Hitler arriving into Austria

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Dictatorship in Europe: Dictatorship in Germany: The Anschluss March 1938 (The Invasion of Austria)

  • Germany and Austria had been forbidden from forming a union by the Versailles treaty
  • Hitler however felt that he wanted to incorporate his homeland into Germany as he felt the two states belonged together
  • Hitler tried to forge an alliance at Anschluss but was blocked by a more powerful Italian force led by Mussolini at the Austrian border
  • The Nazis in Austria began conspiring with Hitler to overthrow the Austrian government but were suppressed by the Austrian chancellor
  • Hitler saw this as an opportunity to dispatch troops to help those banned
  • The Austrian chancellor arranged a meeting with Hitler because he was now scared for the security of his nation
  • He was forced to sign an agreement to put Nazis in key government posts, to lift his ban on Austrian Nazi Party and to tie his economy and military with that of Germany
  • The chancellor realised that he had made a mistake and soon Germany would take control of the his country he decided to organize elections for Austrians to vote for who they want in terms of unity with Germany
  • Hitler was scared that the vote would go against his wishes so he quickly organized a military attack on Austria
  • He then ordered the chancellor to stop his plebiscite plans and he moved his troops to the Austrian borders
  • The chancellor was then arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps in Austria and this operation was called Operation Otto and the Germany army marched into Austria
  • The Germans and Austrians voted that they wanted a union a month later
  • The Germans had also gained control of the Balkans, 100 000 men for the army and also resource base with the union

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.