March 12, 2012

Hitler's Quiet Conquest of Austria

James Widner, Radio Days

In Vienna, the 1934 assassination of Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss left Austria with two rival dictators—Prince Ernst Rudiger von Starhemberg, "boot-licking hero worshipper of Benito Mussolini"; and Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg, "cautious counterpart to the late Chancellor Dollfuss, friend of Mussolini because he was forced to choose between Mussolini and Hitler." Vice-Chancellor von Starhemberg congratulates Mussolini over Ethiopia, in a telegram that is an "ill-timed flouting of the League." The Austrian leaders argue over the incident. Schuschnigg resigns, and will form a new government. Von Starhemberg also resigns, but "tomorrow I leave for Rome. There I will talk to Mussolini. Tomorrow, who knows who will be master in Austria." Von Starhemberg orders commanders of the...

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TAGGED: Germany, Austria, Adolf Hitler

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