1955 Vienna Conference

Vienna Treaty
Vienna Conference

At the end of World War II, Austria was occupied by the four powers. In 1946 the four powers officially recognized Austria within its 1937 frontiers. The Austrians were granted a large degree of autonomy. On May 15th 1955, a four-power Foreign Ministers' conference in Vienna agreed on a peace treaty with Austria. It called for withdrawal of all foreign troops from Austrian soil. The agreement was designed to insure Austrian neutrality.

The Austrians had been close allies of Nazi Germany, with Germany incorporating Austria in the Reich after Anschluss. When World War II ended, the allies treated Austria as they had Germany with all four allied nations occupying part of the country. IN 1946 the Allies agreed to recognize Austria within its 1938 borders. However, while they gave significant autonomy to the Austrian government, they continued to occupy the country. In April of 1955, in negotiations with the Soviets, the Austrian government agreed that once foreign troops left the country, they would be neutral similar to Switzerland in the disputes between the Soviet Union and the West. Thus on May 15th, 1955, a four-party conference of the foreign ministers of Russia, United States, France, and the United Kingdom was held in Vienna. At the summit, the ministers agreed to the withdraw of all foreign troops from Austria and the restoration of full Austrian sovereignty. The final treay omitted any reference for Austrian complicity in the Nazi crimes of World War II.