Waltzing with the 'D-Day Dodgers': victimhood and the British occupation of post-Nazi Austria
The British occupiers in Austria quickly ingratiated themselves with the people and culture of a population made up of former – and largely willing – adherents of National Socialism. Like in Germany, this pattern of realignment is generally attributed to the fact that, upon closer inspection, western occupation personnel and Austrian civilians saw more of themselves in each other than either did with the Red Army. This thesis will test the assumptions behind this argument of mutual ‘affinity’ in a more robust and multi-faceted manner by using a more democratic source base to consider the social, political, economic, psychological, and cultural dimensions of life for those occupying soldiers and occupied civilians cohabitating Austria. Specifically, through a methodology of expectations, experiences, and responses the thesis presents two parallel but intertwined social histories of the winners and losers of the world’s most destructive military conflict, as they were forced to live together after 6 years of existential hatred.