Engelbert Dollfuss

Engelbert Dollfuss (German: Engelbert Dollfuß, IPA: [ˈɛŋəlbɛʁt ˈdɔlfuːs]; 4 October 1892 – 25 July 1934) was an Austrian Christian Social and Patriotic Front statesman. Having served as Minister for Forests and Agriculture, he ascended to Federal Chancellor in 1932 in the midst of a crisis for the conservative government. In early 1933, he shut down parliament, banned the Austrian Nazi party and assumed dictatorial powers. Suppressing the Socialist movement in February 1934, he cemented the rule of "Austrofascism" through the authoritarian First of May Constitution. Dollfuss was assassinated as part of a failed coup attempt by Nazi agents in 1934. His successor Kurt Schuschnigg maintained the regime until Adolf Hitler's annexation of Austria in 1938.

Engelbert Dollfuss
Engelbert Dollfuss
Dollfuss pictured as Kaiserschütze (1933)
Chancellor of Austria
In office
20 May 1932 – 25 July 1934
PresidentWilhelm Miklas
DeputyFranz Winkler
Emil Fey
Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg
Preceded byKarl Buresch
Succeeded byKurt Schuschnigg (acting)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
20 May 1932 – 10 July 1934
Preceded byKarl Buresch
Succeeded byStephan Tauschitz
Minister of Agriculture
In office
18 March 1931 – 25 June 1934
ChancellorOtto Ender
Karl Buresch
Preceded byAndreas Thaler
Succeeded byErnst Rüdiger Starhemberg
Leader of the Fatherland Front
In office
20 May 1933 – 25 July 1934
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byErnst Rüdiger Starhemberg
Personal details
Born4 October 1892
Texingtal, Lower Austria, Austria-Hungary
Died25 July 1934 (aged 41)
Vienna, Austria
Cause of deathAssassination
Resting placeHietzinger Cemetery, Vienna, Austria
Political partyFatherland Front (1933–1934)
Other political
Christian Social Party (until 1933)
Spouse(s)Alwine Dollfuß
Alma materUniversity of Vienna
Military service
AllegianceFlag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg Austria-Hungary
Branch/serviceAustro-Hungarian Army
Years of service1914–1918
RankUnterjäger der k.k. Gebirgstruppe 1907-18.png Corporal
AwardsMilitary Merit Cross 3rd Class
Military Merit Medal (2 times)
Medal for Bravery
Karl Troop Cross (2 times)
Wound Medal

Early life

2009-09-19 Dr. Dollfuß Museum in Texing, Outside
Dollfuss' birthplace in Texing

He was born in Texing in Lower Austria to unmarried mother Josepha Dollfuss and her lover Joseph Weninger. The couple, of peasant origin, was unable to get married due to financial problems. A few months after her son's birth, Josepha married landowner Leopold Schmutz in Kirnberg, who did not, however, adopt Engelbert as his own child. Dollfuss, who was raised as a devout Roman Catholic, received a scholarship for the minor seminary of the Archdiocese of Vienna in Hollabrunn in 1904. Having obtained his Matura degree in 1913, he first decided to continue his studies at the Vienna seminary but subsequently switched to study law at the University of Vienna.

At the outbreak of World War I, Dollfuss had difficulty gaining admission into the Austro-Hungarian Army as he was only 153 centimetres (5 ft 0 in) tall.[1] Indeed, according to The New York Times, who reported a series of jokes, including how in the coffee houses of Vienna, one could order a "Dollfuss" cup of coffee instead of a "Short Black" cup of coffee (black being the color of the Christian Democratic political faction), Dollfuss stood no more than 150 centimetres (4 ft 11 in) tall. Dollfuss' diminutive stature would remain an object of satire all his life; among his nicknames were 'Millimetternich' (blending 'millimeter' and Metternich), and 'Jockey'.

Dollfuss was eventually accepted and joined the Tyrolean Landesschützen regiment at Brixen and by the end of 1914 was sent to the Italian Front. Serving as commander of a machine gun detachment, he was a highly decorated soldier and was briefly taken by the Italian forces as a prisoner of war in 1918. After the war he returned to studies in Vienna, joining a Catholic male student fraternity (Studentenverbindung), became co-founder of the German Student Union in Austria and acted as a representative at the Cartellverband umbrella organization. Together with occasional allies like Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Robert Hohlbaum and Hermann Neubacher, he distinguished himself as a German nationalist and antisemite.

From 1919 he worked as secretary of the Austrian Farmers' Association (Bauernbund) and was sent to study economics at the University of Berlin. There Engelbert met Alwine Glienke (1897–1973), a German woman from a Protestant family, whom he married in 1921.[2] The couple had one son and two daughters, with one daughter dying during early childhood.

