Censorship: served as a means to control printed works prior to their publication, in the 18th century especially prevalent during the time of Empress Maria Theresia. Censorship was first relaxed under Joseph II, but was intensified after 1786 after the establishment of the secret police. Exercised by a commission, censorship was regarded as an instrument for controlling cultural and educational policy in theatres, schools, and the church. During the time of the French Revolution censorship was also applied to correspondence. During the time of Vormärz ("pre-March": revolutionary period in Austria and Germany between the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and the March Revolution of 1848, Biedermeier), censorship was a repressive instrument administered by the state to control vast spheres of intellectual life and was also applied to sermons, public lectures, and even shop signs and inscriptions on tombstones. Abolished during the Revolution of 1848, censorship was re-established after the Revolution had been suppressed. In the 2nd half of the 19th century censorship was exercised by the granting of licences or requiring publishers to pay deposits. During World War I there was a "war supervisory department", which examined not only newspapers but also soldiers' mail. During the time of the Corporate State, 1934-1938, oppositional publicity was eliminated by licensing or by controlling the public communication system (Official Communications Section). In these years 325 books were forbidden. Under National Socialism rigorous, complex censorship was introduced in 1938, which also included the inspection of the correspondence of soldiers. An "Austrian Censorship Institution" was established by the Allied occupation authorities in 1945, which censored letters until 1953. Since then prepublication and postpublication examination of the press, motion pictures, radio and television has been common; certain measures of business promotion or reglementation and the self-control of the press and film industry also constitute forms of censorship.
Literature: G. Klingenstein, Staatsverwaltung und kirchliche Autorität im 18. Jahrhundert, 1970; Zensur in Österreich 1780-1989, Symposium 24./25. 10. 1989, Veröffentlichungen des Ludwig-Boltzmann-Instit. für Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 1991.