Britain and the Occupation of Austria, 1943-45 (Studies in by A. Hills

By A. Hills

The connection of coverage to process is a imperative factor in foreign reviews. utilizing the little-known yet hugely suitable instance of British making plans for the career in 1945, the publication offers a case-study within the practicalities of 'liberating' enemy territory. It appears on the method within which coverage was once constructed after which reconciled with these of her Allies; how negotiations have been without delay tormented by the prevailing - and anticipated - strategic state of affairs; and the way the army have been considering the reconstruction of Austria.

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Furthermore, British policy remained indecisive. 13 The PWE was admittedly considered to be ineffective, if loud in self-advertisement, by men such as Ivone Kirkpatrick, later head of the political section of the German Control Commission. But the paper is characteristic of government planning in 1944, for it restated problems, listed alternative suggestions – and ignored Churchill’s favoured solution of a Danubian federation. The PWE task was to stimulate the political consciousness of Austrians so as to encourage a sense of the independence which the Allies were by then publicly committed to.

25 Unlike the French or the Italians, the Austrians had to begin by acting in the face of generations of pan-German sentiment and tradition. Austrians lacked a compelling sense of national identity. 26 Parallel with this went the German penetration of all positions of influence in politics, culture, industry and science. There was also the military call-up. The Austrians were not second-class citizens, but regular ‘Ostmarker’ of the Reich, and the steadily increasing recruitment drive of the German Army presented resistance organisers with severe problems.

The British and American delegates at once protested that this was inconsistent with the declared intention of treating Austria as a victim of aggression. They argued that not only had she ceased to exist as a state after 1938, and could not therefore be held responsible for German aggression, but that to speak of ‘material responsibility’ implied she would be subject to reparations. Such a demand would be incompatible with a professed desire to re-establish Austrian independence and, further, the total resources of the Austrian economy would cover only a fraction of the cost of German war damage.

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