Austria. In March, the Austrians elected Heinz Fischer as the new president, the first Social Democrat on the post since 1986. He received just over 52% of the vote and thereby defeated the candidate of the bourgeois, Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner. She took office in the fall instead as the new EU Foreign Secretary and was replaced at the ministerial post by Ursula Plassnik, also she from the Conservative People’s Party ÖVP (Österreichische Volkspartei). According to CountryAAH, the total population in Austria is 9,006,409 people in 2020. The election result was interpreted as a dissatisfaction with the right-wing government, not least for a change in the pension system that the government pushed through the year before. Outgoing President Thomas Klestil died in a heart attack in July, just two days before Fischer took office. Klestil was 71 years old and had been President of Austria for twelve years.
In the elections to the European Parliament in June, the Freedom Party FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs) lost further electoral support and received only a mandate against previous sex. The right-wing populist party, which has backed in several state elections since the 2002 parliamentary elections, on the other hand, won the regional elections in Carinthia in March. The disputed Jörg Haider, FPÖ’s strong man, could thus continue as governor. Haider’s sister Ursula Haubner was appointed in June as FPÖ’s party leader.
A sex scandal shook the Catholic Church in Austria during the summer, since the weekly magazine Profil published intimate pictures of priests and their students at a priest’s seminar. Several people resigned, including the bishop of St. Poelten, Kurt Krenn. He made himself impossible by trivializing the images and calling them “boy strokes”. The seminary was closed.
A Salzburg court in February released all 16 accused of the Kaprun roller coaster accident in November 2000. Relatives were deeply dismayed that no one could be held responsible for the fire, which occurred in a tunnel and claimed 155 lives.
Prehistory of Austria
The oldest finds from prehistoric times in Austria are cave finds of the Moustérien character. Somewhat younger are the settlements from the Aurignacien period. These are concentrated to the loose areas. Younger Stone Age (Neolithic Age) is defined by the introduction of agriculture. From then on, Austria’s role as a transit country is clearly evident in the archaeological material. Band ceramic groups that came from the Southeast represent the first peasant cultures. The oldest known copper objects appear in the somewhat younger hopper culture. Austria has rich metal deposits, and the copper deposits in the Salzburg-Tyrolean Alps became important all in the early metal age. Numerous findings from the Bronze Age testify that Austria was part of a large Central European cultural circle. However, this culture does not have a completely unified character, and many different cultural groups can be traced.
The Hallstatt site near Salzburg is one of the most important Late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. Due to the findings from the burial ground (about 3000 graves), Hallstatt has come to play a central role in European chronology. Hallstatt A and B thus represent the late Bronze Age while the Iron Age in Central Europe begins with Hallstatt C. The wealth of which the tombs of Hallstatt testify, stems from export and trade in salt. During this period, people lived in fortified villages. Society has been stratified, and the ruling class has often received princely burials. It has been a lively contact with the Mediterranean. About. 500 BC the so-called Hallstatt culture is replaced by the La Tène culture. This is linked to the immigration of Celtic tribes.
Ancient and Middle Ages
The Romans subjugated the land south of the Danube 16–15 BC and created military colonies, including Vindobona (Vienna). Provinces that covered or affected Austrian territory were Raetia, Noricum and Pannonia.
Small state in Europe, 1918–1945
The defeat of the Central Powers in October 1918 led to the liberation of the non-German nationalities. The empire was overthrown by a revolution in November. A republic, Deutsch-Österreich, was proclaimed, and the National Assembly decided to join Germany (Anschluss) because it did not consider the new Austria a viable entity. The Allies, with France in the lead, veto Anschluss.
At the peace of Saint-Germain in 1919, the dissolution of the empire was confirmed. Austria became a small state, organized as a federal republic, with a uniform German-speaking population. Connection to Germany was prohibited. Ancient Austria-Hungary had been nationally and politically divisive, but had formed a natural economic unit with the Danube as a binding link. With the world city of Vienna as the capital, Austria had to change from being a great power to a small state. New customs boundaries led to loss of markets, and the country faced major economic and social problems.
The internal development of the Republic was marked by strong contradictions between the socialists and the Catholic Christian-social party. In the early 1930s, a new element of turmoil emerged, the emerging Nazism. Christian-Social Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss banned the Nazi Party in 1933, defeated the Socialist opposition in 1934 by bloody struggle, and introduced an authoritarian constitution. By approaching Italy, he sought to prevent Austria’s accession to Germany, which the Nazi politicians in Berlin and the banned Nazi movement in Austria were fighting for.
Dollfuss was assassinated in July 1934 by a failed Nazi coup attempt. His successor, Kurt von Schuschnigg, sought to continue his policy, but its preconditions fell short of the Italy-Germany approach. In March 1938, Austria was incorporated into Germany after the German government’s functions were transferred to Austrian Nazis, and German troops marched into the country.
In a referendum in April of the same year, 99.75 percent voted for Anschluss . The federal states in the “Ostmark” were now made the ” national highway “. Under the Hitler regime, the Austrian opposition came to the fore.