Hitler's Cosmopolitan Bastard

Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi and His Vision of Europe

By (author) Martyn Bond
Categories: European history, History, History and Archaeology, Europe, Place qualifiers
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Hardcover : 9780228005452, 464 pages, April 2021

The story of the Austro-Japanese count – politician and author of the manifesto Pan-Europa – who blazed a trail to European integration.


The remarkable story of Austro-Japanese Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, founder of the Pan-European Union following the First World War, which offered a vision of peaceful, democratic unity for Europe, with no borders, a common currency, and a single passport. Both loved and hated, he served as the basis for the resistance hero Victor Laszlo in the film Casablanca. This biography offers an opportunity to explore a remarkable life and revisit the origins for a unified Europe.


"Martyn Bond has written a fascinating biography of Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi and has offered a rich portrait of his worlds. It is a welcome and much-needed contribution to our understanding of twentieth-century Europeanism and is a pleasure to read. " Matthew D'Auria, University of East Anglia

"A comprehensive study of Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi and his profound influence on the pan-European outlook of Churchill and Amery could not be more timely as a Conservative government forces the UK to turn its back on the grand European project that was Coudenhove's conception. Drawing on many hitherto unavailable family papers, Martyn Bond has constructed a rich, seamless narrative describing this mesmerizing personality. " Richard Bassett, author of Last Days in Old Europe: Trieste '79, Vienna '85, Prague '89

"An evocative portrait of an underappreciated statesman, someone who embraced the ideal of a united Europe long before others. In the time of Brexit and other manifestations of contemporary populism, it is well worth recalling the turbulence of the mid-twentieth century and the bravery of those who stood up against tyranny. " John Kampfner, author of Why the Germans Do It Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country

"The writing of Hitler's Cosmopolitan Bastard sparkles. At last, the story of Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi can be widely shared in the English-speaking world. This is an enthralling tale of vanished worlds and a charismatic personality. It is a stunning achievement, telling the story of his fight for a United States of Europe alongside his complex personal life, and deserves rich praise. " Anne Sebba, author of Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died under Nazi Occupation

"As Martyn Bond writes in his sympathetic but not uncritical biography, it is striking how many of the count's ideas - a single currency, customs union, charter of human rights, common anthem and much more - have come to fruition as Europe's integration has proceeded, by fits and starts, to present day. Coudenhove-Kalergi left a lasting legacy of ideals and imagination. Bond's biography, the first English-language study of the count, is a fitting tribute to his memory. " Tony Barber, Financial Times