Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi
|Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi|
|Father||Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi|
16 November 1894|
|Died||27 July 1972
Richard Nikolaus Eijiro von Coudenhove-Kalergi (German: Richard Nikolaus Eijiro Graf Coudenhove-Kalergi; Japanese: リヒャルト・ニコラウス・栄次郎・クーデンホーフ=カレルギー Rihiyăruto-Nikorausu 栄次郎 (= Eijiro) Kūdenhōfu-Karerugī; November 16, 1894 – July 27, 1972) was an Austrian politician, geopolitician, philosopher and count of Coudenhove-Kalergi, who was a pioneer of European integration. He was the founder and President for 49 years of the Paneuropean Union. His parents were Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi, an Austro-Hungarian diplomat, and Mitsuko Aoyama, the daughter of an oil merchant, antiques-dealer, and huge landowner family in Tokyo. His childhood name of Japan was Aoyama, Eijiro (青山, 栄次郎?). He became a Czechoslovakian citizen in 1919 and then took French nationality from 1939 to his death.
His first book, titled Pan-Europa was published in 1923, contained a membership form for the Pan-Europa movement. Coudenhove-Kalergi's movement held its first Congress in Vienna in 1926. In 1927 Aristide Briand was elected honorary president. Personalities attending included: Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann and Sigmund Freud.
He was the first recipient of the Charlemagne Prize in 1950. The 1972–1973 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour. Coudenhove-Kalergi proposed Beethoven's Ode to Joy as the music for the European Anthem. He also proposed a Europe Day, European postage stamp and so many goods for his movement (e.g. badges and pennants).
- 1 Family roots
- 2 Youth and education
- 3 Personal philosophy
- 4 Pan-European political activist
- 5 Views on race and religion
- 6 Odyssey to Japan
- 7 Death
- 8 Quotes
- 9 Publications
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi was the second son of Heinrich Coudenhove-Kalergi (1859–1906), an Austro-Hungarian count and diplomat of mixed European origin, and Mitsuko Aoyama (1874–1941). His father, who spoke sixteen languages and embraced travel as the only means of prolonging life, had prematurely abandoned a career in the Austrian diplomatic service that took him to Athens, Constantinople, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo, to devote himself to study and writing.
Coudenhove-Kalergi's parents met when the future countess helped the Austro-Hungarian diplomat stationed in Japan after he fell off a horse. In commenting on their union, Whittaker Chambers described the future originator of Pan-Europe as "practically a Pan-European organization himself". He elaborated: "The Coudenhoves were a wealthy Flemish family that fled to Austria during the French Revolution. The Kalergis were a wealthy Greek family from Crete. The line has been further crossed with Poles, Norwegians, Balts, French and Germans, but since the families were selective as well as cosmopolite, the hybridization has been consistently successful." The Kalergis family roots trace to the Byzantine royalty via Venetian aristocracy, connecting with the Phokas imperial dynasty. In 1300, Coudenhove-Kalergi's ancestor Alexios Phokas-Kalergis signed the treaty that made Crete a dominion of Venice.
Youth and education
Coudenhove-Kalergi passed his adolescence on Bohemian family estates in Ronsperg, known today as Poběžovice. His father personally taught his two sons Russian and Hungarian and toughened them both physically and morally. He took them on long walks in all weathers, made them sleep on straw mattresses and take cold showers, and taught them to shoot and fence so well that no one would ever dare challenge them. He also took them to Mass every Sunday. On every Good Friday, as the liturgy came to the exhortation "oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis" ("Let us also pray for the faithless Jews"), the old count allegedly rose and walked out of the church in a protest against this supposed expression of antisemitism.
Coudenhove-Kalergi studied at the Ecole épiscopale de Brixen (Brixen) before attending the Theresianische Akademie in Vienna from 1908 until 1913. He obtained his doctorate in philosophy with a thesis on Die Objectivität als Grundprinzip der Moral (The Objectivity as Fundamental Principle of Morals) in 1917 from the University of Vienna.
While still in his student years, Coudenhove-Kalergi married the famous Viennese actress Ida Roland in April 1915. His marriage to a divorcée thirteen years his senior and a commoner, caused a temporary split with his family. His mother Mitsuko didin't accept Ida, considering her as a "beggar living in the riverbank ground", with the Japanese traditional point of view against actors and performers. Richard got banned from Coudenhove-Kalergi family by his mother, the head of the family. But she released the ban when he became the special man by his pan-European idea.
