22 Apr 2021

Pioneer of a United States of Europe: 'Hitler's Cosmopolitan Bastard' - online book presentation

 

The book is a biography of the Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, who set up a pro-European political movement, was the first to create a European flag and choose an anthem – Beethoven’s Ode to Joy - and to call for a European passport, a European stamp and a common European currency.

 

The presentation will be opened by the author, Dr Martyn Bond, followed by an intervention by Claudia Hamill, who contributed to the production of the book, and a Q&A session. The event will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Sophie Vanhoonacker, who has a chair in Administrative Governance and is Jean Monnet professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), Maastricht University.

 

This will be an online event via the Zoom platform. If you would like to take part in this event, please register by clicking on the green button on the right-hand side of the screen. Participation in this event is free of charge, but registration is mandatory. 

 

About the book

A European patriot, Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, son of an Austro-Hungarian diplomat and his Japanese geisha, thought and acted in terms of continents, not countries. He blazed a trail for European integration.

In the turbulent period following the First World War the charismatic young Count founded the Pan-European Union, offering a vision of peaceful, democratic unity for Europe, with no borders, a common currency, and a single passport. His political congresses in Vienna, Berlin, and Basel attracted thousands from Europe’s intelligentsia and the cultural elite, including Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, and Sigmund Freud. The Count infuriated Adolf Hitler. In Mein Kampf he referred to him as a ‘cosmopolitan bastard’.

Communists and nationalists, xenophobes and populists all hated the Count and his political mission. When the Nazis annexed Austria, the Count and his wife, the famous Jewish actress Ida Roland, narrowly escaped the Gestapo. He fled to the United States, where he helped shape American policy for postwar Europe. Coudenhove-Kalergi's profile served as the basis for the fictional resistance hero Victor Laszlo in the film Casablanca.

Timely and captivating, Martyn Bond's biography offers an opportunity to explore a remarkable life and revisit the impetus and origins of a unified Europe. And relates to contemporary debate on the future of the Continent.

In the turbulent period following the First World War the charismatic young Count founded the Pan-European Union, offering a vision of peaceful, democratic unity for Europe, with no borders, a common currency, and a single passport. His political congresses in Vienna, Berlin, and Basel attracted thousands from Europe’s intelligentsia and the cultural elite, including Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, and Sigmund Freud. The Count infuriated Adolf Hitler. In Mein Kampf he referred to him as a ‘cosmopolitan bastard’.

Communists and nationalists, xenophobes and populists all hated the Count and his political mission. When the Nazis annexed Austria, the Count and his wife, the famous Jewish actress Ida Roland, narrowly escaped the Gestapo. He fled to the United States, where he helped shape American policy for postwar Europe. Coudenhove-Kalergi's profile served as the basis for the fictional resistance hero Victor Laszlo in the film Casablanca.

Timely and captivating, Martyn Bond's biography offers an opportunity to explore a remarkable life and revisit the impetus and origins of a unified Europe. And relates to contemporary debate on the future of the Continent.

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Author

Martyn Bond has enjoyed three careers, as an academic, BBC Berlin correspondent and a European civil servant.  He now advises the University of Surrey’s Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence while writing on Britain and Europe.

Guest speaker and contributor to the production of the book

Claudia Hamill, previous Visiting Fellow to the University of Maastricht on the EU and communication; directs the Fondation Arlon and is Senior Adviser to the European Forum for Manufacturing in Brussels. She has had a varied career, working with the EU institutions.

Moderator 

Prof. Dr. Sophie Vanhoonacker has a chair in Administrative Governance and is Jean Monnet professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), Maastricht University.

Programme

16:20

Opening of the Zoom room

16:30

Welcome and introduction by Sophie Vanhoonacker

16:35

Presentation of the book by Martyn Bond

17:05

Follow up by Claudia Hamill

17:15

Discussion and Q&A

17:55

Wrap up and conclusions by Sophie Vanhoonacker