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National History—National Imagery: The Role of History in Postwar Austrian Nation-Building

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2008

Peter Thaler
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis


By all accounts, the Austrians of the late twentieth century live in a stable Western European country with a secure sense of self. The concept of Austrian nationhood finds solid support in the country's population, which consistently displays stronger signs of national pride than its German neighbors. When the Austrian republic was reestablished from the ruins of the Third Reich in 1945, however, historical tradition did not inherently favor the development of a distinctly Austrian national consciousness. Austrians had commonly placed their Austrian identity into a wider German context, not least of all with regard to historical tradition. Thus, the contribution of historical images to the development of an Austrian national identity in the postwar era raises important questions about the interrelationship of history and society.

Copyright © Conference Group for Central European History of the American Historical Association 1999

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1. In 1982 polls, to take one example, 69 percent of Austrians expressed strong pride in their country as compared to 32 percent of West Germans. See Dr. Fessel & Co, "Osterreichbewusstsein 1987," 26.Google Scholar

2. Austrian historians are not unique in this specific respect, as can be seen, for example, in Dennis, Deletant and Hanak, Harry, eds.. Historians as Nation-Builders: Central and South-East Europe (London, 1988).Google Scholar

3. The wider issue will be explored in my forthcoming study "The Ambivalence of Identity".

4. See Levi-Strauss, Claude, The Savage Mind (London, 1966).Google Scholar The French historian Michel dc Certeau described the practice of history on page 6 of The Writing of History (New York, 1988)Google Scholar in these words: “It is not content with a hidden ‘truth’ that needs to be discovered; it produces a symbol through the very relation between a space newly designed within time and a modus operandi that fabricates ‘scenarios’ capable of organizing practices into a currently intelligible discourse—namely, the task of the making of history.’”

5. The viability of the social sciences’ central purpose—to subsume social phenomena under systematic laws—has not been enhanced by the increased understanding of the relativity present even in the hard sciences. One docs not have to subscribe to Kuhn's, Thomas argument in The Structure of Scientific Reivhttions (Chicago, 1962) that even the natural sciences only function within their own paradigmatic structure to appreciate that it might be difficult for the social sciences to predict the outcome of the much more volatile phenomena they are describing.Google Scholar

6. See especially White, Hayden, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism (Baltimore, 1978).Google Scholar

7. Kreissler, Felix, Der Österreicher und seine Nation (Vienna, 1984). 13. The translations of this and subsequent German quotations arc mine.Google Scholar

8. See also Weinzierl, Erika, “Österreichische Nation und österreichisches NationalbewusstseinZeitgeschichte 17 (1989): 5960.Google Scholar In a recent essay on the purpose of Zeitgeschichte in Austria, the young Viennese historian Thomas Angerer noted: “In its social function, the discipline became a particularly important element in ‘civic’ or ‘political education.’ This was exactly the reason for institutionalizing the discipline in Austria, a fact to which we will return. What concerns us here, however, is that the discipline always adhered to the principle of active intervention in the present”. Angerer, Thomas, “An Incomplete Discipline: Austrian Zeitgeschichte and Recent History” in Austria in the Nineteen Fifties, ed. Dischof, Giinter and Pelinka, Anton (New Brunswick, N.J., 1995), 211.Google Scholar The term “Austrianist” signifies one of the two competing identity conceptions in Austria; it sunds in opposition to “Germanist”. The Germanist conception views Austrian identity as part of a larger German identity, however defined, whereas its Austrianist counterpart rejects the affiliation of Austrian with any form of German identity.

9. See Böhm, Wilhelm in Bundesministerium fur Unterricht, ed., Österreichische Zeitgeschichte im Geschichtsunterricht (Vienna, 1961)Google Scholar; Fischer, Ernst, Der österreichische Volks-Charakter (London, 1944)Google Scholar. For a broader documentation of the overall ideology, see also Reitercr, Albert, “Die konservative Chance: Ostcrreichbewusstsein im biirgerlichen Lager nach 1945Zeitgeschichte 14 (1986/1987): 379–97.Google Scholar

10. See Ernst Görlich, JosephHandbuch des Österreichers (Vienna, 1949), advancing the privilegium minus; Kreissler, Der Österreicher, stressing 1806.Google Scholar

11. Alfred Missong's “25 Thesen zur osterrcichischcn Nation” Österreichische Monatshefte 11 (08 1948)Google Scholar represent one example of the descent theory; the language theory is advanced inHrauda, C. F., Die Sprache des Osterreichers (Salzburg, 1949).Google Scholar

12. Almost all conservative Austrianists supported this proposition, among them Reiter, Ludwig in his Österreichische Stoats- und Kulturgeschichte (Klagcnfurt, 1947).Google Scholar

