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AUSTRIA: Hitler’s Promise

2 minute read

It was a good thing for Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg that he skipped out of Vienna to holiday near Salzburg last week. To President Wilhelm Miklas and Prince Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg, Supreme Sports Leader of Austria, who remained behind to greet Olympic athletes (see p. 40), massed and vociferous Austrian Nazis offered the most humiliating of insults.

In the first place it is illegal to give the Nazi salute or sing Nazi songs in Austria. Moreover, Adolf Hitler has just made a pact with Kurt von Schuschnigg pledging Germany rigorously to abstain from interfering in the political affairs of Austria (TIME, July 20). On the strength of this agreement, Austrian amnesty was granted thousands of imprisoned Nazis. Last week these brawny fellows turned out to heckle Prince von Starhemberg and President Miklas. The Prince had the advantage of speaking into a microphone.

Even though technicians turned up all loud speakers connected to it full blast, Starhemberg was completely drowned out by roars of “Heil Hitler!!” which never ceased during the ten full minutes of his speech.

Kindly President Miklas fared even worse, had to stand for a whole hour in which nothing could be heard but the frantic cheers of Austrians for the ruler of Germany. Vienna police, either anxious for their own skins or under secret orders from absent Chancellor Schuschnigg, not only permitted Nazis to roar their forbidden Horst Wessel song but let them slug and beat up Socialists, Communists and Jews. Four plug-uglies wearing Nazi white socks dumped a blood-bespattered youth in front of some policemen, mockingly declared : “Here’s a Red for you who’s been shouting against Hitler!”

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