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|Heinrich Graf von
|Heinrich Graf von Clam-Martinic (sometimes Clam-Martinitz) was born in Vienna on 1 January 1863. Statesman who was part of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's "shadow cabinet" that monitored Imperial events and gave advice to the responsible ministries.
Clam-Martinic was appointed chancellor of the Austrian Empire on 20 Dec 1916, replacing Ernst von Körber. Clam-Martinic took up the work on the 10-year customs union issue from the assassinated chancellor Karl Stuergkh.
He was also faced with a mounting nationalist pressure headed by Czech intellectuals, which culminated in the Czecho-Slovak Declaration, proclaimed by Frantisek Stanek on 30 May. In this, the writers and intellectuals demanded that the Habsburg Empire be devolved into a federal union of equal states. On the other hand, Stanek also spoke about the importance of the historical Czech rights, which were clearly incompatible with the previous proclamation of equality among nationalities. Nevertheless, the declaration swore loyalty to the Kaiser but spoke of sweeping changes unlikely to be seen under the current regime.
Minister of the Reichsrat Josef Redlich was appalled, considering this the first public pronouncement of the Empire's death. The uproar stunned Clam-Martinic into making a passionate plea on 12 June, whereby he cried "Let us all be Austrians!" The response by all around him--conservatives who expected him to uphold the traditional feudal spirit of the Empire and liberals who expected a transformation of the political structure as payment for supporting the war--was so cold that Clam-Martinic could not tolerate his office. He was forced to resign on 23 June 1917 owing to a concerted effort by opposing ministers to oust him over the food crisis and the nationalism crisis. He was replaced by Ernst Ritter Seidler von Feuchtenegg.
In spite of the humiliation he suffered at the hands of the confederation of ministers who had brought his downfall, Clam-Martinic continued to serve the Kaiser with unblemished loyalty. After his resignation, Clam-Martinic was appointed the military governor of Montenegro on 10 July 1917, replacing FML Viktor Weber, who was then hurried to the Russian Front. The governorship was a job the Graf managed competantly until the end of the war. During this time, he considered the possibility of federalizing the Empire according to nationality, and wrote numerous essays on the subject. At war's end, he departed Montenegro and was escorted out of Cattaro by the Italian navy, after which time he retired to his family castle in Austria.
Heinrich von Clam-Martinic died on 7 March 1932 at Burg Clam in the town of Klamm in Upper Austria.
GWS, 6/01 [rev. 3/05]