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Pan-Germanism and the Austrofascist State, 1933-38$

Julie Thorpe

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079672

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079672.001.0001

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Pan-Germanism and Austrofascism in a small town

Pan-Germanism and Austrofascism in a small town

(p.82) 3 Pan-Germanism and Austrofascism in a small town
Pan-Germanism and the Austrofascist State, 1933-38

Julie Thorpe

Manchester University Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter seeks to identify the dynamics of mustering allies at a local level for the Austrofascist cause, reviewing as a case study the current of the movement in Salzburg. The Salzburger Volksblatt was representative of a German-nationalist milieu whose cultural and intellectual roots lay in the Bohemian and Moravian lands. Its owner, Hans Glaser (1877–1960), who was part of the younger German nationalists, infused Salzburg's liberal associational culture with the pan-German ideas they had brought along from the borderlands. His political connections with German nationalists in the inter-war period tended to be formed through expediency rather than ideology. Glaser joined the Greater German party after its inauguration in Salzburg in 1920, partly because the party leadership informed him that paper quotas would be allocated only to those newspapers that enjoyed political patronage. Quite paradoxically, for the owner of a German-nationalist newspaper, he maintained amicable terms with various prominent Christian Social elements.

Keywords:   Glaser, Christian Social, Salzburg, inter-war period, Moravian land

In May 1938 the owner of Salzburg's German-nationalist newspaper, Hans Glaser, received a visit from the sister of Salzburg's former governor, Franz Rehrl, asking him to intervene on her brother's behalf after he had been arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo.1 Rehrl's sister was a former employee of Glaser's rival, the Catholic Salzburger Chronik, and she knew Glaser had connections with local Nazi figures, although he himself was not a party member. She also knew that Glaser and her brother had been on friendly terms prior to the Nazi takeover, even if politically they had not seen eye to eye. Indeed, as the highest functionary of the Austrofascist state in Salzburg, Rehrl was Glaser's political adversary with respect to the penalties handed out by the provincial authorities for violations of the press code. However, Glaser's diary entries reveal that Rehrl often confided in Glaser about the burdens of public life and it may have been Rehrl himself who asked his sister to call on Glaser in 1938. The divisions between political-cultural milieux were less visible in Salzburg than in Vienna. Shaped by the many mutual private and professional contacts that were typical of a provincial elite culture, and fortified by a common commitment to ‘German Austria’, pan-Germanism in Salzburg drew German-nationalists and Austrofascists closer together in spite of their professed political and ideological differences.

This chapter presents a local case study of pan-Germanism and Austrofascism in Salzburg. We saw in the previous chapter how Austrofascists sought international patrons; here we will see them courting local allies. Whereas federal politicians found legitimacy outside Austria's borders, provincial elites consolidated their position locally through a complex entanglement of cultural, associational, religious and cultural ties. In Vienna, Austrofascist politicians visited, hosted and corresponded with associates abroad, whereas Salzburg's politicians drew on long time acquaintances with editors, journalists, playwrights, priests and even the archbishop. Better the foe you knew and saw every day in the town square than the friend you read about in the newspaper. Or, as we will see in this (p.83) chapter, better the foe in a rival political camp than the one time friend who had now become a Nazi terrorist.

Moravia comes to Salzburg

The Salzburger Volksblatt was representative of a German-nationalist milieu whose cultural and intellectual roots lay in the Bohemian and Moravian lands. Its owner, Hans Glaser (1877–1960), belonged to a generation of young Bohemian and Moravian German-speaking civil servants and educated professionals who migrated to Salzburg in the late nineteenth century during one of the peaks of Czech–German hostilities. As we saw in Chapter 1, the younger German-nationalists infused Salzburg's liberal associational culture with the pan-German ideas they had brought with them from the borderlands.2 Glaser himself had been born in Šumperk/Mährisch Schönberg in northern Moravia, which was almost entirely German except for a small Czech enclave that divided northern Moravia from the region around Svitavy/Zwittau.3 Moravia's German population was smaller than Bohemia’s, around 28 per cent of the inhabitants compared to 37 per cent in Bohemia, and the largely agrarian population of Moravia also meant that German-nationalism was more moderate and Catholicism stronger than in Bohemia.4 Moravian peasants were renowned for their pioneering language exchange programmes, swapping their children for holidays or for an entire school year.5 It would be fascinating to discover if Glaser was also a beneficiary of the famous Kindertausche, but he does not mention his upbringing in his diary. We can only surmise that his early years would have been less tainted by nationalist politics than if he had grown up in Prague. At any rate, his first exposure to German-nationalists was most likely in Salzburg given the penetration there of Bohemian and Moravian German-nationalists in the 1880s and 1890s. Glaser arrived in Salzburg in 1896 at the age of nineteen to take up a position in a publishing company owned by a German émigré from Stuttgart, Reinhold Kiesel, who had established Salzburg's first daily newspaper, the Salzburger Volksblatt, in 1870.6 Glaser married Kiesel's daughter and, after his father-in-law's death, eventually took over the reins of the newspaper in 1907.

Glaser's political connections with German-nationalists in the interwar period tended to be formed through expediency rather than ideology. He joined the Greater German party after its inauguration in Salzburg in 1920, partly because the party leadership informed him that paper quotas would be allocated only to those newspapers that had the patronage of a political party. However, he was keen to extend his newspaper's reputation beyond the Greater Germans, whose Salzburg branch had barely two thousand (p.84) members, only a fraction of the newspaper's readership. Glaser wrote in his diary on 18 October 1920: ‘I want an independent Volksblatt, but in a tone and presentation that the supporters of other political parties will also read. The newspaper cannot live off the Greater Germans alone.’ He eventually withdrew his party membership in 1929. With the Greater Germans in internal disarray in 1931, he threw his weight behind the National Socialists in whom he believed ‘the youth, and so the future lies’.7 the NSDAP made decisive gains in Salzburg in the regional and municipal elections in 1932 winning just under 21 per cent, well above the national average of 16 per cent.8 In view of their new-found respectability, National Socialists sought out the Salzburger Volksblatt as a potential mouthpiece since they did not have an official organ in Salzburg. However, the relationship was strained and the newspaper's editors were often under pressure to appease the party elite.9 Glaser met NSDAP leaders in Salzburg in January 1933 and agreed to maintain a more neutral position after the newspaper had publicly fended off what he regarded as ‘impertinent’ letters from anonymous readers, presumably Nazis challenging the views of the editorship.10

On the other hand, Glaser's relationships with prominent Christian Socials in Salzburg were more amicable than one would expect from the owner of a German-nationalist newspaper. He was on friendly terms with the governor of Salzburg, Franz Rehrl, as we have seen, and Glaser's political standing was also high among his colleagues in Austrian press circles. In June 1934, he was elected chair of the Union of Publishers of Daily Newspapers, and he met regularly with the head of the federal press agency, Ludwig, to discuss changes to the press law.11 After the new Austrofascist press chamber began meeting in November 1936, Glaser travelled regularly to Vienna to participate in chamber sessions.12

These examples of both professional and political collaboration with Christian Social and Austrofascist politicians showed that Glaser was more opportunistic than ideological. He associated with colleagues and public figures from a Catholic cultural and political milieu, although Glaser himself was not Catholic. His wife's family were Protestant and Glaser's diary records that his grandchildren had Protestant christenings. Given his upbringing in predominantly Catholic Moravia, Glaser may have converted when he married Kiesel's daughter. Many of Glaser's colleagues at the Salzburger Volksblatt may also have been Catholic, even if they were also proponents of the newspaper's German-nationalism. This is significant, as we will see, because the newspaper promoted a form of ‘positive Christianity’ that sought to persuade readers that national identity transcended religion. Although this tactic was intended to undermine the government's notion of a ‘Christian’ state, it also demonstrates how (p.85) German-nationalists found common ground with Austrofascists in their attempt to construct a pan-German identity. For German-nationalists, as much as for Austrofascists, Christianity was integral to the notion that Austria was a ‘German’ state.

