Engelbert Dollfuss

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Engelbert Dollfuss in his uniform as first lieutenant of the Kaiserschützen (1933)

Engelbert Dollfuß (born October 4, 1892 in Texing , Lower Austria , † July 25, 1934 in Vienna ) was an Austrian politician ( CS ). He was Minister of Agriculture from 1931 to 1933 and Federal Chancellor from 1932 to 1934 , ruling as a dictator from March 5, 1933 . Dollfuss was the founder of the Austro-Fascist corporate state .

Having reached the Chancellery in 1932 by democratic means, Dollfuss used a crisis of rules of procedure at the National Council meeting on March 4, 1933 for a coup d'état . After the elimination of Parliament and the Constitutional Court, Dollfuss ruled dictatorially by emergency decree . Close to Italian fascism and the Catholic Church , he rejected National Socialism with German characteristics, the pluralistic democracy guaranteed by the constitution , the democratic constitutional state and social democracy .

During the ultimately unsuccessful July coup of the Austrian National Socialists, he was murdered in the Federal Chancellery in 1934 .



Engelbert Dollfuss was the illegitimate child of the farmer's daughter Josepha Dollfuss and the miller's assistant Josef Wenninger. The house where he was born has been preserved (see section Memorial sites). He grew up in Kirnberg with his foster father Leopold Schmutz.


Engelbert Dollfuß (center) as a clarinetist in the boys' seminar in Oberhollabrunn (1912)

Allegedly, Dollfuss wanted to become a priest as an altar boy. At the intercession of Pastor Simon Veith with Bishop Johann Baptist Schneider , he was granted a scholarship for the prince-archbishop's boys' seminar of the Archdiocese of Vienna in Oberhollabrunn , which he entered in 1904. After repeating the first class, he passed the Matura there in 1913 with good success.

For a few months he entered the Vienna seminary and studied theology , but then switched to studying law in Vienna , which worsened his financial situation - the church support was no longer available. After the outbreak of the First World War , he volunteered for military service in 1914. Because of his height - he was only 1.51 m tall - he was rejected by the commission in Vienna, but declared fit for the military in St. Pölten . He volunteered for the Tyrolean riflemen and was retired from the Brixen officers' school with distinction at the end of 1914 . As the commander of a machine gun division , he fought as a first lieutenant in the reserve on the Italian front . He distinguished himself in October 1916 by successfully defending the Schrimmlerjoch and received a total of eight medals for bravery. Even during the war, positions on the Fleimstal and Lagorai front were referred to as “Dollfuss Cavern” and “Dollfuss Scharte”. After the end of the war, he continued his studies in Vienna in 1918.

After the war, Dollfuss worked for the Invalid Compensation Commission for a short time . In 1919 he became secretary at the farmers' union.

He was a member of the K.Ö.HV Franco-Bavaria Vienna , which at that time was still organized in the Cartellverband (CV). In 1919, Dollfuss co-founded the German student body . Membership in the Cartell Association shaped Dollfuss' political orientation. As leader of the Fatherland Front, Dollfuss filled important offices with members of the Cartell Association. In 1920, Dollfuss, as a representative of Franco-Bavaria, submitted the proposal - which was rejected by a majority in the subsequent vote - that members of the associations must be "of German-Aryan descent, verifiable down to the grandparents", i.e. up to the generation of the grandparents should not have any direct Jewish relatives.

Around 1919/20 Engelbert Dollfuss was also a member of the Catholic-German national German community in Vienna , which also included Arthur Seyß-Inquart , Karl Wache , Robert Hohlbaum , Emmerich Czermak and Hermann Neubacher . This group disbanded in 1930; but in 1934 Dollfuss re-established contact with Seyss-Inquart in order to gain access to the national camp. There were two meetings with Seyss-Inquart in July 1934 in Mattsee and Vienna , immediately before the July coup , in which Dollfuss was murdered.

After Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 (so-called seizure of power ), the German and Austrian CV connections were brought into line. The now National Socialist-dominated top of the CV tried to exclude Dollfuss, who had meanwhile become Chancellor of Austria, from the CV, which led to the Austrian CV connections being separated from the CV and the ÖCV being founded. To show that they stood behind Dollfuss, almost all ÖCV connections made him an honorary member.

Start of political activity

As the farmer's union secretary, he was sent to the University of Berlin for a few months to study . There he met Alwine Glienke (1897–1973), whom he married on New Year's Eve 1921 in Kirnberg. This marriage had two daughters and one son. In 1922 he graduated from the University of Vienna with the promotion to Doctor of Law from.

He began to reform Austrian agriculture, participated in the establishment of the Lower Austrian Chamber of Agriculture , became its secretary in June 1922 and, in 1927, succeeded Anton von Pantz as its director. He ran the establishment of the agricultural cooperatives , which were also promoted after 1934 in the corporate state. Against internal party resistance among the Christian Socials , he achieved the introduction of social insurance for farmers and compulsory unemployment benefits for agricultural wage workers. As a recognized agricultural expert, he took part in international congresses from 1927 and gave guest lectures. On October 1, 1930, he was also elected President of Austria's Federal Railways by the federal government under his party friend Carl Vaugoin . (The later Minister of the Army, Vaugoin, was deported to this office by Dollfuss in 1933.)

