The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Artur Seyss-Inquart

(Part 3 of 18)

[Page 960]

(3) Seyss-Inquart, after the Austrian Nazi Party was declared illegal in July 194, posed as a non-member of the Nazi Party but continued to support it in its activities, principles, and objectives in a subversive manner.

Seyss-Inquart has stated that:

"Before the Anschluss, I worked for the legal, political activities of the Austrian Socialists under the conditions laid down in the Austrian Constitution. *** From 1932 onwards I made financial contributions to this party but I discontinued financial support when it was declared illegal in 1934. From July 1934 until the year 1936 I supported individual National Socialists as lawyer and in collaboration with the welfare work Langoth in Linz. From July 1936 onwards, I endeavored to help the National Socialists to regain their legal status and finally to participate in the Austrian Government. *** I was sympathetic towards the efforts of the Austrian Nazi Party to gain political power and corresponding influence because they were in favor of the Anschluss. *** On 10 March 1938 I suggested to Chancellor Schuschnigg, as a solution to the difficulties resulting from his plebiscite plan, that the National Socialists be appointed to the Cabinet, after I became in May 1937 State Councillor and then on 16-2-1938 Minister of Interior and Security." (3425-PS)

Seyss-Inquart was an official in the Austrian Government, yet he rendered services, and physical and moral support to the illegal Austrian Nazi Party during those years, knowing that the radical elements engaged in terroristic acts.

"During this time, particularly after the Party was forbidden in July 1934, I knew that the radical element of the Party was engaged in terroristic activities, such as the attacks on railroads, bridges, telephone communications, etc. I knew that the governments of both Chancellors Dolfuss and Schuschnigg, although they held the same total German viewpoint in principle, were opposed to the Anschluss then because of the National Socialist regime in the Reich. I was sympathetic towards the efforts of the Austrian Nazi Party to gain political power and corresponding influence, because they were in favor of the Anschluss. On the day of the un-

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successful 'putsch,' 25 July 1934, I was at my home in Stannern near Iglau, Czechoslovakia. I learned later that the murder of Chancellor Dolfuss on that day was the outcome of a 'putsch' plan, in which SS circles were mainly involved, to arrest the Chancellor and put in an Austrian government with National Socialist participation. Eight or ten days before this unsuccessful 'putsch' Chancellor Dolfuss sent for me. We discussed the disturbances and troubled state of affairs created in Austria by the radical element of the Austrian National Socialists. I advised Chancellor Dolfuss to make an arrangement with Hitler because the Austrian National Socialists and even this radical element would obey Hitler's orders. I conjectured -- later I found confirmation that these terroristic activities had a certain support from the Reich. Chancellor Dolfuss told me he would think the matter over and made a tentative future appointment for a further discussion. I informed among others, also acquaintances, of this conversation whom I knew had influence among the Austrian National Socialists. About one week later Chancellor Dolfuss informed me that at the moment he had no time for further discussion." (3425-PS)

(4) Seyss-Inquart derived personal benefits and political power as the result of the subversive manipulations and terroristic activities of his fellow Nazi collaborators. He was appointed State Councillor of Austria in May 1937, and Minister of the Interior and Security of that country as the direct result of Nazi manipulation. These facts he has admitted:

"My appointment as State Councillor was the result of an agreement between Austria and Germany on 11 July 1936. My appointment as Minister of the Interior and Security was one of the results of the conference between Chancellor Schuschnigg and Hitler at Berchtesgaden on 2 December 1938." (425-PS)

Another result of the Berchtesgaden conference was that Austrian Nazis were thereafter allowed openly to demonstrate their conviction, an advantage which they exploited to the full.

"The Austrian National Socialists must certainly have taken my appointment as Minister of Interior and Security as an indication of their right to activity. Still more, however, the outcome of the agreement of 12 February 1938 allowed them to demonstrate their convictions. This right they utilized in more and more widespread demonstrations." (7425-PS)

(5) Seyss-Inquart used his affiliation with the Nazis to pro-

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mote the absorption of Austria into the Greater German Reich according to plan as conceived by his fellow Nazi conspirators. Seyss-Inquart had had a continuous and constant interest in the union of Austria and Germany for twenty years, and during all that time worked, planned, and collaborated with others until the union became an accomplished fact.

"In 1918 I became interested in the Anschluss of Austria with Germany. From that year on I worked, planned, and collaborated with others of a like mind to bring about a union. *** It was my desire to effect this union of the two countries -- in an evolutionary manner and by legal means. Among my Austrian collaborators were Dr. Neubacher, City Councillor Speiser, the University Professor Hugelmann, and Dr. Wilhelm Bauer, Professor Wettstein and others. Later, during the rise of National Socialism, Dr. Friedrich Rainer, Dr. Jury, Glaise-Horstenau, Major Klausner, Dr. Muehlmann, Globotschnigg, and others. *** After I became State Councillor, I discussed several tires with von Papen, the German Ambassador, the possibilities of an understanding between the Austrian government and the Austrian National Socialists, respectively the Reich. We did not talk of the Anschluss as an actual program. However, we were both of the opinion that a successful understanding would bring about in the course of time the Anschluss by evolutionary means in some form. The last time I spoke to von Papen was in January 1938 in Garmisch where I met him by chance." (3425-PS)

Seyss-Inquart contributed his efforts to revive the Austrian Nazi Party after the unsuccessful "putsch" of 25 July 1934, and to provide relief for the families of arrested and condemned Nazis. He has described these activities in the following words:

"The effect of the 'Putsch' was a complete catastrophe to the National Socialist Camp. Not merely the leaders, but party members were arrested in so far as they did not escape; the confiscation of their fortunes was announced; the revolt which led to military actions in Steiriermark, Karnten and Oberoesterreich did cost victims; the political management was seriously compromised by the Nazis and above all, a most sinister looking situation was created in regard to foreign politics. In any case, the idea of a union had suffered a severe setback. was in agreement about the effect with Dr. Neubacher, and it was our desire to assist easing the tension. Following this situation I felt urged to take up politics beyond the question of the 'Anschluss.' *** The former

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