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Recent Writings on the Ständestaat, 1934–1938

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2009

Laura Gellott
Associate Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, WI 53141.


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Copyright © Center for Austrian Studies, University of Minnesota 1995

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1 Ritter, Harry, “Austria and the Struggle for German Identity,” German Studies Review, special issue on German identity (Winter 1992) 111–29, esp. 113Google Scholar; see also idem, “Recent Writing on Interwar Austria,” Central European History 12, no. 3 (Sept. 1979): 297–311.

2 Charles A. Gulick, Austria from Habsburg to Hitler, vol. 1, Labor's Workshop of Democracy; vol. 2, Fascism's Subversion of Democracy (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1948).

3 Ritter, “Recent Writing,” 297–98. Ritter also contends that the Fischer controversy in German historiography had an impact on Austrian scholarship, as well. Among the examples of the new historiography discussed by Ritter are Schausberger, Norbert, Der Griff nach Österreich (1978)Google Scholar; Botz, Gerhard, Gewalt in der Politik. Attentate, Zusammenstöβe, Putschversuche, Unruhen in Österreich 1918 bis 1934 (1976)Google Scholar and Die Eingliederung Österreichs in das Deutsche Reich (1976); Jagschitz, Gerhard, Der Putsch. Die Nationalsozialisten 1934 in Österreich (1976)Google Scholar; Edmondson, C. Earl, The Heim-wehr and Austrian Politics, 1918–1936 (1978)Google Scholar; and Luza, Radomír, Austro-German Relations in the Anschluss Era (1975)Google Scholar. See also the remarks by Gerald Stourzh in his foreword to Wohnout's, HelmutRegierungsdiktatur oder Ständeparlament? Gesetzgebung im autoritären Österreich (Vienna, 1993), 5Google Scholar. Noting the current “strong interest in recent Austrian history,” he adds, “In the last decades the temptation to use historical interpretation, including that of the First Republic, as an instrumental political argument, has not always been resisted.” Even where this has not been the case there has often been a tendency to deal with the recent past in an accusatory or prosecutorial fashion, or as apologetics.

4 An excellent summary of this scholarship is to be found in Miller, James William, “Bauerndemokratie in Practice: Dollfuβ and the Austrian Agricultural Health Insurance System,” German Studies Review 11, no. 3 (10 1988): 405–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Miller offers a highly useful categorization of the scholarship under the terms of “leftist historians,” “conservative historians,” and “moderate historians.” I would also refer readers to Bukey's, Evan BurrHitler's Hometown: Linz, Austria, 1908–1945 (Bloomington and Indianapolis, Ind., 1986), esp. chap. 6Google Scholar, “Christian Corporate Interlude, 1934–1938,” and the accompanying footnotes. The aforementioned “Recent Writing” by Ritter, remains highly useful.

5 Haag, John, review of works by Gehler, Michael and Zoitl, Helge, Austrian History Yearbook 25 (1994): 259–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 Miller, James William, Engelbert Dollfuβ als Agrarfachmann. Eine Analyse bäuerlicher Führungbegriffe und österreichischer Agrarpolitik 1918–1934 (Vienna, 1989)Google Scholar; and idem, “Bauemdemokratie.” See also idem, “Agrarian Politics in Interwar Austria,” Working Papers in Austrian Studies 92–3 (Center for Austrian Studies, University of Minnesota, February 1992).

7 Miller, “Bauerndemokratie,” 416. Another exploration of similar themes is to be found in Stöger, Robert, “Der christliche Führer und die wahre Demokratie,” Archiv Jahrbuch des Vereins für Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung (Vienna, 1986), 5467Google Scholar.

8 Miller, Dollfuβ, 23, 18.

9 Ibid., 14–15.

10 Ibid., 142.

11 Ibid., 14, 20.

12 The Tyrann oder Märtyrer dichotomy was posed by the title of a conference on Dollfuβ sponsored by his former student fraternity, the Franco-Bavaria, on July 28, 1984, in Mödling. Miller describes some of what transpired in Dollfuβ, 142, n. 5.

