Karl Renner’s Provisional State Government, which was supported by the Soviet occupation forces, won the trust of the western powers only in the autumn of 1945, after it had been recognised by the western provinces of Austria. When the National Council elections of 25 November 1945 resulted in a severe defeat of the Communist Party, the Soviet Union abandoned its strategy of safeguarding its political influence on Austria’s governmental authorities through representatives of the Communist Party.

While it continued its political propaganda campaign, these efforts were to prove ineffective, largely on account of the numerous acts of violence committed by Soviet occupation troops, of which the population was only too aware.