German National Movement in Liechtenstein
|German National Movement in Liechtenstein
Volksdeutsche Bewegung in Liechtenstein
|Slogan||Liechtenstein den Liechtensteinern!
(Liechtenstein for the Liechtensteiners)
The organization disseminated its ideology through its newspaper, Der Umbruch (The Upheaval).
A slogan associated with the party was Liechtenstein den Liechtensteinern! (Liechtenstein for the Liechtensteiners!). This implied a radical populism that would threaten the allegiance of the people of Liechtenstein to ruling Prince Franz Josef II.
In March 1939, the VDBL staged an amateurish coup attempt, first trying to provoke a German intervention by burning swastikas, followed by declaring an Anschluß with Germany. The leaders were almost immediately arrested and the hoped-for German invasion failed to materialise.
The inability of the party to participate in the 1939 elections (after a pact between the main parties to keep the election date a secret), combined with the drastic decrease in Nazi sympathies following the outbreak of World War II led to a temporary demise of the party. However, in June 1940 it was reconstituted under the leadership of Dr. Alfons Goop. During 1941 and 1942, the party was involved in vehement anti-Semitic agitation, urging a solution to the country's presumed "Jewish Question", accusing Jewish families in Liechtenstein of spying for the Allies. By early 1943, the VDBL had become an embarrassment to Germany: its recruitment for the Waffen-SS compromised Liechtenstein's neutrality, disquieting the Swiss. The German ministry of foreign affairs in March 1943 forced the VDBL to hold talks with the Patriotic Union, in Friedrichshafen under auspices of the Waffen-SS, in order to reach a fusion of both parties, which shared an anti-Bolshevik and anti-clerical programme. Severely disappointed, Goop resigned as party leader. In the end the PU only consented to some "cultural cooperation". When Germany's war fortunes declined, in July 1943 Der Umbruch was forbidden by the authorities. In 1946, party leaders were prosecuted for the 1939 coup attempt. Goop was in 1947 condemned for high treason, to an imprisonment of thirty months.
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