An important part of Otto von Habsburg’s political legacy is his efforts to give new impulse and impetus to post-World War II conservative thought and politics. Recognising the importance of transnational connections and networks, the last Hungarian heir to the throne and later Member of the European Parliament played a crucial role in establishing a number of often interconnected political organisations, mobilising their members, increasing their influence on decision-making processes and developing a coherent conservative political ideology to support them.
During his lectures, Gergely Prőhle analysed the life and networking practices of Otto von Habsburg, and formulated lessons that are relevant and useful in today’s political environment. Based on the heritage in the care of our Foundation, he reconstructed how the former heir to the throne, despite the collapse of the Monarchy, was able to make good use of his dynastic legacy and, with unprecedented diligence, transformed it into the political and social capital that made him one of the most influential European statesmen of the 20th century. The lectures detailed how, during the Cold War, Otto von Habsburg shaped political networks that consistently opposed left-wing ideologies, defended Christian European values and sought to pave the way for continental unification.
During his stay there, Gergely Prőhle had a meeting with Knut Abraham, a politician of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and member of the Bundestag, who had served as an assistant to Otto von Habsburg in the European Parliament and as his head of office in Bonn and Berlin at the beginning of his political career. The Director of our Foundation also visited the capital office of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, discussed possible further venues for our Life and Heritage exhibition on the life of Otto von Habsburg with Gerhard Papke, President of the Deutsch-Ungarische Gesellschaft, and Joachim Klos and Melanie Piepenschneider, senior staff members of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Photos: Bibliothek des Konservatismus