Ludwig von Mises wrote this private memo to Otto von Habsburg, April 20, 1942. It has never been published before now:
The world today recognizes the principles of self-determination and the sovereignty of the people. In conformity with this principle, the position to take is, “Let the Austrian people decide. We would recommend a return to the monarchy and democratic parliamentarianism, but the people have the last word, not we.”
Only thus can the monarchy be restored in Austria, only thus can it last. The clinging to legitimism of the Duke of Chambord thwarted the restoration of the Bourbon kings. It would be no different in Austria.
For the Austrian political movement in exile, the head of the royal house can be nothing but the most prominent Austrian, in whom — as it believes — the majority of the people see their future Crown Prince. Because they want to build a better future in a new state, the monarchists advocate the monarchical form of government.
The royal house itself will be better served by this policy than by harking back to a past that had shadows as well as light, and to documents that can be interpreted in various ways by judges. Imitating the tactics of French legitimism that have failed this past 112 years, will not lead to success. FULL MEMO