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The About this sound Republikanischer Schutzbund  (German language: Republican Protection League) was a paramilitary organization established in 1923 by the Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Österreichs (SDAPÖ) (German language: Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria)[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[]

Republikanischer Schutzbund men on the march in 1930

The Republikanischer Schutzbund was one of many paramilitary forces to organize after the fall of the Habsburg 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[]

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

Austrian Civil War[]

By June 1933, Federal Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß banned the Schutzbund, forcing it underground.[4] On February 11, 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[]

Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, paramilitary organization of the German SPD


  1. "Summary: Republikanischer Schutzbund and the preparations for Civil War". Österreichs Bundesheer. Retrieved 30 December 2007. 
  2. "Rifles at the Ready!". Time Magazine. 30 September 1929.,9171,737932,00.html?promoid=googlep. 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. 

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