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‘A Castle in Bohemia, an Austro-Japanese Count, and the Future of Europe’

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Martyn Bond will speak about Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, the man whom Hitler damned in Mein Kampf as a ‘cosmopolitan bastard’.

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Martyn Bond, a former foreign correspondent specialising in European affairs, will speak about Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, better known on the Continent than in Britain. Few anywhere know that the man whom Hitler damned in Mein Kampf as a ‘cosmopolitan bastard’ travelled on a Czechoslovak diplomatic passport for twenty years between the two world wars. As a young intellectual politicised by the Great War, the Count sent President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk one of his early political articles arguing for better understanding between Czech and German speakers in the new republic. In September he went to see him in Prague and explained to the President his bigger plan for a peaceful union of all the nations of Europe in Pan-Europa, a forerunner of today’s European Union.The Count was an early pioneer of European unity and played an important role in the history of Central Europe but, given his and his family’s German-Bohemian background, is still underrated in the Czech Republic. His work in the movement for a united Europe deserves to be re-evaluated.

Photos: l. to r.: map of Europe in 1923 C.W.Bacon, Creative Commons; image of the Count courtesy of McGill-Queen's; Château of Poběžovice trepex Creative Commons.

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Organiser The Friends of Czech Heritage

Organiser of ‘A Castle in Bohemia, an Austro-Japanese Count, and the Future of Europe’

We organise lectures on a variety of Czech heritage topics, held in London, and working parties in the Czech Republic. These have all been on hold during the Covid-19 emergency but we have been holding a series of very well-received lectures using Zoom.

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