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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus the Schutzbund was established which was to play a fatal role in the civil war of 1934.
One such clash was over the Nazis' allegation that the social democratic paramilitary organization, the Schutzbund, was used to protect the delegates to the Zionist congress in Vienna in 1925.
The defeat suffered by the Austrian Schutzbund in May 1934 brought about the gradual abandonment of the insurrectionary type of strategy.
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).
Writing in Stalin's Soviet Union, Wolf is at pains, however, to show many of his characters behaving and speaking like exemplary Communists even though the majority of them, as would have been the case in real life, are members not of the Communist Party but of the Sozialistischer Schutzbund, the military wing of the SDAPO.
In the late 1920s, the Heimwehr became linked with fascist organizations, and fighting with the "Schutzbund," the paramilitary group formed in 1923 by Austria's Social Democratic Party, intensified.
The Social Democrats, like other parties, had formed their own private army (the Republikansche Schutzbund) which resisted the forces of the establishment.
She is here this evening, and tomorrow she will tell us about her participation in the illegal radio transmissions of "Radio Schutzbund" in the months following the demise of Redvienna in February 1934.
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.
(*)On this, see Ilona Duczynska, Workers in Arms: The Austrian Schutzbund and the Civil War of 1934, published by Monthly Review Press.