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tempted a revolutionary putsch and killed Chancellor Dollfus. A message from Mr. Hadow, of the British Legation in Vienna, to Sir John Simon contains details of the putsch (2985 PS). The official version of events given verbally by the Austrian Government to the diplomatic Corps, as set forth in this document, stated that approximately a hundred men attempting the putsch seized the Federal Chancellery. Chancellor Dollfuss was wounded in trying to escape, being shot twice at close quarters. The Radio Building in the center of the town was overwhelmed, and the announcer was compelled to broadcast the news that Dollfuss had resigned and Doctor Rintelen had taken his place as Chancellor.

Although the putsch failed, the insurgents kept control of the Chancellery Building and agreed to give it up only after they had a safe-conduct to the German border. The insurgents contacted the German Minister, Dr. Rieth, by telephone, and subsequently had private negotiations with him in the building. At about 7:00 p. m. they yielded the building, but Chancellor Dollfuss died about 6:00 p. m., not having had the services of a doctor.

The German Government denied all complicity in the putsch and assassination. Hitler removed Dr. Rieth as Minister on the ground that he had offered a safe-conduct to the rebels without making inquiry of the German Government, and had thus without any reason dragged the German Reich into an internal Austrian affair. This statement appears in the letter which Hitler sent to Franz von Papen on the 26th day of July 1934. (2799-PS)

Although the German Government denied any knowledge or complicity in this putsch, there is ample basis for the conclusion that the German Nazis bear responsibility for the events. Light is shed on this matter in the extensive record of the trial of the Austrian Nazi, Planetta, and others who were convicted for the murder, and in the Austrian Brown Book issued after July 25. Mr. Messersmith's affidavit offers further evidence:

“The events of the Putsch of July 25, 1934, are too well known for me to repeat them in this statement. I need say here only that there can be no doubt that the Putsch was ordered and organized by the Nazi officials from Germany through their organization in Austria made up of German Nazis and Austrian Nazis. Dr. Rieth, the German Minister in Vienna, was fully familiar with all that was going to happen and that was being planned. The German Legation was located directly across the street from the British Legation and the Austrian secret police kept close watch on the persons who entered the German Legation. The British had their own secret service in Vienna at the time and they also

kept a discreet surveillance over people entering the German
Legation. I was told by both British and Austrian officials
that a number of the men who were later found guilty by the
Austrian Courts of having been implicated in the Putsch had
frequented the German Legation. In addition, I personally
followed very closely the activities of Dr. Rieth and I never
doubted on the basis of all my information that Dr. Rieth
was in close touch and constant touch with the Nazi agents
in Austria; these agents being both German and Austrian.
Dr. Rieth could not have been unfamiliar with the Putsch
and the details in connection therewith. I recall too very
definitely from my conversations with the highest officials of
the Austrian Government after the Putsch, their informing
me that Dr. Rieth had been in touch with von Rintelen, who
it had been planned by the Nazis was to succeed Chancellor
Dollfuss had the Putsch been successful.
"It may be that Dr. Rieth was himself not personally sympa-
thetic with the plans for the Putsch but there is no question
that he was fully familiar with all these plans and must have
given his assent thereto and connived therein.
“As this Putsch was so important and was a definite attempt
to overthrow the Austrian Government and resulted in the
murder of the Chancellor of Austria, I took occasion to ver-
ify at the time for myself various other items of evidence
indicating that the Putsch was not only made with the knowl-
edge of the German Government but engineered by it. I
found and verified that almost a month before the Putsch,
Goebbels told Signor Cerruti, the Italian Ambassador in
Berlin, that there would be a Nazi Government in Vienna

in a month.(1760-PS) Mr. William Dodd, Ambassador of the United States to Germany, published in 1941 his Diary, covering the years 1933-1938 (2832-PS). The diary contains an entry for July 26, 1934, which makes the following observations. First, Ambassador Dodd noted that in February, 1934, Ernst Hanfstaengl had advised him that he had brought what was virtually an order from Mussolini to Hitler to leave Austria alone and to dismiss and silence Theodor Habicht, the German agent in Munich who had been agitating for annexation of Austria. On 18 June, in Venice, Hitler was reported to have promised Mussolini to leave Austria alone. Mr. Dodd further states:

"On Monday, July 23, after repeated bombings in Austria by Nazis, a boat loaded with explosives was seized on Lake Constance by the Swiss police. It was a shipment of German