13 Schausberger, Franz, Letzte Chance für Demokratie. Die Bildung der Regierung Dollfuβ I im Mai 1932. Bruch der österreichischen Proporzdemokratie (Vienna, 1992)Google Scholar; see also a fine review of this book by Rath, R. John in Austrian History Yearbook 25 (1994): 282–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

14 Weinzierl, Erika and Skalnik, Kurt, eds., Österreich 1919–1938. Geschichte der Ersten Republik, 2 vols. (Graz, 1983)Google Scholar.

15 Fröschl, Erich and Zoitl, Helge, eds. Februar 1934. Ursachen, Fakten, Folgen (Vienna, 1984)Google Scholar.

16 Tälos, Emmerich and Neugebauer, Wolfgang, eds., “Austrofaschismus”. Beiträge über Politik, Ökonomie und Kultur 1934–1938 (Vienna, 1984)Google Scholar.

17 Drabek, Anna, Plaschka, Richard G., and Rumpler, Helmut, eds., Das Parteienwesen Österreichs und Ungams in der Zwischenkriegszeit (Vienna, 1990)Google Scholar.

18 Tálos, Emmerich, “Politische Struktur und Politische Entwicklung 1927–1934,” in Februar 1934, ed. Fröschl, and Zoitl, , 6573Google Scholar.

19 Kluge, Ulrich, Das österreichische Ständestaat 1934–1938. Entstehung und Scheitem (Vienna, 1984)Google Scholar.

20 Ibid., 9, 27–29.

21 Ibid., 8, 14–15, 39–40.

22 Ibid., 63.

23 Carsten, Francis L., “Zwei oder Drei Faschistische Bewegungen in Österreich?” in Februar 1934, ed. Fröschl, and Zoitl, , 181–92Google Scholar.

24 Botz, Gerhard, “Faschismus und ‘Ständestaat’ vor und nach dem 12. February 1934,” in Februar 1934, ed. Fröschl, and Zoitl, , 311–32Google Scholar.

25 Ernst Hanisch, “Der Politische Katholizismus als ideologischer Träger des ‘Austrofaschismus,’” in “Austrofaschismus,” ed. Talos and Neugebauer, 53–74, esp. 54. This is a point I have made in my discussion of the conflict between Fatherland Front organizations and Catholic Action. Gellott, Laura, The Catholic Church and the Authoritarian Regime in Austria, 1933–1938 (New York, 1987), esp. chaps. 3 and 4Google Scholar.

26 Enderle-Burcel, Gertrude, Christlich-Ständisch-Autoritär. Mandatare im Ständestaat, 1934–1938. Biographisches Handbuch der Mitglieder des Staatsrates, Bundeskulturrates, Bundeswirischaftsrates und Länderrates sowie des Bundestages (Vienna, 1991)Google Scholar.

27 Ibid., 151.

28 Wohnout, Helmut, Regierungsdiktatur oder Ständeparlament? Gesetzgebung im autoritären Österreich (Vienna, 1993)Google Scholar.

29 Bukey, Hitler's Hometown, 145–46.

30 Ibid., 143.

31 Pauley, Bruce, From Prejudice to Persecution: A History of Austrian Anti-Semitism (Chapel Hill, N.C., and London, 1992), 260Google Scholar. See especially chaps. 11 and 18.

32 Pauley, Prejudice to Persecution, 260, 264, 323–24.

33 This ongoing multiseries, multivolume collection, edited by Ackerl and Neck, is published by the Staatsdruckerei, Vienna.

34 Beeching, Paul Q., The Education of an American Catholic (Chicago, 1993), 170Google Scholar.

35 Hanisch, “Der Politische Katholizismus,” 53–74; see also, by way of comparison, idem, Die ldeologie des Politischen Katholizismus in Östeneich 1918–1934 (Vienna, 1977).

36 Hanisch, “Der Politische Katholizismus,” 54.

37 The notion of the aestheticization of politics, and “politics in the new key,” cues us to a work that I credit with pointing a new direction in the historiography of the Corporate State, namely Carl Schorske's Fin-de-Siëcle Vienna. Time prevents a full exploration of the linkage between this landmark study of the fin de siëcle and the historiography of the corporate era. I would cite only William McGrath's reference to “what Carl Schorske calls ‘politics in a new key.’ This term … describes the conscious attempt to evoke political emotion through symbol, fantasy, and art.” It was precisely this evocation of political emotion, through the myths, symbols, and rituals of the past, linked to the very modern mobilization of the masses, that gave the Fatherland Front its particular character and significance—and aroused the concern of the church hierarchy. See McGrath, , “Cultural Politics in Austria: From Empire to Republic,” in The Austrian Socialist Experiment, ed. Rabinbach, Anson, (Boulder, Colo., 1985), 146Google Scholar.

