The Austrian financial situation in the post-war period was characterized by many factors, more or less intensely negative, among which, in particular, the exceptional expenses for the reconstruction of the country, the burden deriving from the state of employment and the considerable volume of currency in circulation.
The budget, in the forecast stage, marked the following development:
The extraordinary expenses, intended to meet the particular needs of the situation resulting from the end of the war, were financed almost exclusively by the National Bank, whose credit towards the state amounted, at the end of 1947, to 12.3 billion shillings..
An attempt was made to remedy the confused monetary situation that arose after the cessation of hostilities with the so-called “shilling law” of November 30, 1945, by which this currency was restored as a legal means of payment in Austria and the mark was withdrawn from circulation. and the occupation currency, excluding the small denomination. The exchange rate with the mark was fixed at par for amounts up to 150 shillings per capita, while the sums exceeding this limit were credited to bank accounts. In this way 7,660.9 million Rm were removed from circulation. and about a billion shillings of employment. At the same time, the use of bank deposits was regulated, blocking part of them in relation to the date of their establishment. Deposits opened after introduction of the law in question were, however, declared freely available. It should be remembered that, on 3 July 1945, the reopening of the banks was ordered, including the Austrian National Bank, which, in 1938, had been put into liquidation and replaced by the Reichsbank.
The equilibrium brought to the market by these measures was short-lived. As of March 31, 1946, circulation for civilian use, i.e. excluding the supply of means of payment to the occupying authorities, had risen to 2 billion, that is to say to a figure equal to double that to which circulation was reduced with the change of currency. In July 1947 this circulation had risen to 2,622 million and in the following October to 3,189 million shillings (the means of payment provided to the Allies amounted on the aforementioned dates respectively to 2,973 and 3,030 million shillings). The pressure exerted on the market by this growing volume of money can be seen in the index number of the cost of living, which went from 145 in April 1946 to 318 in August 1947 (1939 = 100). Therefore, some changes to the price system became indispensable. In relation to the different development marked in the individual economic sectors, the prices of agricultural products were increased by 100%, while wages were adjusted by 30-50%. The reorganization of the money market was finally completed by a new law known as the protection of money, approved on November 19, 1947 by virtue of which the banknotes issued in 1945 were exchanged for new notes: at par for amounts up to 150 shillings and in the ratio of 3 old shillings to a new one for sums exceeding this limit. At the same time, the confiscation in favor of the state of 60% of the bank deposits blocked in November 1945 and the conversion into state bonds of the remaining 40% were ordered; deposits in free accounts,
As a result of these measures, the circulation of money fell to 1.6 milliards of shillings, to rise again in January 1948 to 3.7 milliards. At the same time, the Central Bank’s gold and foreign exchange reserves amounted to 102 million shillings.
Foreign exchange trading and all financial relations with foreign countries are subject to the control of the National Bank (law of 25 July 1946). With respect to foreign currencies, the shilling is officially quoted on the basis of the exchange rate with the dollar, established since 1946, at the fixed rate of 10 shillings for one dollar.
War damage to works of art.
The damage caused by the Second World War to the artistic heritage of Austria is particularly serious in Vienna (see in this App.). In Lower Austria and Burgenland the Weilburg castles (built 1820-23) in Baden were completely destroyed; of Immendorf (medieval building restored at the end of the 19th century), which served as a deposit for the works of the Austrian Gallery of the 19th century. XIX, among which the loss of some of the most important paintings by Klimt is to be lamented above all; of Rechnitz (Renaissance building). The late Baroque castle of Inzersdorf and Kittsee (built in 1730-40), as well as the parish church of Maria Lanzendorf, a Gothic construction remodeled in the century, were severely damaged. XVIII whose fresco in the dome of Rottmayr (1730) was destroyed, and that of Schwechat, of the late Baroque period, with important frescoes by FA Maulpertsch (1764), of which only the facade and the bell tower remain. In Wiener Neustadt the total loss of numerous houses from the Gothic and Renaissance periods and of the castle with the church of St. George is to be lamented (only the sarcophagus of Emperor Maximilian, the wall of the coats of arms and the vaults on the ground floor have been saved.); the arsenal, the bishop’s palace, the hospital and the new convent (Neukloster) were seriously damaged. In Wiener Neustadt the total loss of numerous houses from the Gothic and Renaissance periods and of the castle with the church of St. George is to be lamented (only the sarcophagus of Emperor Maximilian, the wall of the coats of arms and the vaults on the ground floor have been saved. ); the arsenal, the bishop’s palace, the hospital and the new convent (Neukloster) were seriously damaged. In Wiener Neustadt the total loss of numerous houses from the Gothic and Renaissance periods and of the castle with the church of St. George is to be lamented (only the sarcophagus of Emperor Maximilian, the wall of the coats of arms and the vaults on the ground floor have been saved.); the arsenal, the bishop’s palace, the hospital and the new convent (Neukloster) were seriously damaged. For Austria 2000, please check neovideogames.com.
In Upper Austria, the New Castle (Neues Schloss) of Steyregg, from the late Baroque period, and many old houses of historical importance in Linz and Steyr were demolished.
In Carinthia, the damage was limited to the destruction of numerous houses in the old parts of the cities of Klagenfurt and Villach.
In Styria, the parish church of St. Anna in Münzgraben (built in 1673-1702) was completely destroyed in Graz; and the archiepiscopal palace was severely damaged. Extensive is the damage in the old city; the castle and the choir, built around 1330, of the parish church of the Assumption remained struck by bombs. Eggenberg Palace, built after 1625, has lost much of its furniture.
In Salzburg the cathedral, which had the dome destroyed, the Mirabell castle and the Carolino Museum, which lost a quarter of its collections, suffered considerable damage. Severe damage in the old city and the house of Leopoldo Mozart almost completely demolished.
In the Tyrol, in Innsbruck, the destruction of many houses of historical and artistic importance in the old town and serious damage to the parish church of St. James, which had the frescoes of Asam and the Jesuit church destroyed, are to be noted. In Wilten the collegiate church (Romanesque, rebuilt in 1651-65) was hit by numerous bombs and the adjoining Institute was seriously damaged. In Matrei on the Brenner, the medieval castle of Trautson was almost entirely destroyed with later additions and numerous old houses in this locality were also destroyed.