Part of the withheld history of Vienna is the squatter movement after WW1, when hunger and the lack of housing drove thousands of Viennese citizens to subsistence farming on squatted land and living there in self-built shelters – 1918 over 100,000 people were living in such conditions. The municipal authorities had been taken completely by surprise by the actions of the first settlers, and their primary concern was to regulate these illegal settlements and incorporate them into planned urban development. By 1921 the first ‘wild’ settlers had organized themselves into cooperative associations and the city of Vienna, confronted with petitions from settlers’ organisations and several demonstrations with up to 100,000 participants, finally offered its support. The Vienna settlers as a true grassroots movement anticipated in many ways what later attracted worldwide interest: the housing policies of ‘Red Vienna’.
Guided by Elisabeth Kofler who is a founding member of the Vienna Anarchist Archive (http://a-bibliothek.org/), we will have a look at some of the still existing settlements in the western outer districts (Siedlung Starchant, Spiegelgrund, Antäus, Flötzersteig, Wolfersberg and Eden) and also talk about what can’t be seen any more…
The tour will be conducted in English.
Monday 15th of December, 1-4pm
Meeting Point: Johann-Staud-Straße/Vilicusweg
from U3 Ottakring with Bus 46B until the stop Ottakringer Bad