Engelbert Dollfuss

Engelbert Dollfuss

Texing, Melk Bezirk, Lower Austria (Niederösterreich), Austria
Death 25 Jul 1934 (aged 41)
Vienna, Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria
Burial Hietzing, Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria
Memorial ID 9966 · View Source
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Austrian Politician and Chancellor, he was murdered in his office by Austrian Nazis during an abortive coup. Born in Texing, Austria-Hungary, Dollfuss was educated in a Roman Catholic seminary before studying law at the University of Vienna, and Economics at the University of Berlin. During World War I, he joined the Austro-Hungarian Army, where he served on the Alpine Front. He was decorated several times for bravery, and in 1918, was captured by the Italians, finishing the war in a POW camp. On November 12, 1918, Austria became a republic. Although many Austrians wanted unification with Germany, the 1919 Treaty of Saint Germain, signed by Austria and the victorious Allies, forbade such a union and established the new country's boundaries. Similar to Germany in the 1920s, Austria established several political parties, each with its own private army, which often clashed violently with the other political parties. After the war, Dollfuss worked for the Agriculture Ministry, and in 1927, became Director of the Lower Chamber of Agriculture. In 1930, as a member of the conservative Christian Social Party, he was appointed President of the Austrian Federal Railway System, and a year later, became Minister of Agriculture. As Austria became more affected by the worldwide Great Depression, he was elected as Chancellor (head of the Government) on May 20, 1932, of a coalition government. As Chancellor, he had to pass unpopular laws to help deal with the effects of the Great Depression; laws that were especially unpopular with the liberal opposition Austrian Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAPO). With the rise to power of the Nazi Party in Germany in 1933, Austrian Nazis hoped to join with Germany and argued for Anschluss (union). Wanting to keep Austria a free and independent nation, Dollfuss saw the Nazis as an immediate threat to Austrian independence, and worked to curb Nazi influence in Austria. In March 1933, Dollfuss suspended the Parliament indefinitely, and governed after that by decree. In June 1933, Dollfuss banned the Austrian Nazi Party (DNSAP) and after crushing a Socialist uprising in January 1934, he banned the SDAPO party. Dollfuss courted the government of Italian dictator Mussolini to gain support against the German government, gaining from Italy a guarantee of Austrian independence in exchange for political reforms meeting Italian fascist desires. In September 1933, he merged his Christian Social Party with the political paramilitary Heimwehr (Home Guard), to form the Fatherland Front, which would rule Austria from 1933 until 1938. On July 25, 1934, with the encouragement of Germany's Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, Austrian Nazis attempted to take over the Austrian government in a coup d'etat. Dollfuss was assassinated in his office by eight Nazis. Police entered the Chancellery building and arrested the Nazis, who were later tried for treason and executed. Kurt Schuschnigg, who held Dollfuss' belief in Austrian independence, would become the new Chancellor and hold the office until 1938, when Germany forced union on Austria. Despite all the assurances that Mussolini had originally given to Dollfuss on Italian support for Austrian independence, by 1938, Italy had agreed to German plans to annex Austria. After a state funeral, Dollfuss was buried in Hietzing Cemetery in Vienna, next to his wife, Alvine.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 14 Jun 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9966
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Engelbert Dollfuss (4 Oct 1892–25 Jul 1934), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9966, citing Friedhof Hietzing, Hietzing, Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria ; Maintained by Find A Grave .