Adolf Hitler not implicated in the Dollfuss Murder

On July 25, 1934 Austrian Nazis stormed into the office of Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss in Vienna, and shot him dead.

Adolf Hitler has of course been accused of plotting the assassination.

On June 6, 1994, David Irving wrote this correction of history in a letter to The Times (which they did not publish)

London, June 6, 1994

To: The Letters Editor, The Times (by fax)

Assassination Policy

THE ASSASSINATION  of the Austrian chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss sixty years ago is not a good example [of Hitler's assassination policies], as the diary of Dr Joseph Goebbels, which I obtained in Moscow two years ago, shows that he was with Hitler all that day and -- while there is no doubt Hitler had approved the coup by the Austrian Nazis -- the shooting of the chancellor in the skirmish was definitely an unwelcome development. Here are some of the relevant entries (which have not been published before). The

Nazi leaders were attending the Richard Wagner festival at Bayreuth:

Sunday [July 22] with the Führer: General [Walther] von Rathenau [of the general staff, then Pfeffer [von Salomon, of the Brownshirts], [Theo] Habicht [Austrian Nazi leader], [Alfred] Rosenberg. The Austrian question. Will it come off? I'm very sceptical.

Wednesday [July 25] with the Führer. Alarm sounds from Austria. Chancellery occupied. Big rumpus. Colossal tension. Awful wait. I'm still sceptical. Pfeffer more optimistic. Habicht too. Wait and see! Constantly on phone to Berlin. Lines to Vienna cut. Over to the festival. 'Rheingold', we listen with only half an ear. More and more alarums: Dollfuss and [Emil] Fey captured. Then, Dollfus dead. Then, honourable withdrawal of the insurgents. Then, government victory. Lost! Habicht was all talk. I just manage to suppress a crazy communiqué by Pfeffer . . . Führer remains quite calm. Casting new plans. Dollfuss is out: that's a serious blow to the Austrian regime.

Thursday [July 26] Habicht and Pfeffer here. Very small. Report on the putsch almost incredible... I get Habicht sacked.

There is no archival evidence that Hitler knew of any intent to kill Dollfuss, or gave such an order.

Yours faithfully,

David Irving

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