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Austria



FIRST STAMPS USED: Austrian Republic overprinted 'German Austria' December 1918

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED: Unoverprinted July 1919


CURRENCY

1925, 100 groschen = 1 schilling

1938, as Germany

1945, 100 groschen = 1 schilling



1919-39

At the end of World War I the Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up. Hungary (q.v.) became totally independent; Bohemia and Moravia became part of Czechoslovakia; Silesia, part of Czechoslovakia and Poland; Galicia, part of Poland and Russia; Bukovina went to Romania; South Tyrol and Trieste to Italy and the provinces in Istria Dalmatia to Yugoslavia.


The republic issued its first definitive stamps in July 1919, when the 'German Austria' overprints were withdrawn.


The remaining German-speaking area was closely linked with Germany but the new republic remained independent despite an attempted Nazi uprising in 1934. On 13 March 1938 Austria was absorbed into the German Reich. German stamps were issued on 4 April 1938 but Austrian stamps remained valid until 31 October. Austria remained an integral part of Germany until May 1945.


1939-45

Occupied by Germany in 1938, Austria used German stamps throughout World War II. In 1945 the liberation of the country began and by the armistice in May 1945 the country was divided between the Western and Eastern Allies (Vienna had been liberated by the Russians).


1945 to date


FIRST STAMPS ISSUED: Second Republic November 1945


On 28 April 1945 a provisional government was set up, later recognized by the Four Power Allied Control Council. The Second Republic was established on 14 May. First stamps were issued in November 1945, the Austrian government having taken the responsibility for the postal service from 1 October 1945.


The Russian zone, which comprised Lower Austria, part of Upper Austria on the left bank of the Danube and Burgenland, as well as a sector of Vienna, had restored a postal service in May 1945 but the overprinted stamps of Germany which were issued have many varieties, some bogus.


New definitives were issued for the Russian zone in July and August 1945. The remaining territories of Austria were divided between the Western Allies. The British occupied Carinthia, East Tyrol and Styria; the French, Tyrol and Vorarlburg; and the Americans, Salzburg and the section of Upper Austria on the right bank of the Danube. A special issue of stamps for these zones and the sectors of Vienna were made on 28 June 1945. They were withdrawn in October, but the occupying forces used their own Field POs.


A treaty was signed in May 1955 which restored the boundaries of 1938 and allowed for the withdrawal of the occupation forces. Austria joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 but has not joined NATO and retains a stance of neutrality.



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