A priest, an archbishop and a festival

The pan-Germanism of local elites from a Catholic milieu can be seen from the examples of two influential clerical figures in Salzburg: the owner of the Salzburger Chronik, Leonhard Steinwender, and Archbishop Ignatius Rieder (1858–1934). It was not unusual that Steinwender presided over the Salzburger Chronik at the same time as he carried out his duties as canon of Mattsee monastery. The absence of a lay Catholic intelligentsia in a provincial town like Salzburg meant that priests often had a second vocation as journalist or as a local dignitary of the Christian Social Party. Steinwender was a true believer in Austria's German and Christian identity in the ‘Ostmark’, a term that was ubiquitous in the Austrofascist era. For Catholic intellectuals like Steinwender it described Austria's spiritual and cultural mission as bearer and proselyte of German Christianity in Central Europe. He wrote in the Salzburger Chronik that ‘to be an East Marcher [Ostmärker], to be an Austrian’ was ‘a wonderful pan-German vocation’. In 1934, Steinwender became director of the Fatherland Front's propaganda section in Salzburg and editor of Salzburg's official Front publication, Die Front in Salzburg.13

As a provincial functionary of the Fatherland Front and devotee of Austria's Ostmark heritage, Steinwender was invited in June 1937 to speak at the St Boniface Day celebrations in Vienna. The Boniface Day festivities were organized by the Fatherland Front's auxiliary body for German minorities outside Austria, the Österreichischer Verband für volksdeutsche Auslandsarbeit (Austrian Association for Germandom Work Abroad – ÖVVA), which will be discussed further in Chapter 4. In what was possibly the shining moment of his career, Steinwender addressed a distinguished audience that included Cardinal eodor Innitzer; the Education Minister, Hans Perntner (standing in for Chancellor Schuschnigg who had to cancel his attendance at the last minute); and leaders of the Fatherland Front. He spoke about the legacy of the eighth-century ‘Apostle to the Germans’ who had united the German nation by converting the German tribes to Christianity and ‘opened the door to world history for the German nation’ to play a leading role in Western Christendom. But Boniface Day was more than just a day of commemoration; it was a call to renounce those who had made idols out of the German nation instead of following the laws of the ‘eternal God’. It was also a call to reclaim Boniface's legacy (p.86) so that the German nation would not be consigned to a spiritual ‘desert’ like the Africa of St Augustine, or descend into chaos like the Orient of the saints Chrysostom and Jerome. Steinwender was referring to the persecution of German clergy and Catholic associational life in Nazi Germany although he also mentioned the ‘satanic wave of anti-Christ Bolshevism’ in his address.14 We will see in the next chapter that the relationship between ‘Germandom’ work and National Socialism was far more ambivalent than Steinwender believed and his views on this occasion were not representative of the views of the organizers of the festivities.

Proving he was not another government mouthpiece, Steinwender went on to warn the German people of the danger of modern idolatry in politics. He quoted a former archbishop of Salzburg, Balthasar Kaltner, who had warned Europe on the eve of the Great War in 1914 not to forsake its Christian heritage or it would lose its ruling place in the West. Steinwender paraphrased these ‘prophetic words’ and called on the German nation to preserve its Christian roots and its leading role in Christendom for if the German nation fell, all of Christendom would fall with it. He ended his remarkable speech, which the audience interrupted several times with enthusiastic applause, by appealing to the German people to follow ‘a leader so noble, so courageous, so gloriously good … Christ the King, the Son of God and Man, with his cross of redemption and his promise: Have faith, I have overcome the world!’15

Steinwender later claimed he had found the ‘paths of grace’ inside Buchenwald concentration camp where he was incarcerated for two years until his release in November 1940. After the war, he published his reminiscences of Buchenwald including a collection of his homilies he gave in secret to fellow inmates and wrote down only after his release. In both his reminiscences and homilies, Steinwender addressed at length the subject of the Austrian ‘homeland’ and acknowledged past mistakes in the persecution of Social Democrats and the comparative leniency towards National Socialists. For Steinwender, the German nation lingered on, but now it lay amid the ruins of the ‘idol’ of the Third Reich ‘in the deepest abyss of its history’. He asked all who still loved the German nation ‘in spite of everything’ to ‘pray with deep distress “De profundis”, the de profundis of the German nation’. For ‘if after the bitter experiences of the last century we are serious in acknowledging that only Christ and his law of justice and love can save a human life, then this call of distress from the depths of depths will not remain a cry of the dead, but will awaken new life’.16 Steinwender's reflections after Buchenwald serve to illustrate how his belief in Austria's ‘Christian’ and ‘German’ spiritual and cultural heritage had blurred with the pan-Germanism of German-nationalists and National (p.87) Socialists and only unravelled amid the moral, physical and spiritual deprivation of a Nazi concentration camp.

Archbishop Rieder also saw Austria as custodian of German Christianity in Europe. Appointed archbishop of Salzburg in 1918, succeeding Kaltner before him, Rieder championed a religious renewal movement in the interwar period that included plans to establish both a German Catholic university and an international festival in Salzburg. The idea for a German Catholic university had its roots in the 1848 Catholic associational movement in Germany and Austria, but the Austro-Prussian War and dissolution of the German Confederation had halted plans for such a university and Rieder wanted to revive the idea in the aftermath of military defeat in 1918. Outlining his proposal in an article entitled ‘Reflections on a Catholic University of the German People in Salzburg’ (Denkschrift über eine katholische Universität des deutschen Volkstums in Salzburg), Rieder envisaged the university, which was originally designed to be an extension of the existing theological faculty at the University of Salzburg, as a common intellectual and social ‘meeting ground’ for Catholics from southern Germany and Austria. Even in the title of his pamphlet, Rieder emphasized the pan-German idea of a common German people and, implicitly, a common German Catholicism, without mention of a separate Austrian Catholic tradition. Prominent Austrian Catholic politicians, including Seipel and Dollfuss, were advocates of the idea, but its opponents, notably German sociologist Max Weber, rejected the proposal on the grounds that religious criteria would count in the appointment of academic positions.17

Seeking to renew the spiritual as well as intellectual life of German-speakers in Europe, Rieder lent his support to the founders of the Salzburg Festival, Hugo von Hofmannstahl (1874–1929) and Max Reinhardt (1873–1943). If the Festival's founders were its artistic directors, Rieder was its spiritual guardian especially in the early years after its inauguration in 1920. Hofmannstahl consulted with Rieder in 1922 for final approval of his manuscript for Das Salzburger grosse Welttheater (The Salzburg Great World eatre) in return for permission to stage the play in Salzburg’sBaroque Church.18 Rieder also defended Reinhardt from frequent anti-Semitic attacks from Salzburg's Nazi organs, who objected to a Jew staging Catholic motifs in Salzburg's sacred edifices. In 1924, he gave permission for Reinhardt to perform his play, Das Mirakel (The Miracle), in the Collegiate Church, amid a sustained campaign by the Nazi organ in Salzburg, Der Eiserne Besen, to prevent Reinhardt from doing so.19

While he objected to anti-Semitism where the Festival was concerned, Rieder later lent his support to the National German Working Group of (p.88) Austrian Catholics (Volksdeutsche Arbeitskreis österreichischer Katholiken). The group published a book to mark the All-German Catholic Congress in September 1933, entitled ‘Catholic Faith and the German National Character in Austria’ (Katholischer Glaube und deutsches Volkstum in Österreich), for which Rieder wrote the foreword. In it he described 1933 as a ‘holy year for Germans’ because it commemorated the 250th anniversary of the victory over the Turks in 1683.20 The anniversary was the theme of the 1933 celebrations and Pius XI sent a papal legate to attend the commemorative events in Vienna. But in contemporary publications marking the anniversary the reference stressed a different understanding of a ‘holy year’ for Germans, one that would lead to a new ‘German Christian’ defeat of the unholy bolshevist warriors, as we saw in Steinwender's speech, and Jews as we will see in Chapter 5. Rieder died in 1934 and so did not live to see the collapse of such a German Christian Austrian state, nor its nemesis in a National Socialist German Ostmark, but he was one of the earliest representatives of an influential Catholic elite who guarded Austria's pan-German heritage throughout the interwar years with religious commitment.

