World War II: Early German Aggressions--Anschluss (March 1938)

Anschluss
Figure 1.--After the War, Austrians ckaimed that they were one of the occupied countries overran by the NAZIs. Photographs taken at the time of the Anschluss, however, suggest that the Austrians were overjoyed to be united with NAZI Germany. Here Austrian girls welcome some of the first German soldiers to reach Vienna. Compare the image here with those taken in places like Prague and Paris when the Germans arrived.

There was considerable sentiment in both Germany and Austria after World War I to join the two German-speaking states. France adamently refused. Hitler after seizing power revived the issues. Austrain NAZIs were encouraged to promote the idea. Hitler and Austrian NAZIs throughout 1937 demanded an Anschluss with Austria. Belaegered Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg on March 9, 1938, announced plans to hold a plebiscite on the independence of Austria. Hitler used this opportunity to take action against the Austrian state. The NAZIs with the Wehrmacht on the border pressed Schuschnigg was pressed to resign. The NAZI surrogate, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, took over the chancellorship and formed a new government dominated by the Austrian NAZIs. The German Wehrmacht and the SS, armed with list of NAZI opponents, crossed the German-Austrian frontier (March 12). Hitler the following day on March 13, speaking before a jubilent crowd in Linz, announced the "Anschluss" (Annexation) of Austria into the German Reich. Joyous celebrations occurred throught Austria. Even while the celebrations were going on, the SS and local NAZIs began rounding up those who had opposed the NAZIs. Violence occured against the Jews. Jewish students and professors were attacked in universities. Jews at random were dragged into the streets to scrub the sidewalks on their hands and knees--surounded by taunting crowds. The Anschluss which added Austria to the German Reich irrevocably changed the European ballance of power. NAZI Germany had been violating the Versailles Treaty. The question was would Britain and France force the treaty which would have required an invasion. The union of Austria and Germany was expressly prohibited by the Versailles Treaty. Hitler by this time had demonstrted the new Luftwaffe (alsp prohibited by Versailles) in Spain. The prospect of Germany bombing mjor cities terrified British and French political figures. As a result, neither Britain or France resisted the Anschluss.

Versailles Peace Treaty (1919)

Germany's ally, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, collpased at the end of the World War I. Like the Hohenzollerns in Germany, the Hapburgs were forced to abdicate. Several new states were created from the old Austro-Hungarian Empire (Czecheslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Yugoslavia). Austria was reduced to a small country. Austria had in effect been excluded from Germany by Bismarck and the outcome of the Austro-Prussian War. Now that Austria no longer had non-German territories, there was considerable sentiment in both Germany and Austria after World War I to join the two German-speaking states. France was, however, adamently opposed to this. French foreign policy for centuries had been based on using Austria to ballance the power of Prussia. Earlier Austria had been the bulwark denying French expansion accross the Rhine. Even though Austria only had a population of 6 million, the French were determined to allow union with Germany. Thus union was prohibited under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. There is no doubt that most Austrians desired union with Germany. Austria had been more seriously impaired by the War than Germany itself. Plebecites held in parts of Austrai showed very large majorities in favor of union. The vote in the Tyrol was almost unanimous for union with Germany. [Davidson, p. 87.] There were econiomic reasons for this. Austria had benefitted from its control of Bohemia (Czecheslovakia) and Hungary. Perhaps even more important was the fact that Austria (the Austro-Hungarian Empire) had for centuries been one of the great powers of Europe. fter World War I. Austria had been reduced to a small inconsequential country.

NAZIs Seized Power in Germany (1933)

Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg (January 1933). The German politican around Hindenburg thought they could control Hitler and that his Government would quickly fall like precious governments. He and his NAZI coharts set about seizing power. Göring and Himmler proceeded to estanlish a police state, quickly opening up concentration camps. Hitler after seizing power revived the issue of uniting Austria and Germany. There should have been no suprise here. Hitler proclaimed this in the very first paragraph of Mein Kampf as a "task to be furthered by every means". Hitler was amazingly frank in Mein Kampf about just what he planned.

