14 December – Today in German History


  • Birth of Karl Renner in Unter-Tannowitz, Austria-Hungary (now in the Czech Republic). Renner was the first chancellor of the Austrian Republic after WWI. On September 10, 1919, he signed the Treaty of Saint Germain which specifically prohibited a union with Germany. In 1938, he was a leading supporter of Germany’s annexation of Austria. In 1945, he worked closely with Soviet officials to reestablish an Austrian government and became the first post-war chancellor in April, 1945. On December 20, 1945 he was elected president by the Austrian Reichsrat.


  • Birth of Kurt von Schuschnigg in Riva del Garda, Austria-Hungary (now in Italy). Von Schuschnigg was the Austrian chancellor at the time of the annexation by Germany. He had struggled against the growing Nazi influence in Austria and the coming annexation but ultimately failed. He was forced to resign on March 11, 1938 as Germany entered the country and was imprisoned until the end of WWII.

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