Austrian Americans (German: Österreichamerikaner, pronounced [ˈøːstɐʁaɪçʔameʁiˌkaːnɐ]) are Americans of Austrian descent, chiefly German-speaking Catholics and Jews. According to the 2000 U.S. census, there were 735,128 Americans of full or partial Austrian descent, accounting for 0.3% of the population. The states with the largest Austrian American populations are New York (93,083), California (84,959), Pennsylvania (58,002) (most of them in the Lehigh Valley), Florida (54,214), New Jersey (45,154), and Ohio (27,017). This may be an undercount, as many German Americans, Czech Americans, Polish Americans, Slovak Americans, and Ukrainian Americans, and other Americans with Central European ancestry can trace their roots from the Habsburg territories of Austria, the Austrian Empire, or Cisleithania in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, regions which were major sources of immigrants to the United States before World War I, and whose inhabitants often assimilated into larger immigrant and ethnic communities throughout the United States.
|Regions with significant populations|
|New York, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey|
|German (especially Austrian German), American English|
|Roman Catholic, Protestant; Jewish and other minorities|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Austrian migration to the USA probably started in 1734, when a group of 50 families from the city of Salzburg, Austria, migrated to the newly founded Georgia. Having a Protestant background, they migrated because of Catholic repression in their country.
In the first fifty years of the 19th century many more Austrians emigrated to the United States, although the number of Austrian emigrants did not exceed a thousand people. Prior to the year 1918, the precise number of Austrians who emigrated to the USA is unknown since Austria was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so the U.S. Census recorded the number of people from all over the empire in the same group (the Austro-Hungarian group).
In this period, the Austrians of the United States received religious education thanks to the arrival of 100 to 200 Catholic priests from Germany and Austria. Those religious had been sent by the Leopoldine Stiftung, an Austrian organization that was founded for help both to the Austrians emigrated and the Native Americans, and they monitored their religious education in places such as Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. Most of the emigrants were Tyroleans who lacked of lands or that fled the Metternich regime, who used repression to control the population. The political refugees were mostly anticlerical and against slavery. They were liberals and adapted quickly to their new country.
The immigration of Austrians increased during the second half of 19th century, and in 1900 had 275,000 Austrians living in the USA. Many Austrians worked in the United States as miners and servants. Many Austrians settled in New York City, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Since 1880, when a great wave of emigration started from all over Europe, Austrians also emigrated massively to the United States, looking for new agricultural land on which to work because as the Austrian Empire was undergoing industrialization, fields were being replaced by cities. However, the same was happening in the western United States. From 1901 to 1910 alone, Austrians were one of the ten most significant immigrant groups in the United States, with more than 2.1 million Austrians. Scholarly research on this topic is growing, in the Journal of Austrian-American History and elsewhere.
Most of these newly immigrated Austrians were cosmopolitan and were left-wing. They found employment in Chicago stockyards and in Pennsylvania, in jobs related to cement and steel factories. Many of them, more than 35 percent, returned to Austria with the savings that they had made by their employment.
In 1914–1938, Austrian immigration was low, until it slowed to a trickle during the years of the Depression. Between 1919 and 1924, fewer than 20,000 Austrians emigrated to the North American country, mainly from Burgenland. Also, laws restricting emigration to the US, imposed by the Austrian government, limited Austrian emigration further, reducing it to only 1,413 persons per year.
However, since the late 1930s, many other Austrians migrated to the United States. Most of them were Jews fleeing the Nazi persecution which started with the Annexation of Austria in 1938. In 1941, some 29,000 Jewish Austrians had emigrated to the United States. Most of them were doctors, lawyers, architects and artists (such as composers, writers, and stage and film directors).
Much later, between 1945 and 1960, some 40,000 Austrians emigrated to the United States. Since the 1960s, however, Austrian immigration has been very small, mostly because Austria is now a developed nation, where poverty and political oppression are scarce. According to the 1990 U.S. census, 948,558 people identified their origins in Austria.
Austrian immigrants adapted quickly to American society because the Austro-Hungarian Empire had also been a melting pot of many cultures and languages. On the other hand, despite the rejection that Austrians feel toward the behavior of the Germans, regarded by Austrians as less tolerants and cosmopolitans, they have suffered the same damages and discrimination that German immigrants have faced in United States. They were considered by Americans to be the same because of their language and both world wars. Most Austrian Americans speak American English and German (the official language of Austria).
