Karl Buresch

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Karl Buresch, 1932
The Buresch cabinet in 1932

Karl Buresch (born October 12, 1878 in Groß-Enzersdorf , Lower Austria , † September 16, 1936 in Vienna ) was a lawyer and Christian social politician.


As a result of the early death of his father, the son of a businessman had to help finance his studies through tutoring. After a traineeship with a Viennese lawyer, Buresch worked as a lawyer in his home community, was elected to the local council in 1909 as a member of the Christian Social Party and was mayor of Groß-Enzersdorf from 1916–1919 . In 1919 Buresch was elected to the constituent National Assembly, from 1920 to 1924 he was a member of the National Council .

In the summer of 1922 Buresch was after the resignation of John Mayer Governor of Lower Austria . He held this position until his appointment as Federal Chancellor in June 1931, as well as from May 1932 to May 1933.

In 1928, when the Home Guard and the Schutzbund deployed in Wiener Neustadt, against the interest of Mayor Anton Ofenböck for a general ban in accordance with Federal Chancellor Ignaz Seipel, he represented the Home Guard's interest in a deployment and also approved the republican deployment at different times and locations Schutzbund , which was carried out with a massive contingent of gendarmerie and military without violence.

In Lower Austria there was cooperation with the Social Democrats until 1934. The relationship between Buresch and his social democratic deputy Oskar Helmer is described as warm. In the period from 1929 to 30 in particular, however, Buresch approached the Heimwehr politically . In connection with the authoritarian tendencies of the time, Buresch started a campaign as Federal Chancellor in 1932 to reinstate the death penalty by means of a referendum. However, it failed due to resistance from the Social Democrats and the as yet uncensored liberal and left press.

The name Buresch was mentioned in connection with a number of financial scandals of the First Republic. The Niederösterreichische Bauernbank , of which Buresch was one of the founding members in 1920, got into serious difficulties in 1924 due to its involvement in the failed wave of speculation against the French franc and ultimately had to be merged with the already weakened Central Bank of the German savings banks . In October 1926 there was a press campaign against Buresch in this context, which also included allegations of personal enrichment.

At the height of the global economic crisis and in the midst of the Creditanstalt catastrophe that broke out in May 1931 , Karl Buresch was entrusted with forming a government after the failure of the initially entrusted politicians Otto Ender and Ignaz Seipel . His government was considered a transitional cabinet. The crisis of Creditanstalt, massive balance of payments problems and the difficult situation of ÖBB occupied the cabinet and were fought with ad hoc measures. In addition, there were domestic political problems, such as the so-called Pfrimer putsch by a Styrian Home Guard leader in September 1931 and the growing agitation of the National Socialists. Buresch's refusal to adhere to an explicitly “German course” ultimately led to the breach of the alliance with the Greater Germans and to Buresch II's minority cabinet , which was seen as even weaker (and as a possible transition to a dictatorship by Ignaz Seipel). The resignation of the Buresch II government at the beginning of May 1932 was influenced by the state elections in Vienna, Lower Austria and Salzburg on April 24, 1932, which had brought with it the gains of the National Socialists, slight losses of the Social Democrats and heavy losses of the bourgeois parties.

After eleven months of chancellorship, Buresch returned to his post as governor and tried, relatively unsuccessfully, to take account of the authoritarian trends of the time. Buresch's policy of consensus was now more in the direction of the National Socialists than the Social Democrats. As finance minister in the authoritarian state (1933–35), Buresch was able to achieve some financial policy successes - for example with the hit loan from 1933. The stability of the currency was bought at the cost of high unemployment.

Also in connection with the so-called Newag scandal of 1932, the name Buresch (1925 to 1933 president of the board of directors of this electricity company) was mentioned. Buresch also got into talk as finance minister in 1933 because of his comparison with the speculator Siegmund Bosel , who owed the postal savings bank about 100 million schillings since the 1920s, and was named as the “taker” in connection with the 1936 Phoenix scandal .

Buresch's last function was that of the governor of the Austrian postal savings bank (from January 1936). Until his death, it was overshadowed by the Phoenix scandal and the Bosel affair, which is now pending in court again. His sudden death has been linked to the resulting depression in many ways. Federal Press Chief Eduard Ludwig spoke in his memoir of an overdose of sedatives.

Buresch was a member of the KHV Welfia Klosterneuburg, then in the CV , today in the ÖCV .


Web links

Commons : Karl Buresch  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Der Tod Buresch 'in the daily press, Editions digitized by the Austrian National LibraryDaily overview of  September 17, 1936 (online at ANNO ).Template: ANNO / Maintenance / keineZtg