Dollfuss finished his studies and obtained the doctor of law degree in 1922. He worked as a secretary of the Lower Austrian Chamber of Agriculture and in 1927 became its director. A great admirer of Karl Freiherr von Vogelsang's teachings, he became a member of the conservative Christian Social Party (CS) and promoted the establishment of agricultural cooperatives as well as the implementation of social insurance and unemployment benefits for farm workers against inner party disapproval. At the instigation of his party colleague Chancellor Carl Vaugoin, he was appointed president of the Austrian Federal Railways in 1930 (Dollfuss would push off Vaugoin to this post three years later).

In the 1930 legislative election, the Social Democrats emerged as the strongest party and Vaugoin resigned as chancellor. In March 1931, Dollfuss was named Minister of Agriculture and Forests in the short-lived coalition cabinet of Chancellor Otto Ender. When Ender resigned a few months later at the height of the Creditanstalt affair, he maintained this office under Ender's successor Karl Buresch. However, the political situation became more and more unstable after a failed Heimwehr coup d'état and the Nazi Party reaching a significant level of votes in several Landtag elections. The CS lost its Greater German allies in parliament and when the Social Democrats requested the dissolution of the National Council, the Buresch cabinet resigned on 20 May 1932.

Chancellor of Austria

On 10 May 1932, Dollfuss, age 39 and with only one year's experience in the Federal Government, was offered the office of Chancellor by President Wilhelm Miklas, also a member of the Christian-Social Party. Dollfuss refused to reply, instead spending the night in his favourite church praying, returning in the morning for a bath and a spartan meal before replying to the President he would accept the offer.[3] Dollfuss was sworn in on 20 May 1932 as head of a coalition government between the Christian-Social Party, the Landbund — a right-wing agrarian party — and Heimatblock, the parliamentary wing of the Heimwehr, a paramilitary ultra-nationalist group. The coalition assumed the pressing task of tackling the problems of the Great Depression. Much of the Austro-Hungarian Empire's industry had been situated in the areas that became part of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia after World War I as a result of the Treaty of Saint-Germain. Postwar Austria was therefore economically disadvantaged.

Dollfuss' majority in Parliament was marginal; his government had only a one-vote majority.[4]

Dollfuss as dictator of Austria

Chancellor Dollfuss in Geneva, 1933

In March 1933, an argument arose over irregularities in the voting procedure. The Social Democratic president of the National Council (the lower house of parliament) Karl Renner resigned to be able to cast a vote as a parliament member. As a consequence, the two vice presidents, belonging to other parties, resigned as well to be able to vote. Without a president, the parliament could not conclude the session. Dollfuss took the three resignations as a pretext to declare that the National Council had become unworkable, and advised President Wilhelm Miklas to issue a decree adjourning it indefinitely. When the National Council wanted to reconvene days after the resignation of the three presidents, Dollfuss had police bar entrance to parliament, effectively eliminating democracy in Austria. From that point onwards, he governed as dictator by emergency decree with absolute power.

Dollfuss was concerned that with German National Socialist leader Adolf Hitler becoming Chancellor of Germany in 1933, the Austrian National Socialists (DNSAP) could gain a significant minority in future elections (according to fascism scholar Stanley G. Payne, should elections have been held in 1933, the DNSAP could have mustered about 25% of the votes – contemporary Time magazine analysts suggest a higher support of 50%, with a 75% approval rate in the Tyrol region bordering Nazi Germany).[5][3] In addition, the Soviet Union's influence in Europe had increased throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. Dollfuss banned the communists on 26 May 1933 and the DNSAP on 19 June 1933. Under the banner of Christian Social Party, he later established a one-party dictatorship rule largely modeled after fascism in Italy, banning all other Austrian parties including the Social Democratic Labour Party (SDAPÖ). Social Democrats however continued to exist as an independent organization, nevertheless, without its paramilitary Republikanischer Schutzbund, which until 31 March 1933[6] could have mustered tens of thousands against Dollfuss' government.


Dollfuss modeled Austrofascism according to Catholic corporatist ideals with anti-secularist tones and in a similar way to Italian fascism, dropping Austrian pretenses of unification with Germany as long as the Nazi Party remained in power. In August 1933, Benito Mussolini's regime issued a guarantee of Austrian independence. Dollfuss also exchanged 'Secret Letters' with Mussolini about ways to guarantee Austrian independence. Mussolini was interested in Austria forming a buffer zone against Nazi Germany. Dollfuss always stressed the similarity of the regimes of Hitler in Germany and Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, and was convinced that Austrofascism and Italian fascism could counter totalitarian national socialism and communism in Europe.

