Emigrants: In modern use the term mostly designates persons who have left, or have had to leave, their home country for political, religious, national/ethnic or racist reasons. Emigration from Austria (after the expulsion of Jews under Albrecht V and Maximilian I) assumed major proportions in the course of the Counter-Reformation, when it is estimated that more than 100,000 Protestants were forced to emigrate ( Exulanten). As late as 1731 some 22,000 Protestants were expelled from the Pongau and Pinzgau areas of Salzburg (most of whom emigrated to East Prussia). Some 1,200 Protestants from Upper Austria (Salzkammergut area) were exiled to Transylvania and Banat under Maria Theresia ("Landler"). After the Revolution of 1848 was quenched, many of its leaders were also forced to emigrate (H. Kudlich, J. Goldmark, A. Fuester, E. von Violand and others). After the February Rising of 1934 many members of the Republikanischer Schutzbund paramilitary organisation left Austria, many of them for the Soviet Union.
Emigration from Austria reached its peak in 1938/39 as a consequence of Austria annexation by Hitler's Germany Anschluss. First and foremost it was "declared Jews" under the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 that had to leave Austria (roughly 136,000, approximately two-thirds of Austria's Jewish population); however, there were also many other Austrians who, as opponents of National Socialism, had to emigrate on political or ideological grounds. Emigrants were scattered practically all over the world (even as far as China), with Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and South America the main destinations. On account of the lack of consensus as regards political objectives (the Social Democrats were for the most part opposed to the re-establishment of an Austrian state) it proved impossible to form a common political organisation of exiles, even though a "Free Austrian Movement " was founded in Britain in 1941 (38 groups with a total of some 7,000 members) and the "Austrian National Committee" in the USA. Military units in their own right were only set up within the framework of the Yugoslav partisan army, while the United States forbade any such formation. Austrian emigrants included virtually all of Austria's important writers, artists, scholars (almost all Nobel laureates) and intellectuals. After 1945 the Republic of Austria did very little to encourage Austrian emigrants to return to their home country, a failure that has had lasting effects in that the tragic drain of intellectual and cultural resources persists to this day.
Literature#E. Zoellner (ed.), Wellen der Verfolgung in der oesterreichischen Geschichte, 1986; F. Goldner, Die oesterreichischen Emigranten, 1977; H. Maimann, Oesterreicher im Exil 1934-45, 1977; E. Schwager, Die oesterreichischen Emigranten in Frankreich 1938-45, 1984; F. Stadler (ed.), Vertriebene Vernunft. Emigration und Exil oesterreichischer Wissenschafter 1930-45, 2 vols, 1987/88.