Advertisement

Between Liberalism and National Socialism: The Historical Role of Volunteer Firemen Associations in Austria as a Public Sphere

  • Hiroko Mizuno
Part of the Mass Dictatorship in the Twentieth Century book series (MASSD)

Abstract

From the 1860s, the Volunteer Firemen Associations (VFA; Freiwilligen Feuerwehr) were founded gradually in almost every local community in the former Austrian monarchy. Their chief initial aim was to protect the inhabitants of their own hometowns and their property from fire catastrophes. Combined with the growth of liberal capitalism, this founding principle behind the formation of the VFAs was regarded by the Austrian Firemen Newspaper of 15 August 1864 as ‘fundamental for any progressive life of the communities’. As the name of these associations already suggests, those members usually worked for the community voluntarily. They found it of great value to give up their free time to protect their hometown. Closely connected with the typical liberal concept of ‘autonomous’ local communities, they tried to create a liberal public sphere in their own local community to counter the state’s absolutist rule. The idea that the Bürger should protect their hometown by themselves reflected, therefore, the cultural values of the Bürgertum, or middle class.

Keywords

Public Sphere Jewish Community Town Council Interwar Period Guest House 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 2.
    Norbert Peter, Die parteipolitischen Verhältnisse in der Marktgemeinde Hohenems in den Jahren 1849–1918, diss. (Innsbruck, 1974), pp. 368–69.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Harald Walser, Emanzipation und Ausgrenzung: Die Hohenemser Judengemeinde im 19. Jahrhundert, in Werner Dreier, ed., Antisemitismus in Vorarlberg. Regionalstudie zur Geschichte einer Weltanschauung, Studien zur Geschichte und Gesellschaft Vorarlbergs 4 (Bregenz, 1988), 84–131, 109.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    For a more general look at liberal associations in the former Austrian monarchy, see Pieter Judson, Exclusive Revolutionaries: Liberal Politics, Social Experience, and National Identity in the Austrian Empire, 1848–1914 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), esp. ch. 5.Google Scholar
  4. 22.
    Chronik der Freiwilligen Feuerwehr Hohenems, 1886–1919 (counted by the author). See also Alois Klien, Festschrift zum 60-jährigen Gründungsfest der freiwilligen Feuerwehr Hohenems am 17. November 1929, 1869–1929 (Dornbirn, 1929), p. 33.Google Scholar
  5. 41.
    Heinrich Kolar, Alltag und Heimat. Wiener Alltagsdinge in ihren Beziehungen zur Kulturkunde und zum bodenständigen Rechnen. Mit einem Einblick in Wiener Sammlungen, vol. 5, Gaslaterne und elektrisches Licht. Heizung. Feuernot und Feuerwehr (Vienna, 1928), pp. 34–5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hiroko Mizuno 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroko Mizuno

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations