ARTICLE ALERT: Significant otherness nation-building and identity in postwar Austria

Jim Brown's picture

Tschiggerl, Martin. Significant otherness nation-building and identity in postwar Austria. Nations and Nationalism 27 (2021): 782– 796. doi.org/10.1111/nana.12677

Abstract
Nation-building in Austria in the first half of the 20th century failed several times before it became possible to construct an independent Austrian nation after 1945. This article traces how Austria's handling of the Nazi era involved a demarcation from Germany, which became an identity-determining alterity for the idea of an independent Austrian nation. For this purpose, a specifically Austrian history was constructed, which focused on the idea that Austria had been the first victim of National Socialism. The supposed certainty of not being German and the myth of being the first victim of National Socialism were two metanarrative constants along which an Austrian identity could be imagined. They are crucial to the success of the Austrian nation built after 1945.