For their part the Festival's founders also wanted to promote German art and culture in Salzburg. Hofmannstahl described Salzburg as the historic heart of the Bavarian-Austrian tribal lands, whose ‘instinctively German’ folk ethos was the antithesis of Vienna's ‘alien’ intelligentsia and obsession with novelty.21 Reinhardt had stipulated in 1918 that ‘homegrown’ German art would be the essence and the attraction of the Festival, ‘the master of the house who chooses to extend the hand of friendship to guests’.22 A wider elite in Salzburg, including Glaser, who was an avid theatregoer and whose newspaper provided full coverage and reviews of the Festival programmes and performers each year, shared these beliefs about German superiority and hegemony. The Festival symbolized all that Salzburg's elite held sacred and shows how widespread pan-German ideas were in Salzburg in the interwar years.

After the creation of a Nazi state in Germany, Austrofascists distanced themselves from National Socialism and Germany, while German-nationalists openly embraced both the movement and the regime. The latter's only cause for concern was the campaign of violence carried out by Nazis in Austria from 1933 to 1934, although even this anxiety was a pragmatic response to extremism rather than moral objection to the political aims of the movement. The following sections trace these ideological sympathies with National Socialism in the Salzburger Volksblatt after 1933. At the same time, the chapter also shows how the newspaper's construction of a pan-German identity during this period converged in many important respects with the pan-Germanism of the Austrofascist state.

(p.89) ‘National Socialists are not traitors’

Notwithstanding some tensions between local party officials and the owner of the Salzburger Volksblatt, the newspaper's editors had already given their endorsement of the National Socialist Party's programme for Anschluss well before Hitler's appointment as German chancellor on 30 January 1933. After Hitler came to power, the newspaper continued to publish notices of rallies, public lectures and radio broadcasts of speeches by Nazi leaders in Germany in a propaganda campaign made respectable by its appearance in an established newspaper.23 Notices about party events often appeared on the front pages and advertised entry for non-Jews only. The day following the German election on 5 March, the Salzburger Volksblatt published a special morning edition with a boldface notice from the NSDAP calling for ‘every upright German-Austrian who wants Anschluss with the German Reich’ to attend the Anschluss rally in the Salzburg Festival House the next day.24 The next day, it reported that the Festival House had been filled to capacity, demonstrating that ‘the German will for Anschluss had also received powerful momentum in Salzburg’.25

For Glaser, however, other priorities larger than the Nazi Party loomed with the news of Dollfuss's dictatorship. His diary entries for March 1933 show that his immediate preoccupation lay not with the German elections, but with his newspaper's prospects in the wake of the new press laws.26 The Salzburger Volksblatt responded initially to the press laws by accusing the government of creating an ‘oligarchy’ and calling for a return to the 1920 constitution and new elections.27 Later the newspaper's editors tried to circumvent the government's gag orders by drawing attention to events in Germany without directly mentioning the Nazis.28 A special report on the May Day celebrations in Germany told stories of men, women and children who expressed pride in their national identity as Germans, rather than their regional identity as Saxons or Bavarians. The journalist asked one boy where Adolf Hitler came from and he replied: ‘From Germany’. The journalist corrected him saying that Hitler was in fact an Austrian, to which the boy answered: ‘Then he is still a German!’ The journalist echoed the boy's expression of pan-German identity: ‘I am proud to be an alpine Austrian but I am even prouder to be a real German [ein ganzer Deutscher] first and foremost.’29 The article was left uncensored in the newspaper and did not attract the penalties that subsequent reports did for expressing oppositional views to the Austrian government. It was an early example of the Salzburger Volksblatt's strategy of promoting a universalist pan-German identity under the sometimes loose reins of Austrofascist censorship. These reins tightened, however, whenever the editors were seen to be blatantly disregarding the official propaganda.

(p.90) By the middle of May, the newspaper's hostile outbursts at the government resulted in four confiscations in swift succession. The edition on 5 May was confiscated following the publication of an article about the government's ban on uniforms, which amounted to incitement according to Paragraph 300 of the penal law code. Five days later, the newspaper was confiscated a second time for a scathing article about the Austrian public service. is time the newspaper's chief editor, August Ramsauer, was alsoforced to pay a fine of 1,440 schillings for allowing the offending articles to go to print. A third confiscation occurred on 12 May for an article that criticized the Geneva Disarmament Conference and, again, on 7 June, the newspaper was seized for an article attacking the Austrian ambassador to Berlin. On 10 June the government introduced a new decree that gave the chancellor the power to ban newspapers for up to three months if they were confiscated more than twice. Given that it already had four strikes, the Salzburger Volksblatt gave notice to its readers that it ‘was forced by the new press emergency decrees to exercise the greatest caution from now on in commenting on the political situation in Austria’. The newspaper announced that it would report only ‘the bare facts’ of Austrian politics and withhold editorial comments, but that it would continue in its capacity as a ‘national paper’ to represent the interests of the ‘national idea’.30

For the editors of the Salzburger Volksblatt the national idea meant a community in which all Germans were bound together by blood, language and culture. They couched this idea in an ethnic universalist pan-German discourse that resembled the Nazis’ vision of a Volksgemeinschaft (national community). At the same time, the newspaper also used a civic discourse of universal pan-German identity in support of National Socialists, whom both Glaser and the newspaper's editors regarded as indispensable to the national movement. The editors were at pains to point out that this ‘national idea’ was not unpatriotic to Austria and defended Austrian Nazis as loyal Austrians, who should be seen first as members of the national community and second as members of a political party. A front-page editorial on 17 June declared that ‘National Socialists are not traitors, they love their Austrian homeland, but they want to see it liberated and the whole of its population spoken for, not just one party.’31

The editors’ support for National Socialists diminished slightly in the wake of a campaign of violence and terror carried out by Austrian Nazis across the country that lasted less than a month in its initial intensity, but did not fully abate until July 1934. The violence began in Innsbruck on 11 June 1933 when a twenty-year-old German Nazi from Berlin attempted toassassinate the leader of the Tyrolean Heimatwehr (Homeland Guard), Richard Steidle. Over the next five days, three people were killed in a series of bomb explosions in predominantly Jewish-owned shops, cafes and (p.91) department stores. The Austrian government believed the perpetrators to be a small band of German Nazi youths and accused party members in Germany of supporting the terror campaign by smuggling propaganda,finances, bomb explosives, weapons and assassins into Austria. The smugglers were in fact several thousand Austrian National Socialists, the so-called ‘Austrian Legion’, who had fled to Bavaria and were stationed in military camps along the border. Heightened agitation towards the Austrian government, and growing disillusionment with the Nazi authorities who refused to settle them in Germany permanently, contributed to the sense of alienation among these Austrian refugees and fuelled their determination to bring about a violent coup in Austria.32

Dollfuss finally banned the Nazi Party on 19 June 1933 after a hand grenade attack in the Lower Austrian town of Krems killed one person and injured thirty others. Austrian Nazis retaliated by embarking on a countrywide campaign of violent attacks and propaganda, painting swastikas in public places, on houses, streets, trees, rocks, on scattered pamphlets and burning swastika signs into hillsides. Dollfuss narrowly escaped an assassin's bullets in the Austrian parliament on 3 October, but this was not the first assassination attempt on a government minister. Vice-chancellor and Minister of Security, Major Emil Fey, had already been the target of several planned or aborted attempts in July and August. Between October 1933 and January 1934, Nazis carried out tear gas attacks in cafes, shops and cinemas and detonated explosives in cars, buildings and streets, using handmade bombs from paper, clay and chlorate when dynamite could not be smuggled in from Germany. By the beginning of 1934, the number of daily bomb explosions had reached 40 and 140 separate incidents were recorded for the beginning of January alone. After a brief ceasefire during the February civil war between Social Democrats and government troops, the violence began to rise again after Hitler's birthday in April 1934.33