Aristocratic in his origins and elitist in his ideas, Coudenhove-Kalergi identified and collaborated with such politicians as Engelbert Dollfuss, Kurt Schuschnigg, Otto von Habsburg, Winston Churchill, and Charles de Gaulle. His ideal political constituent was a gentleman, a person adhering to honesty, fair play, courtesy, and rational discourse. He strove to replace the nationalist German ideal of racial community with the goal of an ethnically heterogeneous and inclusive European nation based on a commonality of culture, a nation whose geniuses were the "great Europeans" such as abbé de Saint-Pierre, Kant, Napoleon, Giuseppe Mazzini, Victor Hugo, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
Pan-European political activist
Coudenhove-Kalergi is recognized as the founder of the first popular movement for a united Europe. His intellectual influences ranged from Rudolf Kjellén and Oswald Spengler to Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche. In politics, he was an enthusiastic supporter of "fourteen points" made by Woodrow Wilson on 8 January 1918 and pacifist initiatives of Kurt Hiller. Through the ritual in December 1921, he joined the Masonic lodge "Humanitas" in Vienna in 1922, where he would reach several degrees. In 1922, he co-founded the Pan-European Union (PEU) with Archduke Otto von Habsburg, as "the only way of guarding against an eventual world hegemony by Russia". In 1923, he published a manifesto entitled Pan-Europa, each copy containing a membership form which invited the reader to become a member of the Pan-Europa movement. He favored social democracy as an improvement on "the feudal aristocracy of the sword" But his ambition was to create a conservative society that superseded democracy with "the social aristocracy of the spirit". European freemason's lodges supported his movement, including the lodge Humanitas.
According to his autobiography, at the beginning of 1924 he came through Baron Louis de Rothschild in contact with Max Warburg who offered to finance his movement for the next 3 years giving him 60,000 gold marks; Warburg eventually remained sincerely interested in the movement for his entire life and served as an intermediate man as to bring him in contact with influential personalities in America such as banker Paul Warburg and financier Bernard Baruch accompanying him there. In April 1924 Coudenhove-Kalergi founded the journal Paneuropa (1924-1938) of which he was editor and principal author. The next year he started publishing his main work, the Kampf um Paneuropa (The fight for Paneuropa, 1925-1928, three volumes). In 1926, the first Congress of the Pan-European Union was held in Vienna and the 2,000 delegates elected Coudenhove-Kalergi as president of the Central Council a position he held until his death (1972).
His original vision was for a world divided into only five states: a United States of Europe that would link continental countries with French and Italian possessions in Africa; a Pan-American Union encompassing North and South Americas; the British Commonwealth circling the globe; the USSR spanning Eurasia; and a Pan-Asian Union whereby Japan and China would control most of the Pacific. To him, the only hope for a Europe devastated by war was to federate along lines that the Hungarian-born Romanian Aurel Popovici and others had proposed for the by then just dissolved multinational Empire of Austria-Hungary. According to Coudenhove-Kalergi, Pan-Europe would encompass and extend a more flexible and more competitive Austria-Hungary, with English serving as world language, spoken by everyone in addition to his native tongue. He believed that individualism and socialism would learn to cooperate instead of compete, and urged that capitalism and communism cross-fertilize each other just as the Protestant Reformation had spurred the Catholic Church to regenerate itself.
Coudenhove-Kalergi attempted to enlist prominent European politicians in his pan-European cause. He offered the presidency of the Austrian branch of the Pan-European Union to Ignaz Seipel, who accepted the offer unhesitatingly and rewarded his beneficiary with an office in the old Imperial palace in Vienna. Coudenhove-Kalergi had less success with Tomáš Masaryk, who referred him to his uncooperative Prime Minister Edvard Beneš. The idea of pan-Europe elicited support from politicians as diverse in their orientation as Carlo Sforza and Hjalmar Schacht. Although Coudenhove-Kalergi found himself unable to sway Benito Mussolini, his ideas influenced Aristide Briand and his inspired speech in favor of a European Union in the League of Nations on 8 September 1929, as well as his famous 1930 "Memorandum on the Organization of a Regime of European Federal Union". He proposed the Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as the Anthem of Europe in 1929 ahead of his proposal in 1955. In 1930, he proposed a Europe Day in May and in 1932 he proposed to celebrate the Day every 17th May when Aristide Briand's "Memorandum" was published in 1930. Meanwhile, his Pan-Europeanism earned vivid loathing from Adolf Hitler, who excoriated its pacifism and mechanical economism and belittled its founder as "everybody's bastard", or "cosmopolitan bastard". Hitler thought that the rootless, cosmopolitan, and elitist half-breed Coudenhove-Kalergi was going to start the historical mistakes of Coudenhove ancestors' who had served Habsburg, again, continentally. In 1928, Hitler wrote about the hateful political opponent in his Zweites Buch, describing as "Allerweltsbastarden Coudenhove", and in 1961, the book was on sale.
