Austria 1918-1938
# 1918-1932

12 November 1918
Proclamation of the Republic German Austria by the President of the Provisional National Assembly Franz Dinghofer (German Austria is part of the German Reich).

February 1919
Action program of the Social Democratic members of parliament. »The union with Germany is to be completed as soon as possible.«

6 September 1919
Acceptance of the Peace Treaty of St. Germain by the Austrian Parliament under solemn protest. Central issue: the ban on the union with Germany.

29 September 1920
Hitler’s first public appearance in Austria, with speeches in Vienna, Innsbruck, and Salzburg.

22 October 1920
The end of the great coalition. In the following years governments are formed by the Christian Socialists, the German National Liberals, and other Conservative parties. The Social Democrats remain in opposition.

16 December 1920
Austria is admitted to the League of Nations.

24 April 1921
Plebiscite in Tyrol on the union with Germany against the wishes of the Federal Government. The overwhelming majority (97%) is in favor of the union.

29 May 1921
Plebiscite in Salzburg on the union with Germany, large majority in favor.

29 July 1921
Hitler gains leadership of the NSDAP in Germany.

4 October 1922
Signing of the Geneva protocols: a loan from the League of Nations and an international guarantee of Austrian sovereignty. The conditions lead to radical saving cuts, dismissals of public servants, and strict control on the issuing of banknotes.

31 October 1922
Mussolini’s march on Rome. He is commissioned to form a government. Italy becomes a Fascist dictatorship.

2 April 1923
Violent clashes between Socialists and Nazis in Vienna (»Schlacht auf dem Exelberg«); further clashes on 4 May and 30 September 1923.

17–18 August 1923
Anti-Semitic and anti-government demonstrations against the holding of the 14th International Zionist Congress in Vienna.

10 March 1925
The Nazi Otto Rothstock shoots the Jewish author Dr. Hugo Bettauer with a revolver: Bettauer dies on 26 March.

4 May 1926
Founding of the National Socialist German Workers’ Association (Hitler Movement) in Vienna under Hitler’s leadership.

20 October 1926
Social Democratic Party Congress passes the »Linz Program:« union with Germany by peaceful means.

30 January 1927
Clash between members of the Socialist self-defense corps Republikanischer Schutzbund and members of the right-wing Frontkämpfervereinigung in Schattendorf, Burgenland. Two victims die from gunshot wounds.

14 July 1927
The Frontkämpfer who fired the shots in Schattendorf are acquitted by a Viennese court.

15 July 1927
Demonstrations in Vienna against the court verdict. A general strike is proclaimed and the Palace of Justice burned down by demonstrators. The intervention of armed police leads to 89 deaths and thousands of injured.

25 October 1929
Wall Street Crash, the beginning of the Great Depression.

18 May 1930
Large public meeting of the extreme-right paramilitary Heimwehr in Korneuburg; public taking of the »Korneuburg Oath,« which  denounces Western parliamentary democracy and calls for a one-man dictatorship and a reorganization of the state along corporative lines.

9 November 1930
Last free parliamentary elections in the First Republic (1918–33), the Social Democrats emerge as the strongest party.

May 1931
Creditanstalt, Austria’s largest bank, is insolvent. The consequences for the economy are far-reaching.

13 September 1931
Failed putsch attempt by Walter Pfriemer, the leader of the Styrian Heimwehr.

24 April 1932
Regional elections in Vienna, Salzburg, and Lower Austria; substantial gains for the Nazis.

20 May 1932
First Government led by the former Minister for Agriculture Engelbert Dollfuß and formed by the Conservative parties.

15 July 1932
Signing of the Lausanne protocols in connection with a new loan from the League of Nations. The ban on the union with Germany is again a precondition as it was in the Geneva protocols in 1922.

9 September–2 October 1932
NSDAP-Gautage all over Austria, with Joseph Goebbels and Ernst Röhm as main speakers, widespread riots and clashes.

Winter 1932/33
The climax of the world economic depression. In February 1933 unemployment levels in Austria reach a new peak, roughly 600,000 people without work.



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Proclamation of the Republic on 12 November 1918.

The Provisional Government.
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The Provisional Government.

Law proclaiming the Austrian Republic 10,000 Kronen Banknote
The hungry queuing up at a soup-kitchen in a convent Job-hunting
Benito Mussolini Heimwehr March
Schutzbund unit The Palace of Justice in flames
The Palace of Justice in flames Anti-fascist meeting
SA March Propaganda tour of motorised Nazi units

Austria 1918–1938