Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. David McQuilkin

Degree Award Date

Spring 2001


Postwar Austria, Rebuilding, Explanations, Contemporary Implications


European History | History | Military History


In the aftermath of World War II, the Republic of Austria confronted the prospect of a humiliating occupation of her territories by the victorious Allied powers. More specifically, Austria verged on becoming a pawn in the Cold War power politics between the United States and the Soviet Union and thus faced the prospect of a permanent division along East-West ideological lines. Despite this threat, Austria successfully avoided Germany's fate and remained united as a state. The result, however, significantly influenced Austrian politics and contemporary Austrian life. On the one hand, Austria acted differently from West Germany in that she used her unique internal advantages of social partnership, economic prosperity, and cultural aggravation toward Russia to achieve geographic and ideological unification of her zones of occupation. At the same time, because Austria emphasized unity above integration with the West, she suffers from a greater isolation from the European Union and NA TO as well as an increasingly fragmented electorate.