unbekannter Gast


Emigration: Austria saw large waves of emigration during the Counter-Reformation from around 1580, when many Protestants were expelled from the country. One extreme occurrence was the expulsion of 23,000 people from the province of Salzburg in the years 1731 and 1732. In the 19th century, the countries of the monarchy were the most significant sources of emigration in Europe after Italy and Russia. Under the Staatsgrundgesetz (Fundamental Laws) of 1867, emigration was only restricted by compulsory military service. The predominantly political reasons behind emigration were followed by economic motives after 1949. In addition to seasonal migration, in which many people returned home, there were also great waves of overseas emigration. From 1876 to 1910, 4.3 m people emigrated from Austria-Hungary, 2.9 m of them from the western part of the empire. The primary destination was the USA (over 50 % of all emigrants). Emigration affected all of the provinces, especially southern Burgenland, where in some towns more than 20% of the residents left their home. Until 1900, fewer than 50,000 people emigrated yearly; by 1907 this figure had risen to 170,000. About half of the emigrants worked in agriculture, and a considerable number worked in trades. Around 11 % belonged to the German-speaking population, 7% to the Jewish population. Emigration was later partly counteracted by a large number of emigrants returning to Austria (1911: 86,000 people, 1912: 88,000).

After World War I, emigration from the First Republic of Austria reached a peak in 1922 (10,579) and 1923 (15,497). Emigration for political reasons began in 1934, when mostly former members of the Schutzbund para-military force emigrated to the ČSR then to Russia, where many fell victim to the Stalinist purges. Others joined the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. After the Anschluss by Nazi Germany, it was mainly Jews and politically active people who were forced to emigrate from Austria, mainly to France, Great Britain, the USA and Israel; only a small percentage of these emigrants returned to Austria after 1945. After World War II, emigration reached its peak in 1955 (5,109) and 1956 (5,600). Emigration destinations at that time were Australia, Canada and the USA.

Further reading#

E. Deak, Die Auswanderung aus Oesterreich im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, in: Siedlungs- und Bevoelkerungsgeschichte Oesterreichs, 1974; idem, Die Auswanderung, eine Massenbewegung, in: Das Zeitalter Franz Josephs, exhibition catalogue, Grafenegg 1987; W. Dujmovits, Die Amerikawanderung der Burgenlaender, doctoral thesis, Vienna 1980.