Hermann Neubacher


Hermann Neubacher

Hermann Neubacher (June 24, 1893-July 1, 1960) was an Austrian Nazi politician who held a number of diplomatic posts in the Third Reich.

Austrian activism

Born in Wels, he was educted in Kremsmünster and Vienna before seeing service in Italy in World War I.Philip Rees, "Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890", p. 278] Initially connected to the Social Democratic Party of Austria through his friendship with a number of leading members whilst in charge of a housing project in Vienna, Neubacher became attracted to Pan-Germanism and in 1925 founded his own "Österreich-Deutsch Volksbund" as a society for this school of thought. He was also a member of the "Deutsche Gemeinschaft" secret society and in this group he built up friendships with fellow members Engelbert Dollfuß and Arthur Seyss-Inquart.

Neubacher became a member of the Nazi Party in Austria because he felt it was the best way to bring about Anschluss, although he was more in tune with the Anton Reinthaller-led moderate faction than than the extremists under Theodor Habicht.Rees, op cit, p. 279] After a spell as assistant to Josef Leopold he became "Landesleiter" of the Austrian Nazi party in 1935, attempting to restructure the banned group. His tenure came to an end the same year when he was imprisoned for distributing illegal material and upon his release he dropped out of politics to take up a role with IG Farben.

Under the Nazis he was chosen to serve as Mayor of Vienna, although he soon incurred disfavour for his habit of working with former Social Democrats and his lax attitude towards the Jews and before long he was downgraded to the role of general representative of Josef Bürckel.

Greece

When war broke out Neubacher took on the role of a special plenipotentiary envoy in the Balkans, initially serving as an economic adviser in Romania before taking on the role of ambassador to the same country and afterwards Greece as well. In Greece he was joined by Italian Alberto D'Agostino, with the two men givne full authorisation over economic and financial matters after discussions between the Greek government and the occupiers aimed at reducing occupation costs. [Davide Rodogno, "Fascism's European Empire: Italian Occupation During the Second World War", Cambridge University Press (2006), p. 235] During the final days of occupation of Greece the more moderate Neubacher became embroiled in a stuggle with Sicherheitspolizei chief Walter Blume after Blume suggested that the Nazis should undertake a policy of executing all members of the political elite suspected of having links to the United Kingdom. Neubacher rejected this as counterproductive, arguing that as long as politicians opposed the work of the National Liberation Front and the Greek People's Liberation Army their British links should be ignored. In the end Neubacher's line was approved and Blume was withdrawn, a move that ultimately left in place a strong pro-British right wing governing class in post-liberation Greece. [István Deák, Jan Tomasz Gross and Tony Judt, "The Politics of Retribution in Europe: World War II and Its Aftermath", Princeton University Press (2000), p. 213]

Yugoslavia

In 1943 he devised the Neubacher Plan as a means to improve German occupation in the Balkans. In a wide ranging raft of reforms Neubacher suggested five main ideas to Joachim von Ribbentrop. These were:
# The return of Montenegro to Serbia.
# Installing General Milan Nedić as President of the resulting Greater Serbia.
# Autonomy in Montenegro.
# The re-opening of the University of Belgrade and an end to German supervision of cultural life.
# Reduction in German military presence and the establishment of a gendarmerie controlled by the new government. [Sabrina P. Ramet, "The Three Yugoslavias: State-building and Legitimation, 1918-2005", p. 134] Ultimately only point 4 of his proposals was approved, although he did succeed in ending German military reprisals and in combating to an extent the Ustaše reprisals against Serbia. [Ramet, op cit, pp. 134-135]

Later life

After the war Neubacher faced trial in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and in 1951 a military court sentenced him to 20 years, although he was not ultimately required to serve the full sentence. He died in Vienna aged 67.

References


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