13. This assessment became the central tenet of the Austrian Mittelcuropa discussion of the 1980s. Among historians, Moritz Csáky argued most engagedly for this view; sec his letter, “Wie dcutsch ist Österrcich—cine cwiggestrigc Frage?” Die Presse, 21/2212 1985,11.Google Scholar

14. This view was official public policy from the very beginning of the Second Republic. (It had a prominent place in the country's Declaration of Independence.) For its academic presentation, see Stadler, Karl, Österrcich 1938–1945 (Vienna, 1966), and Kreisslcr, Der Osterreicher.Google Scholar

15. Görlich, Ernst Joseph, Hoor, Ernst, and Romanik, Felix are representatives of the nonacademic segment of Austrianist activism; Weinzicrl, Erika, Heer, Fricdrich, and Krcisslcr, Felix could be listed among the academics.Google Scholar

16. These interpretations have to pass over the predominantly Catholic character of many German regions.

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19. Reiter, , Österreichische Staats- und Kulturgeschichte, 122.Google Scholar For a similar interpretation, sec Böhm, Wilhelm, “Oestcrrcich” Hiener Zeitung. 30 10 1946. Beilage. 3.Google Scholar

20. Notwithstanding its wider focus, Evans's, R. J. W.The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1550–1700 (Oxford, 1979) provides valuable English-language information on the era of Reformation and Counterreformation in Austria.Google Scholar

21. Mecenseffy, Grete, Geschichte des Protestantismus in Öslerreich (Graz, 1956), 173, 197–98, 211.Google Scholar

22. Ibid., 173.

23. Indeed, the Bavarian court actively promoted the Counterreformation in Austrian territo- ries, as Loserth, Johann documented in Die Gegenrefonmation in den innerösterreichischen Ländern im XVL. Jahrlundert (Stuttgart, 1898).Google Scholar

24. Protestants make up approximately five percent of the Austrian population today, ranging from negligible in Tyrol andVorarlbcrg to more than ten percent in Carinthia and Burgcnland.

25. See Erdmann, Karl Dietrich, Die Spur Osterrciclu in der deutschen Geschichte (Zurich, 1989), 48. This debate took place in the 1980s.Google Scholar

26. Bamberger, Richard and Bruck, Franz Maier, eds., Östcrrach Lexikon (Vienna, 1966), 2:919.Google Scholar See also Reitcrer, Albert, ed., Nation und Nationalbeuntsstsein in Osterreich (Vienna, 1988), 55.Google Scholar

27. Bundesministcrium für Untcrricht, ed., Östcrrcichischc Zcitgcschichte im Cescliichlsunterricht (Vienna, 1961), 151.Google Scholar

28. In the words of secretary of education Hurdes: “When Rudolph of Habsburg enfeoffed his sons with the Austrian lands in 1282, Austria ceased to be a part of German history. In reality, German history until 1806, when Francis II renounced the Roman-German crown, was merely a part of Habsburg-Austrian history”. Hurdcs, Felix, Österrekh ah RealitM und Idee (Vienna, 1946), 2.Google Scholar

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30. Sanson, Nicolas D'Abbcville, Atlas du Monde 1665, republished by Pastorreau, Mireille (Paris, 1988), 161.Google Scholar

31. Magnus, Charles, ed., Magnus's Commercial Atlas of the World (New York, 1856), 19.Google Scholar

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33. In the twentieth century, they came to be known as Sudeten Germans.

34. It might be an interesting illustration of this point that two of Austria's postwar presidents—Karl Rcnner and Adolf Schärf—had moved to Vienna from their birthplaces in Southern Moravia. For a discussion of the strong regional traditions particularly in Western Austria, see the essays by Mathis, Franz and by Barth-Scalmani, Gunda, Kuprian, Hermann, and Mazohl-Wallnig, Brigitte in Austrian Historical Memory and National Identity, ed. Bischof, Güntcr and Pelinka, Anton (New Brunswick, N.J., 1997)Google Scholar and Bowman's, William review article “Regional History and the Austrian Nation,” Journal of Modern History 67 (12 1995): 873–97.Google Scholar See also Bruckmüller's, Ernst emphasis on the importance of provincial traditions in the genesis of Austrian nationhood in his monograph Nation Österreich 2d ed. (Vienna, 1996). These regional identities proved compatible with both a German and an Austrian superstructure, however.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

35. Fischer, Ernst, Dasjahr der Ikfrciung (Vienna, 1946). 40.Google Scholar

36. Novotny, Alexander, “Bewährung des österrcichischen Nationakharakters in den Wirren, Sicgen und Nicderlagen des zwanzigsten JahrhundertsDie österreichische Nation 27, no. 9/10 (1975): 101.Google Scholar

37. Albert Massiczek, “Unscrc Zukunft—Nation mit Weltverantwortung” in Die österreichische Nation: Zwischen zuvi Nationalistnen, ed. idem (Vienna, 1967), 192.