Chancellor Dollfuss

Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss had authoritrian political attitudes himself. He in fact modeled himself in a small way on both Mussolini and Hitler, Dollfuss renamed the Christian Socialist Party the Fatherland Front. He even began wearing a swastika-like device. To guarantee his authority, he abolished Austria's Constitution. He prohibited the NAZI Party along with all other opposition parties. Dollfus opposed union with Germany, but his actions weakened the democratic parties in Austria. The NAZIS went underground, but continued to gain adherents. After the NAZI seizure of power, Dollfuss was hopefull that NAZI infighting would delay Hitler from focusing on Austria. The Night of the Long Nights and the execution of Röem, one of Hitler's closest associates ended that elusion. Dollfuss became a target for the NAZIs. Hitler and the NAZIs hoped to use their internal divisions to seize Aistria in 1933-34. Dolfuss outlawed the NAZI Party and NAZI organizations like the Hitler Youth. One attempt by an Austrian NAZI had wounded him in 1933. Dolfuss who was a fervet Catholic used the Army against workers in Vienna (February 1934). This destroyed his ability to seek support from an apparent ally against the NAZIs--the left. NAZI propaganda made much of the deaths of women and children. [Davidson, pp. 88-89.] A NAZI putch in 1934 succeeded in killing Dollfuss. Austrian NAZIs disguised as policemen shot Dolfuss. The NAZIs, however, failed to seize control of the Government. Among those killed were three Hitler Youth boys. Mussolini had sent troops to the Brenner Pass, but even as this stage was primarily interested in working with Hitler against France. [Davidson, p. 102.] Hitler himself was furious, but at the ineptitude of the plotters, not the goal of union with Austria. Hindenburg had not yet died and he was not ye in full control, He was not yet willing to gamble and quickly backed off. Kurt von Schuschnigg secceded Dolfuss as Chancelor.

Italy

Italy which bordered Austria on the south also had interests in Austria. Italy fought with the Allies in World War I and had been rewarded with the former Austrian territory of South Tyrol. Along with the South Tyrol came 0.5 million Germans and virtually no Italians. While Mussolini was initially opposed to Anschluss, but disputes with France precvented him from cooperating with the Little Entante--the French treaty system surrounding Germany (Czecheslovakia and Poland). Utaly and France joined in 1934 to agree to oppse German annexation of Austria. Italy resigned claims to Tunis and France agreed to give Italy a fee hand in Ethiopia. The Freench attitude was to buy Ethiopia off with far away Africa in exchange for support for its efforts to contain Germany. [Davidson, p. 130.] Italy in 1934 also signed the Rome Potocols with Hungary and Austria. Hitler in 1934 was near seizing Austria, but decided to postpone this. He wanted to prevent isolation of the Reich and wanted to make sure that Mussolini did not seek common cause with Britain and France. Mussolini for his part was convinced that Austria would eventually join the Reich and did not want to allow Austria to be an obstacle over the development of good realtions with Hitler. The two first met in Venice during 1934. By 1938 the powere balance had shifted. Germany had rearmed. Mussolini on the other hand had expeienced difficulties even taking Ethiopia (1935) and experience in Spain had showed him the limited capability of the Italian military. When Anschluss finally came, Hitler had no oncern about Britain and France. He did have some concern about Italy. A special nessenger sent by Hitler called to confirm that Mussolini had no onjections and even conveyed his personal regards (Match 11). Hitler exclaimed, ":THen please tell Mussolini that I will never forget him for this!"

Agitation in Austria

After the NAZI seizure of power in Germany, the NAZIs project an image of progress and direction. This attracted considerable support in Austria where unemployment remained high. Austrian finmaces were administered by the League of Nations and many of the unemployed blamed the League for their plight. Austrain NAZIs were encouraged to promote the idea. Hitler and Austrian NAZIs throughout 1937 demanded an Anschluss with Austria.

