The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'habsburg empire'
A few recent studies demonstrating the power of cultural transmission of values and attitudes over surprisingly long stretches of time: firstly, a set of surveys in central and eastern Europe has shown that trust in government officials is higher and corruption is lower in areas formerly governed by the Habsburg Empire, whose bureaucracy was considered to be more honest and competent than elsewhere in Europe at the time; the phenomenon has lasted from the end of World War 1 to the present day, surviving the redrawing of borders and different types of regimes, and to this day, levels of trust and corruption differ within the borders of countries between formerly Habsburg and, say, Ottoman or Russian-ruled areas.
On a darker note, another study in Germany has found that towns in which Jews were massacred during the Black Plague were more likely to support the Nazis and participated more enthusiastically in the Holocaust, some six centuries later.
The latest round of beatifications is out; among the candidates is Emperor Karl, who ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1916 and 1918. Some objected to his beatification on the grounds that he signed off on the use of poison gas in the trenches of World War 1, but he also miraculously healed a Brazilian nun's varicose veins, so it's alright. The last Habsburg Emperor is not a saint yet (that requires a further miracle to be attributed to him), but he may be accorded a feast day and his relics may be venerated. Which makes me wonder whether, in a century's time, the world may see Tony Blair or someone nominated for sainthood, supported by some true believer or other miraculously recovering from a medical condition.