Eduard Reut-Nicolussi

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Eduard Reut-Nicolussi

Eduard Reut-Nicolussi (born June 22, 1888 in Trient , Austria-Hungary , † July 18, 1958 in Innsbruck ) was a South Tyrolean lawyer ( international law ) and politician .


Eduard Reut-Nicolussi grew up in Lusern , the language island of the Cimbri on the plateau south of the upper Valsugana in Trentino (then Welschtirol ). He completed high school in Trento and studied in the Tyrolean capital Innsbruck Jus . During the First World War he was an officer in the Austrian Kaiserjäger and was seriously wounded.

In South Tyrol , occupied by Italy, the election for the Constituent National Assembly for German Austria held on February 16, 1919 was not allowed to take place. From constituency 26 (German South Tyrol ) only the political district of Lienz , later called East Tyrol , which belonged to this constituency , could vote; about a ninth of the electorate in the constituency lived there. The National Assembly then took the election results of North Tyrol and the Lienz district as the basis for calculation, and German-South Tyrolean candidates, including Reut-Nicolussi, were "convened" as members of the National Assembly on April 4, 1919.

In this first parliament elected in the republic, State Chancellor Karl Renner reported on September 6, 1919 on the peace conditions dictated to Austria in the Treaty of Saint-Germain , which included the cession of Tyrol south of the Brenner Pass to Italy. Parliament had no choice but to authorize Renner to sign this treaty.

In the passionate debate, determined by the pain of the dictation, Reut-Nicolussi gave a very emotional, sensational speech about the harsh fate of South Tyrol and conjured up the spiritual unity with South Tyrol, which was promised by the top Austrian politicians, and which dealt with the division of the Tyrol and the Foreign rule in South Tyrol will never come to an end.

On November 18, 1919, Reut-Nicolussi resigned from the Austrian parliament and moved to Bozen , where he worked as a lawyer. On May 15, 1921 he was elected to one of the four German-South Tyrolean MPs in the Italian parliament for the “ German Association ” (DV), an amalgamation of the Catholic-conservative “Tyrolean People's Party” and the Greater German “ Freedom Party ”. Reut-Nicolussi was chairman of the DV. In the Italian parliamentary elections in 1921 in South Tyrol, the DV achieved more than 90% of the votes and all mandates to be awarded here.

After the fascists under Benito Mussolini came to power in November 1922, a ruthless policy of Italianization of South Tyrol and the language islands of the Cimbri began, which was largely led by Ettore Tolomei from Rovereto ( Trentino ). At the same time, the pressure on the delegates of South Tyrol increased (including the ban on DV in 1926), so that Reut-Nicolussi had to flee to Innsbruck in an adventurous manner in 1927, where he completed his habilitation at the university there in 1931 in legal philosophy and international law and in the following years up to taught on his retirement.

Reut-Nicolussi caused an international sensation with his pamphlet Tirol unterm Beil , which was directed against the fascist denationalization policy in South Tyrol and published by Beck in 1928, and was reissued in London in 1930 in English as Tyrol under the Ax of Italian Fascism . A series of articles published around the same time in the renowned “ Manchester Guardian ” described Reut-Nicolussi as a Tyrolean Michael Collins .

In the years up to 1938, Reut-Nicolussi was politically active as the head of the "German School Association Südmark", a rather moderate association from the German national environment in contrast to the radically irredentist "Andreas Hofer Bund für Tirol".

After the annexation of Austria in 1938 Reut-Nicolussi allowed against because of his declared opposition National Socialist Alto policy option teach only civil law. At the same time he was active in Tyrolean resistance circles, but without having any lasting effect.

After the end of the Second World War he was an active member of the resistance in the Tyrolean provincial government for a short time, but after it became clear at the Paris Peace Conference in the summer of 1946 that South Tyrol would remain with Italy , he largely withdrew from politics. In May 1946, Reut-Nicolussi was elected chairman of the "Association of South Tyroleans". In 1945 he received a chair for international law and legal philosophy at the University of Innsbruck . In 1951 he became rector of the University of Innsbruck.

Reut-Nicolussi was also a member of the CV connections AV Austria Innsbruck , Traungau Graz , as well as one of the founders of the KAV Rheno-Danubia Innsbruck. From 1947 to 1951 he was President of the Tyrolean Boy Scouts and from 1951 until his death their honorary president.

A street in Innsbruck was named after him.


  • Tirol unterm Beil , Munich, 1928 digitized version (English edition: Tyrol under the Ax of Italian Fascism . Translated by KL Montgomery, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1930)
  • The old Austrian nationality law in Welschtirol , 1930
  • On the problem of the sanctity of contracts. A study of the 'clausula rebus sic stantibus' in international law , 1931
  • Impartiality in International Law , 1940
  • Guide to Oratory , 1949


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Report of the Commission on the Representation of the Occupied Territories and resolution of the Constituent National Assembly of April 4, 1919
  2. ^ Stenographic minutes of the Constituent National Assembly
  3. Archive link ( Memento from February 25, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Hannes Obermair : Danger Zones - the English historian John Sturge Stephens (1891-1954), Italian fascism and South Tyrol . In: Richard Faber u. a. (Ed.): Italian fascism and German-speaking Catholicism . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-8260-5058-9 , p. 138–162, here: p. 152 .