Minister and Chancellor

Buresch government (1932). From left, seated: Vaugoin, Winkler, Buresch, Weidenhoffer, Federal President Miklas; standing: Dollfuss, Schuschnigg, Czermak, Resch

Since 1929 the governments in Austria could only last a few months. In the National Council election on November 9, 1930 , the Christian Social Party lost its relative majority in parliament, which made it even more difficult to form a government: The Social Democrats now had a relative majority of 72 seats in front of the Christian Social Party with 66 seats out of a total of 165. On March 18 In 1931, Dollfuss - who had never been elected as a member of the National Council - was accepted into the Christian Social Government of Ender as Minister of Agriculture , and from June 20, 1931 he was a member of the Buresch government , a coalition with the Landbund , in the same function . In order to increase agricultural production, protective tariffs and subsidies for food exports were decided.

In the state elections on April 24, 1932 in Vienna, Lower Austria and Salzburg , the National Socialists won significantly more votes; Großdeutsche , Landbund and Heimatblock no longer achieved mandates. On April 28, 1932, the Social Democrats applied for the dissolution of the National Council , which would have meant new elections. The Buresch government anticipated this by resigning.

On May 10, 1932, Dollfuss was designated as Federal Chancellor by Federal President Wilhelm Miklas and charged with forming a new government. He offered the Social Democrats cooperation, but they demanded new elections. The Greater Germans also rejected a coalition. To prevent new elections, Dollfuss formed a coalition with the Landbund and the Heimatblock on May 20, 1932 , which had 83 of 165 votes in the National Council. In addition to the Chancellery, Dollfuss took over the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture . As the political arm of the Heimwehr, the home bloc received three ministerial posts, although it only had eight members in the National Council. Even as Federal Chancellor, Dollfuss was not a member of the federal leadership of the Christian Social Party.

At that time , as Norbert Schausberger writes, the Alpine republic was “literally a cornerstone of the Italian concept of hegemony in Southeastern and Central Europe. It was believed that ... Dollfuss had found the man for such assignments. “Dollfuss was involved in the inclusion of an Aryan paragraph in the Cartell Association and could count on the full support of the Catholic Church. "The fact that he had never belonged to the National Council as a member of parliament was given a special privilege in the already strongly anti-parliamentary climate of the Christian Social Party."

The high budget deficit was increased by the state liability for the Creditanstalt für Handel und Gewerbe , which had got into a severe crisis . On July 15, 1932, Dollfuss was able to obtain a League of Nations loan of 300 million schillings in Lausanne , which was linked to a 20-year ban on annexation to Germany . In the National Council, the loan was accepted with a majority of one vote on August 17, 1932; in the Federal Council , Social Democrats and Greater Germans, who had the majority there, voted against this treaty and thus vetoed it . Finally, the law was passed by the National Council on August 23, 1932 with 82 votes against 80. In the same month, two predecessors of Dollfuss, Ignaz Seipel and Johann Schober, died .

In contrast to their domestic political opposition to Dollfuss, the Social Democrats got the French Socialists to approve this loan, so that it actually came about in 1933. Since considerable parts of the money had to be used to cover old debts, only 70 million schillings were left for the actual renovation purposes.

In October 1932, Dollfuß bypassed parliament with the War Economic Enabling Act of 1917 in order to reorganize the Creditanstalt.

When the home bloc threatened to leave the coalition and demanded an additional government post, Dollfuss made the Greater Germans a new coalition offer. Since it was refused again, he appointed Emil Fey , the national leader of the Vienna Home Guard, on October 17, 1932, as State Secretary for Security. Fey banned all gatherings and marches of the Social Democrats, Communists and National Socialists. During the parliamentary debate on this subject, Dollfuss and Otto Bauer insulted each other as “Bolsheviks” and “traitors”.

Elimination of parliament

The railway strike that began on March 1, 1933 was the occasion for an urgent meeting of the National Council on March 4. Irregularities in the vote and a debate on the rules of procedure led to the resignation of the three parliamentary presidents and thus to the fact that the National Council had no quorum, which could easily have been remedied at the next session by electing new parliamentary speakers. Dollfuss, however, coined the term “ parliament's self-shutdown ” and said at a farmers' rally in Villach that parliament had made itself impossible . The Bundesrat , the regional chamber of parliament, was not affected by this development and was active until February 1934.

Engelbert Dollfuss in Geneva (1933)

Dollfuss offered the Christian-Social Federal President Wilhelm Miklas his resignation, but was charged with the continuation of government affairs. In an appeal to the Austrian people on March 7, 1933, he proclaimed: “There is no state crisis!”, Introduced press censorship and banned marches and gatherings. Again he relied on the War Economic Enabling Act.

The attempt by the opposition and the third President of the National Council, Sepp Straffner , to continue the National Council meeting on March 15 and to close it properly was prevented by the police by force of arms. Likewise, the Dollfuss government switched off the Constitutional Court on May 23, 1933 by preventing full assembly. Dollfuss thus ended the previously constitutionally valid democratic separation of powers by eliminating the legislature and the judiciary .