38. The regional background of these university nations is taken from Ernst Joseph Görlich and Felix Romanik, Geschichte Österreiclis (Vienna, 1970), 106.Google Scholar

39. Heer, Friedrich, Der Kampfum die österreichische Identität (Vienna, 1981), 42.Google Scholar

40. Readers with the necessary interest, however, can consult Walter Wiltschegg's Germanist study/source collection Österreiclt: Der “Zuvite deutsche Staat”? (Graz, 1992)Google Scholar, which, while focusing on the twentieth century, contains relevant material from earlier epochs as well. For a more narrowly circumscribed time period, see alsoWalter, Langsam, The Napoleonic Wars and Certnan Nationalism in Austria (New York, 1930).Google Scholar

41. These writings were collected and published by Dernhard Czerwenka in his chronicle Die Khevenltüer (Vienna, 1867).

42. Czerwenka, Bernhard, Die Klicvenhülller (Vienna, 1867), 119–22, 143, 145.Google Scholar

43. Ibid., 149, 133.

44. Friedjung, Heinrich. Geschichte in Cesprächai:Aufzeuhnuiigen 1898–1919, ed. Adlgasser, Franz and Friedrich, Margret, 2 vols. (Vienna, 1997). It should not be forgotten, however, that this Germanncss was understood primarily in an cthnocultural sense and could lead to divergent con- clusions as to its political consequences.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

45. Bamberger, Richard and Maier-Hruck, Franz, eds., Österreich Lexikon, vol. 2 (Vienna, 1967), 861Google Scholar.This concept of Austrians who were mistaken about their own identity recurs in somewhat different form with Felix Kreissler, who established for the year 1934: “The Austrian nation existed already, but it did not know it yet”. Kreissler, , Da Ostencicher, 538.Google Scholar

46. The Austrians were by no means the only German-speakers that lived in a multicultural dynastic realm. The Prussian state straddled both sides of the German-Polish language divide, Hanover and Saxony had dynastic tics to foreign powers, and Holstein's many centuries in a predominately Danish environment put the local Germans there in a pluricultural class by themselves.

47. Beginning with Francis I, the husband of Maria Theresa, they technically descended in the male line from the House of Lorraine. Practically, however, they continued the Habsburg tradition both in Austria and in the Holy Roman Empire.

48. Die Presse. 14 10 1859.1.Google Scholar

49. Koralka, Jiri, “Österreich zwischen Grossdeutschtum und Austroslawismus” in Österreich tmd die deutsehe Frage itn 19. und 20.Jahrhundert, ed. Lutz, Heinrich and Rumpler, Helmut (Vienna, 1982), 117–39.Google Scholar

50. Article IV of the Treaty of Prague stated: His Majesty the Emperor of Austria acknowledges the dissolution of the Germanic Confederation as hitherto constituted, and gives his consent to a new organization of Germany without the participation of the Imperial Austrian State. His Majesty likewise promises to recognize the more restricted Federal relations which His Majesty the King of Prussia will establish to the north of the line of the Main; and he declares his concurrence in the formation of an Association of the German States situated to the south of that line, whose national connection with the North German Confederation is reserved for further arrangement between the parties, and which will have an independent international existence. Israel, Fred L., ed., Major Peace Treaties in Modern History 1648–1967 (New York, 1967), 1:630.Google Scholar

51. In times of crisis, however, this German identity could express itself more forcefully in earlier periods too, as Walter Langsam documented for the era of the Napoleonic Wars: Langsam, Walter, Tlie Napoleonic Wars and German Nationalism in Austria (New York, 1930).Google Scholar

52. Cohen, Gary, The Politics of Ethnic Surviivl: Germans in Prague, 1861–1914 (Princeton, N.J., 1981).Google Scholar

53. Bahm, Karl, “Beyond the Bourgeoisie: Rethinking Nation, Culture, and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Central Europe,” Austrian History Yearlwok 29, no. 1 (1998): 1935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

54. Mayer, Jill, The Evolution of German-National Discourse in the Press of Fin-de-SiMe Austria (Minneapolis, 1994).Google Scholar

55. Judson, Pieter, “‘Not Another Square Foot!’ German Liberalism and the Rhetoric of National Ownership in Nineteenth-Century Austria,” Austrian History Yearbook 26 (1995): 8397CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also his article, “‘Whether Race or Conviction Should Be the Standard’: National Identity and Liberal Politics in Nineteenth-Century Austria” Austrian History Yearbook 22 (1991): 7695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

