Army History Museum
|place||Arsenal, 1030 Vienna|
|architect||Theophil von Hansen|
|Number of visitors (annually)||272,000 (2018)|
The Army History Museum - Military History Institute in Vienna is the military history museum of the Austrian Armed Forces and previous Austrian armies . It documents the history of the Austrian military from the 16th century to the present, in particular using military technology such as weapons, vehicles and military equipment, but also in photographs, paintings and documents. Part of the museum is also dedicated to the history of the Austrian Navy . The federally owned museum is not affiliated with the Austrian federal museums, but is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defense . Since autumn 2019 there has been a controversy over the exhibition concept due to allegations of historical revisionism . The future of the museum and a reorientation will be discussed publicly.
The museum building
The museum building (object 18) is the heart of the Vienna Arsenal , a huge military building complex that previously consisted of 72 objects and was built on the occasion of the revolution of 1848/49 . The arsenal was the largest building project of the first years of the reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I and served to consolidate his neo - absolutist -oriented position of power. B. compared to Vienna, which was revolutionary in 1848.
The project of what was then the “weapon museum” was carried out by the Danish architect Theophil von Hansen . Six years after construction began (April 15, 1850), the keystone was laid on May 8, 1856. The building is therefore the oldest museum building in Austria - planned and executed as such.
At the time of its construction, the arsenal was outside the line wall ; however, the area was incorporated into Vienna in 1850 with the original Favoriten (4th district, since 1874 10th district; since 1938 the Arsenal has been part of the 3rd district). The Vienna-Raaber Bahn , whose Vienna train station was opened in 1845, ran south-west next to the Arsenal .
The building was badly damaged by an air raid on September 10, 1944. The northeast wing of the museum building in particular was destroyed. On December 11, 1944, as well as on January 15 and March 23, 1945, the building was hit by further bombs. The museum reopened on June 24, 1955.
Hansen's plan envisaged a 235 meter long building with protruding transverse wings and corner towers as well as a tower-like central section with a square floor plan , surmounted by a 43 meter high dome . Just as many historicist buildings mostly have models from architectural history, Theophil Hansen also used that of the arsenal in Venice , which was built in 1104 . He adopted Byzantine style elements and added Gothic elements. The two-tone brickwork is adorned with terracotta ornaments and wrought-iron clasps, the axial structure is emphasized by color-structured bricks, the central risalit is characterized by a rich facade decor , such as the three large round windows above the portal window motif. The richly decorated attic zone is supported by a mighty arched frieze that is reminiscent of Florentine palace buildings . The dovetail crenellated wreath is interrupted on the axes of the side wings and at the corners of the central building by turrets, in whose niches trophies made of terracotta are placed. And in front of the facade were of Hans Gasser from sandstone allegorical figure representations of military virtues executed. Under the round windows these are the female figures (from left to right) of strength, vigilance, piety and wisdom ; Next to the three openings leading to the vestibule, the male figures depict bravery, fidelity to the flag, sacrifice and warlike intelligence .
Inside the Museum of Military History, Emperor Franz Joseph's intention is not only to erect a building for the imperial weapon collections, but also to create a place of fame and memorial for the imperial army. In the Feldherrenhalle 56 full-length portrait statues of the “most famous, everlasting emulation of worthy warlords and generals of Austria” , as stated in the imperial resolution of February 28, 1863, are displayed. The statues are made of Carrara marble and are all uniformly high at 186 cm. The names and dates of the sitter's life are affixed on boards above the figures, on the plinths are the 32 different names of the performing artists, the time of installation and the patron who financed the production of the respective sculpture . The cost of half of the statues was borne by Emperor Franz Joseph, the rest was donated by private patrons, often the descendants of the portrayed general.
- List of people who are symbolized by marble statues in the Feldherrenhalle
In the mezzanine there are another 4 statues of generals, in contrast to the figures in the actual Feldherrenhalle, these are placed in niches in the wall. They are actors from the revolutionary year of 1848 who, on behalf of the House of Habsburg, suppressed revolutionary efforts in all parts of the monarchy : Julius von Haynau , Josef Wenzel Radetzky , Alfred I. zu Windisch-Graetz and Joseph Jelačić von Bužim . The visual design of the staircase was entrusted to Carl Rahl , who carried it out together with his students Christian Griepenkerl and Eduard Bitterlich in 1864. In the center of the ceiling ornamented with gold are frescoes with allegorical representations of power and unity (center), fame and honor (right) and wisdom and courage (left). The staircase is crowned by the allegorical marble sculpture group "Austria" by Johannes Benk , which he executed in 1869.
Hall of Fame
The hall of fame located on the first floor is decorated with frescoes by Karl von Blaas . They were created between 1858 and 1872 and show the most important military events in the history of Austria since the Babenbergs. The four large wall arches depict the Battle of Nördlingen (1634), the Council of War in the Battle of St. Gotthard (1664), the Battle of Zenta (1697) and the Relief of Turin (1706); in the adjoining room on the left, the events from the reigns of Maria Theresa and Joseph II up to the capture of Belgrade in 1789; In the right adjoining room, the Napoleonic Wars from the Battle of Würzburg in 1796 to the Tyrolean uprising of 1809 to the armistice negotiations between Field Marshal Radetzky and King Vittorio Emanuele II of Sardinia after the Battle of Novara in 1849.
The Hall of Fame is also a memorial : on its walls and in the adjoining rooms are marble plaques on which the names of over 500 officers (from colonel to general of the imperial army , subsequently the Austro-Hungarian army , from the beginning of the Thirty Years War 1618 to at the end of the First World War 1918) with the place and year of their death.
The museum building was completed in 1856, but the interior design lasted until 1872. The collection was complemented by the former court weapons collection of the imperial armory , the imperial private collection in Laxenburg Palace and the Vienna treasury . The collection was initially purely a collection of weapons and trophies, the focus of which was on the armor and weapons of the imperial armor chamber. After order and representative installation in the new building, this collection was opened to the public as the Imperial and Royal Court Weapons Museum . It was the first museum opening in Vienna.
The construction of the Art History Museum , which opened in 1891 on Vienna's Ringstrasse , which began in 1871, led to the expectation in the early 1880s that significant parts of the collections previously represented in the museum could be relocated there. The direction and future of the Imperial and Royal Weapons Museum became very uncertain as a result of these considerations.
