Is this AP quote about Gov Arnold correct?

There are a few threads about Arnold’s speech. This is not one of them. I have a question about a comment in an AP article about the speech. The quote comes from here. The only part of the article that I am asking about is this:

Is AP right? Did Arnold grow up with Soviet tanks rumbling through his native Austria? It doesn’t sound right to me. I think it was divided like Germany for a short time but there never was an East Austria with its own puppet government. As far as I know no part of Austria was ever behind the Iron Curtain. IMDB says that Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 so if there was a limited occupation was he old enough to remember? If I am wrong please let me know. Please no political discussion about the speech, its been covered elsewhere on the board.

Austria regained its independence (that is the Allied occupation officially ended on 26 October, 1955.

Occupied by whom is the question. I knew there was an occupation but I didn’t think the Soviets were involved. The article specifically mentions Soviet tanks in Austria when he was growing up.

The Red Army “liberated” Vienna and a fair chunk of eastern Austria from the Germans at the end of WWII. From 1945 (de facto) until 1955, the eastern third of Austria was under Soviet occupation, much as East Germany was the Soviet zone while the British, Americans, and French occupied parts of later West Germany. I don’t know whether Arnold was born in the Soviet zone or not – but he clearly was alive when “Soviet tanks were rumbling through his native Austria” – even if perhaps not his home town.

Originally the situation was very similar to that in Germany. Both countries were divides into four zones (US, USSR, UK, France), initially not sovereign and had troops of all allies on their territory. Growing tensions between the allies caused the foundation of two separate republics in Germany in 1949 - One in the Soviet zone, the other one in most of the other three zones. Both were not fully sovereign until 1990 and both joined the blocs of their occupation powers.
This did not happen in Austria, instead the country became sovereign in 1955, all four occupation powers pulled out. In exchange Austria obliged to remain neutral and never unite with Germany again.

From here:

The Soviets were surely involved in the occupation, to the point of forcing civilians to billet Red Army soldiers in private homes in the Soviet zone.

These soldiers made wonderful houseguests, BTW. They were famous for stealing bath plugs, crapping on the floors, and raping their hosts’ wives and daughters.

The easternmost section of Austria (called Burgenland) was under Soviet occupation from 1945-1955. I believe Arnold is from Graz, which doesn’t appear to be in Burgenland based on my quick Googling. It is right next door though, so the soviet tank angle could very well be legit. I’ll poke around a little more and see if I can find something more definitive.

Or I’ll just take a little too long to submit my post and have 4 or 5 people who know what they’re talking about come in.

It happens to all of us from time to time. Take consolation (as I do) in the fact that when it happens, you provided additional information that the quickie posters failed to – I wasn’t sure where in Austria Arnold came from.

So in sum – “Russian tanks did rumble through Austria” when Arnold was a kid – but not through his home town when he was living there. (I think they got as far as Graz in 1945 – but were back in their own occupation zone by 1947.)

And it’s quite possible that he might have gone, as a child, to Vienna or somewhere else in the Soviet Zone with his parents, and actually have seen Soviet tanks in the streets as a kid.

All thats left is to say thanks. I had no idea the occupation lasted that long.

Well, all I can say is that if anybody ever stole my bath plug, I’d shoot the SOB.

But he didn’t say he was in Cambodia on Christmas, so he gets a pass.

Thought this was in GD, sorry for the politics

And people downplay the importance of the third amendment!

Second Amendment. :slight_smile:

No, Third!


In Arnie’s defense, I note that he did not say “rolling past my house.” It is quite likely that news stories from the Eastern section would have included Soviet tanks rolling through Austrian villages. (Now, whether the Schwarzeneggers had a TV prior to 1955 is a separate question, although he could clearly have seen them at the movies during the news segments. I’m pretty sure that Europe, as did the U.S., played news segments between features in those days.)

Sadly true. The Soviets were, in victory, as bad as the Germans of the era. Maybe even worse. The germans just killed you. The Soviets seemed to take pleasure in degrading you.

The Third Amendment is among my favorite amendments. It has the distinction of being the least litigated amendment of the original Bill of Rights. It almost never appears in actual case law.

That is a sign of its universal acceptance and application in this country.