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licemen, around the house SA and SS, in the house were we, who acted and the Austrian government, who did not act. Act we did. Until i o'clock in the night Ludwig and his companion sent calls for help by wireless to Paris. We then put an end to this by placing two strapping SS-men in his room. [Page 18]
The negotiations continued tenaciously. I was aware that if Mr. Miklas finds out that the Reich does not march, the situation may become critical. As long as he does not know this he will be under the impression: The German avalanche rolls across the border. When this moment arrives we must be able to proclaim a National Socialist government.
I had a typewriter brought, I myself wrote again. I asked whether there was anybody who understands something about forming a government. Riemer came forward. He had worked illegally with us for a long time. I sat down on a couch and the
a table was so high that I recall it with horror. Seyss sat on one side and on the other side was Keppler, then Klausner and Globus, and the government of Seyss-Inquart was formed. Next to us was a telephone on which Jury was and he had a connection with the Ravag we had occupied, with the instruction to broadcast the news about the provisional change of Government. That had to be done to have a legal government right away. In any case, it would have been proclaimed legal by the Office of the Bundes Chancery.
But we had to wait some time yet. We had established this Government which was the same that was confirmed by Miklas three hours later. In the meantime, I telephoned in the Seizergasse and said a torch-light procession must be organized. This began to march. I ordered: The future members of the Government must come! They came.
Then a policeman arrived and said: somebody is downstairs with a swastika armband, he had orders to occupy the Bundes Chancery. It was Riemer with 50 SS men. He was the first Nazi, in that night, whom I saw in the Bundes Chancery with the swastika armband. Seyss gave the permission that these men had to be admitted into the Bundes Chancery. That was enough; Globus brought them upstairs. In the meantime reports came from the provinces. Partly inquiries. Wintersteiger in Salzburg had gone to Mr. Rehrl and demanded assumption of power. Rehrl said that he had to inquire. He asked in the Bundes Chancery: “There is an individual with the name of Wintersteiger and, with reference to an order of the Bundes Chancellor Seyss-Inquart demanded the handing over of the Government authority.” Globus was on the other end of the line. He said: "Clear out as fast as possible.” Rehrl followed suit, and Wintersteiger took over. It happened the same way in all principal cities. In the meantime, the taking over of power had also been accomplished in Vienna. In the Bundes Chancery we played the National Marches.
In the meantime I drafted together with Klausner the proclamation which was to be published after the announcement of the government, and the further negotiations which were conducted by Seyss. Once the door opened and a strapping guardist arrived with beer and seltzer bottles and ham sandwiches for us. That was the first sign that we had assumed power.
But we were not yet through. At last, it was already around i2 o'clock. Miklas, under the pressure of the already accomplished seizure of power by the NSDAP in the whole of Austria, acknowledged the resignation of Schuschnigg, but did not yet appoint Seyss as Bundes-Chancellor, but has asked him to continue with the business of the Bundes Government. Seyss informed us of this. It was possible according to article 84, etc., of the Constitution. We read what this meant. This was a Government which required for each of its acts the counter-signature of the Bundes-President. Nothing could be done with such a Government. We had, however, to be satisfied. Therefore we have formed a second Government in accordance with article 84 of the Bundes-Constitution. Legal difficulties arose. Seyss therefore had to negotiate further. In the meantime, Himmler had phoned from Munich: whether we were not finished soon; he wanted to fly over already. We said he would have to wait yet. Klausner made a speech to the torchlight procession that was standing in front of the Bundes Chancellory. The members of the Government, Klausner, and Seyss stepped out on the balcony. I was in the midst of conferences and of issuing instructions. Globus arrived: "Friedel, you also must step onto the balcony !" I had to go. I said I had no time, and went back.
We continued working, and then it was already after midnight-came Seyss and said: "I was appointed Bundes Chancellor. I must submit a list of the members of the Government." We wrote, therefore, the third list of the Seyss-Inquart Government. Miklas did not appoint Klausner and Kaltenbrunner and refused to take them into the Government. We telephoned to Himmler that he could start. I said it does not make any difference what Miklas did, we need the signature. Thus the signature was obtained. Globus said: "We must go to the airport, 744400-47-47
Himmler is coming." Seyss was tired, he drove home. Klausner was the leader of the party, and we drove to the airport. Hereby the following incident occurred. When we entered the car in the courtyard of the Bundes Chancellor, Skubl, who had to report to Himmler, was still in it. Outside the whole street was crowded with National Socialists. They noticed the departure of cars. First there was the car with Klausner, one with Kaltenbrunner, then a car with us. Suddenly I became very frightened. Skubl was sitting in here, nobody knows me and Globus, but everybody knows Skubl. When they see Skubl, anything can happen, we might even be killed by our own people. Skubl, however, crouched low in the car. In that way we arrived at the airport, and there we sat around. Excitement which nobody ever forgets who has experienced it. The SA from Aspern had already taken up position in civilian attire; they looked terrible. Skubl was so fatigued that he lay down in an office. We sat in the restaurant. Kaesemeier brought a ring of Cervelade-sausage. That was the first food I had, as I had not eaten the ham sandwiches in the Bundes-Chancellery because I had no time. Then it was said: “He comes, Himmler.” Skubl was awakened in the last moment. SA men stood in the lobby of the airport, and the men of the Leader and of the Reichsfuehrer assembled outside. Then SS leaders stepped down from the airplane at whom we stared; men with machine-pistols formed a circle around the airplane, ready to fire.
