Recent history

An immediate precursor of professional associations representing the interests of writers was the Schutzverband deutsch-österreichischer Schriftsteller which existed for two decades during the First Republic and was directed i.a. by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Robert Musil. Previously a mere branch of the German Schutzverband founded in 1910, it was then set up as an association in its own right and fought to abolish censorship and protect the rights of authors. After it ceased to exist in 1939, it left a gap that would not be filled for many years after the Second World War.