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Kurt von Schuschnigg papers

Call Number: MS 436

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the over 819 page typescript of Kurt von Schuschnigg's Requiem in Rot-Weiss-Rot (Zurich, 1947) which was published in an English translation by Trung von Hildebrand in the United States under the title, Austrian Requiem(New York, 1946). Of this book von Schuschnigg writes:

Most of this book was written between the summer of 1938 and the summer of 1945. During this time I was cut off from the world and knew little about world events- nor did I know what was to become of me. The book, therefore, cannot claim to be anything but a personal account and a human confession.

Parts of these writings were submitted chapter by chapter to the censorship of the Gestapo, or some of them were written... in order to avoid confiscation of everything I had written during my detention... I also wished to put my personal views on record, since neither the Gestapo nor the German government showed any interest in finding out the truth about my views or my activities... The greater part of the manuscript, however, was kept secret; not without difficulty, as my scant belongings were rigidly examined every time I was moved from one camp to another...

Later, during 1943, I was tempted more than once to destroy the entire work, or at least to revise what I had written so far. But finally most of it remained exactly as I had written it down during my detention...

[Kurt von Schuschnigg, Austrian Requiem, translated by Trung von Hildebrand, New York (1946), pp. viii-ix.]

The typescript is arranged in the box as von Schuschnigg originally numbered it. Massive changes were made, especially for the English edition. His list of changes is translated in the Description of the Series.

The papers were the gift of Edwin J. Beinecke in 1958 and 1964.


  • 1938-1947


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Edwin J. Beinecke in 1958 and 1964.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Typescript of von Schuschnigg's prison memoir, Requiem in Rot-Weiss-Rot, with notes for changes for the English translation, Austrian Requiem.

Biographical / Historical

Kurt von Schuschnigg was born December 14, 1897, at Riva (Gardasso). He was a lawyer and was elected to the Austrian national parliament as a Christian Socialist in 1927. He became Minister of Justice in 1932, and in May 1933 also became Minister of Education. After the assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss, he became Chancellor in July 1934. In the struggle against the German and Austrian Nazis he sought to maintain the existing authoritarian form of government of Dollfuss and the independence of Austria. He suppressed one major attempt by the Nazis to take over the country. Although his international allies deserted him, he sought to face Hitler alone and met with him at Berchtesgoden February 12, 1938. An ultimatum was presented by Hitler, but von Schuschnigg sought to forestall his move by declaring a plebecite to decide the Austrian-German question. He was frustrated in this attempt by the arrival of the German Army the day preceding the proposed plebecite.

Von Schuschnigg spent the war in prison waiting for a trial on charges by the Nazis. He came to the United States in 1945 and has been a professor of law in St. Louis since 1948.[1]

Among his works are: Dreimal Österreich (Vienna, 1937) [there are two translations of this under the title Farewell Austria and My Austria], Requiem in Rot-Weiss-Rot (Zurich, 1947) [the English translation of this is Austrian Requiem], and International Law: An Introduction to the law of peace(Milwaukee, 1959).

He died in 1977

[1] Der Grose Brockhaus, Vol. X, Wiesbaden, Germany (1956), p. 513.

Guide to the Kurt von Schuschnigg Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
March 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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