56. Frequendy, the desire for union with Germany that expressed itself so strongly in the after- math ofWorldWar I is ascribed exclusively to doubts about the economic viability of the Austrian republic. It remains doubtful whether such an explanation goes to the heart of the matter. Economic uncertainty in interwar Austria was high, to be sure, but Germany's political and economic situa- tion seemed equally bleak. Union with Germany did not promise an escape from reparation pay- ments, either. Beyond such factual counterpoints, purely economic interpretations face a more fundamental challenge. The exclusive search for secondary explanations premises that the Austrian republic represented the natural development, which was only questioned because of extraordinary political and economic circumstances. Such a premise approaches the interwar years with a postwar mind-set, however. In 1918, the concept of a small Alpine republic was more novel than the concept of union with Germany. The prevalent intellectual alternatives had been a large multinational empire and an encompassing German nation-state; hardly anyone had conceived of a small German-speaking republic. Thus, in the eyes of contemporary Austrians, there occurred no seniinatural transition from “old Austria” to “new Austria” but a collapse of the esublished order that required a new beginning. In the course of this beginning, all available options had to assert themselves not only by the absence of negative implications, but also by positive appeal. There are sound reasons to conclude that the most immediate doubts that contemporary Austrians harbored about their new state did not concern its viability but its desirability. The conclusions the Germanspeaking Austrians drew, in turn, corresponded to the conclusions drawn by all the nationalities of the disintegrating empire that possessed linguistic ties across the former imperial borders. Thus, the Romanians of Transylvania and the Poles of Galicia did not form their own Habsburg successor states but joined larger Romanian and Polish political entities.

57. Gesetz vom 12. November 1918 iiber die Staats- und Regierungsform von Deutsch- österreich, Staatsgesetzblatt für den Staat Deutschösterreich 1918, Piece 1, no. 5.

58. Austria's relationship to Germany was put under the supervision of the League of Nations: Article 88 The independence of Austria is inalienable otherwise than with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations. Consequently Austria undertakes in the absence of the consent of the said council to abstain from any act which might directly or indirectly or by any means whatever compromise her independence, particularly, and until her admission to membership of the League of Nations, by participation in the affairs of another Power.Israel, ed., Major Peace Treaties, 3: 1567.Google ScholarThe development of Allied opinion on the Anschluss question is an interesting story in itself. It was mainly French insistence that ultimately decided the matter. In 1918, the British Political Intelligence Department still dismissed the idea of preventing the Austrian Germans from joining Germany on grounds of principle and of expediency, asGoogle ScholarCarstcn, F. L. documented in Tlie First Austrian Republic, 1918-1938 (Aldershot, 1986), 6.Google Scholar

59. Resolution of the National Assembly of 6 September 1919, Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, Archiv der Republik, Neues Politisches Archiv, Karton 4, Deutschosterreich 15–2.

60. The 1928 meeting of the German Singers'Association, which included a pro-union rally in its program, brought approximately 140,000 singers from different German-speaking backgrounds to Vienna.

61. Wiltschegg, , Zweite deutsche Staat, 201.Google Scholar

62. Katzenstein, Peter, Disjoined Partners (Berkeley, 1976), 147Google Scholar; Wiltschegg, , Zuvite deutsche Staat,202Google Scholar. See also Rosar, Wolfgang, Deutsche Cemeinschaft: Seyss-lnquart und der Anschluss (Vienna, 1971),46. In view of the availability of corporate membership, the membership numbers should be seen less as an indicator of mass activism than as a reflection of public sentiment.Google Scholar

63. For the customs union project, see Orde, Anne, “The Origins of the Austro-German Customs Union Affair of 1931,” Central European History 13 (1980): 3459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

64. The election results are taken from Hanisch, Ernst, Der lange Schatten des Staates (Vienna, 1994). 127.Google Scholar

65. Derchtold, Klaus, ed., Österreichische Parteiprogramme 1868–1966 (Munich, 1967), 264.Google Scholar

66. Ibid., 483.

67. Ibid., 446.

68. Ibid., 376.

69. “Ocsterreichs staatliche Zukunft und die Sozialdemokratie,” Arbeiter-Zeitung, 13 05 1933, 1.Google Scholar

70. Such national unity regardless of political borders was persistently invoked by Austria's political leaders. See Renner, Karl in “Was soil aus Osterreich werden,” Der Kampf 23, no. 2 (02 1930): 52Google Scholar; Schober, Johannes in “Noch zwei Staaten-aber cin Volk!Deutschösterreichische Tages-Zeitung, 24 02 1930, 1Google Scholar; and Scipcl, Ignaz in “Das wahrc Antlitz Osterrcichs,” in Seipels Reden in Österreich und anderwärts, ed. GeBl, Josef (Vienna, 1926), 295.Google Scholar

