In the year 2000, Annette Kirk traveled to Prague for a ceremony in the Czech Parliament celebrating the translation of Russell Kirk’s book The Conservative Mind into the Czech language. Mrs. Kirk is the president of The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal. Among the speakers at that Czech Senate Conference were Mrs. Kirk, Karl von Habsburg, and Marco Respinti. Von Hapsburg and Respinti gave tribute to Russell Kirk, emphasizing his value for Europeans.
Von Habsburg studied at the Kirk Center as a Wilbur Fellow in 1984, concentrating his research on American politics and elections. During his time there, he also attended the Michigan Republican Convention, at which Ronald Reagan was nominated for re- election to the presidency. Also known as Archduke Karl von Habsburg, he is the son of the late Otto von Habsburg and a direct descendent of the House of Habsburg, which provided rulers of the Holy Roman Empire from the 15th century through the 18th century.
Shortly after his return from Mecosta to Austria, von Habsburg was elected to the European Parliament, where he served for ten years.
Respinti met Russell Kirk in 1989, when Dr. Kirk came to Italy to lecture on the fundamental differences between the French revolution and the American war for independence. Respinti came to Mecosta and served as a Wilbur Fellow in 1990, 1992, and 1996. In that latter year he brought out an Italian translation of Kirk’s Roots of American Order through Mondadori, a major Italian publishing house. His efforts are ongoing. In his words: “Kirk’s traditions are successfully continued in Italy through the Centro Studi Russell Kirk which works constantly for the same cultural renewal of the western Christian tradition that Kirk held in such high esteem. Deo volente, as Kirk loved to quote, labor proficit.”
The bulk of the event was in Czech, but we offer the portions of the program that were in English. Annette begins her talk after an introduction in Czech at a little more than three and a half minutes in. And, the frequent edits were necessitated by eliding the translator’s portion of the program.