Chancellor Schuschnigg

After the assisantion of Dollfuss, Kurt von Schuschnigg became Chancellor. His position, however, was impossible. With the developing relationship between Mussolini and Hitler, Austria's primary international support was denined. As a result, he agreed to a gentlemen's agreement with Hitler in July 1936. The Austria NAZIs were legalized and those jailed as a result of the failed putch were released. Press criticism was toned down. Austria was to conduct a foreign policy in concert with the Reich. [Davidson, pp. 158-159.] Hitler in February 1938, invited Schuschnigg to Berchtesgarden. Once there Hitler subjected him to a 2 hour ditribe (February 12), demanded concessions that would have virtually ended Austria's existence as an independent country. Schuschnigg managed to avoid commiting the government, but did sign the document put before him.

Plebecite

After returning to Austria, he attempted to put off the inevitable and on March 9, 1938, announced plans to hold a plebiscite on the independence of Austria. In any yes or no vote on Anschluss, there undoubtedly would have been a massive yes vote. Schuschnigg attempted in fact to spin the referendum which he planned for March 13 by phrasing it as to if the voter favored "a free, independent, social, Christian and unified Austria". Hitler was furious. He decided to act decisively act against the Austrian State. Göring in Berlin was on the telephine orchestrating the chain of events. The NAZIs with the Wehrmacht on the border pressed Schuschnigg to resign. He finally did so. The NAZIS quickly seized control of Vienna. A priority was the Ministry of Internal Affairs (meaning the Police). President Miklas still refused to appoint Austrian NAZI Seyss-Inquart chancellor. Hitler by this time had signed and issued the order for the Wehrmacht to invade. Finally about 10:00 pm, Göring and Hitler released a forged telegram with the expected request by the Austrian Government for German troops to enter Austria to restore order. By midnight the Austrian NAZIs had seized the major Government buildings and arrested the officials of the old government. Miklas finally saw he had no alternative and appointed Seyss-Inquart Chancellor.

Seyss-Inquart

The NAZI surrogate, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, quickly took over the chancellorship and formed a new government dominated by the Austrian NAZIs. Seyss-Inquart on March 12 formally invited the German Army to occupy Austria and proclaimed union with Germany.

Formal Annexation (March 12)

The German Wehrmacht, crossed the German-Austrian frontier during the early morning hours on March 12. Tis waas no invasion. There was no resistance. In fact, they were met everywhere with with jubilent throngs of Austrians greeting them as liberators. Within hours, Austria wa in NAZI hands. Austria was annexed and became the German province of Ostmark with Seyss-Inquart as governor. Austrian born Ernst Kaltenbrunner was named Minister of State and head of the SS in Austria. Both Seyss-Inquart and Kaltenbrunner were to be major conspirators in the Holocaust.

Popular Reaction

Joyous celebrations occurred througout Austria. There is no doubt looking at the images that Austrians wanted to be part of the new German Reich. German playwright Carl Zuckmayer (1896-1977) had moved to Austria in 1936 fleeing Hitler and the NAZIs. He described what happened in Vienna in his autobiography. Vienna during the first few days of the Anchluss was a city transformed "into a nightmare painting of Hieronymus Bosch." It writes that is was as if, " Hades had opened its gates and vomited forth the basest, most despicable, most horrible demons. In the course of my life I had seen something of untrammeled human insights of horror or panic. I had taken part in a dozen battles in the First World War, had experienced barrages, gassings, going over the top. I had witnessed the turmoil of the post-war era, the crushing uprisings, street battles, meeting hall brawls. I was present among the bystanders during the Hitler Putsch in 1923 in Munich. I saw the early period of Nazi rule in Berlin. But none of this was comparable to those days in Vienna. What was unleashed upon Vienna had nothing to do with seizure of power in Germany ... What was unleashed upon Vienna was a torrent of envy, jealousy, bitterness, blind, malignant craving for revenge. All better instincts were silenced ... only the torpid masses had been unchained ... It was the witch's Sabbath of the mob. All that makes for human dignity was buried." [Zuckmayer] Unlike some such events, this was not an invention of Goebbels's Propaganda Ministry. There was widespread support for Anschluss among the Austrian people. {Davidson, p. 192.] The Anschluss became known as the "flower war" as flowers and arms outstraeched in the NAZI salute greeted the Wehrmacht as they drove toward Vienna. Hitler entered Austria the following day (March 13). Hiter motored into Austria and was jubiantly cheered by people lining the roads and streets. Speaking before a jubilent crowd in Linz, announced the "Anschluss" (Annexation) of Austria into the German Reich.