In 1885, a board of trustees was therefore formed under the chairmanship of Crown Prince Rudolf , which was responsible for the new design of what was now known as the Imperial and Royal Army Museum . The focus of the current collection or exhibition should be the deeds of the imperial army. At the founding meeting of the committee on February 22, 1885, the crown prince emphasized the purpose of the museum: he emphasized the importance of the museum by helping to glorify the aura and honor of the army in which the genuine old imperial spirit lives on, which has always upheld the imperial standpoint and forms the symbol of the togetherness of all countries. For this reason he hoped that the museum would come to life with the greatest possible grandeur.
The board of trustees consisted of:
- Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, protector and chairman
- Archduke Wilhelm of Austria , deputy protector and chairman
- Quirin Ritter von Leitner , then head of the court weapons museum
- Alfred Ritter von Arneth , President of the Imperial Academy of Sciences
- Johann Nepomuk Graf Wilczek , patron and collector and most important sponsor of the Payer-Weyprecht expedition .
In addition to requests to various military institutions, the committee also approached private individuals in order to obtain historical objects for the new museum. The principle was: The collections should be divided into victory trophies and other historically interesting objects exclusively of Austrian provenance, which are important for the correct knowledge of the past of the Imperial and Royal Army in all its factors . Only originals were allowed to be exhibited, projects and models only under special circumstances. Thanks to the work of the board of trustees and the generous support of the emperor, his family, the nobility and the bourgeoisie, as well as the Reich Ministry of War , a wealth of treasures had been collected that people today can hardly imagine. On 25 May 1891, finally, the new one was kuk Army Museum in the Arsenal inaugurated by Emperor and King Franz Joseph I. and handed over his destiny.
With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the museum was supposed to be closed to general visitors. The main reasons for this lay in the fact that so much material was allocated from the various theaters of war that proper installation was impossible.
The end of the war in 1918 initially meant the supposed end for the museum. The intention was to sell the stocks to improve the economic emergency, but this was averted.
In September 1921 the house was reopened as the Austrian Army Museum . Now the documentation of the most recent military events, especially the First World War, should be in the foreground. With the opening of a war picture gallery in 1923, a larger area was dedicated to the fine arts for the first time. It was no longer exclusively army leaders and battles that were in the foreground, but above all everyday military life in war.
time of the nationalsocialism
During the Nazi era , the museum was subordinate to the German Army Museum in Berlin. The director of the Austrian Army Museum, Alfred Mell, was, although not a member of the NSDAP , an enthusiastic advocate of the “Anschluss” of Austria and now officiated as General Custodian .
Looted objects from the property of persecuted Jews were brought together for exhibitions and collections. In the run-up to the attack on Poland , the Army Museum was included in the centralized distribution of future looted art in addition to the Berlin armory and the army museums in Dresden and Munich. In 1943 Mell intervened in the "guide allocation" of looted art for Austrian museums, which was unfavorable for his museum, and achieved the allocation of eight of the 46 desired objects.
In addition to expanding the collection using specifically National Socialist methods, the museum designed a series of special exhibitions and "booty shows" in the course of the war in the service of Nazi propaganda.
With the onset of the Allied air raids on Vienna from autumn 1943, as with all Viennese museums, the most valuable holdings were relocated. These measures proved to be correct: on September 10 and December 11, 1944, and on January 15, 1945, the arsenal and the neighboring Südbahnhof were so badly affected by Allied bomber groups that not only the museum building but also numerous depots of bombs hit and badly damaged or destroyed. Towards the end of the war, especially in 1945 during the so-called Battle of Vienna , the arsenal area was just as badly damaged.
During the occupation , many of the evacuated collection objects that had survived the chaos of war were requisitioned by the Allies . Much was also theft and looting by soldiers of the Red Army and by the civilian population. Ultimately, the museum was threatened with complete dissolution, especially since the losses from the consequences of fighting and looting were estimated at around 40 percent of the entire collection.
Despite these difficulties, work began on rebuilding the museum under the direction of Alfred Mell as early as 1946, which, at Mell's suggestion, was finally renamed the Museum of Military History . The management at the time received special support from the Austrian Gallery Belvedere and the Museum of Art History. The collection of ship models made available by the Technical Museum is the heart of the marine hall to this day.
In the post-war period, the halls of the museum were designed more as a trophy show (“cult and consecration place”). A nostalgic, transfigured depiction of " Kakanien ", awareness of tradition and the "appreciation of Austrian soldiers" prevailed . According to the military historian Michael Hochedlinger, the museum tried “without resounding success, by means of an object-centered aestheticization, to shed the anachronistic aura of an uncritical kuk stamp of fame”.
It was only under the direction of Johann Christoph Allmayer-Beck in the years from 1965 to 1983 that the exhibition area underwent a generous renovation. The halls from the 16th and 17th centuries and from 1866 to 1914 were rebuilt and presented in a new way. In addition to the simple display of the objects, the aim was the scientifically sound development of the topic, but also the “through-composing” of the halls as a “total work of art”, as befits the level of the house as one of the world's most important museums of this kind. Allmayer-Beck did not see the museum primarily as a place to maintain tradition: "Tradition must be cultivated outside - inside the history of the Austrian or imperial army must be made visible - including the often neglected elements of culture and social issues."
In September 1998, the Republic and Dictatorship Hall was opened under the direction of Manfried Rauchsteiner , in which objects from the period from 1918 to 1945 are shown. The interwar period and the Nazi period were received in museums for the first time. The type of processing was criticized as inadequate.
The motto of the museum has been " Wars belong in the museum " since 2006 . On December 9, 2008, the Army History Museum was awarded the Austrian Museum Seal of Approval, which was extended in 2013.