First of all, the Christian Socialists stated that they only wanted to rule in an authoritarian manner for a while and that they wanted to change the rules of procedure of the National Council and reform the constitution in negotiations with the opposition. However, serious discussions about it never took place. The Dollfuss government dissolved the Republican Schutzbund on March 31, 1933 and the Communist Party of Austria on May 26, 1933 by ordinances. ( For further measures see: Austrofascism and corporate state )

After Adolf Hitler became German Chancellor on January 30, 1933 , the National Socialist Party (NSDAP) in Austria increased its activities and demanded participation in the government. In May 1933 there were negotiations on Mussolini's advice, but they failed because Dollfuss still did not want to hold the required new elections and the Austrian NSDAP was exercising brute opposition. The NSDAP responded with terrorist attacks, which is why this party was banned on June 19. Their leadership withdrew to Bavaria; Supporters of the National Socialists smeared public buildings with Nazi slogans, ridiculed Dollfuss as a millimeter scale and carried out other attacks.

Dollfuss searched on April 13, 1933 and in June in Rome and on 19/20. August in Riccione with Benito Mussolini support against Germany. During these talks, Mussolini demanded more and more clearly that the party state be abolished. Dollfuss hesitated at first, but announced on September 11, 1933, as part of the German Catholic Day on the Trabrennplatz in Vienna, the goal of establishing a “social, Christian, German state of Austria on a class basis and strong authoritarian leadership”. It was not apparent to the general public that this was not an event of the Catholic Day. Since Dollfuss relied on Pope Pius XI in the planned corporate state . and whose social encyclical called Quadragesimo anno , he was supported by the Catholic Church.

During a government reshuffle on September 20, 1933, Carl Vaugoin and Franz Winkler , who disagreed with Dollfuss (without being democrats), had to leave the government, and the Heimwehr leader Emil Fey became vice chancellor . Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg dissolved the home block and joined the patriotic front with the Heimwehr . This unity party was founded on May 20th as a political organization "of all Austrians who think, feel and act in a patriotic way".

On October 3, 1933, Dollfuss was slightly injured by two gunshots by the National Socialist Rudolf Drtil, who had been an army soldier shortly before and was ambushing him in the parliament building. The assassin "was sentenced to five years in prison, taking into account 'mental inferiority'". On November 10, 1933, the Dollfuss government introduced the standing trial with the death penalty .

Dollfuss gradually restricted the power of the Social Democrats. Although they threatened violent resistance, they feared a civil war and a complete breakup and therefore decided not to go on strike. Up until February 1934 there were several negotiations between the Dollfuss government and the Social Democrats. In October 1933, Karl Renner offered recognition of the professional constitution, but demanded that the National Council be convened. Dollfuss, on the other hand, wanted to persuade the unions to join the Fatherland Front. These negotiations often failed just before an agreement was reached.

Dollfuss tried to take the wind out of Hitler's sails by making his government “more nationalistic than the National Socialists and propagating a national mission as the 'second German state'.” Schausberger wrote: “Not even in Austria was it understood that this was happening the Federal Chancellor used German national motives to prevent the Anschluss. “But Dollfuss did not see the main enemy in the NSDAP, but still in the social democracy.

Civil war and ban on the Social Democrats

The Heimwehr, whose aim was the suppression of what they called “Austro- Bolshevism ”, and above all Emil Fey, called increasingly loudly for more radical action against the Social Democrats and for the state governments to be replaced by government commissioners. The Italian Undersecretary of State Fulvio Suvich also urged in January 1934 that the democratic rubble be removed .

According to Schausberger, Federal President Miklas, who quoted Ludwig Jedlicka , warned Dollfuss in a letter on January 6, 1934 not to make “exaggerated decisions” against the Social Democrats. They would defend themselves against it and thus would not be won over to the state, but would be driven into the arms of National Socialism.

The Dollfuss government had targeted searches for weapons depots belonging to the banned Republican Schutzbund ; At the beginning of February 1934, its leaders were arrested and house searches of social democratic politicians were carried out. When the Linz party home of the Social Democrats was to be searched by the police on February 12, 1934 , there was armed resistance and, until February 15, civil war-like clashes between the armed forces and the Home Guard on the one hand and the Republican Protection Association on the other. The home army and the armed forces were able to win the battles militarily ( see Austrian Civil War ), all the more easily since the uprising against the dictatorship only took place very selectively.

On the afternoon of the first day of the uprising, February 12, 1934, the Social Democratic Party was banned. The leaders of the Republican Schutzbund were arrested and some of those who were directly involved in the uprising were executed, which Dollfuss earned under the Social Democrats as the term "worker murderer", which is still used today. Justice Minister and Dollfuss successor Schuschnigg was directly involved in the process. Some leaders of the social democrats like Otto Bauer or Julius Deutsch fled to Czechoslovakia, other prominent social democrats like Karl Seitz and Theodor Körner were imprisoned.

On March 17, 1934, Dollfuss, the Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Gömbös and Mussolini signed the “ Roman Protocols ” in Rome , with which Austria bound itself even more closely to Hungary and to fascist Italy.

On April 27, the National Council was convened again without the deputies of the banned SDAPÖ - a gesture in the direction of democratic foreign countries. The rump parliament approved the 461 emergency ordinances issued so far and “decided” a new constitution, which came into force on May 1, 1934 (so-called “May constitution ”). Dollfuss declared this day the new national holiday, which deliberately replaced May Day in its previous form. The corporate state constitution, however, had already been adopted and published by the Dollfuss government with reference to the War-Economics Enabling Act "in the name of God the Almighty". Federal President Miklas as the guardian of the constitution did not fall into the arms of Dollfuss.

