Phase 2: 1945 – 1918
The Seegraben Münzenberg lignite mining district was once one of the most important in Austria. A miner’s work is, and always has been, associated with great danger. Trust, support, friendship and comradeship characterised their life underground.
The First World War had mobilised the masses at the front and in the factories. The escalations culminated in a social revolution in November 1918.
Trade unions and workers’ parties formed. In the industrial regions, social democracy mobilised the masses – sports, educational and cultural associations were established – until the time of the corporate state and following the Austrian Civil War of 1934, when the workers were forced to drastically limit their activities.
The economic crisis of the 1930s had hit Alpine Montangesellschaft hard. Donawitz was on the verge of bankruptcy. However, Styrian ore and the Donawitz plant became indispensable for the war being waged by Hitler’s Germany. Alpine Montangesellschaft was incorporated into the Reichswerke Hermann Göring industrial conglomerate; production volumes almost doubled.