After around two years of construction under the direction of Director Christian Ortner, the group of rooms for the First World War was opened in a modernized and redesigned form on June 28, 2014 - just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Sarajevo attack . On May 25, 2016, the Army History Museum celebrated its 125th anniversary with a special exhibition and a new museum catalog. It states that “in the 125 years since the museum was founded, not only had the number of objects in the collections of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum increased from 8,000 to around 1.2 million and that of visitors from 5,307 to around 220,000 per year, but also the orientation of the museum had changed significantly, without losing its character as a military history museum. "
The museum has been run by the following people since it was founded:
- 1869–1885: Quirin Ritter von Leitner (1834–1893) as “director” of the kk Hofwaffenmuseum
- 1885–1889: Commission of the Imperial and Royal Army Museum chaired by Crown Prince Rudolf (1858–1889)
- 1889–1909: Commission of the Imperial and Royal Army Museum chaired by Archduke Friedrich (1856–1936)
- 1909–1918: Wilhelm John (1877–1934) (from 1909 official name “Director”), Imperial and Royal Army Museum
- 1918–1934: Wilhelm John (1877–1934), Austrian Army Museum
- 1934–1938: Alfred Mell (1880–1962), Austrian Army Museum
- 1938–1945: Alfred Mell (1880–1962), Army Museum Vienna (subordinate to the head of the Army Museums in Berlin)
- 1945–1949: Alfred Mell (1880–1962), from now on the Army History Museum
- 1950: Géza Kövess (1896–1977), "entrusted with the management"
- 1950–1956: Rudolf Pühringer (1891–1969)
- 1957–1965: Heinz Zatschek (1901–1965)
- 1965–1983: Johann Christoph Allmayer-Beck (1918–2017)
- 1983–1992: Franz Kaindl (* 1931)
- 1992–2005: Manfried Rauchsteiner (* 1942)
- 2005–2020: Christian Ortner (* 1969) (He will continue to run the business until the position is advertised for the management. Status: March 2020)
The collections of the Army History Museum are among the oldest state collections on Viennese soil. They go back to the holdings that were collected in the old arsenal of the imperial army in the inner city since the 17th century and that were already a highly regarded attraction there in the 18th century .
The museum presents the history of the Habsburg Monarchy and the fate of Austria from the end of the 16th century to 1945, various special exhibitions are devoted to various other (including contemporary) topics. Exhibits in the tank collection , such as the Kürassier tank destroyer or the M109 self-propelled howitzer, refer to the present day. The exhibits are not only weapons and military equipment such as the giant medieval bombing Pumhart von Steyr , but also exhibits that illustrate the path to war, such as the automobile in which the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary , Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek , Duchess of Hohenberg were murdered on June 28, 1914.
Hall I - From the Thirty Years War to Prince Eugene (16th century - 1700)
The first room of the museum is dedicated to the history of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation , whose imperial capital and residence city Vienna became with the coronation of Emperor Ferdinand I in 1558, was often a theater of war during this time and was repeatedly involved in military conflicts over power, denominations , country and people . The collections of the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum begin at a time when a change is taking place in military history , the change from the popular contingent to the so-called standing army . The imperial armies, which until the Thirty Years' War had been equipped inconsistently and were only recruited for the duration of the campaign , were now converted into a permanently paid, "standing" army. These armies were financed for the most part by generals such as Albrecht von Wallenstein . The technical development of the firearm is the blunderbuss of the 16th century to Matchlock - wheel lock - and flintlock - musket traceable. Numerous armor , cutting , stabbing and thrusting weapons complete the area of the Thirty Years War. A special exhibit is Wallenstein's handwriting to his Field Marshal Gottfried Heinrich zu Pappenheim on November 15, 1632, which was written on the eve of the Battle of Lützen . Pappenheim was to be fatally wounded in battle the next day, carrying the letter with him, as the large traces of blood testify to this day. Furthermore, a volley gun from 1678, the so-called Totenorgel , is on display, which was constructed by the imperial piece caster Daniel Kollmann and which represents an attempt to manufacture a gun for rapid fire for the imperial army.
The wars with the Turks take up a lot of space , especially the Second Turkish Siege of Vienna in 1683. Numerous objects from the Ottoman Army are on display, including the reflex arcs of the notorious Sipahi . Special pieces are also a Turkish chain mail from the possession of the imperial general Raimondo Montecuccoli , who was victorious at Mogersdorf , a silver Turkish calendar watch, several Turkish insignia - including flags, standards and horse tails as well as the seal of the Turkish sultan Mustafa II. , Which was given by Prince Eugene of Savoy was captured in the battle of Zenta in 1697. The last Travee in Hall I is dedicated exclusively to this outstanding general and important patron . You can see two of his personal clothes, his cuirass , command staff and sword, as well as the prince's mourning decoration that was kept after his death in 1736 .
Hall II - War of the Spanish Succession and Maria Theresa Hall (1701–1789)
Hall II, also known as the “Maria Theresa Hall”, is dedicated to the 18th century. At the beginning of this section, the person of Prince Eugene and his successes still dominate. The "noble knight" fought and won not only in the Turkish Wars, but also in the War of the Spanish Succession . As a result of the Great Turkish War , which culminated with the victories of Peterwardein (1716) and Belgrade (1717) and ended with the Peace of Passarowitz in 1718, the Habsburg monarchy reached its greatest territorial extent. The Habsburg sphere of influence extended over Central and Southeastern Europe and thus became a great power . A Turkish state tent and the ten-pound mortar from Belgrade , which in 1717 destroyed an entire district of Belgrade with a single shot in a Turkish powder magazine, stand out from this area .
Tsarina Elisabeth's chair
The death of Prince Eugene in 1736 and that of the last male Habsburg , Emperor Karl VI. 1740 marked a major turning point , which was followed by the reign of Maria Theresa , whereby she was confronted with a broad front of opponents right from the start. In the War of the Austrian Succession , she not only defended her claim to power, but above all the inherited territories against almost all neighboring states. At the head of their opposition was King Friedrich II of Prussia . Although Austria won some of the numerous battles of the so-called three Silesian Wars , it was never enough to win a decisive battle. Numerous items of booty such as fusilier hats , pallas , flags and uniforms document the Austrian and Prussian armies of this time. Field Marshal Gideon Ernst Freiherr von Laudon's personal belongings are exhibited in a separate showcase , including the Maria Theresa Order , Austria's highest military award, which Laudon was bestowed for his bravery in the Battle of Hochkirch in 1758. The founding of the Theresian Military Academy in 1751 is also documented , making it the oldest military academy in the world that still exists today in the same location.
Hall III - Hall of Revolutions (1789–1848)
The last Turkish war of the Habsburg Monarchy was led by Emperor Joseph II in association with the Russian armed forces of Tsarina Catherine II. This conflict also ended with the capture of Belgrade in 1789, at which time the revolution broke out in France and was intended to initiate the decline of the French monarchy . The French king and his wife Marie Antoinette lost their heads and throne. At the same time, however, this meant the rise of the man who was to dramatically change the political map of Europe by 1815: Napoleon Bonaparte . The Hall of Revolutions is shaped by the battles at Austerlitz , Würzburg , Aspern , Deutsch-Wagram and Leipzig as well as the Tyrolean uprising of 1809, led by Andreas Hofer . The oldest surviving military aircraft , the French war balloon " Intrépide ", stands out in particular. (= "The fearless"), which was captured by Austrian troops on September 3, 1796 in the battle of Würzburg . The large-format paintings by Johann Peter Krafft ( Archduke Karl and his staff in the Battle of Aspern and victory report in the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig ) illustrate the events of this eventful time in an impressive way.
