Member of Parliament
|8th and 6th Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic|
13 July 2010 – 10 July 2013
|Prime Minister||Petr Nečas|
|Preceded by||Jan Kohout|
|Succeeded by||Jan Kohout|
9 January 2007 – 8 May 2009
|Prime Minister||Mirek Topolánek|
|Preceded by||Alexandr Vondra|
|Succeeded by||Jan Kohout|
|Member of the Chamber of Deputies|
29 May 2010
from the 6th District of Prague
13 November 2004 – 29 May 2010
|Preceded by||Jan Ruml|
|Succeeded by||Petr Bratský|
10 December 1937 |
(now Czech Republic)
|Citizenship||Czech Republic, Switzerland|
|Political party||ÖVP (Austrian) (Before 1989)
TOP 09 (2009–present)
|Alma mater||University of Vienna
University of Graz
University of Munich (all left prior Graduation)
Karel Schwarzenberg (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarɛl ˈʃvartsn̩bɛrk] or Karel, Prince of Schwarzenberg, in German Karl Johannes Nepomuk Josef Norbert Friedrich Antonius Wratislaw Menas Fürst zu Schwarzenberg, in Czech Karel Jan Nepomucký Josef Norbert Bedřich Antonín Vratislav Menas kníže ze Schwarzenberga), 12th Prince Schwarzenberg (First Majorat) and 7th Prince Schwarzenberg (Second Majorat), Duke of Krumlov born 10 December 1937) is a Czech politician and the leader of TOP 09 party.
Schwarzenberg served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic from July 2010 to 10 July 2013. Nominated originally by the Green Party, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs already from 2007 to 2009. He served as Senator for one of Prague districts from 2004 to 2010. In May 2010, he was elected Member of the Chamber of Deputies, gaining the largest number of preference votes. He was a candidate for President of the Czech Republic in the 2013 presidential election, and qualified for the second round. He ultimately finished second, receiving 45.19% of the votes. Schwarzenberg is noted for his pro-European views.
Schwarzenberg has been the head of the House of Schwarzenberg, a formerly leading family of the Habsburg realm, since 1979. He is a relative of Prince Felix of Schwarzenberg, a leading statesman of the Austrian Empire. From 1948 to 1990, he lived in Austria (where he was known as Karl Schwarzenberg), where he was involved in politics for the Austrian People's Party and became a noted critic of human-rights violations in the eastern bloc, chairing the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights. Following the fall of communism, he became a close adviser to Václav Havel and relocated to Prague.
He is married to Therese Hardegg (Therese Countess zu Hardegg auf Glatz und im Machlande) and they have three children, all of whom live in Austria.
- 1 Background, education and personal life
- 2 Exile, human-rights activism and career in Austrian politics
- 3 Career in Czech politics
- 4 Political positions
- 5 Titles, names and awards
- 6 Ancestry
- 7 See also
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 External links
Background, education and personal life
The House of Schwarzenberg originates in Franconia, where the family still owns substantial property, but made Bohemia their primary seat in the 17th century, also maintaining residences in Vienna. The family had possessed fiefdoms in Bohemia as far back as the Middle Ages; it was one of the richest noble families of Bohemia and Austria-Hungary, and one of the largest land owners of Bohemia.
Karel Schwarzenberg is the eldest son of Prince Karel VI of Schwarzenberg of the junior line (Second Majorat of the House of Schwarzenberg), and Princess Antonie von Fürstenberg. He is the 1,322nd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece of Austria. He is first cousin of Ira and Egon von Fürstenberg and second cousin of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco. By tradition, he holds the style of Serene Highness (German: Durchlaucht).
Schwarzenberg was born in Prague and his family spoke both German and Czech. He is known today for his "slightly archaic and often earthy Czech." Schwarzenberg and his parents had to leave the country after the Communist coup of 1948, and emigrated to Austria, with Swiss citizenship. He studied law and forestry at the universities of Vienna, Munich and Graz but left studies prior Graduation. He has two sisters, Marie Eleonore von Bredow (born 1936) and Anna Maria Freifrau von Haxthausen (born 1946), and one brother, Dr. rer. oec. Friedrich Prinz von und zu Schwarzenberg (born 1940).
On 22 April 1967, in Seefeld, Schwarzenberg married Countess Therese zu Hardegg (b. Vienna, 17 February 1940). The marriage ended in divorce in 1988. The couple married for a second time on 25 July 2008. His wife spends most of her time in Vienna and does not speak Czech. The marriage bore three children:
- Johannes Nepomucenus Andreas Heinrich Joseph Karl Ferdinand Johannes Evangelist die Heiligen Drei Könige Achaz Michael Maria, Hereditary Prince of Schwarzenberg (b. Vienna, 13 December 1967), married on 20 March 2010 Diana Orgovanyi-Hanstein, granddaughter of Baroness Maximiliane von Berg and second cousin once removed of Francesca von Habsburg-Lothringen.
