On this edition of Parallax Views, author and former Berlin correspondent for the BBC Martyn Bond joined me to discuss his fascinating and relevant biography of a the little known Austrian/Japanese aristocratic who may envisioned a unified Europe years before the formation of the EU. Hitler’s Cosmopolitan Bastard: Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi and His Vision for Europe, tells the story of Count Kalergi, the man who founded the Pan-Europa movement, served as a large part of the inspiration for the anti-fascist leader Victor Laszlo in Casablanca, and was despised so much by his fellow Austrian Adolph Hitler that he was referred to as the “cosmopolitan bastard” in Mein Kampf. In this conversation we cover a number of aspects of Count Kalergi and his life and legacy including the lead-up to WWII, his personality fault, his views of Russia and the Soviet Union, his sometimes xenophobic Western-bias, his push for European parliament, his attraction to strong personalities like his wife the Jewish actress Ida Roland, his association with Freemasonry and pacifism, his belief that one could have a nationality identity and a European identity, the idea of “thinking in continents, not countries”, the relevance of Kalergi today in light of the Ukraine War and Brexit, and much, much more!
Then, inn the second segment of the show, Briand Grodsky joins us to discuss his article for The Conversation entitled “Economic sanctions may deal fatal blow to Russia’s already-weak domestic opposition”. Brian explains how economic sanctions against Russia could possibly strengthen Putin and irrevocably damage, or destroy, the opposition to him in Russia.