Britain and the Occupation of Austria, 1943–45 by Alice Hills (auth.)

By Alice Hills (auth.)

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Additional resources for Britain and the Occupation of Austria, 1943–45

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36 Harrison thought that the BBC should be allocated free time to encourage this, with the ruling, first, that propaganda should not run counter to that of the Soviets, and second, that it British Policy before 1943 27 would be wisest to direct propaganda to the future; that is, to foster a sense of independence after liberation. His argument was accepted, with the result that the BBC put out twice weekly broadcasts to Austria in a German-language programme. 37 The activist line adopted by Moscow, which insisted on militant patriotism and an avoidance of wasting time on the ‘idle future’, was avoided.

She was immediately subjected to a policy of economic and political integration that was aimed at destroying everything that was Austrian. The Austrian Nazi-dominated regime, under SeyssInquart, was allowed to go through the motions of power only from 12 to 14 March. A Gauleiter (provincial party leader) was then appointed. Even the name of Austria was eliminated – the country was renamed the Ostmark (the East March), and later the Donau und Alepengau. The original nine provinces were transformed into seven Reichsgau, all vestiges of Austrian central government were finally dissolved and orders came directly from Berlin.

Proposals for Moscow That the sifting of ideas represented a strong trend is clear from events during the next few months. Two papers prepared for the Foreign Secretary illustrate this. The first was a memorandum on the future of Austria, summarising official debate and listing the options open to the Allies, which Eden issued in May. 6 It gave a brief résumé of British policy to that date, stressing its non-committal nature. It emphasised the strategic importance of Austria: Austria could either provide a German salient by which an aggressive Germany could destroy all resistance in Danubia, or she could form the only line of defence for the area against such a Germany.

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