Vienna Bestows Award of Distinction upon Ludwig Steiner

OTS (09/26/05)

Vienna. Ludwig Steiner, Ambassador Emeritus and Retired State Secretary, received the "Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to Vienna"

Vienna’s City Councillor for Cultural Affairs, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, characterized Ludwig Steiner as a personality who has done a great deal for public affairs (res publica). "Ludwig Steiner committed his life, heart and soul to Austria’s rebirth," said Mailath, recognizing Ludwig Steiner as a resistance fighter who joined the Tiroler Resistance Group 05 toward the end of the war. Ludwig Steiner’s entire life embodies that of remembrance. As head of the Reconciliation Fund, he commemorates the people, their fate along with their suffering.

"Ludwig Steiner is an outstanding Austrian, a personality who has made his mark on history," claimed Kurt Scholz, Municipal Director for Restitution Affairs of the City of Vienna. After the war, Ludwig Steiner became "lawyer of social and political reconciliation;" he was instrumental in concluding the State Treaty and dedicated himself to finding a political solution to South Tyrol. Today one speaks of Ludwig Steiner respectfully as "Grand Seigneur of Austrian Foreign Policy."

Biography Ludwig Steiner

Ludwig Steiner was born in 1922 in Innsbruck. He attended the Trade Academy in Innsbruck, founded a Catholic youth organization and, toward the end of the war, joined the resistance group surrounding Karl Gruber. He participated in the political takeover in Innsbruck before the arrival of the U.S. Army.

In 1945, Steiner began his studies at the University of Innsbruck and received his Ph.D. in 1948. In November 1948 he joined the diplomatic corps and was posted to the Austrian Embassy in Paris. Negotiations involving South Tyrol in 1952 called him back to Innsbruck where he became head of the Foreign Affairs branch office of the Federal Chancellery. The same year Foreign Minister Gruber summoned him to Vienna to become his personal assistant. During 1953-58 he was Chief of Cabinet of Federal Chancellor Julius Raab. While serving in this position, he was also a member of the Austrian delegation during the decisive Moscow negotiations in April of 1955 which led to the Moscow Memorandum and finally to the conclusion of the Austrian State Treaty in May of 1955.

Finally he served in the diplomatic corps as Chargé d’Affaires in Sofia (1958-61), in Greece and in Cyprus (1964-1972). His main duties as State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs involved the negotiations concluded between Austria and Italy that led to a solution of the problem of Southern Tirol.

From 1979 to 1990 he was delegate to the National Council and Foreign Policy Spokesman of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP). Moreover, from 1990 until 1996 he acted as President of the Political Academy (Politische Akademie) of the ÖVP.

Since December 2000 Ludwig Steiner directs the Austrian Fund for Reconciliation, Peace and Cooperation ( The task of the fund is to offer payments as restitution for forced labor under the NS regime. Since 1994 he is Vice President of the Documentation Archives of Austrian Resistance (DÖW). Furthermore, he is member of the administrative council of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.