Portrait of Napoleon by Andrea Appiani
The uniform figurines by Helmut Krauhs (1912–1995) are a very special kind of documentation . They reproduce the adjustments made by soldiers of the Josephine and Napoleonic epochs with meticulous accuracy and authenticity . Uniforms, medals and weapons, but also special individual items, such as the coat of the Russian general Pawel Andrejewitsch Shuwalow , which Napoleon wore on his journey into exile to the island of Elba , complete the overall picture.
The Congress of Vienna as the person of the Archduke Carl documented, "information points" further information - usable by visitors and to use interactive touch screen monitors - about what is happening on the basis of contemporary graphics , maps , and biographical notes. Hall III is also known as the “Hall of Revolutions” because the exhibition it contains begins with the French Revolution and ends with the Revolution of 1848 .
Room IV - Field Marshal Radetzky and His Time (1848–1866)
Room IV is dedicated to Josef Wenzel Radetzky von Radetz and his time. As early as 1784 he joined the imperial army as a cadet and fought under commanders Lacy and Laudon in the last Turkish war. After 72 years of service, he should not be retired until he is 90 years old. He served under five emperors and was involved in 17 campaigns, for which he received 146 domestic and foreign medals. His victories against Sardinia-Piedmont at Santa Lucia, Verona, Vicenza and Custozza in 1848 and at Mortara and Novara in 1849 consolidated the rule of the young Emperor Franz Joseph, at least for the time being . The poet Franz Grillparzer wrote an ode to Radetzky: “Good luck, my general, carry out the prank! Not just for a glimmer of fame - Austria is in your camp! ” , For which the poet received an honorary goblet, which is on display in the hall. There are also many paintings by contemporary artists such as Albrecht Adam and Wilhelm Richter , which illustrate the campaigns, in the Radetzkysaal .
After Radetzky's death, the tide was radically turned in northern Italy for the young Emperor Franz Joseph, who was only enthroned on December 2, 1848: Austria suffered a heavy defeat in the Battle of Solferino in 1859, in which Franz Joseph was personally in command . The cruelty of the battle and the helplessness of the wounded soldiers led Henry Dunant to found the Red Cross and led to the agreement of the Geneva Convention . The influx of young men to the imperial-royal army did not stop, however, the “magic of the outfit” was still having an effect and is illustrated by means of numerous uniforms of different branches of arms and regiments . From 1864, the Austrian artillery should have developments that were superior to the enemy gun types in terms of both shooting precision and maneuverability. This is illustrated by the M 1863 field cannon on display . In infantry armament, however, it was the other way round, which is illustrated by the comparison of the Austrian muzzle loader System Lorenz and the Prussian needle gun - breech loader . The defeat of the Austrian army in the Battle of Königgrätz in 1866 is the subject of a monumental painting by Václav Sochor . A separate room is dedicated to the fate of the imperial brother Ferdinand Maximilian , who ascended the throne as Emperor of Mexico in 1864 and was shot there in 1867 on the orders of Benito Juárez . Objects from his private collection can be seen, some of which still come from Miramare Castle or bear witness to his unfortunate Mexican reign (including his death mask ).
Hall V - Franz Joseph Hall and Sarajevo (1867–1914)
In the Franz-Joseph-Saal, in addition to uniforms and guns, there are 34 uniform representations of the Austro-Hungarian Army painted by Oskar Brüch , which were made for the Budapest Millennium Exhibition in 1896 . One area is dedicated to the occupation campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1878 under the command of Joseph Philippovich von Philippsberg . The central showcase in the hall shows the technical innovations of the army before 1914, such as the model of an unrealized battle vehicle with chain drive (“ Burstyn tank ”); the first powerful machine gun of the Austro-Hungarian Army ( Schwarzlose machine gun ) and the model of a field kitchen . The beginning of military aviation is also illustrated by models of the Etrich Taube , the Lohner arrow flyer and the kuk military balloons M 1896. A highlight of the exhibition is certainly the showcase with the personal belongings of Emperor Franz Joseph. These are the only ones accessible to the public - including his campaign and gala tunic , but also his medals, cigar tips and pince-nez . Subsequently, the splendid uniforms of the Arcièren life guards can be seen, which are contrasted with the uniforms of the Austro-Hungarian army before the outbreak of the First World War . Also on display are personal items belonging to the chief of staff of the Austro-Hungarian Army, Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf .
A separate travée is dedicated to the assassination attempt in Sarajevo , which immediately sparked the First World War. Inside is one of the museum's sights, the Gräf & Stift Automobil , in which the Austrian heir to the throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek were murdered on June 28, 1914. The traces of both attacks can be clearly seen on it. These are also recognizable on the Archduke's uniform, which is on display, as is the chaise longue on which the heir to the throne succumbed to his injury and the weapons used - including Browning M.1910/12 pistols and a Kragujevac hand grenade . Photos and films of the events are shown on monitors.
Room VI - The First World War and the End of the Habsburg Monarchy (1914–1918)
From 2012 to 2014 the group of halls was completely rebuilt, modernized and redesigned for the First World War. In order to increase the original exhibition area from 1,000 to 1,400 m², the level of the room was lowered and an intermediate platform was installed so that the entire exhibition is now presented on three levels. As a result of these measures, around 2,000 objects relating to the First World War are now made accessible to the public, which is a doubling compared to the previous exhibition.
A number of showcases contain the uniforms, armament and equipment of the warring powers. It starts with the issues of the troops marching out in the summer of 1914, the Austrian infantry, followed by the cavalry . Then uniforms and the armament of the opposing parties, the Kingdom of Serbia , the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy , which declared war on Austria-Hungary in 1915 , are on display. This resulted in the mountain war of 1915–1918 , to which a separate area is dedicated. A special piece is the 7 cm mountain cannon M 1899, which was deployed in the summit zone of the Ortler at 3,850 meters and thus formed the highest gun emplacement in Europe. In addition to weapons, uniforms and military equipment, cross-sectional issues such as women in war, the Austro-Hungarian military justice , flight and displacement, shortages and propaganda, wounding and medical care, religion, captivity, disability and death are discussed in their own areas. Hundreds of digitized photos and films are presented on modern monitors.