Death during the July coup

A Nazi coup attempt that had been prepared for a long time took place on July 25, 1934. The putschists were able to occupy the broadcasting headquarters in Vienna and the Federal Chancellery , where Dollfuss was still after he had sent his ministers away for security reasons.

The Chancellor was shot once and bled to death by Otto Planetta and another putschist, from whom he tried to escape, because the putschists refused to give him medical attention. His body was examined by the coroner Anton Werkgartner . The putschists had expected that after Dollfuss' elimination, substantial parts of the armed forces would be transferred to them and that they would be able to determine the further development until the early annexation to Germany. The “ July coup ” was unsuccessful because the other members of the government were able to flee the Federal Chancellery and the armed forces remained loyal. Arrested shortly after the crime, Planetta was sentenced to death by a military tribunal and executed. During the Nazi era he was called a martyr. According to Rudolf Kiszling, Air Force officer Rudolf Prochaska fired the second shot - from a weapon with a different caliber . Historian Kurt Bauer assumes that Dollfuss' death was an accident; the fatal shot was probably released unintentionally.


Journalistic and scientific reception

Shortly after his death, the hagiographical style of Kanzler Dollfuß by the journalist and later ÖVP politician Hans Maurer appeared .

Karl Kraus

Karl Kraus was one of the most feared critics of the interwar period in Austria and used to "take care of" important opponents in his journal Die Fackel . The police chief Johann Schober , who was responsible for the excessively excessive police operation of July 15, 1927 , called on posters to resign. The Social Democrats therefore expected that he would take a critical stance on Dollfuss' coup d'état in 1933 and the February uprising in 1934.

Kraus did not mention the elimination of the National Council in No. 888 of the torch of October 1933, the first booklet published after the event. The booklet closed with the poem I stay silent , which ends with the line “The word fell asleep when that world awoke” and referred to Hitler's accession to Germany. In No. 889 of July 1934, Kraus mentioned that he had been criticized for keeping quiet about Hitler. In No. 890–905, at the end of July 1934, Kraus declared that he had decided in favor of Dollfuss as the “lesser evil” (p. 176) and against the “leading article writer of doom, Mr. Otto Bauer” (p. 179). "Against everything that is incompatible with humanity, the church's resistance seems more permanent, more courageous and more promising than that of free-thinking" (p. 183). Kraus claimed that Dollfuss and not Bauer fulfilled the definition of politics as the “art of the possible” (p. 241).

Many of Kraus' previous followers accused him of “devotion to clericofascism”. In the following four editions of the torch, Kraus dealt almost exclusively with theater issues . It was not until February 1936, in No. 917–922 (pp. 102 f.), That he commented on the criticism of his Dollfuss apology which was continuing in democratic countries : Dollfuss compromise? Thanks to Dollfuss! Admiration of the living, whose deeds and sacrifices meanwhile saved the lives of the stubborn and nailed-up like those worthless who dare to revile him in death! This edition of the torch was the last before Kraus' death in June 1936.

Gordon Brook-Shepherd

A biography marked by the admiration of Dollfuss was published in 1961 by Gordon Brook-Shepherd under the title Dollfuss . Dollfuss is described as ambitious, easily excitable and determined; he was filled with a high sense of mission. Personally, he lived modestly and was very generous.

Friedrich Heer

Friedrich Heer referred to Dollfuss in his work on Austrian identity in 1981 . This was socialized before the First World War, when German nationalism with its tendency towards "brutal power politics" was leading at Austria's high schools and universities. In the inter-war period, the Christian Socials had hoped for an “Austrian leader, if possible from the people, that is, the rural people”; Dollfuss met this expectation more than the “icy Seipel ”, “the child from the people ... in whom a completely unreflected belief lived”. Dollfuss “experienced himself as an officer on the South Tyrolean front as a German”; “Greater Germans and other German believers” felt that he was a good German. "Hitler's belief in his Holy Reich of the Germans corresponds to a specifically Austrian Catholic-intellectual belief in the 'Holy Reich'."

In 1933/34 Dollfuss wanted to come into contact with Hitler after the army; Schuschnigg and others had negotiated on his behalf on October 31, 1933 in Munich with the Fuehrer's deputy Rudolf Hess . Franz Langoth , mayor of Linz during the Nazi era, described Dollfuss' basic attitude as "national" and meant that this could be partly due to his Reich German wife Alwine. If Dollfuss had not been murdered, according to Langoth's memoirs published in 1951, "an understanding and pacification would have come about in 1934". On behalf of Dollfuss at the end of April 1934, Johannes Messner spoke at a Catholic conference about the German people in Austria and about the “innermost bond between the German being and the Catholic worldview”.

Eva Dollfuss

In 1994 a biography written by Dollfuss' daughter Eva was published. The text was also accused of stylizing Dollfuss as the first resistance fighter against National Socialism due to the title chosen by the publisher, Mein Vater, Hitler’s First Victim .

