Appeasement and the Road To War The Anschluss 1938 Aims: To identify why Austria was important to Germany. To examine the events leading up to the Anschluss. Europe 1938 Class Discussion Why do you think union with Austria was so important to Hitler? The Treaty of Versailles – Article 80 Germany acknowledges and will respect strictly the independence of Austria within the frontiers that may be fixed in a Treaty between the State and the Principal Allied and Associated Powers; she agrees that this independence shall be alienable except with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations. Mein Kampf German-Austria will have to return to the great German motherland …Common blood should belong to a Common Reich …Not till the confines of the Reich include every single German, and are certain of being able to nourish him, can there be a moral right for Germany to acquire territory abroad whilst her people are in need. Hossbach Memorandum 1937 ‘The aim of German policy was to secure and preserve the racial community and to enlarge it. It was therefore a matter of space..’ ‘Germany would always be faced by two hate-inspired antagonists, Britain and France’ Hossbach Memorandum 1937 ‘Germany’s problems could only be solved by means of force…’ ‘Germany had to act before 1943 1945 or the other powers would catch up in the arms race, just as Germany’s weapons were becoming obsolete’ Hossbach Memorandum 1937 ‘For the improvement of our politico- military position our first objective, in the event of our being embroiled in war, must be to overthrow Czechoslovakia and Austria simultaneously in order to the remove the threat in our flanks in any possible operation against the west.’ Hossbach Memorandum 1937 ‘Difficulties connected with the Empire, and the prospect of being once more entangled in a protracted European war, were decisive considerations for Britain against participation in a war with Germany…An attack by France without British support …was hardly probable’ Key Figures Kurt von Schuschnigg Austrian Chancellor Neville Chamberlain British Prime Minister Artur Seyess-Inquart Austrian Nazi Party The Anschluss – Timeline of Events January 1938 Austrian police raid Austrian Nazi Headquarters 11th February 1938 Schuschnigg meets Hitler in Germany. Schuschnigg arranges plebiscite for 13th March. The Anschluss – Timeline of Events 11th March 1938 Czech government told ‘Czechoslovakia has nothing to fear from the Reich’. Hitler demands cancellation of plebiscite. German troops are moved to the border. Schuschnigg resigns and is replaced by Seyss-Inquart who telegrams Germany for ‘help’. The Anschluss – Timeline of Events 12th March 1938 German troops move into Austria. 13th March 1938 Hitler incorporates Austria into the Third Reich. April 1938 Plebiscite held. 99.75% of Austrians voted for the Anschluss. Consequences of the Anschluss Germany’s Position • Strengthened – Hitler’s actions had again been unchallenged. • Control of Austria’s iron and steel industries. • Now had the combined strength of the Germany Consequences of the Anschluss Czechoslovakia’s Position * Now in a vulnerable position surrounded by the new ‘Greater Germany’ Consequences of the Anschluss British Reaction * Chamberlain – reproached Hitler for the Anschluss, but there was no use ‘crying over spilt milk’ • Chamberlain – ‘nothing short of an overwhelming show of force would have stopped it’ • Churchill – ‘ a programme of aggression, nicely calculated and timed’. This was a minority view Consequences of the Anschluss British Reaction • Austria could not be defended due to its geographical position. • Anschluss gave Germany what she had been denied by Treaty of Versailles. • Appeared to be popular support in Austria for the Anschluss – welcome received by troops and result of plebisicite.