History of Upper Austria

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The history of Upper Austria coincides with Austrian history in many epochs . This article is an overview of the region-specific peculiarities of the historical development up to today's state of Upper Austria .


In the Middle Paleolithic epoch , the Neanderthals lived in Upper Austria about 130,000 years ago and were finally replaced by modern humans , Homo sapiens , by 30,000 years ago at the latest .

The area around the Danube was the habitat of hunters and gatherers in prehistory . On the period from 65,000 to 30,000 BC. Stone cutting and scraping tools found in the Ramesch Bear Cave in the Dead Mountains can be dated to the 4th century BC .

In the 6th millennium BC BC the people in Upper Austria settled down. The Neolithic Revolution made them arable farmers and the band ceramic culture developed. In many communities in Upper Austria, Neolithic and Bronze Age axes and spearheads from the Urnfield and Hallstatt Periods have been found, in the Salzkammergut the Mondsee culture with its pile-dwelling settlements , which are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is developing.

Early history

During the Bronze and Urnfield Ages, an important cultural complex developed in Central Europe, which is attested by numerous finds in Upper Austria. One of the most important cultures in the country was the moon sea culture of the late Neolithic between 3600 and 3300 BC. With its pile dwellings near the lake shore . Already the Celts from 450 BC. BC and before that a pre-Celtic, old European cultural group (formerly incorrectly called Illyrians ) mined salt, the “white gold” , in the Salzkammergut . At the Hallstätter Salzberg was already around 1000 BC. Started with the dismantling. The settlements in the region have always been characterized by the wealth of salt. A whole epoch, the older Iron Age (800–400 BC) - the Hallstatt Period is named after the town of Hallstatt on Lake Hallstatt .


Roman provinces in what is now Austria

In the La Tène period and ancient times since 450 BC Celts lived in the Upper Austrian foothills of the Alps , including alums and Sevaks, and established the region's first and only Celtic state structure, Noricum . 15 BC The Kingdom of Noricum became part of the Roman Empire . The Celtic peoples were finally finally subjugated after the Pannonian revolt 6–9 AD. The region of today's Upper Austria south of the Danube was incorporated into the Roman province of Noricum. In the first century AD, the Norican population was gradually Romanized . Around 170 the Germanic tribes of the Marcomanni and Quadi broke into the province of Noricum. Around 240, at the time of Emperor Diocletian , most of what is today Upper Austria, like the Ennstal, belonged to the province of Ufernoricum ( Noricum ripense ). As part of his reform of the provincial system, Diocletian made Colonia Ovilava , later catfish , a capital that administered the area of ​​the Roman Empire north of the Alps.

Basilica of St. Lawrence

Lauriacum , today Lorch , became the most important Roman city in what is now Upper Austria. Up to 6400 soldiers were stationed in the Roman camp Lauriacum. The civilian city has already received 212 by Emperor Caracalla the city charter . At that time, about 30,000 people lived in Lauriacum. Here St. Florian , an early Christian martyr of Austria, was drowned in the Enns on May 4th, 304. Around the year 370 an early Christian basilica was built on the remains of a temple , Lauriacum was a bishopric until 488. The early Christian church could be proven during excavations under the Basilica of Lorch . Other remains of Roman settlements were found in Ad Mauros ( Eferding ) , among others .

During the Great Migration , Visigoths , Huns , Ostrogoths , Rugians and Longobards crossed or occupied the country one after the other. Around 451 Ovilava and Lauriacum fell victim to the Huns. St. Severin temporarily gathered the Roman population of the Ufernorikum in Lauriacum in order to protect them from attacks. Little is known about the further fate of the Roman-Noric population. A part has left the country to the south or west, another part is likely to have survived in some settlements and in side valleys. Probably only the upper class and the clergy are the eviction Odoacer met for Noricum 488th In particular in the areas of Lorch, Wels, Attergau and the Innviertel , indications of permanent settlement were found. In any case, the cultural and economic centers of the Romans fell into disrepair.

middle Ages

Bavaria and Franconia

Avarmark and Carantania
Bavaria with the province of Marcha Orientalis in the 10th century

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, from the 6th century onwards, the Slavs oppressed by the Avars , coming from the east or south-east, had partially settled the former Roman provinces of Pannonia and Noricum. Around the same time, the first Bavarian tribal dynasty was formed with the Agilolfingers from the middle of the 6th century . From their rulership in Regensburg they expanded their territory, combined with a settlement by the Bavarians , until the middle of the 8th century to the east as far as the Enns and south to today's South Tyrol . The Bavarian settlement border on the Enns is likely to have formed in the course of the 7th century. The Benedictine Abbey Kremsmünster was founded in 777 by the Agilolfinger Tassilo III. founded.

In 788, the Frankish king Charlemagne added the previously independent Duchy of Bavaria to his empire. To the east of it he built the so-called Avarmark around 800 and to the south of it the Carantania region . These were given as fiefs and were intended to protect his empire against the Avars advancing from the east. In 803 the Traungau and the Mühlviertel were split off by Emperor Karl von Baiern and incorporated into the brands. After the succession conflicts among Karl's successors and the resulting Treaty of Verdun in 843, the Duchy of Baiern with the two brands finally belonged to Eastern Franconia . Due to the defeat of the Bavarians in 907 against the Magyars near Pressburg , the Enns temporarily became the eastern border of the empire again.

The Christianity spread from Salzburg starting, gradually in the Danube valley from. Salzburg had been elevated to the status of a metropolitan seat and promoted the Christianization of the eastern areas. Already with the beginning of the Franconian supremacy, the basic rule common in the Franconian Empire was introduced in the Eastern Alpine countries, where it was to represent the decisive organizational form for the further settlement of these areas. The entire land had come to the Franconian king and subsequently to his successors, who now gave plenty of royal property to the church and its loyal followers, thus initiating the German settlement of the Eastern Alps. The landlords brought in German settlers, most of whom came from the old Bavarian regions, for the purpose of better use of their extensive and sparsely populated lands . However, there was a strong immigration of German settlers only after the battle on the Lechfeld in 955. Until then, the East Franconian kings had to defend themselves against the advancing Magyars, until they withdrew permanently after the defeat on the Lechfeld.

Traungauer and Babenberger

Duke Leopold VI. - Excerpt from the Babenberger family tree , Klosterneuburg Monastery

The Babenberger attacked early on, with the acquisition of the eastern Mühlviertel about 976 to Upper Austrian area today. 1035 took over Counts of Lambach , the March of Styria and hence the Traungau . In 1056, the Karantanische Mark was awarded to Otakar von Steyr , the first margrave of the Traungau family , a relative of the Lambach family. The main castle of the Traungau family was Steyr , which gave Styria its name. A good part of Upper Austria, roughly today's Traun district and eastern Hausruckviertel , belonged to the Duchy of Styria at that time , while the Danube area up to Hausruck can probably be counted as part of the Babenberg area of ​​influence ( Machland , 1115 Riedmark ). Until the elevation to the Duchy of Austria in 1156 and Duchy of Styria in 1180, Babenberger and Otakare were still under the nominal fiefdom of the Bavarian dukes.

Through a succession contract, the Georgenberger Handfeste of 1186, Styria and with it the Traunviertel and the western Mühlviertel came to the Babenberg Duke Leopold V of Austria and his son Friedrich in 1192 .

However, Linz was still a part of Bavaria until 1210, when Leopold VI. just like Enns and Wels acquired. With the granting of city rights by Leopold VI. Enns became a city in 1212, making it the oldest city in Austria even before Vienna (1221). Only after the death of the last Babenberger, Friedrich the arguable , was Traungau and with it the city of Enns separated from Styria - in addition to the county of Pitten - and thus became the nucleus for the sovereignty from which the province of Upper Austria was to develop.

The successful advance of the Babenbergs into the Upper Austria area at the expense of Bavaria led to increasing tensions. In 1233 Duke Otto II of Bavaria invaded the Babenbergs' territory, destroyed the Lambach monastery and occupied Wels. However, under military pressure from King Henry VII, he finally had to withdraw. The Upper Austrian nobility broke away from the Styrian nobility around 1235 and joined the (Lower) Austrian. After the death of Frederick the Arguable, Otto was briefly appointed governor for Austria by the emperor in 1248. Otto's son Ludwig then occupied Linz and Enns.

Austria above the Enns

During his reign, King Ottokar II. Přemysl of Bohemia separated Traungau, which belonged to Styria, from the latter in the Peace of Oven in 1254 and in the Peace of Vienna in 1261 , and transformed the country into a principality above the Enns . Historians therefore refer to the years 1254/1261 as the year of birth of the country ob der Enns . In 1262/63 the name super anasum ('ob der Enns') was first mentioned in a document. The designation austria superior ('Upper Austria') was first documented in writing in 1264/66, when Konrad von Summerau was in office as district judge of the province of Upper Austria .

Beginning of the Habsburg rule

Austria ob der Enns in the Holy Roman Empire around 1385

Approaches to an administrative division of the Duchy of Austria along the Enns can already be found with Ottokar II, but it was only under the Habsburgs that separate estates for the land above the Enns in Linz were established. From 1329 a separate governor ruled the country. After the death of Ladislaus Postumus in 1458 Friedrich III. Austria under the Enns (also nied der Enns ), today's Lower Austria , awarded, while his brother Albrecht VI. Austria received whether the Enns . Nevertheless, both territories were long considered two parts of the same archduchy .

In the middle of the 14th century there were seven provincial cities in the state: Linz , Enns , Steyr , Wels , Freistadt , Gmunden and Vöcklabruck . As fortresses and trading centers, they were particularly encouraged by the sovereign from the 13th century. Other cities in what is now Upper Austria were Eferding , which belonged to the Schaunbergers , and the Bavarian cities of Schärding and Braunau .

The county of Schaunberg , which had included the Hausruckviertel since the middle of the 12th century , had a special position on the edge of the Habsburg duchy. Duke Albrecht III. put an end to this special position in the Schaunberg feud (1380/81 and 1386/86). Except for Schaunberg Castle, he occupied the castles in the area and the town of Eferding. The Schaunbergers finally had to recognize the fiefdom of the Habsburgs, but were able to maintain certain privileges for about a century.

Emperor Friedrich III.

The Salzkammergut was immediately owned by the Habsburgs. Kammergut referred to a region that was directly owned by the sovereign. It included the manorial estate of Wildenstein Castle in Bad Ischl , which stretched from the southern end of the Traunsee to the Dachstein . Since 1419 it belonged to the House of Habsburg, i.e. mostly to the emperor . Until the 19th century, the Salzkammergut region was directly subordinate to the Salzamt der Hofkammer in Vienna, which administered the state salt monopoly . During this time, other areas were incorporated into the Salzkammergut in order to meet the large demand for wood for the brewing pans in the salt pans , first in Bad Ischl, then in Ebensee .

The first Upper Austrian Landtag was held in Wels in 1452 . The second took place in 1457 at the Linz Castle . Archduke Albrecht VI ruled from 1458–1463 . the independent principality of Austria above the Enns . In 1478 the country was divided into quarters ( Hausruck , Traun , Mühl and Machland quarters ) for reasons of peacekeeping and national defense. Albrecht's brother, Emperor Friedrich III. chose Linz as the residential city and made it the center of the Holy Roman Empire from 1484 until his death in 1493 (in Linz) after Vienna had been conquered by the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus .

Modern times

Reformation and Counter Reformation

Population development
date Residents date Residents
around 1527 315,000 1910 853.595
around 1600 380,000 1923 876,698
around 1700 450,000 1934 902.965
1754 540,000 1939 927,583
1781 609,000 1951 1,108,720
1790 623,000 1961 1,131,623
1800 629,000 1971 1,229,972
1817 637,000 1981 1,269,540
1821 651.911 1991 1,320,567
1830 682.140 2001 1,376,700
1840 699,324 2008 1,408,165
1851 706.316 2014 1,425,422
1869 736.856
1880 760.091
1890 786.496
1900 810.854
Linz 1594
Stefan Fadinger

After 1490 the Principality of Austria gained a certain degree of independence in the Holy Roman Empire above the Enns . Since then, the state's estates have held their own state parliaments in Linz, which was elevated to the state capital in 1490. In addition to lords, knights and prelates , the princely cities also played an important role. Upper Austria was considered part of the Archduchy of Austria under constitutional law, but its position has always remained controversial.

In 1506 the later Emperor Maximilian I won the Bavarian Mondsee and St. Wolfgangland , which, however, remained pledged to the Archdiocese of Salzburg until 1565 due to financial difficulties. Like his father, Maximilian often stayed in Upper Austria, preferably Linz and Gmunden, and died in Wels Castle in 1519 .

In 1520 the country opened up to the Reformation , and a generation later the majority of Upper Austrians were Protestant . In the Habsburg division of 1564 , Upper Austria, together with Lower Austria and the Bohemian Lands, fell to the Roman-German Emperor Maximilian II. After 1600, under Emperor Rudolf II and his successor Matthias , who ruled from Linz Castle as Archduke 1582–1593, the Counter Reformation . That is why the estates in Upper Austria entered into an alliance with the Bohemian rebels in 1619. On behalf of Emperor Ferdinand II , the troops of the Bavarian Elector Maximilian I defeated the rebels in 1620. For a few years the principality came under the rule of the elector as a pledge . Although he did not deprive the Upper Austrian estates of their rights to the same extent as he did in Bohemia after 1620 , the pardon decree that Ferdinand II issued on February 27, 1625, in which he of the estates “humbly atonement and complete submission “Demanded not only a final sign of the defeat of the rebels, but above all a big step towards an absolutist state rule. Last but not least, the emperor had taken the power to determine religion alone and thus to carry out a comprehensive Counter-Reformation. The Protestant nobility was given the choice of converting or leaving the country.

The peasant population rebelled in violent uprisings in 1525, 1594 to 1598 and 1626 against oppression by the manorial system and the counter-reformation, which had been intensified since 1600. The Upper Austrian Peasants' War of 1626 was primarily directed against the Counter-Reformation and was specifically triggered by the Bavarian occupation through the Frankenburger dice game . The rebellious peasants under the leadership of Stefan Fadinger besieged Linz for nine weeks until his death. Freistadt was besieged and conquered, Wels was also attacked and burned down almost completely. Neither city recovered from the devastation for a long time. The Peasants 'War of 1626 was the most serious armed conflict on Austrian territory during the Thirty Years' War . Of around 40,000 rebellious peasants, around 12,000 perished; the leaders were executed as in 1597.

Absolutism and Wars of Succession

The Turkish Wars , especially during the Second Turkish Siege of Vienna, were devastating for large parts of the country, as were the campaigns in the course of the Spanish and Austrian Wars of Succession . The country was occupied by Bavarian and French troops in 1741 , until they were defeated by Field Marshal Khevenhüller and Franz Stephan von Lothringen during the siege of Linz on January 23, 1742. The Upper Austrian estates, which had paid homage to the Bavarian Elector Karl Albrecht , were almost dissolved by Maria Theresa , but ultimately only partially disempowered.

Today's western border of the Mühlviertel, north of the Jochenstein between Bavaria and Upper Austria, was established in 1765 by a state treaty between the Duchy of Passau and Austria.

Gmunden in the 19th century

Until the War of the Bavarian Succession , the area of ​​the later Innviertel was part of Bavaria as Innbaiern . After the Treaty of Teschen , the Innviertel became part of Habsburg Austria on the Enns in 1779 (finally in 1816) . In 1782 the reigns of Obernberg am Inn and Vichtenstein an der Donau, which had been in Passau until then, were incorporated . The Josephine administrative reforms finally completely deprived the estates of power. In 1783/84 the state of Austria was raised to an independent crown land by Emperor Joseph II. (Although the status under state law remained unclear until 1861), combined with its own state government and the establishment of the Diocese of Linz in 1785. With the tolerance patent of Josef II the Counter Reformation ended in 1781 after almost 200 years. After 1781 nine Protestant tolerance communities were formed - Bad Goisern , Eferding , Gosau , Linz, Neukematen , Rutzenmoos , Scharten , Wallern and Wels. The Protestant faith was only tolerated, the Catholic faith remained dominant. In 1783, the Protestant superintendent for Upper Austria was founded in Linz.

The “long” 19th century

Opening of the Linz – Budweis horse-drawn tram by Emperor Franz I near St. Magdalena in Linz (1832) - painting by A. Bayer

During the Napoleonic Wars , Upper Austria was occupied several times by French troops. In 1800, after heavy battles, the French revolutionary army had to be billeted for a long time, which put a heavy burden on the country. In December 1802, the dissolved Principality of Passau was divided between the Land ob der Enns, Bavaria and the secularized Electorate of Salzburg . In November 1805, French troops again entered Upper Austria. Napoléon resided in Linz, after the Battle of Austerlitz the occupation lasted until March 1806. In 1809 there were again fierce battles against France and its German allies, which devastated the country and again ended in defeat. The Innviertel and the western Hausruckviertel were ceded to the Kingdom of Bavaria in the Treaty of Schönbrunn , the French occupation also remained in the east of the country until 1810.

Upper Austria as part of Austria-Hungary (No. 14)

After the Congress of Vienna , the western territories ceded to Bavaria came back to Upper Austria. The provincial capital Linz also administered the newly acquired state of Salzburg as the fifth district ( Salzburgkreis ) from 1814 to 1854 . In 1861 the crown land of Austria ob der Enns was elevated to a separate archduchy under the February patent of Emperor Franz Joseph . The first state parliament was elected at the end of March 1861, on April 6 the first state parliament elected by the people was constituted. The situation of the peasants improved decisively after 1848 with the abolition of the subject relations and the abolition of the tithe . In the course of the administrative reform of 1848, 46 mixed district offices (no separation of administration and judiciary) were established before 12 district authorities were established in the current sense on August 31, 1868 .

Linz 1913

Steam shipping was introduced on the Danube from the middle of the 19th century . The horse-drawn railway , built in 1832 from Budweis to Linz, was the first public railway on the European continent. From 1856 to 1860/61 Upper Austria was connected to Vienna and Salzburg by the Western Railway ( Kaiserin Elisabeth Railway ). The increasing industrialization caused an increase in factories in the country, from 187 with around 10,000 employees in 1852 to 551 in 1914 with around 45,000 employees. Tourism also developed, especially in the Salzkammergut: in 1900 there were around 100,000 tourists.

People such as the composer Anton Bruckner , the writer Adalbert Stifter , the painter Alfred Kubin and the physician Julius Wagner-Jauregg stand for the cultural development of the country .

In July 26, 1914, due to the impending World War I, the state parliament was repealed, while Governor Prelate Johann Nepomuk Hauser, who had ruled since 1908, could continue to serve until 1927. Although Upper Austria was far from the front lines, it was home to many prisoner-of-war camps . The largest were: Braunau for 50,000 to 60,000, Mauthausen and Marchtrenk for 25,000 each and Freistadt for up to 20,000 prisoners. 22,500 Upper Austrian soldiers died in the war, around 10,000 seriously wounded (invalids) lived in the country after the war. The supply situation for the population during the war in the agricultural region of Upper Austria, in which 53% were still active in agriculture and forestry in 1914 (in 1923 it was even 60% again), was overall better than in most of the other crown lands, only in the urban conurbations and in the Salzkammergut there were deficiency symptoms.

First republic

1919 claimed the borders of Upper Austria
Memorial to the victims and fighters for freedom and justice at the starting point of the civil war, in the inner courtyard of the Hotel Schiff in Linz .

After the First World War and the disintegration of the multi-ethnic state Austria-Hungary , the name Upper Austria , which had been unofficially valid since the 17th century, was established as the official name of the country in the new Republic of German Austria . "When, in a letter of November 2, 1918 [...] the Imperial and Royal Governor in Upper Austria transferred the business to a provisional provincial government in Upper Austria, was - already 10 days before the proclamation of the Republic in Vienna - in this document for the first time no longer from the" Archduchy of Austria ob der Enns "I am talking about a country that is officially called Upper Austria."

On November 18, 1918, the Provisional Provincial Assembly of Upper Austria was constituted , which held office until May 15, 1919 and laid the basis for the activities of the Upper Austrian Landtag after the Landtag election in 1919 .

There were riots and riots in 1918–1920, mainly caused by former soldiers and revolutionary workers passing through the industrial centers of the country. In Linz on May 10, 1920, when tumults claimed 9 lives, the martial law was imposed. However , under the impact of events in Hungary and Russia, the council movement quickly lost its importance.

In the years 1920/21, emergency money was issued in Heller in most communities to alleviate the shortage of change. The provincial capital Linz issued the first official on March 3, 1920, followed by the state on April 13, after an unofficial emergency money had been in circulation since autumn 1919. In the course of 1920, 425 of 503 municipalities issued emergency money for which the respective municipality was liable. Emergency money was in circulation until October 1, 1921, when it was no longer valid. Even before that, due to the hyperinflation at the time , the smallest amounts were no longer required.

At the time of Austrofascism , the February fights began on February 12, 1934 in the Hotel Schiff in Linz . The trigger was a search for weapons by troops of the Home Guard in the local party club of the Social Democrats . The Schutzbund , however, offered armed resistance, which culminated in the Austrian Civil War. In the fighting that lasted from February 13th to 18th, the 1400 fighters of the Schutzbund faced 4,700 members of the armed forces, the police and the gendarmerie, supported by the Heimwehr, the Freedom Association and the German Gymnastics Association . The civil war in Upper Austria ultimately claimed 60 dead and around 200 injured. In the subsequent trials against the defeated members of the Schutzbund, four death sentences were pronounced and two were carried out. The common border with Germany strengthened the possibilities of the illegal National Socialists in Upper Austria. Even after the failed July coup in 1934, their activities only declined briefly.

time of the nationalsocialism

Upper Danube

Gau Oberdonau in the Greater German Empire

After Austria was " annexed " to the German Reich on March 13, 1938, August Eigruber , previously Gauleiter of the illegal NSDAP in Upper Austria, became governor and in 1940 Reich governor in the " Reichsgau Oberdonau " formed in 1939 . With the reorganization of the country into two urban districts (Linz, Steyr) and 15 districts (formerly: districts) on November 1, 1938, the districts of Eferding and Urfahr-Umgebung were dissolved, and the districts of Kaplitz and Krumau in southern Bohemia were added. Ebelsberg and St. Magdalena were incorporated into the capital. The communities Lichtenegg and Pernau became part of the city of Wels . On May 1, 1939, the Ostmark Act of April 14, 1939 formed the Reichsgau Oberdonau in the area of ​​Upper Austria , which also included the German-populated areas of South Bohemia annexed in autumn 1938 in accordance with the Munich Agreement and the Ausseer Land, which was separated from Styria . The enlarged country Oberdonau had thus an area of 14,214 square kilometers and 1,042,000 inhabitants in 716 municipalities.

Heavy and armaments industries

Linz was called the “ godfather city of the Führer ” because the Upper Austrian native Hitler attended school here from 1900 to 1903 and lived in the city for several years from 1905. According to Hitler's plans, Linz should be fundamentally redesigned after the end of the war in order to outstrip Vienna or to become a " German Budapest ". In addition to the representative buildings, Linz was developed into a center of the heavy and armaments industry. As early as May 4, 1938, the Reichswerke AG for ore mining and ironworks Hermann Göring for the production of iron and steel was founded.

The characterization of Linz as an industrial city comes from the time of National Socialism, with the establishment of the six square kilometer industrial plants of the "Hermann-Göring-Werke" (from 1946 VÖEST , today Voestalpine ) and the "nitrogen works Ostmark" (later Chemie Linz and today Agrolinz Melamine International ) and residential complexes with around 10,000 apartments, mainly for workers in the new large industrial companies. Another major project, in addition to the “Hermann Göring Works”, into which Steyr Daimler Puch AG was also incorporated, was the Linz shipyard (today ÖSWAG ).

Perpetrator and victim

Prisoners in Ebensee concentration camp , photo from May 7, 1945

The Mauthausen concentration camp in the district Perg was the largest concentration camp the Nazis in Austria. In Mauthausen and its sub-camps , around 105,000 out of a total of 205,000 prisoners were murdered or died in the course of the “labor deployment”. In the most important sub-camp alone, the Gusen concentration camp east of Linz, over 40,000 people were killed. In the Ebensee concentration camp , prisoners were used to dig caves for the underground production of V2 rockets. Of the around 27,000 prisoners who were deported to Ebensee, more than 8,500 were killed. Many Upper Austrians, such as Ernst Kaltenbrunner , Franz Stangl or Franz Reichleitner , played a leading role in the Holocaust . Even Adolf Eichmann came from the German national milieu of Linz.

The Nazi killing center Hartheim was a "euthanasia" center in Hartheim Castle west of Linz. Between May 1940 and August 1941, 18,269 people were murdered in a gas chamber here . Overall, the number of those murdered in Hartheim Castle is estimated at over 30,000. The murdered included the sick, the disabled and prisoners from concentration camps.

The number of forced laborers in the Gau Oberdonau was just over 100,000 in autumn 1944, most of them Italians and Poles . From 1944 on, Upper Austria was also affected by Allied bombing attacks. Tank production in Steyr was one of the first goals. A total of 25,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the Upper Danube Gau. 22 air raids on Linz killed 1679 people.

In February 1945, during the so-called Mühlviertel hare hunt , about 500 escaped Soviet prisoners were “hunted” and murdered in the Mühlviertel after a major escape from the Mauthausen concentration camp by National Socialist organizations, soldiers, gendarmerie and civilians .

Gauleiter Eigruber did not want to give up the fight towards the end of the war. He had deserters and concentration camp prisoners killed, the Nazi functionaries who had fled Vienna arrested and planned to destroy the art treasures from all over Europe hidden in the Altaussee salt mine . As a result of the ongoing fighting, the Allies flew further bomber attacks against Linz, Wels and Attnang-Puchheim , which killed hundreds of people in the last days of the war. On May 5, the military commander of Linz finally surrendered and troops of the 3rd US Army were the last of the concentration camps of the German Reich to liberate the Mauthausen concentration camp. As part of the Dachau Trials , Eigruber was sentenced to death after the end of the war for his responsibility for the crimes in Mauthausen and executed in 1947.

Second republic

Allied occupation zone in Austria

After the Second World War, the area changes made during the Nazi era became obsolete from May 1945. Upper Austria south of the Danube, including Ausseer Land, became a US occupation zone , while the north, the Mühlviertel, was occupied by the Soviets. The US troops withdrew from the Mühlviertel by the end of July, while the Red Army had completed the occupation by August 8, 1945. The border between the two zones where the identity cards were to be presented ran across the Linz Danube Bridge.

The new government under Karl Renner initially had only marginal influence in the Mühlviertel ; the connection with the rest of Upper Austria was guaranteed by the civil administration of Mühlviertel until August 11, 1955 . Riots by the Soviet occupying forces were still very widespread in the first few months. The economic development of the Mühlviertel remained affected for a long time due to a lack of investment. The US Marshall Plan Aid only supported the American zone of occupation.

American occupiers founded the “Oberösterreichische Nachrichten” in June 1945, which is still the leading regional daily newspaper today. The Austrian People's Party has been the Provincial Governor since 1945 . The number of Upper Austrians registered because of their Nazi past, from whom the right to vote was temporarily withdrawn, was over 80,000, around 8% of the population. Around 8,000 of them were also arrested. The first National Council election in November 1945, in which registered National Socialists were not allowed to vote, resulted in a majority of 59% for the ÖVP in Upper Austria, 38.4% was achieved by the SPÖ and only 2.6% by the KPÖ . In the regional elections in Upper Austria in 1949 , the ÖVP received 45%, the SPÖ 30.8% and the electoral party of the Independent (WdU) 20.8%, as the less burdened National Socialists were allowed to vote again.

Tens of thousands of expelled German Bohemians and Moravians , often incorrectly referred to as Sudeten Germans, were settled in the country and brought it significant economic impetus in the decades that followed. Until 1938 still predominantly agricultural, Upper Austria became the most important industrial country in Austria with a production value of around 44.3 billion euros in 2013, 26.6% of the total industrial production in Austria. From 1955 there followed years of above-average growth rates and high employment and corresponding demographic development.

The largest industrial employer to this day is the formerly nationalized VÖEST in Linz. Their Linz-Donawitz process , developed in 1949, was the pride of post-war Austria and has established itself in the world. The Pummerin , cast in Upper Austria in 1951 , the main bell of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna , was brought to the federal capital in 1952 as a gift from the state of Upper Austria, so to speak “in a triumphal procession” - it too was a sign of the state's self-assurance after the terrible Nazi era.

In 1955 the occupation of the country by Americans and "Russians" ended; the four allies concluded the State Treaty with Austria , which made the republic sovereign. In 1958, Upper Austria received the municipality of Münichholz from Lower Austria , which was incorporated into the city of Steyr .

From the 1960s, the road network was expanded due to increasing motorization. The western autobahn was built as the first high- speed road . The electrification of the railway network was pushed ahead and the Linz and Enns Danube ports were expanded. An international civil airport was built at the Linz Hörsching military airfield.

