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Home defense exercise in the Almtal, April 15, 1934
Works council of the Redtenbacher company in 1953. After 1945, democratic parties and union representation of workers were able to establish themselves again.
Youth squad of the Socialist Workers' Youth Scharnstein. In February 1934 they would have been prepared to support the Social Democrats' resistance to the destruction of democracy and the workers' movement.

Politics and economic crisis in Scharnstein in times of scythe making

Sensenmuseum Geyerhammer
Scharnstein, Austria

The difficult political situation of the 1920s also had its effects in the Almtal. The Scharnsteiner “Schutzbündler” demonstrated at public marches with great determination, even though they possessed few weapons. Unlike the Scharnstein “Heimwehr”, whose commander, the manager of the Redtenbacher works Dr. Fritz Maix, was a senior member of Upper Austrian “Heimwehr”. With 90 % the exceptionally high proportion of workers in the Scharnsteiner “Heimwehr” can be traced back to the membership of highly skilled scythe workers who did not feel part of the labour movement on the one hand. On the other hand, others hoped that they could save their endangered jobs by joining the “Heimwehr”. While the social democrats were pushed back under Dollfuß’s authoritarian government and they were banned after the civil war in February 1934 (the Communist Party had already been banned in 1933), the activities of the National Socialists increased in the 1930s. Also, in Scharnstein swastika flags were secretly hoisted, leaflets were scattered and firecracker attacks against representatives of the Austrian state were committed.