« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
mote the absorption of Austria into the Greater German Reich according to plan as conceived by his fellow Nazi conspirators. Seyss-Inquart had had a continuous and constant interest in the union of Austria and Germany for twenty years, and during all that time worked, planned, and collaborated with others until the union became an accomplished fact.
“In 1918 I became interested in the Anschluss of Austria with Germany. From that year on I worked, planned, and collaborated with others of a like mind to bring about a union.
It was my desire to effect this union of the two countries—in an evolutionary manner and by legal means. Among my Austrian collaborators were Dr. Neubacher, City Councillor Speiser, the University Professor Hugelmann, and Dr. Wilhelm Bauer, Professor Wettstein and others. Later, during the rise of National Socialism, Dr. Friedrich Rainer, Dr. Jury, Glaise-Horstenau, Major Klausner, Dr. Muehlmann, Globotschnigg, and others.
After I became State Councillor, I discussed several times with von Papen, the German Ambassador, the possibilities of an understanding between the Austrian government and the Austrian National Socialists, respectively the Reich. We did not talk of the Anschluss as an actual program. However, we were both of the opinion that a successful understanding would bring about in the course of time the Anschluss by evolutionary means in some form. The last time I spoke to von Papen was in Janu
ary 1938 in Garmisch where I met him by chance." (3425-PS) Seyss-Inquart contributed his efforts to revive the Austrian Nazi Party after the unsuccessful “putsch" of July 25, 1934, and to provide relief for the families of arrested and condemned Nazis. He has described these activities in the following words:
“The effect of the ‘Putsch' was a complete catastrophe to the National Socialist Camp. Not merely the leaders, but party members were arrested in so far as they did not escape; the confiscation of their fortunes was announced; the revolt which led to military actions in Steiriermark, Karnten and Oberoesterreich did cost victims; the political management was seriously compromised by the Nazis and above all, a most sinister looking situation was created in regard to foreign politics. In any case, the idea of a union had suffered a severe setback. I was in agreement about the effect with Dr. Neubacher, and it was our desire to assist easing the tension. Following this situation I felt urged to take up politics beyond the question of the 'Anschluss.'
National delegate to the 'Langoth' in Linz was working with
ship with the proper Party circles." (3254-PS) The defendant submitted his plans to Hitler, Hess, and Goering for their approval, and contacted other German Nazis.
“After my appointment as State Councillor, Wilhelm Keppler, the German Secretary of State for Austrian affairs, arranged a visit for me with Hess and Goering. I explained my intentions and plans to them, namely, the attainment of the legal activity for the Austrian National Socialist, independent of the Reich Party. Hess expressed his interest and said to me among other things: he regretted that I was not one of the original 'old fighters.' I believe that at that time Goering had already established direct connections with the Austrian State Secretary, Guido Schmid. After my appointment as Minister of Interior and Security of Austria, I went to Berlin to visit Hitler. I arrived in Berlin on 17-2-1938 where I was met by Keppler who took me to Himmler. This visit was not anticipated in my program. Himmler wanted to talk over police matters, I informed him, however, that I was not conversant to speak about them. I did not follow the suggestions which he made. I greeted Hitler with raised handpermissible after the agreement of 12–2–advised him, how
ever, immediately that as Austrian Minister, my responsibility lay with Austria. I explained to Hitler my plans, namely: I was to be the living guaranty for Dr. Schuschnigg of the evolutionary way. The Austria National Socialists must only conduct their activities according to the Austrian Constitution and on those lines find their way to the Reich; they must not make any totalitarian claim nor conduct a cultural struggle. The leadership of the Austrian National Socialists must be independent of the Reich and remain responsible to Austria. I would have, as Minister of Security, to oppose any kind of illegal activity. Against this the Austrian National Socialist would be permitted full freedom of activity to work for the closest cooperation of Austria and Germany. Hitler agreed to my plans but expressed certain doubts whether Dr. Schuschnigg would be willing to go so far. During my conference with Hitler, Keppler and Ribben
trop waited in the ante-room of Hitler's office.” (3425-PS) Seyss-Inquart's fellow Nazi conspirators regarded his position as Councillor of State in the Austrian Government as most important to them, because he had a mandate from the German Nazis in power, which he was attempting to carry out. Because his negotiations with Chancellor Schuschnigg seemed to be running aground, Seyss-Inquart sent a report of that fact to Keppler by courier, stating that he felt compelled to return his mandate, and expressing a desire to discuss the matter before acting accordingly. Keppler immediately sought advice from Goering in a letter dated 6 January 1938. On that same day Goering's secretary was instructed to telephone instructions to Keppler to do anything to avoid the resignations of Councillor of State Dr. SeyssInquart and State Minister Glaise von Horstenau. Keppler received this telephone message on 7 January 1938, and on 8 January 1938 wrote a letter to Seyss-Inquart informing him of Goering's instructions and relaying Goering's request not to give up the mandate under any circumstances without discussing the matter with Goering. (3473-PS; 3397-PS)
