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Austria 1918-55: From the First to the Second Republic
by Hanno Scheuch
Austria 1918-55: From the First to the Second Republic
The Historical Journal
Updated: February 5th, 2013
73e Historical Journal, 32, I (1989))pp. 1 77-199 I'rinted in Great Britain
AUSTRIA 1918-55: FROM THE FIRST
TO THE SECOND REPUBLIC
When A. Wandruszka published his article 'Zur Problematik der osterreichischen Geschichte" in 1970, his arguments concentrated mainly on the period before 1918, thus showing the world-wide interest in Austrian history manifest in the great amount of historical literature on the Habsburg era. What kind of research status has been attributed to thc first republic, the 'Standestaat', the German occupation and the beginning of the second republic? Although no direct comparison is possible, Austrian history after 1918is not a topic for Austrian historians only, and in several areas foreign scholars have contributed the first and fundamental studies. One explanation for the interest may lie in the fact that 'Wenn Krisen, welche die Welt erschiittcrn, immer an Osterreichs Lebensnerv riihren, so haben sehr oft umgekehrt derartige Konflikte von Osterreich ihren Ausgang genommen ',* and Zollner gives examples like Sarajewo in
1914,the AnschluB of March 1938,etc. Did Austrian history represent a test-case for European history, as the poet Hebbel described it, or are there further reasons for that intensive interest? Carsten saw in it an attempt to fill a gap and to show that 'the Austrian fascist movements differed considerably from their counterparts in Italy and Germany, that Austrian Fascism had important roots and characteristics of its own, and that its study is very much worth while. '3
The period of time which is here taken into consideration starts in 1918and finishes in 1955;it starts with the dissolution of the Dual Monarchy and the establishing of the first republic, and ends with the State treaty of Vienna when Austria regained its full sovereignty after seven teen years. R. Kann4 defined the period from I gI 8 to I 938 as the final phase of the monarchy, which was overthrown by the social and economic changes initiated by the Third Reich and which, according to Kann, lasted in its consequences until I gjj. If stated in terms of forms of government, the period I gI 8-jj can roughly speaking be regarded as a cycle: republic-dictatorship-republic5, a cycle which by comparison can be discovered in the evolution of various European countries while their individual differences can be explained by the varying social-economic problems.
' Adam Wandruszka, 'Zur Problcmatik dcr ijstcrrcichischcn Gcschichtc', Mitteilungen des Instituts fur osterreichische Geschichtsforschung, LXXVIII (1 970).
* E. Zijllncr, Geschichte Oesterreichs. Von den Anfangen bis zur Gegenwart, 6th cdn (Vicnna, 1979),
F. L. Carstcn, Fascist movements in Austria: from Sch&erer to Hitier (London, 1977), p. 7.
R. A. Kann, 'Thcoric dcs Gcschichtsablaut~ in Ostcrrcich von 1919 bis zur Gcgcnwart' in
W. Friihauf (cd.), Wissenschaft und Weltbild (Vicnna, 197s).
R. A. Kann, Die Restauration als I'hanomen der Geschichte (Graz and Vicnna, 1974), p. 105.
While Europe found itself involved in the fourth year of the First World War, a widespread workers' strike, the so called January strike, unsettled the already weakened stability of the Dual Monarchy in January 1918. It was mainly caused by bod shortages, especially the cut in the flour ration, by peace expectations following the talks of Brest-Litovsk and by growing socialist tenden~ies.~
Bihl's article in the two- volume compendium on the history of the first Austrian republic edited by Weinzierl and Skalnik, offers a strictly chronological survey of the main historical events since I 916, without entering into further arguments. lhe relation between the social- democratic leadership and the revolutionary movement of the strikers, which has been part of a controversy among historians, may serve as one example of the variety of historical interpretation found in that compendium. For Neck the 'Jiinnerstreik' clearly showed the weakness of the social-democratic politicians and the concentration of their policy on the appeasement of the striking forces: 'Thre Politik war auf die Beschwichtigung der Massen ausgerichtet und unterstiitzte tatsgchlich die Behorden in ihrem Bemuhen, den groRen Streik abzuwiirgen." For Goldinger, on the other hand it was a clever move by Victor Adler, the social democratic leader, to form a central organization (Arbeiterrat) out of local strike committees to control the revolutionary agitati~n.~
A third approach is taken by Stadler who refers to Otto Bauer's realistic view of the possibilities open to social-democratic policy. (lhose opportunities werc limited by strong fears ofa probable military intervention by loyal Austrian troops or parts of the German army returning from Russia9 or the establishment of a military dictatorship under General Furst Schonburg-Hartenstein.)
Stadler's disciple Hautmann offers various new insights into that crucial period of Austrian history in his extensive study on soviet movements in Austria. Unlike in Germany, where the social-democrats had to face the severe dilemma of proving their loyalty towards their country by approving war credits in the Reichstag in 1914,the Austrian parliamentary system had already been eliminated and the government used a quasi emergency powers act (5 14 Regime), which avoided a split in the social- democratic movement as well as the development of a strong left-wing opposition inside this group. In January 1917 the imperial government granted various relaxations in the political spectrum, for example amnesties for court-martialled prisoners, and Graf Czernin, foreign minister of the Dual Monarchy since I 6 December I 9I 6, was believed to be the proponent of a new policy:
Obwohl die Zugestandnisse in diesem Bereich, diejenigen in der Sphare der Politik an Zahl ubertrafen, wog die Lockerung des politischen Kurses im Endeffekt wohl ebenso schwer. Da sie nicht zuletzt darauf abzielte, der Sozialdemokratischen Partei jene Manijvrierfahigkeit zu geben, die fur sie angesichts der wachsenden Spannung zu den Arbeitermassen zur 'conditio sine qua non' wurde, muBte die Reigierung ein modifiziertes Verhaltnis zur Innenpolitik suchen."
Wolfdieter Bihl, 'Der Weg zum Zusammenbruch Osterreich-Ungarns unter Karl I. (IV.)', in Erika Weinzierl and Kurt Skalnik, 6sterreich 1918-1938; Geschichte der Ersten Republik (Graz, 1983)) P. 36. ' Rudolf Neck, 'Sozialdemokratie', in ibid. p. 227.
W. Goldinger, 'Der geschichtliche Ablauf der Ereignisse in Osterreich von 1~)18-11)45',in
H. Benedikt (ed.), Geschichte der Republik ~sterreich (Vienna, 11154)) p. 17. Karl R. Stadler, 'Die Griindung der Republik', in Weinzierl and Skalnik, ~sterreich1918-38,
P. 64. lo Hans Hautmann, Geschichte der Ratebewegungen in Osterreich 1918-1gz+ (Vienna, 1987)) p.
lhe January strike started on 14 January 1918 in a hctory in the Wiener Neustadt area. Radical left-wing agitation, mainly against a speech by General Hoffinann at Brest-Litovsk, led to a political mass strike. By ~g.January, the peak of this movement, 750,000 employees had downed tools.
For Hautmann this incident represents the most important revolutionary strike action in the history of the Austrian labour movement and the establishment as well as institutionalization of workers' soviets. A revolutionary transfbrmation of the country, as in Russia, was avoided, because both the government and the social- democratic leadership had the same aim: 'Die Steigerung des Kampfes bis zur revolutionxren Umwxlzung um leden Preis zu verhindern. '"
By 24 January workers had returned to work. Within the next few months the institution ofworkers' soviets helped the social-democratic party to regain the influence which they had partly lost during the strike. Thereafter the workers' soviet could be used as a bridge between the party and radical workers.
One ofthe central problems the new Austrian Republic, 'Deutsch-Osterreich', had to face in November 1918 as a legacy of the vanished Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, was the highly unsatisfactory supply of bod to its population. Strong anti-democratic feelings and resentments against the newly created country had their roots in the chaos following the military breakdown of the Empire. Hans Loewenfeld-Kuss, one of the most eminent experts in the field of food supply, has left memoirs which are of central importance fbr historical investigations into that period because primary material was partly destroyed in 1927 during the 'Justizpalastbrand ', as Isabella Ackerl, the editor of the memoirs, remarks. lhe notes were written after the German occupation of Austria in 1938, but contain only a few remarks about the contemporary historical situation of that year. During the Great War Hans Loewenfeld-Russ changed fi-om the ministry of trade to the newly created department fbr food supply where he faced severe prol~lems:'Das Jahr I 9 I 8 zeigt bereits alle Symptome der schwersten Krise, und das Ernxhrungsamt befand sich das ganze Jahr hindurch sozusagen in einem bestxndigen Alarmzustande, der an die Nerven aller Funktionxre die hochsten Anforderungen stellte. 'I2
Parts ofthat first hand experience during the war were published by Loewenfeld- Russ himself for the Carnegie foundation in 1926 as 'Die Kegelung der Volksernghrung im Kricge'. In November 1918 members of all leading parties, with the exception of the agrarian wing of the christian socialists, asked Loewenfeld-Kuss to join the government as under-secretary fbr food and fbdder production and trade. Until 1920, when Loewenfeld-Kuss resigned because a government bill promoting his proposals was re,jected, he tried to guarantee Austria's bod supply, especially through foreign shipments which could only be obtained after petitions and travels abroad.