Gudula Walterskirchen

The historian Gudula Walterskirchen , who published a Dollfuss biography in 2004 (see section Literature), complained in 2009 that the public was being given a “stereotyped picture of Dollfuss”; the historians are still not in a position to discuss this politician professionally, i.e. objectively: "It does not fit into the image of the 'workers murderer' that he has enforced social insurance for farm workers." The League of Nations loan that led to the collapse Had been turned away by big banks, Dollfuss had to prevail against the resistance of the Social Democrats. Nor does the Dollfuss picture fit “that he fought bitterly against National Socialism and was finally murdered by the Nazis”.

Walterskirchen believes that Dollfuss' exclusively negative portrayal should distract from the fact that the Social Democrats essentially "left the fight against National Socialism to others, such as communists and legitimists ". The frequent non-distinction on the social democratic side between the corporate state and National Socialism and their summary under the term fascism is “deliberate falsification of history”.

Lucile Dreidemy, however, regards Walterskirchen's work on Dollfuss as legitimistic and glorifying Dollfuss.

Erika Weinzierl, Kurt Skalnik

The opinion is often expressed that Dollfuss decisively weakened the resistance against National Socialism by eliminating the labor movement and pushing the Social Democrats underground. Weinzierl still attributes Dollfuss himself to the resistance.

Joachim Riedl

The assessment of Dollfuss' regime still fluctuates very strongly today. While Dollfuss is seen by some as a "hero chancellor" and "martyr" because of his resistance to National Socialism, others refer to him as "worker murderers" and " fascists ", which is also reflected in the discussion about the designation of this era as the "corporate state" or " Austrofascism ”is reflected.

Gottfried-Karl Kindermann

Kindermann emphasizes that Dollfuss was not historically significant as Hitler's first victim, but as his first opponent in Europe. In the month before his death, he literally declared that National Socialism was a criminal system based on a criminal ideology. No other head of government in Europe at the time had found such clear words.

Other voices

According to the historian Dietrich Binder, his actions against the Social Democrats strengthened the National Socialists. Dollfuss' achievements as an agricultural specialist are undisputed. With the chambers of agriculture and the cooperatives, he created organizations that still exist today.

Political reception

Bruno Kreisky

Bruno Kreisky recalled in his 1986 memoir that Dollfuss seemed to him in 1929 “initially to be one of those personalities with whom, under normal conditions, an acceptable cooperation between the opposition and the government could have been established”.

At that time, he wrote on his Matura thesis about the economy of the First Republic and, on the recommendation of Benedikt Kautsky, came to the then director of the Chamber of Agriculture, described by Kautsky as a “very knowledgeable and sociable man”. Dollfuss actually received him and when asked about a short history of Austrian agriculture, he said: “You are a social democrat; I consider the introduction to the agricultural program of the Social Democrats, which Otto Bauer wrote under the title Struggle for Forests and Pastures , to be the most concentrated presentation of Austrian agriculture . "

Kreisky recalled that Dollfuss “aroused strong sympathy and a special kind of devotion among his followers”. And he judged: “Dollfuss decided in 1934 to rely on the rulers in fascist Italy and foregoing alternatives. The incredible friendship with Mussolini made him an accomplice of fascism. ”He recalled that Dollfuss“ had confidential talks with the 'National Inspector' of the NSDAP for Austria, Theo Habicht 'at the beginning of May 1933, ”which was in line with his“ image of the' steadfast enemy Hitler's' “contradict. Dollfuss and Hitler could have "definitely come together politically - similar to Hitler and the Catholic Franz von Papen ". In any case, the "'Dollfuss-Strasse', as the establishment of the corporate state was called, ... inevitably had to lead to Hitler".

Otto Habsburg-Lothringen

In November 2007 Habsburg commented on his position on the Dollfuss coup d'état . He had “infinitely respected Dollfuss. The man was brave, ready to stand up for Austria to the last resort. At that time I saw everything from this perspective: We must preserve Austria. ”He also had“ no ”problem with the dissolution of parliament and the ban on parties and unions:“ When it comes to the country, I'm ready for anything. "

In a speech about Austria at the invitation of the ÖVP parliamentary club in March 2008, Habsburg said of Dollfuss: “There is no other country in Europe that has had a chancellor who died in the battle against Hitler. We should be proud of that too. "


A memorial service organized by the Austrian People's Party in July 2004 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Engelbert Dollfuss death, and a Dollfuss portrait hanging in the rooms of the ÖVP parliamentary club , which was ultimately kept there until 2017, sparked a debate about the commemoration Dollfuss. Finally, a plaque with explanatory text was attached to the portrait.

In November 2014, the former President of the ÖVP National Council, Andreas Khol , declared that there was no “Dollfuss myth” in the bourgeois camp today, and above all criticized the relevant theses of the historian Lucile Dreidemy : “Today's ÖVP sees Dollfuss as an authoritarian government dictator as well as the corporate state critical. His fight against National Socialism, however, is positively appreciated. While leading socialists like Karl Renner publicly campaigned for the Anschluss and then comfortably survived the war with a state pension, Christian socialists had to suffer in the concentration camp for their fight against Hitler. "

On July 19, 2017, the ÖVP announced that several of its pictures, for which there was no space in the parliamentary alternative quarter, had been given to the Lower Austrian State Museum on permanent loan, including the Dollfuss portrait.