- Princess Anna Carolina Antoinette Elisabeth Theresia Olga Adelheid Maria of Schwarzenberg (b. Vienna, 16 December 1968), married civilly in London on 28 July 1997 and religiously at Murau on 6 September 1997 Peter Morgan (b. Wimbledon, London, 10 April 1963), son of Arthur Morgan and wife Inga.
- Prince Karl Philipp Ernst Ferdinand Alwig Kilian of Schwarzenberg (b. Vienna, 12 May 1979). Adopted by Austrian industrialist and politician Thomas Prinzhorn by agreement 25 November 1987.  Married at Altaussee on 3 October 2009 to Countess Anna Elisabeth Aline Henriette Maria Benedikta Stephanie Johanna Lidvine Walpurga Thekla von und zu Eltz.
After the fall of the communist regime, Schwarzenberg returned to Prague in 1990, although he still occasionally visits Austria, where part of his family lives. He holds both Swiss and Czech citizenship.
Exile, human-rights activism and career in Austrian politics
In the 1960s, Schwarzenberg was active in the conservative Austrian People's Party and contributed to reforming the party before the 1966 legislative election. Voices inside the party considered him a possible candidate for the position of Foreign Minister of Austria, the position he would occupy in the Czech Republic decades later.
He soon became active in the resistance against the communist dictatorship in Czechoslovakia and became a prominent human-rights advocate, and a leading voice against the communist rule of his native country after the Prague Spring. From 1984 to 1991 he was chairman of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, and in 1986 he founded the Dokumentationszentrum zur Förderung der unabhängigen tschechoslowakischen Literatur in Scheinfeld, West Germany. In 1989, he accepted the European Human Rights Prize on behalf of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights.
Career in Czech politics
A long-time friend and close collaborator of Václav Havel, he served for two years as Havel's chancellor (from July 1990 to July 1992) during Havel's tenure as president.
He was elected as a Senator in the Czech Senate from the 6th District of Prague on 13 November 2004, having been nominated by the Freedom Union – Democratic Union (US-DEU) and Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) parties, and served until 29 May 2010.
Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic
Between 9 January 2007 and 9 May 2009, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in Mirek Topolánek's second coalition government. His nomination by the Green Party caused a small controversy when President Václav Klaus stated that he had strong links to Austria and so would not be able to defend national interests. On 8 July 2008, he and the American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed an agreement on the United States's Missile shield program.
In the first half of 2009, Schwarzenberg was also the Council President (Responsible national minister) of the European Union. Also in 2009, he and coalition colleague Miroslav Kalousek formed a new Czech political party TOP 09, which they led to success in the general elections of 2010, gaining 16% of the vote and representation in the Czech Parliament.
He left office as Foreign Minister on 8 May 2009. He became Foreign Minister once again on 13 July 2010; he held the post until 10 July 2013.
Candidate for President of the Czech Republic
On 11–12 January 2013, Schwarzenberg successfully took part in the first round of Czech presidential elections, the first popular vote for presidency of the country. With 23.40% of the total vote, he finished second behind former prime minister Miloš Zeman (24.21%). In the second-round run-off between the two men, held on 25–26 January 2013, Schwarzenberg received 45.19% of the vote and thus lost to Zeman.
Position on communist crimes
In December 2010, Schwarzenberg, along with the foreign ministers of five other Central and Eastern European EU countries, called upon the European Commission to make "the approval, denial or belittling of communist crimes" an EU-wide criminal offence. Schwarzenberg said that the denial of the crimes of communism is analogous to denying the crimes of Nazism, which in many EU countries is a criminal offense, arguing that "there is a fundamental concern here that totalitarian systems be measured by the same standard."
Condemnation of the Beneš decrees
In January 2013, while running for President of the Czech Republic, Schwarzenberg stated, referring to the Beneš decrees, that "what we committed in 1945 would today be considered a grave violation of human rights and the Czechoslovak government, along with President Beneš, would have found themselves in The Hague," referring to the International Criminal Court. The decrees led to the expulsion of many Germans and Hungarians from Czechoslovakia by the Czechoslovak government of Edvard Beneš.
Titles, names and awards
Titles and names
A member of the high nobility of Bohemia, his full name is Karl Johannes Nepomuk Josef Norbert Friedrich Antonius Wratislaw Mena Fürst zu Schwarzenberg in German and Karel Jan Nepomucký Josef Norbert Bedřich Antonín Vratislav Menas kníže ze Schwarzenberga in Czech. He is generally known as Karl zu Schwarzenberg in German and uses the Czech form of his first name, Karel, in Czech.
Karel Schwarzenberg is the current 12th Prince of Schwarzenberg, through his adoption by Heinrich Schwarzenberg, the brother of Joseph Schwarzenberg, the 11th Prince and last male member of the major Schwarzenberg line (First Majorat). Although Heinrich died before his brother Joseph III. (the 11th Prince), the adoption allowed Karel Schwarzenberg to succeed to the major Schwarzenberg line. Thus, in his person the minor line (Second Majorat), of which he is part by origin, has been united with the major line.