In the center of the exhibition is an Austrian siege howitzer M.1916 with a caliber of 38 cm, which could fire shells with a weight of 750 kg over 15 km. A simulated position system contains a number of showcases in which the innovations in weapon technology and equipment from 1916 onwards are shown, including the first Austrian steel helmet that was manufactured according to the German model. Particularly noteworthy is the training and reconnaissance aircraft Albatros B.II , one of 5,200 aircraft used by the army and the Austro-Hungarian navy in the First World War. In addition, a separate area is dedicated to the Imperial and Royal War Press Quarter and thus to art during the war, in which works by war painters such as Albin Egger-Lienz , Wilhelm Thöny , Oswald Roux , Fritz Schwarz-Waldegg , Anton Faistauer , Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel , Alexander, among others Pock and Egon Schiele are on display.
Room VII - Republic and Dictatorship (1918–1945)
This room is dedicated to the extremely eventful history of the First Republic and the Second World War . The focus here is primarily on the effects of political events on society and the military, such as the July revolt of 1927 that was triggered by the Schattendorfer judgment or the February battles of 1934. For example, Schattendorf's murder weapon is on display, but also a field cannon M 1918, which was developed in the final phase of the First World War and then used against the Schutzbund in 1934 . Only recently were those two documents handed over to the museum, which the sculptors Wilhelm Frass and Alfons Riedel had hidden in a sleeve under the memorial of the dead soldier in the crypt on Heldenplatz in Vienna . The two letters are issued as a facsimile . The history of the people's armed forces and the federal army is also documented ; furthermore the assassination of Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss , the connection of Austria to the German Reich and the resulting acquisition of the Armed Forces in the German Wehrmacht in 1938 and the resistance to Nazism in Austria .
In addition to the uniforms of the infantry / army, navy and air force of the German armed forces , the adjustments and armaments of the opposing warring parties are on display. In addition, a wide variety technical device is shown, including: BMW R12 motorcycle in camouflage , NSU - Kettenkrad (. Sd.Kfz 2), 88mm anti-aircraft gun , jeep VW Type 82 , FI 156 "Fieseler Storch " , Explosive tank" Goliath " , engine fragments of a V2 , caterpillar tractor east and bunkers from the Reichsschutzstellung . The battle for Stalingrad , the aerial warfare over Austria and the fate of the civilian population are also thematic areas . In addition, the exhibition examines questions about the resistance against the Nazi regime , the Holocaust and the effects of the total war . Another major topic is the Battle of Vienna in April 1945, where weapons and adjustments that came to the troops towards the end of the war, such as the Panzerschreck and the Assault Rifle 44 , are also on display . The transition to the occupation by the Allies (“the four in a jeep”) and the post-war situation in Austria conclude. In 2012, the heavy load carrier Borgward IV was added to the permanent exhibition , which was discovered in spring 2012 during the demolition of the former Vienna Südbahnhof and transferred to the museum.
Room VIII - Austrian Sea Power
A separate room (VIII) is dedicated to the history of the Austrian Navy . The exhibition covers the entire chronology from the creation of the first Danube flotilla to the end of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1918. The numerous ship models and figureheads stand out in particular . Various oil paintings, including those with monumental dimensions, also illustrate the eventful history of the Austrian Navy (for example the " Sea Battle of Lissa " by the marine painter Alexander Kircher ). A lot of space is given to this Austrian maritime victory in 1866. In addition to objects from the personal possession of Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff , the model of his flagship SMS Archduke Ferdinand Max can also be seen.
The special importance of the Austrian navy in the field of scientific research is illustrated by those areas that are dedicated to research trips (inter alia. Round the world of the SMS Novara (1857-1859) and the Austro-Hungarian North Pole expedition (1872-1874) under the leadership of Julius von Payer and Carl Weyprecht ). Loot and photos from the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, as well as the use in the international squadre off Crete in 1897/98, illustrate the military aspects before the outbreak of the First World War. A special object is the cut-away model of the flagship of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, SMS Viribus Unitis, with a scale of 1:25 and a total length of 6 meters, which was built by eight skilled workers from the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino shipyard from 1913 to 1917. It is true to the original in terms of ship construction, room layout and machinery. The accuracy in detail goes so far that z. For example, the painting in the officers' mess of the model was completely adapted to the original model not only in terms of the motif , but also in the painting technique (oil on canvas).
In addition to the documentation of the first Austro-Hungarian sea pilots such as Gottfried von Banfield , the fate of the submarine weapon in the First World War is also mentioned. Particularly noteworthy is the only remaining fragment of an Austro-Hungarian submarine , the tower of U-20, which was sunk in the mouth of the Tagliamento in 1918 and recovered in 1962. With the models of the Danube monitors , which had to be handed over to the SHS state on December 31, 1918 , the exhibition in the Marinesaal finds its logical conclusion.
In the so-called "Panzergarten", which lies behind the museum building, are the most important combat vehicles of the Austrian Armed Forces from 1955 to the present day, whereby the different types illustrate the continuous development of the armored weapon . The first Austrian armored troops were all equipped with vehicles of the occupying powers , most of which came from the Second World War, for example the American M8 , the M21 armored personnel carrier or the M24 light main battle tank .
The most important examples are represented on Soviet tanks, such as the T-34 main battle tank and the SU-100 assault gun , which was originally set up in front of the Red Army's monument to the heroes on Schwarzenbergplatz . However, there are also exhibits of Austrian origin, such as the prototypes of the Saurer infantry fighting vehicle and the Kürassier tank destroyer , which is also represented in the newer A1 version. The two last-mentioned armored vehicles are still in use with the armed forces, as is the M109 self-propelled howitzer , an exhibit of which can also be viewed in the outdoor area. The M60 main battle tank , which was in service with the armed forces for many years, is the largest and heaviest tracked vehicle in this collection.
In the tank hall housed in the arsenal object XIII and opened in 2017, the prototype of the Saurer armored personnel carrier , the first armored vehicle manufactured in Austria after the Second World War, is shown among the total of 26 tanks on display; as well as other historic combat vehicles such as the Kürassier and Jaguar tank destroyers, the M60 A3 and Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks . Using cutaway models, visitors can also gain insight into the interior of a tank.
AFV Jaguar with guided missile HOT
A particularly rare example of a Jagdpanzer 38 (t) is on display in the tank hall . This vehicle was one of the first tanks in the Army History Museum that did not come from the holdings of the Austrian Armed Forces. In 1974 it came to Vienna as a gift from the Swiss Army and was stored there in the depot. After 2005 it was extensively restored and made ready to drive.
