Republikanischer Schutzbund

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Schutzbund emblem

The Republikanischer Schutzbund (German: [ʁepubliˈkaːnɪʃɐ ˈʃʊtsˌbʊnt] (About this soundlisten), Republican Protection League) was an Austrian paramilitary organization established in 1923 by the Social Democratic Party (SDAPÖ)[1] to secure power in the face of rising political radicalization after World War I.

It had a Czech section associated with the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Workers Party in the Republic of Austria.

Origins & Development[edit]

Republikanischer Schutzbund men on the march in 1930

The Republikanischer Schutzbund was one of many paramilitary forces to organize after the fall of the Austria-Hungary Empire. This one in particular was a branch of the Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAPÖ). Its purpose was to defend the party and to maintain the balance of power amidst increasing radicalization of politics in Austria. This includes a good amount of saber rattling between the Schutzbund and the conservative Heimwehr, as encouraged by the SDAPÖ newspaper, the Arbeiter Zeitung.[2]

July Revolt of 1927[edit]

On 30 January 1927 a veterans' group clashed with the Schutzbund, leaving one veteran and one child killed by the right-wing Heimwehr.[3] The results of the trial led to the July Revolt of 1927.

Austrian Civil War[edit]

By June 1933, Federal Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß banned the Schutzbund, forcing it underground.[4] On 11 February 1934 the Heimwehr commander in Vienna Emil Fey called for the disarmament of the Schutzbund. Upon raiding Hotel Schiff in Linz, the Linz Schutzbund commander Richard Bernaschek actively resisted, resulting in armed conflict known as the Austrian Civil War.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Der Republikanische Schutzbund". Folge 314, Ausgabe 2/2010. Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung, Wien. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Rifles at the Ready!". Time Magazine. 30 September 1929. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  3. ^ Jelavich, Barbara (December 1989). Modern Austria : Empire & Republic 1815-1986. Cambridge University Press. pp. 183. ISBN 0-521-31625-1.
  4. ^ Lehne, Inge; Lonnie Johnson (December 1985). Vienna- The Past in the Present. Österreichischer Bundersverlag Gesellschaft. pp. 134. ISBN 3-215-05758-1.
  5. ^ Brook-Shepherd, Gordon (December 1996). The Austrians : a thousand-year odyssey. HarperCollins. pp. 280–281. ISBN 0-00-638255-X.

External links[edit]