New book offers vivid account of Hitler,
of events in When Hitler Took Austria
SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2012 – In March 1938, Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg found himself under house arrest by invading German troops who stormed the country as part of the Nazi takeover of Europe. Chancellor von Schuschnigg spent time in Gestapo prisons from May 1938 to December 1941, when his wife Vera and daughter Sissi joined him in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Ignatius Press has published the gripping true story of von Schuschnigg as told by his son, who came of age during these dramatic events.
When Hitler Took Austria begins with the junior von Schuschnigg’s youth and his father’s efforts to maintain Austrian independence amid the rise of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and political unrest in his homeland. After the Nazis annexed Austria, they sent Chancellor von Schuschnigg and his wife to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp but allowed his son to finish his education in Germany.
Kurt von Schuschnigg, Jr., attended the German naval academy to avoid the draft and ended up on a Third Reich warship, serving the dictator who held his family captive. He recounts a number of harrowing escapes as a young naval cadet and later as a Third Reich deserter. He recalls in vivid detail the many times his life was saved through the surprising heroism of ordinary people.
When Hitler Took Austria is a story of survival – one co-author Janet von Schuschnigg calls “a testimony to the faith, hope and perseverance of the many people who, at great risk to themselves, resisted the evil of tyranny by doing good for others.”
Although untold numbers of Europeans witnessed and suffered through Hitler’s maniacal attempt at world domination, few can offer the kind of perspective found in When Hitler Took Austria. Throughout its 350 pages, readers will find behind-the-scenes accounts of pivotal historical events, along with glimpses into the private life of a European head of state during the rise of Nazi Germany and its attempt to overrun Europe and the world. The book also includes 24 pages of photographs.
“This is a graphic and dramatic first-person account of a crucial period in modern history,” says St. Louis University Professor of History James Hitchcock. “It is both riveting and inspiring.”
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, another Austrian native whose family also suffered in World War II, provides the book’s foreword.
To request a review copy of When Hitler Took Austria or to schedule an interview with co-authors Kurt and Janet von Schuschnigg, please contact Tim Lilley (678-990-9032 or Email) or Kevin Wandra (678-990-9032,
or Email) with The Maximus Group.