First posted on February 16th 2006






External Links

For links on general historical dictionaries, go to Historical Dictionary main page

aeiou, Austria Lexikon; German and English language versions online, very detailed
Printed Reference : Historical Dictionaries, Austria

Paula S. Fichtner (ed.), Historical Dictionary of Austria, London : Scarecrow 1999, 328 pp., KMLA Lib.Sign. R 943.6 F445h


Note : the following compilations of definitions covers the territory of the modern Republic of Austria, and, prior to 1918, the Austrian Lands. For the Austrian Empire / Austria-Hungary, click here for the Historical Dictionary of the Austrian Empire / Austria-Hungary


General Expressions

Anti-Semitism
... in German : Antisemitismus. In Austrian history Anti-Semitism can be divided into several phases :
(I) Prior to the Edict of Tolerance in 1782. The Jews residing in Austria were exposed to restrictions affecting their economic activities, their residences, their religious activities, even had to subject to a dress code intending to brand them as outcasts of society (yellow patch, mandatory since 1551). Occasionally they were exposed to pogroms and/or expulsion, accused of trumped-up charges, the Jewish communities turned into scapegoats.
(II) 1782-1914 : while legally emancipated, Austria's Jews continued to be exposed to public prejudice. Many chose assimilation, some went so far to convert to Catholicism. Many Jews made use of career opportunities and embraced and Liberalism. In the later 19th century, a number of conservative Catholic politicians (Karl Lueger) identified Jews with the negative aspects of Liberalism and Capitalism, and established the expressedly anti-Semitic Christian Social Party, which was to become a dominant force in Austrian party politics. It should be noted that this form of anti-Semitic politics intended to protect the Austrian christian from the excesses of capitalism rather than to deprive the Austrian Jews of their civic rights. The late 19th and early 20th century saw an influx into Vienna of immigrant Jews, from Galicia and Russia.
(III) A period of transition, from 1914 to 1938, when a number of organizations were expressedly anti-Semitic. For instance, the Deutscher Alpenverein excluded Jews from membership. (IV) Nazi rule, where the state deprived the country's Jews of their nationality and introduced a policy of increasing discrimination, ending in physical extermination. (V) Following the reestablishment of Austria, Denazification has been less of an issue in Austria (partially seen as a victim of Nazi aggression); within the Austrian population, a latent anti-Semitic sentiment has been observed, and occasional acts of violence/ vandalism have been committed; the force of the law has been used to punish the perpetrators.

Death Penalty
... in German : Todesstrafe. Abolished by Joseph II. in 1781; reintroduced in 1795/1803, abolished in 1919, reintroduced in 1934, finally abolished in 1950/1968.

Jews in Austria
... in German : Juden in Österreich. As residents of Austria first mentioned in the 11th century. Pogroms/expulsions recorded for Lower Austria 1338, Austria 1420/1421, for Styria and Carinthia 1496, for Austria 1669/1670. When permitted to settle in Austrian territory, they were exposed to restrictions; from 1551 on, in Austrian towns, they had to wear yellow patches. Joseph II.'s Edict of Tolerance 1782 terminated institutionalized discrimination. With the Anschluss of 1938, German 'Race Laws' were introduced in Austria, and Austria's Jews were deprived of Austrian/German nationality, and soon after exposed to the policy of genocide. Of Vienna's c. 180,000 Jews, c.120,000 had left the country in time; c.60,000 were killed in Auschwitz or elsewhere.


Prior to 1283 ..... go to narrative history of Austria

Babenberg Dynasty 976-1246
... Dynasty originating from Bamberg (Germany), ruling the March, later Duchy of Austria.

Battle of Marchfeld 1278
... in German : Schlacht von Marchfeld. Fought in 1278 near Dürnkrut; Ottokar Przemysl, King of Bohemia, Duke of Austria and Styria, was defeated and slain by his opponents. The battle opened the way for Emperor Rudolf I. von Habsburg to enfief his son with the Duchies of Austria and Styria.

Carinthia
... in German : Kärnten. Created as the Karantanian March in 876; in 947 united in Dynastic Union with Bavaria; in 976 separated from Bavaria and elevated to a Duchy. In the following century, Styria and Carniola were in turn split off Carinthia. 1269/1276 acquired by Otakar Przemysl, King of Bohemia; in 1283 granted to Count M. of Gorizia-Tyrol; in 1335 acquired by the Habsburg Dynasty. For centuries together with Styria, Gorizia, Carniola under a common administration (Inner Austria). In 1918 minor territorial losses to Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes; a plebiscite over the political future of an area with ethnically mixed population ended in a decision for Austria. Carinthia became one of Austria's states in 1918.