Nazis considered Pan-European Union as under the control of freemasonry. In 1938, a Nazi propaganda book Die Freimaurerei: Weltanschauung, Organisation und Politik was released in German. It revealed Coudenhove-Kalergi's membership of freemasonry, the organization suppressed by Nazis. On the other hand, his name was nowhere in masonic directories 10,000 Famous Freemasons published in 1957–1960 by the United States' freemasons. He had already left the Viennese freemason's lodge in 1926 to avoid the criticism that had occurred at that time against relationship between Pan-European movement and freemasonry. He wrote his masonic membership in Ein Leben für Europa (A Life for Europe) published in 1966. In fact, its Nazi propaganda book also described his action in 1924–1925 only.
After the annexation of Austria by the Third Reich in 1938, Coudenhove-Kalergi fled to Czechoslovakia, and thence to France. As France fell to Germany in 1940, he escaped to the United States by way of Switzerland and Portugal. When he passed a few days after the successful escape to the United States, he listened to the radio saying the possibility of his death. During the war, he continued his call for the unification of Europe along the Paris-London axis. His wartime politics and peripeties served as the real life basis for fictional Resistance hero Victor Laszlo, the Paul Henreid character in Casablanca. He published his work Crusade for Paneurope in 1944. His appeal for the unification of Europe enjoyed some support from Winston Churchill, Allen Dulles, and "Wild Bill" Donovan. After the announcement of the Atlantic Charter on 14 August 1941, he composed a memorandum entitled "Austria's Independence in the light of the Atlantic Charter" and sent it to Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In his position statement, Coudenhove-Kalergi took up the goals of the charter and recommended himself as head of government in exile. Both Churchill and FDR distanced themselves from this document. From 1942 until his return to France in 1945, he taught at the New York University, which appointed him professor of history in 1944. At the same university Professor Ludwig von Mises studied currency problems for Coudenhove-Kalergi's movement.
The end of war inaugurated a revival of pan-European hopes. In the winter of 1945, Harry S. Truman read an article on December issue of Collier's magazine that Coudenhove-Kalergi posted about the integration of Europe. His article made Truman impressed, and it was adopted to the United States' official policy. Winston Churchill's celebrated speech of 19 September 1946 to the Academic Youth in Zurich commended "the exertions of the Pan-European Union which owes so much to Count Coudenhove-Kalergi and which commanded the services of the famous French patriot and statesman Aristide Briand." In November 1946 and the spring of 1947, Coudenhove-Kalergi circulated an enquiry addressed to members of European parliaments. This enquiry resulted in the founding of the European Parliamentary Union (EPU), a nominally private organization that held its preliminary conference on 4–5 July at Gstaad, Switzerland, and followed it with its first full conference from 8 to 12 September. Speaking at the first EPU conference, Coudenhove-Kalergi argued that the constitution of a wide market with a stable currency was the vehicle for Europe to reconstruct its potential and take the place it deserves within the concert of Nations. On less guarded occasions he was heard to advocate a revival of Charlemagne's empire. In 1950 he received the first annual Karlspreis (Charlemagne Award), given by the German city of Aachen to people who contributed to the European idea and European peace. In Japan, a politician Ichirō Hatoyama was influenced by Coudenhove-Kalergi's fraternity in his book The Totalitarian State Against Man. It was translated into Japanese by Hatoyama and published in 1952. Coudenhove-Kalergi appointed the honorary chairman of the fraternal youth association that Hatoyama with the influence of his book established in 1953.
