The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against Austria
(Part 4 of 19)

(Part 4 of 19)

The fact of the reorganization of the Nazi party in Austria is corroborated by a report of one of the Austrian Nazis, Rainer 812-PS). (812-PS contains three parts. First there is a letter dated 22 August 1939 from Rainer, then Gauleiter at Salzburg, to Seyss-Inquart, then Reich Minister. That letter encloses a letter dated 6 July 1939, written by Rainer to Reich Commissioner and Gauleiter Josef Buerckel. In that letter, in turn, Rainer inclosed a report on the events in the NSDAP of Austria from 1933 to 11 March 1938, the day before the invasion of Austria.)

The letter from Rainer to Buerckel indicates that he was asked

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to prepare a short history of the role of the party. He states that after the Anschluss Hitler and the general public gave Seyss-Inquart alone credit for effecting the Anschluss. It is Rainer's belief in that credit belongs to the entire Party, the leaders of which had to remain underground. And so Rainer writes his report to show that the Party as a whole is entitled to "the glory which was excessively ascribed to one person, Dr. Seyss-Inquart".

Apparently Seyss-Inquart heard from Buerckel what Rainer said, and wrote to Rainer asking for an explanation. To avoid misunderstanding, Rainer prepared for Seyss-Inquart a copy of his letter to Buerckel and his report.

The Rainer report tells of the disorganization of the Nazi party in Austria and of its reconstitution. The second and third paragraphs of the report state:

"Thus the first stage of battle commenced which ended with the July rising of 1934. The decision for the July rising was right, the execution of it was faulty. The result was a complete destruction of the organization; the loss of entire groups of fighters through imprisonment or flight into the 'Alt-Reich'; and with regard to tie political relationship of Germany to Austria, a formal acknowledgment of the existence of the Austrian State by the German Government. With the telegram to PAPEN, instructing him to reinstitute normal relationships between the two states, the Fuehrer had liquidated the first stage of the battle; and a new method of political penetration was to begin. By order of the Fuehrer the landesleitung Munich was dissolved, and the party in Austria was left to its own resources.

"There was no acknowledged leader for the entire party in Austria. New leaderships were forming in the nine Gaus. The process was again and again interrupted by the interference of the police; there was no liaison between the formations, and frequently there were two, three or more rival leaderships. The first evident, acknowledged speaker of almost all the Gaus in Autumn 1934 was engineer REINTHALLER (already appointed Landesbauernfeuhrer (leader of the country's farmers) by Hess). He endeavored to bring about a political appeasement by negotiations with the government, with the purpose of giving the NSDAP legal status again, thus permitting its political activities. Simultaneously Reinthaller started the reconstruction of the illegal political organization, at the head of which he had placed engineer NEUBACHER." (812-PS)

(c) Secret Contacts Between German Officials, Including

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Papen, and the Austrian Nazis: the Use by the Austrian Nazis of "Front" Personalities. Two cardinal factors about the Nazi organization in Austria should be borne in mind. First, although the Fuehrer had on the surface cast the Austrian Nazis adrift, in fact German officials, including Papen, maintained secret contact with the Austrian Nazis, in line with Hitler's desires. German officials consulted and gave advice and support to the organization of the Austrian Nazis. In the second place, the Austrian Nazis remained an illegal organization, organizing for the eventual use of force in an "emergency." But in the meanwhile they deemed it expedient to act behind "front" personalities, such as Seyss- Inquart, who had no apparent taint of illegality.

Mr. Messersmith relates in his affidavit that he obtained a copy of a document outlining this Nazi program.

"For two years following the failure of the July 25 Putsch, the Nazis remained relatively quiet in Austria. Very few terroristic acts occurred during the remainder of 1934 and as I recall in 1935 and most of 1936; this inactivity was in accordance with directives from Berlin as direct evidence to that effect, which came to my knowledge at that time, proved. Early in January, the Austrian Foreign Minister, Berger-Waldenegg, furnished me a document which I considered accurate in all respects and which stated:

'The German Minister here, von Papen, on the occasion of his last visit to Berlin, was received three times by Chancellor Hitler for fairly long conversations, and he also took this opportunity to call on Schacht and von Neurath. In these conversations the following instructions were given to him:

'During the next two years nothing can be undertaken which will give Germany external political difficulties. On this ground, everything must be avoided which could awaken the appearance of Germany interfering in the internal affairs of Austria. Chancellor Hitler will, therefore, also for this reason not endeavor to intervene in the present prevailing difficult crisis in the National Socialist Party in Austria, although he is convinced that order could be brought into the Party at once through a word from him. This word, however, he will, for foreign political reasons, give all the less, as he is convinced that the, for him, desirable ends may be reached also in another way. Naturally, Chancellor Hitler declared to the German Minister here, this does not indicate any disinterestedness in the idea of Austria's independence. Also, before every-

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thing, Germany cannot for the present withdraw Party members in Austria, and must, therefore, in spite of the very real exchange difficulties, make every effort to bring help to the persecuted National Socialist sufferers in Austria. As a result, Minister of Commerce Schacht finally gave the authorization that from then on 200,000 marks a month were to be set aside for this end (support of National Socialists in Austria). The control and the supervision of this monthly sum was to be entrusted to Engineer Reinthaller, who, through the fact that he alone had control over the money, would have a definite influence on the Party followers. In this way it would be possible to end most quickly and most easily the prevailing difficulties and division in the Austrian National Socialist Party.

'The hope was also expressed to Herr von Papen that the recently authorized foundation of German "Ortsgruppen" of the National Socialist Party in Austria (made up of German citizens in Austria) would be so arranged as not to give the appearance that Germany is planning to interfere in Austrian internal affairs." (1760-PS)

The report of Gauleiter Rainer to Reichskommissar Buerckel in July 1939, outlines the further history of the party and the leadership squabbles following the retirement of Reinthaller. In referring to the situation in 1935, he mentions some of the contacts with the Reich Government in the following terms:

"In August some further arrests took place, the victims of which were, apart from the Gauleaders, also Globocnik and Rainer. SCHATTENFROH then claimed, because of an instruction received from the imprisoned LEOPOLD, to have been made deputy country leader. A group led by engineer RAFFELSPERGER had at this time also established connections with departments of the Alt-Reich (Ministry of Propaganda, German Racial Agency, etc.) and made an attempt to formulate a political motto in the form of a program for the fighting movement of Austria." (812-PS)

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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