Lower Austria
... in German : Niederösterreich. The March Ostarichi (Austria, Österreich) was reestablished in 955, ruled by the Babenberg Dynasty 976-1246, by the Przemyslid Dynasty until 1282, by the Habsburg Dynasty from 1282 to 1918. In 1490, the Archduchy of Austria administratively was partitioned into Austria above River Enns (Upper Austria) and Austria below the Enns (Lower Austria). Since 1918 one of the states of the Republic of Austria.

Privilegium Minus 1156
... a document issued by Emperor Frederick I. which elevated Austria from a March to a Duchy. This act split Austria from the Duchy of Bavaria.

Salzburg, Princearchbishopric
... The diocese of Salzburg, founded c. 690, was elevated to an archbishopric in 798. During the High Middle Ages, the archbishops of S. acquired territorial rights, thus establishing the Princearchbishopric. In 1803 the rule of the Princearchbishops was terminated; they were replaced by the former Grandduke of Tuscany; in 1805 Austria annexed the territory, in 1810 the territory was annexed by Bavaria. Austria regained Salzburg in 1815; in 1918 S. became one of the States of the Republic of Austria.

Styria, Duchy of
... in German : Steiermark (March of Steir). March split off from Carinthia in 1056; in 1186 united in Dynastic Union with Austria, under the Babenberg Dynasty; 1254/1262 acquired by King Otakar Przemysl of Bohemia. In 1282 Emperor Rudolf von Habsburg confiscated Styria and Austria, and enfiefed his son Rudolf with the territories in 1283; they remained under Habsburg rule until 1918, repeatedly under sidelines of the Habsburg Dynasty residing in Graz, the capital. The Austrian Counterreformation began in Styria 1570. In 1918 the southern parts were annexed by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes; the remainder formed the State of Styria within the Republic of Austria.

Tyrol, County of
... in German : Tirol. Originally a part of the Duchy of Bavaria, the County of Tyrol emerged as a separate entity in the 12th century. In 1363 the Habsburg Dynasty acquired Tyrol; repeatedly, Habsburg rulers chose Tyrolean capital Innsbruck as their residence. In 1803 the Princebishoprics of Brixen and Trent were annexed; in 1805, Tyrol was annexed by Bavaria; the county revolted against Bavarian rule under legendary leader Andreas Hofer (1809-1810). In 1810 Napoleon annexed Tyrol south of the Brenner Pass into his Kingdom of Italy. In 1815 Tyrol, including South Tyrol and Trent, was restored to Austria. In the Treaty of St. Germain, Austria was compelled to cede not only Italian-speaking Trent, but also German-speaking South Tyrol, to Italy; the remaining Austrian part of Tyrol is geographically split in two - North Tyrol and East Tyrol.

Vorarlberg
... the westernmost of the states of the Republic of Austria. Until 1806 it formed part of Vorderösterreich, a complex of Habsburg territories stretching from the Alsace to the Tyrolean border. Temporarily, Vorarlberg was administrated as an annex to Tyrol. Only when the other territories of Vorarlberg were lost to Austria (1799/1815) did Vorarlberg become a territorial entity of her own.



1288-1556 ..... go to narrative history of Austria prior to 1519

Austrian Lands
... in German : Österreichische Länder. Over the centuries, the Habsburg Dynasty was extraordinarily successful in combining territories under one rule (Dynastic Union). Maria Theresia ruled over the Austrian Lands, the Bohemian Lands, Hungary, what was left of the Burgundian Lands (= the Austrian Netherlands) etc. The Austrian Lands comprised of the Archduchy of Austria (consisting of Upper and Lower Austria), the Duchies of Styria, Carniola and Carinthia, the Counties Tyrol, Gorizia, and the territorial complexes of VorderÖsterreich and Trieste-Istria.

Estates, Provincial
... in German : Stände, Landstände. The estates had emerged when rulers ceased to rely on feudal levies and, instead of demanding feudal service, demanded taxes (13th century). Such estates existed in Styria, Carinthia, Lower and Upper Austria (split in 1451), Tyrol, Salzburg, Vorarlberg. The estates were usually organized in three chambers - clergy, nobility, third estate (the latter being the representatives of the city, in Tyrol the representatives of peasants' courts). They claimed to represent the country, as the persons assembled here owned most of the land not owned by the ruler himself. They met about once every three years, in order to discuss the ruler's request for additional taxation; as the Habsburg Dynasty often resided outside of the country and pursued a dynastic policy, it was the estates who represented the territory. Maria Theresia (1740-1780) tried to reduce their hold of the province and extract higher revenue from the respective territories while limiting the burden of the peasants; Joseph II. (1780-1790) tried to abolish them altogether. In the 19th century, the estates were transformed into provincial diets (Landtag).

