The Chargé in Austria (Kliefoth) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 16—10:40 a.m.]
22. Due to the Chancellor’s offer of truce practical peace and order reigns everywhere and uprising definitely ended except for pursuit of armed individuals who will now resort to acts of sabotage, particularly against members of Heimwehr. The truce and lenient treatment of rebels was anticipated by the public and opinion again favoring the Chancellor. Military Attaché and I have personally seen several fortified strongholds and discreetly interviewed inhabitants of dwellings. Women informed me they were locked in their apartments by Socialists so that their presence could be used as screen against attacking forces. They were furious against their own leaders, but not the socialist movement, for the futile armed uprising.[Page 17]
The Consul General and I have kept in constant touch with American colony and advised them as to their welfare. None of them as far as we know were in danger as principally only Austrian Socialists who were inhabitants of city dwellings were exposed to danger. There is no reason why American visitors should either leave or not travel to Austria because of danger to them.
The Government is using the failure of Austrian Nazis in not helping to put down Socialists and the attack of German press and radio on Dollfuss during the crisis to discredit the Nazi movement and claims it is causing bitter resentment of loyal citizens. French and British unfriendly opinion from socialist press and confidential appeals from local French and British Legations to the Government to exercise great clemency to the Socialists is pushing Austria into closer relations with Italy. Austrians further claim that all new military supplies of Socialists lately acquired were received from Czech sources which fact may be used to arouse public opinion against that country. Government is proceeding rapidly with plans to put through new form of corporative state abolition of all political parties largely on Fascist model with pro-Italian leanings.