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?

Post by Lamarck » 02 Feb 2018 13:19

Sid Guttridge wrote:It is only a plausible assertion that "the majority of Austrians did not want Austria to remain as an independent state.", not a fact.
The definition of a 'fact' is:

fact
fakt/Submit
noun
a thing that is known or proved to be true.

It is known to be true that the vast majority of Austrians supported the idea of an Anschluss with Germany. The idea that the majority of Austrians thought of themselves as Germans and wanted to be part of the Reich was supported before the Nazi Party or even Hitler existed. Ever since 1866 many Austrians felt annoyed that Austria never became part of the German Empire in 1871.

There is nothing to doubt about the sincerity of the Austrians approval of the Anschluss. After WW2 there was a widespread theory which propagated that Austria was the first "victim" of the Nazis. The theory held weight for a few decades after the war but since the 1980s it has been widely accepted as a myth.

Even after WW2, the Holocaust and being an independent country, in 1956 a survey carried out showed that 46% of Austrians still considered themselves to be Germans. In 1964 only 15% considered themselves to be Germans.
Schussnigg's plebiscite ("Are you in favour of a free and German Austria, an independent and social Austria, a Christian and united Austria; for peace and employment and for equality for all who stand for their people and their nation?") would have tested this very premise and yet Hitler invaded Austria precisely to stop this proposition being put to the Austrian people.
As someone else has already mentioned, the Schussnigg regime was a dictatorship. How can the reliability of a result from the Schussnigg leadership be any different to the Hitler leadership? Both were dictators and neither Austria nor Germany were democratic.
You write, "The Nazis never even won a majority in any open election but the Nazi Party was still by far the most popular party in Germany prior to Hitler becoming Chancellor in 1933." Surely this only serves to reinforce my point, not detract from it? What might appear to be majority sentiment isn't necessarily so.
No, sometimes a "majority" can be very very subtle, in the March 1933 election the Nazi Party got 43.91% of the votes and had a 10.82% increase in votes. So even though Hitler never got a majority, he was by far the most prominent politician and the Nazi Party was by far the biggest party in Germany.
There is no doubt that the Anschluss was welcomed by large crowds, but this does not prove that anything like a majority of the population was in favour of Anschluss. It just shows that most of those present in the crowds were probably (though not necessarily) in favour. One can tell by the identical Swastika banners conveniently flying down the streets in the photos you put up that there was a degree of stage management in the whole exercise, and not just a matter of popular spontaneity. Similar scenes were staged in Prague a year later, but the sullen Czechs were definitely not in favour of Anschluss with the Reich.
There is a key difference between the annexation of Austria and the proclamation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The former was inhabited by predominantly ethnic Germans, the latter was predominantly inhabited by Czechs and Slovaks and clearly signaled to the rest of the world that Hitler was not only interested in occupying ethnically German areas.

The annexation of the Sudetenland which was predominantly inhabited by ethnic Germans but was part of Czechoslovakia showed similar approval of the Nazi annexation:

Image

Image

I've not seen any photos of any Austrian resistance or disapproval of the Anschluss. Do you have any photos of such kind?

The idea that the photos I have posted are just simply Nazi propaganda is too naive. They show the general attitude of the Austrians when the Anschluss was being announced by Hitler.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t75ldUNc2Xw
The reason why there was no Austrian resistance in 1938 was that Schussnigg backed down when it was apparent that it was militarily futile. Austria had no allies, Mussolini's Italy had sold it out, it had a Versailles-type army that was only a fraction of the size of the Reichswehr, let alone the Wehrmacht. There were military deployments under way and the Government militia was armed, but Schussnigg, not the Nazis, prevented bloodshed.
But there was no disapproval from the Austrians themselves. Even until the final days of WW2, a majority of Austrians supported the Anschluss and the war effort. Even after a decade of being independent, just under half of Austrians still thought of themselves as Germans.
There is little doubt that immediately after WWI there was a majority in favour of Anschluss with Germany, but the peace treaties prevented this. However, in the 1920s elected governments were often of a persuasion for which Anschluss was not a point of principle or a priority. In 1934 the Nazis attempted a coup in order to bring Anschluss about, but were quite easily suppressed. Even some politicians in favour of Anschluss in principle were not in favour of Anschluss with a Nazi Germany. Austrian public opinion, as expressed in election results, was changeable on the subject and It is not possible to assert with certainty where public opinion lay in 1938 if asked a neutral question on the subject.

The Nazis invaded precisely to cut out any possibility of matters not going their way.
Even before 1918 there was genuine support for an Anschluss during the time when Austria was part of Austria-Hungary. The Austrians still considered themselves as Germans and an ethnic German identity was used in a lot of schools. Hitler thought of himself as a German from his early youth days. The only reason Austria ("German-Austria") never joined Germany was because of the treaties signed at the end of the war. The fact that prevailed annoyed many Austrians who thought it denied them the right to self-determination. It's quite clear to see what different Austrians thought. There were several surveys carried out in various parts of Austria, some showed results that were not too pleasing for the Nazis yet at the same time many areas showed an almost 100% approval of an Anschluss.

Have you read Evan Burr Bukey's Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945? If you have not, I recommend you get a copy and read it, the book explains quite clearly the general feeling of the Austrians from the 1920s to 1938.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Feb 2018 13:32

Hi ljadw,

Where is the empirical evidence that "The support for the Anschluss..... was overwhelming in 1938"?

We can't use either plebiscite as evidence, because of the biased way they were worded and, in the Nazi Anschluss-plebiscite case, conducted.

On the other we do know that Hitler occupied Austria to prevent Schussnigg's independence plebiscite taking place. This heavily implies that the Nazis feared Schussnigg might get the result he wanted. This, in turn, implies that support for Anschluss with Nazi Germany was not necessarily "overwhelming". We cannot ignore this in our assessments.

If, as you say, Schussnigg supported Anschluss from 1936, why did he put up his own plebiscite, which, incidentally emphasised Austria's Germaness while still advocating continuing independence? The two are not incompatible.

You write, "all Schussnigg needed was a lot of deaths and this would trigger the intervention of the West". It didn't in 1934, when the Nazis assassinated his predecessor and attempted a coup that cost several hundred lives. Nor did the West rush to Czechoslovakia's support, even though it suffered several hundred, largely forgotten deaths, in defending its sovereignty over 1938-39 and even though France, at least, was bound by treaty to Prague, which it wasn't to Vienna.

The Heimwehr was prepared to confront the Austrian Nazis. Likewise, some initial deployments were made by the Austrian Army towards the River Traun (spelling?) to confront the Wehrmacht and border patrols initiated by the air force. However, Schussnigg quickly realized that he was not going to get outside support and that the military odds were overwhelmingly against Austria, even if its army was prepared to fight, so he caved in, thereby saving the Heimwehr and army from risk of fatalities.

This brings us around to the taking of lives. The only side that was clearly prepared to shed German blood were the Austrian and German Nazis. They had done so ruthlessly in 1934 and were even better equipped to do so in 1938. So much for the sacredness of German blood to them!

As an afterthought, what about Liechtenstein? It had most of the same historic reasons to support Anschluss as Austria. Yet it saw off a Nazi "March on Vaduz" in March 1939 because the bulk of the population was against it. The march raised only about 100 Nazi supporters, whereas several times as many opposed them. Of course, if the Austrian Nazis had supported the Liechtenstein Nazis, matters would almost certainly have gone the same was as when Germany had earlier supported the Austrian Nazis in March 1938, but they did not. As a result, Liechtenstein maintained a precarious independence and Nazi membership never got above 250 in a population of some 10,000.

Cheers,

Sid.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Feb 2018 13:53

Hi Lamarck,

If the definition of fact is "a thing that is known or proved to be true", then proposition that Austrians were "overwhelmingly" in favour of Anschluss in March 1938 remains unproven.

Being Austrian and German are not necessarily mutually incompatible. Schussnigg's plebiscite showed awareness of this: "Are you in favour of a free and German Austria, an independent and social Austria, a Christian and united Austria; for peace and employment and for equality for all who stand for their people and their nation?" Only the Nazis and their fellow travellers cannot conceive of Germans who are not part of a German state or do not want to be.

You write, "As someone else has already mentioned, the Schussnigg regime was a dictatorship. How can the reliability of a result from the Schussnigg leadership be any different to the Hitler leadership? Both were dictators and neither Austria nor Germany were democratic." Yes, Yes and Yes. And yet some here seem to presume that one can attribute more reliability to the one than to the other. Both might plausibly have passed. Then what?

Hitler had a relative, not absolute majority in 1933. If any plebiscite proposal got "only" 43.91% support, it would have failed.

