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Becoming Austrian: Women, the State, and Citizenship in World War I Public Deposited

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  • In late July 1914, upon partial mobilization of the Austro-Hungarian army, an urgent appeal to “Austria's women” circulated widely in the Viennese press. It urged women to “perform service in the time of war” and reminded them that in this moment of state peril, women had to suppress their “differences” and display the “strongest solidarity” among themselves. “Women's unity, women's energy, and women's work” would be crucial for the survival of Austria. The notice was published by one of the women's groups in what would become the Frauenhilfsaktion Wien, an umbrella organization founded in early August, comprising the major women's groups in the city. Together with similar subsequent appeals to duty, service, sacrifice, and an inner bond uniting all women, the notice marked the beginning of World War I as a potential turning point in women's relationships with each other and with the state. Across the political spectrum, noble, bourgeois, and working-class women, Christian and Jewish, German-speaking, and others, were asked to put aside their differences and perform war service as “Austria's women.”
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  • Healy, M. (2002). Becoming Austrian: Women, the State, and Citizenship in World War I. Central European History, 35(1), 1-35.
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  • 35
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  • 1
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