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Austria at the crossroads: The Anschluss and its opponents

Manning, Jody Abigail 2013. Austria at the crossroads: The Anschluss and its opponents. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

The 12 March 1938 was not only the beginning of Nazi rule in Austria; it was also the end of a six-year struggle by a significant minority of Austrians to maintain Austrian independence against very considerable odds. This study has sought to refocus attention on the role of the Dollfuß Government 1932–34 in attempting to prevent a Nazi takeover, and to reassess the state of current scholarship on the reasons for its collapse. In this regard, this thesis sets out to re-examine the behaviour and motivations of Dollfuß in particular, and the Christian Socials in general, during the period in question, as well as to document and clarify the key strategies of the Austrian leadership in dealing with the twin threats of Austrian and German National Socialism. Its overall conclusion is that there is a pressing need to modulate the historical narrative of the Dollfuß era to reflect more accurately what actually occurred. This thesis seeks to prove that despite the extreme pressure that it was under from Nazi Germany, the Dollfuß government and its mainstay, the Christian Socials, used all realistic means at their disposal to keep the Nazis from the centres of power while maintaining Austrian independence. It investigates why Dollfuß refused to publicly co-operate with the Social Democrats, but was apparently willing to enter into a deal with the National Socialists, and what this tells us about his anti-Nazi stance. It also considers the question of whether the traditional focus on the breakdown of democracy, as a key cause of the collapse of the Austrian state in 1938, is useful in understanding of the period.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DB Austria
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
Funders: AHRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2018 14:19
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/47641

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