Yes, there were the major differences in substance between the German occupations of Austria and the Czech lands. My point was different. My point was that one cannot use photos of a tiny proportion of the total Austrian population in crowds in what was clearly to some degree a staged event to welcome Hitler to Vienna, because almost identical photos of crowds and swastika banners exist of Hitler's entry into Prague. Nobody, I suspect, is going to contend these are evidence of Czech support for German occupation.

I'll finish my reply later.

In haste,

Sid

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

Post by Lamarck » 02 Feb 2018 17:43

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi Lamarck,

If the definition of fact is "a thing that is known or proved to be true", then proposition that Austrians were "overwhelmingly" in favour of Anschluss in March 1938 remains unproven.
There is strong evidence to support the notion that the majority of Austrians supported the Anschluss in 1938.

I'm going to presume you've not read Evan Burr Bukey's Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945.

Here are some quotes from the book:
While a majority of Austrians openly yearned for Anschluss with the Weimar Republic, few of them thought of themselves as Germans in the radical sense propounded by Schönerer and his followers.
p. 9
Although an overwhelming majority of the Austrian people endorsed the triumph of German arms, particularist feeling, class division, and diversity of opinions persisted in Vienna.
p. 161
Overall, more than 372,000 Austrians or 5.6 percent of the population lost their lives under Nazi rule. Nonetheless, a majority of the populace supported the Anschluss system and the German war effort to the end.
p. 227

On the back of the book:
Using evidence gathered in Europe and the United States, Evan Bukey crafts a nuanced portrait of popular opinion in Austria, Hitler's homeland, after the country was annexed by Germany in 1938. He demonstrates that despite widespread dissent, discontent, and noncompliance, a majority of the Austrian populace supported the Anschluss regime—particularly in its economic, social, and anti-Semitic policies—until the bitter end.
If you would like more in depth text to demonstrate just how overwhelming the support for the Anschluss was, all you have to do is ask.
Being Austrian and German are not necessarily mutually incompatible. Schussnigg's plebiscite showed awareness of this: "Are you in favour of a free and German Austria, an independent and social Austria, a Christian and united Austria; for peace and employment and for equality for all who stand for their people and their nation?" Only the Nazis and their fellow travellers cannot conceive of Germans who are not part of a German state or do not want to be.
Austrians are Germans. Schussnigg never denied Austrians being Germans but simply wanted Austria to remain as an independent "German" state. A separate Austrian national identity only developed after the end of WW2.

Schussnigg question was was also unfair because it excluded people under the age of 24 from voting which would have excluded many Nazi sympathisers living in Austria since Nazism appealed to the young the most. The Schussnigg plebiscite would have been no more reliable than the Nazi plebiscite.

The idea of uniting the Austrian Germans and Austria to the Reich was a popular sentiment even before the Nazis were on the scene of German politics. Of course since Hitler was Austrian he was able to use his origin to his advantage and emphasise a German identity in Austria. In the Anschluss speech he said: "The oldest eastern province of the German people shall be, from this point on, the newest bastion of the German Reich" and then ended it by saying: "As leader and chancellor of the German nation and Reich I announce to German history now the entry of my homeland into the German Reich."
You write, "As someone else has already mentioned, the Schussnigg regime was a dictatorship. How can the reliability of a result from the Schussnigg leadership be any different to the Hitler leadership? Both were dictators and neither Austria nor Germany were democratic." Yes, Yes and Yes. And yet some here seem to presume that one can attribute more reliability to the one than to the other. Both might plausibly have passed. Then what?

Hitler had a relative, not absolute majority in 1933. If any plebiscite proposal got "only" 43.91% support, it would have failed.
It was not a clear majority which was required but the Nazi Party was by far the largest party in the Reichstag and following Hitler being appointed Chancellor on 30 January 1933, the membership of the party grew rapidly.
Yes, there were the major differences in substance between the German occupations of Austria and the Czech lands. My point was different. My point was that one cannot use photos of a tiny proportion of the total Austrian population in crowds in what was clearly to some degree a staged event to welcome Hitler to Vienna, because almost identical photos of crowds and swastika banners exist of Hitler's entry into Prague. Nobody, I suspect, is going to contend these are evidence of Czech support for German occupation.
There are literally dozens upon dozens of photos showing thousands of Austrians greeting the German soldiers and Hitler during the Anschluss in 1938.

Whereas during the Nazi occupation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia there was open resistance and hardly any greeting, that was not the case when it came to Austria. Even if Hitler and the Nazis had never come to power, there was still popular support in both Austria and Germany for a union, including by both left-wing and right-wing politicians. There was even a union attempted in 1931 but it was also denied.

Nazi propaganda which emphasised the German identity of Austria and uniting all Germans under one-state was a common theme during the build up to the Anschluss:

Image

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

Post by Lamarck » 02 Feb 2018 17:57

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi ljadw,

Where is the empirical evidence that "The support for the Anschluss..... was overwhelming in 1938"?
Surveys carried out in many different areas of Austria, some showed nearly 100% approval, others not so much. The turnouts for Hitler's various speeches during the Anschluss. There are no known examples of clear resistance.
We can't use either plebiscite as evidence, because of the biased way they were worded and, in the Nazi Anschluss-plebiscite case, conducted.
Yes we can. Although it was undoubtedly rigged, it shows the amount of people that turned out to vote and that despite the plebiscite's exaggeration there was genuine support for the Anschluss. Even Ian Kershaw mentions this in his biography of Hitler.
On the other we do know that Hitler occupied Austria to prevent Schussnigg's independence plebiscite taking place. This heavily implies that the Nazis feared Schussnigg might get the result he wanted. This, in turn, implies that support for Anschluss with Nazi Germany was not necessarily "overwhelming". We cannot ignore this in our assessments.
Schussnigg's plebiscite was explicitly anti-Nazi because it denied those under the age of 24 from voting which essentially would have blocked out the majority of Nazi support in Austria.
If, as you say, Schussnigg supported Anschluss from 1936, why did he put up his own plebiscite, which, incidentally emphasised Austria's Germaness while still advocating continuing independence? The two are not incompatible.
There was also a notion for this in Bavaria after WW1. But most pan-Germans advocate all Germans and German territories to be united under one nation-state known as Greater Germany.
You write, "all Schussnigg needed was a lot of deaths and this would trigger the intervention of the West". It didn't in 1934, when the Nazis assassinated his predecessor and attempted a coup that cost several hundred lives. Nor did the West rush to Czechoslovakia's support, even though it suffered several hundred, largely forgotten deaths, in defending its sovereignty over 1938-39 and even though France, at least, was bound by treaty to Prague, which it wasn't to Vienna.
I'd hardly say that Czechoslovakia fought to save its sovereignty. The Czechs accepted the annexation of the Sudetenland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was an Ally of Germany during WW2. Of course there was some resistance from the Czechs and Slovaks but many also collaborated with the Nazis.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Feb 2018 13:24

Hi Lamarck,

There is almost nothing you write or quote that disagrees with my position and you are repeating some of my earlier points.

You write, "There is strong evidence to support the notion that the majority of Austrians supported the Anschluss in 1938."

Yup. I have consistently supported that proposition, which is plausible.

What I question is that it was "overwhelming", fixed and unchanging.

The Nazi plebiscite result of 98%+ might well be considered "overwhelming", if it wasn't for the numerous factors detailed above that question its literal validity. Only those wholly convinced that the Nazi Anschluss plebiscite was openly and fairly conducted could believe support for Anschluss was "overwhelming" as opposed to "majority", and we know that the conduct of the plebiscite was deeply flawed, with distorted ballot papers, almost no marking of the ballot paper without direct Nazi supervision (see Albert Goering on the subject), etc.., etc..

That being so, we need an adjective rather less exaggerated than "overwhelming" to describe the state of Austrian public support for Anschluss in 1938. "Majority" suits me just fine as it is plausible.

So far nothing you have quoted states that public support for Anschluss in 1938 was "overwhelming". The only use of the word in your several quotes refers to the level of support for later German military victories, and even this is heavily qualified by, "particularist feeling, class division, and diversity of opinions persisted in Vienna."

So yes, I "would like more in depth text to demonstrate just how overwhelming the support for the Anschluss was" and I am, as you requested of me, asking.

Remember, we are talking about March 1938.

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 03 Feb 2018 13:54, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Feb 2018 13:51

Hi Lamarck,

What surveys?

There would have been a chance to display clear resistance if the Nazis hadn't rigged their plebiscite. But they did. The most plausible reason why they rigged the plebiscite was that they didn't want a plebiscite result that showed any significant body of dissent.

