Sid Guttridge wrote: ↑
31 Dec 2019 14:20
So, you contend that all the ballot rigging, one-sided propaganda, distorted ballot papers, lack of a secret ballot, intimidation, barring of hundreds of thousands of voters, military occupation by several hundred thousand German soldiers, arrest of tens of thousands of opponents by 40,000 imported police, false counts, etc., etc., made absolutely no difference to the Nazi plebiscite result?
This is patently ridiculous!
If this was true, why would the Germans need to occupy Austria when Schussnigg was already holding a plebiscite?
Or is it your contention that, while the Nazis could not alter a single vote through all these nefarious means, Schussnigg, with far fewer resources, could do so?
Your entire proposition lacks a plausible rationale.
It is anecdotally entirely plausible that a clear majority of Austrians were in favour of Anschluss in April 1938, but the hard evidence is lacking that an overwhelming majority, let alone 90%, were in favour had they been allowed a free and fair vote!
Every one knows what the official outcome would be of the Schuschnigg referendum : 99 % for the continuation of his dictatorship .That's why the Germans intervened .
And, why are you always talking about a free and fair referendum ? This was an impossibility ,even if the nazis wanted it .
The results of the Schuschnigg referendum would be an overwhelming vote against Schuschnigg and Schuschnigg would falsify the results which would become 99 % for Schuschnigg .
Your last argument is flawed : of course the evidence is lacking that an overwhelming majority would have voted yes in a free and fair election, because such an election was impossible .
OTOH,it is not certain that a free and fair election would give a different result : if in 1960 there were free and fair elections in the SU, I am certain that an overwhelming majority would still have voted for the Communists.
The difference between both referenda is that the nazis were politically stronger than Schuschnigg : they could expect support from communist,socialist," catholic"" and non committed voters, while the base of Schuschnigg was much smaller ; only a part of the" catholic'' voters .
The choice in both elections was between an independent Austria, that most people considered as non viable, ruled by a dictator who brought only misery and an Austria that would be a part of a big German Empire, the dream since 100 years from the majority of the Austrians, ruled by an Austrian dictator who had brought prosperity in Germany .
The real results are not difficult to guess .
Schuschnigg would need to falsify the results to win, the nazis did not need to falsify the results ,there was no general order from Berlin to falsify the results .
The decision of Schuschnigg to hold a referendum was a proof of weakness, and the voters are as the rats : they leave the sinking ship . The decision of Hitler to hold a referendum was a proof of strength : to convince people outside Germany that the Anschluss was supported by the Austrian people .