Otto Von Habsburg life and biography

Otto von Habsburg picture, image, poster

Otto Von Habsburg biography

Date of birth : 1912-11-20
Date of death : 2011-07-04
Birthplace : Reichenau an der Rax, Austria-Hungary
Nationality : Austrian
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2011-07-05
Credited as : Archduke Otto of Austria, House of Habsburg,

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Otto von Habsburg(given names: Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius), also known as Archduke Otto of Austria, was the Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, or more correctly, Austria, Hungary and Bohemia—what is now Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine—from 1916 to 1918.

Otto was born in Reichenau an der Rax, Lower Austria. In November 1916, Otto's father, on the death of his granduncle Franz Josef I, ascended the throne and Otto himself, at the age of four, became Crown Prince of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. However, in 1918, at the end of the First World War, Karl had to abdicate, both monarchies were abolished, the Republics of Austria and Hungary founded instead, and the family were forced into exile.

Otto von Habsburg spent the following years in Switzerland and in Madeira, where Karl died prematurely in 1922, making him pretender to the throne at the age of ten. Meanwhile, the Austrian parliament had officially expelled the Habsburg dynasty and confiscated all the official property (Habsburgergesetz of April 3, 1919). In 1935 he graduated from the University of Louvain, having studied social and political science. Otto spent most of the war years in Washington, D.C. (1940-1944), after escaping from Austria to Portugal with a visa issued by the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux Aristides Sousa Mendes. A fervent patriot, he had opposed the Nazi "Anschluss" of Austria of 1938 and also fought Hitler's regime from America. After the war, he lived in exile in France and Spain.

Well after the end of the Second World War, Otto von Habsburg finally renounced all claims to the Austrian throne (1961) and was eventually allowed to return to his home country in 1966. An early advocate of a unified Europe, he served from 1979 till 1999 as a Member of the European Parliament for the conservative German CSU party.

Otto von Habsburg has been married since 1951 to Princess Regina von Sachsen-Meiningen. The couple have seven children and 21 grandchildren. They reside at the "Villa Austria" in Pöcking, Bavaria, Germany.

Otto von Habsburg's oldest son Karl (Charles) Habsburg (born January 11, 1961), who is to be the future head of the Habsburg family, married Baroness Francesca of Thyssen-Bornemisza in 1993. They have three children and permanently live in Salzburg, Austria

From 1954, he lived in Bavaria in Germany. At the time of his death, he was a citizen of Germany, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. He died in Pöcking, Germany on July 4, 2011. He was 98. His spokeswoman reported that he died "peacefully and without pain in his sleep". He was survived by his younger brother, Felix, as well as 7 children, 22 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

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