When did austrians stop identifying as german.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Publio, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Publio Member

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    A recent post i made made want to ask this question. We know that austrians have always considered themselves german but in recent times they do not anymore. A theory of mine is that after ww2 being german wasn't Ideal for obvious reasons, What are your toughts?
     
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  2. Arcavius Well-Known Member

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    I'd think it was a gradual process, beginning when Austria was forced out of the German Confederation, increasing as Austrian German began to diverge from that of Kleindeutschland and as Vienna became a very distinct cultural center rivalled on the Continent only by Paris. Later the political movements in Austria after the Empire is abolished and the defeat of the Nazis further fuel that. National identities don't emerge overnight, after all.
     
  3. oca2073 Well-Known Member

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    Basically when Austria became a nation. Even then Austrians identified themselves as German relative to the non-German speaking populations, but they were Austrians first. The collapse/increasing irrelevance of the HRE, when the Duke/King of Austria was ruler of Austria first and foremost, that being his most important title and position; that would be the first step.
     
  4. Publio Member

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    But even so right after WW1 Austria wanted to join a defeated germany. i would think the creation of an austrian national identity accelerated after the 1940s. I mean you can identity yourself as an austrian and still be a german just like a saxon and a bavarian who have different regional cultures still call themselves german.
     
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  5. DocJamore Well-Known Member

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    If you are aware the POD comes after 1900 you need to post your threads over on the post 1900 board. Not everyone wants to discuss WW2 on this board when we have another that is for doing that.
     
  6. Arcavius Well-Known Member

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    I'd say that a distinct Austrian identity predates 1900 by a significant margin...anywhere from 50 to 500 years give or take. Whenthat identity superseded "Germanness" is a different story but I'd be willing to bet that for all intents and purposes most Austrians would stop describing themselves as German after 1871 just for practical reasons...people like Hitler who lived right next to the border being the possible exception.
     
  7. Publio Member

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    I'll do that sorry for the inconviniece
     
  8. darthfanta Offline

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    1945
     
  9. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Kicked

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    There's also the difference between the upper classes in Vienna and the ordinary Styrian or Tyrolean peasant.
     
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  10. isabella Well-Known Member

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    I will say that was a gradual process between the creation of the German Empire and WW2
     
  11. stevej713 Well-Known Member

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    Austrians saw themselves as distinct as the Bavarians or Prussians did. That is to say they recognized themselves as Austrians AND Germans at the same time. I think it's only very recently that they began to see themselves as Austrians and NOT Germans, but that is basically because they were forced to.
     
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  12. Janprimus Well-Known Member

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    It was a gradual process and along the way the meaning of German shifted a bit as well, since the current Germany was a deliberate Kleindeutschland (Lesser Germany) to exclude Austria, Prussia's greatest potential rival. 1918, certainly post the treaty of Saint Germain (-en-Laye, 1919) would be a period, where this idea would have become more popular again, since Austria went from an Empire to a much smaller Republic, which must have an impact too. The period 1945 (2nd Austrian Republic with Allied and Soviet occupation)-1955 (recognized as an independent country again with a neutral status) finally laid this issue to bed.
     
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  13. Mako-Tochan Gay Space Rock

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    I think there is a processus including :
    exclusion from Germany by Prussia (decreasing the German feeling)
    the impossibility of becoming truly German after WW1 (increasing it)
    the anti-church behavior of Hitler (decreasing, and triggering austrofascism that would decrease even further this german feeling)
    the horrors of WW2 AND the necessity for Austrians to show themselves as victims, in order to avoid some harsh stalinist repression
    the bad situation of Germany (split and everything) that made it less attractive

    and you still have the catholicism and the habsburgs that are still symbols and everything.
     
  14. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    Never.. They are Austrian Germans

    Ww2, hurt things though
     
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  15. Mako-Tochan Gay Space Rock

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    Is that the point of view of an Austrian ? Because my few Austrian friends are all like "Yeah, we are close, but still not the same"
     
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  16. Othala Well-Known Member

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    Austrian who hold that view are nearly exclusively German nationalists, who in a modern context are at very least close to neo-nazis.
    There's also a few odd other groups, arguing for identity exclusively on language lines or those that have a very historical view of identity (including Czechs in the German identity, because HRE).
    All together they might be 5% of the Austrian population, all in all, so basically not relevant at all if it weren't for their surprising (/s) prevalence in the FPÖ.


    "Austrian Germans" was kinda sorta an identity that'd I'd consider valid during the interwar years (see also Deutsch-Österreich), but after WWII that one took a very large hit. See "First Victim of National-Socialism" and all that.
    Before that in the Habsburg Empire the identity was primarily "German", but in the context of that empire - as a distinction from Hungarians and various Slavic people. In a greater context it was "Austrian", but with that undertone that bound it to "German".

    Not sure if I explain that right.



    To answer the original question of this thread: "Austrians" stopped identifying with "German" in the 1950s and 1960s, in the aftermath of World War 2. Before that the identity was while to a greater or lesser extent distinct, closely tied to the "German" identity.
     
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  17. Anarch King of Dipsodes Overlord of All Thirst

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    I have one data point on this. About ten years ago, I toured Italy with some friends. We visited Capri, and were guided around the island by a young woman from Austria, who was married to a local. Late in the warm day, she spoke of having a drink when she got home. "I'm a German, I drink a nice blond beer."

    I would guess that even now, nearly all Austrians acknowledge a German ethnic identity. The political separation between the state of Austria and the state of Germany has gradually created a distinction in nationality, but i would not expect that to erase completely the common ethnic identity.

    One might compare it to other ethnicities which are disjoint with nationality. There are millions of people of Russian nationality, some for hundreds of years, who are not ethnic Russians. Do the grecophone people of Cyprus consider themselves "Greeks"?

    I would also note that creation of a political entity can foster a distinct identity. When the League of Nations established the mandatory territory of Palestine, the Arab population convened a "Palestine Arab Congress" in response (this was in 1919-1921).
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  18. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    exactly.. I'm not saying that Austrians are German as in from the state of germany.. but they are and consider themselves "german" they just choose not to be in the same house, since nationalists destroyed that during WW II. so they choose to have separate houses, which in turn spurs its own national identity.
     
  19. Othala Well-Known Member

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    One data point, anecdotal, and without knowing the woman in question or the exact situation I'd assume her to be joking. What kind of "blond beer" was she talking about? The translations there aren't all that exact, nor would I assume her to know them offhand. If it's a Weißbier, that's associated with Bavaria...

    Uh, no. As an Austrian, living in Austria I can't say that that's been my experience. We are talking group identity here, not shared history and language.
     
  20. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    My point was and is that up until wwii most Austrians considered then selves German.. Not as in Germany as in what is Germany anyways.. There was ausrro Hungarian and German states . This conversation is a tad odd.

    Ww II and nazis destroyed united German sentiment.. After the war Austria came into its own as well.. Austria .

    Not sure what we are saying here that is different. either way Austria is Austria and Germany is Germany . Identifying as German is like saying I'm Slavic.. Doesn't mean I'm Russian.


    Austrian and German states have a long Co mingled history. But Ww II really was the hammer that made the biggest impact.