The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Office of Strategic Services
Hitler Source Book
Plot & Counterplot in Central Europe
M.W. Fodor

[Page 1]

The close connection between Austrian and German National Socialism continued until 1923. Hitler frequently visited Austrian National Socialist meetings, as well as Inter-State assemblies. His last appearance at an Inter-State party meeting was in Salzburg in August. 1923. At this meeting came his breach with Riehl. The question under discussion was the attitude which the Austrian National Socialist should adopt in the coming Austrian elections. Riehl believed that the National Socialists should participate at the elections and win their way to power though legal means. Adolf Hitler was for abstention and an armed _Putsch_. Hitler's ideology was accepted, and Riehl resigned on September 15 both as Chairman of the Inter-State Office of the National Socialists and as President of the Austrian D.N.S.A.P. (Fodor, 165)

.....Riehl, the spiritual father of National Socialism, is a practicing lawyer in Vienna. He lives in comparative poverty because he still defends Nazis before the courts more for idealistic than for financial reasons. His political influence at the moment is almost nil. He is disliked by Hitler, who rarely forgives those who contradict him. (Ibid., 166)

If Hitler had been a more flexible and adaptable politician, he certainly would have agreed to the Italian terms. . . . . Nothing would have been easier than to command the illegal Sturm Abteilung and Schutzstaffl formations to join the Heinwehr and Nazify it from within. But Hitler was a man of fanatically fixed principles. This would have been, in his eyes, a betrayal of the 'greatly-suffering and well-tried old warriors,' who, since the days after the war, had been rallying to his standards. It would have meant sacrificing Theo Nebicht. This he could not do. Hitler's mind is unfathomable. Sometimes he is grateful to old comrades to the point of harming himself; at other times, as on June 30, he shoots them down in cold blood. This time he committed a grave mistake. The refusal of the Italian offer was flinging the gauntlet into the face of Italy; and Mussolini accepted the challenge. (Ibid., 204)

[Page 2]

...If the Nazis smeared on the walls, Heil Hitler, the Socialists always corrected it to Heilt Hitler (cure Hitler). Some of the jokes were made at the expense of the fact that Hitler in the former Austrian parts was often the name of Jews, too. An Austrian afternoon paper tried to make it appear that Hitler was of Jewish extraction, but the evidence was not only unconvincing, but based simply on hearsay. (Ibid., 206)

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