On November 14, 2021, the Austrian Cavalry Association was allowed to be a guest at the residence of the Order of St. George in Vienna and hold its autumn conference there. The theme of the conference was the “Pan-European Movement”, presented by its Secretary General Rainhard Kloucek.
The welcome was given by the procurator of the Order of St. George, Baron Vinzenz von Stimpfl-Abele. In his words, he emphasized the solidarity with the Austrian Cavalry Association, which shows itself through the preservation of tradition and through the symbol of St. George. “Connectedness” is also what distinguishes the House of Habsburg, which places what is common above what divides and connects different nations.
The President of the Cavalry Association Colonel Franz Prandstätter was pleased about the presence of the President of the UEHMG, Major General iTR Michael Blaha, MSc, and in his welcoming words he discussed the importance of maintaining tradition, which not only includes wearing a uniform, but also dealing with the history and clinging to it with dignity and respect. The autumn conference should contribute to deepening this knowledge.
Secretary General Kloucek also opened his lecture on the Pan-European Movement with reference to the tradition that forms our roots – we shouldn’t “put everything away” right away.
The Pan-Europa movement was launched on November 17, 1922 by Japanese-born Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, who saw Europe as a whole. He advocated a European order, especially externally, regarding security policy and the free internal market, and even then the idea of a common currency (based on the gold standard) was born.
In 1926 he organized a congress which was attended by over 2,000 people and in which the idea of a united, peaceful Europe was promoted. The movement was banned by the emergence of National Socialism – Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi fled to Pressburg, then to the USA. The unification of the European nation-states initially failed because of the erection of the Iron Curtain.
After 1945 there was a major congress in The Hague, in which the idea of European integration was revived. The movement was continued by Archduke Otto von Habsburg, who became Vice President of the Paneuropean Union in 1957. During his presidency, the first opening of the Iron Curtain on August 19, 1989 on the Austro-Hungarian border became legendary, when the first citizens of the East were able to cross the border into Western Europe under the co-organization of the Paneuropean movement.
In earlier alliances of states, such as the EEC and EFTA, the European idea was only partially reflected, and in today’s European Council a single country often prevents an agreement. With the focus on expanding to Southern / Eastern Europe, the Pan-European Movement is still pursuing the idea of a united Europe and will celebrate its 100th anniversary on November 17, 2022.
After a short discussion, Colonel Franz Prandstätter pointed out further celebrations for the coming year:
- April 1, 2022: 100th anniversary of the death of Emperor Karl
- November 20, 2022: 110th birthday of Archduke Otto von Habsburg
Then Mjr. iTR Mag. Georg Reichlin-Meldegg presented his book “Stormed Fortress. War and Love in Times of Cholera and Typhus ”.
The commander of Dragoon Regiment 2, Obstlt.Michael Islinger, then informed about an event that is also planned for the coming year:
350 years of the establishment of the regiment – an exhibition on Heldenberg about dragoons, lancers and hussars regiments since 1672. Approx. 80,000-250,000 spectators are expected for the exhibition planned from April to November 2022. He asks for loans.
The autumn conference 2021 ended with a leisurely lunch in a nearby restaurant.
Photos: Renate Berka, Public Relations Office of the Austrian Cavalry Association