Anhänger der Christlichsozialen Partei 1934
trailer of the Christian-social party 1934

Austrofaschismus is developed and carried a name for starting from 1933 the rule system, by Engelbert Dollfuss, established in Austria, and/or. after its murder 1934 considerably of briefly Schuschnigg, the Christian-social party, the home resistance and the land federation.Collecting movement and a unit party was from 1933 to 1938 the patriotic front. At the 11. March 1938 was eliminated the Austrian Ständestaat by the national socialists and thus the Austrofaschismus by the national socialism was replaced.

Table of contents

the emergence of the austrofaschistischen system

Federal Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss

with the Korneuburger oath of the home resistance of 18. May 1930 was formulated the elimination of the parliament and a anti-democratic course, which were directed primarily against the oppositional social-democracy, for the first time as program. „We reject the western-democratic parliamentarism and the party state “were one of the formulas, which swore many young Christian-social politicians beside home military federations from the entire federal territory also like the later Federal Chancellors Leopold Figl and Julius Raab.

When 1932 became clear after the elections in Vienna that the out Christian-social, land federation and home weir existing government with thatnext national council elections their knappe majority would anyway lose, interspersed themselves increasingly efforts for the establishment of a fascist regime. With regard to foreign policy this project was supported in particular by Benito Mussolini. The cause for the total seizure of power offered to 4. March 1933 in austrofaschistischen propaganda as „self eliminationthe parliament “agenda crisis in the Austrian national council designated.

In the consequence the Dollfuss regime on basis still from the monarchy originating of the war-economical enabling act governed. This law had been decided 1917 during the First World War, around the supply of the population by emergency decrees guarantees toocan. On basis of this emergency decree right Engelbert Dollfuss created 15 years after completion of the world war an authoritarian leader state.

To 7. March 1933 issued the Council of Ministers a meeting and a marching-up prohibition and led the censorship for Austrian newspapers. The last attempt of the opposition, the business of theNational council 15. March 1933 again to take up, was defeated with Polizeigewalt. When social-democratic and largeGerman delegates before the parliament appeared themselves, the government sent 200 Kriminalbeamte into the high house, which the delegates prevented from entering the meeting room.

To 31. March 1933 solved the government that Republican defense association up. To 10. April 1933 was again introduced the obligatory participation at religious exercises by abolition Glöckel decree in such a way specified. The author of the decree, which became a former social-democratic minister of education Otto Glöckel, 1934 in consequence of the February revolt, in which he takes part not personally, in its office in the palace Epstein was arrested and into the notion camp Wöllersdorf brought. Glöckel survived the arrest only few months.

To 10. May 1933 ordered the government the suspension of all elections on federation, land and district level. To 26. May became the communist party of Austriadissolved, to 19. June NSDAP and one day later - when desired the catholic church - the free philosopher federation.

As to 12. February 1934 a Linzer party home of the Social Democrats by the police to be scanned should, came it to the February rebellion, also as Austrian civil warhistory to enter should. After military striking down of the social-democratic rebellion by the Austrian federal army and the home resistance the social-democratic party was forbidden.

In a last national council meeting became to 30. April 1934 of the delegates of the patriotic front a law decided, that the governmentwith all powers equipped, which were incumbent on national council and Upper House of Parliament before. The mandates of the Social Democrats were explained before meeting „the trunk parliament “for extinct.

the austrofaschistische State of

the completion of this coup d'etat represented the austrofaschistische condition , at the 1. May 1934 - not coincidentallyat one of the most important holidays of the depressed workers' movement - one issued. From “Austria is a democratic republic. The right proceeds from the people. “ became in the new condition: „In the name of God, the allpowerful, from which all right proceeds, the Austrian people for its Christian receivesGerman Federal State on ständischer basis this condition “. The state designation „Republic of Austria “was replaced through „to Federal State Austria “.


Kurt Schuschnigg (Bundeskanzler von 1934 bis 1938, davor Justizminister)
briefly Schuschnigg (Federal Chancellor from 1934 to 1938, before it Ministers of Justice)

after the parliament was switched off, got rid of the government also the constitutional court yard. Thosefour Christian-social condition judge to the resignation induced, with which the government forestalled a very probable abolition „of the emergency decrees “, on their basis it for some months governed. The elimination of the constitutional court yard was legally secured, as new denominations were forbidden by condition judges by regulation.

