The Museum of Military History in Vienna

History, mission and challenges

Online lecture of Hofrat Dr. Christian M. Ortner on July 2, 2020

The importance of military museums differs due to the founding period, national traditions, the attitude of society towards armed forces and soldiers and, of course, the given political framework. There is no doubt that these factors change over time or are assessed differently – The Museum of Military History in Vienna is a perfect example of this.

Founded as an imperial and supranational institution, becoming an anachronistic symbol of the Habsburg Monarchy after 1918, transformed and “Germanized” from 1938 to 1945, it was again called into question during the occupation period 1945 – 1955. After that it found its place as an Austrian-Central European museum and subsequently gained increasing European relevance. All the more incomprehensible is the discussion, apparently spontaneously sparked a few months ago, about the meaning, content and orientation of the venerable old halls in the Arsenal.

In his lecture “The Museum for Military History in Vienna. History, Mission and Challenges” our Knight of the Order Hofrat Dr. Christian M. Ortner commented among other things on these points of criticism.

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