Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

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Lamarck
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 15 Apr 2018 02:57

Sid, since it is obvious that you do not actually have Bukey's book, he wrote about the plebiscite:

As for the Austrian people, the April plebiscite both shaped and reflected popular attitudes. The available evidence suggests that a substantial majority of the populace welcomed the opportunity to participate in the electoral process to resolve the question of national identity and to exercise the right to vote denied for over half a decade. The Nazis were well aware that the Anschluss euphoria rested on an ephemeral emotional base and sought to maintain the popular enthusiasm through massive, ongoing mobilization.

...

Analysis of the results of the April plebiscite requires great caution. Some 360,000 or 8 percent of the electoral had been excluded from the ballot box; many others bent with the wind. While the elections were technically "free and secret", their setting made it risky to vote against the Anschluss. That said, the returns provide some indication of prevailing attitudes, a point Gerhard Botz has argued for two decades. First, since Cardinal Innitzer and Karl Renner had endorsed the Anschluss, at least two-thirds of the electorate could be counted on to approve it. Second, Nazi propaganda had obviously made an impact on voters, especially those who beheld Hitler or experienced the captivating stare of his porcelain-blue eyes. Third, affirmative vote was greatest in provinces with the highest Nazi membership: Burgenland (99.93 percent), Styria (99.81 percent), and Lower Austria (99.74 percent). Conversely, negative ballots were most numerous in provinces with the strongest sense of Austrian identity: at one extreme rural Roman Catholic Tyrol (.70 percent); at the other, working-class Red Vienna (.59 percent).

In what specific ways the April plebiscite reflected the desires and wishes of the Austrian population must remain a matter of speculation. What is perhaps most striking is that the loss of independence was attended by so little protest or resistance. or resistance. With all this in mind, Botz is surely correct in arguing that popular reaction to the Anschluss cannot be characterized simply as credulity, opportunism, or hope of economic betterment. The enthusiasm of 1938 corresponded at a more basic level to the excitement of the moment; it represented a genuine outpouring of German nationalist feeling that was shared by virtually everyone in the interwar period. Although Hitler's foreign policy goals remained open, scarcely anyone objected to his authoritarian system or to his intention of ridding Austria of undesirable minorities and social outcasts. If nothing else, the prevailing anti-Semitic consensus ensured that a "majority" of Austrians stood ready "to fulfill their 'duty' in the Greater German Reich."


Therefore, it is not unreasonable to claim that an overwhelming majority of Austrians supported the Anschluss in 1938. Cardinal Innitzer and Karl Renner guaranteed that 66% voted "Yes" together with the Austrian Nazis and the Austrians that advocated the Anschluss. The various authors that claim around 80% of Austrians would have genuinely voted for the Anschluss in an open and fair plebiscite I would say are fairly accurate.

Also, Richard J. Evans did not write that only a third of Vienna's population would have "Yes" but rather... "although, probably, to judge at least from Gestapo reports, only a quarter to a third of Viennese voters were genuinely committed to the idea of union."

There is a difference between being genuinely committed to something and still going along with it. Many people prefer to 'swim with the tide' when it comes to things.

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 15 Apr 2018 03:07

Sid, the more you keep replying, the more I am doubting how sincere you are about discussing the Anschluss.

You constantly ask for "hard evidence" but you have often said things that certainly require a source but you do not give any. For example, when I asked you about why there is only one sad face out of all the millions of photographs from that period you wrote that there was no source and that there are simply self-selected. Even a person that does not own Bukey's book can use Google books and see that he cited a source when he wrote about there only being one sad face among the millions of Austrians photographed during the Anschluss.

You also claimed, "Secondly, these photos are of a self-selecting crowd of enthusiasts, not of the far larger numbers who appear to have stayed at home."

However, Bukey again also contradicts your claim:

What accounts for the euphoria with which most Austrians greeted the loss of their country's independence, a rapture remarkably similar to that which most East Germans hailed the collapse of the German Democratic Republic a half century later? First, there can be no doubt that the initial enthusiasm was both genuine and spontaneous; Reich German cameramen and broadcasters certainly provided extensive coverage of the Anschluss, but neither they nor Propaganda Minister Goebbels had sufficient time to stage-manage events. Second, it is clear that the populace was profoundly relieved that bloodshed had been avoided. For most people the intervention of German troops thwarted the outbreak of civil war and provided a security shield against foreign aggression. Third, nearly all hoped for a dramatic improvement in the material conditions of everyday life; most Austrians were aware of Hitler's economic achievements and had good reason to believe that their expectations would soon be fulfilled. Fourth, there can be little doubt that millions of people welcomed the Anschluss as a chance to put an end to the so-called Jewish Question. The anti-Semitic violence that followed Schuschnigg's valedictory was perpetrated by the Austrian Nazis and their accomplices, not by the German invaders. That the new regime openly sanctioned persecution and Aryanization, in other words, could only enhance its popularity.

This does not mean that the masses had suddenly embraced all the doctrines of National Socialism, As already mentioned, no more than a third of the populace could be considered dyed-in-the-wool believers. Most Austrians were therefore hailing the collapse of the Old Regime; they viewed the Anschluss as both a powerful "agent of change" and thee fulfillment of an ancient dream.

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby South » 15 Apr 2018 08:04

Good morning all,

Ref: "idea of union with Germany on econ... ... since 1918";

This is true - however Anschluss was prohibited by the Allies.

