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From Empire to Republic

Peter Berger
Günter Bischof
Fritz Plasser

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

Sudeten Germans in Austria after the First World War

Johannes Koll

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For Austria, the end of the First World War did not just mean the end of the Habsburg monarchy and the transformation of the political system into a republican democracy. The defeat of the Central Powers in 1918 also involved the loss of territories and their respective populations that for centuries had belonged to an empire of which Vienna had been the administrative center. Not more than 6.5 out of ten million German-speaking people of the defunct Habsburg Empire lived within the boundaries of the new Austrian Republic. The strong economic, cultural and political ties which, prior to 1918, had connected Austria’s territory with Hungary and many of the Habsburg Crown lands were now severed.2 The newly established multinational state of Czechoslovakia was patronized by the former Entente and during the interwar period protected against German and Austrian territorial claims. It was especially the French government that at all costs wanted to extinguish and avoid every p...

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