Most Austrians are Roman Catholic. The Austrian contribution in the 19th century in evangelizing Native Americans is remarkable. However, in the 19th century, Austrians also had to work with Irish Catholic priests, who spoke English and rejected them, to baptize the Natives and convert them to Catholicism. Thus, the Leopoldine Society sent money and priests to North America and led to the creation of over 400 churches on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and in the Indian Countries, located west of those areas. It was especially prominent in cities such as in Cincinnati and St. Louis. The Benedictines and Franciscans also built thousands of congregations.
However, the expansion of Catholicism conducted by Austrian priests caused a rejection of American society, as it could change the religious balance in the country. Therefore, for a long time, Austrians once again had to struggle to adapt to American life. The 20th century reduced the religiosity of the average Austrian American, as other Americans.
The emigration of other religious groups from Austria to the United States, especially the Jews from Vienna after 1938, has also contributed to strengthen religious variety in the United States. Isidor Bush (1822–98) emigrated from Vienna in 1849 and became a leading Jewish citizen of the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri through his business ventures, religious work, and political activities. His vinyards were famous and profitable.
Austrian settlements in the United StatesEdit
U.S. communities with highest percentages of Austrian AmericansEdit
The U.S. communities with the highest percentage of self-professed Austrian Americans are:
- Waterville, Wisconsin 12.10%
- Coplay, Pennsylvania 10.60%
- Durand, Wisconsin 9.20%
- Rock Creek, Wisconsin and Northampton, Pennsylvania 5.20%
- Allen Township, Pennsylvania 4.50%
- Drammen, Wisconsin 4.40%
- Palenville, New York 4.30%
- Great Neck Plaza, New York, Upper Nazareth Township, Pennsylvania and Schuylkill Township, Pennsylvania (Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania) 4.20%
- Noble Township, Indiana (LaPorte County, Indiana) 4.10%
- Highland Beach, Florida and Mondovi, Wisconsin 4.00%
- North Catasauqua, Pennsylvania 3.90%
- Russell Gardens, New York 3.80%
- Washington Township, Kansas (Crawford County, Kansas) 3.70%
- Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, Arma, Kansas and Tuscarawas, Ohio 3.60%
- Hewlett Harbor, New York, East Union Township, Pennsylvania and Indian Hills, Colorado 3.30%
- Ellis, Kansas and Harbor Isle, New York 3.20%
- Brunswick, Wisconsin, Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Shelby Township, Indiana (Shelby County, Indiana) and Columbia, California 3.10%
- Kensington, New York, Stamford, Vermont and Jericho, New York 3.00%
- Sherry, Wisconsin, Beaver Meadows, Pennsylvania, Sheridan Township, Kansas (Crawford County, Kansas) and Butler Township, Pennsylvania (Luzerne County, Pennsylvania) 2.90%
- Berlin Township, Ohio (Knox County, Ohio), North Union Township, Pennsylvania (Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania), Frontenac, Kansas and Tipton, Pennsylvania 2.70%
- Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, Great Neck Estates, New York, Lake Success, New York, Barataria, Louisiana, Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Spring Brook, Wisconsin, Roslyn, New York and Roslyn Estates, New York 2.60%
- Black Creek Township, Pennsylvania and Morganville, New Jersey 2.50%
- Atlantic Beach, New York, Moore Township, Pennsylvania, Warwick Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio (Tuscarawas County, Ohio) and Woodbury, New York 2.40%
- South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, Tangerine, Florida, Green Township, Indiana (Madison County, Indiana), Hanover Township, Pennsylvania (Lehigh County, Pennsylvania), Jacksonport, Wisconsin and Plainview, New York 2.30%
- Shamokin Township, Pennsylvania, Old Bethpage, New York, Wesley Hills, New York, Bushkill Township, Pennsylvania, Cleveland Township, Pennsylvania and Atwood, Kansas 2.20%
- East Hills, New York, Salisbury Township, Pennsylvania (Lehigh County, Pennsylvania), Newark Valley, New York, Shippen Township, Pennsylvania (Cameron County, Pennsylvania), East Allen Township, Pennsylvania, Kingston, Washington, Palm Beach, Florida, Baiting Hollow, New York, Bridgeport, New York, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, North Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, Dunn, Wisconsin, Millburn Township, New Jersey, Atwood, Kansas, Canaan Township, Ohio (Madison County, Ohio), Pomona, New York, Macungie, Pennsylvania, Madison Lake, Minnesota, Nockamixon Township, Pennsylvania and Sunol, California 2.10%
- Waterloo Township, Michigan, Columbus, Kansas and Monroe Township, New Jersey (Middlesex County, New Jersey) 2.00%
U.S. communities with the most residents born in AustriaEdit
The U.S. communities where Austrian Americans make up more than 1% of the total population are:
- Hillside Lake, New York 1.4%
- Redway, California 1.3%
- Black Diamond, Florida 1.2%
- Smallwood, New York 1.2%
- Highland Beach, Florida 1.2%
- Cordova, Maryland 1.2%
- Keystone, Colorado 1.2%
- North Lynbrook, New York 1.1%
- Cedar Glen Lakes, New Jersey 1.1%
- Center City, Minnesota 1.1%
- Scotts Corners, New York 1.0%
- Killington, Vermont 1.0%
- Lexington, New York 1.0%
- Tuxedo Park, New York 1.0%
- Woody Allen – actor, director, screenwriter, comedian, author, playwright, musician, of Austrian-Jewish descent
- Gabrielle Anwar – actress
- Godfrey Edward Arnold – medical doctor and researcher
- Maria Altmann – art collector
- Walter Arlen – composer, music critic at the Los Angeles Times
- Adele Astaire – dancer, actress, sister of Fred
- Fred Astaire – dancer, actor
- Sean Astin – actor
- Peter L. Berger – sociologist
- Gustav Bergmann – philosopher
- Edward Bernays – Austrian-American pioneer in public relations, referred to in his obituary as "the father of public relations".
