The arrests of numerous politicians and functionaries of the Vaterländische Front and the (temporary) pro-Nazi position of the bishops, but also the lack of con-spirative experience rendered the organization of resistance in this environment more difficult. After the outbreak of conflicts between the NS-regime and the Catholic church in summer 1938, larger resistance organizations formed. Among them, the three (later united) Austrian liberation movements would become the most significant. Many Catholic priests, nuns, and laymen became determined adversaries of the regime they considered unchristian. Otto Habsburg, who in 1938 had protested in Paris against the occupation of Austria, was a leading political figure not only for the Legitimists. Anti-Nazism, Catholicism, and an Austrian patriotism, which was usually Greater Austria–Habsburg oriented, marked the ideological orientation of these resistance groups.
Based on their convictions, Jehovah’s Witnesses (International Bible Researchers Association) refused to enlist in the army, to work in the armament industry, and to join the Hitler Youth; out of 550 members in Austria, 145 fell victim to NS-persecution.