October 26 – Austria's National Day

Posted on October 26, 2014

On this date in 1955, Austria adopted its Neutrality Constitution declaring the nation permanently neutral, like Switzerland, during times of war between nations...

Austria is no stranger to war... For hundreds of years, it has been embroiled in one or another war – wars with Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, Hungary, even England and Sweden and France and Spain! During World War I, Austria was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and fought—and lost—on the side of the Germans. In 1938, Austria was annexed by Nazi German, so once again it fought on the losing side of a world war. At the end of World War II, Austria was occupied by the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.

It was able to finally become free and independent again only by committing itself to neutrality.

This declaration of neutrality is so important to Austrians that they celebrate the anniversary of the declaration of neutrality as their national holiday. The country's neutrality is explicitly stated in both the nation's constitution and in international law.
This Google doodle celebrates Austria's
Neutrality Constitution.

Did you know...?

There are 12 neutral nations, plus 5 more nations who claim to be neutral. Also, there have been many nations who have declared themselves neutral for a period of time – but then abandoned their neutrality to enter into NATO or some other protective treaty.

The U.S. formally declared neutrality for three years before WWI and for one year before WWII. It abandoned its neutral stance when U.S. ships were attacked (WWI) and when Hawaii was attacked (WWII).

Beautiful Austria...

  • Want an American view on some of the more surprising things about Austria? Check out Real Life of an Expat Wife's list. I found it interesting that dogs are allowed to go everywhere (even movie theaters!), most people learn to ski when they are still kids, and kids only have to go to school until they are 14!

  • Vienna has several unusual museums, including one devoted to globes and another to the artificial language Esperanto.

At the Esperanto museum, kids can plan Pac Man
and learn the language at the same time!

Also on this date:

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