Resource Use on the Military Training Area Döllersheim/Allentsteig (Austria) 1938-1957
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Military and Postmilitary Landscapes
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
In 1938, an area of about 20.000 ha was converted into a military training area by the National Socialist regime in the northern part of Austria (close to the Czech boarder). Before its conversion into a military training area, around 7000 people that lived in 42 villages inhabited it. Today this landscape, while still serving as a military training area, is considered one of Austria?s last wilderness refuges. My paper examines how the conversion changed the use of resources on this area. From 1938 until today, four different organisations were in charge of the area that is still used for military training today: The German Wehrmacht (1938-1945), the Red Army (1945-1955), the Lower Austrian government (1955 - 1957) and the Austrian military (Bundesheer 1957-now). In my paper, I am focusing on the resource use on the training area in the time between 1938 and 1957. I will show that the use of this military landscape was not isolated from its surroundings. It interacted with its immediate neighbours as well as with the greater economy of the German Reich, the Soviet Union and Austria. Although it was used almost all the time primarily for military training, it served multiple purposes. These included the production of wood, food and wool. Archival sources (written documents, aerial photos and maps) give an insight into military as well as economic reasoning and show planning activities in the transitioning phases. Realized projects included the continuation of military training, incorporation into the soviet USIA companies and the construction of a hydroelectric power station. The planned but not realized projects included the resettlement of the area, big scale agriculture and university research facilities. These activities changed the landscape, left their marks, and created a unique landscape. An analysis of the historic sources shows, that the fate of this area was strongly tied to its resources.