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The Dollfuß Ministry: The Democratic Prelude

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2015

Extract

The typical dictator of the interwar period was, like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, already a convinced fascist or authoritarian when he first came to power. This was not the case in Austria, where Engelbert Dollfuß, the semifascist dictator of 1934, was seemingly a genuine democrat when he was appointed chancellor in May 1932. Even his appointment was accidental. Had the Social Democrats accepted Ignaz Seipel's and Karl Buresch's overtures in 1931 to join the Christian Socials in a coalition government, Dollfuß might never have become chancellor. And had they not rejected a second effort by Buresch in April 1932 and demanded new elections, democratic government in Austria would have been strengthened rather than weakened.

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Copyright © Center for Austrian Studies, University of Minnesota 1998

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References

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59 Ibid., 178.

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69 Preamble of the Lausanne protocol, Bundesgesetzblatt für die Republik Österreich, Jahrgang 1932, 5. Stuck, no. 12, pp. 2930 (quotations); p. 35 (amounts); article 2, para. 4, pp. 3132 (length of loan). A copy of the protocol and its annexes is printed in Klingenstein, Die Anleihe von Lausanne, appendix A, 133–40. On amounts, see also report of Eduard Heinl, minister of commerce and trade, on Aug. 17, 1932, Nationalrat, 98th session, 4th legislative period, 4:2508.Google Scholar

70 Bundesgesetzblatt für die Republik Österreich, Jahrgang 1932, 5. Stück, no. 12, articles 4–7, pp. 3233; annexes, pp. 36–41; quotation is article 6, para. 2, p. 33.Google Scholar

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78 Clauzel to Herriot, Vienna, Aug. 20, 1932, Documents diplomatiques français 1932–1939, 1st ser. (1932–35), vol. 1 (Paris, 1964), doc. no. 113, p. 201.Google Scholar

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80 Ibid., 429–32; rough draft no. 819, pp. 445–48. The unofficial draft copy contains the following statement that has been omitted in the official minutes: “The chairman [Dollfuß] reported that legal press regulations that would be satisfactory to the Heimatblock had once been prepared on the basis of the economic enabling act. He requests the council of ministers to authorize the submission of the provisions that were laid aside at that time for approval in the next session of the chief committee. The council of ministers gave the requested authorization”; ibid., 445.

81 Dollfuß to Starhemberg, Vienna, July 28, 1932, AVA, Präs., no. 5886-Pr./32. The minutes of the council of ministers housed in the Verwaltungsarchiv contain a resolution certifying that “the Heimwehr's wishes in the writing lying before us are in accord with the program of the government, which is resolved under all circumstances to carry it out. It empowers the federal chancellor to reply to the above letter in this sense.” Beschlussprotokoll of the 819th session of the Ministerrat on July 28, 1932, AVA, Carton 151, p. 2.

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85 Auriti to Mussolini, Vienna, July 31, 1932, Documenti, vol. 12, doc. no. 184, pp. 265–66; emphasis added.Google Scholar

86 Dollfuß's speech in the Nationalrat on July 28, 1932, Nationalrat, 94th session, 4th legislative period, 4:2425-26. The entire speech is on pp. 2520–26.Google Scholar

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88 Ellenbogen's speech in the Nationalrat on July 28, 1932, Nationalrat, 94th session, 4th legislative period, 4:2426, 2432.Google Scholar

89 Straffner's speech in the Nationalrat on July 28, 1932, ibid., 2433–40; continued on July 29, 1932, ibid., 2441–43.

90 Kunschak's speech in the Nationalrat on July 29, 1932, ibid., 2445.

91 Foppa's speech in the Nationalrat on July 29, 1932, ibid., 2462. For the entire speech, see 2449–62.

92 Renner's speech in the Nationalrat on Aug. 2, 1932, Nationalrat, 96th session, 4th legislative period, 4:2476. See also 2484 (vote).Google Scholar

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101 See the letter and telegrams from Vinzl and Renner's report in regard to what he did about them in Nationalrat, 101st session, Aug. 23, 1932, 4th legislative period, 4:2625–26.Google Scholar

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103 Foppa's speech in the Nationalrat on Aug. 23, 1932, Nationalrat, 101st session, 4th legislative period, 4:2629–32.Google Scholar

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105 Glöckel's speech in the Nationalrat on Aug. 23, 1932, Nationalrat, 101st session, 4th legislative period, 4:2628. For the entire speech, see 2628–30.Google Scholar

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110 Auriti to Mussolini, Vienna, Sept. 22, 1932, Documenti, vol. 12, doc. no. 277, p. 383.Google Scholar

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112 In the new elections held in November 1932, the National Socialists, however, elected only 196 deputies, and their percentage of the popular vote fell to 33.1 percent.

113 The information about conditions in Germany was drawn largely from Craig, Gordon A., Germany, 1866–1945 (New York, 1978), passim;Google Scholar and Hajo, Holborn, A History of Modern Germany, 1840–1945 (New York, 1969), passim.Google Scholar For Robert Hecht's life and work, see Peter, Huemer, Robert Hecht und die Zerstörung der Demokratie in Österreich. Eine historisch-politische Studie (Munich, 1975).Google Scholar

114 Auriti to Mussolini, Vienna, Sept. 22, 1932, Documenti, vol. 12, doc. no. 277, p. 382–83.Google Scholar

115 Ibid.

116 On Ach's resignation, see Miklas to Dollfuß, Vienna, Sept. 28, 1932, AVA, Präs., no. 7194-Pr./32. On Dollfuß assuming the portfolio, see Ministerrat, Dollfuß, no. 826 of Sept. 29, 1932, para. 1, p. 566.Google Scholar

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121 Winkler, , Die Diktatur in Oesterreich, 22.Google Scholar

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128 Ministerrat, Dollfuβ, no. 829 of Oct. 13, 1932, para. 10, p. 608, and no. 830 of Oct. 18, 1932, para. 5, pp. 614–15; Kunschak, , Österreich 1918–1934, 170;Google ScholarGregory, J. D., Dollfuss and His Times (London, 1935), 185.Google Scholar

129 Preziosi to Mussolini, Vienna, Feb. 27, 1933, Documenti, vol. 13 (Rome, 1989), doc. no. 142, p. 142.Google Scholar

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The Dollfuß Ministry: The Democratic Prelude
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The Dollfuß Ministry: The Democratic Prelude
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The Dollfuß Ministry: The Democratic Prelude
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