Background: Hugo Jury was Gauleiter of Niederdonau (Lower Danube), a region of Austria, from 1939-1945. The article was printed by a Vienna newspaper that had asked him to discuss his political goals As a result of the Nazi takeover, the administrative system was being reorganized. Note his comment that the concept of Austria must be “wiped out.” Jury committed suicide at the end of the Third Reich.
The source: “Niederdonau ist Grenzgau!” Wiener neueste Nachrichten, 29 May 1939, pp. 1-3. This is taken from a newspaper article available on ANNO, an Austrian project to digitize a wide range of newspapers.
The Lower Danube is a Border Gau!
I see my main task as building up and transforming my Gau, which is a border Gau next to Czechoslovakia and thus the real Eastern reaches of the Reich, into a true National Socialist border region. The demands placed on the population in border regions are always greater than those on citizens dwelling further from the border. Those living along the border can look back on generations of defending their positions, and as defenders of the most forward positions have everything they need to become, with proper training, valuable members of the National Socialist movement. I see my task as providing the whole population of my Gau with the worldview equipment that is necessary to make this piece of land, with its traditions and culture, a firm bulwark of the Reich. This must be solidly based on national educational efforts, supported by corresponding party training and close contact between party leaders and all people’s comrades.
More than that, but not the first priority, are economic and social problems. The Lower Danube is one of the poorest of our seven Gaue, and had only small areas of rich agricultural land. The larger part is settled by farmers in the foothills, and helping them is our first task. Many areas, the Waldviertel, for example, are poorly connected, or not connected at all. It is urgently necessary to improve communication and transportation in the agricultural and forested districts.
Industry is also in bad shape, in some cases in ruins. To improve general conditions, it is first of all necessary to think about creating jobs. Existing industries, particularly when they are small scale, must be made sound, and be brought through the difficult transitional period.
A Decent Life for Workers
My most agreeable task is building a decent life for workers. That means improving workplaces that, either because of the lack of concern by employers or because of difficult industrial conditions, are bad. We need to be able to speak of the “Beauty of Labor.” It is also necessary that a worker has a comfortable home to which he can return after a day’s labor, and which offers him the ability to raise healthy children.
The idea of “Austria” must be wiped out, since it only opens the door to reactionary elements and conceals their work. The best defense against this tendency is the separation of Gau Niederdonau from Vienna, the city which since the Great War was ruled by the Red and Black adherents of the System governments, and which concealed elements foreign to our people and race. For foreigners, Vienna was always incorrectly seen as Austria, so freeing ourselves from Vienna can only make my work easier.
It is not yet decided where the Gauleitung (formerly the provincial government) will be located. Obviously, the Gau administration will be established in one of the larger cities in the Gau, probably St. Pölten or Krems. That decision will be made shortly. Becoming the Gau capital will naturally be an economic boost to the city chosen. Moving government personal and offices, and establishing the Gau central administration, will naturally lead to considerable construction and with it lively economic activity.
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