“The Fading Shadow of the Habsburgs”: Peter Berger

with a lovely tribute. From 2011, but I just found it via people reminiscing about Berger’s life and work:

For centuries the Habsburgs cast a gigantic shadow over a large part of Europe. Their empire ended cataclysmically in 1918. The shadow lingered for some decades after that, slowly fading under the blows of later cataclysms. Perhaps the time has now arrived when the shadow will disappear completely. Otto von Habsburg was the eldest son of Charles I, the last emperor of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Otto died on July 4, 2011, aged 98, in Poecking, Bavaria. If the monarchy had survived, he would have succeeded to the throne after his father. I read about his death in both The New York Times and The Boston Globe. The latter paper had picked up the news from the Associated Press, and I assume that other American newspaper carried it. I doubt whether many readers in this country, or for that matter in Europe, were moved by it. I was. It seemed to me like the silence that follows the very last note of a powerful piece of music which probably will never be played again. It is a silence that invites reflection.

more (don’t miss the story from the Empress Zita’s funeral)


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