In Salzburg, bomb explosions in cars and public buildings prompted the editors of the Salzburger Volksblatt to issue an impassioned plea to their readers that Austro-German unity be achieved by peaceful means. An editorial on 28 June 1933 sent a stern warning to those responsible for the attacks and likened acts of terror to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on the anniversary of the killings. ‘And now to you young ones! You are the hope of the national and liberal movement in Austria. You must not let it happen that foolish pranks get you thrown into jail – and rightly so if you rashly commit crimes! – and therefore excluded from the ranks of national fighters for a long time, perhaps even forever.’ Youthful passions could be put to better use if they were channelled towards votes instead of deeds that ‘might seem to some to be heroic, but in truth can only be regarded as childish tricks! German youth must not (p.92) sink to the methods of the assassins of the heir to the throne that with the revolver shots in Sarajevo exactly nineteen years ago unleashed the fateful war, which led to disaster for Austria and Germany.’ ‘National unity is something that must come to fruition in peace, something that requires avery great deal of patience’, the editorial asserted, pointing to the example of Italy's unification. ‘You young ones must save yourselves for that time, which we older ones will no longer witness. But you should enter the greater Fatherland with clean hands and hearts, not tainted by innocent blood that you spilled.’34

The author of this editorial was the newspaper's long-standing chief editor, omas Mayrhofer.35 A former member of a German-nationalist student fraternity, Mayrhofer had joined the Greater German party in 1920 along with Glaser.36 The editorial's reference to a ‘national and liberal movement in Austria’ reflected the pan-Germanism of Mayrhofer's and Glaser's generation for whom National Socialism represented the fulfilment of their youthful pan-German ideals. But the experience of a world war during their lifetime had also caused them to recoil from the violent extremes of the Nazis. While Mayrhofer cautioned restraint in the goal of Austro-German unity, he also argued that National Socialists should be able to participate in Austrian public life. He said that the priority for German-nationalists was to harness the energy of all ‘liberal- and national-minded people in Austria’ into a national front that could act as a democratic opposition to the Fatherland Front. He was adamant that the government would not be able continue to suppress opposition indefinitely or deny the political rights of those Austrians who did not wish to join the Fatherland Front. Moreover, this opposition front should be free to adopt National Socialist principles of government and ideology within the parameters of the Austrian state as long as Austria remained politically separated from Germany. He endorsed ‘all the ideas and methods of Adolf Hitler, which can be used in Austria and do not contravene our laws’ if such an opposition were to come into force in Austrian politics. However, he also reminded his readers that the primary goal of such a ‘German liberation front in Austria … ought to be to bring about normal friendly relations between Austria and Germany’. To that end, the national liberation front would ‘pursue Austrian goals until the international resistance against the establishment of Greater Germany can be overcome’.37

One reader sent a letter to the editors disagreeing with Mayrhofer that National Socialism was the exclusive path to Austro-German unity. Could not that unity also be achieved under the banner of the Fatherland Front, the reader asked? ‘It surely is not acceptable to stamp as second-class Germans all those who reject the swastika as the absolute and exclusive symbol of what is German, particularly if they do not live within the Reich. (p.93) No lesser man than Bismarck once said that he was a Prussian first and then a German. Why should this saying, mutatis mutandis, not be able to be applied to us Austrians?’ The reader also claimed that Austria's annexation to Nazi Germany was inevitable unless German-nationalists could be integrated into the Fatherland Front. ‘In the interest of the liberal German national idea in Austria, and so, fundamentally, in the pan-German interest’, the writer concluded, ‘I would think it absolutely desirable to have the widest possible participation of these groups in order to prevent what would otherwise be inevitable and must be feared.’ The Salzburger Volksblatt published this letter with only the briefest comment that the points it raised ‘could perhaps give cause for a fruitful political discussion’.38

The letter from the reader showed that real fears about National Socialism did exist among German-nationalists, if only a minority of them. Yet such reservations did not always amount to ideological or political commitment to the Fatherland Front. As we will see below, Glaser joined the Fatherland Front partly because it was a more expedient option than the Heimatschutz and partly because it guaranteed a level of political immunity for his newspaper. Glaser's commitment to the National Socialist Party, on the other hand, extended only as far as his commitment to Austro-German unity. After the government banned the NSDAP, Glaser wrote in his diary that the remaining ‘nationalist circles’ would have to band together under a new leadership. His personal choice of candidate for the leader of this proposed new national front was Franz Hueber, the former Austrian Justice Minister and Hermann Göring's brother-in-law, who resigned from the leadership of the Salzburg Heimatschutz in protest at Dollfuss's anti-German politics.39 Glaser was less of an ideologue than Mayrhofer, but he was equally steeped in the historic vision of a greater-German nation. We might describe Glaser's response to National Socialism as consent and his participation in the political life of the Austrofascist state as compliance: in other words, he continued to endorse the National Socialist programme of Austro-German unity, while seeking to protect the position of his newspaper in the public sphere of the Austrofascist state. Glaser's stance towards National Socialism and Austrofascism also highlights the shared stake that German-nationalists and Austrofascists held in an Austrian pan-German identity. This identity not only reflected the place of Austria in the German nation and therefore the question of Austro-German unity, but also underscored the national character of the Austrian state itself.

Compliance and consent

The interactions between local functionaries and the editors of a provincial German-nationalist newspaper demonstrate the extent of compliance and (p.94) consent under the Austrofascist state. By seeing how editors continued to articulate their position within the new constraints on press freedom, we can observe the extent to which German-nationalists promoted their own interests within a public sphere that was constantly monitored by the state. At the same time that they complied with the state's official version of pan-Germanism, they were also able to give consent to their own preference for a National Socialist vision of a Volksgemeinschaft. That the Austrofascist vision of a German Austrian state did not clash with the Nazi version of a universal German nation indicates how far such consent went in a dictatorship that ostensibly saw itself as a bulwark against Nazism.

During the course of 1933 the Salzburger Volksblatt was under close surveillance and incurred severe penalties, but the editors were forced to concede even greater autonomy in 1934 with the appointment of a local Heimatschutz representative to the editorship. On 22 February 1934, Salzburg's Director of Public Security, Rudolf Scholz, summoned Glaser to inform him that his licence would be revoked if he continued to publish the Salzburger Volksblatt under proprietorship of the Kiesel publishing house. The specific offence that prompted this action was the newspaper's report alleging that Tyrolean Heimatwehr soldiers in Hallein had violently attacked local residents, behaved in a ‘scandalous’ manner and should be removed. Two days later Scholz's deputy, Helmut Hirschall, offered Glaser an eleventh-hour compromise: the appointment of a Heimatschutz commissioner, Konstantin Kreuzer, as the Salzburger Volksblatt's political editor in return for the withdrawal of the threat to revoke Glaser's publishing licence.40

The appointment of a Heimatschutz representative did not immediately end hostilities between the newspaper and the provincial authorities. This was partly due to the uneasy alliance between the Fatherland Front and the Salzburg leaders of the Heimatschutz. As mentioned above, the head of the Heimatschutz, Hueber, stood down in June 1933 because of his loyalties to the NSDAP while the remaining leaders declared their allegiance to Dollfuss. On 8 February 1934, the Heimatschutz outlined a set of provisional demands to Rehrl including the establishment of an advisory committee comprising representatives of the Fatherland Front and the Heimatschutz, as well as the appointment of Heimatschutz representatives to every district and municipality and to every public office and school.41 The appointment of Kreuzer as political editor of the Salzburger Volksblatt can therefore be seen as a concession by the Fatherland Front authorities to the demands of the Heimatschutz leaders. However, Kreuzer's militant language and his admiration for Mussolini were an affront to the Security Director, Scholz, a loyal Christian Social foot soldier who distrusted the Heimatschutz. Consequently, the newspaper was again subject to confiscations (p.95) several times between February and June. On frequent other occasions, the censors simply blacked out whole sections of print.42

Under Kreuzer, the Heimatschutz press dispatches were particularly belligerent towards Christian Socials. One front-page article on 28 March 1934, entitled ‘The Sins of the Parties’, claimed that by defeating the Social Democrats in the civil war, the Heimwehr had done in three days what the Christian Social Party had been unable to do in fourteen years. To illustrate the party's ineptitude, the article pointed out that the leader of the Christian Social Workers’ Movement, Leopold Kunschak, had shaken the hand of Vienna's socialist mayor, Karl Seitz, in the town hall just days before the civil war broke out. The article claimed that ‘the new era demanded new men, not just a change in name’ and called for ‘the whole population and especially the nationalist groups in the population’ to work together to eliminate all parties from the ‘new state’.43 The reference to ‘nationalist groups’ in a dispatch in the Salzburger Volksblatt showed that the Heimatschutz regarded Kreuzer's appointment as a tactical manoeuvre against the dominant Christian Socials in Salzburg.

