The Corner

Soviet Austria

Peter: Nice to be reminded of the Soviet occupation of (part of) Austria,

1945-56. The Soviets eventually withdrew (along with the other occupying

powers) in return for Austrian neutrality. This was in the post-Stalin

“thaw,” the one that ended on the streets of Budapest later in 1956.

I have some slight connections with Austria, and have heard many tales about

the Soviet occupation from Austrians who lived through it. At one point,

Soviet troops were billeted in Austrian houses and apartments. The thing

everyone tells you is that when they left, they took the bath plugs with

them. Apparently there was a great shortage of bath plugs in the

post-Stalin USSR.

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