In September 1933 those leftGovernment several notion camps for internment more politically opponent inside and opponents furnish. Beside Social Democrats, socialists, communists and Anarchisten after the Juliputsch 1934 also national socialists were locked up there.

At the 11. November 1933 led the government Dollfuss the 1919 abolished death penalty for murder, arson and “publicAct of violence by malicious damage of strange property “ . After the events of February 1934 the death penalty besides on crime „riot “was extended. During processes under martial law three judges had to acquit three days long time an accused either or to death by the strandto condemn. If the process lasted longer than three days, no more was responsible the court martial, but a tidy court of assizes, which could not impose the death penalty any longer. The Federal Government secured itself the possibility Federal President Begnadigungen to suggest to be able and retained this way several timesPersons, who stood for the Christian-social politically close, before the death penalty. As a first victim of the courts martial mentally handicapped Peter Strauss entered history. Prominent political victims of the death penalty under martial law during the Austrofaschismus were among other things Josef Ahrer, Anton Bulgari, Johann Hoys, Karl Münichreiter, Alois Rauchenberger, Josef Stanek, Emil Swoboda, Koloman Wallisch and George Weissel.

education politics

in the course of the turbulent yearly 1933 were already issued a number of laws, which should transform the Austrian education politics in accordance with austrofaschistischen principles. Thatcatholic church thereby strong influence on the before secular education system was granted. Who wanted to separate in Austria now with Matura from a higher school, must the religious education have visited. Also girl was again made more difficult reaching a higher education degree, there the austrofaschistischen ruling powers the classicalWoman picture of the housewife and the nut/mother favored.

Also on university level the Federal Government 1933 issued several laws. First the number of the university teachers and assistants was decreased, with which in particular regime-critical instruction on legalistic way of their offices could be relieved. With a further law Disziplinarverfahren became, those so far thatuniversity in each case concerned was incumbent on, to which control Federal Ministry subordinates, what for the disadvantage of critical coworkers of the universities likewise affected itself. Academic functionaries could become from now on excluding persons, the member of the patriotic front were.“Each freed training pulpit must, if the appropriate man is present, alsoan university teacher by native country-more faithful and possibly also still particularly Christian convicition to be occupied “, minister of education Hans Pernter let announce after resolution of the new Acts concerning universities.

To the ideological training of the studying the government obligation lectures led to „the idealistic and historical bases of the Austrian state and to the world-descriptiveand “and obligating militarily led university camp established civic education. In the legal text, which regulated the introduction of military university camps, it means: “Each university camp is to receive a military and an educational leader, thus officers and an educating leader, whereby first the military command and the before-military training, latter thatLecture nature and the leisure activities are incumbent on. “ Such a university camp covered about in each case 100 studying.

economics and social politics

within the range of the foreign trade one already turned 1930 away from the liberal system of free trade and introduced an autarcy model. Highest maxim was the bulkheading of the Austrian marketof the world market, about which one expected an economic upswing. World-economical background was thereby the New Yorker collapse of the stock market in the year 1929.

1932 was in the annual average 468,000 humans in Austria unemployed. In the year 1933 the number of the unemployed persons rose to 557,000 humans,which corresponds to a percentage of 25,9. The situation was aggravated by the fact that ever more unemployed person than controlled applied. They lost any requirement on national support. In the following years (1933 to 1937) the national social expenditure index of 100 to 79,42 sank.

A goal of the Christian-social and thatHome resistance was „the abolishment of the class warfare “. For this purpose obligatory condition federations from workers and entrepreneurs were furnished, co-operation so mentioned, which should undermine and replace the unionized organization of the female workers and workers. The social responsibility was delegated by the state on „ständische “subunits.

Dahingegen became that Trade sector the protective function of the state generally speaking extent assign. 1933 introduced the government a trade barrier, 1934 followed the interdiction law, which was several times intensified in the following years. This politics represented a radical break with for decades the valid liberal trade and industrial regulations, the 1935 inthe re-establishment trade guilds culminated. “With persisting on orthodox samples for the economic policy in the Austrian Ständestaat a position of constraint was created, which let the internal contradictions on all levels over hand take “, summarizes the economist Gerhard Senft the austrofaschistische economic policy.

cultural policy

thoseofficial cultural policy during the Austrofaschismus was coined/shaped of a Affirmation of the baroque and other one „more before in a revolutionary manner “style directions. With „before in a revolutionary manner “the time before the French revolution of 1789 is meant here. In this connection it came again and again to positive references to „the Wehrhaftigkeit of “Austria during thatTurk FE storage to keep over the picture „of the threat from the east awake “and/or. to call again in memory and project on the Soviet Union.

