Schuschnigg’s Fight without Weapons

  • Elisabeth Barker


The emergence of Schuschnigg as leader seemed to show that Austrians were still determined not to hand over their country to either of the two dictators. The task of keeping Hitler at bay did not at first seem impossible. Mussolini was still trying to strengthen his influence in the Danube basin and therefore wanted to keep Hitler out of Austria. And he was still to outward appearance stronger than Hitler. Germany was not yet rearmed; Hitler was not yet quite respectable, in terms of European politics. France and Britain were on quite good terms with Italy and, though wary of Hitler, had not yet decided on appeasement. Inside Austria, the army and police had again shown themselves reasonably loyal at the time of Dollfuss’s assassination; this event had caused a revulsion of feeling against the Nazis; above all the economic situation was beginning to look more cheerful. Schuschnigg himself was upright and stubborn, even if he was rigid and blinkered and lacked Dollfuss’s flexibility and capacity to charm.


Trade Union Foreign Minister Danube Basin Peaceful Evolution Wide Breach 
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© Elisabeth Barker 1973

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  • Elisabeth Barker

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