Arrests

With the Wehrmact came SS and 40,000 German policemen. Even while the celebrations were going on, Himmler's Schutzstaffeln (SS) assisted by local NAZIs began rounding up those individuals who had opposed the NAZIs. They initiated a thorough going repression of anti-NAZI elements. The SS arrived with carefully prepared lists of NAZI opponents. The arrests covered a wide political spectrum including Socilaists, Communists, and any one who had outspokenly criticized Hitler and the NAZIs.

Attacks on Jews

Violence occured against the Jews. Jewish students and professors were attacked in universities. The local NAZIs tried to dream up humiliating torments for the Jews. Jews at random were dragged into streets to scrub the sidewalks sometimes with toothbrushes on their hands and knees--surounded by taunting crowds. It was considered a treat to find Jews and force them to scrub off the Heil Schuschnigg slogans that had been painted on the sidewalks. NAZIs stood by Jewish shops and roughed up patrons, making them wear traitor signs around their necks. One observer writes, "With bare hands, university professors were compelled to scrub the streets. Devout, white beared Jews were dragged into the temple and forced by howlingb youths to do deep knee bends and shout 'Heil Hitler' in chorous. Innocent persons were caught en masse in the street like rabbits and dragged off to sweepmout the latrines of the SA barricks. All the morbidly filthy hate fantasies orgiastically conceived in the course of many nights were released in broad daylight." [Zweig, pp. 446ff.] As Austria was now part of the Reich, the full force of the Nuremberg Laws and countless other anti-Jewish laws were brought to bear on Austrian Jews. After the Anchluss, the fate of Austrian Jews becomes fused with that of the German Jews. Unlike German Jews, however, they, had only a year and a half to escape before the onset of the War was to make escape virtually impossible.

American Broadcasters

Two CBS reporters assessed the NAZI takeover, Edward R. Murrow and William L. Shirer. They saw first hand raw NAZI brutality. Their reporting in the years to follow were to have a substantial impact on American opinion. They saw the Jews being humiliated on the Vienna streets. Murrow saw a man being dragged into a cafe and beaten by NAZIs. At another café a Jewish-looking man slit his throat. The NAZIs in control of the radio broadcasts facilities censored all broadcasts. When Murro rterurned to London, he could send an uncensored broadcast. [Sperber, pp. 119-22.] The conclusion of that broadcast, "It was called a bloofless conquest and in someways it was-- But I would likre to be able to forget the haunted look on the faces of those long lines of people outside the banls and travel offices. Peopkle trying to get away. I'd like to forget the tired futile look of the Austrian army officers, and the thud of hobnail boots and the crash of light tanksin the early hours of the morning in the Ringstrasse. .... I'd like to forget the sound of the smnashing glass as the Jewish shop streets were raided; the hoots and jeers at those to scrub the sidewalks ..." Murrow of course would be broadcasting from London during the Blitz. His reporting was made all the more reviting bevause he could not only descibe the Luftwaffe terror bombing, but because he knew what it would mean if the British cracked.

