Czechs: The first Czech merchants settled in Vienna in the Middle Ages. During the Thirty Years´ War many Czechs, mainly manual workers and servants, came to Vienna to live and work here. In 1761 the first Czech newspaper was published in Vienna, a second Czech newspaper was published between 1813-1818. In the second half of the 18th century a large number of Czechs settled in the Viennese districts of Wieden and Landstrasse; in 1775 Joseph II established a chair for the Czech language at the University of Vienna. The church Maria am Gestade in Vienna used to be the Czech National Church ("Bohemian Church"). During the reign of Francis Joseph a large number of immigrants from Bohemia and Moravia came to Lower Austria and especially to Vienna. They were mainly workers and craftsmen (tailors, shoemakers, joiners, locksmiths, blacksmiths and stove fitters, etc.). About two thirds of all immigrants in this area were Czechs. The upper classes in Vienna often had a Czech cook or a Czech nanny. In 1862 the "Slav Choral Society" (which was later to become the Czech choral society "Lumír") was formed, followed in 1863 by the theatrical company "Pokrok" (today plays in the Czech language are performed by the "Vlastenecká Omladina" cultural association, the Slav social association "Slovanská Beseda" was founded in 1864 and the "Akademischer Verein" in 1868. A school committee was established by the "Czech Workers´ Association" in 1868, out of which developed the Komensky-Verein, which established the first Czech school in the district of Favoriten in Vienna in 1882; the school is still in existence. After World War I many Czechs (about 150,000) left Austria to go back and settle in the new state of Czechoslovakia; in 1923 there were still about 92,000 Czechs in Austria. In the following years Vienna had a number of Czech schools: 2 Mittelschule secondary schools, 1 commercial school, 6 Hauptschule secondary schools, 21 elementary schools (15 of which were public schools) and 17 kindergartens; in some other Austrian municipalities, Czech language courses were introduced. Two new Czech newspapers were published ("Vídeńske dělnicke listy" and "Vídeńsky deník") in Czech-owned printing shops. There were also some weekly journals, specialised magazines and a children´s newspaper published in Czech. However, after the Anschluss in 1938 all these activities were stopped and in 1942 the last Czech schools and associations were dissolved. After 1945 more than 10,000 Czechs and Slovaks went back to Czechoslovakia; a small number of Czech schools and associations were, however, re-established in Austria.
After 1948 and especially after the suppression of the "Prague Spring" in 1968/1969 by Soviet troops, large numbers of Czechs fled to Austria (162,000 refugees, about 12,000 of whom settled permanently). In 1991 19,458 people giving Czech as their mother tongue lived in Austria (almost one half of them in Vienna). In 1994 the Volksgruppenbeirat (board for the ethnic groups of Czechs and Slovaks) established itself at the Austrian Federal Chancellery. The following associations are represented there: the Council of Czech and Slovak Minorities (2 votes), the Czech and Slovak Cultural Association and the Jirásek/Nová vlast (1 vote each).
The partition of Czechoslovakia in 1993 and the formation of Czechia and Slovakia had a certain influence on all the above-mentioned associations. These associations still have "Slovak" in their names or even have Slovak members (especially the cultural association) but they are not acknowledged by the Slovak ethnic group as representative and some "purely" Slovak associations have been established.
Literature#F. A. Soukup, Česká menšina v Rakousku / Die tschechische Minderheit in Oesterreich, 1928; M. Gettler, Die Wiener Tschechen um 1900, 1972; J. Neumann, Tschechische Familiennamen in Wien, 1977; K. M. Brousek, Wien und seine Tschechen, 1980; A. M. Drabek, T. und Deutsche in den boehmischen Laendern, in: E. Zoellner (ed.), Volk, Land und Staat in der Geschichte Oesterreich, Schriften des Instituts fuer Oesterreichkunde, 1984; M. Glettler, Boehmisches Wien, 1985; E. Stanek, Verfolgt, verjagt, vertrieben, 1985.