I just came across this thread, and I can't suppress leaving at least some of my thoughts on it here...
Actually, the word "nation" is from Latin "natio" = "tribe", or "natus" = "born". Therefore, the term "nation" actually refers to a group of people who share a common descent. In a wider sense, the term may additionally cover the presence of more or less assimilated alien minorities.
Today, the term "nation" is most often used with a meaning that has been extremely weakened intentionally for certain ideological reasons. In this sense, it can even be applied to a group of people who do not
share a common descent, as long as they share certain formal-legal aspects such as a common government.
Only ca. 8.7 percent of the U.S. population is of English ancestry:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries.jpg
In Canada, ca. 21% are of English ancestry, ca. 16% of French, ca. 15% of Scottish, ca. 14% of Irish, and ca. 10% of German ancestry.
You will always find people in Germany regarding the people in Austria as foreigners, and vice versa, but this is only true under arbitrary legal definitions the people themselves do not have any actual influence on.
It is well known that Schuschnigg had shamelessly designed his "plebiscite" to favor only his own interests. You can read everywhere about the outrageous dirty tricks he had built into its concept... - it's no secret - even after 1945...
And - independent of that fact - remember that it's very easy to openly claim that a good majority would have voted against the Anschluß
since here and today, this is the only statement regarded as politically correct...
On the other hand, there was
an actual public poll in Austria which resulted in 99.73 percent being pro-Anschluß
. - Yes, I know, it's not politically correct not to add a phrase such as "that they were all threatened and tortured and thrown into concentration camps by the Nazis to do so"
... - It's on you to think about such statements... (It's always the same: As soon as it comes to any politically relevant aspects, it's the same as participating in a scientific discussion on mathematics with the legal requirement not to deny that 2+2=5 )
And don't forget that as Hitler's troops entered the main Austrian cities, troops from Austria
also entered the main Reich's cities such as Munich, Berlin, Dresden, Stuttgart. There wasn't any conquest - it was simply a friendly and peaceful unification... And no-one would have seriously regarded Austria to be an occupied territory - and it actually wasn't until the end of WWII...