The northern border of Upper Austria, which was dominated by the Iron Curtain on the Czechoslovakian side until 1989 , became an internal EU border when the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004 and joined the Schengen area , which has been allowed to be crossed at any point since the end of 2007; the border controls of both states were abandoned. This restored the situation that had existed until 1918.

culture and education

State exhibitions are held regularly in the cultural field . In 1974 the Brucknerhaus was built in Linz and the annual Bruckner Festival and later Klangwolke were introduced. The Ars Electronica Festival has existed since 1979 with the Prix ​​Ars Electronica (1987). In 1987 the first Pflasterspektakel took place in Linz and in 2003 the Lentos Art Museum was opened in Linz.

In 1966 the Johannes Kepler University Linz was opened, which today is the largest university in Upper Austria with around 13,500 students. The art school in Linz, which had existed since 1947, was elevated to the status of the Linz Art University in 1998 . In 2000 the Catholic-Theological Private University Linz was established and since 2004 the Anton Bruckner Private University has been the fourth university in Upper Austria.
In 1994 the first universities of applied sciences emerged in Upper Austria , which today train almost 4,000 students at four locations - Hagenberg , Linz, Steyr and Wels. In 2009 Linz was the second city in Austria to be European Capital of Culture after Graz in 2003 .

See also


(By epochs :)

  • Josef Reitinger: Upper Austria in prehistoric times (= prehistory and early history of Upper Austria 1). Linz 1969.
  • Gerhard Winkler : The Romans in Upper Austria. Linz 1975.
  • Alois Zauner : Upper Austria during the Babenberger time. In: Communications from the Upper Austrian Provincial Archives. 7, 1960, pp. 207-251 ( pp. 207-229 (PDF) in the forum OoeGeschichte.at, pp. 230-251 (PDF) in the forum OoeGeschichte.at).
  • Province of Upper Austria, Dietmar Straub (Ed.): A thousand years of Upper Austria - The becoming of a country. Catalog of the exhibition of the Province of Upper Austria. 2 volumes, Oberösterr. Landesverlag, Wels 1983.
  • Georg Heilingsetzer: The Upper Austrian Peasants' War 1626. Österr. Bundesverlag, Vienna 1985, ISBN 3-215-02273-7 .
  • Hans Sturmberger: The way to the constitutional state. The political development in Upper Austria from 1792–1861. Austria Archive, Vienna 1962.
  • Wilhelm Salzer: From subject to citizen. Upper Austria from 1848 to 1918. Upper Austria. Landesverlag, Linz 1970.
  • Harry Slapnicka : Upper Austria under Emperor Franz Joseph (1861 to 1918) (= contributions to the contemporary history of Upper Austria 8). Linz 1982, Oberösterr. Landesverlag, ISBN 3-85214-356-X .
  • Harry Slapnicka: Upper Austria - when it was called "Upper Danube" (1938–1945) (= contributions to the contemporary history of Upper Austria. 5). Upper Austria Landesverlag, Linz 1978, ISBN 3-85214-204-0 .
  • Brigitte Galanda, Siegwald Ganglmair , Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance (ed.): Resistance and persecution in Upper Austria 1934–1945. A documentation. 2 volumes, Vienna 1982, ISBN 3-215-04530-3 .
  • Gabriele Hindinger: The end of the war and the rebuilding of democratic conditions in Upper Austria in 1945 (= publications by the Austrian Institute for Contemporary History and the Institute for Contemporary History at the University of Vienna 6). Hollinek publishing house, Vienna 1968.
  • Erich Leimlehner: The end of the war and the consequences of the Soviet occupation in the Mühlviertel from 1945 to 1955. Juris publishing house, Zurich 1974.

