In broad overview, the defining feature of Austrian history since 1866 has been dramatic and - since 1918 - sometimes wrenching change.* A greater contrast between the country's serene, touristic image and the real historical experiences of its people can scarcely be imagined. Other regions - Poland, the former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union - endured, to be sure, greater human extremes and far greater total misery in our century. Sadly, the plight of these nations often occurred at the hands of Austrian-bred officials and soldiers, from Hitler, Eichmann, Globocnik, and Kaltenbrunner on down.' Yet if other countries suffered more, few, in such a brieftime-span, were reimagined and reinvented so often, in so many ways - politically, geographically, emotionally. Small wonder that "identity" has long been a quandary of Austrian life.
German Studies Review
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Issue Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/i262409
Ritter, Harry, "From Habsburg to Hitler to Haider: The Peculiarities of Austrian History" (1999). History Faculty and Staff Publications. 38.
Austria--History--19th century; Austria--History--20th century