ONE cannot fail to take seriously a book by the Austrian ex-Chancellor. Kurt von Schuschnigg, especially when, as in this case, it is concerned with the Anschluss of Austria. As Chancellor of Austria at the time of Hitler's annexation in March, 1938, the author was intimately involved in every aspect of it; he analyses it phase by phase in The Brutal Takeover, (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, £3.25).
This book is not conceived as an autobiographical reminiscence, rather is it intended as a reference hook for historians. The account given by Schuschnigg might be described as a justification of his own actions; if that is so, it is both legitimate and well documented.
For the non-expert reader it is not an easy book to read, for it does not follow a chronological pattern, but takes individual aspects of the struggle and the pressures put upon the Austrian people and especially its Government, and examines each in detail for its causes, its progress and its results.
One interesting snippet of information is an extract of a Politburo Instruction of 14th August, 1935, directed to the Soviet Intelligence Agency in Austria which ends: "The Politburo has no wish to conceal the fact that, in its opinion, the second solution (a Habsburg restoration) represents a more serious danger to German National Socialism, since it would also provide the Vatican with a firm base from which to pursue its struggle against the Third Reich. J.K.