In September 1933 Dollfuss merged his Christian Social Party with elements of other nationalist and conservative groups, including the Heimwehr, which encompassed many workers who were unhappy with the radical leadership of the socialist party, to form the Vaterländische Front, though the Heimwehr continued to exist as an independent organization until 1936, when Dollfuss' successor Kurt von Schuschnigg forcibly merged it into the Front, instead creating the unabidingly loyal Frontmiliz as paramilitary task force. Dollfuss escaped an assassination attempt in October 1933 by Rudolf Dertill, a 22-year-old who had been ejected from the military for his national socialist views.

Austrian civil war

In February 1934 the security forces provoked arrests of Social Democrats and unjustified searches for weapons of the Social Democrats' already outlawed Republikanischer Schutzbund. After the Dollfuss dictatorship took steps against known Social Democrats, the Social Democrats called for nationwide resistance against the government. A civil war began, which lasted sixteen days, from 12 until 27 February. Fierce fighting took place primarily in the East of Austria, especially in the streets of some outer Vienna districts, where large fortress-like municipal workers' buildings were situated, and in the northern, industrial areas of the province of Styria, where Nazi agents had great interest in a bloodbath between security forces and workers' militias. The resistance was suppressed by police and military power. The Social Democrats were outlawed,[7] and their leaders were imprisoned or fled abroad.

New constitution

Dollfuss staged a parliamentary session with just his party members present in April 1934 to have his new constitution approved, effectively the second constitution in the world espousing corporatist ideas after that of the Portuguese Estado Novo.[8] The session retrospectively made all the decrees already passed since March 1933 legal. The new constitution became effective on 1 May 1934 and swept away the last remnants of democracy and the system of the first Austrian Republic.


Dollfuss was assassinated on 25 July 1934 by ten Austrian Nazis (Paul Hudl, Franz Holzweber, Otto Planetta and others)[9] of Regiment 89[10] who entered the Chancellery building and shot him in an attempted coup d'état, the July Putsch.[11] Mussolini had no hesitation in attributing the attack to the German dictator: the news reached him at Cesena, where he was examining the plans for a psychiatric hospital. The Duce personally gave the announcement to Dollfuss' widow, who was a guest at his villa in Riccione with her children. He also put at the disposal of Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg, who spent a holiday in Venice, a plane that allowed the prince to rush back to Vienna and to face the assailants with his militia, with the permission of President Wilhelm Miklas.[12]

Mussolini also mobilised a part of the Italian army on the Austrian border and threatened Hitler with war in the event of a German invasion of Austria to thwart the putsch. Then he announced to the world: "The independence of Austria, for which he has fallen, is a principle that has been defended and will be defended by Italy even more strenuously", and then replaced in the main square of Bolzano the statue[13] of Walther von der Vogelweide, a Germanic troubadour, with that of Drusus, a Roman general who conquered part of Germany. This was the greatest moment of friction between Fascism and National Socialism and Mussolini himself came down several times to reaffirm the differences in the field. The assassination of Dollfuss was accompanied by uprisings in many regions in Austria, resulting in further deaths. In Carinthia, a large contingent of northern German Nazis tried to seize power but were subdued by the Italian units nearby. At first Hitler was jubilant, but the Italian reaction surprised him. Hitler became convinced that he could not face a conflict with the Western European powers, and he officially denied liability, stating his regret for the murder of the Austrian Prime Minister. He replaced the ambassador to Vienna with Franz von Papen and prevented the conspirators entering Germany, also expelling them from the Austrian Nazi Party. The Nazi assassins in Vienna, after declaring the formation of a new government under Austrian Nazi Anton Rintelen, previously exiled by Dollfuss as Austrian Ambassador to Rome, surrendered after threats from Austrian military of blowing up the Chancellery using dynamite, and were subsequently tried and executed by hanging.[11] Kurt Schuschnigg, previously Minister of Education, was appointed new chancellor of Austria after a few days, assuming the office from Dollfuss’ deputy Starhemberg.