Hitler Youth

The Hitler Youth movement did not begin with the Anchluss. There was a great deal of support for the NAZIs in Austria. And Austria was one of the few foreign countries with a HJ movement, other than scattered units or resident German itizens. A Hitler Youth movement was organized in Austria although we know little about the early organization. We believe that most of the members were teenagers even older teens. We have few details here, but available photographs mostly show older tenagers. This probably reflects the reluctance of most parents to allow younger boys to join an illegal group involved in street brawling. The HJ began in Germany as an offshoot of the SA. Before the Annchluss there was probably close coordinaion between the underground SA and underground HJ organizations. The Austrian HJ did not have caps. Thy wore white shirts, black neckerchiefs, and a variety of pants, often Lederhosen, along with white knee socks. As many of the boys were older teenagers, we see quite a number of boys weaing long pants, often black long pants. The HJ was eventually banned by the Austrian Government, but continued to operate sureptitiously. After the Anschluss the Hitler Youth became the only permitted youth group. Austria itself was annexed by the Reich so there was no Austrian Hitler Youth, but rather only one comprehensive German Hitler Youth movement. We this do not know of any difference between the Hitler Youth program in Austria and the rest of Germany. Of course after the Anchluss they were part of the same country. Austrian boys could be identified by the triangular shoulder patch which read "Ostmark" (Eastmark) and the name of the city such as Vien (Vienna) below. With the Anschluss and subsequent anexation by the Reich, AustriAns became subject to NAZI laws. This included the 1936 law making menbership in the HJ cinpulsory for all ARyan children 10-years of age and older. Propaganda Mimister Goebbels ordred a hin book written by Hitler Youth members in Austria 'during the years of persecution'. [Unknown Austrian HJ Members] The poems are worshipful, almost religious in tone. Goebbels awarded it the National Book Prize for 1937-38.

Leaving Austria

The Germans as they moved into Austria, closed the borders. The SS had lists of people whio had opposed them and a SS Einsatzgruppe was organized to trackj them diown. Austrian Jews after the Anschluss were desperate to escape Austria. This was difficult without money or international contacts. One Austrian Jew we know about is Alma Mahler. We also notice an account from a British humanitarian who as a young woman just out of school was studying at a Vienna convent--Margaret McEwen. She has left a written account of what was happening after the Germans arrived. Margaret after the War would launch the International Help for Children charity to aid children affected by the War.

International Reaction

Foreign countries protested, but took no substantive action. Primer Chamberlin told the House of Commons on March 14, 1938, "This is not a moment for hasty decisions or for careless words. We must consider the new situation quickly, but with cool judgement. . . . As regards our defense programs, we have always made it clear that they were flexible and that they would have to be reviewed from time to time in the light of any development in the international situation. It would be idle to pretend that recent events do not constitute a change of the kind that we had in mind. Accordingly we have decided to make a fresh review, and in due course we shall announce what further steps we may think it necessary to take." [Woodward]

Fourth NAZI Referendum: The Anschluss (April 1938)

Hitler insisted on a plebecite. The fourth and last NAZI referendum was held to ratify the Anschluss (March 1938). The vote was taken the following month (April 10, 1938). This was an action widely approved in both Austria and Germany. It was another step taken in defiance of the Vesailles Treaty which had prohibited Austrian union with Germany. The German press reported that 99.75% of registered voters voted "Ja" on that question. The Referendum was held in conjunction with a Reichstag election. There was, however, no choice of candidates. Rather the electorate simply approved a list of NAZI candidates drawn up by the government. [Suksi, p. 101.] There is no doubt tht the NAZIs inflated the Yes vote. Estimates of the actual vote vary. The most recent research suggest that the Yes vote probably totaled about two thirds of the vote.

