The identities of exiles and their descendants. On the legacy of the Blessed Karl Habsburg (1916–1918) a hundred years after his ascent to the throne.
Who were the people whose fate at various points in the last century was directly or indirectly influenced by the experience of exile? What was it like to leave the lands of Bohemia or Moravia and seek a home elsewhere? Significant figures from contemporary political and social life will come to discuss the issue of home not only in its private aspects but also in a broader national and European context. If it is true that “states are sustained by the ideals from which they were born” (Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk), with the approach of the centenary we want to reflect on the events of 1918. Against who and against what was the “idea of the state of Czechoslovakia” promoted? We ask this a century after the enthronement of the Moravian Margrave and Czech king, the Emperor Karl Habsburg. Central Europe’s public has clothed his figure, priorities and vision in many laye s of prejudice, ignorance and a number of paradoxes. Among these is the fact that while Karl was supposed to be the head of state of a power that suppressed the Slavs, the first Slavonic pope, John-Paul II, beatified him in 2004.
Bernd Posselt – German politician and journalist, spokesman of the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft (Sudeten German Homeland Association). As a close associate of Otto von Habsburg he supported Central European dissidents and the fall of the Iron Curtain. Between 1994–2014 he was a member of the European Parliament. Holder of various awards and public functions, among others the President of the Paneuropean Union in Germany.
Milan Horáček – German politician of Czech origin. After persecutions he emigrated to Germany in 1970’s, between 1983–1989 was a member of Bundestag, 2004–2009 an MEP for the German Green Party. In the years 1991–2004 he strongly supported Czech non-profit sector from the position of the Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. On the turn of the millennium he inspired the attempts for reconciliation among former Czech- and German speaking inhabitants of Brno.
Jiří Pehe – Czech political scientist, writer and commentator, Director of New York University Prague. He emigrated to the United States in the 1980’s, graduated from the University of Columbia and then contributed to various prestigious media, worked in the Radio Free Europe. He was the Director of the Policy Department of the Office of the President of the Republic Václav Havel. He is active in a number of foundations, and comments on the political and public life on a daily basis.
Jaroslav Šebek – Czech historian, worker of the Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) Prague, focusing on the history of Czech lands of the 20th century, especially the history of political parties, Czech-German relationship and history of the church. He was born in 1970, since 2009 has been teaching as an associate professor at the Faculty of Arts of the Masaryk University. In 2012 he won the CAS Chairman Award for promotion and popularization of research, experimental development and innovations.
This encounter will be chaired by David Macek.