Besides details about the question of the supply of food, Loewenfeld off'ers an interesting view of the first days of the republic, comparable to the memoirs ofJosef Redlich, the Austrian lawyer/historian and close fi-iend of the Cambridge legal historian F. W. Maitland. Kedlich commented on the breakdown of the monarchy: ' Sol1 ich einen Riickblick auf dieses Jahr der Vollendung des Ungliicks halten,. . . das beispiellose Unf'jhigkeit, Dummheit, ...herbeigefiihrt hat?'13 For Loewenfeld-Kuss,
" Ibid. p. 176. '"ans Locwenfcld-Russ, Im KamPfgegen den Hunger. Aus den Erinnerungen des Staatssekretarsfur Volksernat~rung1918--1920,cd. Isabella Ackcrl (Vicnna, 1986), p. 95. l3 Y. Ycllncr (cd.), Das politische Yagebuch Joseph Redlichs. Schicksaljahre ,908-1918 (Vienna,
I 80 I-IISTORICAL JOURNAL
the creation of the republic was an inevitable consequence of the imperial manifesto and developments within the neighbouring countries:
Fiir die Deutschen in Osterreich gab es keine andere Wahl, als dem Beispiele der Ungarn, Tschechen, Polen und Jugoslawen in Sinne des kaiserlichen Manifests zur Bildung einer Nationalversammlung zu schreiten. Binnen wenigen Tagen, ja Stunden wurden von einer Handvoll Manner, obwohl sie parteipolitisch und weltanschaulich durch eine Kluft getrennt waren, die Grundlagen fur den neue deutsch-iisterreichischen Staat geschaffen.14
Revolution or breakdown? Some historians reject the term revolution for the change of the political system in October/November 1918 in Austria, whilst others refer to Otto Bauer's 'Die osterreichische Revolution' and thus try to differentiate between a national and a social revolution. For Stadlerl%s well as for Neck16 it was political, whereas the social revolution was avoided by the party congress held on 31 October and I November by the social-democrats, when, as Stadler argues, Austria was determined to develop into a democratic republic and not into a soviet one. The achievements of the political change should be secured, and any kind of reactionary movement repulsed, but further revolutionary activity restricted. A different kind of approach can be fbund in Hautmann's account. For him it was a bourgeois revolution, typical of a bourgeoisie which had lost revolutionary and progressive potential during the nineteenth century mainly after the failure of the Paris commune in 1871. For Hautmann, the Austrian bourgeoisie, already too weak to achieve a breakthrough in bourgeois-democratic rights, was forced to delegate that historic duty to the social- democratic party, '...wohl wissend, daR diese dem Streben der Arbeiterklasse, bis zu den Grenzen der Burgerlichen Revolution vorzudringen und uber sie hinwegzuschreiten, a\)lehend gegenu\)erstand'.17 Hautmann suggests looking at this revolutionary period in a different way, not concentrating mainly on November 1918, but observing the historical process until the summer/autumn of 1920 and dividing it into three main periods. From November 1918 to the end ofJanuary 1919, the bourgeois democracy established itself without major deeds of violence and in a comparatively orderly way, with the new government, in which the social-democrats could act as the main fbrce, directing the structural changes fi-om above. Next, between February 19 19 and July
I 9 19, strong forces within the working class were mobilized and aimed to transform the social and economic situation in the country, but fundamental changes were checked by the social-democratic party, through an extension of the executive body of the soviets and the establishment ofa commission fbr socialization. Lastly, the period from August 1919 to autumn 19'10 witnessed a slow strengthening of bourgeois interests.
Hautmann goes on to compare the German and Austrian positions in November 1918. Whereas in Germany mobilization of the masses and political revolution were concentrated in one period, the Austrian development occurred in the stages already described, because workers considered that they had taken over power in 191 8: 'Unter den Arbeitern herrschte das Gefuhl, daR man ohnehin schon die Macht in den Hiinden habe und damit der am 1.1. November ausgerufenen Republik der ertriiumte "Volkstaat ", den man vielfach auch noch mit dem Beiwort "sozialistisch" schmuckte, erkiimpft, die Morgenrote der Freiheit angebrochen sei.'ls The essential fbrce fbr the integration of the various elements in the social-democratic movement was represented
Im Kampfgegen den Hunger, p. 137. l5 Stadlcr, 'Dic Grundung dcr Republik', p. 70. l6 Neck, 'Sozialdemokratic', p. 227. l7 Hautmann, Geschichte der Ratebewegunpen, p. 233. lH Ibid. p. 236.
by the son of Victor Adler, Friedrich, who had assassinated Ministerprasident Graf Stiirgkh in 1916.'' Even conservative contemporaries like Loewenfeld-Russ remarked on the essential importance of this party for the avoidance of terror. Developments in Munich and Budapest under the soviet regimes threatened social-democrats in Austria." Unfortunately Hautmann does not consider the question of foreign policy and does not describe the reaction of governments abroad to soviet tendencies in the industrial areas of Austria. He should have noted certain passages in Loewenfeld-Russ's memoirs which stress the interest of foreign governments in stability: food supply was only one way to enforce their political aims (for example, the action taken by Italy,'l and Switzerlandz2). Other ways in which foreign policy strongly influenced the political complexion of Austria can be seen in both the peace treaty of St Germain en Laye and the AnschluR movement. Hopes which had risen at the end of the war disappeared, and an enormous burden rested on the new democracy after the terms of the peace treaty were accepted by the national assembly.23 In his contribution to the compendium, Fellner focuses on parallel clauses in the treaties of Versailles, St Germain and Trianon. Section eighty-eight of the treaty of St Germain is equivalent to section seventy-three of l'rianon (Hungary), but diff'erently formulated from section eighty of Versailles. In Fellner's view, the clause was not directed against Germany, as is generally believed, but aimed at guaranteeing a geographical status quo in Central Europe. Especially the prohibition of an AnschluR with Germany was directed against one of the central illusions of some Austrian politicians. Otto Bauer declared on
12 March, in front of the National Assembly, that ~eutsch-Gsterreich formed a part of the greater German republic and that the assembly would have the authority to pass such a resoluti~n.~~
A few months later after he had learned the terms of the treaty he warned foreign governments: 'Wir sind machtlos, das zu verhir~dern; aber noch
einmal, in letzter Stunde warnen wir. Es gibt eine internationale Solidaritat der Volker; das Schicksal Polens, die Geschichte Serbiens haben gezeigt, daR die Vergewaltigung eines Volkes schlieRlich zum blutigen Verhangnis fiir alle Volkwer wird. '25 AS Fellner puts it, Austria did not lose real territory but a national illusion : the demand for territories in Bohemia and M~ravia.'~
Even Loewenfeld-Russ commented that a lot of discussions inside government was so much hot air, arguing about the advantages and disadvantages of the AnschluR with Germany for pottery manufacturers in northern Bohemia." Although it is Fellner's great and outstanding contribution to shed light on lesser known parts of the treaty and to mention advantages which resulted from them, such as the economic, public opinion in Austria in those days regarded the treaty as a defeat. (The Austrian government preferred to use the term state treaty to stress the discontinuity according to international law between the republic and the Dual Monarchy instead of peace treaty.)"
l9 Ibid, p. 258.
20 Loewenfeld-Russ, Im Kampf gegen den Hunger, p. 138.
Ibid. p. 292.
22 Ibid. p. 284.
23 Stadler, 'Die Griindung der Republik', p. 82.
24 H. Fischer (ed.), Zum Wort gemeldet (Vienna, 1968), p. I.
25 Ibid. p. 37.
26 Fritz Fellner, 'Der Vertrag von St. Germain', in Weinzierl and Skalnik, dsterreich 1918-1938,
P. 96. " Loewenfeld-Russ, Im Kampf gegen den Hunger, p. 161.
Stephan Verosta, 'Die osterreichische AuRenpolitik 1918-1938 im europaischen Staaten- system 1<)14-1r~55
', in Weinzierl and Skalnik, dsterreich 1918-1938, p. I 18.
In post-war Austria great quantities of former army weapons were kept in caches, and even several talks between the allied military commission in Vienna and Austrian politicians such as SchoberZ9 did not lead to reductions. lhis stock of weapons finally enabled the building up of several private defence organizations in the country, resulting from the specific historical situation : 'Die ganze zwielichtige Welt der paramilitarischen Verbande und ihrer zwischen Soldatenspielerei und Verschworer- romantik schwankenden oft so phantastischen Planungen erklart sich teilweise als Folge der latsache, dal3 durch mehr als vier lange Jahre des Krieges hindurch die Politik vom Kriegsgeschehen iiberschattet gewesen war. '30 On the one hand the Austrian working class had been under arms since November 1918, as Hautmann states, and its private army, the Republikanische Schutzbund, had no comparable organization in any other country of the developed world.31 On the other hand, farmers and local inhabitants formed their defence organizations, for example during military conflicts along the CarinthianIStyrian border with Jugo~lavia,~~
and obtained arms, a fact which received heavy criticism from workers' soviets in Carinthia. (Because arms were sent into other parts of the province, too, where no direct danger of a military conflict existed, for example to the M011tal.~~)
Whereas the history of the Austrian labour movement and its defence force has already been the topic of several studies, the anti-socialist and anti-communist organizations, which developed from para-military unions like 'Heimwehr, Heimat- wehr, Heimatschutz, Selbstschutzverbande, Bauernkommando, ...'34 have not pet been dealt with in the same accurate and comprehensive manner. Wiltschegg's monograph on the Heimwehr movement offers fbr the first time a vast quantity of material which had been collected by the author since his own time as a member of a Heimwehr students organization as well as archive material. A chronological survey of the development of the Heimwehr fi-om 1919 to 1936 fbrms the first part; here Wiltschegg concentrates on the events of 15 July 1927 (Justizpalastbrand) which were the stimulus for the development of a powerful force directed against the Repubklikanische Schutzbund.