Large influence on the austrofaschistische cultural policy had Ernst Kreneks disputations. It particularly turned therein against an alleged „culture bolshevism “, asspecial forming out of the mischief over Austria to break threatens. He regarded in particular modern branches of art as communist infiltrated and formed thereby a foundation for the cultural skill of kind of rear wall of the austrofaschistischen regimes. The author Robert Musil did not commentate the austrofaschistische cultural policy 1934 with the famous words „it is thatbad spirit, but the bad Geisteslosigkeit of the Austrian cultural policy “.

ideological adjustment

the community ideology of the Austrofaschisten hardly differed from that one of the national socialists. A goal was under in both cases the apparent abolition of the class contrasts on basis of a fiction of subjecting the individualan authoritarianly led state. A goal of the Austrofaschismus was, which national socialists too “over-hit-learn”, how Dollfuss called it. In this connection are the authoritarian leader ideology and the establishment of the patriotic front, which was meant as measurement and a unit party to see. With regard to foreign policy one tried before thatTo protect claim to power of the German national socialists by a co-operation with Mussolini.

supports of the system


the Roman-catholic church welcomed the austrofaschistischen coup d'etat from the first second on. „The year 1933 has the whole Christianity rich grace benediction, our native country Austriabesides many joys brought (...) you (the government, note) can refer already to a set of benediction-rich acts, which secure the true well-being and promote, is called “it in the Weihnachtsbrief of the Austrian bishops in the year, in the Dollfuss the democratically selected parliament switched off.

The Viennese cardinal Innitzer welcomed the elimination of the parliament to 12. March 1933 as „incipient crack of a recent time “, which compared with the age of the Gegenreformation. The catholic day organized by Taras Borodajkewycz in October 1933 it placed Numquam under the slogan „retrorsum “(„never back “).

To 10.May 1933 signed Ministers of Justice briefly Schuschnigg the concordat, to 16. August made the government more difficult the withdrawal from the catholic church. From now on all humans those had determined were the catholic church the back to be turned, an examination their “spirit and mind condition “over itself be been issuedleave. The district main crews responsible for the withdrawal could protract this procedure arbitrarily for a long time.

Not least therefore the austrofaschistische regime got official support also from the Vatikan. Pope Pius XI already gave to 28. Octobers 1933 its benedictions „make men, Austria in this time,in these days govern, which so well, then decided Austria, so like a Christian govern “ and even still during the February fights 1934 received to Dollfuss the apostolischen benediction of the Pope.

Dollfuss was strongly interested in a catholic Renaissance. Already during the Trabrennplatzrede at the 11. September 1933 quitit one „social, Christian German State of Austria on ständischer basis, under strong authoritarian guidance “ as its aim on. In addition, on sides of the church the interest in a klerikalfaschistischen Austria was considerable. Thus church dignitaries in even lake and Steyr took part in the cleaning ofWorker's libraries. In Steyr the existence were reduced of 4000 to 900 books, from which further 200 became closed. Concerned was apart from explicitly left literature also writings of Jewish authoresses and authors. In church reports to these events it means:“Four crates with books became the policehand over for destroying. It concerned the purely socialist, erotischen and faith-hostile books. The worst erotischen and church-hostile books were transferred to the police in torn condition “.

Austrian Cartellverband

the Austrian Cartellverband (ÖCV) took an intellectual during the time of the AustrofaschismusGirder function of the regime truely. Not least for this reason the social ascent of the federation coincided temporally with the elimination of the parliamentary democracy and the establishment of the austrofaschistischen system.

Between 1933 and 1938 nearly all public offices were occupied by greater importance with ÖCV members. EngelbertDollfuss was seen time of its life in the official phraseology of the ÖCV as „a leader “and designated also in such a way. In response Dollfuss ensured for the fact that young university graduates, who belonged to the ÖCV could penetrate fast to top positions into politics and administration. The moreover one became the head of the governmentSay in the case of the occupation of offices within the ÖCV granted.

