Schutzbund

Schutzbund

 

(Defense League), a paramilitary organization of the Social Democratic Party of Austria in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Schutzbund was founded in 1923 in response to the demand of the popular masses for defense against reactionary armed organizations. The Social Democratic leaders pursued a policy of capitulation with respect to the reactionaries; they restrained the actions of the Schutzbund and barred Communists from membership in it.

In February 1934, Schutzbund members in Linz, followed by their comrades in Vienna and many other Austrian cities, took up arms against the reactionaries and fascists (seeFEBRUARY ARMED DEMONSTRATION OF 1934). Communists and unaffiliated workers fought alongside the members of the Schutzbund. Through the fault of the Social Democratic leaders, however, the demonstrators lacked leadership, and they were not supported by the main forces of the working class. The uprising was brutally suppressed after several days of bitter fighting.

After the events of 1934, many members of the Schutzbund left the Social Democratic Party and joined the Communist Party of Austria.

References in periodicals archive ?
Thus the Schutzbund was established which was to play a fatal role in the civil war of 1934.
He also prohibited the further functioning of the Schutzbund, the military organization of the social-democratic party.
But early in 1934, the government started to confiscate Schutzbund weapons and on February 12 such a roundup took place in Linz.
With the rise of fascism, Duczynska spent 1934-36 in clandestine activity on behalf of the autonomous Austrian workers' militia, the Schutzbund, and was briefly a member of the Austrian Communist Party (from which she was also expelled).
Thus, the major purpose of her book on the Austrian Schutzbund was to expound lessons that the Vienna workers' street-fighting tactics could provide to "modern guerrilla warfare within the worldwide framework of American imperialism," with particular reference to the principles of the Austrian General Theodor Korner and the German military theorist Clausewitz.
15-26 in Ilona Duczynska, Workers in Arms: The Austrian Schutzbund and the Civil War of 1934 (New York and London, 1978), p.
Second, there were the associations which were politically radical in their goals, obvious examples being the Stahlhelm and Schutzbund deutscher Soldaten (BdS); these were numerically small, but disproportionately vociferous in their public statements.