Ref the economic situation during "Austrofascism" (ROFL ... were the other creations of Versailles / Saint-Germain earthly paradises ?!);

Recall that the Allies forbade Anschluss. There were attempts to defeat the prohibition via a customs union with Germany. French reaction was to withdraw short-term credits to force Austria to withdraw any thoughts about an economic union with Germany. This is what caused the benchmark event, the collapse of Creditanstalt-Bank Verein. The collapse was felt well beyond Austria. All this was early 1931 and it "set the stage". The League of Nations gave Austria a loan (15 July 32) with the condition that it not enter into any economic union with Germany (actually a pre-existing condition of the Allies) for the next 20 years. The stage was perfected when Nazis, like Artur von Seyss-Insuart, appointed Minister of the Interior.

"Capitalism" crashed alongside the big bank collapses (don't have notes here on the Hungarian bank that also crashed). The financial / economic crashes discredited, in my view, the political systems. The rest was mechanical for German-Austria to become Ostmark.


~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby ljadw » 15 Apr 2018 12:25

South wrote:Good morning all,

Ref: "idea of union with Germany on econ... ... since 1918";

This is true - however Anschluss was prohibited by the Allies.

Ref the economic situation during "Austrofascism" (ROFL ... were the other creations of Versailles / Saint-Germain earthly paradises ?!);

Recall that the Allies forbade Anschluss. There were attempts to defeat the prohibition via a customs union with Germany. French reaction was to withdraw short-term credits to force Austria to withdraw any thoughts about an economic union with Germany. This is what caused the benchmark event, the collapse of Creditanstalt-Bank Verein. The collapse was felt well beyond Austria. All this was early 1931 and it "set the stage". The League of Nations gave Austria a loan (15 July 32) with the condition that it not enter into any economic union with Germany (actually a pre-existing condition of the Allies) for the next 20 years. The stage was perfected when Nazis, like Artur von Seyss-Insuart, appointed Minister of the Interior.

"Capitalism" crashed alongside the big bank collapses (don't have notes here on the Hungarian bank that also crashed). The financial / economic crashes discredited, in my view, the political systems. The rest was mechanical for German-Austria to become Ostmark.


~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

In 1937 the Austrian GDP was lower than in 1913;this condemned Schuschnig,as people vote with their wallet .

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby South » 15 Apr 2018 13:11

Good morning Ljadw,

I saw the numbers you posted on GDP.

Basically, I believe that the population supported Anschluss but also believe the GDP numbers were not the gauge.

The reparations program, coupled to bank collapses and, especially for the Austrian political classes to the petite bourgeois, looking at Allied actions such as transferring Germany's Upper Silesia to Poland, Austria looked like it was destined to become a labor pool for France - and the Austrians were motivated accordingly.

People do vote for their economic interests. Look closer at the reparations than the GDP.

Of course, nearly a century later, I know what happened.


~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 15 Apr 2018 18:26

Hi ljadw,

You are right. I was drawing a false inference that Schussnigg was drawing large crowds in Vienna on 24 February.

What it actually says is that "On 24 February he delivered a speech in parliament that appealed to large crowds of patriotic supporters......"

The "large crowds of patriotic supporters" haven't gone away. I was just wrong to assume this referred just to Vienna. It presumably refers to Austria as a whole.

I will repost my post tomorrow so that you can then turn to the other points in it that you haven't yet addressed.

Thank you for the correction. It was helpful.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby ljadw » 15 Apr 2018 18:52

Abiut Linz : a crowd of 40 % of the population is overwhelming, you will never get 50 % : old people, sick, children, people who have to work,they can't be present and it is not because they were absent that they were hostile to the Anschluss .

How much % of the Londoners were applauding Winston on May 8 1945 ? How many of the inhabitants of Paris were welcoming De Gaulle in August 1944 ? How many welcomed Lindbergh ?

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 15 Apr 2018 19:15

ljadw wrote:Abiut Linz : a crowd of 40 % of the population is overwhelming, you will never get 50 % : old people, sick, children, people who have to work,they can't be present and it is not because they were absent that they were hostile to the Anschluss .

How much % of the Londoners were applauding Winston on May 8 1945 ? How many of the inhabitants of Paris were welcoming De Gaulle in August 1944 ? How many welcomed Lindbergh ?


This is exactly what I have been saying for a long time in this thread. Not every single Austrian had to show their face on the streets. The crowds that turned up to watch the German soldiers cross the border or to hear Hitler give a speech were overwhelming ("very great in amount").

Here are a few quotes I have already posted in the thread:

Progress was much slower than expected because of the jubilant crowds packing the roadsides. It was in darkness, four hours later, that Hitler eventually reached the Upper Austrian capital. His bodyguards pushed a way through the crowd so that he could go thee last few yards to the town hall on foot. Peals of bells rang out; the rapturous crowd was screaming 'Heil'; Seyß-Inquart could hardly make himself heard in his introductory remarks. Hitler looked deeply moved. Tears ran down his cheeks. In his speech on the balcony of the Linz town hall, he told the masses, constantly interrupting him with their wild cheering, that Providence must have singled him out to return his homeland to the German Reich. They were witnesses that he had now fulfilled his mission. 'I don't know on which day you will be called,' he added. 'I hope it is not far off.' This somewhat mystical remark seemed to indicate that even up to this point, he was not intending within hours to end Austria's identity by incorporating the country into Germany.

The overwhelming reception he had encountered on his grandiose procession to Vienna, above all his return to Linz, had made a strong impression on the German Dictator. The intoxication of the crowds made him feel like a god.