Glaser did not view the Heimatschutz as an ally against the Christian Socials or the Fatherland Front. In fact, he joined the Fatherland Front in September 1934 to guard against Kreuzer's machinations to make the Salzburger Volksblatt an organ of the Heimatschutz.44 His decision may also have been prompted by a wish to distance himself from National Socialists after some of his colleagues were implicated in another wave of Nazi violence in June and July 1934. Editor Franz Krotsch was accused in June 1934 of circulating memos to National Socialists with instructions for carrying out terror attacks. On 28 June 1934, he was arrested and criminal proceedings began against him in July. He returned briefly to the editorship in August, but was discharged from his position at the end of 1934. Without employment opportunities in Austria and with his professional reputation in tatters, Krotsch fled to Germany and only returned to Salzburg after the Anschluss.45 Glaser was horrified by the violence and wrote in his diary on 28 June 1934: ‘No sensible person knows where these dangerous acts of terror will lead that cause innocent people to come to grave harm.’46

Glaser apparently did not foresee a political assassination on the horizon, unlike his colleague, Mayrhofer, who warned against a repetition of Sarajevo. Nor did he predict that the local uncoordinated efforts of terrorists would climax in an attempted coup in the capital. In fact the Nazi putsch on 25 July 1934 had been a year in the planning. Led by a band of former soldiers who were members of the NSDAP and had been discharged from the Austrian army following the party's ban, the execution of the putsch was clumsy and a couple of key government figures had been forewarned. Still some of the rebels managed to occupy the building of the Austrian (p.96) radio broadcaster and announce that Dollfuss had resigned, prompting small uprisings by Austrian Nazis in the provinces. The putsch was put down within a few hours by government troops, but not before one of the rebels, Otto Planetta, broke into Dollfuss's office and shot the chancellor, who died of his wounds before medical attention or a priest arrived.47 On 27 July, two days later, Glaser still seemed more shocked by the audacity of the rebels than by Dollfuss's death at the hands of assassins. He described the coup as ‘a crazy undertaking that has neither sense nor purpose and hurries the young people wantonly to their death. They must surely realise that their cause is long lost!’48 Glaser's reaction to Nazi terrorists, like his decision to join the Fatherland Front, was motivated by fear and alarm at extremist politics, rather than a vote of confidence in the Austrofascist state or a nod of respect to its dead leader.

The Salzburger Volksblatt continued to maintain its distance from the Fatherland Front by publishing only government propaganda from the Heimatdienst and keeping all other Front notices to a minimum. By 1935, the newspaper had condensed the number of pages in the weekday editions to a dozen, including regular supplements on fashion and cooking.49 Domesticity, at least, complied with the patriotic jargon of much of the Fatherland Front's propaganda, as evidenced by the myriad notices for local Mutterschutzwerk meetings and infant care programmes that were published in the Salzburger Volksblatt. However, these were mostly relegated to the back pages.50 The newspaper also sought to compensate for the monopoly of Fatherland Front news by publishing correspondence from foreign press agencies in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. In September 1935 it was banned from publishing reports from the radio service of the Nazi press agency, Deutsches Nachrichten-Bureau (DNB). The editors managed to evade this latest interdiction by rewording the DNB reports and publishing them as reports from the Salzburger Volksblatt's own correspondents.51

The editors continued to promote their agenda for a National Socialist vision of pan-German identity, often by reprinting public lectures by known Nazi sympathizers. An article on 29 January 1936 was an extract of a talk given by former Heimatschutz leader, Hueber, to the Salzburger Turnverein (gymnastics association) in which Hueber described the German people as ethnically and culturally distinct from other nationalities and pointed to distinctions in folk costume, art and music.52 Another article in February from a lecture by the German ethnologist, Paul Rohrbach, depicted the nation as a universal community tied by language and culture. The article claimed that there were a total number of 90 million Germans in the world, including 68 million in the German Reich and a further 12 million in countries bordering Germany. The remaining 10 (p.97) million Germans included emigrants and their descendants abroad, although Rohrbach excluded from this figure second-generation Germans in North America who had lost their ties with the language.53 The figure of 12 million was especially significant because it made no distinction between Austrian Germans, Baltic Germans or Sudeten Germans. Articles like these represented an ethnic universal discourse that differed from the Austrofascist vision of a resurrected ‘Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation’, in which Austria would play the leading role in its German Christian mission to the nations of Central Europe. The ethnic discourse of Austrofascists was about religion, not language and blood. But while their universalist visions of pan-Germanism may have diverged, German-nationalists and Austrofascists had much in common when it came to defending their idea of a German Christian Austrian state.

Defending German Christian Austria

The Salzburger Volksblatt's construction of a German Christian identity bore resemblance to the pan-German rhetoric of local Austrofascist functionaries. But whereas German-nationalists elsewhere in Austria sought chiefly to preserve the ‘German’ character of the state, an aim which converged also with the approach of the Austrofascist state, German-nationalists in Salzburg and local state functionaries were seemingly more concerned with Austria's ‘Christian’ identity, even if they differed over the definition of a Christian state. The attempts of German-nationalists and Austrofascists to give a spiritual dimension to pan-German identity after 1936 show that religion was the site of least resistance in Salzburg in the pre-Anschluss era.

The July Agreement in 1936 mitigated some of the previous restrictions on the Salzburger Volksblatt's editorship. Initially the newspaper welcomed the July Agreement cautiously and reiterated the need for Austria to maintain its sovereignty.54 Privately, however, Hans Glaser greeted the Austro-German détente with relief, writing in his diary that the agreement between Schuschnigg and Hitler was ‘a rather major domestic and foreign political event that we have all desired for a long time’.55 One important local consequence of the July Agreement was the departure of Kreuzer from the post of political editor. His departure meant that press correspondence from the Heimatschutz was relegated to the back pages of the newspaper and he finally left the newspaper altogether in March 1937. A Nazi sympathizer and former diplomatic envoy in Berlin, Adolf Frank, replaced Kreuzer in August 1936. Frank had made many contacts with National Socialists during his diplomatic posting in Germany. One of these contacts was Franz Krotsch, who had come to the Salzburger Volksblatt in 1924 on (p.98) Frank's recommendation only to flee back to Germany ten years later after he was charged for terrorist attacks.56 Frank's appointment to the editorship, a direct result of the July Agreement and Austro-German détente, widened considerably the margins in which the Salzburger Volksblatt could voice its consent for National Socialism. Throughout the remainder of 1936, the newspaper openly championed political unity with Germany and hoped that the Austrian state would promote the pan-German idea towards this goal.57

It was significant, therefore, that a front-page article in November 1936 mentioned the July Agreement in connection with the Srbik school of pan-German history. As we saw in Chapter 1, Srbik developed historical and conceptual links between the universal German nation, the Central European idea of German unity, and the tradition of German statehood. The article in the Salzburger Volksblatt in November 1936 lauded his pan-Germanism as the ‘spirit’ behind the July Agreement and hoped for this spirit to prevail within the historical belief in a common German nation that was ‘certain to become the common basis of the new pan-German national reality’. Srbik's historicism gave credence to the National Socialist idea of Austro-German unity in the same way that the Salzburger Volksblatt sought to interpret the July Agreement as a step towards this goal. The November article explained that Srbik's pan-Germanism provided a more critical appraisal of the great personalities and feats of Austrian history within the broader framework of German history because it was able to overcome the biases of the separate Prussian and Austrian historical traditions.58 In fact, it was not Srbik's intention to make such a critical historical judgement when he began work on his magnum opus, Deutsche Einheit, in 1935. Rather, his goal was to show how the National Socialist vision of a thousand-year empire was the fulfilment of the previous thousand years of German history. Nonetheless, Frank's attempt to disseminate Srbik's scholarship in the Salzburger Volksblatt was tantamount to intellectual consent for National Socialism. That this consent was couched in terms that also made reference to Habsburg history shows how the newspaper could comply with Austrofascist visions of the past, while promoting Nazi ideas under the guise of a universal pan-German historicism.

