Austria in its present form was created in September 1919, after the First World War when, as described by Giles MacDonogh (The Wine and Food of Austria:1992, p.9) ‘a collection of diplomats and high-ranking military officers gathered in the small French town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Having wound up the German and Ottoman Empires, their job that morning was to reallocate the former possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy. As representatives of one of the losers in the 1914-18 war, the Austrian plenipotentiaries had little choice but to sign away their history with their territories in Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Italy and Poland. Before the ink was dry on the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the delegates had reduced the sprawling bulk of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to a few territories scattered among the eastern outcrops of the Alps, and a handful of more arable provinces situated along the meandering River Danube and now [Slovakia’s capital] city of Bratislava.’

Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy and great power in Central Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed with the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, and was dissolved following its defeat in the First World War.

The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was signed in Saint-Germain-en-Laye on 10 September 1919 by the victorious Allies of World War I on the one hand and by the Republic of German-Austria on the other.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris, 19.1 km from the centre of Paris. Inhabitants are called Saint-Germanois or Saint-Germinois. The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was signed here in 1919.