71. Descriptions of this Austrian Man can be found in Schmitz, Oscar, Der österreichische Mensch(Vienna, 1924), and, retrospectivelyGoogle Scholar, in Lhotsky, Alphons, “Das Problem des österreichischcn Menschen,” in Aufsdtze und Vortrdge, vol. 4 (Munich, 1976), 308–31.Google ScholarAnother early Austrianist publication was Die österreichische Aktion (Vienna, 1927) with contributions by Christian-Social conservatives and monarchists such as Alfred Missong, Ernst Karl Winter, August Knoll, and Wilhelm Schmid, some of whom were to participate in the postwar dissemination of Austrianist ideology.Google Scholar

72. Rudolf, [Alfred Klahr], “Zur nationalen Frage in Österreich,” Weg und Ziel 2, no. 4 (1937):176.Google Scholar

73. Connor, Walker, Tlie National Question in Marxist-Leninist Theory and Strategy (Princeton, NJ.,1984).Google Scholar

74. Connor's examination of the Yugoslav Communist Party's (YCP) shifting positions in the 1930s reflects this flexibility particularly well: “The high tide of YCP support for secession was destined not to recede but to undergo instantaneous evaporation. As late as April 20, 1935, the Comintern would goad the YCP to increaseits agitation for secession, complaining that the work of the party 'within the national liberationmovements must be far, far better.' But in August of the same year, and with no advance warning, the Executive Committee of the YCP would inform its membership that'the Congress of theCommunist International has given a new tactical orientation, ' a most disarmingly innocentsoundingsignal for a radical volte-face in basic strategy. The Seventh Comintern Congress (July 25-August 20, 1935) had just called for a united front of all anti-Fascist forces. Recast in the newscenario as potentially useful ramparts against a Fascist Drang nacli Osten, the states of Eastern Europewere henceforth to be nurtured rather than dismembered. Connor, , National Question, 142–43.Google Scholar Interesting insights into the inner workings of Comintern decision-making in national questionscan also be found in the memoirs of the Macedonian Communist DimitarVlahov, quoted in IvoBanac's fascinating study of the national question in Yugoslavia. Vlahov reported that the resolutionthat first proclaimed the existence of a distinct Macedonian nation in 1934 was drafted by a PolishCommunist who had no prior knowledge of the Macedonian question. Ivo, Banac, The NationalQuestion in Yugoslavia (Ithaca, 1984), 328.Google Scholar

75. English has not yet provided a satisfactory equivalent of the term grossdeutsch. It uses the term pan-German for a number of different ideological concepts.There existed alldeutsch concepts, whichlike Pan-Slavism contained chauvinist and imperialist elements; the German word alldeutsch directly corresponds to English pan-German. Crossdeutsch ideas, on the other hand, have been held by manyeminent democrats—not least among them the leaders of the ultimately unsuccessful democratic revolution of 1848.

76. Neugebauer, Wolfgang, “Die nationale Frage itn Widerstand,” in Sozialdemokratie und “Anschluss,” ed. Konrad, Helmut (Vienna, 1978), 88.Google Scholar

77. Luza, Radomir, The Resistance in Austria, 1938–1945 (Minneapolis, 1984), 23.Google Scholar

78. Marek, Franz, “Diskussionen iiber die nationale Frage,” in Aus der Vergangenheit der KPÖ, ed. Kommission, Historische beim ZK der KPO (Vienna, 1961),Google Scholar 25f. Rudolf the Founder was amedieval Austrian duke. Th Austrian historian Ernst Hanisch relates a contemporary joke thatexpresses this skepticism in an earthier manner: “Two Communist inmates of the 'Austro-Fascist'concentration camp Wöllersdorf meet in the latrine. Says the one to the other:'Have you heard yet, as of yesterday we arc a nation of our own: not Germans, but Austrians!'” Ernst Hanisch, “Gab escincn speziftsch ostcrrcichischcn Widerstand?” Zeitgeschichte 12 (1984): 342. One might want tonote that the government that had set up the camp had become increasingly Austrianist itself.Google Scholar

79. See Stadler, , Österrcich 1938–1945,)85.Google Scholar

80. Csáky, “Wie deutsch,” ll.

81. Scharsach, Hans-Henning, Haiders Kampf, 8th ed. (Vienna, 1992), 87.Google Scholar

82. Busck wrote extensively on this subject; among his foremost contributions was the programmatic study Projekt Mitteleuropa (Vienna, 1986), which he copubiished with Emil Brix.Google Scholar

83. All the numbers referring to these polls are from Druckmiiller, Ernst, “Das Osterrcichbewusstscin,” in Politik in Österrtich, ed. Mantl, Wolfgang (Vienna, 1992), 264.Google Scholar

84. Sozialwisscroschaftliche Studiengesellsehaft (SWS). FB 297, April 1994. The question was: “To which regions in the vicinity of Austria do you feel drawn?” The percentages listed are the combined answers of strongly and very strongly.