Even at that hour Guderian found the streets filled with excited citizens who broke into "frantic rejoicing" on sighting the first German soldiers. Preceded by an Austrian military band, the invaders marched past the opera house. They were greeted with flowers and raucous friendliness. Enthusiasts tore off the buttons of Guderian's overcoat for souvenirs before hoisting him to their shoulders and carrying him to his quarters.

It is impossible to deny enthusiasm with which both the new regime and last night's announcement of incorporation in the Reich have been received here," telegraphed the British ambassador to Viscount Halifax on Monday. "Herr Hitler is certainly justified in claiming that his action has been welcomed by the Austrian population.

Wherever Hitler went he was greeted as savior and Führer. His return to Linz on April 8 was greeted with renewed frenzy. The lobby of the Weinzinger was jammed with citizens who clamored to see him.


German soldiers entered Austria promptly at eight A.M. on March 12, 1938, and encountered no resistance. Quite the contrary; in the villages through which they marched, women and children rushed out into the road to pelt the soldiers with flowers.


How can anyone seriously deny that these crowds overwhelming? :?

Of course Sid disagrees:

Your Ian Kershaw quote says nothing abouit Austrian support for Anschluss as being "overwhelming". It only says his reception in Vienna was overwhelming. As we have seen, this "overwhelming" reception seems to have consisted of a minority of Vienna's population.

The Toland quote doesn't say "overwhelming" anywhere! Indeed, in saying, "Sweyss-Inquart returned to the capital that evening to find Viennese Nazis gathered to greet the Fuher", it tends to reinforce my point that the reception was a Nazi-organized event and not entitrely spontaneous or representative of non-Nazi Austrians.

A couple more facts: If the crowd in Linz, which was Hitler's home town remember, was 100,000, this amounted to just 60% of it population - and we don't know if all the crowd was from Linz. If the crowd in Vienna was 250,000, this amounted to just 17% of the city's population. Nobody is denying the enthusiasm of those who were in these crowds. The problem is that the great majority of Austrians appear not to have been in them.


:roll: :roll: :roll:

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 15 Apr 2018 19:36

The majority of Austrians had desired the Anschluss since 1918 and wanted German-Austria to join Germany and had continued to do so until the 1938 Anschluss.

Rolf Steininger, Austria, Germany, and the Cold War: From the Anschluss to the State Treaty, 1938-1955 (2012):

The majority of Austrians desired union with Germany. The reasons lay close at hand, as Geoffrey W. Harrison of the Foreign Office 24 years later in his famous memorandum "The Future of Austria" noted: To him it was clear that:

the Austrians are a German people, sharing the inheritance of German thought and art. But their vocation through more than five centuries has been Danubian, and living as they do at the crossing of so many ways they are by tradition Europeans. This perhaps helps to explain why the great majority of Austrians can hardly be said to have been nationally conscious before 19118 ... So determined did the Danubian states shake the dust of Austria from their feet that to the Austrians it seemed clear that their eastern mission had ended.


pp 2-3

The Austrians' cheering and enthusiasm for the German invasion on the morning of 12 March exceeded all expectations on the German side and contributed to Hitler's decision to carry through the Anschluss with Austria immediately and completely, without honoring the original transitional arrangements. Alongside enthusiasm, approval, hope for better times and full employment - much opportunism, there were also Austrians who died not approve of what had happened. They went largely unnoticed, however, for Himmler's SS-henchman acted quickly. All the public saw and remembered were scenes of jubilation and Hitler's March 15 speech at the Heldenplatz in Vienna, before some 200,000 cheering Austrians where he proclaimed the Anschluss.

Where there was still skepticism, it was suffocated beneath an unprecedented campaign in the weeks preceding the popular referendum of 10 April.

We should not assume there there were falsified ballots on a large scale; indeed, under the prevailing conditions they were not necessary.


pp 9-10

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 16 Apr 2018 13:24

Hi ljadw,

You post, "Abiut Linz : a crowd of 40 % of the population is overwhelming, you will never get 50 % : old people, sick, children, people who have to work,they can't be present and it is not because they were absent that they were hostile to the Anschluss ."

Your reasoning has some merit, but your conclusion does not. 40% is certainly a good turn out by any standard. However, if you can never get a crowd of 50%, then you can never use it as evidence of "overwhelming" support, which would require a turn out of about twice as high as 40%. (Lamarck gives a couple of statistical examples of "overwhelming" standing at 83% and 92%. I would be content with evidence of 75%). 40% is evidence that support for the Anschluss and/or the Nazis was at the very least "underwhelming" in Linz, but it does not enable us to say that it was "overwhelming".

(I should point out here that there is plenty of photographic evidence of older people and children in the crowds and that the British military attache to Berlin saw Hitler pass by from a garage on the outskirts of Linz, where work stopped so that the staff could go and watch. I will, however, exempt the sick from this caveat!)

It also then leaves the far bigger issue of Vienna even further off "overwhelming", as Bukey says the crowd there was only about 17% of the population. In the (unlikely) assumption that all of Linz was pro-Anschluss and/or the Nazis, this would give a figure 2.5 times the crowd turn out. If you multiply the 17% of nearly ten-times larger Vienna by the same 2.5 figure you get only about 42% at most of the population of the capital arguably in favour of Anschluss and/or the Nazis.

You ask, "How much % of the Londoners were applauding Winston on May 8 1945 ?" and " How many of the inhabitants of Paris were welcoming De Gaulle in August 1944 ?" and "How many welcomed Lindbergh ?" I have no idea, but then I have never claimed they were "overwhelming" and so don't have to defend such a proposition.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 16 Apr 2018 14:11

Hi Lamarck,

I certainly could have split up my post into smaller segments, but why would I, given that you had made no such request? Can we concentrate on the content, rather than the form of each other’s replies? That is what is important here. Anyway, in order to help you, I will this time conform to your format of multiple smaller posts. I am not sure how having several consecutive short posts instead of one longer one helps comprehension, but I will oblige.

You post, “1. I would hardly describe an idea (that the ideological obsession with a unitary German state with a full range of national institutions ruling all Germans) that has been around since 1866 (when Austria was excluded from Germany) as a "recent one".” Well, I would and already have. 1866-1938 is only 72 years – less than a single lifetime. German collective history is around 2,000 years, or some 80 generations! Historically, Germans lived in multiple different German polities and this idea is a recent one by comparison.

You post, “2. You claim the photographs of the Anschluss are "self-selecting crowd of enthusiasts". Source?” You need a source? Are you doubting that the crowds (albeit apparently a minority of the population) were of pro-Anscluss and/or pro-Nazi supporters attending voluntarily? The alternative, that they were somehow press-ganged by the Nazis and forced to smile for the cameras, wouldn’t seem very helpful for your proposition that Austrian support for Anschluss was “overwhelming”!

You post, “The use of 'overwhelming' being a problem seems to persist from only you. Maybe you should contact those authors that have used this as a word to describe the Austrians in 1938 and post the replies.” Even if it were true, (which it isn’t, because even some other of your own sources don’t support the “overwhelming” proposition), so what? If you were claiming 2+2=5 and I was the only one pointing out that this might be flawed, would this therefore make 2+2=5 correct? Of course not! Again, let’s stick to the facts, in so far as we have any.

You post, “4. I am not wrong, About what?

You post, “…..it depends on how the words are used. You are defining both of those words in the sense of percentages.” What words?

You post, “The "most votes" can be used as simply an interchange of words such as, "clear/overall/absolute majority (=a situation in which one party wins more votes in an election than all the other parties)". LONGMAN, majority in Law topic.” I agree, but where does “overwhelming” fit into this?

You post, “5. Why do you keep ignoring my very basic question to you? [i]What evidence that is available will you accept as support for the use 'overwhelming' to describe the Austrians approval of the Anschluss in 1938?[/i]” Firstly, this accusation is untrue, and you must know it, unless you are resolutely not reading my posts! I repeat what I posted last time that you asked: ”Simple. Anything that stands up under scrutiny.” It is not my job to make your case for you, especially when I am questioning it!

The fact of the matter seems to be that, so far, you have found no hard evidence supporting your “overwhelming” proposition and are now so desperate that you are asking me where to find it. Believe me, if I had any I would happily tell you, but I don’t. That is why I am restricting myself to giving credibility to a more modest proposal consistent with such evidence as we do have – that it is plausible that, all other things being equal, a clear majority of Austrians probably supported Anschluss in 1938. If you want to push it further than that, then you must find the evidence, not me.

You post, “6. Every single bit of evidence that supports the use of "overwhelming majority" is just going to be labeled as cherry-picking and supporting an agenda. I have used various sources.” Firstly, if you choose only to give credibility to sources (such as they are!) that support your “overwhelming” thesis and ignore those that do not, then you are very definitely “cherry-picking”. As far as I can tell, you have no “agenda” beyond trying to dig yourself out of a hole of your own making.

You post, “7. Do you really want to go down the argument of the correct use of grammar? If I were to get £1 for every grammar mistake you have made in this thread alone I would be a very rich man.” You and me both! Frankly I am not too fussed about your grammar or spelling so long as I can understand you. When I can’t, I will ask you. It is the content of your posts regarding the state of Austrian support in 1938 that interests me.

You post, “I don't know what degrees you have or anything about your personal life but I don't think you are in a position to try and lecture someone about the definition of words when you posted "time-wasteing". Again, whether either of us is a tenured professor of history or a shelf-stacker in a supermarket has no relevance here. It is the accuracy of the content of our posts that counts and the evidence we have to support them. Nor is our personal life of relevance here. Certainly I spelled “-wasteing” wrong. Did this cause you to misunderstand what I wrote? If so, I would be happy to clarify. You have only to ask. If I also wish to be petty, I, too, could point out all the red underlinings by my spell-check of your posts, but how would this help advance our discussion?

You post, “…..please do point out the incorrect use of 'overwhelming' to describe the Austrians in 1938.” I don’t have to. I am questioning it and, as you have claimed it, you have to justify it. It becomes questionable if you cannot justify it with hard evidence. You are not justifying it with hard evidence, so it is therefore questionable. Your “overwhelming” proposition will fall by default if you cannot provide hard evidence rather than cherry-picked opinion.

You post, “8. The reason I tend to agree with those that agree with a high percentage is because there is no evidence to support anything less than that.” This makes no sense at all. How can there be hard evidence of, say, 80% support for Anschluss if there is no evidence for, say, 79%? Perhaps you would care to rephrase this.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 16 Apr 2018 14:19

Hi Lamarck,

You post, “1. I don't normally personally attack people but the way you have been replying to me is making me question your actual reading comprehension.” Well, as this is not the first time you have posted that you don’t “normally personally attack people” and then proceeded to do so, I would suggest that the next time you wish to claim this you might drop the word “normally” in the interests of accuracy!

