The focus of this research project is to investigate the Austrian “Trümmerfrauen”-myth as the idea that the removal of debris after World War II in Vienna was mainly done by voluntary female workers. To this end, previously unprocessed holdings of the Wiener Stadt und Landesarchiv will be systematically recorded and analyzed for the first time. From these holdings it becomes clear that the work in Vienna was primarily done by former National Socialists who were compelled by law to work. In this research project, we will not only collect the files on the so-called emergency work and use them to create a database of the people who worked at the time, but will also analyze how this expiatory work by former NSDAP members could give rise to the Austrian “Trümmerfrauen”-myth decades later. 

project leader: Martin Tschiggerl
collaborators: Lea von der Hude, Patricia Seifner
Funding: FWF
Duration: 2022/10/01 - 2025/09/30

Photo @ Kanisfluh, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Austrian Trümmerfrau Memorial at Mölkerbastei, 1010 Vienna