In the 1960s, Coudenhove-Kalergi urged Austria to pursue "an active policy of peace", as a "fight against the Cold War and its continuation, the atomic war". He advocated Austrian involvement in world politics in order to keep the peace, as "active neutrality". He continued his advocacy of European unification in memoranda circulated to the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. He recommended negotiations between the European Community and the European Free Trade Association towards forming a "European customs union" that would be free of political and military connections, but would eventually adopt a monetary union.
Views on race and religion
In his attitudes towards race and religion, Coudenhove-Kalergi continued the work of his father. In his youth, the elder Coudenhove-Kalergi was an antisemite. He had expected to confirm his antipathy towards the Jews when he started working on his treatise Das Wesen des Antisemitismus (The Essence of Antisemitism); but, Coudenhove-Kalergi came to a different conclusion by the time he published his book in 1901. Following an ironic critique of the new racial theories, he declared that the essence of antisemitism amounted to nothing more credible than fanatical religious hatred. He traced that fanaticism to religious bigotry that originated in the promulgation of Torah under Ezra. According to the elder Coudenhove-Kalergi, Jewish religious bigotry provoked opposition from the relatively tolerant Greco-Roman polytheists, eliciting their anti-Judaic reaction. Antisemitism came into existence when Christianity and Islam took over the intolerant fanaticism of Judaism, and turned it against the Jews. Thus Heinrich Coudenhove-Kalergi credited the Jews with originating religious intolerance, and condemned it as a violation of genuine religious principles. He branded every sort of anti-Judaism unchristian. He further urged liberal Christians and Jews to ally in protecting both of their religions, and religion as such, against the emerging menace of secularism.
In spite of his opposition to simplistic racial theory, Heinrich Coudenhove-Kalergi agreed that Jews are racially distinct. Although he pointed out that there is no Semitic race, because Semitic is a language family, he equivocated by also remarking that the charges that Semites were uncreative were belied by civilizations formed by the Assyrians and Babylonians, who spoke Semitic languages. He further sought to defend the Jews against bigoted charges of parasitic greed and cowardice with anecdotal counterexamples of Jewish industriousness and martial courage.
In an interview in the first Pan-European Congress in 1926, Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi expressed the supports on Jews by the Pan-European movement and the benefits to Jews with the elimination of racial hatred and economic rivalry brought by the United States of Europe.
In 1932 Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi composed a preface for a new edition of his father's condemnation of antisemitism, reissued by his own publishing house. In 1933 he responded to the ascendance of National Socialism by collaborating with Heinrich Mann, Arthur Holitscher, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Max Brod in writing and publishing the pamphlet Gegen die Phrase vom jüdischen Schädling (Against the Phrase 'Jewish Parasite').
|“||The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today's races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals.||”|
|“||Instead of destroying European Jewry, Europe, against its own will, refined and educated this people into a future leader-nation through this artificial selection process. No wonder that this people, that escaped Ghetto-Prison, developed into a spiritual nobility of Europe. Therefore a gracious Providence provided Europe with a new race of nobility by the Grace of Spirit. This happened at the moment when Europe’s feudal aristocracy became dilapidated, and thanks to Jewish emancipation.||”|
Odyssey to Japan
1967: Invitation from the three organizers
The Pan-European idea had an impact on a young Japanese diplomat – in the future, the president of Kajima Corporation – Morinosuke Kajima during the Berlin resident in 1922. Coudenhove-Kalergi formed a friendship with Kajima and then asked him to translate the book Pan-Europa into Japanese. He proposed Pan-Asia to Kajima and promised to give Dutch East Indies as their friendship after the realization of the task to establish Pan-Asia. Kajima published Pan-Europa in Japanese in 1927. In 1930 Kajima retired Ministry of Foreign Affairs to become MP. His ambition for MP was Coudenhove-Kalergi's influence. In 1970–1971 He published the complete works of Coudenhove-Kalergi from Kajima Institute Publishing that was established by Morinosuke Kajima. He respected Coudenhove-Kalergi over a lifetime, dreaming the realization of Pan-Asia.
In Japan, the Pan-European idea also influenced a journalist Yoshinori Maeda, the president of NHK. He became a pioneer of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union with the image of Pan-Europa that he read in his student days.
In 1953 Ichirō Hatoyama established Yuai Youth Association (later Yuai Association), the fraternal association as the successor of fraternity that Coudenhove-Kalergi mentioned in The Totalitarian State Against Man. Japanese word yūai (友愛?) has several meanings but especially the word used by Hatoyama means fraternity and in German brüderlichkeit. That can be also in a similar direction for "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" (Brotherhood), motto of the French Republic. An educator Kaoru Hatoyama became the second president of the association after her husband Ichirō the first president died in 1959.