Catholics

The Hapsburg Monarcy was one of the principal forces pitted against the Reformation as part of the Counter Refornation. . Subsequently the Austrian hierarchy came to oppose the Enlightenment. The conservative elemnt in the clergy remained strong in the new Aystrian Republic after World War, even so there was little support for the NAZIs even before the anti-clerical nature of the NAZIs was well understood. The Austrian Catholic heirarchy declared National Socialism incompatible with Christianity (November 1932). This was at atime when NAZI support was growing, but Hitler had not yet sized control of Germany. The metropolitan of Linz (Hitler's Austrian home town stated definitively that it was impossible to be a 'good Catholic and a sincere National Socialist'. [Bukey, p. 95.] This began to change after Hitler seized power. Vienna's archbishop, Theodor Cardinal Innitzer stated that he was impressed by 'positive' elements' in National Socialism but not enough for the 'rapprochement between Austria and the Reich' that had bbeen proposed by Hitler's emissary, Franz von Papen (1934). [Bukey, p. 96.] As support for the NAZIs grew in Austria, the heirarchy was forced to come to terms with the new politucal reality. None of the Austrian hierarchy enthusiastically embraced the NAZIs the did negin seeking a modus vivendi. Hitler's goal was to reduce the Austrian Church to one more National Socialist tool. The maniacal attacks on Jews by Viennese mobs are well documented. NAZI moves against the Church are less well known. A NAZI mob attacked the archiepiscopal palace in Salzburg. The SS placed Archbishop Waitz under house arrest. [Bukey, p. 97.] The Catholic establishment was deeply concerned and for good reason. Cardinal Innitzer paid Hitler a courtesy call. Hitler evaded discussion of Catholic rights. Catholics and Nazis were already involved in a struggle over who would control Austrian Catholicism. Catholic Youth Groups roughed up Hitler Youth members during a riot outside Cardinal Innitzer's residence (October 1938). The cardinal then had to decide on the CHurch's policy toward the NAZIs. A Catholic anti-Nazi demonstration was being planned. He chose to oppose the anti-NAZI resistance. NAZI authotities mnoved against the CHurch anyway. They discontinued allocations of public funds to the Church. This basically the application of already estanlished Reich policy to Austria. The NAZI Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (NSV) had taken over charitable fund raiding and welfare charities from the churches. NAZI-controlled newspapers boasted of the success in smashing the CHurch's power.

Czechoslovkia: The Next Victim (September 1938)

Quickly after annexing Austria, Hitler turned to his next victim. Czecheslovakia like Austria was a creation of the hated Versailles Peace Treaty. Hitler was very careful. As with his domestic enenies, he went after one at a time. While focusing on Austria, he muted criticism of Czrechoslovaki and Poland, two new states he planned to destroy. After the Austrian Anchluss, Hitler began to escalate his tirades against Czecheslovakia. His major claim was that the ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland were being mistreated. This was, however, not the limit of the tirades aginst the Czechs. The propaganda campaign over seen by Propaganda Minister Goebbels portrayed the Czechs as racially inferior and because of this the Czechs lived in povery and want, racially incapable of creating a prosperous state and society. The NAZI rearmament program, the remilitarization of the Rhineland and the Anchluss with Austria came as a shock to Czecheslovakia. Even more so, the lack of response from Britain and France. The Czechs who had defensive alliance with France were prepared to fight. Even with the Anchluss, many Europeans chose to see the NAZI actions as domestic German matters. This changed with Hitler's next target--Czecheslovakia. Hitler in 1938 demanded the Sudetenland in Czecheslovakia, a border region with a majority German population. Thus durung the resulting crisis. The tenions that Hitler steadily esclted would led to the Munich Conference. And at Munich Hitler insisted that he just wanted to unite Germans and did not threaten the Czechs. And he would personally assure Chmberlin that he wanted no Czechs--only Germans.

