Four-Power Occupation and Recognition of the Provisional Government

Austria Table of Contents

The four Allied powers had not agreed to any firm plans for Austria prior to the war's end, and only in early July 1945 were the borders dividing the country into four occupation zones finally set. Vienna's city center was placed under Four Power control, while the rest of the city was divided into specific occupation zones. Supreme authority in Austria was wielded by the Allied Council, in which the Four Powers were represented by their zonal commanders. Each of the four Allies held veto power over the decisions of the council.

The Allied Council held its first meeting in early September, but the Western Allies still declined to recognize the Renner government. Soon thereafter the provisional government held a meeting in Vienna attended by representatives from parties from all the occupation zones. Unlike the situation after World War I, the provinces displayed no separatist tendencies--the experience of the Anschluss and World War II had forged an appreciation of a common Austrian identity. The provisional government was expanded to accommodate national representation, and the representatives agreed to national elections. Because of these developments, the Allied Council recognized the provisional government on October 20, 1945.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress