Anschluss – A Summary What was Anschluss? The Treaty of Versailles was created in 1919 designating all the new laws being enforced on Europe after WWI. Anschluss was one of these; it forbade Germany from making a political union with Austria. Due to this law Hitler had to find a way of making it seem as though Austria wanted the union. Hitler’s plan: He was boosted by his successes in 1936/1937 and now felt that Austria and Germany should become one German-speaking country. Austria felt the same due to its economic instability.
The Nazi party was strong in Austria and Hitler encouraged his party to wreak havoc in Austria through demonstrations and riots. Hitler used this problem as an excuse to bully the Chancellor of Austria, Kurt Schuschnigg, into an agreement. Schuschnigg rebelled by turning the choice of a union to the public through a referendum. Hitler worried that he would not withstand this vote so he used force. His army was brought in as a persuasive element. Consequently, 99. 75% of the Austrians voted for a union. Hitler had succeeded.
This union had been allowed without the interference of either Britain or France. The British Chamberlain actually felt that the TOV was wrong to have disconnected Austria and Germany. Furthermore, Britain’s Lord Halifax had even suggested to Hitler that there would be no protest towards Anschluss on Britain’s part. Consequently, this meant that all of Austria’s wealth would add to Germany’s already expanding empire, through the form of weapons, soldiers, gold and iron. “The Nazi’s were creeping in like maggots into a dying animal. ”