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Sheridan County School District #2 > Anschluss Agreement

Anschluss Agreement

In July 1934, the Austrian and German Nazis attempted a coup together, but failed. A right-wing authoritarian government then took power in Austria and may have prevented half the population from expressing legitimate disagreements; This division prevented a concerted resistance to the developments of 1938. In February 1938, Hitler invited Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg to Germany and forced him to give virtually carte blanche to the Austrian Nazis. At the beginning of the decade, Austria had approached Italy for support, but at that time the Italian head of state Benito Mussolini had abandoned the idea of intervening to protect Austria. However, Schuschnigg then rejected the agreement and announced a referendum on the follow-up issue. He was harassed to annul the referendum, and he resigned obediently and ordered the Austrian army not to resist the Germans. President Wilhelm Miklas of Austria refused to appoint Austrian Nazi leader Arthur Seyss-Inquart as chancellor. German Nazi minister Hermann Goering ordered Seyss-Inquart to send a telegram requesting German military assistance, but he refused, and the telegram was sent by a German agent to Vienna. On March 12, Germany invaded Germany, and the ensuing enthusiasm gave Hitler the cover to directly year Austria on March 13.

A controlled referendum on 10 April gave 99.7 per cent support. See also international relations: Anschluss und der Munchner Pakt. Schuschnigg signed the 1936 German-Austrian Convention. This pact recognized Austria`s independence, but the price to pay was that Austria`s foreign policy had to be in line with that of Germany. The agreement also allowed the Nazis to hold official positions in Austria. Schuschnigg hoped it would appease Hitler. He was wrong. In 1934, Italy reached an agreement with Austria to protect Austria from external aggression. The Italian dictator Mussolini complied with the agreement and moved the Italian troops to the Austrian border to prevent Hitler from invading it.

In 1936, the German boycott caused too much damage to Austria. [Clarification needed] This summer, Schuschnigg Mussolini said his country had to agree with Germany. On 11 July 1936, he signed an agreement with the German ambassador, Franz von Papen, in which Schuschnigg accepted the release of the Nazis imprisoned in Austria and Germany promised to respect Austrian sovereignty. [28] Under the Austro-German Treaty, Austria declared itself a “German state” that would always follow Germany`s foreign policy lead, and members of the “national opposition” were allowed into the cabinet, for which the Austrian Nazis promised to stop their terrorist attacks on the government. Hitler did not stop and the pro-German Austrian Nazis grew strong. Given the significant participation of many Austrians, including at the highest level, in the implementation of Nazi and other crimes, Austria should have played a leading role in prosecuting the perpetrators of the Holocaust over the past forty years, as has been the case in Germany. Unfortunately, the Austrian authorities achieved relatively little in this regard and, with the exception of the case of Dr Heinrich Gross, who was suspended this year in highly suspicious circumstances (he claimed that he was not medically inadequate, but that he was found to be healthy outside the court), no Nazi war criminals have been prosecuted in Austria since the mid-1970s. [106] The declaration was primarily intended as propaganda aimed at fuelling the Austrian resistance.

Although some Austrians helped the Jews and are considered righteous among the peoples, there has never been an effective Austrian armed resistance, as it was found in other countries under German occupation. The new Austrian Chancellor, Mr Schuschnigg, tried to save the country from german invasion by trying not to give Hitler an excuse for the aggression.