If, as you say "the majority of Nazi support in Austria" was under 24, this would imply that the majority of Nazi support lay in the age group 20-23 (20 being the normal voting age). Even in the unlikely assumption that absolutely all those in the 20-23 age group were pro-Nazi, and that an equal number of those over 24 were pro-Nazi, this would amount to only 8 year-groups out of the ±80 year groups able to vote. I would seriously question whether Nazi support was so low?

You write, "But most pan-Germans advocate all Germans and German territories to be united under one nation-state known as Greater Germany." Even if true, so what? It doesn't invalidate the proposition that there could legitimately be multiple independent German states. After all, throughout most of German history this has been the case. It was the norm, not the exception. I would suggest that it is the "Greater Germany" concept that is more of an aberration.

Cheers,

Sid

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

Post by ljadw » 03 Feb 2018 14:18

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi ljadw,

Where is the empirical evidence that "The support for the Anschluss..... was overwhelming in 1938"?

We can't use either plebiscite as evidence, because of the biased way they were worded and, in the Nazi Anschluss-plebiscite case, conducted.

On the other we do know that Hitler occupied Austria to prevent Schussnigg's independence plebiscite taking place. This heavily implies that the Nazis feared Schussnigg might get the result he wanted. This, in turn, implies that support for Anschluss with Nazi Germany was not necessarily "overwhelming". We cannot ignore this in our assessments.

If, as you say, Schussnigg supported Anschluss from 1936, why did he put up his own plebiscite, which, incidentally emphasised Austria's Germaness while still advocating continuing independence? The two are not incompatible.

You write, "all Schussnigg needed was a lot of deaths and this would trigger the intervention of the West". It didn't in 1934, when the Nazis assassinated his predecessor and attempted a coup that cost several hundred lives. Nor did the West rush to Czechoslovakia's support, even though it suffered several hundred, largely forgotten deaths, in defending its sovereignty over 1938-39 and even though France, at least, was bound by treaty to Prague, which it wasn't to Vienna.

The Heimwehr was prepared to confront the Austrian Nazis. Likewise, some initial deployments were made by the Austrian Army towards the River Traun (spelling?) to confront the Wehrmacht and border patrols initiated by the air force. However, Schussnigg quickly realized that he was not going to get outside support and that the military odds were overwhelmingly against Austria, even if its army was prepared to fight, so he caved in, thereby saving the Heimwehr and army from risk of fatalities.

This brings us around to the taking of lives. The only side that was clearly prepared to shed German blood were the Austrian and German Nazis. They had done so ruthlessly in 1934 and were even better equipped to do so in 1938. So much for the sacredness of German blood to them!

As an afterthought, what about Liechtenstein? It had most of the same historic reasons to support Anschluss as Austria. Yet it saw off a Nazi "March on Vaduz" in March 1939 because the bulk of the population was against it. The march raised only about 100 Nazi supporters, whereas several times as many opposed them. Of course, if the Austrian Nazis had supported the Liechtenstein Nazis, matters would almost certainly have gone the same was as when Germany had earlier supported the Austrian Nazis in March 1938, but they did not. As a result, Liechtenstein maintained a precarious independence and Nazi membership never got above 250 in a population of some 10,000.

Cheers,

Sid.
There was no threat in 1934 of a German invasion, but only an internal Austrian problem .CZ did not defend its sovereighnty ,thus there was no reason for the West to intervene .If in 1938 the Austrian population had resisted the German invasion, other countries would have been forced to intervene .

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

Post by Lamarck » 03 Feb 2018 15:17

Hi Sid,

First of all let us look at the definitions of the words 'majority' and 'overwhelming'.

overwhelming
əʊvəˈwɛlmɪŋ/Submit
adjective
very great in amount.
"his party won overwhelming support"
synonyms: very large, profuse, enormous, immense, inordinate, massive, huge, formidable, stupendous, prodigious, fantastic, staggering, shattering, devastating, sweeping; More
(especially of an emotion) very strong.
"she felt an overwhelming desire to giggle"

majority
məˈdʒɒrɪti/Submit
noun
1.
the greater number.
"in the majority of cases all will go smoothly"
synonyms: larger part/number, greater part/number, major part, best/better part, main part, most, more than half; More
2.
the age at which a person is legally a full adult, usually either 18 or 21.
"kids get control of the money when they reach the age of majority"
synonyms: coming of age, legal age, seniority, adulthood, manhood/womanhood, maturity; age of consent
"a girl who has not yet reached her majority"

In which way are you seeing a clear distinction between the two words? You're admitting that a majority of Austrians welcomed the Anschluss but deny an overwhelming did.

