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Wilhelm Miklas.jpg

Wilhelm Miklas (15 October 1872 – 20 March 1956) was President of Austria from 10 December 1928 to 13 March 1938, succeeding Michael Hainisch. Only the third president, Miklas was forced to cede power to Fuhrer Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany after the Anschluss.


Wilhelm Miklas was born on 15 October 1872 in Krems, Lower Austria, Austria-Hungary. Miklas was headmaster of the Federal Secondary School in Horn from 1905 to 1922, and in 1907 he was elected to the Imperial Council for the Austrian Christian Social Party. Miklas was a supporter of the red-and-white Austrian flag and was an opponent of German nationalism, rejecting close relations with the Weimar Republic. Miklas was elected President on 10 December 1928, but he remained passive as his nine chancellors made various choices as Austria headed towards union with Nazi Germany. Miklas condemned his Chancellors Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt Schuschnigg's violations of the constitution, but he decided not to openly protest. He left office on 13 March 1938 when Germany annexed Austria in the "Anschluss", and he abandoned politics during World War II. After the war's end, he decided not to run for president again, and he died in 1956.