In 1912, on this day Otto von Habsburg (pictured) was born at Villa Wartholz in Reichenau an der Rax.
Birth of Kaiser Otto, Emperor of the GermansOnly four years later he became Crown Prince, and then at the age of just nine, succeeded his father Karl as Emperor of the Germans.
During its thousand year history, the Imperial House of Habsburg had occupied many of the thrones of Europe. But events had taken the oddest of turns in 1866. In the narrowest of victories at the Battle of Königgrätz, the Prussian attempt to force the unification of Germany on their terms ended in failure. And instead of the Hohenzollerns, it would be the Habsburgs who won out, establishing the new Kaiserreich, a Germanic monarchist system, ruled from Vienna with a central european system of thinking.
But by the time Otto was proclaimed Kaiser, nationalist pressures were threatening to rip the Slavic part of the Empire apart. The resolution of this so-called "Southern Question" would completely dominate the early decades of his long rule.