The Heimatblock was a political party in Austria's First Republic from 1930 to 1933. It was the political arm of the bourgeois Heimwehr . As a coalition party of the first Federal Government of Dollfuss , it was significantly involved in the development of the First Republic into an Austro-Fascist corporate state .
After the publication of the militant Linz program of the Social Democratic Workers' Party of German Austria in November 1926, the Heimwehr recorded great growth. Many bourgeois and even non-socialist-minded people feared a domestic political turnaround towards a dictatorship of the proletariat . The events surrounding the fire in the Palace of Justice in 1927 strengthened the members of the Home Guard and with a large parade in Wiener Neustadt in 1928 , strength was confidently demonstrated. The “Austrobolshevism” was accused of preventing “through its terror the will of the majority from being expressed.” As an effective antidote, a constitutional reform was vigorously called for, strengthening state authority, a corporate conception and the repressing of social democratic influence should make sure. The constitutional reform actually carried out by the Schober Federal Government in 1929 strengthened the position of the Federal President , but the other demands of the Home Guard were not met. This represented a severe setback for the movement, which until then had seen itself in a steady upward trend.
The Heimwehr in politics
After Johann Schober's resignation on September 25, 1930, Carl Vaugoin offered the Heimwehr a share in his minority cabinet. Although the federal leadership of the Home Guard at first resolutely rejected this, under pressure from some high state officials it had to agree. On October 1, 1930, Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg became Minister of the Interior and Franz Hueber became Minister of Justice in the Federal Government of Vaugoin . Carl Vaugoin was hoping for an alliance with the influential Heimwehr in the next elections.
The federal leadership considered such an electoral alliance, as well as one with the right-wing parties Großdeutsche Volkspartei , Landbund and the Austrian National Socialists . But there were not enough supporters in the movement and so the demands of the Styrian regional organization were met and their own electoral list, the home block, was drawn up.
Home block: "The political machine gun"
Since the National Council elections were scheduled for November 9, 1930, there was very little time for preparation. The election campaign was marked by utter chaos: the Viennese , Lower Austrian and Burgenland regional associations preferred to run together with the Christian Socials, the Vorarlberg regional association, in accordance with its statutes, abstained from any political participation. Some Heimwehr newspapers had to advertise two lists. The home bloc had - with generous financial support from Benito Mussolini - to improvise an election campaign management, a program and election events in the shortest possible time. The unexpected participation in the previously so extensively criticized party state had to be explained to the members and made palatable. As a group campaigning for entry into parliament, they were emphatically anti-parliamentary.
Finally, the impressive result of 6.2% was achieved, which corresponds to 8 mandates . A ninth mandate was lost due to political inexperience because the Burgenland failed to assert the “right to be taken into account when determining the remaining mandates”. The entry into the National Council made it possible to achieve a basic mandate in Upper Styria. Many workers there were organized in the Independent Trade Union , which was close to the Home Guard .
In terms of large-scale politics, this achieved exactly what one did not want: the home bloc cost the Christian-Social votes and thus played into the hands of the Social Democrats . The new federal government Ender was a coalition of bourgeois parties, the members of the home bloc took place in the National Council on the opposition bench - on the far right and in the uniform of the Home Guard.
Organizationally, a central office was set up at the beginning of 1931, which was to provide the basis for parliamentary activity with six departments, state and district offices. It was managed by Josef Oberegger , with Guido Zernatto as secretary. Due to a lack of money, the position had to be closed again after a short time.
Martial speeches were made at electoral meetings and in newspapers. In the call for elections in the “Heimatschutz Zeitung” it was said that the home block must “conquer the parliament [...] in order to build the new state, the home defense state, on the ruins of the party-political parliament.” In Linz the home guard functionary Karl Gallian called the home block “that political machine gun of the Heimatwehr movement. ”In the parliament, however, internal disputes and quarrels weakened the opposition work, one attracted attention more through loud scenes and fights than through political work.
