September 15, 2018
There exists within the European Union a discrepancy on who is the father of the European Union. Historians solve the issue by referring to Kalergi as the grandfather of the European Union and Jean Monnet as its father. Some still claim Kalergi over Monnet as the EU’s true father. The fact is that Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi founded PanEuropa in 1923 and the think-tank continues to influence the forming European Union to this day. PanEuropa unlike the European Federalists or the European Movement maintains a low profile. A simple website bearing little information represents the group. Yet Pan Europa’s contribution to the European Union’s evolution has been significant, which this interview reveals.
Count Christian d’Andlau Hombourg
Who better to provide PanEuropa’s details than lawyer, historian, financier and French politician Count Christian d’Andlau Hombourg. Formerly PanEuropa’s Secretary General, he currently holds the Presidency of the Strasbourg jurisdiction of Paneurope. This keeps him in permanent contact with the European institutions in Strasbourg. These include the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the military Eurocorps. He also is the President of the Federalist Party in Alsace.
Otto Von Habsburg-EU Architect
It was Count Christian d’ Andlau-Hombourg’s good friend and mentor Archduke Otto Von Hapsburg who invited him to join Paneuropa to serve as its Secretary General. Hapsburg who served as both President and Vice President of the International Pan European Union served in the EU Parliament for 20 years from 1979 to 1999. Considered an EU Architect, he is most noted for his role in the Revolutions of 1989 and providing his support for the membership of the central and eastern European countries and more that this interview reveals.
Otto Von Hapsburg’s Paneuropa Invite-A Royal Yes
You’ve explained to me that it was Otto Von Habsburg who introduced you to Paneuropa what appealed to you for you to join and take such a leading role?
First of all I’ve always been attracted to the European idea because my family has always been European. I have ancestry all around Europe, but when Otto von Habsburg asked me to take some responsibilities I could only accept it because my family and myself have nothing to refuse to the Hapsburg family who has saved us at least twice in history.
The First Time the Hapsburg’s saved the Andlau’s
The first time was during the 13th century. There was a terrible inter reign after the death of Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen: who was Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire-Holy German Roman Empire. That was in 1250. This inter reign lasted a quarter of a century until 1275. The bishops of Strasburg tried to take over Alsace and eliminate all the members of the nobility who would take sides with the Emperor. My family was almost annihilated. The bishops destroyed several of our castles. We survived thanks to Rudolf Von Hapsburg who became the king of Rome. We took sides with him. Thanks to this support my family was saved and we could build other castles and survive until today.
The Second Time in History the Hapsburg’s Saved the Andlau’s
The second time that the Hapsburg’s saved my ancestors was during the French Revolution. My ancestor took sides with the Prince of Conde in the Royal Army and the Revolution was a success. They lost so my ancestors retired in Vienna under the protection of the Hapsburg’s. This is why we can’t refuse anything to this family.
Well that’s wonderful it sounds like there’s a lot of gratitude
So when he had asked you so that’s when you first joined and obviously took a leading role, its pretty impressive that you were under the Archduke himself in such a leading European movement.
The founder Count Richard Von Coudenhove-Kalergi is considered the grandfather of the European Union. The EU anthem and Europe Day were his proposals but he is not usually mentioned in the list of the EU’s founding fathers. Why is this?
Why is that so, because I think that it is because he can easily be used by those who are trying to develop some conspiration theories for several reasons.
First he was the son of an Austrian Diplomat who had married a Japanese [woman] when he was a diplomat in Japan at the beginning of this 20th century. Richard Von Coudenhove Kalergi was married three times. Twice with Jewish women and once only with a Christian and he was a Freemason.
American Freemasons Finance PanEuropa
Since the beginning he had been helped by the Freemasons because he was a member of a Masonic Lodge in Vienna. In 1923 he told members of his Masonic Lodge that he had a Pan European project to stop and avoid any other world war. The first that had just ended some five years earlier and killed millions of Europeans with no reason all. It was a very stupid war, this war and to avoid that in the future he thought that a pan European Union should be created. He asked for some support of members of his lodge in Like Germany [Austria was] paying war damages very heavy war damages to France and to other countries.
Germany and Austria were paying very very expensive war damages they couldn’t help him financially. They sent him to the American Freemasons who financed his Pan-European Movement from the beginning from 1925 until 1972 when he retired.
They financed for that many years?
Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi Almost Succeeds
Yes, and meanwhile he had almost succeeded with a Pan European Union and in the 20s in the 2-‘s of the 20th century. He had some very prestigious presidents for each branch of the pan European Union in almost all the countries of Europe. He had either prime ministers, heads of states or foreign ministers as the presidents of his different branches. For instance in France it was the famous Aristide Briand who was the minister of foreign affairs in Austria to the Prime Minister in Germany also etc, etc. He had almost succeeded then the crash of 1929 put an end to his success. Shortly after four years later Adolf Hitler came to power. Adolf Hitler wanted a Europe a European Union but not the European Union of Coudenhove Kalergi. He wanted a European Union with Germany as the boss of that Union and not based on equality of the nations. So Coudenhove Kalergi had to take refuge in America. He went to Washington DC and became an aide and the counselor to President Franklin Roosevelt.
Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi became Conspiracy Theorist’s Target
So you have a man who is a Freemason. Who had a Japanese mother who was married twice to Jewish women and was working for the OSS: the Organization of Special Services. This organization that give gave birth to the CIA-Central Intelligence Agency. Here you have a lot of material for the conspiration theorists. On top of that himself he wrote a book he had written around 1925 which has never been translated in any other language than German. In German the title was “Praktischer Idealismus”,which means in English practical idealism.
In this “Praktischer Idealismus” book he wrote that in order to put an end to nationalism in Europe mixed marriages should be encouraged.[He wrote] not only between the France and the German or the British but also with other immigrants from North Africa etc. So you imagine the subject today with the immigration issue. Also he wrote that the European aristocracy had been had been destroyed and had lost their power because of the First World War and that it ought to be replaced by another aristocracy. The only one he could imagine was the Jewish Aristocracy. So here you have a lot of material for conspiration theorists but it is completely open. This is this is not hidden.
The Kalergi-Conspiracy Theory Myth
There is no conspiracy because he wrote all this in his books and it was published and it was in the newspapers. So the Eurocrats who are organizing the European publicity and lets say propaganda. Its not a negative word propaganda. They prefer to favor the memory of some inconspicuous European founder like the very Roman Catholic Robert Schumann or the more inconspicuous Jean Monnet. This is in my opinion the reason why Count Richard Coudenhove Kalergi and his PanEuropean Union are not so much publicized now a days. Excuse me for this long message.
That’s a really good point. Some of what’s on the internet is just it’s off the wall because it’s taking something that he stated and just blowing it in such another direction. Its not what he’s actually stated.
What he had in mind and where they’ve come with some of these
ideas , I don’t have a clue but..
He wrote what I told you but the conspirations are exaggerated
Yes that a good word
Because he didn’t write it as clearly as I just said. But it was it was said. It was written, but it was something more in his mind. It was something like a prophecy than something like a conspiracy. There was no conspiracy. Those things happened and because it happened that way.
What was the path of pan Europa? How does it differ from the European movement? What path did it take versus the European movement or are they the same?
It is the least visible along with the European Movement -European Federalists. You don’t really hear of pan Europa. So on top of that not only what path did it take but why is PanEuropa the least visible?
If you can explain the path that it did take and its contribution to the Europe of today.
As I had told you Richard Coudenhove Kalergi retired in 1972. He chose as a successor the Archduke Otto Von Habsburg-Lorraine whom he had met during the Second World War in Washington DC. [This is] because Otto Von Hapsburg was another aid and counselor of President Franklin Roosevelt. He had taken refuge in America. He was a student when the war broke out –a student in Berlin. He was invited by Adolf Hitler to meet with him. He refused to meet with Hitler and said openly to his friends and maybe to journalists I think so that he would never shake hands with Mr. Hitler. So Hitler tried to catch him and send his Gestapo behind him. Otto Von Habsburg just managed to get out of Germany through Belgium and then from Belgium to America.
Otto Von Hapsburg’s Deep Catholic Roots
When he took over the pan European Union in 1972 after Richard Coudenhove Kalergi, he gave another turn philosophical turn to this think- tank. He gave a more Roman Catholic character to it. He wasn’t a Freemason. He was a practicing and believing and faithful Roman Catholic. So he transformed the Pan-European movement into a Roman Catholic one- I must say.
So pan Europa has more of a Catholic influence along the lines of the Catholic Church whereas the Federalists…
and the European movement…
were probably more mixed between atheists agnostics and other faiths
No and more, more Roman Catholic than any other European movement as far as I know. At least since Otto Von Hapsburg took over in 1972. You know his father has just been recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church a couple of years ago
Officially and I can tell you that his mother prince the Empress Zita would visit my great-grandparents in Alsace– after the death of her husband the Emperor Charles. I remember my grandparents telling the story of Empress Zita who was visiting them in Alsace before Easter. She arrived a couple of days before Easter. The maid came to my grandmother and said the Empress the Empress did not sleep in her bed last night. My grandmother said, What do you mean?” She said to her, “Nobody touched her bed last night. “ It’s so strange.” My grandmother asked the Empress when she saw her later that day, she asked the Empress, “Did you sleep well last night, was your bed comfortable Were you not too cold in your room?” The Empress said to my grandmother, “No, no I did not sleep in my bed because on the Holy Friday I’m sleeping on the Floor. So I slept on the floor, I just slept on the floor and I’ve been doing this for years.”
So those two persons were Otto Von Hapsburg’s parents. So you can imagine that he gave every Roman Catholic turn to his think- tank. When he was elected to the European Parliament he was elected in this very Catholic political party called CSU- Christian Social Democrats in Germany. And even then, even this Christian political party thought that the Pan-European Movement was a bit too Roman Catholic for their taste.
