We present a compilation of data of modern tectono-geomorphic processes in the Central European Alps which suggest that observed rock uplift is a response to climate-driven denudation. This interpretation is predominantly based on the recent quantification of basin-averaged Late Holocene denudation rates that are so similar to the pattern and rates of rock uplift rates as determined by geodetic leveling. Furthermore, a GPS data-based synthesis of Adriatic microplate kinematics suggests that the Central Alps are currently not in a state of active convergence. Finally, we illustrate that the Central Alps have acted as a closed system for Holocene redistribution of sediment in which the peri-Alpine lakes have operated as a sink for the erosional products of the inner Central Alps. While various hypotheses have been put forward to explain Central Alpine rock uplift ( e.g. lithospheric forcing by convergence, mantle processes, or ice melting) we show with an elastic model of lithospheric deformation, that the correlation between erosion and rock uplift rates reflects a positive feedback between denudation and the associated isostatic response to unloading. Thus, erosion does not passively respond to advection of crustal material as might be the case in actively converging orogens. Rather, we suggest that the geomorphic response of the Alpine topography to glacial and fluvial erosion and the resulting disequilibrium for modern channelized and associated hillslope processes explains much of the pattern of modern denudation and hence rock uplift. Therefore, in a non-convergent orogen such as the Central European Alps, the observed vertical rock uplift is primarily a consequence of passive unloading due to erosion.