Ten Kings: Austria
Austria as we know it today was founded by Charlemagne. Its capital, Vienna, is the cultural capital of the Holy Roman Empire.
This powerful Frankish king conquered this part of central Europe in the late eighth century and used it as a bulwark against Slavic peoples, as well as a bridge between Western Europe and Eastern Europe along the Danube River and from north to south through mountain passes in the Alps. The House of Habsburg, also known as the House of Austria, ruled from Vienna for more than 600 years and occupied the throne of the Holy Roman Empire for most of that time.
Even after the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, which many consider the end of the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire continued to exist until World War i, which was sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. In that war, Austria allied with the German Empire. And in the aftermath of that war, it was an Austrian—Adolf Hitler, who was transfixed by Charlemagne’s crown jewels in Vienna and influenced by voices—who again rose up to revive history’s bloodiest empire. In doing so, he made Austria part of the Third Reich and brought the crown jewels from Vienna to Germany. It is said that he spoke even more powerfully when he was in Nuremberg, the new location of those crown jewels that fascinated him so much.
Austria joined the European Union in 1995. In recent years, conservative Catholicism has surged in the nation’s politics. Part of this was due to Sebastian Kurz, a young popular politician who won the chancellorship of Austria twice. Although he is no longer in politics today, he and others stood out for being willing to resist the surge of Islamic immigration and stand up for Catholicism. Welt characterized him as a modern version of a “Habsburg royal imperial strategist.” Kurz in particular had a close relationship with the archbishop of Vienna and made several bold statements that his religion guided his politics.
Whoever leads Austria into this beast power, religion will guide his politics.
During Kurz’s time as chancellor, Austria held the rotating presidency of the European Council. Austria’s motto for its presidency was “A Europe that protects.” Meanwhile, the Imperial Treasury in Vienna used the occasion to promote the Holy Roman Empire and exhibits glorifying the crown of Charlemagne. A miniature museum featuring the crown was also set up in the European Council building. The Treasury said that Austria’s Council presidency was “the occasion for lively debate about what Europe is, and what it should be in the future. The Imperial Treasury in the Vienna Hofburg is well suited as a forum for this discourse, for many of the objects preserved here are directly related to Europe’s past.” (Read “The Holy Roman Empire Goes Public—Big Time!” at theTrumpet.com/17669.)
Austria remains an important strategic nation today in terms of geography and trade, and especially in culture and religion.
One expression of its importance was the government and Catholic Church’s joint restoration of the Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family in Jerusalem in 2018, one century after the Habsburg dynasty ended. This, among other things, emphasized Austria’s connection to and desire to rule Jerusalem! Over the centuries, kings in Austria claimed rulership over Jerusalem. Many times they and their subjects never even traveled to the Holy Land, let alone ruled it. But the hospice provided a way for them to make pilgrimages there, remain connected, and maintain their claims.
And sometimes they did travel to the Holy Land—to wage religious war in the Catholic Crusades! The reason the flag of Austria has a horizontal white stripe framed by two red stripes, according to legend, is because an Austrian noble removed his belt after a battle in the Holy Land, and that was the only part of him that was not drenched in blood.
The empire that Austria has been a part of—and will again be a part of—has ambitions to rule the world. The motto of the Imperial House of Habsburg was “Austriae es imperare orbi universo” (Latin) or “Alles Erdreich is Osterreich untertan” (German) Abbreviated a.e.i.o.u., it means, “It is Austria’s responsibility to dominate the world.”
When Austria and the empire are weak, people ignore these ambitions. But when they are strong and motivated by the ultimate symbol of Europe, the crown of Charlemagne, the world should fear!