- Bibi Besch – actress
- Elmer Bernstein – composer
- Bruno Bettelheim – child psychologist, psychoanalyst and concentration camp survivor
- Theodore Bikel – actor, singer, musician
- Peter Bogdanovich – director, writer, actor, producer, critic and film historian.
- Bela Borsodi – photographer
- Hans Conried – actor
- Ricardo Cortez – silent film actor, of Austrian Jewish descent
- Stanley Cortez – cinematographer
- Billy Crystal – actor, comedian
- Robert von Dassanowsky – academic, writer and film producer
- Eric de Kolb – painter and designer
- Felix de Weldon – sculptor, best known for the Marine Corps War Memorial
- Carl Djerassi – chemist, novelist, and playwright
- Daniel DeWeldon – actor, son of Felix de Weldon
- Michael Eisner – media executive, successive CEO of Paramount Pictures and the Walt Disney Corporation
- Henry Ellenbogen – US Congressman from Pennsylvania
- Max Fleischer – animator
- Richard Fleischer – director, son of Max
- Felix Frankfurter – US Supreme Court Justice
- Anselm Franz – pioneering turbojet engineer, designer of the Jumo 004 and Lycoming T53 engines.
- Teri Garr – actress, comedian, dancer and voice artist
- Jeff Goldblum – actor
- Kurt Gödel – logician, mathematician, philosopher
- Friedrich von Hayek – Austrian-born economist and philosopher
- Alex Hafner – actor
- Mark Harmon – actor
- Fred F. Herzog – only Jewish judge in Austria between the world wars, he fled to America and became Dean of two different law schools.
- Raul Hillberg – political scientist and historian, who is widely considered to be one of the world's preeminent scholars of the Holocaust
- Hans Holzer – paranormal researcher and author
- Heinz von Foerster – scientist combining physics and philosophy, originator of Second-order cybernetics
- Bob Iger – longtime CEO of the Walt Disney Corporation, who oversaw a fourfold increase in its market capitalization; born in New York City to a Jewish family, in particular an Austrian-Jewish father
- Jerry Iger – famed American cartoonist, founder of Eisner & Iger, an industry trailblazer during the Golden Age of Comics; born to an Austrian-Jewish family in New York City and Bob Iger's paternal great-uncle
- Travis Kalanick – founder, Uber Technologies; born in California to a family of Jewish-Austrian and Slovak-Austrian extraction
- Eric Kandel – neuroscientist
- David Karfunkle – painter, muralist
- Kurt Kasznar – Austrian born American actor
- Hans Kelsen – jurist
- Greta Kempton – artist
- Joseph Keppler – cartoonist, best known for the illustrated magazine Puck
- John Kerry – politician, former Senator from Massachusetts, US presidential candidate of 2004 (D), former US Secretary of State
- Jack Kirby – artist
- Corey Kluber – Major League Baseball pitcher, 2014 Cy Young pitcher
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold – composer
- Stanley Kubrick – director, producer, screenwriter
- Hedy Lamarr – actress, inventor, and producer; from an Austrian Jewish family
- Elissa Landi – actress
- Karl Landsteiner – biologist and physician, best known for having distinguished the main blood groups
- Fritz Lang – director
- Erich Leinsdorf – conductor
- Peter Lorre – actor
- Ernst Mahler – chemist and industrialist
- Vivian Maier – street photographer
- Samantha Mathis – actress, daughter of Bibi Besch
- Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises – economist, philosopher, author and classical liberal
- Paul Muni – actor
- Arthur Murray – dancer, entrepreneur
- Ignatz Leo Nascher, doctor and gerontologist
- Richard Neutra – architect
- Frederick Burr Opper – cartoonist
- Emily Osment – actress, sister of Haley Joel
- Haley Joel Osment – actor, brother of Emily
- Wolfgang Pauli – physicist
- Natalie Portman – actress, born to a Jewish family, some of whom came from Austria
- Otto Preminger – director
- Wolfgang Puck – celebrity chef, restaurateur
- Wilhelm Reich – psychiatrist
- Leah Remini – actress, mother has Austrian Jewish descent
- Don Rickles – actor and comedian, of Jewish descent
- Martin Roscheisen – entrepreneur
- Bobby Schayer – musician
- Fritzi Scheff – actress
- Joseph Schildkraut – actor
