Austrian Nazis stage coup; remove Chancellor Dollfuss

After the Nazis had withstood a siege for hours in the Chancellery which they had captured, Major Emil fey, Director of Security, announced that the Ministers were free. It was reported Dollfuss was seriously wounded.

Fey asked government forces about to attack the building to hold off. The Nazis had threatened to harm their prisoners if attacked.


[A United Press dispatch to the London Evening News from Vienna said the captured Dollfuss Ministers had been released after troops, using machine guns and tear gas, had stormed and recaptured the Chancellery from the Nazis. The Evening News said the following events had taken place: -- "The Chancellery was stormed at 5:15 P.M. and the terrorists arrested and taken to prison. The promises Dollfuss and Fey made to the terrorists while they were captives were thereby invalidated because they were extorted under pressure. Until there is a final settlement of the situation, President Miklas has charged Kurt Schuschnigg with taking over the government."]


The police and loyal Heimwehr forces had advanced under orders to capture the building from the Nazis. Armored cars and tanks surrounded the building.

At the height of the advance Major Fey appeared dramatically on a balcony of the building and ordered the police and Heimwehr not to act "until you hear from us."

The Nazi captors started to negotiate with the remainder of the government outside at 4:30 P.M. (10:30 a.m. New York time), when two unarmed officers were allowed to enter the Chancellery.

Then it appeared the negotiations with the Nazis resulted in a compromise and the Cabinet members were set free.

Those Cabinet members who were not arrested and several army officers, including former War Minister Karl Vaugoin, started a rump Cabinet meeting at the War Office.

Meanwhile, martial law had been declared in Vienna and the streets wee filled with armed men, including police, federal troops and Heimwehr. Ten were reported killed in early clashes.

The first move of the Nazis in their putsch was a raid on a Heimwehr barracks, where they equipped themselves with machine guns, arms and ammunition.

The Nazis--- their numbers were not large-- pushed forward their attempted coup by an ingenious and unexpected descent upon the government's radio station in Vienna's outskirts early this afternoon.


Those who were listening heard the announcer say: "One o'clock and one minute thirty seconds."

A dramatic five-minute silence ensued broken only by a ticking signal.

Suddenly a voice declared: "We have to inform you that the Dollfuss Cabinet has resigned and Rintelen (Ambassador to Italy) has taken over the government."

At first the populace and officials believed it was some sort of joke. Then it dawned upon the government that perhaps a coup was afoot.

Armed police were sent to the station and fighting began in which two persons were killed. The police were forced to use hand grenades to drive out the Nazis who had barricaded themselves on the top floor of the radio station.

Casualties in the Nazi seizure of the government wireless station totaled five dead. They included the director of the station, a police officer, a motor driver, a Nazi rebel and an actor named Ferstel. The latter was not connected with politics but was in the station preparing to broadcast at the time of the raid.

The entire staff of the station was taken to police headquarters in vans for questioning.

Meanwhile troops with machine guns were flung out all over the city guarding public buildings.


Troops occupied Vienna's only skyscraper, the 16-story Hochsaus, also telegraph offices.

Stringent police control was extended throughout the inner district of the city. No one could pass without credentials. The United Press building was guarded by Heimwehr and it was difficult to enter or leave.

After capturing the Seventh District barracks, the Nazis commandeered motor trucks and went to the government offices in the Ballhausplatz.

They seized the two guards, barricaded the steel doors of the building and arrested Dollfuss, Fey and other ministers. An official police announcement said the entire Cabinet was seized except three members who were absent, including Prince Ernst von Starhemberg.

Early reports said Dollfuss and Few were wounded when they did not surrender quickly enough after the Nazis entered the Cabinet room.

Troops were reported to be blocking the main approaches to the capital.

Heimwehr troops with machine guns patrolled the Burg Theater in the heart of the Ringstrasse.

Some sources said they believed the Socialists had collaborated in the attempted Nazi putsch. Max Winter, former burgemeister, who was entrusted by Dollfuss with a policy of conciliation toward the Socialists, said he tried all day Tuesday to see Dollfuss because he believed conciliation had been hard hit by yesterday's hanging of a Socialist. He finally saw Dollfuss late at night and the Chancellor said he was still optimistic of conciliation.


Winter tried to see Dollfuss again today but failed.

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