85. In an interesting recent essay, the Harvard historian Charles S. Maier consequently dismissed the viability of the Austro-Mittelcuropa conception and advised the Austrians to bid it farewell. Maier, Charles S., “Whose Mitteleuropa? Central Europe between Memory and Obsolescence,” in Austria in the New Europe, ed. Dischof, Günter and Pelinka, Anton (New Brunswick, NJ., 1993), 817.Google Scholar Decades earlier, the late Austrian President Adolf Schärf, whose words are often invoked to attest to Austria's dissociation from Germany, had already rejected the concept of Austria's East Central European orientation in a much less publicized humorous but unequivocal declaration: “We must finally surrender this illusion. When people speak of the Danube Basin, I must always think of a different economic region, which once was just as powerful—the Burgundian empire, the Rhine-Rhone region. It lasted for centuries, and when it collapsed, people believed that the world would not exist much longer. What now remains from this economic region? Only sauerkraut as a national dish; much less appreciated in other countries. In the same way, little but the goulash remained from the Danube Basin. Not even the Pouidltaschert [plum pockets] survived everywhere.” Hellmut Andics, Der Fall Otto Habshirg (Vienna, 1965), 36.Google Scholar

86. An early example of this approach was the Rot-Weiss-Rot Buch, which the Austrian Chancellery published in Vienna in 1946.

87. Kreissler, , Der Österreicher. The study first appeared in French as La prise de conscience de ta nation autrichienne 1938–1945–1978 (Paris, 1980).Google Scholar

88. Stadler, , Österrcich 1938–1945, 14.Google Scholar

89. See, among others, Bukey, Evan Burr, ”Nazi Rule in GermanyAustrian History Yearbook 23 (1992):207;CrossRefGoogle Scholar and Rittcr, Harry, Austria and the Struggle for German Identity (Minneapolis, 1992), 2.Google Scholar

90. The memoirs of the later Austrian president Adolf Schärf play a central role; they are examined below. For the police reports, see Stadler, , Österrcich 1938–1945, 1419.Google Scholar

91. F. Parkinson, “Epilogue” in Conquering the Past: Austrian Nazism Yesterday σ Today, ed. idem (Detroit, 1989), 320.

92. Ibid., 321.

93. For the use of anti-Prussian arguments in various South and West German regions in the immediate aftermath of World War II, see Hans-Jürgen Wünschel, “Der Neoseparatismus in der Pfalz nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg,” in Landesgeschichte und Zeitgesthirhte: Kriegscttde 1945 und dettwkraiischer Neubeginn am Obcrrhein, ed. Hansmartin Schwarzmaier (Karlsruhe, 1980), 283–99, and also Paul-Ludwig Weinacht, ”Neugliederungsbestrebungen im deutschen Südwesten und die politischen Parteien (1945–1951),” in ibid., 333–34 and 337–38.

94. Schärf, Adolf, Österreiclu Ernetterung 1945–1955 (Vienna, 1955), 20f.Google Scholar

95. Austrianist works tend to focus on Schärfs statement that “the Anschluss is dead”, whereas Leuschner's reference to the views of other resistance members attracts less attention. See, for example, page 33 of the important Das neue Östcrreich: Geschichte dcr Zwciten Republik, ed. Weinzierl, Erika and Skalnik, Kurt (Graz, 1975).Google Scholar

96. Becker, Josef and Hillgruber, Andreas, eds., Die Deutsche Frage im 19. und 20. Jahrhunderi (Munich, 1983), 272.Google Scholar Further insight into the temporal and motivational background of Austrian national reorientation might be gained from Karl Renncr's private letters. In November 1941, three and a half years after the Anschluss, Renner continued to use the designation “we Germans” even in his frequendy highly critical correspondence with a fellow opponent of the current regime. Karl Renner to Hans Löwenfeld-RuB, 15 November 1941, printed in Karl Renner in Dohimcntai und Eriimeruitgen, ed. Nasko, Siegfried (Vienna, 1982), 142. In the case of Renner, at any rate, it does not seem to haw been the mere abstract experience of Austro-German union or of National Socialism that triggered his reorientation.Google Scholar