In the Czech Republic, using of noble predicates is prohibited by law No. 61/1918 Sb. If Schwarzenberg were to use his titles, his name and style would be:
- His Serene Highness The Prince of Schwarzenberg, Count of Sulz, Princely Landgrave in Klettgau, and Duke of Krumlov.
- In 1989, he received together with Lech Wałęsa, later president of Poland, the Council of Europe Human Rights Prize.
- In 2003, he received the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk 3rd Class of the Czech Republic.
- He has also been a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Austrian branch) since 1991.
- In 2005, he received the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria in Silver with Sash.
- In 2008, he received the Grand Cross of the Federal Cross of Merit – Bundesverdienstkreuz – of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- In 2012, he received the Order of Merit of the Free State of Saxony - Sächsischer Verdienstorden - in Dresden, Saxony.
- In 2015, he received the Marietta and Friedrich Torberg Medal
|Ancestors of Karel Schwarzenberg|
- Schwarzenberg. Angelfire.com. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- "Milos Zeman scores Czech presidency". The Australian. 27 January 2013.
- Bilefsky, Dan (January 24, 2013). "Czech Prince, Schwarzenberg, Runs a Punk Campaign". New York Times.
- Schwarzenberg talks election. The Prague Post (1937-12-10). Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- Karl Johannes, Prinz zu Schwarzenberg. GeneAll.net. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- Karel Schwarzenberg | Government of the Czech Republic. Vlada.cz. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- Note: the full name in German, according to tradition, is Therese Gräfin zu Hardegg auf Glatz und im Machlande
- Royals Portal MAG; 2008, by Petra
- news.at. news.at (2008-08-13); retrieved 6 July 2011.
- IPromi – Fanseite über Promis / VIP / Stars / Prominenten Verzeichnis – Star Lexikon. Ipromi.de. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
- Velinger, Jan (18 January 2007). "Rozhovor pro časopis Instinkt". Instinkt. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
'Jak je to s vaším občanstvím – máte české a švýcarské?' 'Oboje od narození.' (In English: 'What about your citizenship – you have both Czech and Swiss ones?' 'I have both since I was born.')
- Lendvai, Paul (2007). Mein Österreich – 50 Jahre hinter den Kulissen der Macht (4th ed.). Ecowin Verlag. p. 89. ISBN 3-902404-46-9.
- "Karel Schwarzenberg", TOP 09 party website, retrieved 7 June 2013
- "EU politicians expelled from Cuba", BBC News, 20 May 2005, retrieved 16 October 2009
- Klaus, Václav (28 December 2006). "Senátor Schwarzenberg sedí na dvou židlích". euPortál (in Czech). Retrieved 5 January 2009.
Asi se shodneme na tom, že každý náš ministr zahraničí musí jasně, ostře a z vlastního přesvědčení zastávat a hájit zájmy, postoje a priority České republiky. Obávám se však, že něco takového není možné – ale nijak ho za to nekritizuji – očekávat od člověka, který je s naší zemí (...) spojen pouze menší částí svého života. (In English: I think we agree that every Minister of Foreign Affairs of our country must clearly, strongly and by his own will defend interests, opinions and priorities of Czech Republic. However, I am afraid (but I'm not criticizing him) that we cannot expect this from a person who has been connected to our country only for a shorter period in his life (no matter this was not voluntary).
- Velinger, Jan (27 December 2006). "Who's afraid of Karel Schwarzenberg?". Český rozhlas 7. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
- Bilefsky, Dan; Judy Dempsey (8 July 2008). "U.S. and Czech Republic sign agreement on missile shield". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
- "Czech Foreign Minister: Denial of communist crimes like denial of Nazi crimes". Romea.cz. Archived from the original on 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2011-05-10.
- Day, Matthew (22 January 2013). "Czech election candidate questions post-war expulsion of Germans". The Telegraph (London).
- Ther, Philipp; Siljak, Ana (2001). Redrawing Nations: Ethnic Cleansing in East-Central Europe, 1944-1948. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 201ff. ISBN 0742510948.
- He is the fourth cousin twice removed of Heinrich Schwarzenberg, the brother of Joseph III., the 11th Prince of Schwarzenberg (Marek, Miroslav. "schwarzb/schwarzb3.html". Genealogy.EU.[self-published source][better source needed]; Marek, Miroslav. "schwarzb/schwarzb5.html". Genealogy.EU.[self-published source][better source needed]).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karel Schwarzenberg.|
- (Czech) Official website
- Marek, Miroslav. "Ancestors". Genealogy.EU.
- Princely House of Schwarzenberg
- Profile in European Voice, 19 July 2007
- (Czech) Blog
Cadet branch of the House of SeinsheimBorn: 10 December 1937
|Titles in pretence|
|— TITULAR —
Prince of Schwarzenberg (primogeniture)
|— TITULAR —
Prince of Schwarzenberg (secundogeniture)
from the 6th District of Prague
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
|President of the Council of the European Union