FOR DOLLFUSS DEATH OF Christian Party wins Belfast crown A GREAT
Austrian elections AFRICAN
By GEORGE A. FLORIS
-WHEN, for the first time in a quarter of a century, truly sovereign Austria went utterly uninhibited to general election polls at the week-end, the spirit of Engelbert DoWies, the martyred Chancellor, defeated the Right-wing radicalism bequeathed by Hitler and the Left-wing radicalism inherited from Renner.
The voting has brought victory for the Catholic inspired People's Party. which secured 82 seats. The Socialists won 74, the Communists three, and the proGerman Freedom Party six.
The People's Party thus falls short of an absolute majority in the Chamber by only one seat.
Dr. Dollfus.s's posthumous victory is the victors, of Europe. Following other countries with an imperial past Spain. Portugal and Turkey—the new Austria is about to settle down as a comparatively small yet potentially happy and prosperous nation.
At the end of the first World War, Austria. after the disintegration of the Kaiserreich, turned into an independent and sovereign repu hlic as a matter of course. After the second World War she had to wait ten long years under quadruple foreign occupation to attain the same status. And perhaps it was better this way.
To-day Austrians enjoy their restored freedom with pride and satisfaction : they worked and suffered for it. Thirts-five years ago, on the other hand, they just did not know what to do with it.
Soon after the end of the 191418 War the Socialists held an unofficial plebiscite in Austria which showed a vast majority in favour of an Anschluss to Germany.
Germans and Austrians who
considered e themselves " progressives" desired it intensely, be
lieving that the two nations—al that time both Socialist-led—would form a powerful radical bloc in the centre of Europe.
There was, on the other hand. the minority who lived in the past and dreamt of a restored AustroHungarian Monarchy under the Hahshurgs. The concept of an independent Austria did not win much adherence from Austrians.
After Hitler's seizure of power in Germany the champions of the Anschluss shifted to the extremeR ight. The " independence regime " represented by President Miklas, Chancellor Dollfuss, his successor Schuschnigg. Prince StarhembergRudiger and Colonel Fey, came to be )(inked on as a." white terror" exercised by a tiny minority over the " Red " masses on the Left and the " Brown " masses on the Right.
In 1934 a revolt by the Social Democrats was repressed ruthlessly. in 1935 a National Socialist uprising, to which Chancellor Dollfuss fell victim, was put down by similar methods.
The air remained tense in the unhappy country and more and more people came to believe that the fiction of Austrian independence was only upheld to suit the convenience of certain distant powers.
It is only in this light that we can understand why Cardinal Innitzer expressed satisfaction to Hitler over " the union of GermanAustria with the German Reich, brought about without bloodshed " in March, 1938.
But the present is very different from the past. To-day Germany is still occupied and divided. Hungary has submerged behind the Iron Curtain: neither the Anschluss nor the restoration of the Dual Monarchy is now a practical proposition.
Neutrality is. therefore, generally recognised as the only practicable and, incidentally, most rewarding position on the international field,
This solid gold. gent-encrusted Rosary Crown was placed on the statue of Our Lady in St. Agnes's Church, Andersonstown, Belfast, on Sunday. Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.
Gold and diamond rings, watches, brooches and other treasures were given by parishioners to he used in the making of the crown.
It was designed and made by craftsmen of international repute, and was commissioned by Mr. J. C. May, the Belfast jeweller. by the parish priest. Fr. T. Cunningham.
The design incorporates the Lily of Purity and the Twelve Stars of the Apocalypse.
The Design Research Council London designated this crown as a work of art—the only such piece of ecclesiastical art so specified in 1955.
and the Austrians are settling down happily to turn their country into a second Switzerland.
The country is governed by co-operation between Christian Democrats and Socialists; the moderation enforced by constant compromise makes such a government ideally suited to carry out a policy of neutralism.
The President, General Theodor K, rner. seems to combine in his personality the hest of mans, worlds: although a Socialist, he is an ex-officer of Emperor Franz Joseph's army and he speaks a fluent Russian which comes in handy. in existing conditions.
To-day the whole nation rallies rotund him and forgets that he gained office by the votes of disgruntled neo-Nazis (Bund der Unahhangige or Association of Independents) swaying the balance against his Christian Democratic opponent.
The Prime Minister. the Christian Democrat Julius Raab, though a one-time member of the AustroFascist Heimwehr (Home Defence) organisation, wisely managed to adapt himself to the new ways and, in undertaking his Moscow journey, he was the first Western statesman to profit from the lull in the cold War.
Political neutralism is. however, far from spiritual isolation. Vienna has. once again. a most vivid cultural life. Apart from the lively theatrical and musical season, the walls of the cils are full of posters announcing lectures on topics covering the whole world.
Austria is with heart and soul part of the West and is determined to stay so. One of the Catholic weeklies made a resolute stand and denounced those Christians who want to abandon the Western world in order to transplant the seat of Christendom to the East.
" The West remains the bulwark of the Church was the article's main theme. which doubtless expresses the views of most Austrian Catholics, dere\ and laity alike.
High cultural aspirations have their drawbacks, too. Young people are all anxious to get a good education and a " white collar" job. It thus becomes difficult to replenish the ranks of industrial workers and craftsmen. so essential in a country which. after years of war and occupation. is in dire need of economic rehabilitation.
The situation is particularly urgent in North-East Austria, where the presence of the Russians in recent years scared away the necessary private capital.
Now. of course. neutralism will pay not only political but also economic dividends, Vienna is likely to develop into the clearing house of East-West trade at a time when commercial transactions are increasing as a result of diminished political tension.
Austria. while receiving economic aid even in the field of atomic research from the United States, also receives arms from Russia.
Oddly enough. the supply of arms by the Eastern bloc to Austria passed practically unnoticed. in sharp contrast to the supply of arms to Egypt.
An Austrian weekly magazine half-jokingly remarked that Austria had become the dumping ground of second-hand German cars which are no longer wanted in the Federal Republic.
Although there are again resplendent shop windows and elegant restaurants—the well-known old cafes reopened complete with the inevitable neon-lit Espresso sign --the foreign visitor travelling to Austria from Western Germany gets the impression that he is visiting " poor relations."
Even so, it is a comforting experience to see how the oldfashioned middle-class way of life has managed to survive ten years of occupation by the champions of " proletarian revolution."
ONE of the greatest African Catholics, Dr. Adrian Atiman ---a former slave—has died in Karema, Tanganyika, at the age of over 90.
Born in the French Sudan, Adrian Atiman belonged to the Songay race. When he was very young he was captured by members of the Tuareg race and sold as a slave in Timbuktu. Later he was transported across the Sahara. He was ransomed in Southern Algeria at Metlili by the White Fathers, Cardinal Lavigerie, the White Fathers' founder, was so struck by his intelligence that he sent him to Malta to study. Adrian Atiman at length took the full medical course there.
In 1888 he arrived in Tanganyika, where he exercised the dual profession of doctor and catechist until his death.
He was awarded three Belgian medals and three British decorations. The last honour of this kind came to him last year when he received the medal of the Royal African Society, the same that was given to Dr. Schweitzer two years before.
Pope Leo XIII conferred upon him the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, and Pope Pitts XI granted him the Bene Merenli Medal. The present Holy Father made Dr. Auman a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Sylvester.
Death came to him calmly. His last words were in the recitation of the Rosary in French, after which he made the Acts of Contrition and of Charity in Kiswahili.