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Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press

Nazism and the Radical Right in Austria 1918-1934


This volume offers a comparative analysis of the two most important radical right-wing movements in Austria during the interwar period: Heimwehr and NSDAP. The book examines the movements from their emergence until they were incorporated into the existing power apparatus (Heimwehr) or forbidden (NSDAP). The analysis ends in 1934 after democracy was disabled, when the Austrian labour movement was violently put down and the NSDAP vainly made an attempted coup.

The author concludes that even though both the Heimwehr and NSDAP strained the democratic institutions they were not responsible for the eventual collapse of Austrian democracy. The main perpetrator was the Christian Social Party (Christlichsoziale Partei – CSP), which chose to abandon democracy to avoid handing over power or to share the power on other terms than its own. Later attempts to blame either the right-wing movements or to devise the idea of a “shared guilt” between the CSP and the Social Democrats should not deter from the facts. The Heimwehr was a project of the CSP – no matter how fervent it has tried to distance itself from it afterwards. The destruction of democracy paved the way for the smooth and successful Anschluss of Austria into the German Reich in March 1938.

Drawing on important archival material, this well-researched study is important reading for anyone interested in the interwar period and the machinations fermenting in the years building up to WWII.

548 pages | 7 x 9 3/4 | © 2007

History: European History

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Table of Contents

Translator’s Note
List of Tables
Abbreviations Used in the References and Text

1. Introduction
    1.1 The Victim Myth: Coalition
    1.2 Historiography after 1975: Between Myth and Scholarship
    1.3 Studies of the Heimwehr and the NSDAP
    1.4 Fascism, “Austro-Fascism,” and the Radical Right
    1.5 Purpose, Scope, and Sources
2. The General Structural Background of the Conflict between Bourgeois and Socialist Austria
    2.1 Economic and Social Structure
    2.2 Political Structure
    2.3 The Political “Camps” of the First Republic
Part One: The Development of the Heimwehr Movement 1918–1934
3. Origins and Formative Years 1918–1922
    3.1 Social Structure
    3.2 Size and Diffusion
    3.3 Organizing and Financing the Petty Bourgeois Reaction
4. Stagnation 1923–1927
5. The Unification Movement of the Radical Bourgeoisie
    5.1 The Events of July 1927: Unleashing Social Discontent
    5.2 Expansion, Social Structure, and Organization
    5.3 Relationship to the Power Apparatus and Foreign Countries
    5.4 The Situation of the Austrian Capital
    5.5 The Ideological Traits of the Unification Movement
6. Division and Decline
    6.1 The Pursuit of Autonomy
    6.2 The Leader Crisis and Government Intervention
    6.3 From Movement to Party: The Programme
    6.4 Opposition Party and “Opposition Policy”
    6.5 The Heimatblock’s Electoral Base
7. A Governmental Movement 1932–34
    7.1 The Final Rupture of the Heimwehr
    7.2 The International Situation and Foreign Influence: The Heimwehr as an Instrument
    of Italian Interests
    7.3 The Role of the Heimwehr in the Dollfuss Government
Part Two: NSDAP’s Precursors and Development 1926–1934
8. NSDAP’s Precursors
    8.1 Deutsche Arbeiterpartei 1904–1918
    8.2 Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei 1918–1926
9. In the Shadow of the Heimwehr 1926–1930
10. Years of Expansion as a Legal Party 1931–1933
    10.1 Breakthrough: Social Base of Members and Voters
    10.2 Economic Crisis and Bourgeois Radicalization
    10.3 Organization and Propaganda: the Nazi “Public”
11. The Putsch of 25 July and its Background
12. Conclusions

Appendices 1–7
Sources and literature

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