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Austria civil war 1934


In February 1934, a short but brutal civil war broke out in Austria, which lasted only 4 days. The guns of the government troops opened fire with high-explosive and chemical shells on the proletarian quarters of Vienna, where detachments of the workers ' militia and the Schutzbund (the fighting wing of the Social Democratic Party) were defending themselves.
On February 12, 1934, anarchists, social Democrats and Communists raised an uprising in Linz, which was taken up by Vienna and other cities on the same day. The left forces are trying to resist the offensive in the country of the clerical-fascist dictatorship led by the local Fuhrer Engelbert Dollfuss.
In 1932, Dollfuss was elected Chancellor of Austria, and in 1933, relying on the far-right Christian Social Party( CSU), the fascist organization "Fatherland Front" and church circles, he carried out a coup d'etat.
Dollfuss actively opposed not only the left, but also the policy of the Anschluss of Austria, carried out by Hitler. Dollfuss was attracted to Italian fascism, and he enlisted the support of Mussolini, who guaranteed the independence of Austria. In early 1933, Dollfuss imposed a ban on Nazi activities in Austria, as well as broke up the parliament, banned all opposition parties, imposed censorship and launched a crackdown on political opponents. Mass arrests and the construction of concentration camps began in the country.
Dollfuss established an authoritarian regime in Austria known as Austrofascism.
Against the United Left front (anarchists, Social Democrats and Communists) Dollfuss sent the regular army and Heimwehr detachments. Heimwehr (German: Heimwehr — self-defense units) — "Union for the Defense of the Motherland" - a nationalist, paramilitary association that operated in Austria from 1919 to 1938. In terms of ideology, methods and structure, it is similar to the Volunteer Corps (German: Freikorps).
The Heimwehr was created mainly from veterans of the First World War. Like the German Freikorp, this association lacked a unified leadership and political program, but there were active regional groups. For example, they participated in the suppression of workers ' strikes. In 1930, the leaders of the Heimwehr detachments adopted a common program, which was actually the platform of the fascist party-based on Austrian nationalism (as opposed to the pan-Germanism of the German Nazis), it also rejected parliamentary democracy and Marxism, instead offering dictatorship and rejection of class struggle (Austrofascism).
In the future, Dollfuss united the CSU and the remnants of the Heimwehr within the framework of the "Fatherland Front" (after that, the latter ceased to exist as a political association).
The Civil War in February 1934 ended quickly. Thanks to the fact that not only the Heimwehr fighters, but also the regular army were on the side of Dollfuss, the uprising of the left forces was soon suppressed. By February 16, Heimwehr troops and detachments had eliminated the last pockets of resistance of the workers ' militia and Schutzbund. In street battles, according to various sources, from 1300 to 1600 people were killed, of which about 1000 rebels, the rest-soldiers and Heimwerovtsy. Dozens of captured rebels were shot or hanged, and thousands fled abroad.
As a result, a regime was established in Austria, which in 4 years led to the absorption of the country by Nazi Germany. However, Dollfus himself did not live to see it. Fighting the left, he forgot about the right. The Austrian Nazis, supported from Berlin, launched a campaign of widespread sabotage and terror, disabling power plants, administrative buildings and railways, and beating and killing Dollfuss supporters.
On July 25, 1934, about 150 members of the SS Standard 89, dressed (for camouflage) in Austrian military uniforms, broke into the Federal chancellery. While trying to escape, Dollfuss was shot by SS officer Otto Planetta.

In the photo: a group of Heimwehr fighters with a Schwarzlose machine gun. Austria. 1930s

Carl Uniritter – gruppenfuhrer of Husbund

Born in 1891 in Austria, he was a participant in the First World War, was seriously wounded at the front, became disabled. He joined the Schutzbund in 1927, according to his wife's memoirs-not immediately, but after long hesitation, since "he had already played enough war at the front."
The Republikanischer Schutzbund is a paramilitary organization of the Social Democratic Party of Austria. It was created in 1923 and operated until 1936, for the self-defense of social-democratic and workers ' organizations and their members from the armed detachments of the Heimwehr. The Austrian Schutzbund included the Czech section. In July 1927, Schutzbund took part in clashes with Heimwehr.
Karl Munichreiter lived with his wife in a basement apartment converted from an empty store, on the basis of a state decree on the provision of housing to the needy. He worked as a shoemaker, but after joining the Schutzbund, many conservative clients refused his services, and he and his wife were forced to live on odd jobs.
On his garden plot, Karl illegally stored Schutzbund's weapons.
The February 1934 uprising in Austria ended badly for the left. When the fighting began on February 12, the Schutzbund men in the area where Munichreiter lived gathered at a pre-appointed place, but none of the commanders showed up, and Karl took command. Under pressure from superior police and Heimwehr forces, their squad retreated. Karl received three bullet wounds while assisting a comrade who was shot in the head.
The speech of the Schutzbund and the Workers ' militia was not supported by the SDPA (Social Democratic Party of Austria). The leaders of the Social Democrats, Otto Bauer, Julius Deutsch and others, had already fled to Czechoslovakia on February 12 (the first day of the uprising).
After several days of fierce fighting, many members of the Schutzbund were forced to emigrate from the country or, like Ernst Fischer, joined the Communist Party. After the defeat of the February uprising, many Schutzbund members arrived in Moscow, where they paraded through Red Square. In 1936, many schutzbundovtsy from Moscow went to the Spanish Civil War
Carl Munayyer was in prison. At the last meeting with his wife and 2-year-old daughter before the execution, the wounded Karl said: "I will be shot, but this is for the best, otherwise I would have to live
as a cripple and a burden for you..." Thus, killing and gruppenfuhrer of Husbund – Carl Uniritter. Wounded, he was carried to the firing squad on a stretcher after the military field trial.
Mezhrabpomosch organized for Karl's wife with three children (Paul, 12 years old, Karl Jr., 10 years old, and Lucy, who was barely 3 years old) to emigrate to the USSR - using forged documents, through Switzerland, France and London. MOPR (international Organization for Aid to Fighters of the Revolution) provided the family of Uniritter retirement.
In 1946, they were able to return to Vienna.

Heimwehr soldier. Austria. 1934.

The Schutzbund is the fighting wing of the Social Democratic Party of Austria. 1930


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