Church History
Austria: Chronology

“Austria: Chronology,” Global Histories: Austria (2019)

“Austria: Chronology,” Global Histories: Austria

Austria: Chronology

1841 • Austria

Elder Orson Hyde of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles passed through Austria en route to Jerusalem.

January 18, 1865 • Vienna, Austria

Elder Orson Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and William W. Riter, president of the Swiss, Italian, and German mission, arrived and attempted to open a mission in Vienna. They left on August 1, 1865, without any baptisms.

October 6, 1883 • Salt Lake City, Utah

During general conference, Paul E. B. Hammer and Thomas Biesinger, a German convert, were called as missionaries to Austria.

November 25, 1883 • Lambach, Austria

Paul Haslinger became the first convert to be baptized in Austria.

February 2, 1884 • Vienna

Adalbert Cholewa, a native of Poland, and Josephine Jellenek, an Austrian, were baptized by Hammer in the Simmering-Kanal.

March–June 1884 • Prague, Austro-Hungary

Thomas Biesinger served a 68-day jail term for preaching and distributing literature without a license. Because of religious intolerance, he and Hammer were forced to leave Austria.

April 21, 1900 • Munich, Germany

Johann Huber, a native of Haag am Hausruck, Austria, was baptized in Munich. Martin Ganglmayer, who was visiting his own hometown of Haag am Hausruck on the way to his mission in Germany, had taught Huber the restored gospel.

May 1902 • Rottenbach, Austria

The first branch in Austria was organized, with meetings held at Johann Huber’s farm.

Vienna Branch in 1909

1909 • Vienna

A second branch of the Church was organized as a Christian society because the government prohibited worship services without authorization.

1914 • Vienna

The government dissolved the branch in Vienna and confiscated all property.

August 1914 • Austria

Following the outbreak of World War I, all missionaries in Austria were evacuated.

1914–18 • Austria

During World War I, male members of the Church left for military service. The women of the Church continued holding meetings on their own.

1920 • Austria

Missionaries returned to Austria. Austria’s first district was organized with branches in Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, and Haag am Hausruck.

January 23, 1921 • Vienna

The first Relief Society was organized.

March 12, 1938 • Austria

Austria was annexed by Germany. At the time, there were five branches in the country—Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Frankenburg, and Haag am Hausruck.

1939–45 • Austria

During World War II, American missionaries were evacuated, many Austrian Saints were drafted into the military, and sacrament meeting times changed to accommodate blackout regulations. By the end of the war, at least 60 percent of Saints in Austria and Germany were homeless.

March 1941 • Vienna

A conference for the Vienna District Relief Society was held, with 45 attending.

March 28, 1946 • Austria

As president of the European Mission, Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve reorganized the Austrian District. He also oversaw food and clothing distribution to Church members.

April 24, 1955 • Klagenfurt, Austria

The first Church meetings were held in Klagenfurt after missionaries arrived there.

September 11, 1955 • Zollikofen, Switzerland

David O. McKay, Church President, dedicated the first temple in Europe, the Bern Switzerland Temple. Twelve Austrian Saints received their endowments in the first session.

September 27, 1955 • Austria

The Church received legal recognition from the Austrian government.

October 9, 1956 • Innsbruck, Austria

The first public Church meeting was held in Innsbruck shortly after missionaries arrived there.

September 18, 1960 • Austria

The Austrian Mission was formed from a division of the Swiss-Austrian Mission.

1965 • Haag am Hausruck–Rottenbach, Austria

Austrian Saints gathered at the Huber farm to celebrate the centennial of missionary work in Austria.

August 7, 1966 • Graz, Austria

Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Graz chapel. From 1963 through 1965, members of the Graz Branch had constructed the chapel with help from labor missionaries, proselytizing missionaries, and community members.

October 6, 1974 • Wels, Austria

The Wels group was organized into a branch.

March 1975 • Vienna

The Vienna International Branch was organized to accommodate international workers in Austria.

April 20, 1980 • Vienna

Church President Ezra Taft Benson organized Austria’s first stake with Johann A. Wondra as president.

June 17, 1991 • Vienna

The Tabernacle Choir performed at Musikverein. The performance was broadcast on public television and received a standing ovation.

September 12, 1992 • Vienna

President Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, standing on Kahlenberg, dedicated Austria for the preaching of the gospel.

October 1992 • Austria

Austrian Saints watched a live satellite broadcast of general conference for the first time.

January 19, 1997 • Salzburg, Austria

Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve organized the Salzburg Austria Stake with Gerold Roth as president. This was the second stake in Austria.

February 2002 • Salt Lake City, Utah

During the Winter Olympic Games, many Austrians were introduced to the Church through television broadcasts about Utah and the Church. Susanne Riess-Passer, vice-chancellor of Austria, and other dignitaries attending the Olympics were welcomed at a reception by Church leaders and hundreds of former missionaries to Austria.

2003 • Austria

Church membership in the country exceeded 4,000.

2005 • Austria

Austrian Saints celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Church receiving official recognition from the government. As part of the commemoration, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve met with Dr. Heinz Fischer, president of Austria.

July 31–August 5, 2006 • Salzburg

Over one thousand young single adults from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland gathered for a conference.

September 19, 2009 • Vienna

The city of Vienna made available a hectare-sized section of Zentralfriedhof, a cemetery in Vienna, for the burial of members of the Church. The plot of land was dedicated on this date.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

July 2016 • Vienna

The Tabernacle Choir performed at Musikverein. All proceeds from the concert were donated to Caritas Austria, a national charitable organization.

September 2018 • Vienna

At Zentralfriedhof, local members erected a concrete base that will eventually hold a monument bearing the name “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” This is being done to follow the admonition of Church President Russell M. Nelson to use the correct name of the Church.