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History of Vienna



incorporated, and the city of Vienna grew dramatically. In 1918, after World War I, Vienna became capital of the Republic of German-Austria, and then in 1919 of the First Republic of Austria.

From the late 19th century to 1938, the city remained a centre of high culture and modernism. A world capital of music, the city played host to composers such as Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and Richard Strauss. The city's cultural contributions in the first half of the 20th century included, amongst many, the Vienna Secession movement, psychoanalysis, the Second Viennese School, the architecture of Adolf Loos and the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle. Within Austria, it was seen as a centre of socialist politics, for which it was sometimes referred to as "Red Vienna". The city was a stage to the Austrian Civil War of 1934, when Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss sent the Austrian Army to shell civilian housing occupied by the socialist militia.

The Anschluss and World War II

In 1938, after a triumphant entry into Austria, Adolf Hitler spoke to the Austrian people from the balcony of the Neue Burg, a part of the Hofburg at the Heldenplatz. Between 1938 (see Anschluss) and the end of the Second World War, Vienna lost its status as a capital to Berlin.

On 2 April 1945, the Soviets launched the Vienna Offensive against the Germans holding the city and besieged it. British and American air raids and artillery duels between the SS and Wehrmacht and the Red Army crippled infrastructure, such as tram services and water and power distribution, and destroyed or damaged thousands of public and private buildings. Vienna fell eleven days later. Austria was separated from Germany, and Vienna was restored as the republic's capital city, but the Soviet hold on the city remained until 1955.

Four-power Vienna

After the war, Vienna was surrounded by the Soviet-occupied zone. As in Berlin, Vienna was divided into sectors by the four