Within a year the Heimwehr movement, still financed by bourgeois political parties, banks and industry, spread over the country. It was favoured by chancellor Seipel, whose criticism of contemporary democracy led to a louder call for a true democracy, to be represented for example by the Heimwehr, To quote Seipel: 'Die Sehnsucht nach wahrer Demokratie ist eine der stiirksten lriebfedern der Heimwehrbewegung. Deshalb vertraue ich ihr und bekenne mich zu ihr.'35 In 1929 a reform of the federal constitution, demanded by the non-socialist parties, weakened the central position of parliament and improved the constitutional rights of the federal president. But it did
29 Vienna, Bundespolizeidirektion, Schoberarchiv, I<)I I/IJ)II, 461I.
30 Adam Wandruszka, 'Das nationale Lager', in Weinzierl and Skalnik, Osterreich 1918-1938,
p. 297; Erwin Steinbijck, 'Karnten', in ibid. p. 804. Unfortunately, Steinbijck devotes twenty of the thirty pages of his contribution on Carinthian history to military matters. 31 Hautmann, Geschichte der Ratebewegungen, p. 686. The official foundation was 12 April IJ)23,
see Walter Wiltschegg, Die Heimwehr. Ene unwiderstehliche Volksbewegung? (Vienna, 1985). 32 Wandruszka, 'Das nationale Lager', p. 296. 33 Hautmann, Geschichte der Ratebewegungen, p. 548. 34 Wandruszka, 'Das nationale Lager', p. 296. 35 Quoted in Wiltschegg, Die Heimwehr, p. 48.
not lead to a total reform, which had been expected by Heimwehr leaders; and socialist politicians could claim that this was their first victory over their opponents. Objections to Heimwehr policy were not exclusively restricted to the socialist party: the small agrarian party (Landbund), which formed part of the bourgeois coalition government, rejected the anti-democratic current and argued fbr a total disarmament of all private armies in Austria. After an unsuccessful coup d'itat in 1931 the Heimwehr members of parliament (Heimatschutz) were asked to loin Chancellor Dollfun' coalition government to strengthen its one-vote majority in 1932. This march to power was brought to an end in 1936 by Chancellor Schuschnigg who built his power on two pillars -governmental-bureaucracy and the army. Schuschnigg got rid of his opponent Prince Starhemberg and the already weakened Heimwehr politicians around him.
Far more important is Wiltschegg's account of the development ofthe Heimwehr within the federal provinces, where diversity and the final split into two wings -one pro-fascist Italian and the other nationally German -can clearly be seen. lhe author briefly enters into some very interesting questions about ideology and hscism. 'Man mu8 daher ernstlich zu der fast humoristisch anmutenden Feststellung gelangen, daB der Heimwehr-Faschismus genauer betrachtet gar keiner war, sondern sich diese Bewegung nur leichtsinnig, unkritisch ...bloB das italienische Vorbild nachahmend, so l)e~eichnete.'~Wandruszkain his latest contri\)ution on Austro-fascism agrees with this view, in contrast to Stuhlpfarrer and Jedlicka who introduced the term Austro- fascism solely for the Heimwehr mo~ernent.~' Was there a clear ideology? The only important politician within the whole Heimwehr movement to proclaim the corporative state according to the fascist example was Odo Neustiidter-Stiirmer. The one common ideological principle to be universally accepted in this movement was, as Wandruszka points out, ' . . .der militante Antimarxi~mus'.~~
But even this criterion does not apply during the whole history of the movement because in I 93 I, fbr example, the Heimwehr members of parliament voted together with the socialist party against cuts in wages in the steel indu~try,~'
and Wiltschegg's argument that the Heimwehr never existed as a homogenous political movement40 seems very plausible. What about financial contributions to this defence organization? Of foreign countries, only Italy, Hungary and Bavaria (I g I 9-22) are of importance, and unfortunately no Italian primary sources have been added to Wiltschegg's material." Inside Austria, banks, industry and land-owners offered subsidies, and the final breakdown in 1936 was partly caused by the reduction in Italian financial support.
The American historian Pauley, in his survey of the history and evolution of the Austrian Nazi movement, Hitler and theforgotten Nazis, stresses that
the cxc,lusivc attention devoted to German National Soc.ialism has Icd to enormous historical omissions. It should never be forgotten that Hitlcr was Austrian ... . In fact, National Socialism began, not in Germany, but in the Austrian ':mpirc -long bcforc the party, which Hitlcr joined in September 1919, was
36 Ibid. p. 270.
37 Adam Wandruszka, 'Austrofasc.hismus', in Demokratie und Diktatur. Festschrift Jur K. D. Bracher (Diisscldorf, 1987), p. 221. Gcrhard Jagschitz, 'Dcr iistcrrcic,hisc,hc Standcstaat 19341938', in Wcinzicrl and Skalnik, Osterreich 1918 1938, p. 499.
38 Wandruszka, 'Das nationalc Lager', p. 299.
39 Wiltschcgg, Die Heimwehr, p. 286. Ibid. p. 252.
41 H. Schcuch, 'Matcrialcn zur ostcrrcichischcn Gcschichtc 1919-1930 im Archivio storico
diplomatico (Rom) ', Milleilungen des aslerreichischen Slaalsarchivs, xxx~x(1986), 372-86, 42 Rrucc El. Paulcy, Hiller and lhe,forgotten Nazis. A hislory of Auslrian Nalional Socialism (Chapel Hill, 1981), p. xiii.
184 HISTORICAL JOURNAL
In 1923 when the German Nazi party declined after the 'Beer Hall Putsch', the Austrian party tried to overcome their leadership disputes, until Schulz succeeded Riehl and a more moderate group, which wanted to preserve the party's autonomy in relation to Hitler, was replaced by young fanaticsq3 In 1925/26 the Austrian Nazis split into a group predominantly formed of trade unionists gathered around Schulz, and the Hitlerian Nazis, an organization built up by a 'younger, more professional, and academic mernber~hip.'~~
The Austrian Nazi party lacked a charismatic leader: in Pauley's terms 'They loudly proclaimed their support of the Fuhrerprinzip, but could never agree on which of their own leaders to However, some central arguments of Schonerer's Linz programme formed a common ideology for the various rival groups. The whole history of the Austrian Nazi party is characterized by Hitler's attempt to avoid a strong and autonomous party. On several occasions he therefore refused to resolve the leadership problem, and it was only after the failed putsch against DollfuR in 1934, that he granted more independence to the Austrian party.
In 1954 Goldinger was using the term 'crisis of parliamentarism' for the period following 4 March 1933,~~ on which, according to
the day DollfuR, parliament paralysed itself. (But this crisis was already visible in 1929, during the discussions over foreign loans, the so-called Lausanner Anleihe.) The one-vote majority in parliament
(83:82) ,47 which kept DollfuR's coalition in power, was lost by the defection of two Heimwehr members who belonged to the nationally oriented wing in Styria. Some detailed studies already exist of the essential parliamentary debate on that 4 March; more especially Huemer shed light on various stages of development away from parliamentary democracy to dictat~rship.~'
Two recent publications offer an interest- ing survey of that period of crisis and the building of the 'Standestaat' : Kindermann's Hitlers Niederlage in ~sterreich and Kluge's Der osterreichische Standestaat.
Jagschitz remarked that several historians had been working on the era of DollfuR's government and on fascism in Austria, 'doch fallt auf, daR Regime Schuschniggs meist nur sporadisch oder punktuell behandelt wird und weitgehend empirische Unter- suchungen iiber Probleme des Standestaates nach der Ermordung des Bundeskanzlers DollfuR fehlen.'49 Kluge presents the development of the parlimentary system up to 1933, as 'prasidialstaatliche Ara nach partieller Entmachtung des Nationalrates' and argues that the destabilization of the political and social order was mainly caused by DollfuR's claim to integrate society and economy autonomously, against the aspirations of democratically inclined circles. Kluge focusses on DollfuR's attempt to use the debate concerning rules of parliamentary procedure, which caused the crisis of 4 March, for his own policy. With the support of the majority of the christian-socialist party, no elections were to take place, censorship of the press was to be introduced, and no
43 Ibid. p. 38. 44 Ibid. p. 227. 4Vbid. p. xiii.
46 Goldinger, 'Der gcschichtlichc Ablauf dcr Ereignisse', p. 199.
" Adam Wandruszka, 'Osterreich "on der Rcgriindung dcr crsten Republik bis zur sozialistischcn Allcinregierung 19 18-1 970 ', in Thcodor Schieder (ed.), Handbuch der europaischen Geschichte, VII (Stuttgart, 1979), 848. " 8. Huemcr, Sektionschef Hecht und die Zerstorung der Demokratie in Osterreich (Vienna and Munich, 1975). 40 Jagschitz, 'Dcr ostcrreichische Standcstaat', p. 497.
renewal of parliamentary activity was to be attem~ted.~' An essential aim of DollfuR and his party followers was to retain direct influence on governmental policy, without depending on a majority in ~arliament,~'
and to gain advantages on some economic question^.^' Although Kluge states that the future course of development was already defined, the minutes of the Klubvorstand (edited by G~ldinger),~~
offer a picture of a more open and not yet preconceived future. The strenuous opposition of the leader of the Agrarian party, Winkler, to a total and unlimited elimination of the parliamentary system and the doubts expressed by members of DollfuR's own party, blocked immediate change.54 On the contrary, as Kluge writes: 'Das Kabinett besann sich nicht auf die Riickkehr zu normaler Parlamentstatigkeit, sondern hauptsachlich auf eine Praventivpolitik gegenuber den angeblichen Umsturzabsichten seiner politischen Gegner.'55 Social-democratic leaders, like Seitz, Renner and Bauer, who underestimated their political opponents, can be reproached with some lack of responsibility towards parliamentary institution^.^^ They mainly concentrated their policy against national-socialism in Germany and Austria -and not against DollfuR. A central figure in resisting DollfuR's anti-parliamentarian purposes was federal president Miklas, who had been a leading figure on the right wing of the christian-socialist party and who refused to accept DollfuR's pro-forma offer to re~ign.~'
Furthermore, Miklas did not use his political authority to find an agreement between DollfuR and the other parties, especially after a common approach by social-democrats under Renner and Winkler to solve the procedural problem by means of emergency decrees from the federal president.
