VIENNA (Feb. 28)
All Austria waited tensely today as the period of grace granted the Austrian government by Theodore Habicht, Hitlerite “Inspector General for Austria,” in a radio broadcast from Munich eight days ago, expired at noon.
Fascist Heimwehr troops patrolled the streets of Vienna and heavy Heimwehr detachments were concentrated in known strongholds of Austrian Nazis, but Nazi outbreaks failed to materialize.
The Austrian Nazis had declared that they planned to appear on the streets today at a secret zero hour wearing the prohibited swastika emblem as a gesture of defiance against the Dollfuss regime.
In official circles it was believed that the threatened Nazi demon stations were called off at the last minute by direct orders from Berlin.
Heimwehr leaders refused to take the threatened Nazi offensive seriously. Prince von Starhemberg characterized the Austrian Nazis as “a few noisy university students.”
“We will not negotiate with them as a political party, because they are not Austrian,” he said. “They have nothing to say about our affairs. I certainly will not negotiate with Habicht, who is chiefly responsible for much of Austria’s recent misery and dissension.”
When the Prince was asked whether the Heimwehr was willing to cooperate with the Nazis, he answered, “No. The Nazis should join the H## if they are willing to help in the reconstruction of the country.”
Starhemberg also repeated denials made by the Dollfuss government that the return of the Hapsburgs and the restoration of a monarchy in Austria was imminent.
At the same time Chancellor Dollfuss denied that there was anything unusual in the movement of troops to the Austrian borders, or that it had anything to do with the Nazi ultimatum delivered by Habicht.