Out of a population of 6.5 million, approximately 500,000 Austrians were present at Dollfuss’ burial in Vienna.[11] He is interred in the Hietzing cemetery in Vienna[14] beside his wife Alwine Dollfuss (d. 1973) and two of his children, Hannerl and Eva, all of whom were in Italy as guests of Rachele Mussolini at the time of his death, an event which saw Mussolini himself shed tears over his slain ally.[3][15]

In literature

In Bertolt Brecht's 1941 play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Dollfuss is represented by the character "Dullfeet".[16]


  • Das Kammersystem in der Landwirtschaft Österreichs. Agrarverlag, Wien 1929.
  • Mertha, Rudolf, Dollfuß, Engelbert: Die Sozialversicherung in der Landwirtschaft Österreichs nach dem Stande von Ende März 1929. Agrarverlag, Wien 1929.
  • Der Führer Bundeskanzler Dr. Dollfuß zum Feste des Wiederaufbaues. 3 Reden. 1. Mai 1934. Österr. Bundespressedienst, Wien 1934.
  • Tautscher, Anton (Hrsg.): So sprach der Kanzler. Dollfuss’ Vermächtnis. Aus seinen Reden. Baumgartner, Wien 1935.
  • Weber, Edmund (Hrsg.): Dollfuß an Oesterreich. Eines Mannes Wort und Ziel. Reinhold, Wien 1935.
  • Maderthaner, Wolfgang (Hrsg.): „Der Führer bin ich selbst.“ Engelbert Dollfuß – Benito Mussolini. Briefwechsel. Löcker, Wien 2004, ISBN 3-85409-393-4.


  1. ^ Gudula Walterskirchen: Engelbert Dollfuß - Arbeitermörder oder Heldenkanzler. Vienna 2004.
  2. ^ "Wer war Engelbert Dollfuß?" (in German). Artikel33. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  3. ^ a b c "AUSTRIA: Eve of Renewal". Time. September 25, 1933.
  4. ^ Portisch, Hugo; Sepp Riff (1989). Österreich I (Die unterschätzte Republik). Vienna, Austria: Verlag Kremayr und Scheriau. p. 415. ISBN 3-218-00485-3.
  5. ^ Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-1945
  6. ^ "DöW - Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance". braintrust.at. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Protokolle des Ministerrates der Ersten Republik, Volume 8, Part 6" (in German). 1985. p. xvii. ISBN 3-7046-0004-0. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  8. ^ Stanley G. Payne, Civil War in Europe, 1905-1949, 2011, p. 108.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Pics of Planetta and Holzweber (1934 coup) - Axis History Forum". Axis History Forum. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "AUSTRIA: Death for Freedom". Time. August 6, 1934. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  12. ^ Richard Lamb, Mussolini and the British, 1997, p. 149
  13. ^ de:Walther-Denkmal (Bozen)
  14. ^ "Vienna Tourist Guide: Dollfuss Hietzinger Friedhof". Hedwig Abraham. Retrieved 6 February 2010. (includes photographs)
  15. ^ "Rudolf Dollfuß - Traueranzeige und Parte † 05.11.2011 - ASPETOS". Archived from the original on 2012-04-28. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  16. ^ Mel Gussow (May 9, 1991). "Review/Theater; Brecht's Cauliflower King In Another Resistible Rise". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 24 September 2014.


  • Bauman, Vladimír & Hladký, Miroslav První zemřel kancléř, Praha, 1968
  • Brožek, Otakar & Horský, Jiří, Na dně byla smrt, Praha, 1968
  • Bußhoff, Heinrich, Das Dollfuß-Regime in Österreich (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1968)
  • Carsten, F. L., The First Austrian Republic 1918-1938 (Cambridge U.P., 1986)
  • Dollfuß, Engelbert, Dollfuß schafft Arbeit [Pamphlet] (Heimatdienst, 1933)
  • Dreidemy, Lucile: Der Dollfuß-Mythos. Eine Biographie des Posthumen. Böhlau, Wien 2014, ISBN 978-3-205-79597-1.
  • Ender, D, Die neue österreichische Verfassung mit dem Text des Konkordates (Wien/Leipzig: Österreichischer Bundesverlag, 1935)
  • Gregory, J. D., Dollfuss and his Times (Tiptree: Hutchinson & Co. Anchor, 1935)
  • Höhne, Heinz, Zollin; Barry, Richard (2001), The Order of the Death's Head: the Story of Hitler's SS, Penguin Books ISBN 0-14-139012-3
  • Luksan, Martin, Schlösser, Hermann, Szanya, anton (Hrsg.): Heilige Scheine – Marco d’Aviano, Engelbert Dollfuß und der österreichische Katholizismus. Promedia, Wien 2007, ISBN 978-3-85371-275-7.
  • Maass, Walter B. Assassination in Vienna, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York
  • Maleta, Alfred, Der Sozialist im Dollfuß-Österreich (Linz: Preßverein Linz, 1936)
  • Messner, Johannes, Dollfuß (Tyrolia, 1935)
  • Messner, Johannes, Dollfuss: An Austrian Patriot (Norfolk, Virginia: IHS Press, 2003)
  • Moth, G., Neu Österreich und seine Baumeister (Wien: Steyrermühl-Verlag, 1935)
  • Naderer, Otto: Der bewaffnete Aufstand: der Republikanische Schutzbund der österreichischen Sozialdemokratie und die militärische Vorbereitung auf den Bürgerkrieg (1923–1934) (= Hochschulschriften), Ares, Graz 2005, ISBN 978-3-902475-06-0 (Dissertation Universität Salzburg 2003, 384 Seiten).
  • Österreichischer Bundespressedienst, Der Führer Bundeskanzler Dr. Dollfuß zum Feste des Wiederaufbaues 1. Mai 1934 (Österreichischer Bundespressedienst, 1934)
  • Hans Schafranek: „Sommerfest mit Preisschießen“. Die unbekannte Geschichte des NS-Putsches im Juli 1934. Czernin, Wien 2006, ISBN 3-7076-0081-5.
  • Sugar, Peter (ed.) Native Fascism in the Successor States (Seattle 1971)
  • Tálos, Emmerich & Neugebauer, Wolfgang, Austrofaschismus (Vienna: Lit. Verlag, 2005)
  • Walterskirchen, Gudula Engelbert Dollfuß, Arbeitermörder oder Heldenkanzler (Vienna: Molden Verlag, 2004)
  • Weber, Hofrat Edmund, Dollfuß an Oesterreich, Eines Mannes Wort und Ziel (Wien: Reinhold Verlag, 1935)
  • Winkler, Franz, Die Diktatur in Oesterreich (Zürich/Leipzig: Orell Füssli Verlag, 1935)
  • Zweig, Stefan, Die Welt von Gestern, eines Dichters von Morgen (Frankfurt am Main/Bonn: Athenäum, 1965)
  • Ludwig Jedlicka (1959), "Dollfuß, Engelbert", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 4, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 62–63; (full text online)
  • "Dollfuß Engelbert". In: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Vol. 1, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1957, p. 192.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Karl Buresch
Chancellor of Austria
Succeeded by
Kurt Schuschnigg
Alwine Dollfuß

Alwine Dollfuß (née Glienke) (12 February 1897 – 25 February 1973) was the wife of former Austrian chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß. At the time of his murder, she was in Italy with Benito Mussolini, who allowed her the use of his private plane to hurry back to Austria. She is buried in Hietzinger Cemetery next to her husband, and two of her children; Hannerl and Eva. She was also satirized in Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui 1941 as the character 'Betty Dullfeet'.

Austrian National Socialism

Austrian National Socialism was a Pan-German movement that was formed at the beginning of the 20th century. The movement took a concrete form on November 15, 1903 when the German Worker's Party (DAP) was established in Austria with its secretariat stationed in the town of Aussig (now Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic). It was suppressed under the rule of Engelbert Dollfuss (1932–34), with its political organization, the DNSAP ("German National Socialist Workers' Party") banned in early 1933, but revived and made part of the German Nazi Party after the German annexation of Austria in 1938.

Austrian nationalism

Austrian nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that Austrians are a nation and promotes the cultural unity of Austrians. Austrian nationalism originally developed as a cultural nationalism that emphasized a Catholic religious identity. This in turn led to its opposition to unification with Protestant-majority Germany, something that was perceived as a potential threat to the Catholic core of Austrian national identity.Austrian nationalism first arose during the Napoleonic Wars, with Joseph von Hormayr as a prominent Austrian nationalist political leader at the time. In the 1930s the Fatherland Front government of Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg rejected current pan-German aspirations to join Austria with a Protestant-dominated Germany, whilst not wholly rejecting a potential union and claiming that any unification of Austria with Germany would require a federal German state where Austria and Austrians were guaranteed privileged status recognizing an Austrian nation within a German Kulturnation. Following the events of World War II and Nazism, Austrians began to reject the German identity, and a broader Austrian identity replaced it. After the war, there were those who went as far as describing Austria as "Hitler's first victim".In the post-World War II period proponents who recognize an Austrian nation have rejected a German identity of Austrians and have emphasized the non-German heritage among the Austrian population including Celtic, Illyrian, Roman, and Slavic. Proponents who recognize Austrians as a nation claim that Austrians have Celtic heritage, as Austria is the location of the first characteristically Celtic culture (Halstatt culture) to exist. Contemporary Austrians express pride in having Celtic heritage and Austria possesses one of the largest collections of Celtic artifacts in Europe.Austrian nationalism has been challenged internally. The main rival nationalism has been German nationalism. Another rival nationalism emerged after the defeat of Austria-Hungary in World War I, Bavarian nationalism which challenged the new Austrian Republic with proposals for Austria to join Bavaria. At this time the Bavarian government held particular interest in incorporating the regions of North Tyrol and Upper Austria into Bavaria. This was a serious issue in the aftermath of World War I with significant numbers of Austria's North Tyrolese declaring their intention to have North Tyrol join Bavaria.


