Tactical Win for Austrian Nationalism

Saturday 10th October 1936

Austria continued to struggle on in its ultimately futile attempt to maintain a distinctly national identity in the face of pressure for closer ties with Germany. The Chancellor Schuschnigg dissolved the proto-Nazi Heimwehr, which had shown no appetite to obey the government decree of May absorbing all armed movements into a single, state-controlled body. Schuschnigg's attempt to position himself as a militant proponent of Austrian nationalism was a doomed exercise in riding the tiger of right-wing sentiment.

The move was facilitated by a quarrel between the Heimwehr’s leaders, Major Fey and Prince Stahremberg, which had been referred to the Chancellor for arbitration. The two Heimwehr ministers made a very token and brief withdrawal in protest at the dissolution of the armed wing before re-entering the government. The only permanent outcome was that Stahremberg retreated into private life and eventually exile.


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