1936 Berlin Olympic Games

(‘I CALL ON THE YOUTH OF THE WORLD’)

THE  XI  OLYMPIAD
“German sport has only one task: to strengthen the character of the German people, imbuing it with the fighting spirit and steadfast camaraderie necessary in the struggle for its existence.”

— Minister of Propaganda Dr. Joseph Goebbels


The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany.
Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain, on 26 April 1931, at the 29th IOC Session in Barcelona (two years before the NSDAP came to power).


It marked the second and final time that the International Olympic Committee would gather to vote in a city which was bidding to host those Games.
The only other time this occurred was at the inaugural IOC Session in Paris, France, on 24 April 1894. Then, Athens and Paris were chosen to host the 1896 and 1900 Games, respectively.

To outdo the Los Angeles, USA games of 1932, the Nazis built a new 100,000-seat track and field stadium, six gymnasiums, and many other smaller arenas.

They also installed a closed-circuit television system and radio network that reached 41 countries, with many other forms of expensive high-tech electronic equipment.

Filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, a favorite of Adolf Hitler, was commissioned by the German Olympic Committee to film the Games for $7 million.
Her film, titled Olympia, pioneered many of the techniques now common in the filming of sports.
Hitler saw the Games as an opportunity to promote his government and ideals of racial supremacy.
Total ticket revenues were 7.5 million Reichsmark, generating a profit of over one million marks. The official budget did not include outlays by the city of Berlin (which issued an itemized report detailing its costs of 16.5 million marks) or outlays of the German national government (which did not make its costs public, but is estimated to have spent US$30 million, chiefly in capital outlays).
Host City Selection

The bidding for these Olympic Games was the first to be contested by IOC members casting their votes for their favorite host city.

The vote occurred in 1931 during the Weimar Republic era, before Adolf Hitler rose to power in 1933. There were many other cities around the world that wanted to host this Summer Olympics, but they did not receive any IOC votes.
The other cities competing to hold the games were: Alexandria, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cologne, Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Lausanne, Nuremberg, Rio de Janeiro, and Rome.
Academics cannot agree whether the IOC during this period was a willing collaborator or an organization that favored the aesthetics of fascist governments.
Although the IOC was insulated from the reality of Nazism, elements of Hitler’s regime were in parallel alignment with the sporting ideologies of the IOC.
The next scheduled games in 1940 were awarded to Tokyo even though Japan was becoming an aggressive militaristic, nationalist state.
Ironically in 1938 the Japanese rejected hosting the games because they saw the Olympics and its pacifist values as ‘an effete form of European culture’.

The Olympic village was located at Estal in Wustermark, (at 52°32′10.78″N 13°0′33.20″E), on the western edge of Berlin.
The site, which was 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the center of the city, consisted of one to two floor dormitories, dining areas, a swimming pool, and training facilities.
During the Second World War, it was used as a hospital for injured Wehrmacht soldiers. In 1945 it was taken over by the Soviet Union and became a torture and interrogation center for SMERSH.
Recent efforts have been made to restore parts of the former village, but to no avail. 


Influence of Nazi Ideologies

Hans von Tschammer und Osten, as Reichssportführer, i.e. head of the Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen (DRL), the Reich Sports Office, played a major role in the structure and organization of the Olympics.

Hans von Tschammer und Osten (25 October 1887 in Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony – 25 March 1943) was a German sport official, SA leader and a member of the Reichstag. He was married to Sophie Margarethe von Carlowitz.
The Summer Olympics in Berlin were held during von Tschammer’s tenure as Reichssportführer. He played a major role in the structure and organization of the Olympic Games together with Carl Diem, who was the former secretary of the Deutscher Reichsausschuss für Leibesübungen (DRA). Von Tschammer trusted the organization of the Fourth Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Karl Ritter von Halt, whom he named President of the Committee for the organization of the games.

He promoted the idea that the use of sports would harden the German spirit and instill unity among German youth. At the same time he also believed that sports was a ‘way to weed out the weak.’

Von Tschammer trusted the details of the organisation of the games to Theodor Lewald and Carl Diem, the former president and secretary of the Deutscher Reichsausschuss für Leibesübungen, the forerunner of the Reich Sports Office.