Where then, did the largest party, the social-democrats stand? The right wing of this party represented by Renner still tried to find a compromise, and even Bauer --on the left -took no steps towards a direct opposition to the government's policy. In Neck's opinion there could have been a possibility to alter future developments: 'Hatte man sich am 15.3. der Regierung bei der Verhinderung des Zusammentrittes des Nationalrates mit Gewalt widersetzt, ware schlimmstenfalls der Burgerkrieg zu einem Zeitpunkt ausgebrochen, als die verfassungsmaRigen Organe noch intakt waren. '58
DollfuR's policy of dissolving the existing parliamentary system found wide accep- tance among members of anti-socialist parties who disliked the constitutional com- promise of 1920 and the successful resistance of the social-democratic party to radical changes in 1929.~' The Heimwehr achieved more popularity by demanding an end to the party system, and here Mussolini's influence on Austrian politics can clearly be seen.60 DollfuR, according to Kluge, showed a strong affinity to a pre-republican social system: 'Aus der Orientierung des Bundeskanzlers an einer nebulosen Ideal-
Ulrich Klugc, Der oslerreichische Standeslaat 1934-1938. Entstehung und Scheitern (Vienna, r984),
P. 56."Anton Staudinger, 'Christlichsoziale Partci', in Weinzicrl and Skalnik, Osterreich 1918-1938,
p. 268. s2 Kluge, Der osterreichische Standestaat, p. 56. s3 W. Goldingcr (ed.), Protokolle des Klubuorslandes der Christlichsozialen Partei 193~1934(Vienna, r 980)."4.Scheuch, 'Gegen den Austrofaschismus' (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of
Vienna, 1987)."Kluge, Der osterreichische Standestaat, p. 52. "Neck, 'Sozialdcmokratic', p. 241. "Staudinger, 'Christlichsoziale Partei', p. 269. " Ncck, 'Sozialdemokratie'. "See, for example G. D. Hasiba, Die Zweite Bundes-Verfassungsnovelle von 1929 (Vienna,
60 Kluge, Der osterreichische Standestaat, p. 40.
I 86 HISTORICAL JOURNAL
beziehung zwischen Staat und Gesellschaft,...bieten sich plausible Grunde zur Erklarung seiner politischen Erfolglosigkiet an.'61 In Kluge's sense, it was DollfuR's destruction of the political system that opened society to an even more radical kind of policy, and his idea of ruling with a minimal democratic consensus caused the ruin of the country from inside. (Or in the terms of Bracher: Bracher and DollfuR ignored 'die Bedingungen und Moglichkeiten politischen Planens und Handelns in der modernen Massengesell~chaft'.)~~
DollfuR can be seen as the political heir of Seipel whose vision of 'Staatspolitik' was adopted by his fellow-countryman.
A different approach has been put forward by Kindermann whose text and documentation concentrate on Austria as the first battlefield in the war against the national-socialist policy of expansion, and on the description of the Austrian defensive struggle in 193314.~~
One year after Hitler's accession to power, German foreign policy can be read as follows: (a) a Nazi take-over of power attempted by means of elections;
(b) after DollfuR's paralysing of parliament national-socialists tried to bring about elections through terror from within and economic pressure from Germany; (c) after the ban of the Nazi party a new wave of terror was to force DollfuR to take national- socialist members into his cabinet; (d) at the level of foreign policy, Germany denied the status of Austria as a sovereign country, and put forward the view that she formed part of the German nation. Against this last German attack, a new Austrian ideology was invoked to strengthen the determination to maintain independence: 'geschicht- liche Ruckbesinnung als Basis ideologischer Standortbestimmung', which meant that Austria and the Austrians were to be proud of their history, especially of the Habsburg dynasty and its importance through the centuries as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. DollfuR declared that Austria had a European duty: to be a mediator of German culture amongst other European nations. (DollfuR: 'Ich glaube an Osterreich und halte ~sterreich fiir leben~fghig'.)'~ A further element in this new ideology was constructed, according to Kindermann, out of a critique of Nazi ideology. Whereas national-socialism (so the argument went) was as atypical of the German character as Jacobinism was of the French character, Austria represented the defence of the German christian culture; it was the government's aim in 1933 to use the 'Allgemeine Katholikentag' in Vienna to strengthen German Roman catholics against the Nazis." When in 1954 Wandruszka's fundamental study of Austria's political structure appeared, he argued that the diminishing of a liberal and democratic heritage in all parties caused the loss of a common platform, of a language common to all the parties, and thus led to civil war.66 For Kindermann, it was the lack of consensus, the different approaches towards the problem of the AnschluR and the fear of bolshevism within the bourgeois parties67 which brought about the continuous crisis of democracy long before the events of 1933134. In contrast to Kluge's account discussed above, Kindermann denies that total guilt can be attributed to DollfuR for having destroyed
61 Ibid. p. 62.
62 Quoted in ibid. p. 141.
63 Gottfried-Karl Kindermann, Hitlers Niederlage in Osterreich. Bewaffneter NS-Putsch, Kanzlermord
und ~sterreichs Abwehrsieg 1934 (Hamburg, 1984), p. 9. Ibid. p. 50. 6"K. Skalnik, 'Auf der Suche nach der Identitat', in Weinzierl and Skalnik, ~sterreich 1918-1938, p. I 7. 66 Adam Wandruszka, 'Osterreichs politische Struktur', in H. Benedikt (ed.), Geschichte der Republik, p. 48 I. 67 Kindermann, Hitlers Niederlage, p. 90.
Austrian democracy: 'Die inhaltlich ganz anders strukturierte Demokratie der Ersten Osterreichischen Republik zerriittete sich selbst, bevor sie eine Minderheit mit Leichtigkeit und ohne Widerstand der gronen auflerparteilichen. Offentlichkeit auBer Kraft setzen k~nnte'.~' Several case studies can be offered against this interpretation. Thus Hainisch6' describes a consensus democracy within the province of Salzburg, and Rauchensteiner7' gives an example for such a policy in Carinthia. Why could a climate of consensus govern some provinces, while on the level of the federal government it seemed impossible to achieve?
In a relatively small province like Salzburg, mostly agrarian in structure, with hardly any larger estates or industry, parties could escape the division into three totally separated camps: 'Die Parteien wiesen einen geringen Grad an Ideologisierung auf.. . . Die Salzburger Sozialdemokratie war keine marxistische, sondern eine reformistische Partei. '71 Difficulties -for them -arose from Vienna only.72
To return to Kindermann's arguments in which the alienation and polarization between the parties is commented upon,73 he seems to ignore several attempts by members of the social-democratic side as well as of the agrarian and the christian-social parties to find a modus vivendi; it was DollfuB himself who decided against them. For example, when in September I 933 Winkler tried to establish a democratic movement (Nationalstandische Front), his liberal customs only caused DollfuB to dismiss him from the cabinet.74
A second example may be seen in Renner's proposed constitutional reform in 1933 which would have granted DollfuB powers to issue more extensive emergency legislation; once again DollfuB refused to accept the proposals. For a last example we may note the manifest attempt by leading members of the social-democracy to strengthen DollfuB's position against national-socialism, subject to the chancellor accepting a reduced parliamentarian control by the oppo~ition.~~Instead, the chancellor, fearing a loss of power to either right or left,76 increased the influence of the Heimwehr on politics, although he resisted an immediate change towards Italian fa~cism.~'
Historians and legal historians have not yet closed the gap concerning the develop- ment of the new constitution in 1934 and specially the possible connexions with fascist ideology. Ableitinger, who concentrates in his contribution to the Weinzierll Skalnik compendium mainly on the constitution of 1920, offers no relevant discussion and Kindermann denies any fascist influence altogether by quoting the former Austrian envoy Hornbostel, but no primary ~ources.~' Hornbostel's statement has to be treated with caution, because of his long connexion with DollfuR and his favourable attitude towards him, but some Italian material does clearly show Mussolini's interest
68 Ibid, p. 188.
Ernst Hainisch, 'Salzburg', in Weinzierl and Skalnik, Osterreich 1918-1938,p. 905.
70 Manfried Rauchensteiner, Kleine Zeilung, 10.2.I 984.
71 Hainisch, 'Salzburg', p. 906.
72 Ibid. p. 907.
73 Kindermann, Hillers Niederlage, p. 188.
74 Rome, Archivio storico e diplomatico- Ministero degli Affari Esteri [hereafter ASMAE], Vienna, Rusta 303 (Partito Agrario Austriaco).
7s Scheuch, ' Gegen den Austrofaschismus ', p. 139
76 Kluge, Der oslerreichische Sliindeslaal, pp. 6-1.
77 Kindermann, Hillers Niederlage, p. I 18.
78 Ibid. p. I 18; Alfred Ableitinger, 'Grundlegung der Verfassung', in Weinzierl and Skalnik, ~sterreich1918-1938;Jagschitz, 'Der iisterreichische Stxndestaat'.
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in those events.79 Further publications of primary sources will be necessary to permit a more detailed discussion of possible fascist elements within the 1934 constitution.
For Kindermann, the failed coup d'ttat ofJuly 1934 is the central climax of Austria's victorious defensive battle; the putsch and the assassination of DollfuR have already been dealt with in great detail by Jagschitz, Der Putsch. Die Nationalsozialisten 1934 in ~sterreich.~'
What consequences did arise for Hitler after the Nazi failure to seize power in Austria? Kindermann writes:
Der Abwehrsieg des osterreichischen Widerstandes bewirkte die plotzliche Erfiillung fast aller fruheren E'orderungen der Dollfun-Regierung. Vergleicht man Hitlers ursprungliche Zielsetzungen und Erwartungen mit diesem radikal veranderten Verhalten sowie der sonstigen Geschichte der AuRenpolitik, so mun man zu dem Schlun gelangen, daR Hitler 1934 in Osterreich, die gronte aunenpolitische Niederlage seines Lebens vor 1941 erlitt!81
The illegal Austrian Nazi party had to accept Hitler's new policy of evoluti~n,~~
a policy mainly represented by von Papen as German ambassador to Vienna. For the moment DollfuR's idea of an independent Austria was kept alive by Mussolini's military intervention in the 1934 crisis. Several English papers praised DollfuR's resistance and commended him for preserving the peace as well as the stability of the Paris peace treaties; but the central figure of this resistance did not survive, and the new chancellor Schuschnigg introduced other elements into Austrian ideology, such as the principle of universality and his 'Reichs'-idea. Even the Italian ambassador to Vienna had his doubts about Schuschnigg: '...il suo soverchio teoricismo, il suo estremismo cattolico, la sua disposizione verso un cattolicismo tedesco comprendente territorialmente 1'Austria ed i paesi tedesci del sud, a fini anche legittimisti ... .83 Schuschnigg's 'deutsche GroRraum-ide~logie"~ was based on hopes of a pact-system between Italy, Hungary and Austria which would develop into a strong political and economical unit and which should get on better terms with the little Entente to solve Middle and East European problems. Through the acceptance of such a 'GroRraum- ideologie' Schuschnigg parted from DollfuR's heritage of an authoritarian 'kleinosterreichische' nation,85 and in addition he wanted to see southern, catholic Germany as part of a catholic group within the national opposition. Appealing to 'die Vergangen- heit der beiden deutschen Staaten auf der Basis der Gleichheit', he hoped for the development of a universal principle, 'die groRdeutsch-osterreichische Idee des Universalreiches vor I 866'.86 Apart from important changes in the position of Austria, such as Italy's rapprochement with Germany which forced Schuschnigg to enter into negotiations with Hitler, it was the cloudy ideology of Schuschnigg himself that enabled the national opposition to return to political life. The Austro-German Agreement Uuli-Abkommen) in 1936 opened the 'deutsche Weg' for further German infiltration and aggression. Schuschnigg's 'deutschbetonte O~terreich~olitik'~~
gaveHitler the opportunity to replace 'German' by national-socialist, but failed to divide
'' ASMAE, Rappr. dipl. :Vienna, Busta 307, 10.4.1934.
G. Jagschitz, Der Putsch. Die Nationalsozialisten 1934 in Osterreich (Vienna, 1976). Kindermann, Hitlers Niederlage, p. 184.
R. Luia, Osterreich und die gr~deutsche Idee in der NS-Zeit (Vienna, 1977)) p. 34. 83 ASMAE, Rappr. dipl.: Vienna, Pacco 307, 2973. 8"Kge, Der osterreichische Standestaat, p. I 3I.
86 Luia, Osterreich und die grddeutsche Idee, p. 32.
87 Jagschitz, 'Der osterreichische Standestaat', p. 497.
the national-socialist movement into a national one accepting Austrian sovereignty, and a terroristic one depending directly on Hitler.
One eminent member of the Austrian-National opposition with a Roman catholic background, Edmund Glaise von Horstenau, has left memoirs which were published by Broucek in three volumes. The second volume starts with Austria's history after the Austro-German agreement. Glaise-Horstenau, a former officer in the war, gained a great reputation as military historian and director of the War Archives in Vienna. His reading of history was much influenced by Heinrich Ritter von Srbik's 'gesamtdeutsche Geschichtsa~ffassung'~~;
in addition, and for a longer period, he was a member of the christian-socialist party. From his army service during the war Glaise-Horstenau had excellent connexions with the German Reichswehr and especially with the German military attach6 in Vienna, Generalmajor Muff, who was building up a network of informants, e.g. to gain knowledge of Italian arms supplies for Austria. In July 1936 Glaise-Horstenau was invited into Schuschnigg's cabinet in order to prepare a future modus vivendi between Schuschnigg and his national opponents. Glaise-Horstenau called himself 'national' and for a long time the only source of contact with the national-socialists was Captain Leopold :" 'als deutsche Patrioten glaubten sie aufrich- tig an die Erfiillung des grofideutschen Traumes. Sie stellten sich zu den National- sozialisten, nicht weil sie Nationalsozialisten waren, sondern weil die Bewegung ihre eigenen gesamtdeutschen Ziele foderte.
Schuschnigg's expectation of achieving stability in Austrian politics by coming to terms with Germany failed, as did the building up of the 'berufsstandische Ordnung' of the 'Standestaat' itself, while severe economic problems caused bitterness in ~ociety.~'According to Kluge, Schuschnigg strengthened the opinion in Austria that the clauses of St Germain touching Austria had failed to provide a solution; the fatal result of his policy was that national-socialism came to offer a more attractive ideology than his own.g2 Kluge's research has introduced additional angles into the discussion of Schuschnigg's government; it offers for the first time a more detailed study of the economic background and of the failure of the 'berufasstandische Ordnung'. However, with respect to the structural analysis of the period 1934-8, Jagschitz'sg3 demand for further and more detailed inquiries remains valid, and such studies would make possible a more realistic view of the pre-AnschluI3 era in Austria.
Ten years ago there appeared Schausberger's Der Grzfnach ~sterreich,~~
in which the author concentrated mainly on the economic problems of the AnschluI3 in 1938. What advantages could be expected for Germany from the incorporation of Austria? Using material collected by German industry and the army, Schausberger offers the following summary of assets: (I) Increase in territory and population, which would turn
88 Peter Rroucek (ed.), Ein General im <wielicht. Die Erinnerungen Edmund Glaises uon Horstenau
(3 vols., Vienna, 1g8tr87), I, 15.
Ibid. p. 37.
Luia, Osterreich und die grgdeutsche Idee, p. 36.
" Hans Kernbauer, Eduard Marz and Fritz Weber, 'Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung', in Weinzierl and Skalnik, ~sterreich,918-1938, p. 373.
O2 Kluge, Der oslerreichische Standestaat, p. I 35.
O3 Jagschitz, 'Der osterreichische Standestaat', p. 497.
O4 N. Schausberger, Der Grifnach Osterreich (Vienna, 1978).
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Germany into the largest and most powerful country in Europe with the exception of the Soviet Union; (2) a common frontier with the axis partner Italy, and direct
access to the rich raw-material areas in the Balkans; (3) Czechoslovakia's military position would weaken vis-a-vis the Reich; (4)the military strength of the Wehrmacht would be increased by at least eight to ten divisions; (5) iron ore in Styria and Carinthia would save German iron and steel production from expensive imports; (6) several other important raw material sources existed in Austria: magnesite, graphite, copper, zinc, etc. (7) mineral oil-resources; (8) wood production; electricity supply through extension of hydro-electric power stations; (lo) half a million unemployed workers, who could be employed for German war prod~ction.'~
A further gain could be seen in Austria's stock of gold and foreign exchange. While the German Reichsbank held go million Reichsmarks in 1937, the Austrian national bank had a reserve of at least 235 million Reichsmarks. In sum: 'Das Deutsche Reich konnte mit dem Gewinn Osterreichs seine kritische wirtschaftliche Situation uberwinden sowie Tempo und Vorsprung der Riistung durch mindestens neun Monate aufrecht erhalten. '96 German planning involved also anti-Austrian propaganda, which would emphasize that Germany's claim to annex Austria was an exclusively German affair in which no other European country had the right to interfere.
The British representative in Vienna, Sir William Selby, saw the point:
There is no doubt that during this year German propaganda was very active in London. It was directed to persuade British public opinion that all Austria was Nazi, that it was unreasonable for His Majesty's Government to continue to support a Government unrepresentative of Austrian feeling, and that if only the Austrian question could be settled to Germany's satisfaction -it was Hitler's last ambition !97
Von Papen's last act as German ambassador to Vienna was to organize a private meeting between Schuschnigg and Hitler which finally took place on 12 February 1938 in Berchtesgarden. National-socialists like SeyR-Inquart had passed on private information about Schuschnigg to Hitler, and recent publications have stressed von Papen's dubious role. Without letting his cabinet know, Schuschnigg left for Germany with Staatssekretar Schmidt. Glaise-Horstenau records an amusing detail: 'Die Salzburger Garnison war den ganzen Tag alarmiert und als gegen Spatnachmittag der Kanzler noch nicht zuruckkehrte, dachte man ...schon daran, zu einer Befreiungs- aktion ins Berchtesgadner Land vorzustoRen.'98 The agreement, which was forced on Schuschnigg by military threats, included several encroachments on Austria's sovereignty: adjustment of Austrian to German foreign policy; SeyR-Inquart to control the public security sector; an amnesty for all national-socialists; and the right of free political agitation within the 'Vaterlandische Front'." Even in his pro-German account Glaise-Horstenau did not deny Hitler's aggressive attitude towards Schuschnigg, but he did not see Schuschnigg's resistance as the last possibility to maintain Austria's independence; on the contrary, he remarks that only Schuschnigg himself thought that he would be indispensable: 'DaR Schuschnigg diese Behandlung ertrug, ist mir noch heute unbegreflich und laRt sich nur daraus erklaren, daR er sich auf seinem Posten fur unentbehrlich und unersetzbar hielt. 'loo
''Norbert Schausberger, 'Der AnschluB' in Weinzierl and Skalnik, ~sterreich1918-1938,pp. 521-2. 96 Ibid. p. 523.
" W. Selby, Diplomatic Twilight, 1930-1940(London, 1953), pp 72-3,
9s Rroucek, Ein General irn Zwielichl, I, 222.
99 Schausberger, 'Der AnschluB', p. 527.
loo Rroucek, Ein General irn Zwieiielichl, I, 223.
