Engelbert Dollfuss

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Dollfuss, Engelbert

Dollfuss, Engelbert (ĕngˈəlbĕrt dôlˈfo͝os), 1892–1934, Austrian chancellor. A Christian Socialist, he rose to prominence as leader of the Lower Austrian Farmers' League and became minister of agriculture in 1931. Appointed chancellor in 1932, he obtained a badly needed international loan in return for a renewal of the pledge to maintain the full independence of Austria. In Mar., 1933, he assumed quasi-dictatorial powers. The increasingly powerful Austrian National Socialist party, backed by Nazi Germany, was the chief threat to the Dollfuss regime and to Austrian independence. Dollfuss dissolved the party in June, 1933. Unwilling or unable to cooperate with the Social Democrats, he relied more and more on alliance with the native Austrian fascists under E. R. von Starhemberg. In foreign policy he lacked adequate support of the Western powers and staked the preservation of Austrian independence on friendship with Italy. Pressed by Starhemberg and Mussolini, he enacted provocative measures against the Social Democrats, and in Feb., 1934, he ruthlessly suppressed a Socialist uprising. In Apr., 1934, Austria became a corporative state with a one-party, authoritarian system. Dollfuss was assassinated (July 25) by Austrian Nazis, who made an unsuccessful attempt to seize power.


See W. Maass, Assassination in Vienna (1972).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dollfuss, Engelbert


Born Oct. 4, 1892, in Texing, Lower Austria; died July 25, 1934, in Vienna. Austrian political figure and a leader of the reactionary Christian Socialist Party. In 1931-32 he was minister of agriculture and forestry. In May 1932 he became chancellor and minister of foreign affairs. Dollfuss’ government contributed to the gradual growth of fascism in the country. In May 1933 it banned the Communist party, and in February 1934 it massacred the workers’ Schutzbund. In his foreign policy Dollfuss was oriented toward fascist Italy. On Mar. 17, 1934, Dollfuss, along with the governments of Italy and Hungary, signed the so-called Rome Protocols rendering Austrian policy completely dependent on Italy. Dollfuss was killed by Austrian National Socialists, who were striving for Austria’s incorporation into fascist Germany.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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