The gun barrel collection of the Army History Museum comprises around 550 guns and barrels and is therefore one of the most important collections of this kind in the world. The majority of the stocks still come from the old imperial armory. Originally the collection was more than twice as large, but numerous historically valuable pieces were melted down for the extraction of metal during the Second World War. Many of the gun barrels are located directly in the halls or in front of the museum building, the majority is in the two artillery halls (objects 2 and 17) which flank Object 1 - the former command building of the arsenal. Object 2 - the building on the left as seen from the museum - is dedicated to the development of artillery from the Middle Ages to the 18th century.
In a side chamber, the historically most valuable inventory of wrought iron guns from the Middle Ages can be seen. This includes the world-famous “ Pumhart von Steyr ”, a thousand-pound stone rifle from the early 15th century with a caliber of 80 cm. It is the oldest gun from the imperial armory and one of the last of the very few remaining giant medieval guns. The opposite chamber and the central area house bronze pipes of all sizes from the 17th to the 18th centuries. The right artillery hall (object 17) primarily contains stocks of foreign exhibits, such as Venetian and Turkish gun barrels. French gun barrels - loot from the Napoleonic Wars - are also represented. In the two side chambers there are again Austrian gun barrels, including early breech-loading guns .
The frescoes in the artillery halls are by various artists. The painter Hans Wulz created the fresco The Capture of Utrecht by Maximilian I for object 17 ; the portraitist and military painter Hugo von Bouvard adorned object 2 with depictions of the medieval army and transport system and various war vehicles as well as means of transport from the Maximilian era. Albert Janesch designed the opposite hall of the artillery hall, Object 2, based on contemporary models from Jörg Kölderer's artillery of Maximilian I.
The collections of the Army History Museum comprise more than 1.5 million objects, with the thematic focus on the historical development of the Austrian military in the period from the end of the 16th century to the present. The museum has very extensive special collections that deal with the individual development strands in the areas of equipment, flags, uniforms, heraldry, art, military music, medals and decorations, traditional, military technology and weapons dedicate themselves to the processing of the pictorial and written sources as well as all audiovisual media. Only a small part of the objects mentioned (around 5 to 7%) is in the permanent exhibition and in the traditional rooms of the armed forces and branches of the museum. Many objects are stored in the museum depots and are only temporarily presented to the public in alternating special exhibitions or as loans for external exhibition projects. The museum objects have been electronically recorded since 1998 and have been digitally digitized for several years. There is open access (“online catalog”) to part of this electronic inventory, and around 10,000 objects can currently be viewed by the public. This object database is to be continuously expanded.
In the Army History Museum there is a picture gallery of important history , genre and war painters , in which the war is reflected in paintings from the end of the 16th century to the present day. Several of them are monumental in size.
Some examples from the picture gallery:
Pieter Meulener : The death of Gustav Adolf in the battle of Lützen. Oil on panel, 49 cm × 79 cm
Johann Peter Krafft : Archduke Carl with the flag of Infantry Regiment No. 15 "Zach". 327 cm × 282 cm
Siegmund L'Allemand : The storming of the Königsberg near Oberselk by the Austro-Hungarian 18th Jäger Battalion on February 3, 1864. Oil on canvas 101 cm × 151 cm
Václav Sochor : The Battery of the Dead. Oil on canvas, 509 cm × 809 cm
Rudolf Otto Ritter von Ottenfeld : A fame sheet of the Austrian artillery. Oil on canvas, 204.5 cm × 299 cm
Alexander Kircher : The Sea Battle of Lissa. Oil on canvas, 318 cm × 705 cm
Julius von Payer : Never go back! Oil on canvas, 324.5 cm × 459 cm
- List of the visual artists represented in the permanent exhibition of the HGM
The holdings of the Army History Museum include one of the largest graphic collections in Austria with around 200,000 sheets. Since the imperial family was interested in the artistic documentation of historical events even before the invention of photography , numerous striking events in Austrian history can be found in hand drawings and graphic works. Folders with a series of war events complete the collection. In addition to subjects relevant to military history, such as depictions of battles and theaters of war, which were often captured by artists who worked on behalf of the monarch or a general, other historical topics such as weddings, coronations or funerals that took place during the Habsburg monarchy are also part of the inventory .
Uniform sheets take up a larger part of the collection, as the adjustment of the imperial army changed again and again over the centuries and was artistically documented. One of the most valuable manuscripts in this group is the so-called "Albertina manuscript" with a total of 56 sheets from 1762, which was exchanged from the Albertina via the war archive to the Army History Museum. The manuscript was probably made for Albert von Sachsen Teschen , Maria Theresa's son-in-law . The crew types, executed with opaque colors on handmade paper , include all branches of service and corps of the Imperial and Royal Army. An example of mass production, on the other hand, are the numerous prints by the Viennese art publisher Josef Trentsensky, for whose widespread mandlbows renowned artists such as Moritz von Schwind worked. Also lithographer as Franz Josef Gerasch or Lanzedelli dedicated the imperial army and their campaigns pay attention. Topographical works, picturesque landscapes and vedute complete the inventory and can often be found on hand drawings or color and chromolithographs .
The hand sketches by Karl von Blaas, some in oil , for the historicist frescoes in the museum's hall of fame, with which both the artist's working method and the influence of the client can be understood, represent a high artistic value . Less known than the topographical works of Matthäus Merian or those of Georg Matthäus Vischer are the city views by Johann Martin Will , which can be found in the inventory, or the sheets by Wilhelm von Doderer , who documented all military educational institutions in the crown lands in great detail. The inventory also includes an extensive collection of portraits of well-known personalities from military history and the imperial family on colored and uncolored copperplate engravings , mezzotints , woodcuts , wood engravings , heliogravures , etchings , lithographs and watercolors . Josef Kriehuber's signature, for example, who made a name for himself primarily with his portraiture, can be found in numerous portraits. For a long time it was less well known that Egon Schiele was also represented in the collection with two portrait sketches. Since the numerous painters of the art group of the war press quarter also had to deliver some of their sketches from the respective fronts to the museum during the First World War, the inventory of contemporary documents from the years 1914 to 1918 is relatively large. These include the early works of some modern pioneers such as Herbert Boeckl , Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel and Anton Kolig . The fact that women were also represented in the art group, such as Stephanie Hollenstein , Helene Arnau and Fritzi Ulreich , whose graphic work is part of the inventory, is an additional specialty.
Some outstanding examples from the graphic collection of the Army History Museum:
- Matthäus Küsel : Glory sheet on the Hungarian palatine Franz Wesselényi . Engraving, 1663.
