Why do we never slag off the Austrians ?

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by Owen, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. zahonado

    zahonado Well-Known Member

    There are people from all cultures who might subscribe to fascist beliefs if they were under threat, and certainly some who go with the prevailing flow. I don't think stereotyping helps..but there is group mentality as opposed to individual responsibility. Stereotyping is dangerous as is complacency about ones own groups superiority.
    Wills and dbf like this.
  2. Hesmond

    Hesmond Well-Known Member

    It's a very good question about the Austrians as also why do we not have a dig at the rest of the Axis such as Bulgaria and Hungary ? When we have a pop at the Italians it's down to the normal jokes about tanks going faster in reverse and such .
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Hesitantly popping in, and hope not to hack off any Austrians, but is it possibly because the 'Anglo-Saxon' (hem hem) mindset doesn't really understand Austria's place in the continent, and we tend to heap it loosely under 'German'.

    Adolf was an Austrian.
    Adolf also seen as #1 German Bogeyman/target for P-taking.
    QED: Austrians are Germans.

    Or something...

    The Anschluss confuses things too, as for that period, they were in actuality Germans, largely willingly.
    "How can anyone say that Austria is not German! Is there anything more German than our old pure Austrianness?" (Guess who... Hint, he had a funny moustache.)
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake The Mayor of London's latest dress code

    There is an inconsistency in how Austrians are regarded. It is a little similar to the way that England and Scotland may be perceived.

    There is a degree of mutual disregard between Prussians and Austrians, the winners and losers in the competition to lead a German empire. I have heard some Germans describe the Austrians as North Italians, and know Austrians who describe Germans a re a bunch of humourless Pifkas - "Sau Preusse" The insults are similar to the those based on the stereotypes the Dutch and Belgians have of each other.

    The Anschluss of 1938 was a military occupation which does mean that "Austria" is much a victim as the Czech republic. Lots of Austrians fought for Hitler, as did the men of Alsace and many ethnic Germans from across eastern Europe.

    There is a murky past to the Austrian empire. The old Austro Hungarian empire was ethnically heterogeneous, and was possible for Hungarians, Slavs and Jews to reach high rank - something almost impossible in the Prussian Army. In the C19th the Empire was a lot of pressures from different peoples for favours for their ethnicity and language. There were Slavs who sought independence as Czechs, Slovenes, Ukrainians - and fatally for Europe Serbs. There were also Germans who sought separate schools and social institutions for Germans. Some of the people who emerged from this had the intolerance, prejudices and capacity for treating neighbours with violence that emerge from these kinds of conflicts.

    Some Viennese friends of mine never pried into what one uncle did in the war years. He served in the Balkans, as, did Kurt Waldheim once of the UNO.

    I found this an interesting read. http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dead-Man-Bunker-Discovering/dp/0571228003

  5. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    The history of what we now call Germany is fascinating, well expressed by Sheldrake above. I was going to write something similar but not so well expressed. I studied the history of German re-unification in the 19thC at school but don't remember much of it.
    History shows how, in the movement to unite the various states, the domination of the Prussian ethic eventually took over. This appealed to H----r and led him to leave Austria and join the movement post WW1 which became the dreaded "brownshirts". Prompted by the humiliation of "Germany" by the Treaty of Versailles. Never forgotten or forgiven.
    The Treaty of Versailles 1918 " laid the guilt for the war on Germany and her allies," (Wiki ), placing Austria in a seconary position with Bulgaria, et al, as she was not yet a part of Germany. So perhaps the attidude carried over to WW2.
  6. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Who? Didn't they fight on our side...

    Austria vs. Australia
    By Lisa M., Sunny Isles Beach, FL

    The conversation begins harmlessly enough.

    “Where are you from?”

    “Austria.” I glance at the speaker and search his or her face for anything - anything at all. I see no comprehension. This has become a habitual problem in discussing where I am from.

    When I come across Austria Know-nothings I must decide if I should make them aware that there is indeed a country besides the one Down Under. Furthermore, what if you, the reader, should ever stumble across an Austria Know-nothing? What will you do? After years of observing reactions to various answers, I decided to make it my mission to convert Austria Know-nothings into Austria Enlighteneds!

    First, I categorize people by their knowledge of Austria. This seems fairly easy as there are only two categories, the first being “G’day, mate, and welcome to Australia!” and the second, “Yes, I think the word Austria is lodged somewhere in my subconscious.” Here are anecdotes on enlightening people and helpful tips in the event that you stumble across an Austria Know-nothing.

    “G’day, mate, and welcome to Australia!”

    This category has two subdivisions:

    Those Who Think It’s Australia, Not Austria

    These are the people who, when you answer “Austria,” tend to correct you by shouting “Australia?”

    In the beginning I thought, Do they think I am purposely leaving out two letters to confuse them? Do they expect me to yell, “Darn it, you’re right, mister! It is Australia! I don’t know why I was thinking of Austria since I’ve lived there for years!”

    After deciding to embark on my enlightenment mission, I realize these folks are the easiest to convert into Austria Enlighteneds. They didn’t even know about a country named Austria, but once told it does indeed exist, they at least know that it is somewhere in the world.

