From the first human settlements in the Danube Valley, to the ensuing Celts, Illyrians, Romans and Bavarians, and then the noble Babenburg and the Habsburg dynasties, Austria is a land that has been ruled by many.
The 640-year reign of the Habsburgs - creators of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - was ended by WWI; 20 years later, WWII saw Hitler invade and occupy Austria, persecuting the country's Jewish community. Post Holocaust, Austria's Jewish community rebuilt itself, but to this day the Jewish population remains much smaller than before WWII. After Austria's liberation by the Allies in 1944, foundations were laid for the Second Republic. Austria joined the European Union, and also signed the Schengen Agreement, in 1995.
The current president of Austria is Heinz Fischer, who has been in office since 2004.