Inner Austria
... in German : Innerösterreich. A term describing the territories of Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Gorizia, Trieste with the Austrian part of Istria. Used between the 15th and 18th century, as the territories, during that time, shared a common administration. Click here for more information

Lower Austria
... in German : Niederösterreich. The March Ostarichi (Austria, Österreich) was reestablished in 955, ruled by the Babenberg Dynasty 976-1246, by the Przemyslid Dynasty until 1282, by the Habsburg Dynasty from 1282 to 1918. In the 15th century, the Archduchy of Austria administratively was partitioned into Austria above River Enns (Upper Austria) and Austria below the Enns (Lower Austria). Since 1918 one of the states of the Republic of Austria.

Peasant Revolts
... in German : Bauernaufstand. Salzburg 1460, 1525-1526, Tyrol 1525; 1478 in Carinthia. Causes of the peasants revolts since 1525 were not only motivated by economic hardship and social oppression, but had also causes in confessional politics, the rebels in the 1520es mainly being Anabaptists, later rebels Lutherans.

Privilegium Maius
... a document (series of documents) forged on behalf of Duke Rudolf IV. of Habsburg in 1356, claiming a number of privileges. It was recognized as valid.

Reformation
... in the Austrian lands and in the Princearchbishopric of Salzburg, the Protestant Reformation spread without the approval of the rulers. In the 1520es Anabaptism found supporters in Tyrol; regarded subversive and held responsible for the Peasants Revolts, it was suppressed and those who escaped prosecution emigrated, to Moravia (Hutterites). Lutherans, in this early stage, were not regarded as subversive; tolerated by the authorities it spread. For further details, see under 'Lutheran Church'.

Upper Austria
... in German : Oberösterreich. The March Ostarichi (Austria, Österreich) was reestablished in 955, ruled by the Babenberg Dynasty 976-1246, by the Przemyslid Dynasty until 1282, by the Habsburg Dynasty from 1282 to 1918. In 1490, the Archduchy of Austria administratively was partitioned into Austria above River Enns (Upper Austria) and Austria below the Enns (Lower Austria). Since 1918 one of the states of the Republic of Austria.

Vorderösterreich
... by some translated to 'Further Austria', a term which is confusing as the German name means 'Hither Austria'. An administrative unit created in the 15th century combining a number of scattered Austrian Habsburg territories located west of Tyrol, including the Sundgau (Alsace, lost in 1648), the Breisgau (lost in 1803 to Baden), the Burgau and territory in Vorarlberg. Seat of administration was Freiburg (Breisgau). In 1815, out of this complex of territories only Vorarlberg was restored to Austria, and henceforward formed an administrative entity of her own; the name Vorderösterreich came out of use in 1803.



1556-1806 ..... go to narrative history of Austria 1519-1618 . 1618-1648

Battle of Kahlenberg 1683
... in German : Schlacht vom Kahlenberg. Fought on September 12th 1683, a relief force of 65,000 Poles and Germans commanded by Polish king Jan Sobieski decisively defeated a numerically superior Ottoman force and effectively terminated the Second Siege of Vienna. The Kahlenberg (literally : bold mountain) is a hill overlooking Vienna.

Counterreformation
... in German : Gegenreformation. In the Austrian lands, it was first implemented in Inner Austria. The Jesuits were invited to Graz, where they founded a college in 1572. The expulsion of Lutherans continued here until into the 1530es. In Upper and Lower Austria, until into the early 17th century the vast population majority was Lutheran, while the dynasty was Catholic. When Upper Austria was pawned to Bavaria in 1620-1628, the Bavarian administration introduced the Counterreformation; Lutherans were given two options - convert or emigrate. In Lower Austria the Counterreformation also was implemented, in part because it was feared that the local protestants might side with the Swedish enemy in the ongoing 30 Years War. An estimated 100,000 Lutherans left Austria. The Austrian peasant revolts of the 17th century for the most part are reactions of the Lutheran peasantry against religious oppression. In Salzburg, where a significant part of the population was Lutheran, the Counterreformation also was implemented in the early 17th century (1619-1653).

Innviertel
... a stretch of territory located on the right (eastern) bank of the lower Inn. Bavarian until 1779, it was then ceded to Austria in the Peace of Teschen concluding the War of Bavarian Succession. It was annexed into Upper Austria and presently has a population of about 200,000.

Jesuits
... in German : Jesuiten. The Jesuit Order was instrumental in the implementation of the Counterreformation in the Austrian lands. Jesuits taught at Vienna University since 1551; since 1579, graduates were required to take an oath on the Tridentine Confession. Jesuit colleges were founded in Innsbruck in 1561; in Graz (Styria) in 1572, in Linz (Upper Austria) c.1600, in Trent in 1625, in Feldkirch (Vorarlberg) in 1680; there also was a Jesuit college in Klagenfurt (Carinthia). In 1773 the Jesuit Order was dissolved, her colleges placed under a new administration. While the Jesuit Order was reestablishede in the 19th century, it could not regain the position in Austrian education it once held.