It's common knowledge that Nazism appealed to the youth more than the older. The Nazis would never have gained so much support without the youth. The youth were easier to indoctrinate and were promised many different things. The older people who voted for the Nazis tended to be nationalists and the alike who might not have agreed with the Nazis about everything but voted for the Nazis rather than the Communists.

Pan-Germans did/do not favour independent German states. The idea of Austria being a separate state angered a lot of Reich Germans just as much as it did the Austrians. There was no reason why Austria should not have been part of the Reich. The Nazis exploited this popular idea for their own ideology. It's true that until the mid 1800s there were several different German states but they still always formed a form of area whether that be part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation or the German Confederation. It's disingenuous for you to try and state otherwise. For hundreds of years Austria had ruled Germany. Austria was the main German state that was excluded from the German Empire. For someone like Hitler who was born less than two decades after the founding of the German Empire, it is quite clear why he and many other Austrians considered themselves Germans and wanted Austria to be part of Germany. The only reason Austria never became part of (and unified) Germany was because the Austrians lost to the Prussians in the German war in 1866, such an incident didn't stop those people being Germans (apart from citizenship wise). It made sense for Austria to be part of Germany, there was a common national identity between the two countries and it would have been economically better.

In one of your previous posts you wrote: "Who would want an unfree, dependent, anti-social, heathen, disunited, war-riven, unemployed, unequal Austria not prepared to stand for its people?""

Please do explain what you mean by "its people". How were Austrians and Germans any different in 1938? Even now, an Austrian national identity doesn't change the fact that they are ethnic Germans.

Other words you used in that sense are totally inaccurate with regards to what happened after Austria was annexed to the Third Reich.

I'm going to presume now that you have not read any books that specifically discuss the Anschluss. Not to worry, I will give references of Bukey's book about the various different surveys carried out before the Anschluss and during it in my next post.

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

Post by ljadw » 03 Feb 2018 16:04

Austrian Germanes and the Gross Deutschland idea did not oppose, or exclude each other .Except for the Prussian centralising unification idea, adopted by the nazis . This centralising rage went that far that the name Austria was forbidden and replaced by Ostmark .

OTOH, one should not forget that before 1918 Austria did not exist officialy : one was speaking of Cisleithania .

Last points : between 1920/1929 the unofficial Austrian anthem was : German Austria, you wonderful country .

And, following the SOPADE (German socialists in exil) 80 % of the Austrians would have voted for the Anschluss in a free referendum .


80 % is overwhelming .

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

Post by Lamarck » 03 Feb 2018 20:21

ljadw wrote:Austrian Germanes and the Gross Deutschland idea did not oppose, or exclude each other .Except for the Prussian centralising unification idea, adopted by the nazis . This centralising rage went that far that the name Austria was forbidden and replaced by Ostmark .
Exactly. The Nazis basically accomplished what Bismarck had failed to do in 1871. It should be noted though that after the Anschluss many Austrians voiced openly anti-Prussian notions.
OTOH, one should not forget that before 1918 Austria did not exist officialy : one was speaking of Cisleithania .
I disagree. Austria has existed for hundreds of years and was the ruler of Germany for centuries. The Austrian Empire was created in 1804, Austria joined Hungary to form the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867 and in 1918 the First Austrian Republic was declared.
Last points : between 1920/1929 the unofficial Austrian anthem was : German Austria, you wonderful country .
Although unofficial, the term "German-Austria" was also used to refer to the areas of Austria-Hungary which was inhabited by the Austrian Germans.

When the Republic of German-Austria was announced, a draft which announced the provisional constitution said: "German-Austria is a democratic republic" (Article 1) and "German-Austria is an integral part of the German republic" (Article 2)".

Plebiscites held in Tyrol and Salzburg showed a 98% and 99% vote for union with Germany.
And, following the SOPADE (German socialists in exil) 80 % of the Austrians would have voted for the Anschluss in a free referendum .


80 % is overwhelming .
I have a feeling that Sid is trying to clutch at straws and nitpick over the words 'majority' and 'overwhelming' by behaving as if they are two words that mean completely opposite things when in reality they mean virtually the same thing.