They had no idea how it was. But Himmler saw immediately what was going on. We made a report, then we went into the airport. Klausner drove to town with Himmler to the Hotel Astoria where the quarters were. Globus said to me: there are a few more SS men who can ride with you. Then we ourselves had no car left. Globus and I were all alone. How could we get to town? There was no streetcar anymore. Globus began to telephone, at six o'clock he luckily caught a taxi. We got into it and drove to our quarters, slept an hour, and in the morning we both drove to our office. Hereby I saw: in the streets people with the swastika armbands, happy, the broken standards of the Vaterlaendischen Front. Newspapers were sold. I bought a paper where I read the results from the Bundes Capitals. I then realized what had happened there. The entire previous day we had been so engrossed in our fight and kept a clear head. We had to wait and operate coldly.
I therefore could only occupy myself with this task. I could not comprehend the greatness of the time. All that for which we fought for years, that we accomplished all this, that the fight was over, that was so incomprehensible. I had literally read the result the next day in the papers, and I had to take pins, to grit my teeth to control my emotion. Thus also ended the struggle of the Party.
The Fuehrer arrived on the same day. Klausner was ordered to report to the Fuehrer in Linz. We received from Klausner the order to follow him in an airplane. We flew to Linz with an airforce squadron and could report to the Fuehrer, receive his handshake, returned then to Vienna and were present when the Fuehrer on the second day, coming from St. Poelten, arrived in Vienna and made the most important announcement in German history.
Thus ended the struggle of the party for the power in Austria.
PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 4006-PS
Page 1, Heading
Bulletin of the Reich Minister for Armament and Munition
Page 2, column 1, lines 33-40 General Plenipotentiary for Labor commitment. By request of the Reich Minister for Armament and Munition the Reichs Statthalter and Gauleiter Fritz SAUCKEL was appointed “General Plenipotentiary for Labor Commitment" within the compass of the Four Year Plan.
[Pages 169, 170, 171]
Berlin, 1 December 1942
Enclosure 1 relative to Communication No. 16,1942
of the Reich Minister for
Armaments and Munitions
G. Z.: 9077-168/I
G. Z.: 5550/850
To the Heads of
and Heads of Labor Offices.
Subject: Cooperation in the commitment of labor for armament purposes.
In order to meet completely and within the time set the demands made in the field of armaments it is an indispensable prerequisite that all offices involved cooperate as closely and as considerately as possible.
Inasmuch as the formation of armaments commissions out of government authorities and offices in the Greater German Reich which are concerned with the tasks to be accomplished in the armaments economy has already dealt with this need, from the organizational point of view, by virtue of the decree of the Reich Marshal of Greater Germany, dated 17 September 1942, the following is set forth in regard to cooperation by offices of the Reich • Minister for Armaments and Munitions with the offices of the Plenipotentiary General for Labor Commitment:
I. CENTRAL TASKS For this cooperation the following presuppositions are to be the point of departure:
1. In keeping with his total responsibility for the issue of the armaments program, the Reich Minister for Armaments and Munitions alone will decide on all questions of priority for all armament assignments and the urgency in providing the labor needs involved in the armament programs.
2. To the extent that an outline of quotas for assignment of labor for the individual armament programs has not already been established in the "Central Planning Board”-in cooperation with the Plenipotentiary General for Labor Commitment—he (the Reich Minister for Armaments and Munitions) will ascertain them and bring them to the attention of the Plenipotentiary General for Labor Commitment, submitting to him at the same time lists of the factories involved in the program. In special cases centrally ascertained assignment figures for individual plants will also be submitted (red slip procedure.)
3. In addition to the leading program directed by the Reich Minister for Armaments and Munitions, the tasks of the offices of the Reich Minister for Armaments and Munitions will also extend to the following groups of industries :