Despite assertions, in statements since his arrest and indictment, to the effect that he desired a union of Austria and Germany in an evolutionary manner and by legal means, Seyss-Inquart has on other occasions made statements to the contrary. His letter of 14 July 1939 to Goering is particularly illuminating on this point:
"I told myself in July 1934 that we must fight this clerical regime on its own ground in order to give the Fuehrer a chance to use whatever method he desires. I told myself that
this Austria was worth a mass. I have stuck to this attitude with an iron determination because I and my friends have had to fight against the whole political church, and Free Masonry, the Jewry, in short, against everything in Austria. The slightest weakness which we might have displayed would undoubtedly have led to our political annihilation; it would have deprived the Fuehrer of the means and tools to carry out his ingenious political solution for Austria as became evident in the days of March 1938. I have been fully conscious of the fact that I am following a path which is not comprehensible to the masses and also not to my party comrades. I have followed it calmly and would without hesitation follow it again because I am satisfied that at one point I could serve the Fuehrer as a tool in his work, even though my former attitude, even now, gives occasion to very worthy and honorable Party comrades to doubt my trustworthiness. I have never paid attention to such things because I am satisfied with the opinion which the Fuehrer and the men close to
him have of me." (2219-PS) Another statement of the defendant, which throws some light on this point, is found in his letter to Himmler dated 19 August 1939:
"On November 8, 1938, the Fuehrer invited several political leaders for supper. The Fuehrer asked me to be next to him. We discussed the situation in Ostmark. I told him that in accordance with his order, we started to dissolve the competence of the Austrian government by giving the powers partly to the Gauen and partly to the central leaders. But there still would remain certain affairs which would be common for all
Gauen.” (3271-PS) Furthermore, Seyss-Inquart has made the following statement:
“I was happy that the Anschluss of Austria with the German Reich had come at last after so many vain endeavors since 1918 because I was in favor of the Anschluss of Austria with the Reich under many conditions. I was aware at least to a certain extent of the harshness of the National Socialist regime, but I was of the opinion that these two German countries belonged together and that the German people should solve their own internal affairs and difficulties. I was convinced that the harshness of the National Socialist regime chiefly because of its achievement of the National aim-cancellation of discriminatory peace treaties and achievement of the right of self-determination—would in time be surmounted.” (3425-PS)
The subversive machinations of the Austrian Nazis to bring about the absorption of Austria by the Greater German Reich was described in detail by Dr. Friedrich Rainer, a leading Austrian Nazi and a collaborator of Seyss-Inquart who became one of Hitler's Gauleiters, in a report prepared by him and forwarded to Buerckel. A copy of this report accompanied by a letter of transmittal was later sent to Seyss-Inquart by Dr. Rainer. In substance, the report related how the Nazi party lost a parliamentary battle in 1933, continued its efforts to force admission of its representatives into the Austrian government, and finally flowered into the unsuccessful "Putsch" of July 1934, which, in effect, destroyed the Nazi organization. Following the unsuccessful "Putsch", Hitler liquidated the first stage of the battle, and instructed Franz von Papen to restore normal relationships between the two countries. Accordingly, a new method of political penetration was adopted. The result was that Hinterleitner, an Austrian Nazi got in touch with the lawyer Seyss-Inquart, who had connections with Dr. Wachter originating from Seyss-Inquart's support of the July uprising. Seyss-Inquart also had a good position in the legal field and especially well established relations with Christian Social politicians. Dr. Seyss-Inquart came from the ranks of the "Styrian Heimatschutz" and had become a Nazi party member when the entire "Styrian Heimatschutz" was incorporated in the NSDAP. The reason for utilizing Seyss-Inquart appears in the following excerpt from the covering letter which accompanied Dr. Rainer's report to Reich Commissar Gauleiter Josef Buerckel, dated 6 July 1939:
"I think the main reason for the fact that the person of Dr. Seyss-Inquart seemed to Hitler and to public opinion to have stepped in the limelight in those March days, was that no position existed in the party which one might have presented oneself to the public, and that there was no man who had the guts to let himself be presented. The actual reason was that the party leadership had to remain secret during the whole illegal fight, secret even from the Reich German public.”
(812-PS) Thus it is clear why Seyss-Inquart was surreptitiously a member of the Austrian Nazi Party after it was declared illegal in 1934.
Dr. Rainer goes on to report that full recognition of the party leadership was given by Seyss-Inquart and also that the defendant was in permanent contact with Captain Leopold, who became a member of the staff of Hess. After Hinterleitner was arrested, Dr. Rainer became his successor as leader of the Austrian Nazi Party, and, on 16 July 1936, Dr. Rainer and Globocnik visited