some questions

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Muffin Man
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some questions

Post by Muffin Man » 16 Apr 2002 03:41

hello everybody, this is my first thread/post in these forums and i hope there will be many more. i just needed to know if anyone had any pertanent info regarding the Austrian Anschluss, i understand the basics, at least i think i do, and i was wondering if anyone knew some good facts. thatnks for the help. :D

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Christoph Awender
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Der Anschluß..

Post by Christoph Awender » 16 Apr 2002 03:57

Hello Muffin Man!

Welcome to the Forum!

A union between Germany and Austria had been forbidden under the terms of the Versailles Treaty but in 1938 this took place. Between 1933 and 1935, Austria had been protected against any German bullying by Italy. In fact, in 1934, Italy had massed her troops on the Brenner Pass when it seemed that Germany might take over Austria after the Austrian chancellor Dollfus had been murdered by right-wing thugs. The message to Hitler was clear and there was no German occupation of the Austria.

By 1936, Germany and Italy were forming a friendship and by the end of 1936, Mussolini withdraw his support for Austria. In 1937, the Austrian chancellor, Schuschnigg, was actually told by Mussolini that Italy would no longer defend Austria against attack.

Hitler had always seen Austria as being part of Germany. He, himself, had been born in the Austrian town of Brannau, but for all his life Hitler considered himself German. Many Austrians had the same belief so that Hitler felt empowered to bully Schuschnigg into submission. In February 1938, Hitler gave the Austrian chancellor a list of ten demands. The chief demand was that a man called Seyss-Inquart should be made Minister of the Interior. Seyss-Inquart was an Austrian Nazi and such a position would give him control of the Austrian police. Such a demand was clearly unacceptable to Schuschnigg.

The chancellor tried a different ploy. He made it known that he would order a plebiscite (a vote on one question) about whether the people of Austria wanted a free Austria or not. Hitler could not be sure that he would get the result he wanted from this proposed plebiscite. If the plebiscite went ahead and the Austrians voted effectively against Hitler, he would be put in a very difficult position. Hitler demanded that the plebiscite should not take place and that Schuschnigg should resign. If neither of these took place, he told the chancellor that he would order his military to invade Austria. In the memories of people of Europe, was the devastation of Guernica in Spain caused by the bombers of the Luftwaffe - in fact, Hitler had threatened to turn Vienna into the "Spain of Austria".

Schuschnigg could not take this risk and he resigned - along with his cabinet. The only member of his cabinet not to resign was Seyss-Inquart. As the sole member of the Austrian government, he invited German troops into Austria in March 1938. On March 15th 1938, Hitler entered Vienna in triumph. The pleasure of the huge crowds was difficult to disguise. It is said that even Hitler was surprised by the size of the crowds and by the cheering. Austria became part of the German Greater Reich; Schuschnigg was arrested and imprisoned and almost immediately the Austrian Jews lost their rights.

regards,
Christoph

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Post by Dan » 16 Apr 2002 04:37

Hallo, my friend Christopf

I think the number of people killed in Guernica was about 96. It was still murder, in my mind, but let's keep it in perspective.

Do you think that Hitler couldn't have won that plebiscite? Everything that I've read leads me to believe that the majority of Austrians approved of Anschluss.

Very best, and I'm not attacking you
Dan

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Christoph Awender
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thats because I forgot to include the source....

Post by Christoph Awender » 16 Apr 2002 04:58

Hello Dan!

Forgot to include the source of this.....

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/au ... d_1938.htm

These were not my own words. And I totally agree with you that the majority of the Austrians welcomed the Führer. Although many of them do not remember any more... :-)

But this is a topic you can discuss hours and hours and will never get a satisfying result....

regards,
Christoph

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 16 Apr 2002 16:33

Dan wrote:I think the number of people killed in Guernica was about 96. It was still murder, in my mind, but let's keep it in perspective.


These were the casualties according to Antony Beevor's "The Spanish Civil War":
Approximately a third of the town's population were casualties - 1.654 killed and 889 wounded.


/Marcus

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Muffin Man
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Post by Muffin Man » 16 Apr 2002 17:45

thanks for the help everybody, from what ive read in a few books here and there is that many people did accept the Nazi occupation but not as much as the polls told. i believe the number i read that after the plebiscite votes was 99.8% for the occupation. i dont believe that that number is the actual number of welcoming Austrians of Nazi powers, but i do believe the Nazis would have won the vote if it were legit. thanks again everybody.

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Post by Dan » 16 Apr 2002 20:06

Marcus, your figures may be right. I read a book by an American journalist years ago who said a troop of anarchists had led most of the town's people away to use as human shields.

Then Irving went there, searched the hospital and cemetary and came to the conclusion of 96. This doesn't prove it, though :)

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MadJim
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austria

Post by MadJim » 19 Apr 2002 05:23

I just wanted add a little to what Christoph said. When the Weimar republic was set there were plans to incorporate the Germanic provinces of Austria into Germany. When the Weimar Reichstag was set up, seats were even set aside for delegates that would be coming from Austria. The French went tilt - the war (ww1) would have been fought completely in vain if Germany came out with more people then when she went in.(so they said, according to AJP Taylor) It was a French demand that this union be forbidden. The French also offered the Austrians some sort of economic sweetner to help it go down.

Kurt S Austria was not a western democracy, but a dictatorship. Italys interest in Austria was soley as a buffer. They also knew that a small Austria would never be able to press for return of South Tyrol and its 250 thousand German Austrian inhabitants. It was only after Hitler assured Musslolini that "Germany stopped at the Brenner" that Mussolini agreed to butt out.

The plebicite as was proposed by Kurt S government was really a sham. Its wording was something like: Do you want Austria to remain free, Christian and independant? Germany was NOT mentioned. Can you imagine that it wouldn't pass? That was Hitler's objection. Among the demands Hitler made was that the Austrian Nazi party be made legal and that Austrian Nazis that were imprisoned, be released. Eventually, the Austrian government caved in, but German troops were already swarming across the border to a heroes welcome. Hitler had initially just wanted a very freindly government in power in Austria. However, Austria really gave the old home town boy a heroes welcome, so he decided just to incorporate the whole deal.

Naturally, after the war, many Austrians were desparate to disassociate themselves from the Nazi mess. This just shows that when people are desparate they are capable of anything. :mrgreen:

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