Sad news today that one of the greatest men of the 20th century, Otto von Habsburg, has died at age 98. I will leave it to others more qualified than I to reflect on the enormous impact Habsburg had on the 20th century. How he demonstrated the incredible courage throughout his life to oppose the various horrific tyrannies of that blood-soaked century. Hitler was obsessed with Habsburg as the latter's decency and authenticity was naturally a threat to the former, who had none of these. How he and his family bore with dignity the humiliation of a world that had turned its back most viciously on the idea of a ruling monarchy in favor of the glories of democracy. A mountain of bodies continuing to stack up by the thousands is testimony of how that all worked out.
I was fortunate to have met Dr. Habsburg twice, once to interview him for the Budapest Sun newspaper in the mid-1990s and later to hear him deliver an incredible tour de force review of the 20th century at the Kossuth House Hungarian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. in 2005. His presence was electrifying and sobering. He had an aura of kindness surrounding him.
Dr. Habsburg was a friend of Mises and a friend of the Mises Institute. The world is a darker place when great men like him depart it. May the soul of Otto von Habsburg, and those of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.