Vienna (Jul. 30)
The new government headed by Dr. Kurt Schuschnigg, the fourth Austrian government within a week, assumed power today Dr. Schuschnigg was appointed Chancellor despite the strong opposition of the Austrian Heimwehr, which openly demanded the appointment of Prince von Starhemberg, temporary Chancellor to the post. Prince von Starhemberg remains Vice Chancellor, the post he occupied under the late Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss.
Dr. Schuschnigg, who was a close collaborator of the slain Chancellor, is head of the Catholic storm troops and is regarded as a staunch monarchist. President Wilhelm Miklas insisted upon the appointment, it was learned, in the face of bitter opposition by the Heimwehr.
BEHIND BARBED WIRE
While the new government took the oath of office today behind barbed wire barricades and in a city which bristled with machine guns, armored cars and tanks, the first two Nazis of the 144 who took part in the capture of the government buildings and the killing of Chancellor Dollfuss went on trial before a military court.
Former army sergeant Otto Palnetta, who has confessed the murder of Chancellor Dollfuss, and Franz Holzweber, said to be the leader of the entire group, are on trial. Palnetta admitted killing the Chancellor whom he held responsible for his dismissal from the army for his Nazi activities.
The life of the new government, experienced observers agree, is dependent on what happens at the court martial now trying the Nazis. If the men are found guilty and hung, a new revolt by the numerous Austrian Nazis is held certain. Yet any weakness by the government in dealing with the murderers of the late Chancellor is sure to have the same effect.
GUERILLA WARFARE CONTINUES
While the government forces appear to have the situation well in hand, guerilla warfare between the Nazis and the government forces is continuing in Carinthia.
The victory of the government forces is discounted heavily by foreign observers who declare it showed the strength of the Nazis and the weakness of the government forces.
Not only is the new government menaced by the Nazis, but it appears increasingly likely that the coalition now ruling will split. It is regarded as ominous that the Heimwehr is demanding more and more recognition and that provincial Heimwehr organizations demanded that the Heimwehr flag be placed alongside of the national Austrian emblem.
MONARCHISTS OUT TO GAIN
The strong monarchist group in Austria is also preparing to make political capital out of the present disturbances. Austria is flooded with rumors about an impending monarchist restoration.
Von Starhemberg, who has been acting as Chancellor since his return to Austria from Italy last Thursday, remains in the government as Vice Chancellor and also holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Security.
Major Emil Fey, another Heimwehr leader and director of security in the last Dollfuss cabinet, appears in the new government as Minister of the Interior.
Schuschnigg will retain the posts of Minister of Justice which he held prior to proclamation of a dictatorship by Dollfuss, and Minister of Education.
News of his appointments was received with surprise in Vienna which had been thrown into a new state of alarm last night by feverish military preparations which included the surrounding of the inner city with barbed wire defenses, the mounting of machine guns at strategic points on government buildings and a strict guard which prevented even foreign newspaper correspondents from penetrating the lines without being first searched for weapons.
These activities give rise to persistent reports that Nazi rebels were preparing a new offensive against the city. Particularly in the Jewish quarters of Vienna where it had been felt that reports of the successful quelling of the Nazi uprising in the provinces were premature, a feeling of great concern, verging on panic, was manifest.
It was known that an emergency session of the cabinet council was in progress last night but the absence of more tangible information added to the uncertainty of the population.
GUARD AGAINST PUTSCH
Early this morning it became known that the reported new offensive against the city was not taking place. The military preparations, it was learned, were precautions against a possible Heimwehr putsch which had been threatened if the demands of the Fascist home guard for almost complete control of the government were not met. These demands included the appointment of von Starhemberg as Chancellor.
Dr. Schuschnigg, the new Chancellor, is generally considered to have been midway between Dollfuss and von Starhemberg in his attitude toward the Jews. While not as anti-Semitic as von Starhemberg who announced that he would take “defensive” measures against the Jews in Austria, Schuschnigg is believed to favor measuring limiting the rights of Jews in Austria and restricting their sphere of influence. The Christian Social partyâ€”which was theoretically ended when Dollfuss proclaimed his dictatorship and banned all political parties â€” in which Schuschnigg was long a leading figure, was prominent in demanding the elimination of the Jews from the professions and the establishment of the numerus clausus.
Minor engagements continued yesterday between Nazi rebels and loyal government forces, particularly in Carinthia and Styria, but they appeared to be only the last of the “mopping up” process. Vienna was quiet throughout the day but the Nazi scare was strong and rumors that Nazis had been notified to hold themselves in readiness agitated the population.