Austrian Cartel Association

The Cartell Association of Catholic German Student Associations , to which Dollfuss' association also belonged, was subject to Nazi conformity in the German Reich from 1933. The Austrian connections, which were requested by the Reich to expel Dollfuss and Carl Vaugoin , withdrew from the association; many accepted Dollfuss as an honorary member. On July 10, 1933, the independent Austrian Cartel Association was founded.

According to Lucile Dreidemy, Dollfuss' connection has made a decisive contribution to cultivating the Dollfuss cult to this day .

Catholic Church

The Diocese of Linz distanced itself on the occasion of the debate about a memorial plaque on the Linz Mariendom von Dollfuß. In 2007, the St. Pölten Bishop Klaus Küng had a Dollfuss picture put up in the St. Pölten Church of Our Lady of the Mount Carmel (Prandtauerkirche).

Wolfgang bowl

Wolfgang Schüssel , ÖVP, said in relation to Dollfuss: "It was a dramatic mistake to turn off parliament".

Werner Faymann

In 2010, the Federal Chancellery under Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann canceled the commemorative mass for Dollfuss, which had been held annually in his chapel until then, and instead held a commemorative mass for all deceased Chancellors and employees of the Federal Chancellery.

Debate over street names

In 2012 there was an unsuccessful debate in Mank , a neighboring community of Dollfuss' birthplace Texing, about the Dr.-Dollfuss-Platz located there , the last traffic area in Austria named after Dollfuss.

Dollfuss song

The author Rudolf Henz wrote on behalf of Dollfuss' successor Kurt Schuschnigg for the uniformed state youth the song you boys, close the ranks well! , commonly referred to as the Dollfuss song . The song should be used against the Horst Wessel song of the National Socialists. It was performed in 1936–1938 immediately after the national anthem, Be blessed without end, sung to the Haydn melody (like the Deutschlandlied) . The first stanza read:

You boys, close the ranks well!
A dead one leads us.
He gave his blood for Austria
A true German man.
The killer bullet that hit him
it tore the people out of quarrel and sleep.
We boys are ready!
With Dollfuss into the new time!

According to Peter Diem , the melody comes from Alois Dostal (1878–1953). Lyricist and composer performed under the pseudonym Austriacus . It was attributed by the National Socialists to Hermann Leopoldi , who was held in Dachau concentration camp until Rudolf Henz confirmed that Leopoldi had nothing to do with the song.

Memorial sites

The Catholic Action for Tyrol issued prayer slips with the inscription "Dollfuss is among the saints we are allowed to pray to".

In the 15th district of Vienna is the Christ the King's Church , built in 1933/1934 , in whose crypt the sarcophagi of Chancellors Seipel and Dollfuss were buried from September 29, 1934 until the beginning of the National Socialist rule in Austria (both were buried in January 1939 by the Nazi regime Cemeteries transferred); the church was called the Seipel-Dollfuss-Gedächtniskirche in the corporate state , the square around the church was called Kanzlerplatz (today Burjanplatz or Kriemhildplatz ).

Dollfuss' grave has been in the Hietzinger Friedhof (group 27, number 12) in Vienna since 1939 , where it was located in August / September 1934 until the consecration of the Christ the King's Church. As a commission appointed by City Councilor for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny discovered in 2012, the grave was never dedicated to the city of Vienna as an honorary grave, as has often been wrongly assumed. Today it is listed in the new category of historical graves , which was decided by the culture committee of the Vienna City Council on September 4, 2012.

The fate of Engelbert Dollfuss is documented in detail in the Vienna Army History Museum (Room VII - “Republic and Dictatorship”). The following objects are on display: a portrait of Tom von Dreger (1868–1948); the bench from the Chancellor's office on which he died; a piece of the bloody shirt that Dollfuss wore on the day of his murder, as well as his death mask.

In the municipality of Texingtal , the Dollfuss Museum has been located in the house where he was born since 1998. It was set up with the support of the ÖVP farmers' union , the Lower Austrian provincial government and the Minister of Education, Elisabeth Gehrer , and opened by Governor Erwin Pröll . Next to the entrance to this mixture of local history museum and pilgrimage site , Dollfuss is described on a plaque as Austria's innovator .

In the parish church of St. Jakob in Defereggen in East Tyrol, Dollfuss can be seen on a dome fresco by Johann Baptist Oberkofler painted in 1934/1935 , together with Emperor Karl I and the Heimwehr leaders Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg and Emil Fey adoring the crucified. The Engelbertkirche Hohe Wand with a Dr. Dollfuß memorial in the municipality of Hohe Wand in Lower Austria is one of the other memorials .

There is a memorial plaque on the outer wall of the local chapel in Nodendorf . At the local chapel of Geitzendorf (Korneuburg district) the mayor at the time spoke the supposed last words of Dollfuss' "I just wanted peace." May the Lord forgive others. † on July 25, 1934 my Austria ”attached. During the National Socialist era , the inscription was covered, today it can be seen again.


