Ritter Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Knight of Austria, and Exemplar of the Hapsburg Restoration Movement, died on this day seventeen years ago in Lans, Tyrol. As this is the first post marking the anniversary of this great Austrian’s death, I thought it would be fitting to give his biography in his own words (taken from his book, Leftism):
I am an Austrian with a rather varied background and a good share of unusual experiences. Born in 1909 as the son of a scientist (radium and X-ray) who died as a victim of his research work, I traveled quite a bit as a young boy and acquired a knowledge of several tongues. Today I read twenty languages with widely varying skill and speak eight. At the age of sixteen I was the Vienna correspondent of the Spectator (London), a distinguished weekly founded by Addison and Steele. Engaged in the study of law and Eastern European history at Vienna University at the age of eighteen, I transferred a year later to the University of Budapest (M.A. in Economics, Doctorate in Political Science). Subsequently I embarked on the study of theology in Vienna, but went to England in 1935 to become Master at Beaumont College and thereafter professor at the Georgetown Graduate School of Foreign Service from 1937 to 1938. I was appointed head of the History Department in St. Peter’s College, Jersey City (1938-1943) and lecturer in Japanese at Fordham University. Until 1947 I taught at Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia. These studies and appointments were interspersed with extensive travels and research projects, including the USSR as early as 1930-1931.
During my years in America I traveled in every state: Only southeastern Oregon and northern Michigan alone are still my “blank spots.” [editor’s note: He eventually reached every state.] In 1947 I returned to Europe and settled in the Tyrol, halfway between Paris and Vienna, and between Rome and Berlin, convinced that I had to choose between teaching and research. From 1949 onward I revisited the United States on annual lecture tours. Since 1957 I have traveled every year either around the world or south of the Equator.
One of my ambitions is to know the world; another one is to do research in arbitrarily chosen domains serving the coordination of the various branches of the humanities: theology, political science, psychology, sociology, human geography, history, ethnology, philosophy, art. I have a real horror of one-sided, permanent specialization. I am also active as a novelist and painter. My books, essays, and articles have been published on five continents and in twenty-one countries.
An ardent defender of Liberty and Tradition, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn demonstrated that the real War of our time is the War between Right and Left, understood as the War between those fighting for Man’s ultimate Salvation, and those wittingly and unwittingly fighting against it. He realized that to be on the Right meant to stand for the ideal of Christendom, an ideal which the forces of Leftism sought eagerly to erase:
Writing as an Austrian, nevertheless I have to tell my readers in all candor that I am also writing as a man who still has a “home,” a Heimat, but since my childhood, since November 1918, no longer a fatherland. The Alpine Republic of Austria has made every imaginable effort to deny its historic roots going back to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It shed all the symbols recalling the Hapsburg monarchy either in the form of the Danubian monarchy or its real matrix, the Holy Roman Empire.