You add, “Also, you personally attacked me first, remember that!” I don’t remember that, but if it is so then I am happy to apologize in the interests of getting out of the playground and on with the substance of this thread.

You post, “2. I have actually already addressed this statement.” What statement?

You post, yet again, “You are confusing two things. Support for the Anschluss and support for the actual Nazi Anschluss.” Again, Nope. These are two different things. The latter is probably a subset of the former.

You post, “The Austrians had long been in favour of union with Germany before the Nazis were even heard of in Germany.” You will have to tell us more. Are you referring to a desire for an Austro-centric, rather than Prusso-centric Germany?

You post, “Hitler wanted Austria to be the first test for the Wehrmacht to stop any potential opposition.” What do you mean? That Hitler wanted physical Austrian resistance to test the Wehrmacht? This seems to be true against the Czechs, but it would have been politically counterproductive for the wider Nazi project if it hade happened in Austria, surely?

You post, “However, even political opponents greeted the German soldiers when they entered Austria.” And the evidence for this is…..?

You post, “The Nazis wanted to ensure that the result would of course be almost 100% (which dictatorship would not?) but that doesn't mean there wasn't genuine support.” True. The only question is, how much “genuine support”?

You post, “By the way, I think you will find there were some cases of resistance after the end of Stalingrad, what the hell are you on about? “ Errrr, no I didn’t. To use your own turn of phrase, “What the hell are you on about”? Please clarify.

What I actually posted was: “If you want to look at the entire period of the Third Reich, although the great majority of Austrians remained compliant, you will also find a few instances of Austrian opposition, some of it later in the war and armed. The Bomb Plotters were most successful in Vienna. In Yugoslavia the Communist partisans formed a company of Austrians, but only a platoon of Germans. Late in the war one of the Austrian-raised Ersatzheer units had to be disbanded because it was thought to be politically disaffected. Beyond some bridge demolitions, there was also absolutely no physical resistance to the Western Allies in Austria and the Alpine Redoubt proved a non-event. [Coincidentally, on a personal level, I have learnt through talking about this thread that my girlfriend’s grandfather was an Austrian who served in the British Pioneer Corps and died in Burma in 1944.] Although most Austrians remained compliant to near the end, not all was always as rosy in the Austrian Nazi garden as you would have us believe.

Yes, I did write, "By your rationale, this would be evidence that the 90,000 prisoners taken by the Red Army were happy with their condition! This is a wilfully silly rationale!" It still is! If you object to it, instead of posting “This is exactly why it is incredibly frustrating even trying to debate with you. I honestly am starting to think that I would get more sense out of a brick wall”, why not just answer the charge in the context you are here ignoring, rather than evading it by engaging in such blather. To help you have another go at actually engaging with my point, I post again the full context:

“You go on to say, “There is not a single bit of evidence that there was any sort of rejection of the idea by any marginal numbers of Austrians, neither in the month between the Anschluss and the referendum…..” If Austrians were so entirely in agreement, why did the Nazis use a 100,000 man occupation army, a security police contingent of 40,000 men, arrest tens of thousands of Austrian opponents, exclude others from the voting process, purge the upper echelons of government services, lower the voting age, bribe the electorate, rig the voting process in several ways, etc., etc.? There was no resistance by the Germans at Stalingrad on 3 February 1943. By your rationale, this would be evidence that the 90,000 prisoners taken by the Red Army were happy with their condition! This is a wilfully silly rationale!”

You post, “You can't even compare the Anschluss to Stalingrad. Do you enjoy comparing apples to oranges?” If you would care to actually read my post, you will see that I was not comparing the Anschluss and Stalingrad, I was showing by logical extension the absurdity of your rationale. Neither the Austrian population after occupation in March 1938, nor the German (some 20% of them Austrian) POWs after Stalingrad, were in a position to reject their situations. Absence of resistance may not be an indication of contentment with the situation, but rather an absence of the conditions, opportunity and tools to do so.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 16 Apr 2018 14:34

Hi Lamarck,

You post, “1. You wrote: "I am glad you can empathize with my situation, but it looks as though we must share this burden together!" Are you trolling?” Nope, just telling it like it is!

You post: “I have told you time and time again, not every single Austrian had to show their face in the street. Nevertheless, thousands of Austrians turned up on the streets to greet the German soldiers, Hitler and the Nazis during the Anschluss. Fact.” Yes, FACT. However, it is also a FACT, in so far as your favoured source Bukey goes, that only about a 40% minority of local Austrians were in these crowds at Linz, the city of Hitler’s youth, and only quite a small minority of about 17% in the crowd in the capital, Vienna. “Thousands” is, in fact, a considerable underestimate. Even in Linz there were tens of thousands and in Vienna hundreds of thousands. The problem is that there were nearly two hundred thousand people in Linz and approaching two million in Vienna. It is also a fact that Bukey says we don’t know how many tears were shed at home. And yet, knowing this, you still persist with absolute certainty that Austrian support for Anschluss was “overwhelming”?

You post, “3. Yes, there were arrests and murders carried out between the initial Anschluss proclamation and the plebiscite. However, this was only a minority of people and there was no real resistance.” Well, there was no real resistance in Bohemia-Moravia or Denmark, either. By your peculiar rationale this would mean they also welcomed German occupation! In case you hadn’t noticed, Schussnigg had ordered no resistance, which would have been hopeless anyway, even if the army remained loyal to him, because Austria had only 10% of the population of the Alt Reich, had no allies and its armed forces had had much less time to throw off the WWI treaty restrictions on their size than the Wehrmacht and were therefore proportionally even smaller than their German equivalents.

