Tomás Irish

This project explores the work of Walter Kotschnig (1901-1985), an Austrian student leader, humanitarian, and internationalist. Kotschnig was a crucial but relatively unknown figure in the creation of the United Nations and its institutions during the Second World War. This project will explore Kotschnig’s experiences as a student in early 1920s Austria, his involvement with international student welfare in the 1920s and 1930s to trace the development of his thinking and his networks, all of which were crucial to his work with the US State Department in the 1940s. The life of one man will be used to explore how Austria’s experience of post-First World War devastation informed American planning for the aftermath of the Second World War.