Kuruc Raids
... the term is derived from 'crusader' and refers to Hungarians who in 1679-1684 and 1703-1711 rebelled against Habsburg rule over Royal Hungary. Occasionally, rebels undertook raids across the border into Lower Austria or Styria.

Lutheran Church
... in the 1530es to 1550es, Lutheranism had spread in Upper and Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria and Carinthia. The various branches of the Habsburg Dynasty, however, remained Catholics and, based on the Religious Peace of Augsburg, believed it to be their right to determine the confession of their subjects. In the Habsburg territories the Jesuits were given a monopolist hold on higher education; in a second step, the Lutheran clergy was expelled (in Styria, Carinthia, Carniola in 1598-1602); in a third step, Lutherans were given the choice to convert to Catholicism or emigrate, in Upper and Lower Austria in the 1620es and 1630es; the Deferegger Exulants (Eastern Tyrol) in 1684, the last group being the Salzburg Exulants 1731-1732. Some pretended to convert to Catholicism, but privately continued to adhere to Lutheranism; these crypto-Lutherans were, in 1734 to 1774, given the choice to become Catholic or migrate to Transylvania (Transmigration).
Joseph II.'s Edict of Tolerance 1781 permitted the formation of Protestant congregations; the Patent for the Protestants of 1861 defined their legal rights.

Peasant Revolts
... in German : Bauernaufstand. Salzburg 1601-1602; 1594-1597, 1625-1626, 1632 and 1636 in Upper Austria. Causes of these later peasants revolts were not only motivated by economic hardship and social oppression, but had also causes in confessional politics, the rebels mainly being Lutherans.

Salzburg Exulants 1731-1732
... Protestant inhabitants of the Princebishopric of Salzburg, who in 1731-1732 were forced by their bishop to chose - convert to Catholicism, or sell their property, leave their children behind and emigrate. C. 20,000 chose the latter; many settled in Prussia.

Second Siege of Vienna 1683
... Called by the Hungarian Kuruc rebels to aid them in their struggle against Habsburg rule in Royal Hungary, an Ottoman army of c. 200,000 laid siege to Vienna (July 15th to September 12th). Emperor Leopold had fled the city. The Viennese (16,000 defenders) had razed the suburbs to the ground and defended themselves against an enemy they, for the most part of the siege, could not see. Ottoman miners dug tunnels with the intention, by the means of underground explosions, to damage the defenses or open up a route for their soldiers into the city. Food and ammunition were low, the defenders desparate, when the Ottoman army was defeated by a combined German-Polish relief force in the Battle of Kahlenberg in 1683, and the siege was effectively ended.

Torture
... in German : Folter. Regulated by the Carolina, Charles V.' criminal code of 1532, and by a later criminal code decreed by Maria Theresia in 1776; abolished soon after.

Transmigration 1734-1774
... in some remote mountain valleys of Styria and Upper Austria, crypto-Lutherans had been detected during the reign of Maria Theresia. Understanding that forcing these Lutherans, whom she despised, to emigration would economically do the country harm, she ordered the crypto-Lutherans to be given two options - convert to Catholicism, or sell their property, leave their children behind (to be raised as Catholics) and transmigrate to Transylvania, the only territory within the Austrian Habsburg monarchy where Protestants were tolerated. Such forced transmigrations took place 1734-1774.

Witch Hunt
... in German : Hexenverfolgung. On Austrian territory it began in the 15th century, reached a climax around 1680; declined in the 18th century. The last witch was burnt in the Princearchbishopric of Salzburg in 1750.



1806-1918 ..... go to narrative history of Austria

Christian-Social Party 1893-1934
... in German : Christsoziale Partei. Founded by Karl Lueger; with a program anti-liberal and openly anti-Semitic, it supported federalism and the concept of a Greater Austria. Drawing on the support of the middle classes and the Catholic population in rural areas, it did well in elections and became a major factor - in a political system which attempted to grant parliament minimal authority. The party was to support the government during WW I, supported the establishment of the Republic in 1918, for a brief period actively promoted annexation of Austria into Germany. Since 1918 in government, since 1920 the leading party in a coalition government of conservative parties. Dissolved in 1934.

Cisleithania 1867-1918
... The Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich or Compromise of 1867 granted political autonomy to Hungary. The Austrian administration came to describe the Kingdom of Hungary as Transleithania )beyond the river Leitha), the remainder Cisleithania, which included the Archduchy of Austria (= Upper and Lower Austria), Styria, Carniola, Carinthia, Gorizia with Trieste and Istria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Bohemia, Moravia and Austrian Silesia. In a wider sense, Galicia, the Bukovina and Dalmatia were also included.

Currency Reform 1900
... in German : Währungsreform. Introduction of the crown (Krone) currency, based on the Gold Standard. Abolished by the currency reform of 1924.