In addition to documentary films, Dollfuss rarely appears in fictional films:


  • The chamber system in agriculture in Austria . Agrarverlag, Vienna 1929.
  • Engelbert Dollfuss, Hans Walter: The old age welfare pension in the country u. Forestry in Austria. Instructions for Upper Austria . Agrarverlag, Vienna 1929.
  • Rudolf Mertha, Engelbert Dollfuss: Social insurance in agriculture in Austria as of the end of March 1929 . Agrarverlag, Vienna 1929.
  • The Führer Federal Chancellor Dr. Dollfuss for the celebration of the reconstruction. 3 speeches. May 1, 1934 . Austrian Federal Press Service, Vienna 1934.
  • Anton Tautscher (Ed.): So spoke the Chancellor. Dollfuss' legacy. From his speeches . Baumgartner, Vienna 1935.
  • Edmund Weber (Hrsg.): Dollfuss an Oesterreich. One man's word and goal . Reinhold, Vienna 1935.
  • Wolfgang Maderthaner (Ed.): "I am the leader myself." Engelbert Dollfuss - Benito Mussolini. Correspondence . Löcker, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-85409-393-4 .


Individual evidence

  1. Karin Liebhart: Austrian patriot and "true German man". On the mythization of the politician Engelbert Dollfuß. In: Michael Achenbach, Karin Moser (Hrsg.): Austria in picture and sound. The weekly film show of the Austro-fascist corporate state. Filmarchiv Austria, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3901932186 , pp. 237–258, here: p. 248.
  2. ^ Heinz Lichem: Mountain War 1915–1918. Volume 2, 1981, p. 238.
  3. Brook-Shepherd, pp. 33-34.
  4. Gorden Brook-Shepherd: Dollfuss, p. 15.
  5. Brook-Shepherd, p. 86.
  6. Harald Lönnecker : The assembly of the "better National Socialists"? The Völkischer Waffenring (VWR) between anti-Semitism and corporate elitism. In: burschenschaftsgeschichte.de. 2003, p. 7 ( PDF; 260 kB ).
  7. Kurt Bauer : Correction: No, Andreas Khol!  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 48 kB) In: Die Presse . March 12, 2005.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.kurt-bauer-geschichte.at  
  8. Gerhard Hartmann: For God and Fatherland. History and work of the CV in Austria. Lahn-Verlag, Kevelaer 2006, pp. 354–365.
  9. ↑ Election of the National Council on November 9, 1930 (PDF; 6.2 MB)
  10. cf. see the list of NR deputies on the parliament website
  11. ^ Spitzer, p. 124.
  12. Norbert Schausberger: The grip on Austria. The connection. Jugend und Volk, Vienna / Munich 1978, ISBN 3-7141-6532-0 , p. 202.
  13. Norbert Schausberger: The grip on Austria. The connection. Jugend und Volk, Vienna / Munich 1978, ISBN 3-7141-6532-0 , p. 207.
  14. Arbeiter-Zeitung of October 23, 1932.
  15. a b Stephan Neuhäuser (ed.): We'll do a great job ... The Austro-fascist coup d'état in 1934 . BOD, Norderstedt 2004, pp. 173-178.
  16. Friedrich Weissensteiner: The unloved state . ÖBV, Vienna 1990, p. 232.
  17. Dusek et al.: Contemporary history in outline. Austria since 1918 . Vienna 1988, pp. 199f.
  18. ^ Gerhard Botz: Forms and Intensity of Political-Social Conflicts in the First and Second Republic. In: Austriaca. Special number 3, 1979, pp. 427-464.
  19. Tálos, Manoschek : On the constitutional process of Austrofascism. In: Tálos, Neugebauer (ed.) Austrofaschismus. 5th edition. Lit Verlag, Vienna 2005, pp. 31–52.
  20. alternative spelling: Rudolf Dertil, s. Austria Forum
  21. ^ Rudolf Spitzer: Karl Seitz. Orphan - President - Mayor of Vienna. For the 125th birthday. Franz Deutike, Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-7005-4643-2 , p. 116.
  22. Norbert Schausberger: The grip on Austria. The connection. Jugend und Volk, Vienna / Munich 1978, ISBN 3-7141-6532-0 , p. 264.
  23. Norbert Schausberger: The grip on Austria. The connection. Jugend und Volk, Vienna / Munich 1978, ISBN 3-7141-6532-0 , p. 267.
  24. Clemens Staudinger: For Raiffeisen, Dollfuss is still the innovative Federal Chancellor: “landlord's rights” and “self-defense”. In: Augustin . Vienna, No. 324, June 27–24. July 2012, p. 6.
  25. Gustav Spann: On the history of the Austrian national holiday. (PDF) Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Sport. Political Education Department, p. 3 , accessed on April 12, 2020 .
  26. ^ German newspaper of July 26, 1934.
  27. ^ Dollfuss murder: The second assassin. In: Courier . December 21, 2014, accessed October 4, 2017 .
  28. Historians: Hitler ordered the July coup in 1934 , science.orf.at, November 19, 2014.
  29. One of the effects of the assassination attempt was a drastic deterioration in Italian-German relations with a year-long press war against Hitler's Germany triggered by Mussolini. See: Jobst C. Knigge : German-Italian Ice Age. The press war July 1934 to May 1935 (=  writings on historical research of the 20th century. Volume 16). Dr. Kovač, Hamburg 2017, ISBN 978-3-8300-9670-2 .