Why do you write, “only a minority” as if mass arrests and occasional murders were of no significance? What number of murders, arrests and exclusion from voting do you consider necessary for you to drop the “only”?

You post, “I am not sure where the 400,000 figure is from but 8% is still a minority. Please do explain how you can logically remove that 8% from the Nazi plebiscite result when they did not participate in the plebiscite…..?

You have posted some peculiar things on this thread, but that takes the biscuit! Are you really saying that you accept totally the Nazi action in excluding 8% of the population from voting through the occasional murder, tens of thousands of arrests and hundreds of thousands of exclusions and that this does not effect the legitimacy of the Nazi plebiscite in any way? That to you these are non-persons, just as they were to the Nazis? These were Austrian citizens who were not allowed to vote by the Nazis. Of course they must be added to the courageous minorities who either abstained, spoilt their ballots or voted against Anschluss.

You also ask, “…..how do you know that every single one of those people would have voted "No"?” I don’t, but given that they were murdered, arrested or excluded from voting in the month before the Anschluss plebiscite, it seems more than a little unlikely that the Nazis would have done these things to people likely to swell the pro-Anschluss vote in any numbers, doesn’t it?

You post, “Perhaps this again is another good example of your poor reading comprehension.” You really aren’t doing very well on the “I-don't-normally-personally-attack-people” front, are you?

You post, "Also, have a read of https://www.sudd.ch/event.php?lang=en&id=at011938" I have. And….?

You wrote: "(Contrary to popular belief, one can compare apples and oranges. The mistake would be to equate them) You really aren't too bright.” Perhaps not, but why, then, are you failing to make your point successfully against such low grade opposition after a good two months?

Drum roll, please. I will now compare the two fruit before your very eyes:

One can accurately compare (OED: “estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between”) the two fruits by saying, for instance, “Oranges tend to have thick skins compared to apples”.

However, one cannot accurately equate (OED: “consider (one thing) to be the same as or equivalent to another”) them by saying, “Oranges are the same as apples”.

You post, “If you have any problem with the ballot paper I found, type into Google the words on the ballot paper and there are several other references available.” I don’t, but thank you for asking. Indeed, I have extended my gratitude to you several times for finding an example. Thanks, again. (If you have further need of my validation, I would be happy to thank you in later posts as well. You have only to ask.)

You post, “7. Read what you have posted, you claim the use of 'overwhelming majority' to be "extreme". Can we have the direct quote, please. Then I will be in a position to address this. Anyway, at least you are no longer claiming that I called you or respected authors “extreme”.

You post, “I think what this really comes down to is the fact you are reluctant to accept the use of 'overwhelming majority' because it "defends" (according to you) the Nazi plebiscite result.” Nope, you think wrong. I am happy to accept any level of Austrian support for Anschluss provided the evidence stands up to scrutiny. Undoubtedly the higher the real level of Austrian support for Anschluss, the greater the credibility of the Nazi plebiscite. I have no problem with this. All that matters is the facts. Unfortunately, most of your evidence (really mostly unsupported secondary opinion rather than sourced primary evidence) doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and is unsupported by other sources you are content to ignore.

Earlier you posted, “I do have other books that are specifically about the Anschluss and will copy and paste some material in the not too distant future.” What happened to them? Have they so little in them to support your “overwhelming” proposition that that you have to rely entirely on the internet? There’s no shame in that, but you have produced so little from the promised books that one can’t but wonder if they really exist!

You post, “You have defended Schuschnigg's plebiscite over and over again. I'll go by abductive evidence, if it walks like a duck...you would still think it was a goose! I have only defended Schussnigg’s plebiscite relative to the Nazi plebiscite. Both were flawed, but the Nazi one seems even more flawed than Schussnigg’s, if only because he had far fewer resources to corrupt the process than did the Nazis, who additionally used “a 100,000 man occupation army, a security police contingent of 40,000 men, arrested tens of thousands of Austrian opponents, excluded hundreds of thousands of others from the voting process, purged the upper echelons of government services, lowered the voting age, bribed the electorate, etc., etc.”.

You claim that Stackelberg “was clearly writing about the Austrian plebiscite result.” Yup, but in the whole of the Greater Reich, not just Austria.

You conveniently failed to repeat your quote from him that proves this, so I will: ” A plebiscite throughout the new Greater Reich approved the Anschluss by 99 per cent. While this vote was obviously skewed by government pressures and the absence of a true secret ballot, there can be no doubt but that Anschluss enjoyed overwhelming popular support.

And my reply, with added bold type for your benefit: “And why wouldn’t it? About 92% of the electorate of which he is talking were Alt Reich Germans. Why wouldn’t they be overwhelmingly in favour of acquiring a new province bloodlessly? What Stackelberg does not say here is that Austrians were overwhelmingly in favour of Anschluss. He is talking about the “new Greater German Reich”, not Austria specifically.

You wonder where the 92% came from? It is because about 92% of the electorate for Stackelberg’s “plebiscite throughout the new Greater Reich” were not Austrians.

Finally you write, “The government pressures were not needed in the Reich itself but were aimed towards the Austrians.” Yes! Exactly! Why this differential? Because Austrians were presumed to be less keen on Anschluss than were the Germans and required the extra pressure, even after 8% of them, according to Michael Mills, had been excluded from voting!

