The First President: Karl Renner

The First President: Karl Renner

Richard Saage

Karl Renner (1870–1950) was Austrian Chancellor and President of the National Council; he was Federal President and founder of two republics – yet to this day he is regarded as one of the most controversial Austrian politicians.

A century-spanning social democratic politician, Karl Renner uniquely personified the destiny of a country considerably diminished in stature after the fall of the Habsburg Empire. But his consent to the annexation of his homeland by Nazi Germany damaged his reputation beyond repair, calling all his achievements into question.

In this ground-breaking biography, German political scientist Richard Saage examines what remains of Karl Renner's heritage. Instead of interpreting his career as a simple rise-and-fall, Saage opts for a wider perspective, hedding light on previously unknown aspects of his life dating all the way back to his birth.

Half a century at the centre of Austrian politics: What remains of Karl Renner's legacy?

The First President: Karl Renner

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