Frank's Christmas Eve editorial in 1936 showed further the newspaper's affirmation of political unity with Nazi Germany. Frank paid homage to the ‘great, glorious German homeland’ and claimed that in the Sudeten territories, ‘thousands and thousands were … denied the peace of Christmas in the German living-space (Lebensraum)’:

Hundreds of thousands of our national comrades in the outlying northern Bohemian areas are waging a desperate bitter struggle for a meagre and (p.99) paltry existence under the oppressive yoke of an illegitimate foreign power. Countless fathers, mothers and starving children will spend Christmas Eve there in hopeless numb despair.59

Frank's intimation that the dispossession of Germans in Czechoslovakia was a national dishonour showed his commitment to Nazi foreign policy aims, in particular to the political unity of all Germans in Central Europe. As we will see in Chapter 4, the Austrofascist state also sought mileage out of the Sudeten issue in its ‘Germandom’ work, even recruiting former Nazis to its ranks, but here Frank's reference to a German Lebensraum was an unequivocal message of support for National Socialism's expansionist racial designs on the East.

Frank also sought to discredit the Austrofascist notion of a ‘Christian’ state and replace it with a National Socialist version of Christianity. He claimed that Christmas was an ancient German custom, which retained its German character despite its appropriation by the Church. ‘This festival’, Frank wrote, ‘opens up to us like no other the highest mystery of our being in symbolizing joy, love and goodness, as well as our eternal urge and dim yearning for the German homeland’.60 In elevating pre-Christian traditions to the status of true religion, Frank used similar language to Nazi paganists in Germany, such as Alfred Rosenberg.61 We do not know from this passage what Frank's religious background or beliefs were, but his claims competed with Austrofascism's orthodox view of Christianity. Where local state functionaries in Salzburg, such as Steinwender, described Austria's spiritual and cultural identity as ‘a wonderful pan-German vocation’, German-nationalists and Nazi sympathizers, such as Frank, alsotwinned ‘German’ and ‘Christian’ but attached different meanings to those terms so as to undermine the official version of pan-Germanism.

At the same time, Austrofascists were trying to win the hearts and minds of German-nationalists by drawing a distinction between the spiritual and cultural values of Austrian pan-Germanism and the racial principles of National Socialism. One anonymous spokesperson for the Fatherland Front in Salzburg – identified only by the initials ‘K.F.G.’ – contributed several lengthy essays in the Salzburger Volksblatt on topics ranging from charity and the principle of individual freedom, to the nature of fascism and anti-Semitism. The writer forcefully condemned National Socialism as a totalitarian ideology of fanatics and sought to justify Austrofascism against the ‘tyranny of the majority’.62 The author was possibly an academic for in an article in June 1936 he argued that academic research, religious beliefs, marriage and family life must not become subordinate to the state.63 The editorials by K.F.G. became more prominent on the front pages of the Salzburger Volksblatt after 1936. Although these editorials (p.100) were still grounded in the rhetoric of Austrofascists, they also consciously attempted to engage the newspaper's German-nationalist readership. For example, an editorial on 5 June 1937 distinguished between nationalism that had cultural value to the people and that which only edified the state. The writer illustrated this subordination to the state by arguing that the intellectual and religious icons of nineteenth-century Russian nationalism had disappeared under Bolshevism. In contrast, he argued, the Austrian state should uphold and value the life of the Austrian people and cultivate the collective expression of pan-German nationhood through the ‘two-state nature of our German people’ (Zweistaatlichkeit unseres deutschen Volkes). Such a ‘healthy genuine nationalism’, the writer concluded, regarded ‘the life of the people [to be] worth more than the national costume’.64 The combination of a universalist discourse (‘our German people’) with a particularist discourse (the Austrian state) stressed an Austrian pan-German identity that the newspaper's editors had upheld since 1934 and which they continued to promote in the era of Austro-German détente.65

A front-page editorial on 9 December 1937 by K.F.G. illustrates further the entangled Austrofascist and German-nationalist notions of pan-German identity. The editorial, entitled ‘Fascism and Authority’, distinguished between Nazi Germany and the Austrian state on the basis of Austria's claim to be both German and Christian. Fascism was foreign to the German people as a whole, the writer argued, and it had been only out of demographic and geopolitical necessity that ‘the Germans on the other side of the border’ followed the path of fascism. He contrasted the German experience of fascism with the experience of other Europeans, whom he identified as speakers of Romance languages (Romanen) with a psychological and historical predisposition towards fascism:

It is characteristic that fascism became the destiny of two states, one of which did not yet possess the power that it needed and desired, while the other was in fact robbed utterly of the power, to which it undoubtedly had the most justified claim, by virtue of the essentially undiminished size of its population and territory. The totality principle of the state (Allstaatlichkeit), the primacy of the state ahead of the citizen, is more of a foreign concept to the German people, historically, nationally, and even racially, than to speakers of the Romance languages, who instinctively think as collectives.66

Thus the writer carefully avoided essentialist arguments about Reich Germans so as not to undermine the universal basis for pan-German unity. The slur against Italy, contrary to official government policy and even more curiously in view of the Italo-German alliance, belied the writer's preference for an exclusive Austro-German alliance without the Italophile tendencies in the ranks of Austrofascists.

(p.101) The writer also a ‘Christiahesitated to label Austrian’ state, asserting that Austria's claim to be authoritarian, and ‘not outrightly fascist’, rested on the principle of individual freedom, rather than on the right of the state to enforce its power:

The Austrian state is neither in practice nor in theory intended to have unfettered power. It recognizes the individual and his rights, in accordance with the Christian belief that the individual person is of highest value, since Christ came as a man to men and not to states.67

The statement that Christ had come ‘to men and not to states’ was a subtle departure from the usual rhetoric about Austria's Christian identity. It was a conscious attempt to engage readers of the Salzburger Volksblatt by asserting the primacy of the individual over the state, national belonging over ideology, and faith over dogma. As we will see, National Socialists also used this tactic to discredit Austrofascism and appeal to readers on the basis of national identity, rather than political loyalties. Whoever K.F.G. was, he (or she) was not a mouthpiece of the state in the usual way of providing copy for the press and propaganda ministry. That the views of such a person could also be published in the front pages of a provincial German-nationalist newspaper under the helm of a pro-Nazi editor like Frank indicates the local context of pan-Germanism in Salzburg. Here in a German-nationalist organ was a Catholic academic espousing a universal pan-German identity in ethnic and cultural terms (by distinguishing Italians from Germans, for example) and promoting the particular German credentials of the Austrian people, while sidestepping the question of the state's Christian heritage and mission. All of this chimed well with the pan-Germanism of Nazi sympathizers who objected to the Christian label of the Austrofascist state (except in the racial sense of excluding Jews) but were happy enough to support its ‘Germandom’ politics.