Cheers,

Sid

Sid Guttridge
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Posts: 5541
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 16 Apr 2018 14:44

Hi Lamarck,

In answer to my question, "Was there no fully armed German military invasion?" You replied “No”. What? No hundreds of tanks? No thousands of assorted artillery pieces? No hundreds of aircraft? No tens of thousands of infantry armed with rifles, LMGs, MMGs, HMGs, 60mm and 81mm mortars? You cannot write such nonsense and expect to be taken seriously, surely?

You go on, “Wehrmacht soldiers were used, but there was no need and there were many faults.” So what? Whether they were needed or not, and regardless of the many faults, they were still engaged in a full scale military invasion as organised by von Manstein. Even a reserve division was mobilized to support them!

You continue, “In fact, if any resistance had occurred the Wehrmacht soldiers would have been in trouble.” From what? The mighty Austrian Army, with its thousands of tanks and aircraft and its massive reserves of manpower? Or maybe the formidable Austrian Navy? Even the Austrian general staff didn’t expect to be able to hold the Traun Line for more than a few days.

You say, “Guess what? No such thing happened. Why? Austrians approved of the annexing of Austria to the Reich.” Errrr, not exactly. As already explained, some Austrian Army deployments were made, but Schussnigg, recognizing the hopelessness of Austria’s military situation, “resolved not to shed German blood” and resigned.

When I asked "Were the local Nazis not thugs (and sometimes worse) who had already proved themselves more than willing to shed Austro-German blood to get their way in 1934?", you replied, “This is a question that is impossible to answer.

No it isn’t! Firstly, it is an undeniable fact that the Austrian Nazis killed several hundred people during their failed uprising in 1934, including the then Austrian chancellor, Dolfuss, who died in agony when they refused him medical treatment. Secondly, on p.28 of your favoured source, Bukey, he says, “The Nazi brawlers – tens of thousands of them – fanned out into Jewish neighbourhoods, looting shops and beating up hapless passersby.” The Austrian Nazis were homicidal thugs in 1934 and don’t seem to have mellowed much by 1938!

When I asked, “Did the Nazi Party recognize any legitimate opposition in Germany?", you replied, “Yes.” And then promptly proceeded to contradict yourself by telling us of political opponents being “dealt with by the Gestapo.

Let us try again to get a straight answer from you. I repeat, "Did the Nazi Party recognize any legitimate opposition in Germany?" I don’t think those rounded up by the Gestapo can have been regarded as being regarded as “legitimate opposition”, do you? Otherwise they would presumably not have been rounded up!

When I asked, "Were the Nazis liberal democrats tolerant of opposition?" you replied, “Stop trying to act as if I know nothing about how the Third Reich worked. Of course there were not liberal democrats.” However, you again failed to address the bit about “tolerant of opposition”. Would you care to do so now?

You continue, “….but the idea that the Anschluss was only approved of because of mass intimidation, arrests and propaganda is utter nonsense.” Absolutely right, these were certainly not the “only” reasons. Luckily, this was not my idea and I therefore don’t have to defend it.

You post, “Austrian Jews hiding and Austrians that were classified as eligible to vote (those considered to be ethnic Germans) hiding are two separate things.” Yup. What they have in common, in our context, is that they were all declared ineligible to vote in the Nazi plebiscite. Michael Mills (who is an effective revisionist) thinks there were 400,000 of them, or about 8% of the electorate.

You ask, “Do you have any evidence of ordinary Austrians (excluding Austrian Jews and Austrian Gypsies) of hiding from the Nazis during the time of the Anschluss?” No, I haven’t investigated it, but as Bukey says, “How many tears were shed behind closed doors is impossible to say.

You post, “Thousands upon thousands of people turning up is "overwhelming", it is a large number of people.” It may be “a large number of people”, but “thousands upon thousands” is not necessarily “overwhelming” in a country of 6-7 million. Let us review Linz and Vienna, yet again. According to your Bukey, only about 40% of the population of Linz, the hometown of Hitler’s youth, were in the crowds and in much larger Vienna, the capital, this fell to about 17%.

You post, “OK. By your logic, thousands of Austrians welcome the German soldiers but somehow disapprove of the actual Anschluss?” Nope, not by my logic, so I don’t have to defend this propostion.

When I asked, "Bukey gives no source for any such survey, just for the single photo concerned. It would require an enormous amount of work to look at a minimum of 2 million photographs, many of which contain dozens or hundreds of faces. We are talking of studying tens of millions of faces. Does this sound plausible?", you replied, “You said that you had the book. Also, the page is available via Google books and clearly shows a source is cited. You are being dishonest. The source given is "Botz, "Eine deutsche Geschichte 1938 bis 1945? Österreichische Geschichte zwischen Exil, Widerstand und Verstrickung," 23. The recently discovered photograph depicts a grouup of unenthusiastic onlookers at Innsbruck. Even so, a glance at the foreground reveals only one or two dejected figures. The others appear perplexed or detached. In the background one can spot the face of a woman swooning in ecstasy. See Kirk, "Workers and Nazis in Hitler's Homeland," 37."

Yup, that is exactly what I have in my book and conforms with what I posted; “Bukey gives no source for any such survey, just for the single photo concerned.” You are also giving the source for the single photo concerned, as I said, but not for any survey of two million photos. I could, of course, follow your intemperate lead and call you “dishonest” right back, but I suspect you have just misread my post.

