State Treaty for the Reestablishment of an Independent and Democratic

State Treaty for the Reestablishment of an Independent and Democratic Austria (1955)

 

a treaty between the four great powers, participants in the anti-Hitler alliance of World War II—the USSR, the USA, Great Britain, and France—on one side and Austria (which had been seized by the German fascists in March 1938 and liberated during March-early May 1945 with the defeat of fascist Germany) on the other.

The State Treaty was signed May 15, 1955, in Vienna. The conclusion of the treaty was preceded by lengthy negotiations, in the course of which the Western powers, attempting to turn Austria into a jumping-off point for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, dragged out the resolution of the Austrian question. The Soviet-Austrian talks, which took place in Moscow during Apr. 12–15, 1955, on the initiative of the government of the USSR, led to agreement on the most important points and to the signing of the treaty. In the Moscow aide-memoire, which was published later, Austria obligated itself to adhere to the policy of permanent neutrality.

The treaty ended the occupation of Austria by troops of the four powers, establishing the sovereignty and independence of the Austrian state within the borders that had existed on Jan. 1, 1938. In signing the treaty, the great powers obligated themselves to respect the independence and territorial integrity of Austria. The treaty contains articles forbidding the Anschluss (annexation) of Austria to Germany and Austrian entry into political or economic alliance with Germany in any form at all. The treaty obliges the Austrian government to guarantee democratic freedoms in the country and to forbid activity of Nazi and fascist organizations. In accordance with the economic conditions of the treaty, Austria was awarded former German assets and (with suitable compensation) former Soviet facilities in East Austria. The treaty went into effect July 27, 1955. The withdrawal of occupying troops from Austria was completed by Oct. 25, 1955.

The State Treaty contributed to the relaxation of international tension and strengthening of peace in Europe; it created the necessary preconditions for the development of an independent Austria and the rise of its economy and culture. On Oct. 26, 1955, the Austrian parliament passed a constitutional amendment on the permanent neutrality of Austria.

PUBLICATIONS

“Gosudarstvennyi dogovor o vosstanovlenii nezavisimoi i demokraticheskoi Avstrii.” Pravda, May 16, 1955.

REFERENCES

Beletskii, V. N. Sovelskii Soiuz i Avstriia. Moscow, 1962.
SSSR v bor’be za nezavisimost’ Avstrii. Moscow, 1965.

D. N. MOCHALIN

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