Carl Diem (1882-1962) — a highly respected sports official before, during, and after the Nazi Government — “he was an avid athlete as a young man. Denigrating the value of his country’s powerful but archaic Turner Sport Movement, an institution entrenched in the Fatherland for over a century, Diem became a dedicated enthusiast and advocator of a German sporting movement parallel to those developing rapidly in fin du siecle Anglo-Saxon nations. Diem followed a career path in teaching and sport administration, rising rapidly to head what became known as the German National Sports University, founded in Berlin in 1920.”

He had a long association with Germany’s Olympic movement. He was the 30-year-old captain of the German team at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, and, like Theodor Lewald, appointed to the 1916 organizing committee. Diem, “though generally staying in the background, did more than anyone else in the Reich during the first half of the twentieth century to advance German sports and German Olympic ambitions.”
In 1936, he became the General-Secretary of the Berlin Organisationskomittee. His “inspired contributions” to the Berlin Games included the Iron Bell with the words, ‘Ich rufe die Jugend der Welt‘ (I call on the youth of the world); Olympische Jugend (Olympic Youth), a five-act pageant of dances at the opening ceremonies; and, the torch lighting in Olympia and relay to Berlin. Diem described the Berlin Games as an event for Germany to lead “a victory charge for a better Europe.”

THE OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY
The media in the United Kingdom was saturated before the London Games began with reports and images of the ‘Olympic Torch’.

Strangely, no mention was made of the origins of the Olympic Torch Relay – although there has been a suggestion that it has ‘deep’ and ‘mystic’ origins in ‘democratic’ ancient Greece.
In fact the first Olympic Torch Relay was instituted by Hans von Tschammer und Osten, as Reichssportführer, i.e. head of the Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen (DRL), the Reich Sports Office,
The Olympic Flame was used for the third time at these Games, but this marked the first time it was kindled in Olympia, Greece, and then brought to the Olympic Stadium by a torch relay.
The National Socialists concocted a ‘quasi-religious’ ceremony at Olympia, which involved a torch being kindled by the rays of the sun at the hands of ‘so-called’ priestesses of Apollo (why not Zeus as he was the patron god of Olympia).

For the Nazis the sun, which was represented by the swastika was, the source of creativity and life, and flames kindled by the sun’s rays were equally symbolic of the creativity and life of the Aryan race – the ancient Greeks, of course, being considered Aryans par-exellence.
This also explains why the Nazis were so enamoured with torchlight processions, and flaming cauldrons.
For the Games of the XI Olympiad a beautiful torch was designed, bearing the olympic rings and a map of the torch relay etched onto the handle.
In the Olympic stadium in Berlin a huge bronze ‘cauldron’ was created.
This cauldrom was lit at the comencement of the Games, and was ceremoniously extinguished on the last night of the Games, and this custom has been continued ever since.
So, the modern ‘Olympics’ is centred round a Völkisch ceremony of Aryan Sun worship – with no connection to the ancient Greeks.

History

The games were the first to have live television coverage.
The German Post Office, using equipment from Telefunken, broadcast over 70 hours of coverage to special viewing rooms throughout Berlin and Potsdam and a few private TV sets, transmitting from the Paul Nipkow TV Station.
The Olympic Flame was used for the third time at these games, but this marked the first time it was brought to the Olympic Village by a torch relay, with the starting point in Olympia, Greece (see above)

The Republic of China’s Three Principles of the People was chosen as the best national anthem of the games.
The official book of the 1936 Olympics is present in many libraries containing the signatures of all gold medalists.

Notable Achievements

Germany had a prosperous year in the equestrian events, winning individual and team gold in all three disciplines, as well as individual silver in dressage.
In the cycling match sprint finals, the German Toni Merkens fouled Arie van Vliet of the Netherlands. Instead of being disqualified, he was fined 100 marks and kept his gold. German gymnasts Konrad Frey and Alfred Schwarzmann both won three gold medals.
Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the sprint and long jump events.
His German competitor Luz Long offered Owens advice after he almost failed to qualify in the long jump and was posthumously awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship. Mack Robinson, brother to Jackie Robinson won the 200 meter sprint silver medal behind Owens by .04 seconds.
Although he did not medal, future American war hero Louis Zamperini, lagging behind in the 5,000 meter final, made up ground by clocking a 56-second final lap.
This effort caught the attention of Adolf Hitler who personally commended Zamperini on his speed. In one of the most dramatic 800 meter races in history, American John Woodruff won gold after slowing to jogging speed in the middle of the final in order to free himself from being boxed in.
Glenn Edgar Morris, a farm boy from Colorado, won Gold in the Decathlon. Rower Jack Beresford won his fifth Olympic medal in the sport, and his third gold medal.
The U.S. eight-man rowing team from the University of Washington won the gold medal, coming from behind to defeat the Germans and Italians with Adolf Hitler in attendance.
In the marathon two Korean athletes won medals – Sohn Kee-chung (gold) and Nam Sung-yong (bronze) – running for Japan and under Japanese names; Japan had annexed Korea in 1910. British India won the gold medal in the field hockey event once again (they won the gold in all Olympics from 1928 to 1956), defeating Germany 8–1 in the final, however, Indians were considered Indo-Aryans by the Germans and there was no controversy regarding their victory. Rie Mastenbroek of the Netherlands won three gold medals and a silver in swimming.
Estonia’s Kristjan Palusalu won two gold medals in Men’s Wrestling, marking the last time Estonia competed as an independent nation in the Olympics until 1992.
After winning the middleweight class, the Egyptian weightlifter Khadr El Touni continued to compete for another 45 minutes, finally exceeding the total of the German silver medalist by 35 kg.
The 20-year-old El Touni lifted a total of 387.5 kg crushing two German world champions, El Touni broke the then Olympic and world records, while the German lifted 352.5 kg.
Furthermore, El Touni had lifted 15 kg more than the heavyweight gold medalist, a feat only El Touni has accomplished.
El Touni’s new world records stood for 13 years.
Fascinated by El Touni’s performance, Adolf Hitler rushed down to greet this human miracle. Prior to the competition, Hitler was said to have been sure that Rudolf Ismayr and Adolf Wagner would embarrass all other opponents.
Hitler was so impressed by El Touni’s domination in the middleweight class that he ordered a street named after him in Berlin olympic village.
The Egyptian held the No. 1 position on the IWF list of history’s 50 greatest weightlifters for 60 years, until the 1996 Games in Atlanta where Turkey’s Naim Süleymanoğlu surpassed him to top the list.
Italy’s football team continued their dominance under legendary head coach Vittorio Pozzo, winning the gold medal in these Olympics between their two consecutive World Cup victories (1934 and 1938).
Much like the successes of German athletes, this triumph was claimed by supporters of Benito Mussolini’s regime as a vindication of the superiority of the fascist system.
Austria won the silver; a controversial win after Hitler called for a rematch of the quarterfinals match to discount Peru’s 4–2 win over Austria.
The Peruvian national Olympic team refused to play the match again and withdrew from the games. In the quarter-finals of the football tournament, Peru beat Austria 4–2 in extra-time. Peru rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final 15 minutes of normal time.
During extra-time, Peruvian fans allegedly ran onto the field and attacked an Austrian player. In the chaos, Peru scored twice and won, 4–2.
However, Austria protested and the International Olympic Committee ordered a replay without any spectators.
The Peruvian government refused and their entire Olympic squad left in protest as did Colombia.

Leni Riefenstahl – Olympia 36

In 1936, Hitler invited Riefenstahl to film the Olympic Games in Berlin, a film which Riefenstahl claimed had been commissioned by the International Olympic Committee.
She also went to Greece to take footage of the games’ original site at Olympia, where she was aided by Greek photographer Nelly, along with route of the inaugural torch relay.
This material became Olympia, a successful film which has since been widely noted for its technical and aesthetic achievements.
She was one of the first filmmakers to use tracking shots in a documentary, placing a camera on rails to follow the athletes’ movement, and she is noted for the slow motion shots included in the film.

Riefenstahl’s work on Olympia has been cited as a major influence in modern sports photography.
Riefenstahl filmed competitors of all races, including African-American Jesse Owens in what would later become famous footage.

Olympia was very successful in Germany after it premiered for Hitler’s 49th birthday in 1938, and its international debut led Riefenstahl to embark on an American publicity tour in an attempt to secure commercial release.
The film was released in two parts: ‘Olympia 1. Teil — Fest der Völker’ (Festival of Nations) and ‘Olympia 2. Teil — Fest der Schönheit’ (Festival of Beauty).
In 1937, Riefenstahl told a reporter for the Detroit News:
To me, Hitler is the greatest man who ever lived. He truly is without fault, so simple and at the same time possessed of masculine strength“.

She arrived in New York City in November 1938, five days before Kristallnacht, or ‘night of broken glass’; when news of the event reached America, Riefenstahl maintained that Hitler was innocent.
On 18 November, she was received by Henry Ford in Detroit and Olympia was shown at “The Chicago Engineers Club” two days later.
Avery Brundage stated that it was “The greatest Olympic film ever made” and Riefenstahl left for Hollywood, where she was received by the German Consul Georg Gyssling, on 24 November. She negotiated with Louis B. Mayer and on 8 December, Walt Disney brought her on a three-hour tour showing her the on-going production of Fantasia.

After the Goebbels Diaries surfaced, researchers learned that Riefenstahl had been friendly with Joseph Goebbels and his wife, Magda, attending the opera with them and coming to the Goebbels’ parties, however, Riefenstahl maintained that Goebbels was upset that she had rejected his advances and was jealous of her influence on Hitler, seeing her as an internal threat; therefore, his diaries could not be trusted.
By later accounts, Goebbels thought highly of Riefenstahl’s filmmaking but was angered with what he saw as her overspending on the Nazi-provided filmmaking budgets.

LENI RIEFENSTAHL was born in Berlin in 1902.
She studied painting and started her artistic career as a dancer.
She became already so famous after her first dance hat Max Reinhardt engaged her for the ‘Deutsches Theater’.
An injury of the knee put an end to her sensational career. 

After that, she became famous as an actress, a film director, a film producer and a film reporter.
She also became world-renowned as an actress in the films ‘Der heilige Berg’ (The Holy Mountain) (1926), ‘Der große Sprung’ (The Great Leap) (1927), ‘Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü’ (The White Hell of Piz Palü) (1929), ‘Stürme über dem Mont Blanc’ (Storms Over Mont Blanc) (1930), ‘Der weiße Rausch’ (The White Noise) (1931), ‘Das Blaue Licht’ (The Blue Light) (1932) and ‘SOS Eisberg’ (1933).

Her greatest success she made with the documentary film ‘Triumph des Willens’ (The Triumph of the Will) named after the Reich Party Congress 1934 in Nuremberg which got the highest awards: The gold medal in Venice in 1935 and the gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937, however, at the end of the war this film destroyed Leni Riefenstahl’s career, for now it had no longer been recognized as a piece of art but been condemned as a National Socialist propaganda film.
Her world-famous film about the Olympic games was equally well received.
That film included two parts, part I ‘Fest der Völker’ (Festival of the Nations) and part 2 ‘Fest der Schönheit’ , (Festival of Beauty) and did also get the highest awards: the gold medal in Paris in 1937, the first price in Venice as the world’s best film in 1938, the Olympic Award by the IOC in 1939, and in 1956 it had been classified as one of the world’s best ten films.

                    

OLYMPIA GLOCKE
(The Olympic Bell)


Many of the traditions of the modern ‘Olympic’ Games originated with the 1936 Berlin Olympics – which is probably not surprising as the Nazis were masters of propaganda and spectacle.
The Logo of the Berlin Olympics was the ‘Olympia Glocke’ – the Olympic Bell – to be tolled at the opening and closing of the Games.
Interestingly, one of the ‘secrets’ of the London 2012 Games, revealed at the opening ceremony, was a huge bell (see right), tolled as the games were opened.
The Original ‘Olympia Glocke’ survived the 1939-1945 war, and still exists, and can be seen outside the Berlin ‘Olympic Stadium’.


Deutschland und die Ostmark – Introduction

DEUTSCHLAND UND DIE OSTMARK
I N T R O D U C T I O N
(Germany and Austria)

So where did this all begin – this strange connection with Germany and Austria ?

Well – we have to go back to a cloudy, rainy day in January 1958, when Jane Crawford and Peter Crawford (see left in 1955) made their way along the Hanworth Road to the local travel agents.
There Jane booked a holiday to Bavaria.
Now this was odd.
Firstly because travel abroad was relatively rare in the 1950s, mainly because of the rigid currency controls which only allowed individuals to take relatively small sums of money out of the United Kingdom.
And secondly it must remembered that the Second World War had only ended in 1945, and Germany was not a particularly popular destination at that time.
Peter was very excited, although he had little idea of where Bavaria was, or what the place was like.


Soon, however, the excitement was forgotten, and it was only with a trip to the photographers on Hounslow Broadway, opposite the Bus Garage, in the early summer, that the enthusiasm was rekindled.
The photographs were for a new passport, and in those days British Pasports were ‘real passports’, with hard covers of a royal blue, buitfully embossed and gilded with the Royal Arms.
The next step was John Crawford’  visit to the Bank Manager, armed with his passport, in order to change some english sterling into Deutschmarks.
Then it was time for new clothes, with shirts and shorts for Peter, in Jane’s favourite pale green.
Then the school Summer Holidays came in August, and it was time to go on holiday.
Now Peter had been abroad before – to France – and by air – which was a real adventure in the 1950s, but only to Calais and Paris.
Bavaria was like Ruritania, however, a strange place in the middle of Europe, high among the mountain peaks – so this was to be a real adventure !

And Peter had seen the prisoner of Zenda, which was set in the mythical Ruritania, a few years earlier – one of his favourite films – and also had a copy of the book – so he knew what to expect.The Prisoner of Zenda was made in 1952 – starring Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, Louis Calhern, Jane Greer, Lewis Stone, Robert Douglas, James Mason and Robert Coote. It was adapted by Edward Rose, (dramatization) Wells Root, John L. Balderston, Noel Langley and Donald Ogden Stewart (additional dialogue, originally uncredited). It was directed by Richard Thorpe.It is a shot-for-shot copy of the 1937 film, the only difference being that it was made in Technicolor.


So – the summer came, and with it for Peter, came the summer holidays from school.
And the holiday began, but not with a trip to the airport – currency restrictions made that too expensive – so it was off to Victoria, and a train to the coast and a ferry to the continent.
Then it was a journey by train across Europe – and a long journey – and for Peter the first time on a Pullman Train, where you actually slept on the train – and this was the most exciting adventure that Peter had ever had – apart from flying to France perhaps.
And this was a ‘package holiday’ organised by a company called ‘Blue Cars’ – which was a reference to the Pullman cars – which included the train journeys, ferry and accommodation in Germany.


Ehrwald and Lermoos


LERMOOS & EHRWALD
    
Lermoos is a municipality in the Austrian district of Reutte, Tyrol.
It consists of 2 places. Unterdorf and Oberdorf, which are separated from each other.
The vilage is set on a beautiful location looking towards the Zugspitze (the highest mountain in Germany) and the Sonnenspitze.



Ehrwald is a municipality in the Austrian district of Reutte, Tyrol.
Ehrwald lies at the southern base of the Zugspitze (2950 meters above sea level), Germany’s highest mountain, but which is shared with Austria.
The town is connected to the Zugspitze with the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn


Zugspitze – Blick auf Ehrwald 






Ehrwald – Seebensee





Peter Swimming in the Seebensee
Ehrwald

Die Ostmark

DIE OSTMARK
   
(AUSTRIA)
Settled in ancient times, the Central European land that is now Austria was occupied in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes.
The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was later claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present day Petronell-Carnuntum in Eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province.

Fifty thousand people called Carnuntum (see left) home for nearly 400 years.
After the fall of the Roman Empire the area was invaded by Bavarians, Slavs and Avars.
The Slavic tribe of the Carantanians migrated into the Alps and established the realm of Carantania, which covered much of eastern and central Austrian territory.
Charlemagne (see right) conquered the area in 788 AD, encouraged colonisation and introduced Christianity.
As part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg.
The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976.
The first record showing the name Austria is from 996 where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March.
In 1156 the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy.
In 1192, the Babenbergs also acquired the Duchy of Styria.
With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs went extinct.
As a result Ottokar II of Bohemia effectively assumed control of the duchies of Austria, Styria and Carinthia.
His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278.

Thereafter, until World War I, Austria’s history was largely that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.

Austria later became engaged in a war with Revolutionary France, at the beginning highly unsuccessful, with successive defeats at the hands of Napoleon meaning the end of the old Holy Roman Empire in 1806.
Two years earlier, in 1804, the Empire of Austria was founded.
In 1814 Austria was part of the Allied forces that invaded France and brought to an end the Napoleonic Wars.
It thus emerged from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as one of four of the continent’s dominant powers and a recognised great power.
The same year, the German Confederation, (Deutscher Bund) (see right) was founded under the presidency of Austria.
Because of unsolved social, political and national conflicts the German lands were shaken by the 1848 revolution aiming to create a unified Germany.
A unified Germany would have been possible either as a Greater Germany, or a Greater Austria or just the German Confederation without Austria at all.
As Austria was not willing to relinquish its German-speaking territories to what would become the German Empire of 1848, the crown of the newly formed empire was offered to the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV.
In 1864, Austria and Prussia fought together against Denmark and successfully freed the independent duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.
Nevertheless as they could not agree on a solution to the administration of the two duchies, they fought in 1866 the Austro-Prussian War.
Defeated by Prussia in the Battle of Königgrätz, Austria had to leave the German Confederation and subsequently no longer took part in German politics.

The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the Ausgleich, provided for a dual sovereignty, the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, under Franz Joseph I.
The Austrian-Hungarian rule of this diverse empire included various Slavic groups including Croats, Czechs, Poles, Rusyns, Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenes and Ukrainians, as well as large Italian and Romanian communities.
As a result, ruling Austria–Hungary became increasingly difficult in an age of emerging nationalist movements, causing a high reliance on the use of an expanded secret police.
Yet the government of Austria tried its best to be accommodating in some respects: The Reichsgesetzblatt, publishing the laws and ordinances of Cisleithania, was issued in eight languages, all national groups were entitled to schools in their own language and to the use of their mother tongue at state offices, for example.
The government of Hungary to the contrary tried to magyarise few ethnic entities and thus the wishes of ethnic groups dwelling in both parts of the dual monarchy hardly could be solved.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (see left) in Sarajevo in 1914 by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip was used by leading Austrian politicians and generals to persuade the emperor to declare war on Serbia, thereby risking and prompting the outbreak of World War I which led to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Franz Ferdinand, eldest son of Carl Ludwig, the brother of Emperor Franz Josef, was born in 1863. Educated by private tutors, he joined the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1883.
His military career included service with an infantry regiment in Prague and with the hussars in Hungary.
While in the army Ferdinand received several promotions: captain (1885), major (1888), colonel (1890) and general (1896). 
In 1889, Crown Prince Rudolf, the son of Franz Josef, shot himself at his hunting lodge.
The succession now passed to Franz Ferdinand’s father, Carl Ludwig.
When he died in 1896, Franz Ferdinand became the new heir to the throne.
After attending the official reception at the City Hall, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie von Chotkovato were driven through the city.
Gavrilo Princip, the assassin, stepped forward, drew his gun, and at a distance of about five feet, fired several times into the car.
Franz Ferdinand was hit in the neck and Sophie von Chotkovato in the abdomen. Princip’s bullet had pierced the archduke’s jugular vein but before losing consciousness, he pleaded “Sophie dear! Sophie dear! Don’t die! Stay alive for our children!” Franz Urban drove the royal couple to Konak, the governor’s residence, but although both were still alive when they arrived, they died from their wounds soon afterwards.

Over one million Austro-Hungarian soldiers died in World War I.
On 21 October 1918, the elected German members of the Reichsrat (parliament of Imperial Austria) met in Vienna as the Provisorische Nationalversammlung für Deutschösterreich (Provisional National Assembly for German Austria).
On 30 October the assembly founded the State of German Austria by appointing a government, called Staatsrat.
This new government was invited by the emperor to take part in the decision on the planned armistice with Italy, but refrained from this business; this left the responsibility for the end of the war on 3 November 1918, solely to the emperor and his government.
On 11 November the emperor, counseled by ministers of the old and the new government, declared he would not take part in state business any more; on 12 November German Austria, by law, declared itself to be a democratic republic and part of the new German republic.
The constitution, renaming Staatsrat to Bundesregierung (federal government) and Nationalversammlung to Nationalrat (national council) was passed on 10 November 1920.
The Treaty of Saint-Germain of 1919 (for Hungary the Treaty of Trianon of 1920) confirmed and consolidated the new order of Central Europe which to a great part had been established in November 1918, creating new states and resizing others.
Over 3-million German speaking Austrians found themselves living outside of the newborn Austrian Republic as minorities in the newly formed or enlarged respective states of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Italy.
This included the provinces of South Tyrol and German Bohemia, the later which would play a role in sparking WWII.
The South Tirol Question would become a lingering problem between Austria and Italy until it was officially settled by the 1980s with a large degree of autonomy being granted by the Italian national government.
Between 1918 and 1919 Austria was known as the State of German Austria (Staat Deutschösterreich).
Not only did the Entente powers forbid German Austria to unite with Germany, they also rejected the name German Austria in the peace treaty to be signed; it was therefore changed to Republic of Austria in late 1919.
The First Austrian Republic lasted until 1933 when Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss, using what he called “self-switch-off of Parliament” (Selbstausschaltung des Parlaments), established an autocratic regime tending toward Italian fascism.
The two big parties at this time, the Social Democrats and the Conservatives, had paramilitary armies; the Social Democrats’ Schutzbund was now declared illegal but still operative as civil war broke out.
In February 1934 several members of the Schutzbund were executed, the Social Democratic party was outlawed and many of its members were imprisoned or emigrated.
On 1 May 1934, the Austrofascists imposed a new constitution (“Maiverfassung”) which cemented Dollfuss’s power but on 25 July he was assassinated in a Nazi coup attempt

.

His successor, Kurt Schuschnigg, (see right) struggled to keep Austria independent as “the better German state”, but on 12 March 1938, German troops occupied the country while Austrian Nazis took over government.

On 13 March 1938, the Anschluss of Austria was officially declared.
Two days later Hitler, a native of Austria, proclaimed the “re-unification” of his home country with the rest of Germany on Vienna’s Heldenplatz.
He established a plebiscite confirming the union with Germany in April 1938.
Austria was incorporated into the Third Reich and ceased to exist as an independent state.
Vienna fell on 13 April 1945, during the Soviet Vienna Offensivejust before the total collapse of the Third Reich.
Karl Renner and Adolf Schärf (Socialist Party of Austria [Social Democrats and Revolutionary Socialists]), Leopold Kunschak (Austria’s People’s Party [former Christian Social People’s Party]) and Johann Koplenig (Communist Party of Austria) declared Austria’s secession from the Third Reich by the Declaration of Independence on 27 April 1945 and set up a provisional governmentin Vienna under state Chancellor Renner the same day, with the approval of the victorious Red Army and backed by Stalin.
At the end of April, most of Western and Southern Austria still was under Nazi rule.
On 1 May 1945, the federal constitution of 1929, which had been terminated by dictator Dollfuss on 1 May 1934, was declared valid again.
Total Austrian military deaths from 1939–1945 are estimated at 260,000.
Much like Germany, Austria was divided into British, French, Soviet and American zones and governed by the Allied Commission for Austria.
As forecast in the Moscow Declaration in 1943, there was a subtle difference in the treatment of Austria by the Allies.
The Austrian Government, consisting of Social Democrats, Conservatives and Communists (until 1947) and residing in Vienna, which was surrounded by the Soviet zone, was recognised by the Western Allies in October 1945 after some doubts that Renner could be Stalin’s puppet. Thereby the creation of a separate Western Austrian government and the division of the country could be avoided. Austria, in general, was treated as though it had been originally invaded by Germany and liberated by the Allies.
On 15 May 1955, after talks which lasted for years and were influenced by the Cold War, Austria regained full independence by concluding the Austrian State Treaty with the Four Occupying Powers.
On 26 October 1955, after all occupation troops had left, Austria declared its “permanent neutrality” by an act of parliament, which remains to this day.
Following a referendum in 1994, at which consent reached a majority of two thirds, the country became a member of the European Union on 1 January 1995.