Renner, Karl(kärl rĕn`ər), 1870–1950, Austrian socialist politician. A deputy after 1907, Renner became, following the abdication (Nov., 1918) of Emperor Charles I, the head of the provisional Austrian government and, after elections were held, the first chancellor (1919–20) of the Austrian republic. As leader of the Austrian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, Renner signed the Treaty of Saint-Germain. He later served (1931–33) as president of the parliament. As World War II was ending in Apr., 1945, Renner became premier and minister of foreign affairs in the provisional Austrian government, and in Dec., 1945, he was elected president of the liberated Austrian republic. After his death he was succeeded by Theodor Körner. Renner wrote works in sociology, economics, and political science.
Born Dec. 14, 1870, in Unter-Tannowitz, present-day Dolni-Dunajovice, Czechoslovakia; died Dec. 31, 1950, in Vienna. Austrian statesman and political figure; a leader of the Austrian Social Democratic Party and an ideologist of Austro-Marxism.
In 1907, Renner became a deputy to parliament, where he represented the Social Democratic Party; he was leader of the party’s right, reformist wing. In the early 20th century, along with other Austro-Marxists, he advanced the opportunist and nationalist theory of cultural and national autonomy. During World War I (1914–18), Renner was the leader of the Austrian Social Chauvinists. He served as chancellor of the Austrian Republic from November 1918 to June 1920 and as president of the parliament from 1931 to 1933. Renner denied the existence of an Austrian nation and supported the Anschluss. In 1938 he publicly supported fascist Germany’s seizure of Austria and Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland.
In 1945, Renner was head of the Provisional Government; he became president of the Austrian Republic in December 1945. While in the Provisional Government, he advocated the loyal cooperation of all democratic forces; however, from 1946 he opposed the immediate conclusion of a state treaty with Austria, the end of the occupation of Austria by the Western powers, and the recognition of the legitimate rights of the USSR as established by the Potsdam Conference of 1945. After World War II (1939–45), Renner was a proponent of democratic socialism and called for a moderation of the class struggle.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Gosudarstvo i natsiia. St. Petersburg, 1906. (Under the pen name Synopticus.)
Natsional’naia problema (Bor’ba natsional’nostei v Avstrii). St. Petersburg, 1909. (Under the pen name R. Springer.)
M. A. POLTAVSKII