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From Empire to Republic

Peter Berger
Günter Bischof
Fritz Plasser

II. Costs of War: Social/Mental/Cultural Legacies

Demographic Transitions Accellerated: Abortion, Body Politics, and the End of Supra-Regional Labor Immigration in Post-War Austria

Andreas Weigl

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The Legacy of War

Not only did the end of the First World War mark the collapse of the old order within Europe. The beginning of the “short 20th century” (1918-89) was also accompanied by dramatic demographic changes. The shrinking of the Republic of German-Austria (Deutschösterreich), as the Republic of Austria was initially called, to the geographic and, in connection with this development, the demographic dimension of a small state was probably the most noticeable feature for the Austrian public. Even if the victorious powers had agreed to the extensive territorial claims of the young republic, which — the exception, of course, being the area which would later become the Burgenland — they did not, it would still only have consisted of a third of the population of the former Austrian half of the old empire.1 Issuing two laws on 22 November 1918,2 the State Council had laid claims to a territory which consisted of a population of 10.2 million or 10.4 million, including the linguisti...


© innsbruck university press, 2010

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