Web links

Commons : History of Upper Austria  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. P. 11.
  2. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 14 ff.
  3. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 16 ff.
  4. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. P. 20.
  5. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. P. 20 f.
  6. ^ Alois Zauner: Results of fifty years of research on the medieval history of Upper Austria. In: Yearbook of the Upper Austrian Museum Association. 128th year, Linz 1983, pp. 45–83, here: pp. 46–47 ( online (PDF) in the forum OoeGeschichte.at).
  7. ^ Herwig Wolfram: Salzburg, Bavaria, Austria. The Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum and the sources of their time . Verlag Oldenbourg, Vienna / Munich 1995, ISBN 3-486-64833-0 , pp. 25 and 362 ff.
  8. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 31.
  9. Maximilian Weltin , Folker Reichert, Winfried Stelzer (ed.): The land and its right. Selected contributions to the constitutional history of Austria in the Middle Ages. Verlag Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-486-58008-6 , p. 280.
  10. Maximilian Weltin: The "Georgenberger Handfeste" and their place in the history of the countries above and below the Enns. In: Karl Spreitzhofer: 800 years of Georgenberger Handfeste. Growth and change of the Styrian national freedoms . Enns 1986, pp. 55-64.
  11. ^ Karl Gutkas : History of the Province of Lower Austria . Verlag Oldenbourg, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-486-51461-X , p. 53.
  12. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 72 ff.
  13. ^ Hans Sturmberger: Land ob der Enns and Austria. Articles and lectures. Verlag Böhlau, Vienna 1979, ISBN 3-900313-30-X , p. 334.
  14. Othmar Hageneder : Ottokar II. Pfemysl and the land ob der Enns as reflected in the Codex diplomaticus et epistolaris regni Bohemiae V 1 (1253-1266). In: Yearbook of the Upper Austrian Museum Association. Volume 120a, Linz 1975, pp. 119 and 123 (Ottokar II promises in 1262 or 1263 the monasteries of his dominion whether the Enns to exercise the bailiwick personally and not to entrust it to anyone else; PDF on ZOBODAT ).
  15. ^ Alois Zauner: Ottokar II. Premysl and Upper Austria. In: Yearbook for regional studies of Lower Austria. Volume 44-45, 1979, p. 62 ( PDF on ZOBODAT ).
    Ignaz Zibermayr : The Upper Austrian Provincial Archives in Linz. A picture of the development of the local writing system and the history of the country. Feichtinger, Linz 1930, p. 40.
  16. Garsten documents (1082–1778) 1264 VII 01. Court letter of Chunrats von Sumerau, Richters ob der Enns, with which he awards the Spek estate to the Garsten monastery ( Konrad von Sum [m] erau is called "iudex Provincie Austrie superioris", ie " District Judge of the Province of Upper Austria ”, mentioned) in the European document archive Monasterium.net .
  17. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. P. 126.
  18. Elmar Mattle: On the settlement genesis of Upper Austrian cities in the High and Late Middle Ages. Eferding, Freistadt, Schärding and Wels in comparison. Verlag Grin, 2007, ISBN 3-638-70922-1 , p. 28.
  19. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. P. 86 ff.
  20. ^ Hermann Wiesflecker: Austria in the age of Maximilian I. The unification of the countries to the early modern state. The rise to world power. Verlag für Geschichte und Politik, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-7028-0363-7 , p. 70.
  21. Ortlexikon Oberösterreich. Statistical documentation on population and settlement history. Part 1 (PDF 850kB).
  22. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. Pp. 97 and 155 ff.
  23. Hans Sturmberger: Emperor Ferdinand II. And the problem of absolutism. Verlag Oldenbourg, Munich 1957, p. 27.
  24. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 192 f.
  25. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 208ff.
  26. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 90.
  27. May 13th 1779 marks the 225th anniversary of the Treaty of Teschen. In: franzstelzhamer.at. May 13, 2004, accessed June 11, 2020 .
  28. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 220ff. and 287ff.
  29. ^ Luther and Upper Austria. OÖ Nachrichten, accessed on September 25, 2008.
  30. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 227 ff.
  31. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 343 f.
  32. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . Pp. 341 and 347 ff.
  33. Suffering from the First World War , OÖ Nachrichten, accessed on September 25, 2008.
  34. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 338 f. and 343 and 373 and 406.
  35. State ceremony “90 years of Upper Austria” in the large house of the State Theater in Linz  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.hofburg.at  
  36. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. P. 371 ff.
  37. ^ Emil Puffer: Emergency money in Upper Austria. The shortage of change in 1919/20 and its elimination. In: Upper Austrian homeland sheets. Year 32, Linz 1978, issue 1/2, pp. 103–111 ( online (PDF; 933 kB) in the forum OoeGeschichte.at).
  38. ^ Günther Schefbeck: Austria 1934. Prehistory - events - effects. Publishing house for history and politics . Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-7028-0415-3 , pp. 94 and 120.
  39. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 392.
  40. ^ Province of Upper Austria: History
  41. ^ Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. Reichsgau Oberdonau. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  42. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. P. 409 ff.
  43. Information on the Mauthausen concentration camp. Mauthausen contemporary witness project. Documentation archive of the Austrian resistance
  44. Contemporary History Museum Ebensee
  45. ^ Clemens Jabloner, Historikerkommission der Republik Österreich (Ed.): Final report of the Historikerkommission der Republik Österreich. Deprivation of property during the Nazi era as well as provisions and compensation since 1945 in Austria. Summaries and assessments . Verlag Oldenbourg, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-7029-0474-3 , p. 183.
  46. Hartheim killing center 1940–1944. schloss-hartheim.at
  47. Florian Freund , Bertrand Perz , Mark Spoerer: Forced laborers on the territory of the Republic of Austria 1939–1945 . Verlag Oldenbourg, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-7029-0530-8 , p. 63.
  48. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 422.
  49. Hans Maršálek : The history of the concentration camp Mauthausen. Documentation. Austrian Camp Community Mauthausen, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-7035-1235-0 , p. 263 ff.
  50. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria. P. 427.
  51. ^ Fritz Fellner (ed.): The Mühlviertel 1945. A chronicle day by day . Verlag Geschichte der Heimat, Grünbach 1995, ISBN 3-900943-29-X , p. 270.
  52. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 429.
  53. Upper Austria News: Part 23: The Mühlviertel under hammer and sickle , as of June 28, 2008.
  54. ^ Haider: History of Upper Austria . P. 427 f.
  55. ^ Federation of Austrian Industries