The appointment of a national political advisor (Volkspolitischer Referat) to Salzburg's provincial government in October 1937 gave further impetus to the Salzburg Volksblatt's campaign of consent for National Socialism. The creation of this advisory role at the provincial level followed Schuschnigg's appointment of Seyss-Inquart to the position of trustee of the German-nationalist press in July 1937.68 The appointee in Salzburg was a lawyer, Albert Reitter. In December 1937 Reitter was instructed by his counterpart in Vienna, Pembauer, to publish a New Year's Eve editorial in the Salzburger Volksblatt outlining the aims of the national movement in Austria.69 Reitter's editorial contended that National Socialism was compatible with Austrofascism's claim to represent an ‘independent, Christian and German Austria’. He argued that Austria's independence could be guaranteed only if Austrians were allotted the right of self-determination (p.102) within the framework of ‘a pan-German solution’, that is, the right to choose political union with Germany. Secondly, he drew on the Nazi formulation of positive Christianity to demonstrate National Socialism's compatibility with religion.70 Reitter declared that the Austrofascist state's identification with Christianity ‘has nothing to do with a religious confession, but with a political confession of a bourgeois view of the state’. ‘This view of the Christian state does not constitute a contradiction of National Socialism’, he claimed. ‘On the contrary, what it directly expects is more practical Christianity and less learned comment on the Scriptures.’ Finally, Reitter argued that National Socialists were the only group in Austria truly committed to making Austria a ‘German’ state. In contrast to those who seemed more interested in rebuilding the ‘old Emperor's house’ or the Catholic Church, National Socialists were intent on creating a ‘German community of blood as the basis of a common historical destiny for all time’ that would build a bridge between Austria and Germany.71 Reitter sought to persuade readers that by committing themselves to Austria’suniversal and particular pan-German identity, and by rejecting the place of religious or dynastic traditions within that identity, they, too, would beable to pledge allegiance to National Socialism.

The reaction to Reitter's editorial within senior ranks of the Fatherland Front was swift. Zernatto, the Front general secretary, wanted to remove Reitter from his position as national political advisor in Salzburg, but Pembauer interjected by stating that Reitter's article had been approved by the provincial leader of the Fatherland Front.72 Pembauer was probably correct in his claim that the local authorities in Salzburg had approved the intention, if not the content, of Reitter's editorial. We have already seen how one anonymous Front functionary had sought to pitch the Austrofascist conception of a German and Christian identity to a German-nationalist readership and, like Reitter, had sought to disentangle Christian beliefs and practices from the status of official religion. To be sure, Reitter's attempt to cast Nazis as the better Christians and more committed Germans struck a different chord from those local elites who sought to integrate German-nationalists within the larger aims of the Austrofascist state. Nonetheless, their common efforts to create a spiritual basis for pan-Germanism can be understood from a local perspective in a town whose Christian and German heritage dating back to Boniface's days was contested and appropriated by different groups in Salzburg all claiming to bethe true heirs of the German apostle.

Glaser, for his part, endorsed the National Socialist view of pan-German unity over the Austrofascist concept of Austria as a separate German state. However, as we have seen, his private attitude towards National Socialism was characterized by political, rather than ideological consent. He was (p.103) never a member or close adherent of the Nazi Party and, even after 1938, did not join the NSDAP.73 He saw National Socialism as the fulfilment of his generation's pan-German ideals and that his role was to facilitate National Socialism's path to power by endorsing it in his newspaper. At times, he was a critical observer of Nazism and was not afraid to denounce what he regarded as the excesses of National Socialists. For him, violence and terror were unacceptable, but he held no objection to the political and racial aims of the party. He appears not to have shared the Nazis’ distastefor ‘degenerate’ art, however: after visiting the Entartete Kunst (DegenerateArt) exhibition in Munich in January 1938, Glaser commented that Oskar Kokoschka's Old Man was ‘not all that bad after all’.74 Yet he was overjoyed and relieved with the political developments as they unfolded after the Berchtesgaden talks between Hitler and Schuschnigg in February 1938. ‘One cannot put into words’, he wrote in his diary six days after Anschluss, ‘the joy and satisfaction over the historical world event that is the unification of Austria with the Reich – one can only say, thank God we have found home!’75

If Glaser gave political consent for National Socialism, we can regard his compliance with the Austrofascist state as professional expedience. His chief concern after 1933 had been the preservation of his publishing rights to the point of exploiting the rivalry between the Heimatschutz and local Fatherland Front officials in order to secure political immunity for his newspaper. Even after he handed over the reins of his newspaper to his son, Reinhold, in July 1935, Glaser continued to work in the editorial offices in Salzburg and with press officials in Vienna.76 He complied withthe regime whenever the interests of his newspaper were at stake, and it was only due to his fortuitous professional and personal connections thathe advanced to a position of relatively high standing in the Austrofascist press chamber for an owner of a German-nationalist organ in Salzburg.

The relationship between consent and compliance also highlights the extent of collaboration between German-nationalists and Austrofascists, which this book seeks to define. Their relationship was less complex than the relations between state and oppositional groups under regimes where resistance and collaboration were fraught with consequences far worse than censorship or the loss of a publishing licence. The lines of consent for National Socialism can be seen in the Salzburger Volksblatt's universal ethnic and civic identity discourses of pan-Germanism, which underscored the ethnic ties between German-speakers while asserting that National Socialism was the only path towards political union of the German nation. After the ban on the NSDAP editors tended to emphasize only an ethnic discourse of universal German nationhood and a few maintained private reservations about the short-term political strategies of the Nazis, but (p.104) publicly they continued to adhere to National Socialist doctrines such asLebensraum and positive Christianity. The lines of compliance with Austrofascism, on the other hand, can be seen in the construction of Austria's identity as a ‘German Christian’ state. Although Austrofascists adhered to an orthodox interpretation of Christian doctrines, while German-nationalists drew on the notion of positive Christianity, both linked Christianity with the belief that Austria was a German state. As we will see in the next chapter, German-nationalists and Austrofascists mined this dual heritage of Germandom and Christendom whenever and wherever the occasion rose to defend it: whether on the linguistic frontier of the Ostmark in Carinthia or among German-speaking minorities beyond Austria’sborders, the state mobilized its national and religious resources to expand and legitimize its vision of pan-Germanism.



(1) Archiv der Stadt Salzburg, PA 024, Hans Glaser, Tagebuch (hereafter Glaser, Tagebuch), 29 December 1933; 10 May 1938. Hanisch, ‘Die Salzburger Presse’, p. 359.

(2) Felder, Die historische Identität der österreichischen Bundesländer, pp. 115–16.

(3) Mark Cornwall, ‘The Struggle on the Czech–German Language Border, 1880–1940’, English Historical Review 109, 433 (1994), pp. 941–42. The following description of Glaser's background and career is drawn from his obituary in the Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Salzburger Landeskunde 101 (1961), pp. 343–44, and his biographical entry in Adolf Haslinger and Peter Mittermayr (eds), Salzburger Kulturlexikon (Salzburg: Residenz, 2001). In addition, Glaser’sdiary provides biographical details of key personalities at the Salzburger Volksblatt and public figures in Salzburg.

(4) Robert A. Kann, The Multinational Empire: Nationalism and National Reform in the Habsburg Monarchy 1848–1918, vol. 1 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1950), p. 207; Pauley, ‘Fascism and the Führerprinzip’, p. 293.

(5) On this practice of Kindertausch in the Czech lands, see Erich Zöllner, ‘The Germans as an Integrating and Disintegrating Force’, Austrian History Yearbook 3, 1 (1967), p. 229; Christian Promitzer, ‘The South Slavs in the Austrian Imagination: Serbs and Slovenes in the Changing View from German Nationalism to National Socialism’, in Nancy M. Wingfield (ed.), Creating the Other: Ethnic Conflict and Nationalism in Habsburg Central Europe (New York: Berghahn, 2003), p. 186; Pieter M. Judson, ‘Nationalizing Rural Landscapes in Cisleithania, 1880–1914’, in Wingfield (ed.), Creating the Other, pp. 135, 148n.15. See also Tara Zahra, ‘Reclaiming Children for the Nation: Germanization, National Ascription and Democracy in the Bohemian Lands, 1900–1945’, Central European History 37, 4 (2004): 501–43.

(p.105) (6) Michael Schmolke, ‘Das Salzburger Medienwesen’, in Heinz Dopsch and Hans Spatzenegger (eds), Geschichte Salzburgs: Stadt und Land (Salzburg: Anton Pustet, 1991), p. 1,975.

(7) Ernst Hanisch, ‘Die Salzburger Presse’, pp. 350, 356–57. The Salzburg wing of the Greater German party unofficially dissolved itself in July 1932, thereafter joining ranks with the National Socialists until 1934, when the remaining members formed the obscure German People's Association for the Province of Salzburg (Deutschen Volksverein für das Land Salzburg). See Hanisch, ‘Salzburg’, p. 917.

(8) Hanisch, ‘Salzburg’, p. 909; Morgan, Fascism in Europe, p. 72.

