After Austria was annexed by Nazi-Germany in the prelude of World War II (with overwhelming support by the austrian population, it has to be said), and freed by the allies in 1945, many people could not identify themselves with that small country that remained. In fact, many people thought Austria should be a part of Germany anyway. (Jörg Haider even said so in a speech he held in 1976)

Such a time needs identity-founding lies. One of the big Austrian lies poured down to a sentence we always want to make the world believe:

"Beethoven was Austrian, Hitler was German."*

It was part of the self-picture as nation of art and literature, that neatly got together with the believe that Austria was annexed, and, as a allied conference in 1944 stated, the "first victim of national-socialist aggression." This still is in our history books, but with a big question mark to it. Infact, not a single shot was fired when german troops entered Austria.


* That is, simply spoken untrue, since Ludwig van Beethoven was of german origin, while Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau, Upper Austria

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