97. Dundesamt, Statistisches, ed., Statistisches Jahrbuch für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1960 (Stuttgart, 1960), 78Google Scholar; Stuhlpfarrer, Karl, “Nazism, Austrians and the Military” in Conquering the Past, ed. Parkinson, F. (Detroit, 1989), 200.Google Scholar

98. Müller-Hillebrand, Burkhart, Das Hear 1933–1945 (Frankfurt, 1969), 3:249.Google Scholar

99. See the table in ibid., 3:252.

100. This view is widely shared by military historians. See also van Creveld, Martin, Fighting Ponrr (Westport, 1982), 65. To the knowledge of this author, it has not been argued/documented that male Austrians differed in their national sentiments from females.Google Scholar

101. Höbelt, Lothar, “Österreichcr in der Dcutschen Wchrmacht, 1938–1945Tmppendienst 5 (1989): 431.Google Scholar

102. Allmeyer-Beck, Johann “Die Österreichcr im Zweitcn Weltkrieg” in Unser Heer (Vienna, 1963), 359. If one includes the police forces, the number of Austrian generals rises to 220.Google Scholar

103. The personal dilemma involved is still visible in the discussions among the German officers who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944.

104. In January 1944, the Supreme Commander Southwest (Heeresgruppe C) summarized the most significant previous orders regarding the employment of ethnic German troops from Poland, Alsace-Lorraine, Luxembourg, and Belgium as follows: a. The percentage of ethnic Germans must not exceed 8 percent in any unit. b. It is prohibited to unite these 8 percent into a closed detachment or to put them into action as a compact group. cThe ethnic Germans who belong to class III of the ethnic roster [Volksliste III] can only be put into front-line action after extensive observation and examination. As a rule, they will initially be used with baggage and supply units. Order by the Oberbefehlshaber Sudwest (Oberkommando Heeresgruppe C) from 21 January 1944.

105. According to the Luxembourg historian Gilbert Trausch. no fewer than 3,510 of the 10,211 Luxembourgers inducted into the German armed forces deserted or managed to avoid military service by other means. Trausch, Gilbert, “Deutschland und Luxemburg vom Wiener Kongrcss bis zum heutigen Tage: Die Geschichtc einer Entfremdung” in Die Deutsche Frage im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Becker, and Hillgruber, , 219.Google Scholar See also Trausch, Gilbert, Hisiiiire du Luxembourg (Paris, 1992), 172.Google Scholar Relying on French projections, the German historian Lothar Kettenacker maintained that approximately 20 percent of conscripts in Alsace-Lorraine evaded German military service by desertion or flight. Kettenacker, Lothar, Nationalsezialistische I'olkstumspolitik im Elsass (Stuttgart, Germany, 1973), 223.Google Scholar See also Bopp, Marie-Joseph, “L'enrolement de force des Alsacicns dans la Wehrmacht et la SS” Revne d'histoire de la deuxieme guerre mondiale 5. no. 20 (1955):40. Even if one treats these calculations cautiously, they demarcate themselves strikingly from Austrian equivalents.Google Scholar

106. Manoschek, Walter and Safrian, Hans. “Östcrrcicher in der Wehrnucht“. in NS-Herrschaft in Osterreich, 1938–1945, ed. Talos, Emmerich et al. (Vienna. 1988). 350.Google Scholar

107. To name just a few of the variables that impact the number of casualties per male citizen in a regional comparison: different age distribution based on regional differences in birth rate and on occupational mobility; different occupational structure—industrial areas had more exemptions from conscription due to health problems and to production necessities; different skills and proclivities—mountain units were more popular in Alpine regions, navy recruitment was higher in coastal areas.

108. Jacobsen, Hans Adolf and Dollinger, Hans, eds., Der Zweite Weltkrieg in Bildern und Dokumenten, vol. 3, Sieg ohne Fritden (Munich, 1963), 445, and many earlier publications report 3,000,000 German casualties, but the numbers have slowly been moving upwardGoogle Scholar. For Austria, see Sorge, Martin K., Tlie Other Price of Hitler's War (New York, 1986), 23, and Höbelt”Osterreicher in der Wehrmacht” 432. See also the subsequent notes.Google Scholar

109. For estimates, see, for example, Katzenstein, , Disjoined Partners, 173;Google ScholarDie Bevöl-kerungsvcrluste Österrcichs während des Zweiten WeltkriegesÖsterrcichische MiliUirische Zeitschrift 3 (1974): 219–20.Google Scholar Useful for Western Germany and Austria, but without factoring in the issues debated below, Statistisches, Oundesamt, ed., Statistisches Jahrbuch Jür die Dundesrepublik Deutschland 1960 (Wiesbaden, 1960) 78.Google Scholar In a recent research note, the German military researcher Rudiger Overmans projected a lower percentage of casualties for Austria than for Germany. Overmans, Rüdiger, “German and Austrian Losses in World War II” in Austrian Historical Memory, ed. Bischof, and Pelinka, , 293301.Google Scholar For a discussion of the problem areas in Overmans's calculations, see Thaler, Peter, “German” and “Austrian” in World War II (Minneapolis, 1999).Google Scholar

