Freethinkers, ideological movement of atheists or areligious persons, organised since 1887 in various associations which, for example, supported making cremation legal. In 1918 the Oesterreichischer Freidenker-Bund ("Austrian Freethinkers' League"; insignia: pansy) was founded within the context of the workers' movement based on Marxist ideas, closely affiliated with the Social Democratic Party; the Oesterreichischer Freidenker-Bund was organised in about 300 local groups with approximately 45,000 members and canvassed for termination of church membership (monthly publication "Der Freidenker"); anti-church propaganda increased especially after the July Revolt of 1927. The Freethinkers movement was banned in 1933. Re-established in 1948, the movement is non-party affiliated and is not active publicly. The same is true of the Freigeistige Vereinigung Oesterreichs ("Libertarian Association of Austria"), founded in 1947, which is also ideologically neutral. - From 1925 to 1933 the Internationale Proletarische Freidenker ("International Organisation of Proletarian Freethinkers"), influenced by Communist ideas, had its seat in Vienna.
Literature#K. Becker, Freigeistige Bibliographie, 1974; F. Heyer and V. Pitzer, Religion ohne Kirche, 1977; J. C. Kaiser, Arbeiterbewegung und organisierte Religionskritik, 1981.