Austrofascism (German: Austrofaschismus) was the authoritarian system installed in Austria with the May Constitution of 1934, which ceased with the annexation of the newly founded Federal State of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938. It was based on a ruling party, the Fatherland Front (Vaterländische Front) and the Heimwehr (Home Guard) paramilitary militia. Leaders were Engelbert Dollfuss and, after Dollfuss's assassination, Kurt Schuschnigg, who were previously politicians of the Christian Social Party, which was quickly integrated into the new movement.

Austrofascism, which was Catholic and corporatist and espoused Austrian nationalism, must be contrasted with Austrian National Socialism, which was pan-German and anti-semitic in outlook.

Carl Vaugoin

Carl Vaugoin (8 July 1873, Vienna – 10 June 1949, Krems/Donau) was an Austrian official and politician of the Christian Social Party. He served as Defense Minister in 15 Austrian cabinets from 1921 to 1933, from 1929 to 1930 also as Vice Chancellor of Austria, and as Chancellor of Austria for about two months in 1930.

Eduard Hedvicek

Eduard Hedvicek (Czech: Eduard Hedvíček) was born in 1878 in Kojetín, Moravia, Austria-Hungary, now in the Czech Republic, and died 1947 in Vienna, Austria. He was the secretary of Engelbert Dollfuß, the Austrian Chancellor before the Anschluss. On 25 July 1934 he unsuccessfully tried to prevent Dollfuß's assassination by Otto Planetta. He testified at the trial of the murderers as a "Crown" (prosecution) witness and was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit Signum Laudis by the Austrian government for his heroic efforts. He was imprisoned by the Nazis after Germany annexed Austria. His imprisonment was a matter of personal revenge for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the SS-Obergruppenführer and Chef der Reichssicherheitshauptamtes of the Nazi government and a famous Austrian Nazi, who himself was involved in Dollfuß's assassination and was for this and other crimes hanged after the war.

Eduard Hedvicek died after the war in 1947.

Emil Fey

Emil Fey (23 March 1886 – 16 March 1938) was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army, leader of the right-wing paramilitary Heimwehr forces and politician of the First Austrian Republic. He served as Vice-Chancellor of Austria (German: Vizekanzler) from 1933 to 1934, leading the country into the period of Austrofascism under Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss. Fey played a vital role in the violent suppression of the Republikanischer Schutzbund and the Social Democratic Workers' Party during the 1934 Austrian Civil War.

Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg

Prince Ernst Rüdiger Camillo von Starhemberg, also known as Ernst Rüdiger Camillo Starhemberg, (Eferding, 10 May 1899 – Schruns, 15 March 1956) was an Austrian nationalist and conservative politician prior to World War II, a leader of the Heimwehr and later of the Fatherland Front. He was the 1,163rd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Austrian Order.

Starhemberg served in the Bundesrat between 1920 and 1930, as Minister of Interior in 1930, Vice-Chancellor in 1934 and subsequently Acting Chancellor and Leader of the Front after the murder of Engelbert Dollfuss, relinquishing the former position after a few days. Disenchanted by the moderate ways of Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg, he was ousted from power in 1936, when the Heimwehr was dissolved, and fled the country after the Anschluss to avoid retaliation from vengeful Nazis.

Fatherland Front (Austria)

The Fatherland Front (German: Vaterländische Front, VF) was the ruling political organisation of "Austrofascism". It claimed to be a nonpartisan movement, and aimed to unite all the people of Austria, overcoming political and social divisions. Established on 20 May 1933 by Christian Social Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss as the only legally permitted party in the country, it was organised along the lines of Italian Fascism, except the Fatherland Front was fully aligned with the Catholic Church and did not advocate any racial ideology, as later Italian Fascism did. It advocated Austrian nationalism and independence from Germany on the basis of protecting Austria's Catholic religious identity from what they considered a Protestant-dominated German state.The Fatherland Front, which was strongly linked with Austria's Catholic clergy, absorbed Dollfuss's Christian Social Party, the agrarian Landbund and the right-wing paramilitary Heimwehren, all of which were opposed to socialism, free-market capitalism and liberal democracy. It established an authoritarian and corporatist regime, the Federal State of Austria, which is commonly known in German as the Ständestaat ("corporate state"). According to the Fatherland Front this form of government and society implemented the social teaching of Pope Pius XI's 1931 encyclical Quadragesimo anno. The Front banned and persecuted all its political opponents, including Communists, Social Democrats—who fought against it in a brief Civil War in February 1934—but also the Austrian Nazis who wanted Austria to join Germany. Chancellor Dollfuss was assassinated by the Nazis in July 1934. He was succeeded as leader of the VF and Chancellor of Austria by Kurt Schuschnigg, who ruled until the invigorated Nazis forced him to resign on 11 March 1938. Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany the next day.

