Otto von Hapsburg, whose family ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire since the 13th century and one point most of the European continent, died Monday at age 98. Hapsburg was born in 1912 in Reichenau, Austria, the eldest son of Charles I, the last emperor of Austria-Hungry. The family fled at the end of World War I, but Hapsburg unsuccessfully tried to return to Austria in 1935 and again in 1938 to fight off the incoming annexation by Adolf Hitler. When he was not allowed to return, he found a channel through the U.S. Embassy in Paris to contact President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Hapsburg claimed to have prevented the Allied bombing of Austrian cities. He also used his influence during the war to help save 15,000 Jews from the Nazis. After the war, Hapsburg became an outspoken supporter of European unification, and served as a member of the European Parliament.
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