You ask, “Are you seriously trying to claim that every single photo is just Nazi propaganda?“ Nope. What I actually wrote was, “almost all the photos we see of these self-selecting, pro-Anschluss and/or pro-Nazi crowds are probably official photos”. Indeed, yes, “There are plenty of private photographs from collections”, but we don’t seem to see many of them by comparison.

You post, “You are confusing party's policies and public opinion.” Could you be a bit more specific, please?

You post, ”The Austrian Nazi Party was the only party that openly advocated the Anschluss.” Over 1934-1938, apparently yes. As the Nazis appear not to have enjoyed majority support in Austria during this period, this also calls into question the proposition that support for Anschluss was “overwhelming”, even given that support for Anschluss went beyond just the Nazi Party.

You post, “The German soldiers and other forms of intimidation…...” Well, at least you recognize that the German soldiers were a form of intimidation.

The following is a little too vague and/or confused to address with confidence; “Austrian resistance towards certain things is not the same as Austrian resistance to the Anschluss. Also, your examples of Austrian resistance clearly shows that if the Austrians had genuinely disapproved of the Anschluss there would have been at least some form of resistance. What about left-wing politicians and folk? I have not read about any opposition even though the Anschluss was an formed by the ideas of German nationalism.” Could you tidy it up a bit, please? After all, a person with my “poor reading comprehension” needs all the help he can get!

You post, “If you are going to simply dismiss the Nazi plebiscite as 100% rigged and unreliable (at all) then there is no numbers use as sources. I have repeatedly said this when referring to percentages.” So have I. If we had some sort of authoritative national survey of Austrian public opinion, either through free and fair plebiscite, or reputable national opinion polls, we might have something firm to go on regarding percentages. But we haven’t. It is this very lack of hard evidence that is making your “overwhelming” proposition unsustainable so far.

You finally post, “However, other evidence such as anecdotal, reports, etc, has been used by historians to state quite clearly that overall the percentage would still have been very high and although would not have been up to the standard of what the Nazis would have liked it would have still been a substantial majority.

I can live with a close, but more carefully qualified, variant of that, “However, other evidence such as anecdotal, reports, etc, has been used by historians to suggest that overall the percentage could still have been very high and, although (it) would not have been up to the standard that the Nazis would have liked, it might have still been a substantial majority”

Cheers,

Sid.

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Lamarck
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Re: Why didn't Hitler advocate Austrian nationalist ideas?

Postby Lamarck » 16 Apr 2018 19:15

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi ljadw,

You post, "Abiut Linz : a crowd of 40 % of the population is overwhelming, you will never get 50 % : old people, sick, children, people who have to work,they can't be present and it is not because they were absent that they were hostile to the Anschluss ."

Your reasoning has some merit, but your conclusion does not. 40% is certainly a good turn out by any standard. However, if you can never get a crowd of 50%, then you can never use it as evidence of "overwhelming" support, which would require a turn out of about twice as high as 40%. (Lamarck gives a couple of statistical examples of "overwhelming" standing at 83% and 92%. I would be content with evidence of 75%). 40% is evidence that support for the Anschluss and/or the Nazis was at the very least "underwhelming" in Linz, but it does not enable us to say that it was "overwhelming".

(I should point out here that there is plenty of photographic evidence of older people and children in the crowds and that the British military attache to Berlin saw Hitler pass by from a garage on the outskirts of Linz, where work stopped so that the staff could go and watch. I will, however, exempt the sick from this caveat!)

It also then leaves the far bigger issue of Vienna even further off "overwhelming", as Bukey says the crowd there was only about 17% of the population. In the (unlikely) assumption that all of Linz was pro-Anschluss and/or the Nazis, this would give a figure 2.5 times the crowd turn out. If you multiply the 17% of nearly ten-times larger Vienna by the same 2.5 figure you get only about 42% at most of the population of the capital arguably in favour of Anschluss and/or the Nazis.

You ask, "How much % of the Londoners were applauding Winston on May 8 1945 ?" and " How many of the inhabitants of Paris were welcoming De Gaulle in August 1944 ?" and "How many welcomed Lindbergh ?" I have no idea, but then I have never claimed they were "overwhelming" and so don't have to defend such a proposition.

Cheers,

Sid.


The use of "overwhelming" in this scenario is just simply "very large". Thousands upon thousands of people on the streets is overwhelming by any definition.

The idea that every single person (or pretty much every citizen) had to be on the streets to somehow justify the use of 'overwhelming' is absurd. A rough estimate of 40% of people on the streets at one time is overwhelming in the sense of "very large". Wherever Hitler went the crowds were "overwhelming", in certain places it even shocked Hitler himself.

By your logic, are you seriously suggesting that the peoples of say for example Britain and Russia were not "overwhelmingly" glad that the war had ended? Remember, there are no surveys and not every single British or Russian person was on the street.

I could mention lots of situations about WW2 in which the phrase "overwhelming majority" could easily be used to describe those events without the necessity of relying on surveys or how many people were on the streets compared to how many people lived in that city or town.

The overall population of Linz contradicts nothing about saying the crowds there during the Anschluss were "overwhelming".

For example, Ian Kershaw wrote, "The overwhelming reception he had encountered on his grandiose procession to Vienna, above all his return to Linz, had made a strong impression on the German Dictator."

You're not even being pedantic about the definition of 'overwhelming' ("very large"), you are just making something up that is not there. No true Scotsman and ad hoc hypothesis come to my mind.


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