Trafficking women in Austria 1918 -1938

Trafficking women in Austria 1918 -1938

Mountain Unlimited, Universität Wien, Universität Kassel ()
Ort des Projektträgers
Vom - Bis
01.04.2004 -
Jürgen Nautz

Women trafficking, the so-called "Mädchenhandel", was a common problem of the Habsburg monarchy which has been perceived by the authorities. Here we know primarily reports from Vienna, Prague or Budapest. The direction of the „trade went east to west mostly. After the First World War it seems this direction have turned in the other direction, from west to the east. First explored sources of the department of foreign trade of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs point in this direction. The police reports increasing attempts to bring young women abroad. For the Austrian authorities this was monstrously also because these were their "own" children this time.

These cases are well documented since everybody, who wanted to travel abroad, had to apply for a passport by the police. In the application the reason of the journey had to be given. In those cases in which the police got attentive it were applications which were justified with something like: "The young woman wants to work in household as a cook or maid in Sofia, Bucharest or elsewhere. In context with this, some men and women who frequently have made passport applications for young women (up from 14 years) aroused the interest of the police. These cases were then examined. These investigations were made in Austria and at the places of destination. Occasionaly also under going round of the local authorities which often were regarded as corrupt.. At the moment it can be said that approx. 60 per cent of the suspicion cases could be substantiated. Women trafficking must have reached such dangerous dimenisons for the Austrian authorities that a "central authority for the fighting of women trafficking", „Zentralstelle zur Bekämpfung des Mädchenhandels“, was set up at the federal police headquarters to Vienna at the beginning of the 1920s. An international convention for the fighting of women trafficking took place in Graz in 1924.

This project examines the "market mechanisms" in the mentioned historical period. The indicators used are orientated at the agenda of the WEST project. Furthermore it is tried to work out a topography of the trafficking.

Angesiedelt ist das Projekt bei Jürgen Nautz. Er arbeitet an den Universitäten Wien und Kassel und kooperiert u.a. mit dem Verein "Mountain Unlimited" <>.

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