By Johannes Messner
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Additional info for Dollfuss: An Austrian Patriot
It was the true nobility of his character that gave to his leadership its power and its inspiration. To the workers especially his heart was open. From the days of his youth at home he had lived their difficulties and experienced them, and later as a University student he had felt an inner need to work for their alleviation. His whole care was for them. Once when he was returning to Vienna by air from some meeting in the provinces, looking down he could see the peasants working everywhere in the fields.
Of decisive importance was the Government’s insistence on the prohibition of massed marches, even for May 1. As this day approached the Socialist leaders became more and more restless. They could not believe that their great march was a thing of the past. The police gave warning against any attempt at public demonstrations and, supported by detachments of the Federal Army, barred the approaches to the centre of the city. The day, both in Vienna and in the provinces, passed in almost complete calm.
When he was Chancellor his favourite recreation was a cosy chat with his friends. Grave subjects alternated with gay in these conversations, and the atmosphere was always one of brightness and cordiality. But the full richness and generosity of his temperament became manifest when he spoke of home, family and peasant-folk, when he acknowledged the debt which he owed to these, saying what such things could do for Austria. Games, which after the manner of peasant-folk he had loved from his youth, were also a favourite pastime with him.