President Petr Pavel commented on the death of the former foreign minister on the X social network. “He left a great man in all respects. For him, service to our country was not only a continuation of the family, but a completely natural mission. It was a great honor to know him personally. I will miss his nobility, wisdom, kind humor and European reach. My sincere condolences to the family,” the president noted.
“He served. Nobly. He will be missed, there is no one to replace him. Thank you. For every conversation that made me think and ask how I could be more useful. It always paid off to listen to his every word. A full life. A gentleman,” commented Jan Farský, vice-chairman of the STAN movement, on Schwarzenberg’s departure.
He served. Nobly. He will be missed, there is no one to replace him.
Thank you. For every conversation that made me think and ask how I could be more useful. It always paid off to listen to his every word.
A full life. Aristocrat. https://t.co/StHdD6wy9X
— Jan Farský (@JanFar_sky) https://twitter.com/JanFar_sky/status/1723593024012247131?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
“Sometimes it seemed that Karel Schwarzenberg was not listening during the meeting, as if we were dozing off. Then he suddenly spoke, and it was clear that he had been attentively perceiving everything around him the whole time. He always helped and his name opens doors for us. He saw further than others and did a huge amount of work for the Czech Republic. RIP,” recalled Senate President Miloš Vystrčil.
Great Britain’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, Matt Field, also expressed his sincere condolences on the passing of Karel Schwarzenberg. “A Czech statesman and leader who is respected by the whole world. A truly honest and noble person,” he wrote.
Of the diplomats, Field was not the only one who remembered Schwarzenberg.
MEP Luděk Niedermayer also remembered Karel Schwarzenberg. “Karel Schwarzenberg was the reason why I went into politics. Over the years, through better times and worse, I have met him. I got used to his rather short but very punchy sentences, in which he would express his views on the world and answer my questions. And he accepted repeated invitations to meetings with my colleagues in Brussels and then only in Prague. In the summer, I went to Dřevíč to see him, actually a lot for advice. I won’t forget about it. He greeted me by saying that his cook didn’t have time today, so I’m going to Nižbor for lunch. By that time he was already walking very badly, so it seemed like a bad idea, but anyone who knows him knows that the protest was futile. On the terrace of the railway station, in his typical manner, in terse sentences, he made many remarks to me about the state of the world. As always clear, insightful and knowledgeable. He also answered my questions clearly. And I end up doing what he advised me to do. I was really looking forward to coming to see him when it looked like he was going to return to Dřevíč. And yesterday I wrote to him from the Diet. You must not have read it… RIP and thank you so much for what you have done for the world, our country and me. I won’t forget,” he said.
“TG Masaryk said, ‘don’t be afraid and don’t steal’. We shortened it a bit to ‘don’t be afraid to steal’. After all, even under father Masaryk it was sung: ‘Above the castle, under the castle, steal, steal, steal, steal’. An old coachman in Chýňov used to say: ‘Dr., the Austrian wild boar eats, but our lion eats’. – One of his immortal quotes. In a month, Karel Schwarzenberg would have celebrated his 86th birthday. RIP,” also remembered MP Patrik Nacher (ANO).
His tweet received a response from the fake profile of MP Jana Mračková Vildumetzová. “But mate, you don’t even reach his ankles. There’s no need to try to penetrate his anus,” she wrote.
“At least you should keep your mouth shut, anonymous jerk,” Nacher replied.
Karel Schwarzenberg was born on December 10, 1937 in Prague as the eldest son of the herald and historian Charles VI. of the Prince of Schwarzenberg and his wife Antonia, née Princess of Fürstenberg. He comes from the younger, so-called eagle branch of the Schwarzenberg family. He spent his childhood at Orlík and Čimelice castles. He started attending the national school in Čimelice. After the communist coup of 1948, his family’s property of the Eagle branch was confiscated, and because of this, they resorted to emigration and lived in Austria, near Salzburg. A few years later she moved to Vienna.
In 1962, Karel was adopted by his uncle, a member of the older Hlubok-Krumlov branch of the Schwarzenberg family, Jindřich from Schwarzenberg. For him, this adoption meant financial security and an inheritance worth up to 400 million euros, which he received after his uncle’s death in 1965.
In Austria he was a member of the Österreichische Volkspartei. After the August occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops in 1968, he supported Czechoslovak dissent. At the family castle in Scheinfeld, Bavaria, he founded the Czechoslovak Documentation Center – an archive of then-forbidden literature. In 1984, he was elected chairman of the International Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, and held this position until 1990. In 1989, he was awarded the Human Rights Prize of the Council of Europe.
After November 17, 1989, he returned to Czechoslovakia, where he became intensively involved in social, economic and political life. Soon after, President Václav Havel appointed him head of his presidential office – chancellor. He held this position until Havel’s abdication in 1992.
After February 1948, he obtained the confiscated property of the Eagle branch of the Schwarzenberg family, to which he belonged after his biological parents, without any major problems. These were the Orlík, Čimelice, Sedlec and Schwarzenberg Palace in Voršilská Street in Prague.
Photogallery: – Karel Schwarzenberg sitting, sleeping
From the Senate through the government to the presidential candidacy
He first tried to make his mark in politics in 2002, when, as a non-partisan candidate for the US-DEU, he sought election to the Senate in the Strakonice district. He did not succeed, but two years later, as a member of the ODA, he was already elected to the Senate for US-DEU on the US-DEU candidate list in the Prague 6 electoral district. His political career took off and on January 9, 2007, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic for the Green Party in the second Topolánek government.
He was instrumental in the Czech Republic’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence when the government approved the decision at the last minute as an extraordinary item at the Teplice external meeting on May 21, 2008. He signed a placement agreement with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on July 8, 2008 radar base of the USA on the territory of the Brdy Military District, but that never happened. He ended his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs on May 8, 2009, when Topolánek’s government was replaced by Jan Fischer’s official cabinet.
In the same year, he participated in the founding of the TOP 09 party, of which he also became the first chairman. Thanks primarily to his popularity, TOP 09 won almost 17 percent of the vote in the 2010 elections and, together with ODS and Public Affairs, formed a government in which Karel Schwarzenberg served not only as Minister of Foreign Affairs, but also as First Deputy Prime Minister.
The highlight of his political career was his candidacy for the president of the Czech Republic in the first ever direct election. He managed to advance to the second round, in which he received only over 45 percent of the votes and lost to Miloš Zeman. He has been a Member of Parliament since May 2010, and was repeatedly elected in 2013 and 2017.
At one time, he admitted that in the early 1990s he accepted an official’s offer to speed up the processing of restitution for the promise of something in return. He confirmed this fact in 2010 in an interview for Mladá fronta DNES. He was also often blamed for financial support from businessman Zdenek Bakala. Together with him, he bought the state enterprise Becherovka in privatization.
Photogallery: – Princes and scientists
Did you like this article?
You can support the independence of our editorial office with a monetary donation of any amount by bank transfer to the following account:
The QR code contains payment information, determine the amount yourself.
Are you a politician? Post whatever you want without editing. Register HERE.
Are you a reader and want to communicate with your representatives? Register HERE.
author: Vanda Efnerová