Historical Social Research

Gerhard Botz: Ungerechtigkeit, die Demonstranten, Zufall und die Polizei: Der 15. Juli 1927. Bildanalysen zu einem Wendepunkt in der Geschichte Österreichs [2008/2015] [Abstract]

This article presents the results of an analysis of different sources concerned with the workers' revolt of July 15, 1927 (also known as the Vienna Palace of Justice fire). The author pays special attention to the socio-historical and source-critical evaluation of more than 100 photographs illustrating this fire on July 15, 1927 by using the shadows on buildings in order to establish an exact dating of the documented acts of violence. This "shadow method" he developed himself allows to clarify the motivations and social composition of the protesters and reveal the role of the police in escalating the violence. He is able to establish an exact chronology of the events and an explanation of the social dynamics leading to a death toll of 85 demonstrators and 4 police men.

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