The Fatherland Front maintained a cultural and recreational organisation, called "New Life" (Neues Leben), similar to Germany's Strength Through Joy.The role of the Fatherland Front has been a contentious point in post-War Austrian historiography. While left-wing historians consider it to be the exponent of an Austrian and Catholic-clerical variant of fascism and make it responsible for the failure of democracy in Austria, conservative authors stress its credits in defending the country's independence and opposition to Nazism.

Federal State of Austria

The Federal State of Austria (Austrian German: Bundesstaat Österreich ; colloquially known as the Ständestaat, "Corporate State") was a continuation of the First Austrian Republic between 1934 and 1938 when it was a one-party state led by the clerico-fascist Fatherland Front. The Ständestaat concept, derived from the notion of Stände ("estates" or "corporations"), was propaganda advocated by leading regime politicians such as Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg. The result was an authoritarian government based on a mix of conservative Catholic and Italian Fascist influences.

It ended in March 1938 with the Anschluss (the Nazi annexation of Austria). Austria would not become an independent country again until 1955, when the Austrian State Treaty ended the Allied occupation of Austria.

First Austrian Republic

The First Austrian Republic (German: Republik Österreich) was created after the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye on 10 September 1919—the settlement after the end of World War I which ended the Habsburg rump state of Republic of German-Austria—and ended with the establishment of the Austrofascist Federal State of Austria based upon a dictatorship of Engelbert Dollfuss and the Fatherland's Front in 1934. The Republic's constitution was enacted in 1 October 1920 and amended on 7 December 1929. The republican period was increasingly marked by violent strife between those with left-wing and right-wing views, leading to the July Revolt of 1927 and the Austrian Civil War of 1934.

Hartmann Grasser

Hartmann Grasser (23 August 1914 – 2 June 1986) was a World War II Luftwaffe fighter ace. He was credited with shooting down 103 Allied aircraft. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.

Grasser was born on 23 August 1914 in Graz, Steiermark, Austria. After he received his Abitur he started studying medicine, however, due to political reasons, he was forced to leave Austria. Austrian National Socialism had been suppressed under the rule of Engelbert Dollfuss in 1934. He was trained at the Naval School in Neustadt and at the flying sports school at Rossitten, followed by six months at the Johannisthal flying school. Grasser then joined the Luftwaffe with the rank of Fahnenjunker (cadet) on 1 April 1936.


The Heimwehr (German: [ˈhaɪmˌveːɐ̯], Home Guard) or sometimes Heimatschutz (German: [ˈhaɪmatˌʃʊts], Homeland Protection)

were a nationalist, initially paramilitary group operating within Austria during the 1920s and 1930s; they were similar in methods, organisation, and ideology to Germany's Freikorps. Although opposed to parliamentary democracy, the Heimwehr maintained a political wing known as the Heimatblock, which cooperated with Engelbert Dollfuss' conservative government. In 1936, the Heimwehr was absorbed into the Fatherland Front by decree of Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg and replaced by a militia supposedly less inclined towards uproar against the regime, the Frontmiliz.

July Putsch

The July Putsch was a failed coup d'état attempt against the Austrofascist regime by Austrian Nazis, which took place between 25 – 30 July 1934.

Just a few months after the Austrian Civil War Austrian Nazis and German SS soldiers attacked the Chancellery in Vienna in an attempt to depose the ruling Fatherland Front government under Engelbert Dollfuss in favor of replacing it with a pro-Nazi government under Anton Rintelen of the Christian Social Party. The Nazi putsch ultimately failed as the majority of the Austrian population and Federal forces remained loyal to the government. The Nazis did however succeed in killing Chancellor Dollfuss, though Kurt Schuschnigg succeeded him and the Austrofascist regime remained in power.

A German invasion of Austria in support of the putsch was averted due to the guarantee of independence and diplomatic support Austria received from Fascist Italy.

Karl Buresch

Karl Buresch (12 October 1878 – 16 September 1936) was a lawyer, Christian-Social politician and Chancellor of Austria during the First Republic.

