Alfred Proksch (politician)
March 8, 1891
Larischau near Jägerndorf
|Died||January 3, 1981
|Nationality||Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria|
|Citizenship||Austrian, German (after 1938)|
|Known for||Politician and administrator|
|Title||Leader of the Nazi Party in Austria|
|Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei, Nazi Party|
Alfred Proksch (8 March 1891, in Larischau (Czech: Láryšov; now a part of Býkov-Láryšov (German: Pickau-Larischau), nearby Jägerndorf, Austrian Silesia - 3 January 1981, in Vienna) was an Austrian Nazi Party official.
Proksch enrolled in the Kaiser Infantry Regiment No. 1 of the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1910 and then the Railway Academy in Linz in 1912 before taking a job with the government railways. He returned to the army in 1914 with the Infantry Regiment No. 91 and saw action during the First World War in Poland and Russia. He first became involved in politics in 1912 when he joined the German Workers' Party and worked on behalf of the party in Silesia and Moravia.
After his war service Proksch settled in the now much smaller Austria and returned to politics by rejoining the renamed Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei. Proksch met Adolf Hitler in his earliest years as a Nazi and became a loyal follower of the German from then on. Proksch launched the Nazis in Upper Austria, where he would serve as Gauleiter, and founded both the party newspaper Volksstimme and the NSP-Verlag publishing house. He also served on Linz City Council for the party from 1923 to 1932.
Proksch was appointed deputy Landesleiter in 1928 and then held the full leader's post between 1931 and 1933, although real power rested with Hitler's German appointee Theodor Habicht. However Proksch did have strong influence over finances and he was credited with eliminating the 30,000 schillings of debt that the party found itself in. He fled to Germany on 24 June 1933 following the banning of the Nazi Party in Austria but returned in time to take part in the coup attempt that resulted in the killing of Engelbert Dollfuss in 1934. Returning to Germany, he was elected to the Reichstag in 1936.
Given Proksch's position as a Hitler loyalist his profile was raised following the Anschluss, in keeping with the other leaders of that tendency. Appointed to the Sturmabteilung as a Gruppenführer he was promoted to Obergruppenführer in 1943. In 1940 he was also made a Reichstreuhänder der Arbeit and served as president of the labour office for Vienna and Lower and Upper Danube.
- Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 305
- Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right, p. 306
- F. Parkinson, Conquering the past: Austrian Nazism yesterday & today, Wayne State University Press, 1989, p. 37