Comparisons are frequently made between the world today and that of a century ago. But, while the forces that resulted in the Second World War were brewing, some were aiming to foster international peace and security.
In the turbulent period following the First World War, the young Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi founded the Pan-European Union, offering a vision of peaceful, democratic unity for Europe with no borders, a common currency and a single passport.
His political congresses in Vienna, Berlin, and Basel attracted thousands from the intelligentsia and the cultural elite, including Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann and Sigmund Freud, who wanted a United States of Europe brought together by consent. The Count’s commitment to this ideal infuriated Adolf Hitler who referred to him as a ‘cosmopolitan bastard’ in Mein Kampf.
This event examines the context of 1920’s geopolitical questions in light of a recently published biography Hitler’s Cosmopolitan Bastard: Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi and his Vision of Europe.
This discussion will consider:
- What private initiatives in diplomacy ran alongside government ones in order to promote peace a century ago?
- Who were the key players that moved behind the scenes to promote peace?
- What insights can be gained from history to meet the challenges of today?
As with all Chatham House events, members’ questions drive the conversation. Register now to share, debate and develop ideas on this critical international issue. This event is for Chatham House members only. Not a member? Find out more.