Referendum in Vorarlberg in 1919

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Poster by Jules Courvoisier

The referendum in Vorarlberg in 1919 decided on the question of whether the Vorarlberg state government should start accession negotiations with Switzerland after the First World War . It took place on Sunday, May 11, 1919. The voting question was:

"Do the Vorarlberg people wish that the National Council of the Swiss Federal Government announce the intention of the Vorarlberg people to join the Swiss Confederation and start negotiations with the Federal Government?"

Result of the vote, published in the Vorarlberger Tagblatt on May 14, 1919

47 727 voters (81%) voted in favor of starting follow-up negotiations with Switzerland, 11 378 (19%) were against. With the exception of Bludenz and Hittisau (with Bolgenach), all municipalities spoke out in favor of the proposal.

The unclear future of Austria after the collapse of Austria-Hungary , the economic hardship and the feeling of distance to Vienna and the neglect by the local government spoke in favor of a switch to the Swiss Confederation . The idea was mainly supported by the simpler population, while the elites - large manufacturers and railway workers, politicians and the clergy - were in favor of remaining in German Austria .

On the Swiss side there were considerable reservations about the project, because Vorarlberg's accession would have led to a Catholic majority and increased the German-speaking preponderance. The Federal Council finally spoke out in favor of the status quo .

There were also opponents in Vorarlberg who were in favor of remaining with Austria or joining Germany. A non-partisan association called "Vorarlberger Schwabenkapitel" called for a connection to Germany. Desses plans foresaw a new federal state "Swabia", which would consist of Vorarlberg and the Swabian parts of Baden , Bavaria and Württemberg . During the election campaign, the term “Canton Remaining” for Vorarlberg was also created. The phrase comes from the German national parliamentarian Anton Zumtobel , who wanted to show in a leaflet that Vorarlberg is undesirable in Switzerland.

The project became obsolete when the Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed in September 1919 that the Republic of German Austria should become the independent and independent Republic of Austria .

Literature and Sources

Web links

Commons : Referendum 1919 in Vorarlberg  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Gerald Hosp: What remained of the "Canton Remaining" . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . No. 108 , May 11, 2019, p. 34 f .
  2. Lukas Leuzinger: A flirtation arouses Swiss great power fantasies . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . No. 108 , May 11, 2019, p. 35 .
  3. a b Jörg Krummenacher: "Canton Remaining". In: October 23, 2008, accessed October 14, 2018 .
  4. ^ Karl Heinz Burmeister : Vorarlberg. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  5. a b Magdalena Raos: 100 years ago a majority of Vorarlbergers wanted to belong to Switzerland. In: Vorarlberger Nachrichten. May 11, 2019, accessed May 12, 2019 .