Emancipation of the Peasants 1848
... in German : Bauernbefreiung. Policies to ease the burden of the peasants have been implemented by Maria Theresia (Robot Patent, 1778) and her son, Joseph II. Only in 1848, by decree, Austrian peasants were granted full freedom, the state of serfdom was formally abolished (by comparison : Prussia 1807).

February Patent 1861
... in German : Februarpatent. A constitution decreed for the Austrian Empire, on February 26th 1861. It redefined the House of Deputies, created the House of Lords, redefined the provincial diets (Landtage), determined the franchise. Rejected by Hungary, in part by Galicia, cancelled in 1865; it formed the basis for the Cisleithania Constitution of 1867.

Food Rationing 1915-1922
... in German : Lebensmittelrationierung. Introduced in 1915, abolished only in 1922 in context with the Geneva Stabilization.

Gold Standard
... in German : Goldstandard. Introduced in Austria with the introduction of the crown (Krone) currency in 1900; in effect given up in 1914, with the begin of World War I.

House of Deputies 1848-1918
... in German : Abgeordnetenhaus. Created as the lower chamber of Austria's parliament in 1848, representing all parts of the Austrian Empire. Franchise was restricted (occupational, property restrictions) until 1906.

House of Lords 1861-1918
... in German : Herrenhaus. Created as the upper chamber of Austria's parliament in 1861. Membership was restricted to those who held it because of their office (bishops), noble birth and to those appointed by the Emperor.

Labour Unions
... in German : Gewerkschaften. They were permitted by legislation of 1870 and began to form in that year. In 1892 a Provisional Commission of Austrian Labour Unions was formed, of which in 1897 a Czech Commission split off. 1934 reorganized to fit into (and be manipulated by) the Corporate State, the Austrian Federation of Labour Unions representing Blue and White Collar Workers was dissolved in 1938. The Austrian Federation of Labour Unions (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) was established in 1945.

Landtag 1861-
... in English : Provincial diet. The term originally refers to the day(s) when the territorial estates met to deliberate. In the 19th century, these Landtage were transformed into regularly meeting provincial diets (1861); such diets existed for Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Carinthia and Styria. The Franchise was restricted until 1914. After 1918, the Landtage continued, representing states with revised borders; the Burgenland was added in 1921.

Latin Monetary Union
... established in 1865 by France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland, whose currencies were placed on the same footing and made interchangeable. Austria-Hungary joined in 1868. It functioned until 1914, when World War I created disparities which could no longer be bridged; formally abolished in 1927.

Manhood Suffrage, Universal Adult
... in German : Allgemeines Wahlrecht für Männer. Since 1848, suffrage was restricted (occupational, property restrictions); in 1907 universal adult manhood suffrage was introduced for elections to the House of Deputies. It took a few years more for the principle to be introduced on a provincial level (Landtage), for instance in Tyrol in 1914.

Patent for the Protestants 1861
... in German : Protestantenpatent. In Austria, Catholicism long was the official confession; Joseph II. had introduced religious toleration. The Protestant Patent of 1861 for the first time regulated the rights of Protestants in Austria; their places of assembly were not to be called church, not to look like churches, have entrances to the side.

Social Democratic Workers Party SDAP, 1888-1934
... in German : Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei, SDAP. Marxist, internationalist; first represented in parliament in 1897; by 1907 it had become a major factor in parliament; split into a German and a Czech Party. When WW I broke out, the SDAP supported the government; by 1916 it opposed the government, by 1917 it demanded abolition of the monarchy. In 1918 some SDAP politicians favoured the concept of annexation into Germany. Pro Republican; anti-clerical. Joined a government coalition 1918-1920, then in opposition. When the government acted dictatorial and aimed at the suppression of the SDAP in 1933-1934, Social Democrats took up arms (February Street Riots 1934); afterward, the party and her affiliated organizations were banned.

Welschtirol 1803-1918
... German language term for the parts of Tyrol which had a non-German-speaking population; these (the Trentino) had been annexed into Tyrol (Austria) in 1803/1815. During the Revolution of 1848 there had been a movement aiming at separating the region from Tyrol; negotiations aiming at autonomy for the region in 1901-1902 failed. In 1918, Italy annexed not only Welschtirol, but also the German-speaking region of South Tyrol.



1918-1945 ..... go to narrative history of Austria 1918-1920 . 1920-1933 . 1933-1938 . 1938-1945

Anschluss 1938
... the annexation of Austria by Germany, engineered by Hitler and the Austrian Nazis in March 1938. Austrian chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, although himself an Austro-Fascist, tried to end pressure placed upon him and Austria by Germany, by holding a plebiscite on the question of unification with Germany on March 13th 1938. He hoped and expected a vote against this proposed unification. The day before German forces invaded, unopposed. The Austrian Nazis had organized a cheering crowd, all along the way from the German border to Vienna. Schuschnigg fled the country; Austria was annexed.

