Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Lindele, Sep 19, 2020.
Today 65 years ago in 1955 , the last soldier left Austria.
That is an unusual and interesting fact Stefan. My wife's grandmother owned a bierkeller on the outskirts of Vienna during the war and after. She had several fights with the Russians during that time, including standing in front of her Great Dane dog, when they wanted to shoot it for food.
Then a year later they went into Hungary.
very true and sad too.
The Red Army voluntarily left several places it occupied after VJ-Day: Finnmark (Norway's most northerly province) see: Liberation of Finnmark - Wikipedia ; Bornholm (Denmark's eastern island) see: Stalin’s Danish Mystery | History Today and the Persian Azerbaijani Province see: Iran crisis of 1946 - Wikipedia
Not to overlook where they did not leave and remain there today: Invasion of the Kuril Islands - Wikipedia Or had a "puppet" government please let us join the USSR, see: Tuvan People's Republic - Wikipedia
Well remembered Stefan.Hitler sought to enforce a political union between Germany and Austria,a situation which had been festering since the break up of the Austro - Hungarian Empire in 1919 as a result of the treaty after the Great War and that of Versailles.
During the Second World War,Austria was seen as a victim of Nazism by the Allies.The agreement to withdraw Allied forces from Austria and establish its independence was made between the British,US,Russia and France.(Quite a contrast between German civilian casualties and those of Austria which according to the VDK were 24300 against 500000 German civilian casualties although I have seen a figure of 600000 to 650000 from other sources.)
The Austrian Nazi Party became well represented in the structure of the NSDAP and were the "fifth column" in driving the Anschluss policy and undermining the Austrian government. Called to Berlin,the Austrian Chancellor von Schuschnigg was intimidated by Hitler and Goering.The so called Anschluss ballot was set up for 10 April 1938,two years after Hitler had recognised the independence of Austria by treaty and already were occupying the country.
The Anschluss ballot returned an affirmative vote of 99.07% of Austrians while in Germany,the return was 99.59% to a question set after the German seizure of Austria."Do you agree to the reunion of Austria with the German Reich carried out on 13 March and do you vote for the Reichstag list of our leader,Adolf Hitler".
From there, Hitler's vision of uniting all German speaking counties was enacted and continued with the Sudetenland Nazi Party (Sudeten Deutsche Party) which had long agitated for Suteden German independence under Konrad Henlein. Supported financially by the Third Reich,Henlein and Hitler achieved their goal by the Munich Agreement of September 1938.By March 1939,Hitler occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia citing the territory as a Protectorate.
Interestingly when it came to Poland when the British declared war on Germany, Ribbentrop who had previously advised Hitler that the British would not go to war, was allegedly addressed by Hitler with the comment "What now"
As regards the Russian quelling of the Hungarian uprising in 1956,the West could not intervene as Hungary was a satellite of Russia.As it was Britain was already up to the neck with the French and Israelite collusion over Suez with Operation Musketeer when we tried to seize the canal and oust Nasser. Reservists thought that there was likely to be a call up due to the international tension but Uncle Sam intervened and told Eden to pack up and go home and we did.
There were other tensions involving Russia,that of the short lived uprising in the GDR in June 1953.Then the uprising in Czechoslovakia in 1968 when the Czechs attempted to break free of the Russian yoke which the West were unable to intervene in order to avoid a major conflict.
One of the quandaries facing British film makers in WW2 was when when the plot line required a "nice" or a "good" German. How did one introduce such a character whilst at the same time not making him a traitor? The stock answer was to make him Austrian yearning to throw off the Nazi yoke (see for example"The Goose goes West"). In reality such were rarer than hens teeth.
Not to overlook British, French and American occupation forces remained til the neutrality and peace agreement was concluded. The Austrians having paid for their occupiers presence. Wiki reminds one how horrible the (Soviet) occupation was at first and the machinations till 1955: Allied-occupied Austria - Wikipedia
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