- Jonas Suyderhoef after Pieter Claesz. Soutman : portrait of Emperor Ferdinand III. Engraving, 1686
- Commander of the Imperial and Royal Hussar Regiment Graf Hadik. Albertina manuscript, opaque colors on handmade paper, 1762.
- Albin Egger-Lienz : Austrian machine gun emplacement in the high mountains. 1915, gouache on cardboard
- Egon Schiele : Portrait sketch of Heinrich Wagner, lieutenant in the reserve. 1917, mixed media (chalk / opaque colors) on paper
Events, special exhibitions, branch offices
Thousands of visitors are drawn to four major events every year:
- Go Modeling , an exhibition for scale model making by the International Plastic Modelers Society Austria (IPMS) , takes place around the middle of March every year. Numerous true-to-scale models of historic military vehicles, airplanes and ships are on display.
- On wheels and chains , a large meeting of historical military vehicles up to the year of construction 1969, which takes place every year around the beginning of June. In the open-air area behind the museum building, more than 100 vehicles of various types - from tanks to bicycles - are presented to the public.
- Montur und Pulverdampf , a three-day festival of military-historical time travel from the Middle Ages to the modern age, which takes place annually around the beginning to mid-July. In the large open-air area behind the museum, history actors, historical combat demonstrations, craftsmen, traders, musicians as well as culinary delights and a comprehensive children's program are offered.
- Medieval Advent market , is usually held on a weekend in early December and attracts up to 20,000 people. It is a medieval Christmas market with jugglers, musicians, fencing demonstrations and traders' tents.
In addition to these major events regularly find fencing demonstrations of groups Larkspur and Blades game and Exerziervorführungen and saluting the riding ends Artillery Division held no. 2nd Special highlights are also the Long Night of the Museums of the ORF , as well as events around the national holiday on October 26th .
The Army History Museum usually opens a special exhibition on a military-historical topic twice a year, including a. were or will be shown:
- Protection & help. The Austrian Armed Forces 1955–1991 (May 16 to October 28, 2018 and April 15 to October 27, 2019)
- Aviation Police then and now (April 27 to October 15, 2018), Military Aviation Museum Zeltweg, Hinterstoisser Air Base , hangar 8
- The Austro-Hungarian Military Aeronautical Institute Fischamend (April 28, 2017 to October 15, 2017), Hinterstoisser Air Base
- MUSEUMSDING - bought, given, bequeathed. New acquisitions in 2007-2017 (March 28 to October 29, 2017)
- 125 years of the Army History Museum (May 25, 2016 to September 11, 2016)
- Souls of the Past - Historical Treasures of the Library (December 3, 2013 to August 31, 2014)
- Roaring engines (September 7 to October 20, 2013), Hinterstoisser Air Base
- Flying in World War I (April 26 to October 20, 2013), Hinterstoisser Air Base, Hangar 8
- WoMen at War - kuk Frauenbilder 1914–1918 (March 14, 2013 to September 29, 2013)
- Alexander Pock - Military Painting as a Profession (September 12, 2012 to January 13, 2013)
- Emperor Karl I - Anointed, Consecrated, Crowned (April 12 to August 19, 2012)
- Project & Design - Military Innovations from Five Centuries (2011)
- Protection and help - 50 years of deployment abroad (2010)
- Bulgaria - The Unknown Ally (2009)
- Late summer 68 - The deployment of the Austrian Armed Forces (2008/09)
- Einmarsch 38 - Military-historical aspects of March 1938 (2008)
- In the basement - Austria under the sign of air protection (2007/08)
- Your Buddy - The Hunting Command of the Austrian Armed Forces (2007)
The following four branches are attached to the Army History Museum:
- Patrol boats Colonel Brecht and Lower Austria : In 2006 the Army History Museum was given the two patrol boats of the Federal Army. The boats are in the Korneuburg shipyard and can be viewed by the Austrian Navy Association.
- Ungerberg bunker near Bruckneudorf : the largely preserved bunker of the Austrian Armed Forces from the Cold War era has been open to the public as an open-air museumthere since 2014.
- Military Aviation Museum Zeltweg in the Hinterstoisser Air Base : Since 2005, 23 historical aircraft from the Jak-18 to the Draken have been exhibited in Hangar 8 on 5000 m² . In addition, aircraft engines and jet - engines , airspace surveillance - radars , aviator technical equipment, anti-aircraft guns , historical vehicles of the air forces , equipment of the Air and signal corps , uniforms , aviator special clothing, models , badges and historical photos on display. Special exhibitions are also organized, such as Flying in World War I (April 26 to October 20, 2013) or Roaring Engines (September 7 to October 20, 2013).
- Telecommunications collection in the Starhemberg barracks : This collection contains a large number of historical telecommunications devices , starting with historically valuable exhibits from the 19th century, through communications and encryption technologies from the Cold War , to current military communications technology.
Projects and cooperation with international scientific institutions
- In cooperation with the Polish Academy of Sciences in Vienna, an annual symposium on the joint military history of Austria and Poland has been held in the HGM's Hall of Fame since 2007 .
- In cooperation with the Polish Institute , the special exhibition Struggle for Freedom. The 1944 Warsaw Uprising shown. At the closing event , the Polish jazz singer Aga Zaryan , who deals in detail with the Warsaw Uprising in her music , gave a concert in the HGM's Hall of Fame.
- In 2017, the special exhibition Macedonia and the Macedonians in World War I was shown in cooperation with the Military Museum of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Macedonia .
- In cooperation with the Turkish Embassy in Vienna , the special exhibition Çanakkale / Gallipoli 1915-2015 was presented at the HGM in 2015 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli .
- A selection of the works of three of the five most important Czech photographers who took part in the war during the First World War as members of the Austro-Hungarian Army and who documented their everyday war life with the help of their cameras was presented in 2015 in the special exhibition Photographers of War in cooperation with the Czech Center .
- In cooperation with the Munich Adalbert Stifter Association , the special exhibition Muses to the Front! Shown are writers and artists in the service of Austro-Hungarian war propaganda 1914–1918 .
- In the same year, in cooperation with the Bulgarian National Military History Museum, the special exhibition The Unknown Ally took place. Bulgaria took place in World War I.
Provenance research and restitution
The Army History Museum has been conducting provenance research since 1998 on the basis of the Federal Law on the Return of Works of Art (Federal Law Gazette I No. 181/1998) . In the course of the ongoing investigations it was found that the Army Museum Vienna, which was transferred to the German Wehrmacht in 1938 after the annexation of Austria to the German Reich and integrated into the Association of German Army Museums , had also benefited from allocations from confiscated assets by the National Socialist regime .