The historian „at least 37% of all studying members of the ÖCV in different military formations federal army and home resistance supported Stephan of new houses to consequence during the February events 1934 (…) In Graz 70% active took parton sides of the government troops and home weirs, in Leoben 45%, in Vienna 33% and in Innsbruck 29%. The largest contingents placed Babenberg Graz (40), to Carolina Graz (40), Austria Vienna (53), Austria Innsbruck (49), Norica Vienna (64) and Rudolfina Vienna (54) “. After thatFebruary transferred the ÖCV close the standing university graduate assistance the before socialist university graduate homes in the column lane 18 as well as the Billrothstrasse 9 to Vienna.

The portion of ÖCVern in different committees of the austrofaschistischen state was enormously high. In the Upper House of Parliament it was about 90 per cent. With Otto Kemptnera federal brother was assigned by Engelbert Dollfuss the structure of the patriotic front. For members of the ÖCV starting from 1933 entry obligation existed.

The influence of the ÖCV on the Austrian government politics was obvious. In the government Dollfuss I belonged to six of ten Ministers the federation on, afterthree changes in the cabinet were finally it eight of ten. The government Dollfuss II exclusively existed of members of the ÖCV, in the government Dollfuss III was nevertheless still six from 13 Ministers Korporierte. Similarly it behaved in the governments Schuschnigg, in those the ÖCV about in each casehalf of the ministerial positions to occupy could. Also as 1936 national socialists to the government, were still four Ministers from the ÖCV part of the cabinet were accepted and even still in the National Socialist puppet government under Arthur Seyss Inquart were with William wolf and Oswald two.

After the joggle of the social-democratic Viennese of mayor in consequence of February 1934 Schmitz became a member of the Cartellverbandes of new mayors with smelling pool of broadcasting corporations. Already 1933 got along the national main people of the castle country, Lower Austria, upper Austria, animal oil, Salzburg, the Steiermark and Vorarlbergsthe ÖCV.

“One of the best CV, our perpetuated chancellor Dr. Dollfuss “, was called it in June 1935 in the news sheet of the ÖCV - and still one could read 1937 there: “The Dollfussstrasse is no different one than the traditional CV-road. “


those alreadybefore the austrofaschistischen seizure of power existing discrimination of Jews in the public life was continued to intensify after 1933. Regularly it came to boycott appeals against Jewish entrepreneurs and even to business blockades.

Particularly in the public administration a substantial discrimination Jewish civil servants began starting from 1933. 1935 was under the 160,700 public officials in Austria straight still 682 Jewesses and Jews. Before were many under the pretext, them became the social-democratic or the communist party close, from their posts dismisses. The Historikerin Sylvia Maderegger writes in addition:“Four fifth of the dismissedJews - the magazine explained ‚the Jewish way' - did not have to do anything with politics and became to only dismiss, because they were Jews “ („the Jews in the Austrian Ständestaat 1934 - 1938 “).

The Land of the Federal Republic insurance - today Uniqa -, which the regime very close stood, called itselfin advertisement texts as „purely arische institute “. Often also Social Democrats were equated with Jews. For example in February 1934, as social-democratic functionaries under slogans like “Judengesindel, we will already show it you! “ were floated into the prisons.

The Antisemitismus differed nevertheless during the Austrofaschismus in itsIntensity clearly of the Vernichtungsantisemitismus of the national socialists. Even if the regime pursued a strong structural discrimination of Jewesses and Jews in the public life, it came only rarely to open acts of violence. An example of violent anti-Semitic excesses during the Austrofaschismus is an assault, on the part of of theÖCV was committed 1935 on a Jewish student connection at the University of Vienna. (News sheet 9/1935 of the ÖCV).

the end

of voting cards for popular vote over the connection

in July 1934 with a Putschversuch of Austrian national socialists around the life Engelbert Dollfuss come followed the former Minister of Justice Briefly Schuschnigg as Federal Chancellors. This closed in July 1936 an agreement with the German Reich in its consequence 17,000 Austrian Nazis was amnestied and the national socialist Arthur Seyss Inquart as Council of State into the austrofaschistische government cabinet came. Further „a people-political became paper “as partial organization of the patriotic frontcreated, with which one integrated the illegal National Socialist opposition into the party. Numerous forbidden National Socialist newspapers were legalisiert before. In response Adolf Hitler accepted the independence of Austria. By the July agreement in such a way specified the National Socialist opposition received to lift appreciably both on the road and inthe Schuschnigg government.