Austro-Fascism
... in German, Austro-Faschismus. In 1930 the Heimwehr adopted political principles of (Italian) Fascism and declared itself to be against democracy. In 1933 Engelbert Dollfuss ruled in authoritarian style, and following the provoked and suppressed February Street Riots, in 1934 the May Constitution replaced parliamentary democracy with a Corporate State.

Austro-German Customs Union 1931
... in German : Deutsch-Österreichische Zollunion. Agreed upon in 1931, but not implemented due to the League of Nation's comment that it violated the Geneva Protocols of 1922.

Burgenland
... Until 1921 part of Hungary; in Hungarian called Lajtabanszag. Following World War I, because of the complex ethnic composition of the area's population the Allies decided a plebiscite to be held; the voters had the options Austria and Hungary. Except for Szombately, the other three districts opted for Austria. Within the Republic of Austria they formed a new state - the Burgenland (land of the castles).

Communist Party 1918-1934, 1945-
... in German : Kommunistische Partei Österreichs, KPÖ. Founded in 1918; banned in 1934, from when it operated in exile and underground. In 1945, with a limited number of members and votes, it joined the government coalition as a junior partner (until 1947). Attempts to pressurize the government to a policy more conciliatory to Soviet views failed; the party became insignificant.

Corporate State
... in German : Ständestaat. Label for the form of government Austria was under 1934-1938; a one-party-state, based on political concepts developed by Benito Mussolini.

Croatian Minority
... in German : Kroatische Minderheit. Residing in the Burgenland, which in 1921 had opted for Austria, in 1934 c. 40,500 speakers of the Croat language were counted. Several schools in the Burgenland offer courses in Croat language; in 1989 Croat has been declared an official language in the Burgenland.

Currency Reform 1924
... in German : Währungsreform. Following hyperinflation in 1918-1923, Austria in 1924 introduced the Schilling currency, replaced in 1999/2002 by the Euro.

Deutsch-Österreich 1918-1919
... in English : German Austria. A term used during the Empire to describe the German-speaking territories, roughly coinciding with the present Republic of Austria. In 1918 the new Republic adopted the name Deutschösterreich, only to be coerced upon to drop this name in the Treaty of St. Germain.

February Street Riots
... in German : Februarkämpfe. When the Austrian government banned the Social Democratic militia in 1933, street riots on February 12th to 15th 1934 brought the country to the brink of a civil war. The Social Democrats were defeated, their organizations banned.

Geneva Protocols 1922
... in German : Genfer Protokolle. An agreement between the Austrian government and the League of Nations; Austria had to oblige herself not to unify with Germany, and obtained a credit enabling her to curb rampant hyperinflation.

Geneva Stabilization 1922
... in German : Genfer Sanierung. Based on an international credit obtained in the Geneva Protocols, Austria, with the implementation of drastic budget cuts, succeeded in curbing inflation, at the expense of social unrest (a.o., 84,000 bureaucrats were dismissed).

Gypsies
... in German, traditionally : Zigeuner, politically correct : Sinti and Roma. Believed to have arrived on Austrian territory in the 15th and 16th century, a 1938 census established c.11,000 Sinti and Roma in Austria, mostly in the Burgenland region. An estimated two thirds of them was killed during the Holocaust.

Heimwehr
... a non-party bound militia formed when Austria-Hungary disintegrated in 1918, originally with the intention to protect what was left of Austria, for example in Carinthia. Later the Heimwehr regarded herself protectress of the country against the Republikanischer Schutzbund (the Social Democratic militia), which it fought in the February Street Riots of 1934. In 1930 it adopted Austro-Fascism and declared to be opposed to the Republic. Dissolved in 1936.

Holocaust (Austria)
... of Austria's prewar Jewish population of c.200,000 (mostly residents of Vienna), about 2/3 emigrated; about 1/3 fell victim to genocide. Austrians (Ernst Kaltenbrunner; Adolf Eichmann (born in Germany, had lived in Austria) had actively participated in its implementation, both in Austria and outside of the country. Mauthausen Concentration Camp, on Austrian soil, between 1938 and 1945 had held 335,000 inmates; it had been a transit camp; the mass extermination took place in Auschwitz and other extermination camps the Nazis had built on Polish soil. Other groups, such as the Gypsies, were also subjected to genocide.

