NATIONAL MOVEMENT

Efforts to have German Austria (Deutschösterreich)

On 21 October 1918 German speaking members of parliament previously elected for Cisleithania (Austrian part of monarchy) met in Vienna and declared themselves as Provisional National Assembly. They proclaimed new state German Austria and on 29 October they informed president of the US Wilson by diplomatic letter. This state had no exact borders and also form of government was undecided. It was supposed to unite all territories of Cisleithania where German speaking citizens prevail. Exactly based on Wilson's principle of national self-determination. It was always stated that German Austria would become in certain way a part of Germany (there was no belief in success to go for independent state). Immediately after Kaiser Karl resigned, State council as well as National assembly proclaimed the Republic on 12 November 1918. New elections were held on 16 February 1919 to Constituent Assembly with majority of votes going to Social Democrats and Christian Socialists. Karl Renner became a Chancellor who eventually signed then the Treaty of Saint Germain. This coalition government ruled the German-Austria until break up in June 1920.

 

Treaty of Saint Germain - end of hopes

Since May 1919 Austrian delegation lead by Karl Renner participated in Paris Peace Conference. Majority of their requests were rejected. When the content of treaty was published, in Austria it was taken as catastrophy. The major concern was related to restriction of unity with Germany and due to this fact it was predicted that Austria would economically collapse. Austrians were also bitterly dissappointed about losing territories to Czechoslovakia and Italy where German speaking citizens lived. On 10 September 1919 the treaty was signed by Karl Renner, who then labelled it as nationally unfair, politically inauspicious and economically unfeasible. German Austria had to be renamed to Austria, number of citizens fell from 26 to 6 mil., land area shrinked from 300 thousand to 84 thousand sq. km... (more detailed information about Treaty of Saint Germain is in separate chapter)

See References [3]