PanEuropa Too Catholic
I don’t know if it’s if it’s reality or if it’s legend, but I’ve heard this story several times at one time there were two candidates in this party. Members of the Pan European Union and the CSU leaders said no no two would be too much. We want only one of you. So also for this reason and be it for another reason the Pan-European think- tank is not so much publicized. Because you know, Roman Catholicism is not so politically correct today. Especially in countries like France where you have a law since 1905 separating the state from the church. Everything religious in France is not so popular. For instance ten years ago or more or twelve years ago it was a question of a European Constitution. It was also the question of writing in this project of European institution the Christian roots of Europe. It was refused finally. It was refused because president Jacques Chirac president of the French Republic insisted that this be retired from the project. No mention of religion. You see it’s not politically correct in France
Another reason why this think-tank is not so popular is that its main activity was in the Ex republics behind that had been behind the Iron Curtain. We’ve helped these countries to become members of the European Union. Especially countries like Slovakia, Slovenia in the ex-Yugoslav republics and also Croatia. Countries like that were very much helped to enter the European Union.
Enlarging Vs. Deepening
There are many people in the European Union who think that it should not be enlarged to too much. Because if we are too many countries within , you have you have some rich countries and you have some some poor countries. The rich must pay for the poor and maybe the rich are not rich enough to have to pay for the poor. Some people like Mr. President Giscard d’Estaing, whose father by the way was a secretary, a personal secretary to Count Richard Coudenhove Kalergi in the years 20, 1920 and 1930, but that’s another story. President Giscard d’Estaing, ex – French President and some others think that we ought to create a smaller club of ten strong European nations within the European Union to give more impetus to the Union and to strengthen the euro currency.
Better to have them in the European Union
So were not too fashionable. Because we have always said that if the European Union does not accept those countries especially countries from the ex Yugoslavia, those countries would be very quickly seduced either by the Russian Federation or by the Turks. In the Pan-European we prefer to see these countries even if they are not 100% democratic and satisfying our European standards, to have them within our Union than without and as enemies as potential this is also not so politically correct in in the European Union.
So based on what you’ve explained it sounds as if the Federalists, the European movement was more the northern European countries, southern European countries and Pan Europa went into the Eastern Bloc nations and helped those nations come aboard as well as working within those nations.So that’s a significant contribution. While one movement sounds as if it’s working on one end of the European Union, PanEuropa is working on the other end. Would you say that’s correct?
In what way does pan Europa work? I know that you’re part of a working group. I know that you work with the European Union within the European Parliament and the European
Institutions, can you explain the way the think tank works and how you work? How Paneuropa works within the EU to help it form to help it move forward along the lines of Paneuropa’s vision?
The Practical Direction of Paneuropa
The main direction: one is practical and the other is more theoretical. On the on the practical side as I told you Pan Europa helped those countries completely to comply with the legal requirements of the European Union’s membership. For instance the Archduke Otto Von Habsburg as early as1989 organized a picnic Party and in Hungary, very close to the Austrian border in a place called Sopron – to which 5,000 people were attending. Almost as Christ did once with his miracles. And there’s 5,000 people after the people decided not to go back home in Hungary in their homes. But they decided to follow the Archduke who is pressing the border to go back to Austria. That was the first opening in the iron curtain. The Archduke had never stopped helping these people to regain their freedom. So after that he went to Slovenia and spoke to the Slovenians and encouraged them to declare their independence from the Yugoslav Republic. Even after he had Retired, we have continued to help those ex-Yugoslavia republic’s to prepare and present their candidacy to the European Union. This is the practical.
The Theoretical Direction of Paneuropa
On the theoretical, we would organize at least once per month during the plenary assembly in Strasbourg that takes place once every month in Strasbourg. The plenary assembly, the conference to which we would invite an important European personality- usually foreign ministers most of the time. But also sometimes other experts. [It] could be a expert on a military issue. It could be an expert on a financial issue or on a legal issue or some high-ranking clerics of the Roman Catholic Church to help them pass through their messages to the members of the European Parliament You would call them representatives in the United States of America.
It was a good opportunity for us to communicate our point of view to all the members of the European Parliament who would accept to come to our conferences. Our conferences were organized by the European popular party EPP but all the members of the European Parliament were invited to the conference. And our guests would talk and answer all the questions for at least one hour every month. We have been doing that for years. That’s what our working group is about. And I have the honor to be the President of the branch in Alsace. I used to be secretary-general for two and half years, but I’m not anymore but I’m still here in Strasbourg and I’m at all the Plenary sessions participating in this activity.
Yes, no doubt while Pan Europa’s working group’s conferences aids the EU in hearing the voice of its citizens it also keeps the MEP’s informed, which lends to the effectiveness of their decision making. I can see how that would have a significant influence doing its part as the European Union has moved forward and continues to move forward.
For the entire interview see this playlist on Youtube and the following articles:Erika Grey