Monday, July 4, 2011

One can't help feeling sad

As I get to the end of Stefan Zweig's The World of Yesterday that describes his life in Austria-Hungary before and during World War I, Austria and Europe between the wars and the catastrophic end, as Zweig saw it, of European culture, the news of Otto von Habsburg's death cannot help making me sad. He was, after all, the son of the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary and as good a man as a the terrible circumstances of life in Europe in the twentieth century allowed it.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, what followed the Austro-Hungarian Empire was incomparably worse and one cannot help having some feeling about what might have been if, for instance, the Emperor Karl (now beatified) had been successful in his 1916 peace attempt.

    However, I always point out to Europhiles that it was not the nasty, rabid, nationalists who started the Great War but the highly civilised, supra-national, totally bone-headed ministers of poor, old, gaga, Franz Josef.

    Also I do not think that Otto should escape censure for his bloodthirsty advocacy of the bombardment of Serbia during the recent Yugoslav wars . It seems that, rather like the Bourbons, the Habsburgs had learned nothing and forgotten nothing - a case of malice aforethought, long matured, if ever there was one. It is to the great detriment of Europe that he got his way.