Denazification entailed the registration of former members of the NSDAP, their temporary exclusion from certain professions, and the loss of their civil rights. Of the approximately 700,000 former members of the NSDAP about 540,000 fulfilled the duty to register. Among the latter were 98,330 »illegals,« i.e., persons who had joined the NSDAP at a time when it was banned in Austria between June 1933 and March 1938. They were also prosecuted on high treason charges by the People’s Courts.
All former party members had to pay punitive taxes. Among the ex-Nazis dismissed from employment were 100,000 state officials (roughly one third of the total), 36,000 in private industry, and 960 persons with leading positions in the state bureaucracy and in the economy. On 17 February 1947 the National Socialists Law (NSG), amended considerably following suggestions by the Allied powers, came into force. Persons subject to registration were divided into »incriminated« (about 10 %) and »less incriminated,« thus evaluating their involvement in the NSDAP. Apart from a few exceptions, all who had registered were subject to special taxes. The »less incriminated« had their voting rights restored by the NSG in 1947. In April 1948 the Austrian parliament passed an amnesty for the »less incriminated,« which affected approximately half a million individuals. The struggle by all parties to win the former Nazi vote had begun, thus ending denazification as a measure of political hygiene.