Having been accused in the French press, the Italian government denied formally that it had had advance knowledge of the terms of the Hitler-Schuschnigg meeting.lO' Italy stressed that Schuschnigg had failed to inform the fascist government beforehand about the topic of his meeting:
Che il Chancelliere solo dopo che il viaggio era stato deciso ha informato della sua andata a Berchtesgaden, aggiungendo di non conoscere argomenti posti all' ordine del giorno della discussione; che egli ci ha informato dei risultati conseguiti quando ci ha fatto sapere che arebbe dovuto accetarli non esistendo alternativa.lo2
Almost a decade after Schausberger's Grz$ nach ~sterreich,an Austrian military historian, Erwin Schmidl, published an extensive study on the German occupation of Austria. This focuses primarily on the invasion of Austria by German troops and the military planning involved ;it constitutes a history of military events in great detail and includes all the necessary background information concerning 1938."~ Although German expansion at Austria's expense formed a central claim of national-socialist propaganda and the HoRbach memorandum concerned itself also with the Austrian question, no detailed military planning had been completed by March 1938.'~~
General Beck, chief of the German general staff, had refused to elaborate the 'Sonderfall Otto', directed against a possible attempt at Habsburg restoration in Austria in 1937, because political aspects had not been taken into consideration to the extent Beck would have expected. According to Schmidl's research, only older military plans were still in existence, that of 1935 for an attack on the Tyrol, to counter an Italian assault on Germany,lo5 but it is hardly credible that those plans were used in 1938. The Austrian army, however, had worked out a plan against an expected German invasion called 'Kriegsplan Deutsches Reich' or 'Jansa Plan '. The head of the Austrian general staff, Feldmarschalleutnant Jansa, expected an assault from southern Germany in the direction of Vienna. The areas behind the rivers Traum and Enns were considered the best position for a strategic defence, and in the autumn 1937 this plan was tested at manoeuvres in Upper Austria. Jansa's own realistic view ran: 'es handle sich nicht darum, eine Schlacht zu gewinnen, sondern darum, daR durch unseren Kampf die GroBmachte zum Eingreifen gezwungen werden und den deutschen gegen Hitler eingestellten Kraften eine Chance zum Handeln gegeben werde'.lo6
Jansa's argument thus aimed at the central problem, the reaction of other European countries and their willingness to defend the system created by the treaties of Versailles and St Germain, the alternative being capitulation in face of Germany's policy of aggression. Here again Schmidl's detailed book allows us to get a glimpse of the foreign policy of several European powers. Sir Alexander Cadogan remarked in his diaries, on I I March 1938: 'It would have been criminal to encourage Schuschnigg to resist when we could not help him. 'lo' And one day later, 'We are helpless as regards Austria.. . ' A more critical view can be seen in his letter to Henderson, 22 April,
Thank Goodness, Austria's out of the way. I can't help thinking that we were badly informed about feeling in that country. I've no doubt therc's a section of the population hiding in ccllars, and a numbcr of those waving the Swastika flags now may come to rue latcr, but we should
ASMAE, Rappr. dipl.: Vienna, Rusta 322, 19.2.1938.
Erwin A. Schmidl, Marz 38. Der deutsche Einmarsch in Osterreich (Vienna, 1987)) p. 9.
Ibid. p. 136.
1°"bid. p. 33.
lo6 Ibid. pp. 66-7.
lo' D. Dilks (cd.), The diaries ofSir A. Cadogan, 1938-1945 (London, rg71), p. 60.
Ig2 HISTORICAL JOURNAL
evidently have been wrong to try to prevent the AnschluR against the wishes of ...a very considerable proportion of the population.108
France, which at the time was shaken by a governmental crisis, found itself in an even weaker military position -and apart from a diplomatic protest on I 1 March no further actions were taken.lo9 What of Italy? For contemporaries like Glaise-Horstenau it seemed quite plain: 'Dem separatistischen Kurs DollfuR in ~sterreich war an dem Tag das Todesurteil gesprochen, an dem der erste italienische Soldat abessinischen Boden betrat."1° Most historians agree with this view that the Abyssinian crisis and its consequences encouraged the improvement of the relations between fascist Italy and national socialist Germany ;I1' others have stressed the change caused by the replace- ment of Suvich by Ciano in Italian foreign affairs, and Burgwyn comments: 'From January to June 1936 and continuing to 1938 the Duce seemed to hope that something would turn up to divert Hitler and make AnschluR unnecessary.'l12
Schuschnigg's position constantly weakened after Berchtesgaden and his attempt to avoid the AnschluB by a plebiscite only worsened the situation. It seems too easy to blame Schuschnigg for his decision, as Luia does, for example: 'Schuschnigg hatte einen schwerwiegenden Irrtum begannen indem er zu einer Volksabstimmung ausrief, ohne sich zuvor einen Riickzug zu sichern', or as is explicit in 0.von Habsburg's criticism, that only without Schuschnigg would a resistance have been possible.l13 A change in Italian foreign policy could have influenced Schuschnigg's decision in favour of a plebiscite. Schmidl quotes Mussolini's famous comment about the plebiscite in which he warned Schuschnigg through the Austrian military attache Liebitzky that a dictator could afford a plebiscite only if there was a clear go per cent majority in his favour. But 60 per cent, as was expected by Schuschnigg, would have meant nothing but defeat.l14 I should like to focus on an unpublished message of 23 February:
Per quanto concerne nel suo [Mussolini, ann.H.S.]essenziale il problema austriaco riteniamo che independenza austriaca debba essere riaffermata dal Cancelliere non come consequenza di garanzie ed accordi da parte di altri Stati ma come determinata dalla decisione e dalla volonta del popolo austriac~.~~~
Further discussion would exceed the limits of a review article, but Schuschnigg's final decision and its background are still not properly explained.
Schmidl's and Schausberger's chronological subdivisions of the Anschlul3 are not identical. Schausberger uses the term occupation for the military assault by German troops, which is then followed by the annexation.'l6
Schmidl's study is built around the following stages: Seizure of power by Austrian national-socialists, military invasion, and then the annexation of the country."' Schmidl :
lo' Ibid. p. 62.
lo' Schmidl, Marz 38, p. 242.
110 Broucek, Ein General im Zwielicht, I, 55.
11' Schausberger, 'Der Anschlun', p. 518.
F. Suvich, Memorie 1931-1936, ed. G.Bianchi (Milan, 1984); H. J. Burgwyn, 'Italy, the Heimwehr and the Austro-German agreement of I I July 1936') Mitteilungen des osterreichischen Staatsarchius, xxxvii~(1985)) 325.
113 Luia, asterreich und die groJdeutsche Idee, p. 41 ;0.v. Habsburg, 'Nicht geschossen ist auch gefehlt', in Thomas Chorherr (ed.), 1938-Anatomie eines *jahres (Vienna, 1987))p. 66.
114 Schmidl, Marz 38, p. 94. ASMAE, Rappr. dipl.: Vienna, Busta 322. 23.2.1938. Schausberger, 'Der Anschlun', pp. 534, 543. 11' Schmidl, Marz 38, p. 9.
Am I I. Marz hatte die bloRe Drohung mit dem Einsatz militarischer Machtmittel genugt, um Bundeskanzler Dr. Kurt Schuschnigg zum Rucktritt zu veranlassen. DaR der Einmarsch dennoch erfolgt, beweist Hitlers MiRtrauen seinen fruheren Landsleuten gegenuber ebenso wie seine riskante AuRenpolitik."'
The takeover by national-socialists e.g, in Graz made it highly possible that military resistance by Schuschnigg would have caused a civil war too, and in that situation the Austrian army would have been involved on two fronts -against Germany and against the Nazi insurgents inside Austria. For Pauley, it is even doubtful whether the Nazis could have seized power, 'even for the few hours that they did, without the intimidating presence of German troops on the Austrian frontier. ' Schmidl also refers to the possibility that if Austria had put up a military resistance her neighbours (such as Hungary and Yugoslavia) could have made territorial claims.11s For Rauchensteiner too, there was no chance to resist; a symbolic resistance, suggested by several writers, cannot exist for an army: 'Hat ein Heer symbolischen Widerstand geleistet, wenn es einen, zehn oder tausend SchuR abgibt, auf ein Dutzend Tote verweisen kann oder erst nach fiinf Stunden kapituliert? Ein Heer ist nicht dazu da, um symbolischen Widerstand zu leisten! 'I2' Schuschnigg's final decision to abdicate and to avoid civil war, as well as perhaps an international conflict, has to be seen as justifiable and correct as things stood: that is Schmidl's conclusion. In his account of the military invasion Schmidl successfully removed some well known generalizations about the severe difficulties the Wehrmacht had to face while occupying Austria -fuel problems or bad marching discipline, for example.lZ1 Altogether Schmidl provides an outstanding documentation of the military position around March 1938 and the effects of the German military assault on other European countries, all indicating that Hitler would never shrink from using power to achieve his aims:
The AnschluR was not an isolated event. It coincided with the decline of the conservative -authoritarian elements in the army and in the Reich administration, the end of the collective Reich cabinet sessions, and the increased aggressiveness of Nazi foreign
Karner's Die Steiermark im Dritten Reich gives an account of historical events at provincial level of a special interest, because especially in Styria the Nazi movement changed from demonstrations to direct resistance to Schuschnigg's government after the Berchtesgaden meeting. The anti-Nazi provincial governor was replaced by one more inclined to appeasement, and Nazis took part officially in the rallies of the 'Vaterlandische Front'. Concerning Schuschnigg's proposed plebiscite Karner remarks :
Eine erfolgreiche Durchfuhrung der Volksabstimmung am 13. Marz in Graz hatte kaum Erfolg- schancen gehabt. Zum einen konnten, was fur ganz Osterreich galt, die wichtigsten Auflagen eines Plebiszites, wie die Erstellung von Wahlerverzeichnissen, nicht mehr rrbracht werden .... Zum anderen hatten die Nationalsozialisten eine solche Abstimmung in Graz vermutlich auch gar nicht zugelassen. Mit ihrer SS und vor allem den SA-Einheiten kontrollierten sie die Stadt.lZ3
118 Ibid. pp. 10-1 I.
11' Ibid. p. 254; Pauley, Hitler and theforgotten Nazis, p. 229.
lZ0Manfried Rauchensteiner, '"Rlumenfeldzug " mit Pannen. Die militarischen Komponente der AnschluRfrage ', in Chorherr (rd.), 1938 -Anatomie eines *jahns, p. 2 I 2 ; Schmidl, Miirz 38, p.
254. lZ1Schausberger, 'Der AnschluR', p. 541. lZ2Luia, dsternich und die grgdeutsche Idee, p. 41.
lZ3Stefan Karner, Die Steiermark im Dritten Reich 1938-1945. Aspekte ihrerpolitischen, wirtschafllich- soziale und kulturellen Entwicklung, 2nd edn (Graz, 1986), p. 48.
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60,000 people celebrated the Nazi march to power on the late evening of I r March,
and after midnight the provincial governor was removed by the illegal Gauleiter
Karner's account includes a detailed discussion of the German plebiscite on lo April from which 40,000 out of 686,000 inhabitants of Styria were excluded, expressly on political grounds. 1.8 per cent of the voters did not take part in the plebiscite, which produced a vote of 99.87 per cent in favour of the AnschluR in Germany, but again it should be remembered that there existed a quasi-obligation to make use of the plebiscite and political pressure forced opponents to vote for the AnschluR.
Directly connected with the AnschluR is a more legal aspect which has received attention especially since 1945, namely the status of Austria between 1938 and 1945: was the country occupied by or annexed to the German Reich? For a long period this discussion seemed to have terminated, but Merkel's article on occupation, annexation or fusionlZ4 presents a new challenge and has brought a new perspective to this dispute. Doctrinally, three different answers have been developed: (a) occupation theory, (b) theory of an unfinished annexation, and (c) annexation theory. According to (a) and (b), Austria, having been forcibly occupied by the German army, had temporarily lost its capacity for taking legal action and incurring liability in national and international law; it regained these at the end of the German occupation. Annexation on the other hand, implies that Austria became part of the Reich, so that there is no identity between the pre-AnschluR Austria and Austria after the defeat of Germany in 1945. A total annexation requires that a country is occupied with the intention to annex it and that the intention becomes effective, which means that no resistance can arise to the change in sovereignty: 'auf Grund dessen die Aussicht besteht, daR der urspriingliche Zustand wiederhergestellt wird'.lZ5 Merkel denies the necessity of a legal title for a total annexation, but an unfinished one requires such a title, for otherwise it does not enter into effect (Ex iniuria ius non oritur), unless the situation is accepted by the state so occupied. In Merkel's view, the AnschluR caused an effective change in sovereignty: Austria was completely occupied by Germany and its new status was that of a province of the Reich (Land des Deutschen Reiches) . Merkel writes : 'Als Zwischenergebnis kann festgehalten werden, daR Osterreich zwischen 1938 und 1945 nicht lediglich ein okkupierter und auch kein bloR scheintoter Staat war, sondern ein rechtswirksamer Bestandteil des deutschen Reiches. 'Iz6 Merkel's challenge poses the question whether the Austrian government agreed to the AnschluR, which would mean a fusion in legal terms of Austria and the Reich -and again, of course, the loss of capacity in national and international law.lZ7 In respect of Austrian constitutional law, Merkel sees no obstacles in the resignation of Chancellor Schuschnigg and the appointment of SeyR- Inquart. Allowing for the circumstances of those days, there would have remained one option: Defeasibility against a contract which was governed by lack of free will on the side of the Austrian government (because of the German ultimatum). But it would have been the duty of federal president Miklas expressly to declare such defeasibility. Did not the simple violation of the treaties of Versailles and St Germain imply the nullity
lZ4A. Merkel, 'Okkupation, Annexion oder Fusion?', in Andreas Molzer (ed.), Osterreich und die deuische Naiion (Graz, 1985), p. 187.
'" Ibid. p. 190. lZ6 Ibid. p. 193. lZ7Ibid.
of any Austro-German contract embodied in the AnschluB, because the treaties were binding on both countries? For Merkel, federations between states are not generally forbidden and therefore: 'Die Partner der Vertrage von Versailles and St Germain hatten vom Reich und von Osterreich in Ansehnung der Fusion lediglich die Erfiillung der alten Vertrage verlangen und im Weigerungsfall Sanktionen ergreifen konnen. 'lZ8 Because of inaction from those countries, and because of the Austrian and German 'Wiedervereinigungsgesetz ', Austria became extinct on r 3 March r 938 through fusion with the German Reich.lZ9
Some arguments may be added to Merkel's suggestions. The replacement of legations in Vienna by consulates has generally been used as an argument for the de facto and de jure recognition of the Anschlul3 by most European countries and H. Lauterpacht offered a similar example from 1936, when the United Kingdom replaced its Abyssinian legation by a consulate, but it was officially explained that the step did not involve recognition de jure of the annexation of that country.130 In the case of the U.S.A., several court decisions held that the U.S. government had never accepted the legal absorption of Austria into the German Reich, and that the U.S. legation in Vienna was closed only as a practical measure (Zdunic v. Uhl, 1942). A fusion in the sense of international law has to be by a contract, which has to be agreed to by both parties: 'Volkerrechtlich muB es in diesen Fallen genugen, wenn die staatsrechtlichen zu volkerrechtlicher Vertretung zustandigen Organe der beteiligten Staaten in bind- ender Weise ihr Einverstandnis erklaren.'131 Had SeyR-Inquart and his cabinet fulfilled these requirements?13' Doubtless Merkel's article, even after the production of counter-arguments, will retain its challenge.
Hainisch, expounding the situation in the province of Salzburg, identifies four sets of motives -economic, ideological and emotional -that may have induced a great part of society to accept the situation in 1938.'~~
These four are: modernization (between December 1937 and December 1938 the rate of unemployment was reduced from 23'26 per cent to 3'83 per cent or 15,000 workers could find a job) ;myths of the Fuhrer; the nazi propaganda against class-society, class-struggle and their proclamation of the 'Volksgemeinschaft'; and the long existing desire for the AnschluB amongst large sections of the population. As Hainisch points out, a contemporary historian knows the consequences which could not be known to a majority of the people acting in 193'8:
Jene Tausende von Salzburgern, die im Fruhjahr des Jahres 1938 Adolf Hitler zujubelten, jubelten nicht daruber, daR in den folgenden Jahren 6 Millionen Juden ermordet werden sollten, daR die Reichsfuhrung den nachsten Weltkrieg anzetteln wurde, sondern: weil sie in Zukunft ein besseres Leben e~warteten.'~~
'" Ibid. p. 194. '" Ibid. p. 195. R. C. Clute, The international legal status of Austria 193&1g45 (The Hague, 1962).
H. Lauterpacht, Recognition in international law (Cambridge, 1g47), p. 400. 131 F. J. Berber, Lehrbuch des Volkerrechts, 2nd edn (Munich, 1g75), p. 356. 13' See, for example, Schausberger, 'Der AnschluR'. 133 Ernst Hainisch, 'Ein Versuch, den Nationalsozialismus zu "verstehen"', in Anton Pelinka
and Erika Weinzierl (eds.), DergroJe Tabu. ~sterreichs Umgang mit der Vergangenheit (Vienna, 1987),
134 Ibid. p. 155.
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Weinzierl argues that even without the gift of prophecy acquaintance with Nazi literature and propaganda would have made it possible to anticipate the fate of the Jewish p0pu1ation.l~~
For Weinzierl, no collective solidarity with the Jews was built up after the 'Niirnberger-Gesetze' or the 'Reichskristallnacht' and for the population which could have known the result of Hitler's policy there exists a 'Schuld durch Gleichgiiltigkeit' (guilt through indifferen~e).'~~
This applies especially in Austria, with its long anti-semitic tradition.
Returning to Hainisch's argument of the long-existing desire for the AnschluB, the dream was interrupted by the reality of national-socialist policy. In Die Eingliederung ~sterreichs in das Deutsche Reich', Botz had already demonstrated the conflicting ideas about Austria's future which prevailed before the AnschluR.
One consequence became quickly evident: Austria vanished as a state and its name was replaced by the term 'Ostmark', the names of the provinces of Upper and Lower Austria being changed to Upper and Lower Danube. (This involved some alterations of the historical boundaries between the provinces.) Now Hitler's antipathy towards the country of his birth, which he had made plain in Mein KamPf, disillusioned even many nationalists and national-socialists in Austria. Glaise-Horstenau for example, still a minister, found one explanation for Hitler's dislike:
Hanliebe des Vertriebenen von einst, dabei die Furcht des Diktators, in diesem verfluchten Osterreich, das ihn durch zwei Jahrzehnte so herausgefordert hatte und zeitweilig geradezu der Scheinwerfer aller nazi -feindlichen Bestrebungen in der Welt gewesen ist, konnte sich ein neues Widerstandszentrum gegen ihn herauskristallisieren.'31
Did Hitler's suspicion materialize and how far has the history of resistance been integrated in Austrian historical research? Wolfgang Neugebauer of the Viennese Dokumentationsarchiv des Osterreichischen Widerstandes offers a short and critical survey of research into re~istance.'~~
Despite the new Austrian government's insistence on the country's opposition to Hitler, only one book was published, in 1946, to produce documents for future negotiations with the Allies.13' Within the next fifteen years only two major accounts appeared, F. Janosi's article 'Remarks on the Austrian Resistance movement' and 0.Molden's dissertation 'Der Ruf des Gewissens'. In 1963 the Austrian communist party published Mitteracker's account of communist resistance between 1938 and 1945 In the same year the Dokumentationsarchiv was founded to establish a central institution for research and the collection of documents. Since then several volumes on the history of Austrian Resistance in various provinces have been completed. A fundamental study -in Neugebauer's judgement 'die bisher umfassendste und fundierteste Darstellung' -was that of R. Luia140 and the following part of this review will concentrate on Luia's book. It maintains four notable positions: first, the politically isolated, democratic underground maintained almost no contacts
13' Erika Weinzierl, 'Schuld durch Gleichgiiltigkeit ', in Pelinka and Weinzierl, DergroJe Tabu,
P. '94. 136 Ibid. 13' Broucek, Ein General im zwielicht, 1, 294. 13' Wolfgang Neugebauer, 'Widerstandsforschung in Osterreich', in Pelinka and Weinzierl, Der groJe Tabu, p. 163; Wolfgang Neugebauer, 'Widerstand und Okkupation', in Emmerich
Talos, Ernst Hainisch, Wolfgang Neugebauer (eds.), NS-Herrschafl in ~sterreich 193&1g45 (Vienna, 19881, PP. 537-52.
