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By G. Bischof

On the top of the 1st chilly conflict within the early Fifties, the Western powers fearful that occupied Austria may perhaps develop into 'Europe's Korea' and feared a Communist takeover. The Soviets exploited their profession sector for max reparations. American fiscal reduction assured Austria's survival and fiscal reconstruction. Their army tips grew to become Austria right into a 'secret best friend' of the West. Austrian international relations performed a necessary function in securing the Austrian treaty in bilateral negotiations with Stalin's successors within the Kremlin demonstrating the leverage of the susceptible within the chilly conflict.

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Extra info for Austria in the First Cold War, 1945–55: The Leverage of the Weak

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10 However. the record of the grisly actions of 32 Austria in the First Cold Wlll; 1945-55 the Red Army was different from the message of fair treatment sent by the Kremlin. The Red Anny desire for vengeance was irrepressible: 'The Fritzes have plundered all over the world. That's why they've got so much. They burned down everything in our country. and now we're doing the same in theirs. " 11 Soviet soldiers now remembered that the Germans held Red Army prisoners of war in dismal conditions.

The Third Reich and its businesses raided and ·'Germanized" the Austrian economy by seizing the gold reserve of the National Bank (worth some 2 billion Austrian schillings) and the rich raw material base. oil industry. hydroelectric power facilities and educated labour force of Austria. German corporations and holding companies bought up Austrian and Jewish businesses on the cheap, and by 1945 controlled 57 per cent of Austrian industry (9 per cent before the AnschluB) and 83 per cent of the banks (8 per cent before the war).

Seized their businesses without compensation and habitually abused them during these wild "aryanizations" of Jewish property. 47 The long descent of the progressive brutalization of ordinary Austrians (and Germans) had begun. which would eventually end in the holocaust. Many of Vienna's best-known businesses changed ownership overnight and were often ruined by the "'aryanizers". Even today. the progeny of many "aryanizers" sit in apartments seized from Jews who perished in the holocaust or never returned from their exiles.

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