To 12. February 1938 came it finally to the Berchtesgadener agreement, which brought both the end of the Austrofaschismus and the end of its own Austrian state with itself. Seyss Inquart became interior and safety Minister in the Schuschnigg government. For the 13. March became a popular voteover the connection of Austria to the German Reich set, which took place however only in April 1938 under other signs. The Austrofaschismus became already at the 11. March 1938 - two days before the planned popular vote - by the national socialism without employment of force of arms and accompanies from thatRejoicing hundred-rope one hundred Austrians and Austrians replaced.


political debate

Engelbert Dollfuß auf einer Briefmarke
Engelbert Dollfuss on a stamp

the time of the Austrofaschismus is in particular in Austria very badly regenerated. The material-political processing limps thereby to the historical still to a large extent afterwards.

In particular politiciansand politicians from the numbers of the ÖVP avoid the word „fascism “completely and use instead terms such as Ständestaat (the self-designation of the regime), if it concerns the years 1933 to 1938. Long time was in conservative circles also „the thesis of the divided debt “popular, thosethe Social Democrat a partial debt at the political developments of the 1930er gave and the Austrofaschismus as reaction to it represented. On the part of the Social Democrats before the austrofaschistischen seizure of power one had only decided to proclaim in case of a violent elimination of the parliament the general strike. As Selbiges to 15. March1933 actually happened, were missing even the general strike threatened with before and the social-democratic party leaderses gave themselves further ready to negotiate.

Until today the Austrofaschismus is represented of ÖVP close historians such as Gottfried Karl child man as bulwark against the national socialism, although this thesis already applies for decades as doubtful andintensive co-operation between austrofaschistischen and National Socialist politicians - particularly in the final phase of the regime - to be proven could. Often the subject of political debates is the fact that a picture of the austrofaschistischen Federal Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss in the parliament club of the Austrian people's party hangs. Also that still thatÖVP close standing Austrian Cartellverband lays down annually wreaths/rings at the grave of Engelbert Dollfuss. Until today Dollfuss honour member is in 16 degrees V connections, its successor Schuschnigg brings it briefly on nine honorary memberships.

In the last years however handling becomes more conservative also in the political debateCircles with the austrofaschistischen past increasingly criticizes. An intending service, that the ÖVP in July 2004 on the occasion of 70. Day of death of Engelbert Dollfuss organized, released again a broad political debate, in whose consequence handling of the party was condemned to a large extent with its own past. Neverthelessit gives to today no general phraseology under the political parties, if it concerns the years of the Austrofaschismus. While Dollfuss is still seen of some asa hero chancellor “andmartyrs “, others than „dictator designate him “, „worker murderers “and „Fascist “.

historical classification

the question whether it with the Austrofaschismus one „genuine “ fascism concerned is in particular in the internal-Austrian debate disputed. One does not argue that substantial characteristics of a fascist regime were missing to the system, there it a really understandable ideology,no mass party gave, above all however no mass basis. Likewise also the planned institutions of the Ständestaates remained at best a Torso. The historian Ernst Hanisch speaks for instance of half fascism, in order to characterize the years 1933 to 1938.

From other historians the radical anti-parliamentarism becomes as well asstriking down and suppression by force of the workers' movement in the center posed. Historians such as Jill Lewis assume that, “that the destruction of the democratic institutions operated by the christian-social ones on extinguishing the social-democracy and, as apologetisch stated at the protection of Austria from fascism did not aim “.

Its reference to the catholic social teachings makes the Austrofaschismus a specific form of the Klerikalfaschismus. Ideologically comparably is the Austrofaschismus with in Italian fascism and also in the national socialism existing “Traditionalisti school”, those for instance in Italy von Julius Evola and in the German Reichby Carl Schmitt were represented. There are very clear resemblances at the Franquismus in Spain and the Estado Novo in Portugal.

See also: History of Austria


  • Stephan of new houses (Hrsg.): “We will carry whole work out “- the austrofaschistische coup d'etat 1934, ISBN 3-8334-0873
  • Emmerich Tálos, Wolfgang Neugebauer (Hrsg.):Austrofaschismus. Politics, economics, culture. 1933-1938. 5. Aufl., Lit, Münster and. A. 2005, ISBN 3-8258-7712-4
  • Jill Lewis: Austria: Home resistance, NSDAP and the Christian Social State (in potashes, Aristotle A.: The Facism reader. London/New York)
  • Lucian O. Meysels: The Austrofaschismus -The end of the first republic and its last chancellor. Amalthea, vienna Munich 1992

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