Skip to comments.SCHUSCHNIGG担 PLEBISCITE (Real Time + 70 Years)
Posted on 03/11/2008 6:42:32 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
The startling decision of the Austrian Chancellor to hold a plebiscite [authoritarian style] next Sunday is evidence of his determination that Austria shall not be swallowed up without a struggle. His appeal to the people on the formula, A free and German, independent and social, Christian and united Austria, is a heroic endeavor to establish to the world the desire of the majority of Austrians for the maintenance of political independence.
Why has Schuschnigg, who for years has refused Nazi pressure to hold a plebiscite, chosen the present for this crucial test of public sentiment? It has been suggested at various crises created by Hitler that he as last had overplayed his hand; that his bluff was about to be called. It would be an ironic trick of fate if by his invitation to Schuschnigg to come to Berchtesgaden, there to receive a humiliating ultimatum, Hitler had really overreached himself. That painful episode seems to have inflamed the quiet schoolmaster-Chancellor to a new conception of the overriding necessity for national unity. Presumably he is convinced by the response of Austrian opinion since the fateful conference with Hitler on Feb. 12 that the great majority of the people are now ready to support a policy of strong resistance to Nazi domination. Perhaps the decisive factor has been the release, for the first time since Dollfuss, of the Social Democratic forces and the possibility for their peaceful collaboration.
What influences, if any, have been exercised from across the frontiers are a matter of speculation. If Mussolini is working with Hitler but secretly desires Austrian self-assertion, there is neither annoyance nor gratification expressed in Rome. In Berlin, however, indignation was so great that the first official reaction was sedulously kept from the public. Nazi officials refused comment and instructed the press by radio not only to refrain from editorial discussion but also from any mention of Schuschniggs actions. Later the newspapers were allowed to speculate as to the foreign source or sources of Schuschniggs newly found courage Paris, Prague, London and even some elements in Rome (not, of course, Mussolini or Foreign Minister Ciano) were suggested as the possible accomplices.
Yesterday it was announced that Captain Leopold, one of the most violent of the Austrian Nazis has been made a member of Hitlers personal staff because the Fuehrer desires one of the most faithful and best experts on Austrian questions to be in his immediate vicinity during the ensuing month, when events of historic importance will transpire. This is an indication that the plebiscite may become a test of strength between the two Chancellors and open up for Europe unpredictable possibilities.
Hitler threw a world-class tantrum.
Real time + 70 years ping. Editorial.
And 24 hours later, the Panzers rolled across the border.
I don’t know if the Germans had any fully equiped armored divisions ready to roll at this time, but whatever they had still overwhelmed the Austrians.
Rather disgracefully, as it turned out. They were plagued by mechanical problems and, IIRC, a lot of them ended up being towed into Austria.
Sounds like some kind of obscure musculo-skeletal dysfunction.
LOL - You're right.
"You've got Schuschnigg's plebiscite, Mr. Smith. We can treat the symptoms with steroids, but I'm afraid you will never tango again.
You’ll never buy suits off the rack again!
Kurt Von Schuschnigg was a professor at St. Louis University when I attended. I recall him as distinguished, self-possessed and modest, yet surrounded by an aura of tragedy, as someone whom had been bull-dozed by fate but had retained his honor throughout.
Bull-dozed is right. From Wikipedia:
"Schuschnigg attempted to regain control of the situation by arranging for a plebiscite to be held on 13 March. However, this move was undermined when the Wehrmacht invaded two days before the plebiscite was due to take place. Schuschnigg resigned, was imprisoned by the Nazis, and only freed by American troops in 1945. After his arrest Schuschnigg was incarcerated in a tiny room for seventeen months while the SS tormented him both mentally and physically. After losing 85 pounds, he spent the remainder of the war in two different concentration camps, Dachau and Sachsenhausen, all accounted for in his book Austrian Requiem.
"After World War II, Schuschnigg emigrated to the United States, where he worked as a professor of political science at Saint Louis University from 1948 to 1967."
Here is the article from yesterday.
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