February Armed Demonstration of 1934

February Armed Demonstration of 1934

 

in Austria, an antifascist armed demonstration by the Austrian proletariat in defense of democracy.

The demonstration was in response to the course undertaken by the reaction—namely, the suppression of democratic liberties and the establishment of a fascist dictatorship. On February 12 the members of the Schutzbund of Linz, followed by their comrades in Vienna and in other cities, took up arms against the reactionaries, who had begun to make mass arrests and to break up the Social Democratic and trade union organizations. Communists and nonaffiliated workers joined the demonstrators in the fighting Government troops, the police, and the Heim-wehr—armed with heavy artillery, mortar, and armored cars—were thrown into battle to put down the demonstration. The demonstrators’ defeat after several days of heroic struggle was largely due to the political course followed by the Social Democratic Party, whose leaders had for many years advocated acquiescence. Thousands of demonstrators were imprisoned, the leading activists were executed, and the workers’ organizations were broken up. These reprisals against the proletariat effectively weakened the one force in the country that was capable of standing up against the threatened Anschluss and in defense of independence. After the events of 1934, many Schutzbund members joined the Austrian Communist Party.

REFERENCES

Dimitrov, G. M. Pis’mo avstriiskim rabochim. Moscow, 1934.
Koplenig, J. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. Moscow, 1963.
Mochalin, D N. Vena na barrikadakh. Moscow, 1964.
Reisberg, A. Avstria, fevral’ 1934. Moscow, 1975. (Translated from German.)
Leichter, O. Glanz und Ende der Ersten Republik. Vienna [1964].

D. N. MOCHALIN

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