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

Post by Lamarck » 03 Feb 2018 20:42

Sid,

The idea that the Austrians during the interwar period wanted Austria to remain an independent German state is simply untrue. Many Austrians felt that the victors obligations against them were not fair because the Allies did not allow the principle of self-determination to apply to themselves. The victors did not allow the defeated to have self-determination, thousands of Germans were found living outside of Germany in Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc. Not only that, some of the lands that were part of German-Austria were given to other countries.

When Hitler gave a speech at the Heldenplatz, around 200,000 Austrians attended and were cheering ecstatically, this general attitude reflected the feelings of most Austrians.

When the foreign press claimed Hitler had gone into Austria by force, he responded by saying: "Certain foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods. I can only say: even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course of my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the former frontier (into Austria) there met me such a stream of love as I have never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators."

You have also asked why the Austrians would have wanted to vote for union with a country that would have allowed a society to be unfree, dependent, anti-social, heathen, disunited, war-riven, unemployed, unequal.

The regime that was in power in Austria for a few years before the Anschluss was not free, it was a dictatorship. The Austrians never wanted to be independent and always regarded themselves as Germans and Austria to be part of Germany. The Dollfuss and Schuschnigg regime was far from social and united. The Austrians were already antisemites before the Anschluss. During the Anschluss, thousands of Austrians were heard saying "Death to the Jews!" and "One Reich, One People, One Leader!". The Anschluss cured a lot of unemployment, much like the Nazis had done during the early years of the Third Reich. Are you forgetting that the Dollfuss and Schuschnigg was ruled by fascism? Austrofascism was hardly a pacifist peace loving place. I'd like to think that you know what the basic elements of fascism are and why what you are saying the alternative to an Anschluss would have been is simply utter nonsense.

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

Post by ljadw » 04 Feb 2018 11:09

The appellation Austria was avoided as much as possible before 1914, because what people are calling Austria did not exist before WWI .It was a conglomerate of 15 territories -more than provinces-,less than federal states-of which only 2 were called Austria :

The Archduchy of Austria above the Enns and the Archduchy of Austria below the Enns. Only 33 % of this population was German speaking . A lot of these German speaking people did not live in what is today Austria : there were strong "German " groups in Bohemia ,Moravia and Sudetenland . One of the present Austrian provinces did not even belong to Cisleithania but to Hungary : the province of Burgenland . Austria as such was created in november 1918 and there was no historical tradition to fall back on.For the majority of the Austrians, there was only one solution :to become a part of Germany and this was supported by all parties, including the communists (which proved the failure of Marxism :in theory communism and nationalism excluded each other,but practice was different ), while the attitude of the Austrian political parties changed after 1933, the attitude of the population
did not , this is proved by the almost total absence of resistance after the Anschluss :in 1938 only 31 persons (mostly communists) were "judged " by the People's Court .

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

Post by michael mills » 04 Feb 2018 14:52

It should be noted though that after the Anschluss many Austrians voiced openly anti-Prussian notions.
No matter. Anti-Prussian was not anti-German.

Hitler was not Prussian. If anything, he was Bavarian by choice, and his movement was based in Bavaria. Very few leading National Socialists were Prussian, or even North German, eg Goering and Himmler were Bavarians. Goebbels was a Rhinelander and hence a citizen of Prussia, but not really a Prussian in the usual sense of the word.

In fact, Prussia really ceased to exist as a political entity under National Socialist rule, being broken up into its component parts.

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

Post by ljadw » 04 Feb 2018 16:21

michael mills wrote:
It should be noted though that after the Anschluss many Austrians voiced openly anti-Prussian notions.
No matter. Anti-Prussian was not anti-German.

Hitler was not Prussian. If anything, he was Bavarian by choice, and his movement was based in Bavaria. Very few leading National Socialists were Prussian, or even North German, eg Goering and Himmler were Bavarians. Goebbels was a Rhinelander and hence a citizen of Prussia, but not really a Prussian in the usual sense of the word.

In fact, Prussia really ceased to exist as a political entity under National Socialist rule, being broken up into its component parts.

In fact, Germany had become prussified : a centralised ,unified state, where particularism wass equalled to separatism.And, anti-prussianism had not disappeared in Austria : it was only 70 years ago that Austria had fought and lost a war against Prussia .Most Austrians (including Schusnigg ) wanted to become a part of Germany, but wanted to conserve their identity .

Even today, there is a lot of hostility in Bavaria to to the Germans of the North ,who are equalled to Prussians .

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