Kurt von Schuschnigg

Schuschnigg, Kurt von (kŏrt fən shŏshˈnĭk) [key], 1897–1977, Austrian chancellor. He served (1932–34) as minister of justice and education and helped Engelbert Dollfuss repress the Social Democrats and organize the corporative state. After Dollfuss's assassination (1934) he became chancellor. In 1936, Schuschnigg forced the resignation of E. R. von Starhemberg as vice chancellor and became sole head of the semifascist state. Schuschnigg's efforts to prevent German absorption of Austria were successful until he lost (1937) the support of Benito Mussolini. In Feb., 1938, Hitler forced him to take the Austrian Nazi leader Arthur Seyss-Inquart into his cabinet. When German troops massed on the border in March, Seyss-Inquart became chancellor, and the troops marched into Austria unopposed. A Nazi prisoner until 1945, Schuschnigg settled (1947) in the United States and taught at St. Louis Univ. He wrote My Austria (1937, tr. 1938), Austrian Requiem (1946, tr. 1947), and The Brutal Takeover (1969, tr. 1971).

See biography by R. K. Sheridon (1942).

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