Soft line approach for Austria

This autobiographical article was published on the occasion of Ross’s lecture series in support of the fake referendum after Austria’s Anschluss. It is telling evidence of Ross’s adaptive capacities.

In a nutshell, Ross presents himself as an experienced globetrotter, a caring head of his family, and a discerning geopolitician, in other words, a representative of the Third Reich for Austrians to identify with. This image is given more substance by telling that Vienna was his birthplace and by relating a story about his three-year old son Ralph in Africa.1 Ralph, who learned the Viennese dialect from his nanny, successfully defeats a black boy his age in a quarrel about a toy. Ralph not only berates the boy in a mixture of Viennese dialect and Swahili, but also cuffs him. The heading’s biased character of this anecdote is conspicuous: “White and black”. Although there is no explicit mention of any Nazi Germany colonial or Auslandsdeutsche policy (unlike Ross’s radio talk on the same occasion of his lecture series; see Austrians’ loathing for a global significance), it is obvious that Ross’s geopolitical expertise, made palatable by the abovementioned anecdote, is exploited to make Nazi imperialist claims more attractive for an Austrian audience after the Anschluss in a popular education institute that by then had been completely forced into line.2

Katalin Teller

Colin Ross. Eine Wiener Watschen im afrikanischen Urwald. (Österreichische) Volks-Zeitung. Jg. 84, Nr. 121. 1938 May 3; 6.

Topic: Auslandsdeutsche
Case: Speaking engagements


1 An earlier version of the article was published several days earlier in Wiener Neueste Nachrichten with an announcement of the Urania lectures; see Anonymous. Brennpunkte des Weltgeschehens. Colin Roß “enthüllt” die Geheimnisse des Weltgeschehens. Wiener Neueste Nachrichten. 1938 Apr 30; 14 (5555): 11. See Library. A sentence introducing the episode with Ralph in the African jungle was added to the later variant of the article: “It is one [episode] that could particularly impress the Viennese people.”

2 See Walter Göhring. Die Wiener Volksbildung. In: Siegwald Ganglmair, editor. Wien 1938. Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, 110. Sonderausstellung. Wien: Österreichischer Bundesverlag; 1988; 386-397.

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