- Arnold Schoenberg – composer, of Jewish descent
- Kurt von Schuschnigg – Austrofascist politician and Austrian federal Chancellor 1936-1938 and professor of political sciences at St. Louis University 1948-1967
- Alfred Schütz – philosopher/sociologist
- Arnold Schwarzenegger – actor and 38th Governor of California
- Katherine Schwarzenegger – author, daughter of Arnold, sister of Patrick
- Patrick Schwarzenegger – actor, son of Arnold, brother of Katherine
- Harry Shearer – actor
- Gene Siskel – critic, journalist
- Lilia Skala – actress
- Walter Slezak – actor
- Michael Smerconish – CNN journalist
- Mose Solomon – "Rabbi of Swat", Major League Baseball player, of Jewish descent
- Max Steiner – composer
- Eric Stonestreet – actor, original family name before World War I was Steingassner
- Nita Strauss – rock guitarist
- Edgar G. Ulmer – director
- Erich von Stroheim – director
- Josef von Sternberg – director
- Eliot Teltscher – top-10 tennis player
- Georg Ludwig von Trapp – headed the Austrian singing family portrayed in The Sound of Music. His exploits at sea in World War I earned him numerous decorations.
- Agathe von Trapp – eldest daughter of Baron Georg von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead von Trapp, The von Trapp Family from The Sound of Music
- Maria F. von Trapp – the second-oldest daughter of Baron Georg von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead von Trapp, The von Trapp Family from The Sound of Music
- Werner von Trapp – second-oldest son of Georg Ritter von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead von Trapp, The von Trapp Family from The Sound of Music
- Ken Uston – blackjack player, strategist, and author
- Tessa Gräfin von Walderdorff – American socialite, writer, and actress who is a member of the Austrian noble family Walderdorff
- Joseph Warkany – pediatrician
- Paul Watzlawick – psychologist, communications theorist, and philosopher
- Victor Frederick Weisskopf – physicist of Jewish descent. During World War II, he worked at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb, and later campaigned against the proliferation of nuclear weapons; medal received in 1979
- Billy Wilder – director, of Jewish descent
- Ernst Florian Winter – diplomat
- Matthew Winter – journalist
- Shelley Winters – actress, of Jewish descent
- Elijah Wood – actor
- Joe Zawinul – jazz pianist
- Fred Zinnemann – director
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-  Archived 2006-07-28 at the Wayback Machine "Bibi Besch was an Austrian actress."
-  "Though his professional name was suggestive of a Latin Lover type, actor Ricardo Cortez was actually an Austrian Jew, born Jacob Krantz. He arrived in Hollywood in 1922, at a time when the Rudolph Valentino craze was at its height."
-  regarding an Austrian decoration: "I have focused on Austrian studies most of my academic life. As an Austrian-American, it makes me especially proud."
-  "Born and educated in Vienna. Immigrated to the United States and served in the 33rd Congressional District (Pittsburgh, PA)."
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2004-11-09. Retrieved 2006-05-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "sat for Austrian native Greta Kempton five times in 1947 ..."
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-01-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Joseph Keppler was born in Vienna, Austria, on 1st February, 1838."
-  "A study of the life and work of Austrian composer Korngold ..."
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- Wolfgang Pauli: "… in 1946 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Following World War II he returned to Zurich."
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-  "Arnold Schwarzenegger, "The Austrian Oak", was a bodybuilding prodigy who won the ..."  "Arnold was the embodiment of the American (a naturalized citizen since 1983) dream ..."
-  "Galvanizing, stern-featured Viennese character actress with extensive Broadway experience ..."
-  "That's Erika Slezak, daughter of the famous Austrian-American actor Walter Slezak ..."
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