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The Defense of the Nussdorf Line in Vienna under Robert Blum (October 1848)
In Vienna, the third general uprising of the 1848 revolutions in early October 1848 saw street fighting, the murder of the Minister of War, Count Theodor Baillet von Latour (b. 1780), and the flight of Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I from the city. Under pressure from radical insurgents, even the Imperial Diet fled to the Moravian town of Olmütz. As Robert Blum (1807-1848), a radical democrat and emissary of the Frankfurt National Assembly, hurried to the Austrian capital, troops loyal to the Habsburg dynasty, commanded by General Windischgrätz (1787-1862), were closing in and laid siege to the city by late October. This image shows Robert Blum at the forefront of the revolutionaries defending the “Nussdorf Line,” named after the old wine village of Nussdorf north of the city center (today part of the 19th Viennese Municipal District). The imperial troops who entered Vienna on October 31, 1848, summarily executed Blum on November 9 for his participation in the uprising. This clear violation of Blum’s parliamentary immunity marked the decisive breach in relations between the Frankfurt National Assembly and the Austrian government. Lithograph by Leo Elliot (1816-1890), 1848.