The majority of these objects with a military-historical background were relocated to the various salvage locations of the museum ( Feldsberg , Nikolsburg , Eisgrub in South Moravia ; the Kartause Gaming , Ottenstein Castle, Stiebar Castle near Gresten and) from 1943 onwards, due to the increasing risk of destruction by Allied bomber attacks Seebarn Castle ). Entire collections were torn apart and often widely scattered regionally. In addition, there were numerous relocations during the war itself, so that a complete clarification of the whereabouts of the respective individual museum objects does not seem completely possible until today. In addition, despite all these protective measures taken, looting and theft or losses occurred again and again in the course of the last fighting. In Vienna itself, the museum building and numerous depots were destroyed in air raids in 1944 and in the fighting over the Südbahnhof in 1945.
Nevertheless, immediately after the war, the then management of the museum began to return objects that had been forcibly stolen from their previous owners. In the course of these “restitution proceedings”, objects from the collections that had been confiscated at the time, such as Alphonse Rothschild, Albert Pollak, Ernst and Gisela Pollak, Viktor Ephrussi, Emilio Hofmannsthal, Franz Ruhmann and Oscar Bondy, were gradually restituted. In the most recent case (February 2013), the museum returned three oil paintings to the rightful heirs to Albert Klein (represented by the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde ).
In the past decade the museum has seen a significant increase in visitor numbers. While 62,984 visitors were counted in 2005, the number was already 93,637 in 2007, 126,006 in 2008, 139,792 in 2009 and around 172,007 in 2010. The number of visitors has thus almost tripled in a period of five years. In the 2012 financial year, the number of visitors rose again to a new record, as 174,146 people were counted. This success earned the museum director the Civil Servant of the Year 2012 award, the award from the Federal Ministry for National Defense for civil servants. In 2013, for the first time in the history of the museum, over 200,000 visitors were counted, in the following years 2014 (224,267), 2017 (248,129), and 2018 (272,000), new visitor records were continuously reached.
- The Austrian author Marlen Haushofer describes in her novella Die Mansarde how the nameless protagonist regularly takes tiring Sunday walks through the museum with her unloved husband Hubert, who is very interested in battles.
- The Austrian author Gerhard Roth describes in his essays A Journey into the Inner City of Vienna his impressions of a guided tour through the Museum of Military History.
- In her novel The Long Echo, the Austrian author Elena Messner deals with the processing of Austrian history in the form of a dispute between the director of the Army History Museum and her assistant.
- In 1993 the historian Ernst Trost (speaker: Axel Corti ) produced the documentary Zwingburg und Ruhmeshalle. The Vienna Arsenal , which for the most part represents the Army History Museum as the heart of the Arsenal.
- Parts of the television film Crown Prince Rudolf with Max von Thun were shot in 2005 in the Hall of Fame of the Army History Museum.
- In January 2013, the Army History Museum was honored by the special-interest broadcaster ORF III of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation as part of the documentation Out of the Frame by Karl Hohenlohe .
- In July 2014, Karl Hohenlohe shot another documentary from the frame on the occasion of the reopening of the group of rooms on the First World War in the Army History Museum.
Exhibition "Republic and Dictatorship"
The permanent exhibition Republic and Dictatorship , designed in 1998 according to the specifications of the museum director at the time, Manfried Rauchsteiner , observing the museum regulations, was accused by historians of a lack of distance and contextualization of the exhibition contents. The historian Ina Markova judged that the HGM is “typical of a zeitgeist that clings to the 'great legacy' of the monarchy in a backward-looking manner,” and sees the vague and sparse contextualization through accompanying texts of topics such as the crimes of the Wehrmacht as a silent contrast on the form of preparation of the Wehrmacht exhibition . Leidinger and Moritz, for whom the objects in the exhibition appear like “props for a piece whose text is not specified”, also confirm the illustrative character of the exhibition.
Controversy on revisionism allegations
Research by the online platform “Stop the Right”, which accused the museum of historical revisionism , was taken up by several Austrian daily newspapers in September 2019. According to this, literature was available in the museum shop that glorified the Wehrmacht , and "Nazi devotional items" and "Wehrmacht merchandise" were sold at events organized by the HGM. According to Fabian Schmid ( Der Standard ), at the beginning of September 2019, a report by Christoph Schattleitner in the Kurier about a "blue network" among the employees of the museum in the Kurier led to the responsible minister Thomas Starlinger commissioning an investigation into the allegations. The historian and Green Member of the National Council Eva Blimlinger described the museum as a “museum barracks”, in which “hardly any museum specialists work”.
In September 2019, the NOW list and members of the National Council, Sabine Schatz and Wolfgang Zinggl, submitted two parliamentary questions about the incidents. The inquiries comprised various allegations, including “right-wing extremist activities in the HGM context”, trivialization of the Nazi system by the museum and museum shop as well as ideological activities in favor of the “politically right-wing camp”. When Minister Thomas Starlinger responded to one of these inquiries, he found that he was not aware of any corresponding allegations to the museum in advance of the report and that routine checks carried out in previous years through "regular written and verbal exchange of information" resulted in "none There were clues or suspicions about alleged “right-wing extremist activities” in the HGM / MHI ”. At the same time, he referred to the ongoing review of the allegations by the Federal Ministry of Defense, which was ordered after they became known, and the intention "to inform parliament and the public within the scope of media reporting after the end of the audits." After Starlinger initially two external In January 2020, it became known that the investigations carried out under the direction of Wolfgang Muchitsch had been extended to the entire museum, including branch offices, to inspect the museum shop and the “Republic and dictatorship (1918–1945)” room .
In April 2020, the Federal Minister for National Defense Klaudia Tanner published her answer to another parliamentary question. At the beginning of 2020, after questioning expert witnesses, a multi-person commission for further appointments determined the probation of the museum director Christian Ortner , who has been in office since 2005, and his suitability to continue running the museum. The commission appointed by Starlinger stated in its evaluation report: “There are no explicit references to anti-Semitic, racist or right-wing extremist content in the exhibition”. The hall should, however, be "subjected to a contemporary reorganization". Regarding an event with a flea market carried out by the HGM in the previous year , no items were sold that were subject to the Prohibition Act , the Badge Act or the Symbols Act , which was ensured by daily inspections by the Vienna State Police Department . The event should also take place in 2020, but flea market stalls should be avoided. Tanner also stated that there was no evidence of any manipulation of visitor numbers and “firmly denied” such allegations.
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