    The next subdivision is:

    Those Who Refuse to Give Up on Australia

    These are the tenacious ones you’ve got to watch out for. They refuse to believe you are not from Down Under but from the place where The Hills Are Alive. They are very determined and will continue to yell, “Crikey, did you know Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter?” until you want to wrestle them to the floor like he did to shut them up. These people are not easy to convert. It is sometimes futile to say, “Austria! You know, ‘The Sound of Music’?” because they will continue harassing you with useless facts about the Croc Files. It is best to nod, smile and reply, “Yes, well, g’day!” and scurry off - fast.

    The next category is more complex. It is:

    “Yes, I Think the Word Austria is Lodged Somewhere in My Subconscious”

    These are the folks who have heard of Austria but are not too informed. We might call them Semi-enlightened. This category has three subdivisions:

    Those Who Try to Convince You Austria is Not in Europe

    While at a blood drive, I was brutally rebuffed when the woman in charge accused me of lying about my country’s location. “Austria, in Europe,” I answered when she asked where I had lived before moving here. I asked her if she knew what country I was talking about and she snapped, “I’ve heard of Austria, I’m just saying it’s not in Europe!” If Austria is not in Europe, I wondered, where exactly had I lived? Converting these people is tough because most of the time they just will not believe you.

    Ahhnold the Govehnator

    This is probably the most nerve-wracking problem. When you finally find a person who knows about Austria and you prepare to embark on a sophisticated conversation, they throw at you, “I am Ahhnold the Govehnator, yah!”

    I never know what I should feel at this point. Should I be flattered that they actually know what country I am from, or should I be offended that they apparently identify all Austrians with speaking whale a la “Finding Nemo”?

    When you don’t immediately reply to their imitation, they continue, “You know, Ahhnold.” Yes, I know, would you like me to give you a standing ovation and scatter rose petals on the floor?

    When you do not look amused at their ludicrous imitation of Austrians, they wonder what is wrong with you. There really is no chance of converting these people, you just have to commend them on their fine imitation of the Austrian accent. Under this heading we have another category, which is:

    People Who Think the Population of Austria is Two

    These are the people who know about Austria and Arnold Schwarzenegger, yet still ask, “Do you know Arnold?” First, 10 schmoose points for not imitating the governator. Second, minus 10 points for thinking Austria is made up of two people. Let us just get right down to business. You lose people’s attention rather quickly when you say, “No, you know, the population of Austria is actually -” before they cut you off with, “Alright, well, see you later.”

    I have learned that the best answer to give when people ask if you know Arnie is to say, “Yes, we play golf every Sunday.” You do not necessarily have to say golf. You can insert any sport you find desirable, such as dodgeball or table tennis.

    Finally, we have one last subdivision in the “Yes, I Think the Word Austria Is Lodged Somewhere in My Subconscious” category, which is:

    The Oddball Question About Austria

    I like these people because although they may not know a lot about Austria, at least they make an attempt to steer away from the Schwarzenegger cliche. Someone once asked me if my uncle were Mozart.

    The only answer I could think of to that question was yes.

    So, you see, I have made it a priority to inform people about my native land. Thus far I can proudly say I have succeeded in converting eight people. It is important for countries of the world to be informed about one another, which is why I think it is vital for people to realize that Austria is a country, in Europe, that we have many more citizens besides me and Arnold, and, finally, that there are no kangaroos in Austria.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Austria the future...communique from the Moscow Conference.early November 1943.

    A meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the big three,Eden,Hull and Molotov at the Moscow Conference in early November 1943,agreed to restore the independence of Austria,annexed by Hitler on March 15 1938.

    Account will be taken of Austria's contribution to her liberation.

    I am not aware of any contribution that Austria made to her own liberation.
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    If you are not really aware of Austria's contribution to her liberation - then PM me for verse and chapter as I have studied this extensively

  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Thanks Tom for your note.

    If appropriate,can you post your research on the subject here so that others might want to comment.
  10. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    Harry Ree great. Idea and Tom hope you do post it on here
  11. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Harry / Elsie

    The reason I would like to keep this explanation private is that it is in TWO parts - 1) Modern Political - 2 ) Religious…..and as you know both subjects are BIG no - no's on the forum

    and I have NO wish to upset the mods when they ban me…life is way too short..so PM's only

  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Thanks Tom for your explanation...I would not wish you to be a naughty boy.

    I will PM you.
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Thanks Tom for your comment....cannot see why your thoughts should be covert.I would say the majority of UK citizens think rationally that way.By God it would have been a different world had N.S survived and ruled Western Europe.

    Will PM you ...just recovering from celebrating my sisters' birthday...born when we were being bombed by the Luftwaffe and yet we did not suffer as the rest of Europe by being overrrun by the Nazi hordes..speaks volumes how we coped with the day to day events ..yes,I remember it all.I think it still has a bearing on how the people of my era think....then we ended up being bankrupt and our generation did not see any improvement in living standards until the 1960s.
  14. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    While you are correct that the British did not suffer as the others in Europe - we had our share immediately after the war as too many - even on the Forum do not fully understand how it feels for your nation to be bankrupted

    in fighting for a principle then the ignominy of being told by both Eisenhower and Pearson of Canada to stop fighting the Egyptians at the Suez in 1956 thus losing the Canal and all that it meant plus later to lose the Oilfields for which we are

    still paying high prices for petrol..and so it was that my thoughts turned to ' if you can't beat 'em - join 'em " and so I landed in Canada in January 1957

    The liberation of Austria - as I noted was in two parts - both No - No's in the Forum - which the moderators decree both are too controversial for some adults to handle - so be it - but one day it will all be revealed - and there's nowt to stop it


Share This Page