bombs and shells to Austria from some arms plant. That
looked ominous to me, but events of the kind had been so
common that I did not report it to Washington.
“Today evidence came to my desk that last night, as late as
eleven o'clock, the government issued formal statements to
the newspapers rejoicing at the fall of Dollfuss and pro-
claiming the Greater Germany that must follow. The Ger-
man Minister in Vienna had actually helped to form the new
Cabinet. He had, as we now know, exacted a promise that
the gang of Austrian Nazi murderers should be allowed to
go into Germany undisturbed. But it was realized about 12
o'clock that, although Dollfuss was dead, the loyal Austrians
had surrounded the government palace and prevented the
organization of a new Nazi regime. They held the murderers
prisoners. The German Propaganda Ministry therefore for-
bade publication of the news sent out an hour before and
tried to collect all the releases that had been distributed. A
copy was brought to me today by a friend.
“All the German papers this morning lamented the cruel
murder and declared that it was simply an attack of discon-
tented Austrians, not Nazis. News from Bavaria shows that
thousands of Austrian Nazis living for a year in Bavaria on
German support had been active for ten days before, some
getting across the border contrary to law, all drilling and
making ready to return to Austria. The German propagand-
ist Habicht was still making radio speeches about the neces-
sity of annexing the ancient realm of the Hapsburgs to the
Third Reich, in spite of all the promises of Hitler to silence
him. But now that the drive has failed and the assassins are
in prison in Vienna, the German Government denounces all
who say there was any support from Berlin.
"I think it will be clear one day that millions of dollars and
many arms have been pouring into Austria since the spring
of 1933. Once more the whole world is condemning the
Hitler regime. No people in all modern history has been
quite so unpopular as Nazi Germany. This stroke completes
the picture. I expect to read a series of bitter denunciations
in the American papers when they arrive about ten days

from now." (2832-PS) In connection with the German Government's denial of any connection with the putsch and the murder of Dollfuss, the letter of appointment which Hitler wrote to Vice-Chancellor von Papen on 26 July 1934 is significant. This letter appears in a standard German reference work, Dokumente der Deutschen Politik, II,

Page 83 (2799-PS). (In considering the letter the report widespread at the time should be recalled, that von Papen narrowly missed being purged on 30 June, 1944, along with Ernst Roehm and others.) The letter reads as follows:

“26 July 1934 “Dear Mr. von Papen “As a result of the events in Vienna I am compelled to suggest to the Reichs President the removal of the German Minister to Vienna, Dr. Rieth, from his post, because he, at the suggestion of Austrian Federal Ministers and the Austrian rebels respectively consented to an agreement made by both these parties concerning the safe conduct and retreat of the rebels to Germany without making inquiry of the German Reich Government. Thus the Minister has dragged the German Reich into an internal Austrian affair without any reason. "The assassination of the Austrian Federal Chancellor which was strictly condemned and regretted by the German Government has made the situation in Europe, already fluid, more acute, without any fault of ours. Therefore, it is my desire to bring about if possible an easing of the general situation, and especially to direct the relations with the German Austrian State, which have been so strained for a long time, again into normal and friendly channels. “For this reason, I request you, dear Mr. von Papen, to take over this important task, just because you have possessed and continue to possess my most complete and unlimited confidence ever since we have worked together in the Cabinet"Therefore, I have suggested to the Reichs President that you, upon leaving the Reich-Cabinet and upon release from the office of Commissioner for the Saar, be called on special mission to the post of the German Minister in Vienna for a limited period of time. In this position you will be directly subordinated to me. "Thanking you once more for all that you have at one time done for the coordination of the Government of the National Revolution and since then together with us for Germany, I remain,

Yours, very sincerely,

Adolf Hitler."

(2799-PS) Four years later, on July 25, 1938, after the Anschluss with Austria, German officials no longer expressed regrets over the death of Dollfuss. They were eager and willing to reveal what the

world already knew that they were identified with and sponsors of the murder of the former Chancellor. A dispatch from the American Consul General in Vienna to the Secretary of State, dated July 26, 1938, relates to the Nazis' celebration of the murder of Dollfuss, held on July 24 and July 25, 1938, four years after the event. It states:

“The two high points of the celebration were the memorial
assembly on the 24th at Klagenfurt, capital of the province
of Carinthia, where in 1934 the Vienna Nazi revolt found its
widest response, and the march on the 25th to the former
Federal Chancellery in Vienna by the surviving members of
the S.S. Standarte 89, which made the attack on the Chan-
cellery in 1934 — a reconstruction of the crime, so to say.
“The assembled thousands at Klagenfurt were addressed by
the Fuehrer's deputy, Rudolf Hess, in the presence of the
families of the 13 National Socialists who were hanged for
their part in the July putsch. The Klagenfurt memorial cele-
bration was also made the occasion for the solemn swearing
in of the seven recently appointed Gauleiters of the Ostmark.
"From the point of view of the outside world, the speech of
Reichs Minister Hess was chiefly remarkable for the fact
that after devoting the first half of his speech to the expected
praise of the sacrifices of the men, women and youths of
Austria in the struggle for a greater Germany, he then
launched into a defense of the occupation of Austria and an
attack on the ‘lying foreign press' and on those who spread
the idea of a new war. The world was fortunate, declared
Hess, that Germany's leader was a man who would not allow
himself to be provoked. 'The Fuehrer does what is neces-
sary for his people in sovereign calm. ** * and labors for
the peace of Europe' even though provocators, 'completely
ignoring the deliberate threat to peace of certain small
states,' deceitfully claim that he is a menace to the peace of
“The march on the former Federal Chancellery, now the
Reichsstatthalterei, followed the exact route and time sched-
ule of the original attack. The marchers were met at the
Chancellery by the Reichsstatthalter Seyss-Inquart, who
addressed them and unveiled a memorial tablet. From the
Reichsstatthalterei the Standarte marched to the old RA-
VAG broadcasting center from which false news of the
resignation of Dollfuss had been broadcast, and there un-
veiled a second memorial tablet. Steinhausl, the present

Police President of Vienna, is a member of the S. S. Standarte 89". (L-273)

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