  30. Book Review: Dollfuss by Gordon Brook-Shepherd. In: Political Science. March 1963. Vol. 15 no. 1, pp. 69a-72.
  31. ^ Gordon Brook-Shepherd, p. 223.
  32. ^ Friedrich Heer : The struggle for the Austrian identity. Hermann Böhlaus Nachf., Vienna / Cologne / Graz 1981, ISBN 3-205-07155-7 , p. 375.
  33. Heer, p. 386 f.
  34. Heer, p. 392.
  35. Heer, p. 390.
  36. The Dollfuss Syndrome. In: The Standard. July 31, 2009.
  37. Lucile Dreidemy: Really Hitler's First Victim? In: The Standard. July 24, 2009.
  38. Gudula Walterskirchen: Dollfuss, the historians and party politics. In: The press . July 25, 2009.
  39. Lucile Dreidemy: "Learn from history ... and fight against the red front!" Engelbert Dollfuss Museum in Texingtal, Lower Austria. In: Dirk Rupnow , Heidemarie Uhl (Hrsg.): Exhibiting contemporary history in Austria. Museums - memorials - exhibitions. Böhlau, Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-205-78531-6 , pp. 369-392.
  40. Erika Weinzierl , Kurt Skalnik (Ed.): Austria 1918–1938. History of the First Republic. Styria, Graz / Vienna 1983, ISBN 3-222-11456-0 , Volume 1, p. 133.
  41. Peter Utgaard: Remembering and Forgetting Nazism. Education, National Identity, and the Victim Myth in Postwar Austria. Berghahn Books, New York City 2003, p. 111.
  42. Joachim Riedl: Workers Murderers or Martyrs? The controversy surrounding the role of Engelbert Dollfuss is still dividing the camps. In: The time . Hamburg, No. 30, July 21, 2011, Austria edition, p. 11.
  43. Gottfried-Karl Kindermann: Subject: "Really Hitler's first victim?" By Lucile Dreiedemy . In: The Standard . August 8, 2009, p. 30 ( article online on Albert Steinhauser's website ).
  44. 1938 - "Anschluss Österreichs" - Prehistory, Events and Consequences. In: www.oe-journal.at. March 14, 2008, accessed on October 3, 2017 (short version of a lecture by Kindermann on March 11, 2008).
  45. ^ Dollfuss: Murderer or Martyr. ( Memento from September 24, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: Kleine Zeitung. July 21, 2010.
  46. Bruno Kreisky : Between the Times. Memories from five decades. Siedler Verlag and Kremayr & Scheriau, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-88680-148-9 , p. 207.
  47. ^ Kreisky: Between the Times, p. 286.
  48. Kreisky: Between the Times, p. 210 ff.
  49. ^ Kreisky: Between the Times, p. 265.
  50. Otto Habsburg: "I knew them all". In: Die Presse , November 9, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
  51. Report ( Memento of the original from March 14, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. of ORF , accessed on March 11, 2008. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / orf.at
  52. hotly controversial: How did Dollfuss get into the ÖVP club? In: The press. Vienna, July 4, 2009.
  53. ^ Dollfuss victims: ÖVP is for "individual examination". In: The press. Vienna, February 11, 2010.
  54. Dollfuss portrait in the ÖVP club gets information board. In: The Standard . (Online edition), Vienna, July 23, 2014.
  55. The aftermath of the Dollfuss myth. In: Österreichischer Rundfunk . (Online edition), Vienna, November 19, 2014.
  56. Dollfuss today: No trace of cult or myth. In: The press. November 28, 2014.
  57. ^ ÖVP parliamentary club will in future be without a Dollfuss portrait , ORF report dated July 19, 2017
  58. Lucile Dreidemy: Learn from history ... and fight against the red front. In: Dirk Rupnow, Heidemarie Uhl (Hrsg.): Exhibiting contemporary history in Austria. Böhlau, Vienna 2011, p. 384.
  59. Commentary on the controversial Dollfuss memorial plaque in Linz Cathedral , ORF Online, November 8, 2006.
  60. Dollfuß altarpiece is hung. In: The Standard. Vienna, January 28, 2007.
  61. ^ Chancellery: For the first time no Dollfuss fair. In: The press. Vienna, July 7, 2010.
  62. ^ Commemorative mass not (only) for Dollfuss. In: The Standard. Vienna, July 7, 2010.
  63. ^ Dispute over the last Dollfuss place. In: The Standard. Vienna, May 4, 2012.
  64. ^ Austria Forum
  65. ^ Army: The struggle for the Austrian identity. P. 402.
  66. New category for existing graves of honor. ( Memento from October 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  67. ^ Manfried Rauchsteiner , Manfred Litscher (Ed.): The Army History Museum in Vienna . Graz / Vienna 2000, p. 78.
  68. Lucile Dreidemy: Cult of the dead for a dictator. A sworn community continues to pay homage to its "hero chancellor" Engelbert Dollfuss. In: The time . Hamburg, No. 30, July 21, 2011, Austria edition, p. 10 f.
  69. Lucile Dreidemy: Cult of the dead for a dictator. A sworn community continues to pay homage to its "hero chancellor" Engelbert Dollfuss. In: The time . Hamburg, No. 30, July 21, 2011, Austria edition, p. 11.

Web links

Commons : Engelbert Dollfuß  - Collection of images, videos and audio files