Occupied Vienna

Learn more about Vienna in the years 1945-1955, as the city was occupied by Allied powers and divided into 4 zones. Which victorious power took over which district in Vienna? What happend in the center of Vienna? Who were the four in the jeep?

Experience the festive moment when the State Treaty was signed on May 15, 1955. At Timetravel you will see the balcony of the Belvedere Palace, where the signed state agreement was shown to the cheering crowd. Celebrate this historic moment with us and hear the famous words of theformer Foreign Minister Leopold Figl: “Austria is free!

Occupation time in Vienna (1945-55)

Vienna did not look any different after the Second World War than many other European cities, bombed and starving. Initially, only Soviet soldiers were present after the liberation of Vienna, the Western Allies (USA, France and Great Britain) did not follow until September 1945.

After the Second World War, Austria was occupied from 1945 to 1955 by the four victorious powers. These were Soviet , American, British and French troops, dividing Austria into four zones. Vienna was also divided into four sectors, as well as a common interallied zone, the 1st district.

At the beginning, the occupation was characterized by military control The international patrol consisted of one military soldier of each occupying force and began to work in August 1945. At first there were three soldiers, each one from the Soviet Union, USA and Great Britain. The Frenchman arrived in September 1945.

“The four in the jeep” controlled both in the first district, as well as in the rest of Vienna. The American was always behind the wheel (after all, it was an American jeep), and next to him was the Briton, behind the driver sat the Frenchman and next to him the Soviet. Now and then, the positions were changed, except for the driver.

In the 1950s, the four in the Jeep were also the topic in a swiss movie. 

The State Treaty

The Austrian State Treaty was signed after 10 years of occupation (1945-55)on May 15, 1955 in the Marble Hall of the Belvedere Palace. It concerned the restoration of free, independent and democratic Austria. Neutrality was an important negotiating criterion. Leopold Figl and Julius Raab were the politicians involved Leopold Figl, back then Foreign Minister, was one of the signatories of the State Treaty, together with the respective Foreign Ministers and High Commissioners of the four occupying powers. Figl is wellknown for his famous words: “Austria is free”.

The respective Foreign Ministers and High Commissioners have signed the State Treaty: Molotov and Ilyichov for the Soviet Union, Macmillan and Wallinger for Great Britain, Dulles and Thompson for the USA, and Pinay and Lalouette for France. Leopold Figl signed with  a green ink.

It is interesting that the Original of the State Treaty is kept in Moscow and not in Vienna. The document contains nearly 300 pages with translations in Russian, English, French and German. It is in the archive of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow. Sometimes, the document comes to Austria for exhibitions. 

The Austrian National Holiday
October 26

After the signing of the State Treaty on May 15, 1955, the agreed period of 90 days began in which the occupying forces had to leave Austria. The last day was October 25, 1955, and to this day we keep the legend of the last Russian occupation soldier, who is said to have left Austria on that day. It is correct that he left the country already in September.

The Austrian Neutrality law came into force on October 26, 1955. On this day in 1955, Austrian neutrality came into force. Since 1967 it is a public holiday and free of work.

This day is traditionally celebrated with a parade of the Austrian Federal Army at Vienna’s Heroe’s square. Many public institutions, as well as government buildings open their doors to the public.

After his father died suddenly of scarlet fever in 1849 at the age of only 45, the son was able to take over his father’s orchestra. It was not until 1852 that Johann Strauss Sohn was entrusted with the performance of music at the imperial court. Later thetitle of k.k.Hofballmusik-Direktor followed.

The operetta “Fledermaus” and the “Gypsy Baron” created further hype. He was showered with invitations and honors as the Waltz King. During the day he composed countless waltzes and operettas, and in the evening he played late into the night. He became famous worldwide for the Donau Waltz, which is considered the secret anthem of Austria.

Strauss’ enormous workload took its toll: physical breakdowns necessitated a series of spa staysin 1853-55. He was inspired in Badgastein and then spent a few seasons as a guest in Pavlosk near St. Petersburg, where he also won over the Russian tsar’s family. It was the performances in Pavlovsk thatfinally made Strauss’s son step out of his father’s shadow in Vienna.

In 1862 he married Henriette, a former singer seven years his senior, called Jetty, who also became his manager. After she died in 1878, he married the actress and singer Ernestine Dittrich, called Lili, who was 25 years younger. However, it soon came to divorce because of another man. He consoled himself with Adele Strauss, who was 31 years younger. In order to marry her, he converted from Catholicism to Protestantism and even left the Austrian state and became a citizen of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

In 1862 he married Henriette, a former singer seven years his senior, called Jetty, who also became his manager. After she died in 1878, he married the actress and singer Ernestine Dittrich, called Lili, who was 25 years younger. However, it soon came to divorce because of another man. He consoled himself with Adele Strauss, who was 31 years younger. In order to marry her, he converted from Catholicism to Protestantism and even left the Austrian state and became a citizen of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

In 1872 he embarked on his longest concert tour, which took him across the Atlantic to the “World Peace Festival” in Boston and on to New York. However, he quickly suffered from homesickness and was glad to be able to make a guest appearance in Vienna again.

On June 3, 1899, he died at the age of 74 as a result of pneumonia. He was married three times and left no children.

His monument in the City Parkis one of the most photographed in Vienna and we can visit his honorary grave at the Central Cemetery. Furthermore, his former residence on Praterstraße, where he composed the famous Danube Waltz, can be visited. In addition, there is an interesting museum about the Strauss dynasty in the 9th district.

Magic carriage ride
Ride