The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3392-PS

           [Letter from Seyss-Inquart to Keppler]

3 Sept 1937


                    My Dear Mr. Keppler!

It is appropriate in my opinion that you, my dear
Mr. Keppler, should remain well informed about
details arising from between the action taken by
me and the Teinfaltstrasse.  In this respect I am
keeping the result of the discussion at Mondsee in
mind, and I am taking the thoughts of your last
communication to heart.  I therefore do not take
any stand in regard to these individual incidents
and above all I avoid any one reaction, insofar
as I do not request Dr. Jury to initiate a
corresponding clarification.

I take it upon myself to transmit the edition of
the “Austrian Observer” [Oesterreichischen
Beobachters] of August as an enclosure, and draw
your attention to the leading article “Here and
There” whose contents probably are intended to be
only personal and not objective, anymore.

I refer to the communication-Hitler “Mein Kampf”
permitted!--and believe that I will not have to
add anything here, since you are acquainted with
the individual incidents which have occurred on
the Saturday in question.

Finally I turn back to the report “Law for the
Protection of Order” [Ordnungsschutzgesetz].  In
this case the matter stands as follows.  Minister
Glaise has attempted to incorporate the emergency
decrees [Not verordnungen] into a useful system
ever since the first moment of his taking office,
and to decrease them to a reasonable extent.  When
he came with his suggestion, Neustaedter-Stuermer,
the comrade-in-arms of the Teinfaltstrasse, had a
draft prepared by the Chief Management
[Generaldirektion], which can only be considered
as an aggravation of the conditions at that time,
and which in the meantime has been over-come by
the Law for the “Protection of Order”
[Ordnungsschutzgesetz].  Minister Glaise, then had
in turn, a counter-draft prepared by Dr.
Mannlicher.  In view of the resistance on the part
of the Chief Management [Generaldirektion], the
chances of the latter’s success were little.  In
early April, when the Federal Chancellor
[Bundeskanzler] was negotiating with me about the
Bureau [Referat], I on my part made the condition
that the draft by Mannlicher was to become the
basis of the innovation.  The negotiations took
place on this basis.  When finally nothing came of
the Bureau [Referat] and the exchange of ministers
took place, the Chief Management
[Generaldirektion] again introduced its own
suggestion, which did not contain anything new
except the lessening of the extent of punishment
and the introduction of the right of appeal.  Dr.
Mannlicher was full of despair because of the
continuation of this action.  In a renewed
conference with the Federal Chancellor
[Bundeskanzler] I insisted that the proposition by
Mannlicher be accepted finally as the sole basis
of the innovation, and that the latter be drawn to
a close.  Further negotiations on this basis led
to an agreement between Minister Glaise, [and] Dr.
Skubl under consultation of Dr. Mannlicher.  After
that I talked to the latter, who remarked that it
would be

                                        [Page 111]

practical to add some further additions to the
draft, which however, in view of the final
conversation was considered hopeless by him.  I
now addressed a communication to the Federal
Chancellor [Bundeskanzler], requesting that four
(4) more additions to the draft which had already
been discussed and in particular concerning the
possibilities of appeal and complaints to the
Federal Court [Bundesgericht] in cases of
detention over a period of 3 months, the
preservation of the secrecy of letters under
normal conditions [Ordnungszustand], the
rescission of the same under more acute conditions
only in the course of criminal-procedure, ect.

The Federal Chancellor [Bunderkanzler] took up
this suggestion, read my letter in the Council of
Ministers [Ministerrat] and these additions were
incorporated into the “Law for the Protection of
Order” [Ordnungsschutzgesetz].  After the Welser
incidents on the occasion of the conference at St.
Gilgen, influences which called for the
postponement of the publication of the “Law for
the Protection of Order” until autumn, were
predominant and the chancellor promised me to
announce the law on approximately the 20 August
1937.  And this actually happened.

My cooperation in the re-admittance of the book
"Mein Kampf” and in the legislation of the “Law
for the Protection of Order” is known to the
Teinfaltstrasse:  even though not in all its
details.  I cannot suppose that a responsibility
for the incorrect contents of the “Observer”
[Beobachter] should be refuted since in this case
it would already have to deal with the defects of
character mentioned by you.

In the meantime an order has been transmitted to
Ing. Reinthaller to the effect, that the latter
was not to call any meetings of the peasant-
leaders without agreement of the political
leadership and without consulting the same, and
furthermore that the economic machine which is at
the peasantry’s disposal, wand which in this case
only deals with privately-owned economic
institutions, as for example sales stores, ect.,
was to route its correspondence through official
channels, only, in this case by way of the Bureau
of the political organization or the

My stand in this matter is clear.  In the sense of
keeping the action separate, orders are out of
question in order to avoid self-reproach of having
played two sides.  I favor “sounding out” the
situation [Fuehlungnahme] in order to remove
misunderstandings if possible, and have
recommended corresponding agreement on point 1
with Ing. Reinthaller.  However, it is in no way
possible to invite officials of the political
leadership to

                                        [Page 112]

these conferences.  That would be equal to the end
of all these actions.

The request to route all correspondence of
privately-owned economic institutions through the
required channels is essentially and politically

This matter happens to be somewhat urgent.
Leaflets are being circulated here with a strong
stand against Ing. Reinthaller.  I therefore ask
you, my dear Mr. Keppler, for your point of view,
and that, perhaps, in the nature of a telegram to
Ing. Reinthaller, in which you acknowledge these
statements and give expression to your consent.

One party-exclusion, which has already taken place
is to be followed by others, whereby, in my
opinion a separation line will be drawn with just
that result, which causes the most worry to the

In this connection I want to touch on the question
of the “Vienna Latest News” [Wiener Neuesten
Nachrichten].  I am not certain if the order in
the last “Austrian Observer” [Oesterreichischen
Beobachter] will have the intended success, but I
understand that the paper’s situation is
extraordinarily difficult.  It seems to have run
out of money.  Instead the commissioner and an
acting Editor-in-chief are still there.  At the
time I have discussed in detail the question of
the “Vienna Latest News” [Wiener Neuesten
Nachrichten] in a conversation with Secretary of
State [Staatsekretaer] Zernatte and found him
willing in principle to join this paper to my
action.  It would now be necessary to receive
corresponding information from the source
acquainted with the financial condition [Ossa].  I
suggest that the man considered for this be
designated to me, as well as the possibilities of
a discussion and I shall see to it that a
corresponding trusted person will appear at these

I request that the before-mentioned be
acknowledged, and sign, remaining respectively,

                           with the German salute,

P.S.  Just now Ing. Reinthaller has informed me of
orders and directives, which have just reached
him.  The bearer of this will take it upon himself
to transmit them orally.  In view of these
circumstances the continuation of the action
appears hardly possible, without leading to very
severe conflicts.  I can take the responsibility
for these only if the line discusses at Salzburg
Mondsee is clear and safe-guarded.  I therefore
leave it to your consideration, if the moment of
your personal intervention has not arrived.

Mr. Wilhelm Keppler, Esq.
Berlin W. 8
Behrenstrasse Nr 39 a.