Arbeitsdienst (Labour Service), analogous to the "Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst (Voluntary Labour Service) in the German Reich introduced in August 1932 by the government as the "Freiwilliger Oesterreichischer Arbeitsdienst" (Voluntary Austrian Labour Service) in order to combat youth unemployment. In October 1933 20,000 people performed labour service in 240 camps; half of them lived directly in the camps. They were employed in large projects (constructing the scenic drive up Kahlenberg hill, Reichsbruecke bridge, flood control dikes) and wore grey uniforms. In the corporate state, the Arbeitsdienst was expanded until 1935, after which it was sharply reduced (1937: 4,500 people).
After the Anschluss of Austria to the German Reich, the Reichs-Arbeitsdienst, which had been introduced in Germany in 1935 with a 6-month period of required service, was also made compulsory in Austria; after 1939 it was used primarily for auxiliary military services; from 1944 the Arbeitsdienst was also used in anti-aircraft defence.
Further reading#V. Pawlowsky, Werksoldaten, Graue Mandln, in: Zeitgeschichte 17, 1990; S. Trybek, Der Reichsarbeitsdienst in Oesterreich 1938-45, doctoral thesis, Vienna 1992.