Hyperinflation 1918-1923
... in German : Hyperinflation, Gallopierende Inflation. Following the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, the young republic faced a host of economic problems, among which were the conversion of a regulated wartime economy into a gradually deregulated peacetime economy, the integration of dismissed soldiers, as well as immigrants, into the workforce, a capital and administration, which, for the new republic was way oversized, the necessity to keep food prices affordable by the means of subventions, political insecurity (regarding the peace treaty, the future of Carinthia, the Burgenland). Under these conditions, prices rose sharply; by August 1922 the value of a gold crown had risen to over 14,000 times the value of a paper crown. The central bank no longer could keep up with printing money; local authorities printed their own money (legally, coupons). The hyperinflation was checked by government policies implemented in 1922, and by the currency reform of 1924.

Mauthausen Concentration Camp
... in German : Konzentrationslager Mauthausen, on Austrian soil, between 1938 and 1945 had held 335,000 inmates; it had been a transit camp.

May Constitution 1934
... in German : Maiverfassung. Using emergency legislation of 1917, parliament, in a final session (without the Social Democrats) adopted a constitution which in effect abolished democracy and transformed Austria into a Corporate State.

National Assembly, Provisional 1918-1920
... in German : Provisorische Nationalversammlung. Established in 1918, after the Fall of the monarchy, by those members of the parliament of 1911 who spoke German and identified with an Austrian state. It included members from the Sudetenland region, from South Tyrol, South Carinthia and South Styria. Dissolved in 1920. Succeeded by the National Council.

National Council 1920-1934, 1945-
... in German : Nationalrat. Has 183 elected members. Created by the constitution of 1920, abolished by the constitution of 1934; recreated in 1945. Main legislative body.

Nazism
... an Austrian branch of the German NSDAP (Nazi Party) was founded in 1926. It failed to get represented in the National Council, but succeeded in elections to provincial diets (Landtage). Banned in 1933; organized the 1934 Putsch in which dictator Engelbert Dollfuss was killed. From 1934 on the ban was no longer effective. After the Anschluss 1938, Austrian Nazis made a career within the German Nazi administration (Seyss-Inquart). The party again was banned in 1945.

Ostmark 1920-1934
... literally : Eastern March, a term introduced by 19th century historians to describe the Austrian territory held by the Babenberg Dynasty. 1938-1942 official name for Austria, as part of Nazi Germany, then replaced by 'Donau- und Alpenreichsgaue'.

Pan-German People's Party 1920-1934
... in German : Grossdeutsche Volkspartei, which emerged in the formative days of the Austrian Republic, by the merger of German Nationalists and German Liberals. Their support base was formed by bureaucrats and secondary teachers. The party advocated annexation of Austria into Germany. Anti-Semitic, anti-clerical. As a junior coalition partner in government 1921-1932; dissolved in 1934.

Pan-European Movement 1923-
... in German : Paneuropäische Bewegung. Founded by Richard Nikolaus Coudenhove-Kalergi in 1923 (then age 29) in order to lobby for European political and economic cooperation, and the ultimate goal of the establishment of a United States of Europe..

Slovene Minority
... in German : Slowenische Minderheit. In Austria concentrated in the districts of Bleiburg, Eisenkappel and Ferlach in southern Carinthia, with some living in southern Styria. A plebiscite in parts of Carinthia decided in favour of the region remaining with Austria. In 1910, the Slovene-speaking minority was given at c. 82,000. From 1941 to 1945, Slovenes in Austria suffered political pressure; some emigrated; the Slovene resistance expanded her activity onto Austrian soil. Since 1945, schools in the area with mixed population in southern Carinthia are bilingual; since 1972 placenames on boards are given bilingual.

Vienna, Province 1921-
... in German : Bundesland Wien. In 1921 separated from Lower Austria and declared a province (Bundesland) of her own.

Womanhood Suffrage, Universal Adult 1919
... in German : Frauenwahlrecht. In the Republic of Austria introduced in 1919. Marianne Hainisch had founded the Federation of Austrian Women's organizations in 1902, which supported universal adult womanhood suffrage.



since 1945 ..... go to narrative history of Austria 1945-1949 . 1949-1955 . 1955-1969 . 1969-1990

Austrian Freedom Party 1955-
... in German : Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ). Established in 1955; conservative-liberal. Long in the opposition, 1983-1986 junior partner in a coalition government lead by the SPÖ. Again in the opposition, the party experienced a shift to the right; since 2000 junior partner in a coalition lead by the ÖVP.

Austrian People's Party 1945-
... in German : Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP). A christian-conservative party which may be regarded a successor to the Christian-Social Party, which was dissolved in 1934. Major partner in the multiparty coalition 1945-1966, formed a one-party cabinet 1966-1970, opposition party 1970-1986, since then partner in a coalition cabinet.

Black Market 1945-1950
... in German : Schwarzmarkt. While, during World War II, draconian measures against vendors and customers alike prevented the phenomenon to become significant, in 1945 the Black Market quickly rose to importance. The money had, due to inflation, become almost worthless. The Black Market was essential to supply the population with the basics, and soldiers of the occupying powers benefitted from it. American cigarettes became replacement currency. When Marshall Plan money resulted in a stabilization of the currency and the shelves of the legitimate shops filled up, the Black Market disappeared (early 1950).

