work, and the “Brief” in the title could already be left out in the 2nd edition. Now the springs were gushing.
Finally open: The Moscow Archives.
The book grew more voluminous with each edition. The giant leap forward was in the years 1985 to 1998. The Russian sources were abundant. Stourzh invited the Viennese professor of Russian history, Wolfgang Mueller, to help exploit the Moscow archives. The result of the co-operation is now the 6th edition of the State Treaty book. It is thicker than ever before (see bibliography) and has a new title: “The Struggle for the State Treaty”.
A clear indication that the question was: how to change the minds of the power centre in the Kremlin. It wasn’t easy, and it was actually a struggle. The international situation was highly unfavourable for a long time, so it lasted ten years. Now, for example, through the evaluation of the Stalin and Molotov estates, the open questions of the earlier editions could also be answered. All available Politburo resolutions on Austria and the KPÖ (Communist Party of Austria) correspondence with Moscow were evaluated.
Wolfgang Mueller sees the Kremlin’s stance as the “result of several, sometimes conflicting, goals”: From the start, the Soviets wanted Austria permanently separated from Germany and influence the country’s politics. That meant: promoting the spread of communism and preventing integration into the West. The occupation of Eastern Austria was also the legal basis and argumentative aid in the further occupation of Hungary and Romania. The stationing was linked to the presence in Austria through the armistice and peace treaties of 1947. And finally, there was a purely material interest: the maximum exploitation of the confiscated Austrian companies.
Above all, the connection with the stationing of troops in Yugoslavia, Hungary and Romania explains the iron determination of the Russians clinging to the status quo in Austria for several years. It was not until 1949 that the final sprint began, which was hard to beat in terms of drama. This year the three Western powers, which had been supporting Austria all along, agreed with Moscow on the green light to conclude a treaty. Suddenly the Soviets brought up new counter-arguments. Obviously, pretexts were being constructed. For example, Austria had not paid its “peas debts” (food deliveries from 1945).
At that time, Gromyko wrote to Stalin that one should not give in to the interests of the “Anglo-Americans” and make no concessions to Austria. In short: Moscow was definitely no longer interested in a quick deal. Concern in the West increased at the coup-like establishment of communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe. Uneasiness was also brewing in Austria: if the occupation lasts too long, the country’s soul could be destroyed, says Bruno Kreisky.
New files, presented for the first time in the latest edition of the book, also show that the KPÖ was toying with the plan of dividing Austria into a communist eastern and a democratic western state. That was too much even for the Soviets; it was foreseeable that such a Western Austria would fall to Germany. Stalin’s right-hand man, Andrei Zhdanov, gave the KPÖ a dressing down.