Kurt Schuschnigg

Kurt Alois Josef Johann Schuschnigg (German: [ˈʃʊʃnɪk]; 14 December 1897 – 18 November 1977) was an Austrofascist politician who was the Chancellor of the Federal State of Austria from the 1934 assassination of his predecessor Engelbert Dollfuss until the 1938 Anschluss with Nazi Germany. Although Schuschnigg accepted that Austria was a "German state" and that Austrians were Germans, he was strongly opposed to Adolf Hitler's ambitions to absorb Austria into the Third Reich and wished for it to remain independent.When Schuschnigg's efforts to keep Austria independent had failed, he resigned his office. After the invasion by Nazi Germany, he was arrested, kept in solitary confinement and eventually interned in various concentration camps. He was liberated in 1945 by the advancing United States Army and spent most of the rest of his life in academia in the United States.

List of chancellors of Austria

The chancellor of Austria is the head of government of the Austrian Republic, appointed by the president and regarded as the country's de facto chief executive. The chancellor chairs and leads the Government, which also includes the vice-chancellor and the ministers.Following World War I, the office was originally established by the Provisional National Assembly on 30 October 1918 as state chancellor of the Republic of German-Austria, and its first holder, Karl Renner, was appointed by the State Council. After the Allies declined a union between Austria and Germany, German-Austria established the First Austrian Republic and soon afterwards renamed the office from state chancellor to federal chancellor – the first federal chancellor was Michael Mayr. Ten chancellors served under the First Republic until Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss established the authoritarian and dictatorial Federal State of Austria. Following Dollfuss's Assassination by the Nazis, Kurt Schuschnigg succeeded him as chancellor and upheld the dictatorship, until he was superseded by Arthur Seyss-Inquart, who held the office for two days until Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany.Austria under National Socialism lost its initial system of government and was headed by Reichsstatthalter Arthur Seyss-Inquart (1938–1939), Reich Commissioner Josef Bürckel (1939–1940) and Reichsstatthalter Baldur von Schirach (1940–1945). In 1940, the country was renamed to Ostmark, completely lost autonomy and became a domestic component of Nazi Germany. After the liberation of Vienna and the dissolution of Nazi Germany, Austria resumed its republican form of government. However, the country remained under allied occupation until 1955 and thus both the President and Chancellor were subordinate to the Allied Control Council.

Since the establishment of the republic, the People's and the Social Democratic Party have largely dominated every aspect of politics. The People's Party/Christian Social Party chaired 19 governments and was the second largest force in eight other governments; the Social Democratic Party/Social Democratic Workers' Party chaired eleven governments and was the second largest force in five other governments. The following parties never had a chancellorship but were coalition partners in governments: the Greater German People's Party in five, the Freedom Party and the Landbund in four, the Alliance for the Future of Austria and the Communist Party in one.

If the chancellor dies, resigns or is otherwise incapable, the vice-chancellor automatically becomes acting chancellor, if the president has not already replaced the chancellor. If the vice-chancellor is unavailable, the other members of the government take over in order of seniority. The unavailability of an elected chancellor does not automatically call for a new election. If the president in turn dies, resigns or is otherwise incapable, the chancellor becomes acting president, but only for twenty days; after this period presidential powers and responsibilities devolve upon the Presidium of the National Council.Twenty-five men have served as chancellors since the First Republic, four served in an acting capacity and three served non-consecutive terms. Bruno Kreisky was the longest serving chancellor with 4778 days in office and Arthur Seyss-Inquart was the shortest serving chancellor with 2 days in office.

Otto Planetta

Otto Planetta (2 August 1899 in Vyškov, Austro-Hungarian Empire, now Czech Republic – 31 July 1934 in Vienna, Austria) was an Austrian Nazi. On 25 July 1934 he murdered Engelbert Dollfuss, Austrian Chancellor during the unsuccessful July Putsch, four years before the Anschluss. He and the other assassins were members of SS Regiment 89. He was sentenced to death and executed by hanging. He was cremated at Feuerhalle Simmering, his ashes are buried at Dornbacher Friedhof in Vienna.

Rome Protocols

The Rome Protocols were a series of three international agreements signed in Rome on 17 March 1934 between the governments of Austria, Hungary and Italy. They were signed by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, Austrian Prime Minister Engelbert Dollfuss and Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Gömbös. All three protocols went into effect on 12 July 1934 and were registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on 12 December 1934.The protocols, even though only dealing with economic development, were part of the process of cooperation between the three signatory governments against the revisionist policies of Hitler, who had just come to power in Germany, as well as against the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, which they wished to dismember among themselves. Cooperation under these protocols was short-lived, as Mussolini joined hands with Hitler against Austria, and the Hungarian government under Miklós Horthy also joined the Third Reich in 1938.

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