In the government
When there was a government crisis in 1932 as a result of the bankruptcy of the Creditanstalt für Handel und Gewerbe and the Buresch government had to resign on May 6, 1932 , new elections were on the agenda. Since the NSDAP had already made large profits in state elections in the same year, attempts were made to avoid this on the part of the Christian Socialists. But the Social Democrats and Greater Germans turned down coalition offers, leaving only the home bloc, which, together with the Landbund , helped the newly formed Dollfuss government from May 20th to a majority of just one mandate. In the coalition negotiations, the home bloc had demanded that the Christian social governor of Styria, Anton Rintelen, be an outspoken friend of the Heimwehr, to become chancellor, and in the end they were satisfied that he became Minister of Education. From within his own ranks, Guido Jakoncig became Federal Minister for Trade and Transport.
This government participation had very little support from the base in the Home Guard. The regional leadership of the Styrian Homeland Security even declared their "political independence" on May 19th.
The home bloc was not a pleasant coalition partner, and there were repeated objections to proposals by Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss : In order to agree to the obligations to receive the Lausanne bond , the home bloc was only able to get through after lengthy internal party disputes, but MPs Hainzl and Ebner voted against it. In order to win a majority in the vote, the seriously ill MP Josef Lengauer even had to be carried on a stretcher to vote in the meeting room.
A motion of no confidence by the Greater German People's Party was also supported by two home block members, and it was rejected with 81 to 81 votes. The slim majority made it difficult for the government to pass laws. Sickness of MPs or voting behavior deviating from the party line of individual “home blokes” could decide on success or defeat in the National Council.
The social-democratic Arbeiter-Zeitung therefore demanded before the parliamentary summer break on August 19, 1932: “But in October, when Parliament meets again, either Parliament will have to be dissolved or another government will have to be formed. Because this governance, which depends daily on the mood of Mr. Werner or Mr. Hainzl, is impossible, untenable, unbearable. "
In order to avoid this constant uncertainty, Federal Chancellor Dollfuss found a third way: On October 1, 1932, he used an exceptional law, the War Economic Enabling Act , that was still in place during the monarchy , in order to issue an ordinance on the restructuring of Creditanstalt without a vote in parliament.
Before that, Dollfuss had met in September for confidential talks with the Heimwehr leaders and was visibly impressed by a performance exhibition by the Heimwehr, where they brought several thousand members to Vienna on October 15 and 16.
Also on October 16, during a move by National Socialists in Vienna's 11th district, there was a shootout between Schutzbund , Communists , Nazis and the police, in which four people died and many were seriously injured. As a reaction to this, the government created the new post of State Secretary for Security the very next day and filled it with the leader of the Viennese Homeland Security, Emil Fey . This immediately arranged for the political movements involved in the violence in Vienna to be prohibited from marching.
The Heimwehr liked the authoritarian course of Dollfuss, on November 5, 1932 the "Österreichische Heimatschutzzeitung" adorned the headline: "Confession to Fascism!" And on February 25, 1933: "Away with Parliament!" Seven days later this wish was fulfilled : With the so-called “ self-elimination of parliament ” on March 4, 1933 the way was paved for the dictatorship of Austrofascism . On March 24, Fey imposed on the Social Democratic Party leaves Arbeiter-Zeitung and The Small leaf of the censorship , on March 31, the Welfare Association was dissolved. The traditional march on May 1st was banned.
On May 10th, Emil Fey was appointed security minister and the home guard ideologue Odo Neustädter-Stürmer was appointed state secretary for job creation, labor service, road affairs and tourism. The Patriotic Front was founded on May 20 , not least at the suggestion of Starhemberg. It was conceived as a collective movement in which all political movements except for Austromarximus and National Socialism should be represented. But since the hoped-for fascization of the Fatherland Front did not take place to the extent that large circles in the Heimwehr had hoped for, the relationship to the movement remained contradictory and suspicious.
On September 11, 1933 announced Dollfuss in Trabrennplatz speech the end of the party-state, the rejection of Marxism to create the project a professional body order, a constitutional amendment and target a "social, Christian, German State Austria authoritarian on corporative basis and under strong leadership ".
Thus the Heimwehr was satisfied that their Korneuburg Oath has become a state program. Therefore, there was no longer any need for their own party, and the home block was dissolved on September 27, 1933. Before that, he had joined the Fatherland Front as a corporate member, so that Emil Fey could belong to the new Dollfuss II government as Vice Chancellor . A corporate entry of the Heimwehr into the Fatherland Front was agreed, but a corresponding contract was never signed by Federal Leader Starhemberg - the resistance in the movement, which did not want to give up its position as an independent political force, was too great.
- Walter Wiltschegg: The Heimwehr: an irresistible popular movement? Ed .: Rudolf Neck , Adam Wandruszka (= studies and sources on Austrian contemporary history . No. 7 ). Verlag für Geschichte und Politik, Vienna 1985, ISBN 978-3-7028-0221-9 , pp. 38 .
- Walter Wiltschegg: The Heimwehr: an irresistible popular movement? Ed .: Rudolf Neck, Adam Wandruszka (= studies and sources on Austrian contemporary history . No. 7 ). Verlag für Geschichte und Politik, Vienna 1985, ISBN 978-3-7028-0221-9 , pp. 52, 305-307 .
- Walter Wiltschegg: The Home Guard: an irresistible popular movement? Ed .: Rudolf Neck, Adam Wandruszka (= studies and sources on Austrian contemporary history . No. 7 ). Verlag für Geschichte und Politik, Vienna 1985, ISBN 978-3-7028-0221-9 , pp. 57-60 .
- Hugo Portisch : Austria I: The underestimated republic . Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 1989, ISBN 978-3-218-00485-5 , p. 384 .
- Voters' meeting of the home bloc . In: Tages-Post (evening paper) . tape 67 , no. 83 . Linz April 10, 1931, p. 3 ( Online at ANNO - AustriaN Newspapers Online ).
- Walter Wiltschegg: The Heimwehr: an irresistible popular movement? Ed .: Rudolf Neck, Adam Wandruszka (= studies and sources on Austrian contemporary history . No. 7 ). Verlag für Geschichte und Politik, Vienna 1985, ISBN 978-3-7028-0221-9 , pp. 67-69 .
- Rejection of the Greater German motion of censure . In: New Free Press . No. 24386 . Vienna August 3, 1932, p. 5 ( Online at ANNO - AustriaN Newspapers Online).
- Final work in parliament . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . tape 45 , no. 229 . Vienna August 19, 1932, p. 2 ( Online at ANNO - AustriaN Newspapers Online).
- Hugo Portisch: Austria I: The underestimated republic . Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 1989, ISBN 978-3-218-00485-5 , p. 417 .
- Walter Wiltschegg: The Home Guard: an irresistible popular movement? Ed .: Rudolf Neck, Adam Wandruszka (= studies and sources on Austrian contemporary history . No. 7 ). Verlag für Geschichte und Politik, Vienna 1985, ISBN 978-3-7028-0221-9 , pp. 70-74 .
- march in Vienna . In: New Free Press . No. 24461 . Vienna October 18, 1932, p. 2 ( Online at ANNO - AustriaN Newspapers Online).
- Official part . In: Wiener Zeitung . tape 229 , no. 242 . Vienna October 18, 1932, p. 1 ( Online at ANNO - AustriaN Newspapers Online).
- Robert Kriechbaumer : The great stories of politics: political culture and parties in Austria from the turn of the century to 1945 (= Robert Kriechbaumer, Hubert Weinberger, Franz Schausberger [Hrsg.]: Series of publications of the research institute for political-historical studies of the Dr. Haslauer library . band 12 ). Böhlau, Vienna 2001, ISBN 978-3-205-99400-8 , p. 611 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
- Robert Kriechbaumer: The great stories of politics. Political culture and parties in Austria from the turn of the century to 1945 (= series of publications by the Research Institute for Political-Historical Studies of the Dr. Wilfried Haslauer Library, Salzburg . Volume 12 ). Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2001, ISBN 3-205-99400-0 , p. 292 .