110. M¨ller-Hillebrand, , Das Heer 1933–1945, 3:263;Google ScholarSchwarz, Karl, “Gesamtiibcrblick der Bcvolkerungsentwicklung 1939–1946–1955Wirtschaft und Statistik 8 (1956): 495.Google Scholar

111. For a comparison of World War II casualties, see Sorge, , Other Price, xviiGoogle Scholar, and Ellis, John, World War II: A Statistical Survey (NewYork, 1993), 253f.Google Scholar

112. Of the approximately 950,000 soldiers that served in the WafFen SS, slightly more than 500,000 were recruited from outside Germany; that number includes members of German minorities abroad and foreign volunteers. This limits the number of German citizens (including Austrians) in the Waffen SS to somewhat below 450,000; proportionally, not quite 35,000 of these should have been Austrians. But according to the available estimates, 67,000 Austrians served in the Waffen SS, which would result in an Austrian share of almost twice their proportional representation. For the numbers involved, see Höbelt, “Österrcicher in der Wehrmacht,” 429; George Stein, The Waffen SS (Ithaca, 1966). 138 and 281; Ermenhild Neusüss-Hunkcl. Die SS (Hanover. 1956), 104. Since a field dominated by estimates cannot provide final answers, one might want to focus more on the basic outline than on the specific numbers with regard to all the German military data of World War II.

113. This assessment refers to mass identity; it does not preclude a different national sense of self among select individuals.

114. In this context, it might be interesting to note that the Social Democratic leaders of Austrian foreign policy in 1919/20 repeatedly deplored that the union question was not nearly as central to their German counterparts as to themselves. Julius Braunthal described this experience vividly in his memoirs. Julius, Braunthal, Auf der Suchee nach dem Milleniutn (Vienna, 1964), 233f. Gerhard Botz diagnosed more generally that it was “one of the more conspicuous characteristics of the intcrwar union movement that the Austrian side initially appears as the more insistent and initiating and the German side as the more cautious and restrained partner.” Gerhard Botz, “Eine dcutschc Gcschichte 1938 bis 1945? Österrcichische Geschichte zwischen Exil, Widcrstand und Verstrickung,” Zeitgeschichte 14 (1986/1987): 21.Google Scholar

115. Although some of its works, such as Kreissler's Da Österrciehcr, can be placed in a longer interpretative tradition, the more recent academic historiography of the Austrian national question does not fall within the scope of the current study, which focuses on the popular impact of historical interpretations in the early postwar decades. The debate initiated by the well-known West German historian Karl Dietrich Erdmann, who had insisted that it would be fruitless to exclude Austria from the German historical context, should, however, be addressed briefly here. Most prominent among Erdmann's critics was the Viennese historian Gerald Stourzh, best known for his research on the State Treaty of Vienna, who accused Erdmann of using the year 1938 as the norm forjudging prior and subsequent historical developments. Stourzh was supported by most of his Austrian colleagues; one of the few Austrian scholars who openly welcomed Erdmann's contributions was the respected Salzburg historian Fritz Fellner. Fellner stressed that diversity, not homogeneity, had been the hallmark of German history and underscored the eminent analytical importance of Austrian developments for the understanding of this traditional German polycephality. Although one school of contemporary Austrian historians, among whose foremost representatives Gerhard Botz and Ernst Hanisch might be mentioned, has become increasingly willing to question fundamental parameters of postwar Austrian historiography, the type of broad approach to Austrian history favored by Fcllner and a number of international scholars remains controversial in the Austrian debate. For some of the highlights of the debate, sec Botz, “Eine deutsche Geschichte;” RudolfArdelt,“‘Drei Staaten—Zwei Nationen—Ein Volk?‘ oder die Frage:‘Wie deutsch ist Österreich?'” Zeitgeschichte 13 (1986): 253–67; Fritz Fellncr, “The Problem of the Austrian Nation after 1945,” Tlie journal of Modern History 60 (June 1988): 264–89; Erdmann, Spur Österreichs; and Gerald Stourzh, Vom Reith zur Republik (Vienna, 1990). For Zöllner. see especially his Volk, Land und Staaf. Landesbeuusstsein, Staatsidee und nationale Fragen in der Geschirhtt Östemichs (Vienna, 1984) and Der Österreichbegriff: Formen und Wandlungen in der Geschichte (Vienna. 1988).