38 Hanisch, “Der Politische Katholizismus,” 54.

40 There is a fascinating study to be done someday on Mariazell. The shrine has played a central role in the lives and devotional practices of the Habsburg dynasty right up to the present. It was, as cited here, part of the symbolism of the corporate regime in the 1930s. Most recently it served as a memorial shrine for the Catholic church behind the Iron Curtain. When I visited Mariazell in 1985 there were altars set aside for Catholics in each of the successor states of the empire, then under Communist rule. Cardinal Mindszenty was buried at Mariazell until such time as he could be “buried in a free Hungary.” In 1985 that seemed unlikely. In May 1991, in a season that witnessed political reburials across East Central Europe, Mindszenty's body was returned to Hungary for interment at Esztergom. Among the dignitaries escorting the body to the Hungarian border was Otto von Habsburg.

41 Hanisch, “Der Politische Katholizismus,” 63.

42 Ibid., 69.

43 Ibid., 65.

44 Schwartz, Robert, “Bürckel and Innitzer,” in Conquering the Past: Austrian Nazism Yesterday and Today, ed. Parkinson, F. (Detroit, Mich., 1989), 137–48Google Scholar; and Ernst Hanisch, “Austrian Catholicism: Between Accommodation and Resistance,” in ibid., 165–76.

45 Schwartz, “Bürckel and Innitzer,” 138.

46 Ibid., 141, 146–47.

47 Ibid., 144.

48 Hanisch, “Austrian Catholicism,” 167.

49 Gellott, Catholic Church and Authoritarian Regime, and Defending Catholic Interests in the Christian State: The Role of Catholic Action in Austria, 1933–1938,” Catholic Historical Review 74, no. 4 (10 1988): 571–89, esp. 573–78Google Scholar.

50 Weinzierl, Erika, “Austria: Church, State, Politics, and Ideology, 1918–1938,” in Catholics, the State, and the European Radical Right, 1919–1945, ed. Wolf, Richard J. and Hoensch, Jorg K. (Boulder, Colo., 1987), 530Google Scholar.

51 Zeps, Michael J., Education and the Crisis of the First Republic (Boulder, Colo., 1987)Google Scholar.

52 Schöffmann, Irene, “Mütter in der Vaterländischen Front,“Kommentierte Quellen zur Geschichte katholischer Frauen in Österreich, 1933–1938 (Vienna, 1983)Google Scholar; idem, “Ein (anderer) Blick auf die katholische Frauenbewegung der Zwischenkriegszeit,” Österreich in Geschichte und Literatur 28, no. 3 (1984): 155–68; idem, “Organisation und Politik katholischer Frauen im “Ständestaat,” Zeitgeschichte 11, nos. 11–12 (1984): 349–75; idem, “‘…da es in Christus weder Mann noch Weib gibt.’ Eine historische Analyse des Geschlechterverhaltnisses im Katholizismus am Beispiel der Katholischen Frauenorganisation im Austrofaschismus,” Die ungeschriebene Geschichte. Dokumentation des 5. Historikerinnentreffens in Wien 1984 (Vienna, 1984): 70–82; idem, “Frauenpolitik im Austrofaschismus,” in “Austrofaschismus,” ed. Tálos and Neugebauer, 4th enlarged ed. (Vienna, 1988), 317–43; and idem, “Parteidisziplin,” Zeitgeschichte 16, nos. 11–12 (1989): 396–409.

53 The process has been described, among others, by Slapnicka, Harry, Oberösterreich zwischen Bürgerkrieg und Anschluβ 1927–1938 (Linz, 1975)Google Scholar, and by Klostermann, Ferdinand, “Das organisierte Apostolat der Laien und die Katholische Aktion,” in Kirche in Österreich 1918–1965, ed. Klostermanns, et al. (Vienna, 1966), 2:68137Google Scholar.

54 Schöffman, “Ein (anderer) Blick,” 166–67.

55 Gellott, Laura and Phayer, Michael, “Dissenting Voices: Catholic Women in Opposition to Fascism,” Journal of Contemporary History 22 (1987): 91114CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Gellott, Laura, “Mobilizing Conservative Women: The Viennese Katholische Frauenorganisation in the 1920s,” Austrian History Yearbook 22 (1991): 110–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

56 Liebmann, Maximilian, Theodor Innitzer und derAnschluβ. Österreichs Kirche 1938 (Graz, Vienna, Cologne, 1988)Google Scholar.

57 Ibid., 41.

58 Ibid., 204–8.

59 Reimann, Viktor, Innitzer. Kardinal zwischen Hitler und Rom, 2nd ed. (Vienna and Munich, 1988)Google Scholar.

60 Ibid., 17–18.

61 For a recent treatment of this theme, see Mitten, Richard, The Politics of Antisemitic Prejudice: The Waldheim Phenomenon in Austria (Boulder, Colo., 1992)Google Scholar, reviewed in Austrian History Yearbook 25 (1994): 274–76Google Scholar.

62 Ritter, “Austria and German Identity,” 113.

63 Heiss, Gernot, “Pan Germans, Better Germans, Austrians: Austrian Historians on National Identity from the First to the Second Republic,” German Studies Review 16, no. 3 (10 1993): 411–33, esp. 415, 417CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

64 Parkinson, ed., Conquering the Past, 315.

65 Ritter, “Austria and the Struggle for German Identity,” 113.

66 The use of the term Historikerstreit in this context stems from Ritter, “Austria and the Struggle for German Identity,” 118.

67 Lüer, Andreas, “Nationalismus in Christlichsozialen Programm 1918–1933,” Zeitgeschichte 14/15 (19861987): 147–66Google Scholar. See also his “Ideologie und Programmatik der politischen Lager Österreichs 1918–1933” (dissertation, University of Vienna, 1985)Google Scholar.

68 Jerry Pyle, “Austrian Patriotism: Alternative to the Anschluss,” in Conquering the Past, ed. Parkinson, 73.

69 Ibid., 76–83.

70 Ibid., 80; quoting Schuschnigg, , My Austria (New York, 1938), 5657Google Scholar.

71 Blair Holmes, “The Austrian Monarchists, 1918–1938: Legitimism versus Nazism,” in Conquering the Past, ed. Parkinson, 91–109.

72 Ibid., 91–92.

73 Ibid., 100; quoting Schuschnigg, , Ein Requiem in Rot-Weiβ-Rot (Zurich, 1946), 2223Google Scholar; see also U.S. Department of State, Documents on German Foreign Policy (Washington, D.C., 1949), ser. D, vol. 1, 358–59Google Scholar.

74 Holmes, “Austrian Monarchists,” 92, 102, 105, 107.

75 Ernst Hanisch, “Demokratieverstandnis, parlamentarische Haltung und nationale Frage,” in Das Parteienwesen Österreichs, ed. Drabek et al., 73–86.

76 Ibid., 78–79.

77 Hopfgartner, Anton, Kurt von Schuschnigg. Ein Staatsmann gegen Hitler (Vienna, 1988)Google Scholar.

78 Heiss, “Pan Germans, Better Germans, Austrians,” 411–33.

79 Ibid., 413–15.

80 Ibid., 418–19.

81 Ibid., 419–20.

82 Steiner, Kurt, Politics in Austria (Boston, 1972), 19Google Scholar.

83 Fellner, Fritz, “The Problem of the Austrian Nation after 1945,” Journal of Modern History 60, no. 2 (1988): 265–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar; originally published as “Das Problem der österreichischen Nation nach 1945,” in Die Rolle der Nation in der deutschen Geschichte und Gegenwart. Beiträge zu einer inlernationalen Konferenz in Berlin (West) vom 16. bis 18. Juni 1983, ed. Büsch, Otto and Sheehan, James J. (Berlin, 1985), 193220Google Scholar.

84 Ibid., 271ff.

85 Stourzh, Gerald, Vom Reich zur Republik (Vienna, 1990), 3541Google Scholar.

86 Bukey, Hitler's Hometown, 143, 145.

87 Kluge, Der österreichische Ständestaat, 129–32.

88 Parkinson, ed., Conquering the Past, 314–15.

89 Ibid., 323.

90 Kann, Robert A., “Imperial Hangovers: The Case of Austria,” in Kann, Dynasty, Politics, and Culture: Selected Essays, ed. Winters, Stanley B. (Boulder, Colo., 1991), 343Google Scholar.

91 Ibid., 337–38.

92 Ibid., 346.

93 Rubelt, Lothar, Österreich zwischen den Kriegen (Vienna, 1979)Google Scholar.

94 Luža, Radomir, The Resistance in Austria (Minneapolis, 1984), 281, 298, 314Google Scholar.

95 Hanisch, “Der Politische Katholizismus,” 69.

96 The appearance of a new journal, Contemporary Austrian Studies, with its first volume titled Austria in the New Europe and edited by Gunter Bischof and Anton Pelinka, is, in the words of the editors, “designed as a regular publication on modern Austria without a direct point of reference to Germany. As such, it is devoted to a self-confident assertion of a separate Austrian identity vis-a-vis Germany and its promotion abroad. After the unification of Germany, such a program seems even more important.” See Bischof, Günter and Pelinka, Anton, eds., Austria in the New Europe: Contemporary Austrian Studies 1 (1993): 2Google Scholar.

97 Hopfgartner, Kurt von Schuschnigg, 67–68.

98 See Ritter, “Austria and the Struggle for German Identity,” 115–16. The works under discussion are Erdmann, Karl Dietrich, Die Spur Österreichs in der deutschen Geschichte: Drei Staaten, zwei Nationen, ein Volk? (Zurich, 1989)Google Scholar, and a 1985 lecture by Erdmann, “Drei Staaten—Zwei Nationen—Ein Volk?”

99 Ritter, “Austria and the Struggle for German Identity,” 115–16.

100 Fellner, “Austrian Nation after 1945,” 273–74. Heiss disagrees. “Considering the plain Deutschtümelei of the Ständestaat, it is not legitimate in my opinion to quote Schuschnigg as an example for a tolerant attitude in the postwar discussion about the relations between the Austrians and Germans as Fellner does.” Heiss, “Pan Germans, Better Germans, Austrians,” 428–29, n. 30.

101 Luft, David S., “Austria as a Region of German Culture: 1900–1938,” Austrian History Year-book 23 (1992): 135–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

102 Stourzh, foreword to Wohnout's Regierungsdiktatur oder Ständeparlament?, 19–24.

103 Hopfgartner, Kurt von Schuschnigg, 69.

104 Miller, Dollfuβ, 103–08.

105 Heiss, “Pan Germans, Better Germans, Austrians,” 418.

106 Maier, Charles S., “Whose Mitteleuropa? Central Europe between Memory and Obsolescence,” Austria in the New Europe: Contemporary Austrian Studies 1 (1993), ed. Bischof, Günter and Pelinka, Anton, 818Google Scholar. I take exception, however, to Maier's curt dismissiveness of the concept, and particularly take issue with his interpretation of its Austrian version.

107 Enzensberger, Hans Magnus, Europe, Europe: Forays into a Continent (New York, 1989), 200Google Scholar; and Hobsbawm, Eric, “The New Threat to History,” New York Review of Books, 12 16, 1993Google Scholar.

108 Ritter, “Austria and the Struggle for German Identity,” 122–23.

109 Stourzh, Vom Reich zur Republik, 23–24.

110 Ash, Timothy Garton, “Does Central Europe Exist?” in The Uses of Adversity (New York, 1990), 179213Google Scholar; originally published in New York Review of Books, Oct. 9, 1986.

111 Ibid., 179.

112 Ibid., 180.

113 Ibid., 188–89.

114 Miller, Dollfuβ, 20.

115 Heiss, “Pan Germans, Better Germans, Austrians,” 415.

116 Jarausch, Konrad, The Rush to German Unification (Oxford, 1994), 7594Google Scholar.

117 Ibid., 79.

118 See, for example, James, Harold and Stone, Marla, eds., When the Wall Came Down: Reactions to German Unification (New York, 1992), 117–64Google Scholar.

119 Ash, Timothy Garton, The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague (New York, 1990), 154Google Scholar.

120 Garton Ash, “Does Central Europe Exist?,” 189.

121 Pyle, “Austrian Patriotism,” 77.

122 Krauthammer, Charles, “The German Revival,” New Republic (03 26, 1990)Google Scholar; reprinted in When the Wall Came Down, ed. James and Stone, 174–80.

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