Director’s welcome

Director’s welcome

Welcome to our website!

After the intense preparatory work of the past few months, the Otto von Habsburg Foundation makes its appearance before the wider public, while handling its namesake’s written and material legacy, and calling to life his spiritual heritage.

Returning to Hungary, Otto von Habsburg gained popularity after the premiere of the 1987 film about him entitled “By the Will of God”. With his characteristic figure and ornate use of the Hungarian language despite his German accent, he became an important part of public life in Hungary. He was awarded honorary citizenship by many Hungarian municipalities, even as he remained a zealous advocate of Hungary’s European integration. His Hungarian language speeches given in the European Parliament, as MEP for the German Christian Social Union (CSU) made it widely known that Hungary’s place in our continent’s institutional system, intellectual community, and community of values is unquestionable. The great lesson of centuries of dynastic experience is that rather than empires, the cooperation of Europe’s large and small nations as equal partners is necessary, and only a system capable of taking the necessary decisions at the right levels can succeed in the long run.

The written and material legacy of Otto von Habsburg contains plenty of hidden treasures and interesting historical sources. The processing and digitisation of these materials requires in-depth philological work, which will take years. However, during the work we will try to continuously lay before the public documents and photographs that expand our knowledge of our namesake’s life and career. Presenting this great witness of the 20th century enriches Hungarian and European historiography, showing ever more precisely the figure of the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, a great political theorist, and a man who even without real power, acted as a statesman.

Our consultations and conferences try to answer today’s questions in the light of historical knowledge and experiences, and in the European spirit while consciously embracing national specificities.

We are convinced that this is our common cause.

Welcome and enjoy browsing our website!

Gergely Prőhle Director
Otto von Habsburg Foundation