I3O Rot- We$-Rot Buch. Darstellungen, Dokumente und Nachweise cur Vorgeschichte und Geschichte der Okkupation Osterreichs (Vienna, 1946).
140 Neugebauer, 'Widerstandsforschung', p. I 7 I.
with the divided and confused movement in exile. Only the communist resistance had a network connected with Moscow, whereas non-communist resistance had no external aid. Secondly, and this was peculiar to Austria, as an aggregate of geographically dispersed and politically disparate elements the resistance lacked a coordinated and centrally organized leadership, except during the final months of the war. For Luia, the common enemy and the breaking up of the structure of the Reich after 1943 brought some elements of coherence into the various groups. Thirdly, unlike structures of other underground movements the Austrian non-communist element had no special organizations for providing escape-routes, propaganda etc. available in other European countries: the resisters were mostly amateurs in clandestine work. This fact often led to the destruction of their cells and the execution of their members. Fourthly, the resistance's achievement was to remind Austrians of their past and Austria's historical development, and to show that there was no unanimous support for the regime. Communists formed the strongest clandestine force, and according to Luia it was Moscow's aim to penetrate the central administration in Austria after the war and to become a party of the masses. The socialists were divided into three groups of which one, prepared for a political takeover after the war, maintained its isolation. Others joined the active communists, which increased their numbers, and a third group formed of blue and white collar factory workers. The legitimists, who were in favour of a Habsburg restoration, were very active in the first years after the AnschluB; they consisted of a 'mixed body of officers, youths and women of both conservative and progressive leanings'. Former members of the christian-social party, catholics and liberal elements fought for the establishment of a pluralist democracy. R. K. Scholz emerged as their first leading figure, but in 1940 the Gestapo could eliminate potential opponents to a large extent. Later the future chancellor of the second republic and official of the christian democratic peasant league, Leopold Figl, built up a circle around him, which made contact with trade unionists to form a new party, the OVP (Austrian Peoples Party). Another resistance group included activists uninterested in party politics who were loosely united within the organization called 05 (05 = Osterreich). Luia describes further parts of the resistance -a military group, Jehovah's Witnesses, and members of the former 'Heimatschutz' who joined the opposition against Hitler. Chronologically, the resistance movement developed in three different stages. From 1938 to 1940 resistance was still primarily based on 'political and moral affinities and on former party affiliations'. A second generation entered into the movement after heavy losses in r939/40 But the most important phase was the final one, which was encouraged by successes abroad. Luia provides an estimated number of the resisters: roo,ooo, and 'one can assume that a great many political prisoners out of the 16,107 who died in prisons and the 16,493 who died in concentration camps were resisters'. A highly interesting appendix offers a profile of the resisters as an elite, an analysis which is based on the personal, social and political characteristics of 3,058 individuals. Why was the resistance neglected for so long after 1945? Luia argues:
Because everything associated with the Resistance reflected unfavourably on all those who had even remotely participated in the discredited National Socialist policies, the public, until the mid- sixties, chose not to recollect the painful AnschluI3 era. The Resistance had become the outcast of Austrian history.
Manfried Rauchensteiner, who is known for several accounts of the history of the second republic (for example Der Sonderfall and Der Krieg in ~sterreich) has very recently
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published a study on Austria's post-war period until 1966, which will here be taken into account down to 1955. The author concentrates on the description of the political work of the coalition government formed by the Austrian Socialist Party (SPO) and the Austrian Peoples Party (OVP); and he uses Austrian primary sources, together with material from the National Archives, Washington, the Public Record Office, London, and oral history. For Rauchensteiner a history of the coalition cannot be separated from a history of Austria; it has to be seen as quasi-identical with it. Various reasons have been given why this coalition could function, such as coercion, renunciation of power, consideration of expediency and a developing social system which improved cooperation at government level.14' Rauchensteiner writes: 'Im Riickblick gibt es kaum jemanden, der nicht der Uberzeugung ware, die GroBe Koalition hatte zumin- densts in der ersten Nachkriegszeit anerkennenswerte Leistungen erbra~ht."~~
I gI 8, members of former or newly established political parties gained essential influence, whereas members of the resistance lost their positions, or their organizations were dissolved, as happened to 05 in Vienna under the Russian occupation force. The former social-democrat K. Renner formed a provisional government including all political parties, sPO, OVP and KPO (Austrian Communist Party). In the meantime, the leading representatives of these three parties had signed a proclamation including Austria's declaration of independence, in which the AnschluB was described as having been forced upon Austria by military threats from outside and Nazi terror from within the country.
But what actions have been taken to overcome the past? A British diplomat reported to Lord Vansittart, during the criminal investigation against Schuschnigg's minister Schmidt :
Should Schmidt be sentenced it would produce a scapegoat. It would apparently be a surprise to everybody -and an unpleasant one -if he gets a heavy sentence. No less a surprise than if the People's Party agreed that many of their leaders, including Schuschnigg, should be sentenced or the Socialists that some of their highest functionaires be persecuted as Nazis or panGerman.143
This problem of denazification has been dealt with recently in D. Stiefel's Entnar$zierung in Osterreich. The severest problem from the re-establishment of demo- cracy was again the food supply; to quote Rauchensteiner,
Denn wenn es dem neuen Staat nicht gelang, seine Bevolkerung zu versorgen, und wenn es den Allierten nicht gelang, ihre Besatzung als einen konstruktiven Beitrag zur materiellen Sanierung Osterreichs erscheinen zu lassen, dann verloren die nicht immer leicht dargestellten Begriffe wie Befreiung, Freiheit und Demokratie jegliche Bedeutung.
As in his earlier researches, Rauchensteiner offers a broad picture of Austria's development on various levels -federal republic and provinces, Allied Control and Austrian government, political parties, and Austria's road to the State Treaty of Vienna 1955 and to neutrality. In 1955 a new era of Austrian history began as the period of control by foreign countries was finally over, but the new policy of neutrality had to be established and Austria's new position in the world redefined. Rauchen- steiner's Die Zwei will surely become an essential companion for Austrian history after I 945; even so, one may hope that access to more Austrian primary sources will allow a more critical evaluation of the great coalition in future years.
14' Manfried Rauchensteiner, Die Zwei. Die Grde Koalition in Osterreich 1945-I~GG(Vienna,
1987), P. 14. Ibid. p. 15. 143 Churchill College, Cambridge, Vansittart MSS, 11/1/28, 13.3.1947.
After this survey of some recent publications concerning Austria, 1918-55, various points of criticisms have to be added to identify areas of history which seem to be still unclear, left out altogether or strongly biased in interpretation:
The period of the 'Standestaat' needs to be covered by more detailed studies, for example the development of the constitution in 1934, governmental policy at various levels of administration, critical biographies of DollfuR as well as of his successor Schuschnigg.
In direct connexion with (a), a further attempt is needed to discuss the system of' berufsstandische Ordnung', comparing it with the Italian constitution, for example
De Felice's study of D'Annunzio.
Following Pauley's attempt to describe the history of the Austrian Nazi party, the different currents in that party and their political aims up to the AnschluR need further study.
Bernbaum's theory of the 'new Nazi elite' in the Third Rei~h'~~
offers a new field of discussion about the German occupation period, together with R. Knight's argument about Austria's national consciousness, 're-emerged united, from under the Nazi-jackboot'.146 The challenging title of an article in Die Zeit: 'Wem gehort Hitler? Deutschland und Osterreich: Vergangenheit und Vergangenheitsbewaltigung', could be taken as a guide to a new departure.
Historical descriptions and theories of the postwar period, which were partly guided by reason of state and preservation of a climate of consensus between the two main parties, will have to give way to more critical discussions.
New restrictions on access to archives in Austria will limit attempts, and only research in foreign countries will offer easier access to primary sources.
There have been outstanding achievements in this area of research, but in some cases it should be focused on 'relevant truth', to use J. L. Gormach's term,146 and including man's total culture in J. Burckhardt's sense.14'
While free criticism and open debate among historians continues, the public will be protected from excessive misuse of history for the purposes of propaganda. One can be reasonably sure that historical descriptions which have won the approval of unsympathetic or impartial critics are not biased, but are well justified and merit benefit.148
'44 ,J.A. Bernbaum, 'The new Nazi elite: Nazi leadership in Austria', in Austrian History ~iarbojk,xrv (rg78), 145-58.
145 R. Knight in Times Literary Supplement, 3.10.1986.
14' Hugh Trevor-Roper, 'Jacob Burckhardt', Proceedings of the British Academy, LXX (1984)~
J. I,. Gormach, The expression ofhistorical knowledge (Edinburgh, 1982), p. 43.
14' C. Behan McCullagh, Justifying historical description (Cambridge, 1984), p. 236