(9) Hanisch, ‘Die Salzburger Presse’, p. 357.

(10) Glaser, Tagebuch, 24 January 1933.

(11) Glaser, Tagebuch, 22, 23 June 1934.

(12) Glaser, Tagebuch, 30 October 1936; 29 September 1937.

(13) Hanisch, ‘Die Salzburger Presse’, pp. 359–60; Schmolke, ‘Das Salzburger Medienwesen’, p. 1,980.

(14) ÖStA/AdR, BKA/HD, Carton 10, ÖKVDA, 19 June 1937.

(16) Leonhard Steinwender, Christus im Konzentrationslager: Wege der Gnade und Opfers (Salzburg: Otto Müller, 1946), p. 133.

(17) Steinberg, The Meaning of the Salzburg Festival, pp. 130–31. On Dollfuss's support for a Catholic university in Salzburg, see Rudolf Ebneth, Die Österreichische Wochenschrift ‘Der Christliche Ständestaat’: Deutsche Emigration in Österreich 1933–1938 (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald, 1976), p. 8.

(18) Harald Waitzbauer, ‘“San die Juden scho’ furt?”: Salzburg, die Festspiele und das jüdische Publikum’, in Robert Kriechbaumer (ed.), Der Geschmack der Vergänglichkeit: Jüdische Sommerfrische in Salzburg (Vienna: Böhlau, 2002), p. 256.

(19) See Steinberg, The Meaning of the Salzburg Festival, pp. 72–74.

(20) Staudinger, ‘Austrofaschistische “Österreich”-Ideologie’, pp. 31–33.

(21) Kenneth Segar, ‘Austria in the irties: Reality and Exemplum’, in Kenneth Segar and John Warren (eds), Austria in the irties: Culture and Politics (Riverside, CA: Ariadne, 1991).

(22) Steinberg, The Meaning of the Salzburg Festival, p. 48.

(23) See, for example, the notice for a public lecture in Salzburg by Ing. Vogl of the NSDAP in Munich. Salzburger Volksblatt, 31 January 1933, p. 6.

(24) Salzburger Volksblatt, 6 March 1933 (Sonderausgabe), p. 2.

(25) Salzburger Volksblatt, 7 March 1933, p. 6.

(26) Glaser, Tagebuch, 7 March 1933.

(27) Salzburger Volksblatt, 10 March 1933, p. 2.

(28) See Chapter 2 on press laws.

(29) Salzburger Volksblatt, 2 May 1933, p. 2.

(30) Gerlinde Neureitner, ‘Die Geschichte des Salzburger Volksblattes von 1870 bis 1942’ (PhD dissertation, University of Salzburg, 1985), pp. 201, 207–9. See alsoSalzburger Volksblatt, 14 June 1933, p. 1.

(p.106) (31) Salzburger Volksblatt, 17 June 1933, pp. 1–2.

(32) Botz, Gewalt in der Politik, pp. 215–17, 260–62.

(33) Ibid., pp. 219–64; Hanisch, Der Lange Schatten des Staates, p. 149.

(34) Salzburger Volksblatt, 28 June 1933, p. 1.

(35) The editorial was written under the initial ‘M’, but Mayrhofer implied in a later editorial that he had written the editorial of 28 June to condemn acts of violence and also that he had openly and personally expressed his opinion to National Socialists regarding terrorism. See Salzburger Volksblatt, 4 January 1935, p. 5.

(36) Hanisch, ‘Die Salzburger Presse’, p. 356.

(37) Salzburger Volksblatt, 28 June 1933, pp. 1–2.

(38) Salzburger Volksblatt, 30 June 1933, p. 6.

(39) Glaser, Tagebuch, 29 June 1933. On Hueber, see C. Earl Edmondson, The Heimwehr and Austrian Politics, 1918–1936 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1978), pp. 112, 114, 266.

(40) Neureitner, ‘Die Geschichte des Salzburger Volksblattes von 1870 bis 1942’, pp. 212–13; Glaser, Tagebuch, 22 February 1934; 24 February 1934.

(41) ‘Forderungsprogramm der Salzburger Heimwehr vom 8. Februar 1934’, in Rudolf G. Ardelt (ed.), Salzburger Quellenbuch: Von der Monarchie bis zum Anschluss (Salzburg: Schriftenreihe des Landespressebüros, 1985), pp. 262–64.

(42) Glaser, Tagebuch, 14 April 1934.

(43) Salzburger Volksblatt, 28 March 1934, p. 1.

(44) Glaser, Tagebuch, 20 September 1934.

(45) Glaser, Tagebuch, 14 June 1934; 28 June 1934; 26 July 1934; 13 August 1934; 26 November 1934; 1 January 1935. See also Hanisch, ‘Die Salzburger Presse’, p. 363; Waltraud, Salzburger Zeitungsgeschichte, pp. 206, 211.

(46) Glaser, Tagebuch, 28 June 1934.

(47) See Jelavich, Modern Austria, p. 206; Brook-Shepherd, The Austrians, pp. 287–93. For a detailed account of the putsch, see Botz, Gewalt in der Politik, pp. 266–75.

(48) Glaser, Tagebuch, 27 July 1934.

(49) Neureitner, ‘Die Geschichte des Salzburger Volksblattes von 1870 bis 1942’, p. 216.

(50) See, for example, Salzburger Volksblatt, 3 January 1935, p. 8; 14 April 1936, p. 8.

(51) Neureitner, ‘Die Geschichte des Salzburger Volksblattes von 1870 bis 1942’, pp. 216–17.

(52) Salzburger Volksblatt, 29 January 1936, p. 5.

(53) Salzburger Volksblatt, 8 February 1936, p. 7.

(54) Salzburger Volksblatt, 13 July 1936, p. 1.

(55) Glaser, Tagebuch, 12 July 1936.

(56) See above.

(57) Glaser, Tagebuch, 14 May 1936; 31 March 1937. See also Neureitner, ‘Die Ges chichte des Salzburger Volksblattes von 1870 bis 1942’, pp. 215, 218.

(58) Salzburger Volksblatt, 3 November 1936, p. 1.

(p.107) (59) Salzburger Volksblatt, 24 December 1936, p. 1.

(61) On Rosenberg and other Nazi paganists, see Richard Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

(62) See Salzburger Volksblatt, 1 September 1934, p. 2; 1 December 1934, pp. 2–3; 18 May 1936, pp. 1–2.

(63) Salzburger Volksblatt, 9 June 1936, pp. 1–2.

(64) Salzburger Volksblatt, 5 June 1937, pp. 2–3.

(65) See, for example, Salzburger Volskblatt, 25 August 1937, p. 1.

(66) Salzburger Volksblatt, 9 December 1937, pp. 1–2.

(68) Hanisch, Der Lange Schatten des Staates, p. 321. On Seyss-Inquart's role as trustee, see Chapter 2.

(69) Bärnthaler, ‘Geschichte und Organisation der Vaterländische Front’, pp. 210–12.

(70) The Nazi formulation of positive Christianity first appeared in 1920 under Point 24 of the NSDAP's ‘Twenty-Five Point Programme’. It emphasized charity in place of theology, esteemed Christ as a model anti-Semite, and sought to develop a new syncretism based on the confessional traditions of both Catholicism and Protestantism, although it relied heavily on a liberal Protestant heritage. See Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich.

(71) Salzburger Volksblatt, 31 December 1937, p. 2.

(72) Bärnthaler, ‘Geschichte und Organisation der Vaterländische Front’, pp. 211–14.

(73) Ernst Hanisch, Gau der guten Nerven: Die nationalsozialistische Herrschaft in Salzburg 1938–1945 (Salzburg: Anton Pustet, 1997), p. 31.

(74) Glaser, Tagebuch, 26 January 1938.

(75) Glaser, Tagebuch, 18 March 1938.

(76) Neureitner, ‘Die Geschichte des Salzburger Volksblattes von 1870 bis 1942’, p. 217. Reinhold Glaser was chief editor of the Salzburger Volksblatt from July 1937 to February 1938. See Waltraud, Salzburger Zeitungsgeschichte, p. 211.