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Schutzbund, Republikanischer


SCHUTZBUND, REPUBLIKANISCHER , Austrian paramilitary organization. The organization was founded in 1922 at the initiative of the Social Democratic Party in opposition to the *Heimwehr, the right-wing paramilitary organization. Its leaders included Julius Deutsch, Rudolf Rafael Loew, Otto *Bauer, and Julius *Braunthal. At its height in the late 1920s it had approximately 40,000 members, including several hundred Jews, mainly in Vienna. It was disbanded by E. *Dollfuss in 1933 but continued to operate as an underground army until it was put down in the February uprising of 1934. Like the Social Democratic Party, the Schutzbund was careful not to be branded as a Judenschutztruppe ("Jew-protector troop"). The question whether it should protect Jewish gatherings in the second district of Vienna (Leopoldstadt) from Heimwehr and Nazi attacks often became the subject of intense controversy; Schutzbund units would protect Jewish assemblies, wearing their uniforms but not their badges or service-belts. The organizational forms of the Schutzbund and the related workers' sports movement influenced the *Hapoel and the *Haganah in Palestine. Rudolf Rafael Loew was a member of the Schutzbund's military leadership and its financial officer. He immigrated to Palestine in 1938, where he became a member of the Haganah's general staff and later director of the Israeli military archive.


A. Ḥefeẓ (ed.), Vinah ha-Adummah (1964); O. Naderer, Der bewaffnete Aufstand (2004).

[Meir Lamed /

Evelyn Adunka (2nd ed.)]

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