Kristallnacht (November 1938)

Austrians Jews like Germans Jew were brutalized on Kristallnacht--the NAZI pogrom against the Jews. Homes were ramsacked, shops looted, men arrested, and synagiuges burned. Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass" was a vicious NAZI pogrom directed at NAZI Jews. A Polish-born Jewish Jew, Sendel Grynszpan, wrote to his soon describing how he had been expelled to Poland and mistreated. His son Herschel was a 17-year old youth living in Paris. Disdraught by his parents' treatment, he shot the Third Secretary of the German Embassy, Ernst vom Rath. As a reprisal, Hitler personally approved a massive assault on Germany's Jews in their homes and attacks on Jewish stnagoges. The attacks began early on November 10. Members of the Gestapo and other NAZI organizations such as the SA and the Labor Front were told to repprt to the local NAZI Party office and were given their instructions. They then moved out ramsacking Jewish shops and synagoges and setting firm to them. Groups of NAZIs broke into Jewish homes, looting them and destroying property that they did not want. Pets were killed. About 30-100 Jews were killed. About 20,000 mostly men were dragged off to the Buchenwald, Dachu, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. The orgy of violence exceed even what the NAZIs had palnned. This was of copncern because the NAZIs hoped to eventually seize the property. The Jews were thus required to repair the danage to their shops and homes. When the NAZIs realized that Jewish property was insured, Goering issued a decree requiring that insurance payments made to the German Government. An additional 1 billion mark fine was imposed on the Germany Jewish community.

Assessment

After the NAZI defeat in World War II, Austrians attempted to portray themselves as one of the many victimized captive nations pillaged by the Germans. In fact, Austria and Austrians were a willing participant in the NAZI conspiracy. Public opinion polls in Austria indicate that the great majority of Austrians do not like to discuss the issue. Otto von Habsburg, the eldest son of the Emperor Karl (the last emperor) told the ruling conservative People's Party: "No state in Europe has a greater right than Austria to call itself a victim." He rejected the Allied wartime declaration that Austria shared responsibility for the Nazis as "hypocrisy and lies". He described the jubilant crowds welcoming Hitler as "high-spirited football fans". [Paterson] Most historians, however, report that the vast majority of Austrians were at least willing accomplices to NAZI rule and many were ardent supporters. The fact that there was was overwealming public support for Anschluss and participation in the New Order and Grossdeutschland is undeniable. That can be seen in the press images and the subsequent plebecite. One historian writes, "Hitler was welcomed into the country as a successful Austrian who was returning home from abroad and suddenly letting his own people take part in his successes. He was a sort of ersatz monarch." [Botz] Surely most Austrians did not fathom what Hitler planned. Many did. The Austrians were well represented in the SS. Some of the most ruthless exponents of the New Order proved to be Austrians. Seyss-Inquart went on to conduct the Dutch Holocaust with apauling effienccy. Kaltenbrunner was a major figure in the Holocaust.

Sources

Botz, Gerhard. A historian at Vienna University who has focused on the Anschluss and the NAZI era. Quoted by Tony Paterson, "Anschluss and Austria's guilty conscience," The Independent (March 13, 2008).

Bukey, Evan Burr. Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era 1938-1945 (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 320 p.

Davidson, Eugene. The Unmaking of Adolf Hitler (Univesity of Missouri: Columbia, 1996), 519p.

Paterson, Tony. "Anschluss and Austria's guilty conscience," The Independent (March 13, 2008).

Sperber, A.M. Murrow: His Life and Times (Freundlich Books: New York, 1986), 795p.

Suksi, Markku. Brining in the People: A Comparison of Constitutional Forms and PracticesNijhoff).

Woodward, E.L. et al., Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919-39, 3rd ser., I (H.M.S.O., 1949), pp. 44-8.

Zuckmayer, Carl. Als wär's ein Stück von mir (As if it were part of myself).

Zweig, Stefan. Die Weltvon Gerstern.

Unknown Austrian HJ Members. Das Lied der Getreuen. Verse ungennanter österreichischer Hitler-Jugend aus den Jahren der Verfolgung 1933-37 (Leipzig: Philipp Reclam jun., Verlag, 1938).






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Created: January 15, 2003
Last updated: 5:08 PM 3/14/2016