Czechoslovak Refugees 1968
... in German : Tschechoslowakische Flüchtlinge. In the course of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, which terminated the Prague Spring of 1968, more than 160,000 Czechs and Slovaks fled onto Austrian soil.

Denazification
... in German : Entnazifizierung. A policy attempting to exclude Nazis from positions in state administration, the judiciary, in education and in other politically sensitive positions. The policy was agreed upon by the four powers occupying Austria. 524,000 Austrians had been members of Nazi organizations; of them c. 480,000 were fined; 170,000 civil servants were dismissed. In 1957 a general amnesty was proclaimed.

EFTA
... European Free Trade Association, founded in 1960. Austria was a founding member, but left the organization in 1995 in order to join the EU.

Ethnic German Refugees
... after World War II, ethnic German inhabitants of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland, and of the German regions east of Oder and Neisse rivers, occupied and annexed by Poland respectively the USSR, were collectively blamed for having been responsible for the crimes committed by the German forces of occupation/the Nazis, and expelled. Most of them (the total figure exceeds 10 million) moved into western Germany; about 238,000 settled in Austria. The German term for them is 'Heimatvertriebene' (those expelled from their home region).

Food Rationing 1939-1950
... in German : Lebensmittelrationierung. Reintroduced late in 1939; continued under Allied occupation; abolished in 1950 (while subsidies continued to keep food prices low).

Hungarian Refugees 1956
... in German : Ungarische Flüchtlinge. In the course of the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 and the suppression of the Hungarian Rebellion, more than 180,000 Hungarians fled onto Austrian territory.

Marshall Plan 1948-1953
... widely used term; the official expression was ERP - European Recovery Program. Austria, including the zone under Soviet occupation, benefitted from it starting from 1948. As her southern and eastern neighbours did not (yet) benefit from the program, the country, despite war damage and poverty being visible, gained the reputation of being prosperous, and the Soviet power of occupation attempted to cash in on this sudden prosperity by selling imported items for which no import tariff had been paid. Within a few years, the Austrian economy recovered; the economy was deregulated, food rationing ended; unemployment declined.

Neutrality 1955-1991
... in German : Neutralität. neutrality was a concession Austria's government, in 1955, made to the U.S.S.R., without which the country might not have regained her independence in 1955. Austria thus was prevented from joining international organizations such as the EEC/EC. In 1991, with the fall of communism, the Austrian government declared her neutrality as obsolete; in 1995 it joined the EU.

Occupation 1945-1955
... in German : Besatzung. Like Germany, Austria was divided in four zones of occupation. The Soviet Zone comprised of the Burgenland, Lower Austria and parts of Upper Austria; the French Zone of Vorarlberg and North Tyrol; the British Zone of Styria, Carinthia and East Tyrol; the American Zone of parts of Upper Austria and of Salzburg. Capital Vienna was divided in 4 sectors, one for each occupying power. From late 1945 onward, the powers left Austria to be administrated by an Austrian government, and took a supervisory stand. The Austrian government found the three western powers of occupation to be cooperative; the Soviets were difficult to deal with.

Polish Refugees
... in German : Polnische Flüchtlinge. When martial law was declared in Poland in 1981, more than 33,000 Polish nationals fled onto Austrian soil.

Scandal Republic
... in German : Skandalrepublik. An expression which came up in Austria when it became apparent, that politicians were involved in covering up for an insurance scam (Lukona Scandal 1977); as late as 1988 a parliamentary commission was charged with examining the implication of politicians in the Lukona Scandal. The term 'Scandal Republic'was widely discussed following the performance of Thomas Bernhard's play 'Heldenplatz' (1988).

Social Democratic Party, Austrian
... in German : Sozialistische Partei Österreichs (until 1991), Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ, since 1991). Partner in coalition governments 1945-1966, formed a one-party cabinet 1970-1983, partner in coalition governments 1986-2000. Presently in the opposition.

State Treaty 1955
... in German : Staatsvertrag. An a treaty signed by the Austrian government and the victorious powers - the U.K., U.S.A., France and the U.S.S.R. Austria regained full independence, but - as a concession to the U.S.S.R., had to oblige herself to pursue a course of neutrality.

Turkish Minority 1960-
... in German : Türkische Minderheit. From 1960 to c. 1975, Turkish migrant workers came to Austria in search for employment. Most of them intended to stay only for a few years, but many stayed on and brought their families into the country. Their number is over 100,000.

Yugoslav Refugees
... just prior to and during the Yugoslav Civil War (1991-1995), an estimated 60,000 Yugoslav citizens requested political asylum in Austria.







Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics