Boys' Youth Group Uniforms: Countries--Austria


Figure 1.--Here we see a group of Austrian Scouts in 1931 with their patrol flag. The patrol flag has a cross on it. The caption here reads, "ausflug klosterneuburg mit männerfahrt". That means, "Hiking to Klosterneuburg", a small village close to Vienna. Click on the image to see the rest of the patrol. Photograph courtesy of the Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs.

Quite a few youth organizations have been active in Austria over time. We have little information on Austria at this time. The story here is rather complicated because of all the political changes that Austria has undergone. The principal groups seem to have been Wanger Vogel, the Boy Scouts, anf the Hitler Youth. The Hitler Youth was organized as a unofficial group until the Anschluss, but then became the German Hitler Youth as Austria was absorbed into the wider German Reich. There have also been a range of other smaller groups. The garments worn by Austrian youth groups seem similar to those worn in other countries, especially Germany. One noticeable trend in austria is that Lederhosen were partocularly popular and ogten worn with youth hroup uniforms.

Garments

The garments worn by Austrian youth groups seem similar to those worn in other countries, especially Germany. One noticeable trend in austria is that Lederhosen were particularly popular and often worn with youth group uniforms. Lederhosen wwee commonly worn in the first half of the 20th century. We note Austrian boys wearing Lederhosen with the Wandervogel, Boy Scouts and Hitker youth. And we note some photographs of boys in youth groups wearing Lederhosen, but we can't figure out what specific group is involved. Leferhosen seem to have declined in popularity beginning in the late-1960s as jeans were becoming increasingly popular.

Organizations

Quite a few youth organizations have been active in Austria over time. We have little information on Austria at this time. The story here is rather complicated because of all the political changes that Austria has undergone. We believe that the Wandervogel was active in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, although most of our references deal with Germany. Unfortunately we have no information specifically about Austria. The Boy Scouts were founded before World War I, but I do not know if there was a national Austro-Hungarian Scout organization or separate organizations in the constituent parts of the Empire like Austria and Hungary as well as other areas of the Empire. There was an Austrian Wandervogel, the only country as far as we know where the Wandervogel operated outside of Germany. After World War I there was an Austrian Scout organization. There were also a variety of other youth groups, but I have no details at this time. The Hitler Youth were outlawed by the Government, but operated supretiously. After the Anchluss (1938) became the only permitted youth group. Austria itself was annexed by the Reich so there was no Austrian Hitler Youth, but rather only one comprehensive German Hitler Youth movement. After Wotld War II the Scouts were restablished in the Western occupation zone. I presume the Soviets set up the Pioneer movement in the Eastern occupation zone. Today the only Austrian youth group we know of is the Scouts.

Wandervogel

We believe that the Wandervogel was active in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, although most of our references deal with Germany. Unfortunately we have no information specifically about Austria. Austria may have been the only country where the Wandervogel operated outside Austria. Hopefully our Austrian readers will provide us some information about Wandervogel in their country.

Knabenhort

We do not fully understand wht a Knabenhort was. It may have been a school or some kind of after school program. We notice two Vienna boys about 1910 wearing sailor suit uniforms for the "???inger Knabenhort".

Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts were founded before World War I, but I do not know if there was a national Austro-Hungarian Scout organization or separate organizations in the constituent parts of the Empire like Austria and Hungary as well as other areas of the Empire. After World War I there was an Austrian Scout organization which functioned until the Anchlyss (1938), after which Scouting was outlawed. The boys wre required to join the Hitler Youth. After Wotld War II (1939-45) the Scouts were restablished in the Western occupation zone. Today the only Austrian youth group we know of is the Scouts.

Other Youth Groups (1918-38)

There were also a variety of other youth groups opetrating in Austria after World war I. Some were quite small with affiliations to religions or political parties, but we have few details at this time. The Heimwehr (similar to the German Freikorps) seems to have a youth movement. The Hitler Youth were outlawed by the Government, but organized supretiously. After the Anschluss (1938) these groups like the Scouts were either outlawed or absorbed by the Hitler Youth organization.

Hitler Youth (1930?-38)

The Hitler Youth movement did not begin with the Anchluss. There was a great deal of support for the NAZIs in Austria. A Hitler Youth movement was organized in Austria although we know little about the early organization. We believe that most of the members were teenagers even older teens. We have few details here, but available photographs mostly show older tenagers. This probably reflects the reluctance of most parents to allow younger boys to join an illegal group involved in street brawling. The HJ began in Germany as an offshoot of the SA. Before the Annchluss there was probably close coordinaion between the underground SA and underground HJ organizations. The Austrian HJ did not have caps. Thy wore white shirts, black neckerchiefs, and a variety of pants, often Lederhosen. The HJ was eventually banned by the Austrian Government, but continued to operate sureptitiously. After the Anschluss the Hitler Youth became the only permitted youth group. Austria itself was annexed by the Reich so there was no Austrian Hitler Youth, but rather only one comprehensive German Hitler Youth movement. We this do not know of any difference between the Hitler Youth program in Austria and the rest of Germany. Of course after the Anchluss they were part of the same country. Austrian boys could be identified by the triangular shoulder patch which read "Ostmark" (Eastmark) and the name of the city such as Vien (Vienna) below. With the Anschluss and subsequent anexation by the Reich, AustriAns became subject to NAZI laws. This included the 1936 law making menbership in the HJ cinpulsory for all ARyan children 10-years of age and older. Propaganda Mimister Goebbels ordred a hin book written by Hitler Youth members in Austria 'during the years of persecution'. [Unknown Austrian HJ Members] The poems are worshipful, almost religious in tone. Goebbels awarded it the National Book Prize for 1937-38.

Young Pioneers (1945-55)

The Soviets seized eastern Austria and Vienna in the closing weeks of World War II (1945). After the NAZI surrender, Austria was divided into four occupation zones (American, British, French, and Russia). An Austrian reader tells us that the Soviets treated their zone differently than the other occupied countries. When Scouting resumed in the Western zones, the Soviets did not prevent it from operating in their zone. In addition, they made no effort to organize the Communist Young Pioneers known in their zone. I'm unsure why they did not organize the Young Pioneers. [Slanec] There was an Austrian Communist Party which the Soviets did promote. Perhaps other readers will be able to explain why the Soviets made no attempt to establish the Young Pioneers in Austria. We also do not fully understand why the Soviets agreed to withdraw from Austria. It was the only country in Eastern Europe from which they withdrew until the late 1980s when the Soviet Union began to collapse. There were at the time seemingly endless negotiations of Austrian politicians with the occupying countries. It was finally agreed that Austria would be a neutral country. An agreement between the Soviets an Western Allies was reached--"states contract" (Staatsvertrag). Under the terms of this agreement the occupation ended and the foreign troops withdrew from a united Austria (1955). Austria became a neutral country. A Austrian reader writes, "I can confirm that there were sort of Pioneers in Austria. They were the Freie Österreichische Jugend (FÖJ -- Free Austrian Youth). It seems to have been roughly equivalent to the Free German Youth ( FDJ ) that were established by the government in East Germany. The FOJ was not established in Austria during the Soviet occupation. The FOJ does appear to opperate today in Austria as the Communist Youth of Austria. As far as I can tell, it is a very small group. It is not a uniformed youth group. It is more of a group of university students.

Other Groups (1945- )

There have been are some small groups in Aystria sibce the War, but we have few details. Some are religious organisations. Some are organisations of political parties. There are also some "private" or sportsorganisations. Austria was unified in 1955 (officially) when Austria and the World War II Allies signed the "states contract" (Staatsvertrag). This affected the organization of youth groups, especially in the former Soviet zone.

Sources

Slanec, Hansi. Groupleader, Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs, E-mail message, December 19, 2004.






HBU





Navigate the Historic Boys' Uniform Web Site:
[Return to the Main European youth group countries page]
[Activities] [Biographies] [Chronologies] [Essays] [Garments] [Organizations] [Religion] [Other]
[Introduction] [Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Questions] [Unknown images]
[Boys' Uniform Home]




Created: 10:30 PM 12/19/2004
Last updated: 8:08 AM 12/9/2012