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From Empire to Republic

 | 
Peter Berger
, 
Günter Bischof
, 
Fritz Plasser

Books reviews

Bertrand Michael Buchmann, Österreicher in der Deutschen Wehrmacht: Soldatenalltag im Zweiten Weltkrieg

Vienna: Böhlau, 2009

Michael S. Maier

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Excerpt

More than sixty years after the collapse of the Third Reich and with the last surviving members of the war generation grown old, the question of Austria’s involvement in World War II has by no means lost its explosive historical nature. On the contrary, events like the controversial annual war veterans commemoration at the Ulrichsberg in Carinthia (“Ulrichsbergtreffen”) and the heated political debate surrounding the rehabilitation of Wehrmacht deserters in 2009 prove the need for an informed academic discourse regarding the role of those 1.3 million Austrians who served in the German armed forces from the time of the Anschluss in March 1938 until the end of the war.

The eroding of the state-official “victims doctrine” (Opferdoktrin)—the myth that all Austrians, including all Austrian soldiers in Hitler’s army, had been a collective “victim” of National Socialist Germany — in the later 1980s and 1990s, together with the Wehrmacht exhibition (Wehrmachtsausstellung) about German war cr...

© innsbruck university press, 2010

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