In 1967, awarded Kajima Peace Award, Coudenhove-Kalergi was invited to Japan by the three: Morinosuke Kajima as the president of Kajima Institute of International Peace, Yoshinori Maeda as the president of NHK, and Kaoru Hatoyama as the president of Yuai Youth Association. Together with his second wife Alexandra on a wheelchair, Coudenhove-Kalergi stayed in Japan from 26 October to 8 November. He was also accompanied by his young brother Gerolf's daughter Barbara. Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi was also awarded First Order of the Sacred Treasure of Japan. He was granted an audience with the Emperor Hirohito, Empress Kōjun, their son Crown Prince Akihito to whom he had presented his book in 1953 in Switzerland, and Crown Princess Michiko. This time, he had returned to Japan for the first time in 71 years since his childhood. He gave several lectures and met various fields of leaders. Coudenhove-Kalergi, 2 weeks guest who came to Japan was reported on the Japanese TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and other media. In particular Coudenhove-Kalergi needed the meeting with the president of Soka Gakkai Daisaku Ikeda despite opposite of all three organizations – Kajima, NHK and Yuai, as he was interested in him and Soka Gakkai from many years ago. After the meeting held on 30 October 1967, he evaluated Ikeda as very active, life-loving, dutiful, friendly and intelligent man.
1970: Soka Gakkai
Coudenhove-Kalergi went to Japan again by the invitation from Soka Gakkai in October 1970, one month before the coup d'etat by Yukio Mishima. He met Ikeda again and had dozen hours meeting in total. He also visited Soka Campus where Soka University was under construction.
Later, in 1990 Ikeda proposed the chorus of the Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" by Soka Gakkai believers. But including the song's problem, Soka Gakkai and Soka Gakkai International (SGI) were excommunicated from Nichiren Shoshu in 1991.
On a masonic yearbook he died in a stroke. But his secretary wrote about his suicide. On her memoir, his death was hidden, not to make people dissapointed because he was the great dedicator to European integration. He wanted to die in Austria. He was on the top of the Pan-European Union until his death. The presidency was succeeded by Otto von Habsburg.
Coudenhove-Kalergi is buried at Gruben near Gstaad. His family had stayed there once in 1931. His grave wrapped with wild grapes is in a Japanese rock garden in the Swiss Alps. The grave is unpretentious. It has French epitaph "Pionnier des États-Unis d'Europe" (Pioneer of the United States of Europe), instead of all the great titles.
He got married three times: firstly Ida Roland, secondly Alexandra Gräfin von Tiele-Winkler, and thirdly Melanie Benatzky-Hoffmann. His known children were Ida's daughter Erika and Alexandra's son Alexander, both of whom were his children-in-law.
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- Chambers, Whittaker (January 1944), Historian and History Maker, The American Mercury
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- Rosamond, Ben (2000), Theories of European Integration, Palgrave Macmillan
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- Zuber, Otto (1995). "RICHARD NIKOLAUS Graf COUDENHOVE-KALERGI als Freimaurer". Jahrbuch der Forschungsloge Quatuor Coronati (in German) 32. Bayreuth: Forschungsloge Quatuor Coronati.
- Pernhorst, Christian (2008). Das paneuropäische Verfassungsmodell des Grafen Richard N. Coudenhove-Kalergi (in German). Nomos Verlag. ISBN 9783832932022.
- Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard Nikolaus (1925). Praktischer Idealismus [Practical Idealism] (in German). Wien-Leipzig: Pan-Europa-Verlag. UBR069031840355. Retrieved 2014-11-07.
- Coudenhove-Kalergi, Richard Nikolaus (1953). An Idea Conquers the World. London: Hutchinson. (New York: Roy Publishers)
Media related to Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi at Wikimedia Commons
- International Paneuropean Union
- European Society Coudenhove-Kalergi
- Archival sources on the Paneuropean Union and the European Parliamentary Union at the Historical Archives of the EU in Florence
Richard Nikolaus Eijiro von Graf Coudenhove-KalergiBorn: 16 November 1894 Died: 27 July 1972
|New creation||International President of the Paneuropean Union
1926 – 1972
Otto von Habsburg (elected in 1973)