))
  50. Habsburg - symbol of reaction . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna June 7, 1963, p. 1 , bottom middle ( - the open online archive - digitized).
  51. Federal Constitutional Law, with which the law of April 3, 1919 […] is interpreted authentically ( Federal Law Gazette No. 172/1963 ).
  52. Stenographic minutes, 21st session of the National Council of the Republic of Austria, Xth legislative period, Thursday, July 4, 1963, point 15, p. 1031ff. (In the following for short: NR-Protokoll 1963.) Full text (PDF) on the website of the Austrian Parliament.
  53. Abg. Hermann Withalm , NR-Protokoll 1963, p. 1054.
  54. Abg. Withalm, NR-Protokoll 1963, p. 1051.
  55. Abg. Theodor Piffl-Perčević , NR-Protokoll 1963, p. 1041.
  56. Abg. Karl Czernetz , NR-Protokoll 1963, p. 1074f.
  57. Abg. Withalm, NR-Protokoll 1963, p. 1053.
  58. passport issued for otto habsburg | Vienna, 1.6. (apa) the federal ministry of the interior announces. Austria Press Agency - apa historically: Press release from June 1, 1966. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  59. a b Entry postponed . In: Der Spiegel . No. 29 , 1961 ( online ). After the National Council election on March 6, 1966 , Austria's black-red (= grand) coalition ended. The Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) gave him six weeks after taking power, what Otto had for years processed vain: a valid passport for Austria.
  60. priority dr. habsburg l vienna, October 31st - (apa) the federal ministry of the interior announces. Austria Press Agency - apa historically: Press release from October 31, 1966. Accessed on June 22, 2011.
  61. Stephan Baier, Eva Demmerle: Otto von Habsburg, The Biography. Amaltea, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-85002-486-5 , p. 316; and Peter Eppel, Heinrich Lotter: Documentation on Austrian Contemporary History, 1955–1980. Jugend und Volk, Vienna 1982, ISBN 3-224-16500-6 , p. 31; and protests - summary 1 Vienna, 2.11. (apa) - in numerous companies in vienna and some federal states there were protest strikes against entry today. Austria Press Agency - apa historically: Press release from November 2, 1966. Accessed on June 22, 2011.
  62. Norbert readers : bizarre encounters. Mosaics on Austrian intellectual history , Böhlau-Verlag, Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-205-78658-0 , p. 217ff.
  63. a b c Joachim Riedl: A bridge life. Lots of purrs and a great moment. On the death of Otto von Habsburg. In: weekly newspaper Die Zeit , No. 28, July 7, 2011, p. 11.
  64. Otto von Habsburg: I fully support this declaration! In: Medrum, May 18, 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
  65. Quoted from: Hans-Peter Martin: Austria: Gelber Stern . In: Der Spiegel . No. 52 , 1998, pp. 129 ( online ).
  66. See for example: Die Presse , December 7, 1998 and December 9, 1998.
  67. See Otto Habsburg (1912–2011). In: relevant. Best of Media, July 4, 2011; accessed on July 6, 2011.
    See Michael Bonvalot: Citizen Otto Habsburg finally renounces the imperial crown. ( Memento of September 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: RSO - revolutionary socialist organization, July 4, 2011. Accessed July 6, 2011.
  68. Otto Habsburg: "I knew them all". In: Die Presse , November 9, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  69. Hans Rauscher : Scandal over the Habsburg speech: "Football match on Heldenplatz". In: Der Standard , print edition, March 11, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  70. Otto von Habsburg causes a scandal in Vienna: Austria called a victim of Hitler. In: NZZ , March 12, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  71. ^ Habsburg advocates Austria's role as a victim. ( Memento from March 14, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) In: Ö1 / Abendjournal from March 10, 2008.
  72. Original illustration of the papal “Apostolic Blessing” on the 95th in: Humanistischer Pressedienst on November 20, 2007: “Imperial Highness” has birthday (accessed on July 25, 2011).
  73. ^ Mass for the 95th birthday of Otto Habsburg. In: Vienna. ORF .at, November 19, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
  74. Photo Federal President Fischer and Habsburg ( memento of July 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) on the website of the Austrian Presidential Chancellery , June 2007. Caption: “Federal President Heinz Fischer congratulates Otto Habsburg, the eldest son of Emperor Karl I, who was dethroned in 1918, on his 95th birthday . Birthday".
  75. ↑ The Order of Malta mourns the loss of Archduke Otto of Austria. ( Memento of July 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: Current reports on the website of the Order of Malta in Austria, July 4, 2011.
  76. ^ Helmuth Furch , Historisches Lexikon Kaisersteinbruch. Volume 2 I – Z, Museum and Cultural Association Kaisersteinbruch, Index: Otto v. Habsburg. Bruckneudorf-Kaisersteinbruch 2004.
  77. Well-known members of the German Language Association. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on February 8, 2017 ; accessed on February 5, 2014 . ("Dr. Otto von Habsburg (†) (head of the Habsburg-Lothringen family): 'The restoration of the exterior has never been successful. It is not this that matters, but the permanently valid values.'")
  78. ^ Habsburg Requiem in St. Stephen's Cathedral. In: Vienna. ORF .at, July 16, 2011, accessed on May 26, 2016.
  79. ^ Otto von Habsburg is buried. Somehow an imperial burial. In: Stern , July 17, 2011, retrieved on July 23, 2011,
  80. Press release: Condolence telegram from Pope Benedict XVI. on the occasion of the death of SkukH Archduke Otto of Austria (PDF; 29 kB), July 9, 2011
  81. ^ Cathrin Kahlweit , Vienna: Otto von Habsburg's estate goes to Hungary. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , December 24, 2016, accessed on May 10, 2019: “That was decided by the sons of the last Austrian Crown Prince. For Prime Minister Orbán this is a pre-Christmas coup - in Vienna people are upset. "
  82. a b Stephan Baier and Eva Demmerle were long-term employees and press spokesmen for Otto von Habsburg; see publisher information on the website of F. A. Herbig Verlagbuchhandlung, accessed on May 11, 2019.
predecessor Office successor
Charles I. Head of the "House of Habsburg"