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Julius Raab (29 November 1891 – 8 January 1964) ( St. P.P.l. Austria). Civil engineer and political leader of Austrian origin, historically recognized for having helped found the current democratic state of Austria.
In his country he co-founded the Austrian People’s Party, as well as Chancellor of the Republic, between 1953 and 1961. He also participated in the presidential elections, in 1963, for his party, although he lost to his contender.
Julius Raab was born on 29 November 1891, in the lower Austrian town of St. P’lten, one of three children of Julius Raab and his wife, Franziske Wohlmeyer. His early studies were at the public school in St. Plten, as well as at the Gymnasium of the Benedictine abbey of Seitenstetten.
His higher education was at the Technical University of Vienna, where he entered to train in Civil Engineering.
However, his career was interrupted by the beginning, in 1914, of World War I. During this war, Raab served as an infantry lieutenant. After the war, he joined his life, graduating from Civil Engineer, finally, in 1922.
Later, he began working in the business of his father, who was a builder. Later he managed to open his own construction company.
His political life began in 1928, when he became chief, in Lower Austria, of the nationalist far-right paramilitary forces, called Heimwehr. A year later, as a member of the Christian Socialist Party, he was elected to represent his constituency before the lower house of the National Parliament.
During the First Austrian Republic he held important positions, being a member of the Nationalrat (National Council) between 1929 and 1943; member of the Council of the Economy, between 1934 and 1938; as well as a Member of the Bundestag (Federal Parliament) and President of the Chamber of Commerce of Lower Austria.
He was also appointed Minister of Trade and Transport, for a month, from 11 February to 11 March 1938, before Austria’s accession to Nazi Germany, at which point Julius Raab decided to depart from political life.
Between 1938 and 1945, Raab had to be employed in a road construction company, unable to handle the family business, on the orders of the government. During this time he also helped many persecuted by the Nazi regime, including Leopold Figl, who became First Chancellor in Austria.
After the war, in 1945, he was part of the citizens who founded the Austrian People’s Party, as well as its Governing Council. That same year he was appointed Secretary of State for Housing, a position he held for a few months, from April to December. In 1946, he assumed the post of President of the Government Economic Council.
Subsequently, he assumed the Federal Secretariat of the People’s Party, where he remained until 1960, as well as President of the Economic Union of Austria, where he was there until 1963.
Achievements as Chancellor
In 1953, he was elected to the post of Chancellor of the Republic, from where he had a crucial role in the negotiations that eventually led to the signing of the Treaty of State, in 1955, which marked the withdrawal of Allied troops from Austrian territory, the conversion of this country into a neutral state, the immediate restoration of the borders that Austria had possessed before 1938, among other important royalties that helped this European country to regain its political and territorial sovereignty.
However, this Treaty cost Austria a large sum of money, demanded by the Soviet Union, which asked Austria for compensation of $150 million in recognition of companies confiscated during World War II, as well as two million dollars in exchange for the assets of the Danube Shipping Company, and ten million metric tons of crude oil for the return of its oil fields and refineries. Similarly, the USSR required Austria to assume a neutral position.
On 26 October 1955, Austria proclaimed the Law on Perpetual Military Neutrality. That same year, the Austrian country entered the United Nations; a year later, he joined the Council of Europe. Also, in 1958, the Austrian country became part of the European Free Trade Association.
As for its domestic policy, Julius Raab’s government was characterized by the launch of the “Raab-Kamitz Doctrine”, which he undertook with his economy minister, Reinhard Kamitz, in order to stabilize the currency, achieve the maximum development of the state of welfare and boost employment.
For this, Raab launched a political system based on moderate liberalism, which nonetheless included the nationalization of the oil, electrical and steel industries, as well as maximum support for private textile manufacturing and Timber.
Likewise, tourism was given a great boost, forever changing the economy of rural areas, located in the Alpine area. Similarly, Raab was responsible, together with J. Bohm, for the Sozialpartnerschaft social security system, which operated, thanks to the cooperation of trade unions and employers.
All these measures resulted in a maximum economic boom and prosperity, which made it deserving of different recognitions, both in life and in death, among those the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, received in 1956, as well as the European Prize of the Association of Sudetenland German Charlemagne, with which he was invested in 1959.
However, in 1963, Julius Raab lost to Schérf in that year’s elections as a candidate for the Presidency, which he had attended backed by the Austrian People’s Party. A few months later, on 8 January 1964, he died in Vienna, Austria, due to a chronic illness. His funeral was conducted with state honors.
Image source: vebidoo.com
August 6, 2019
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