From Seyss-Inquart's IMT testimony: In the course of the evening it became clear that Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg would resign and that the Reich would not tolerate any other than a National Socialist Government. Therefore, in order to avoid being taken by surprise, I considered it my task to study whom I should take into a Cabinet. The suggestions mentioned in the telephone conversations were not transmitted by me at all. I chose my colleagues quite independently--naturally after consultations with Austrian National Socialists--and they included also people with strong Catholic ties, such as Professor Mengin, Dr. Wolf, and others. I asked Foreign Minister Schmidt to enter the Cabinet. He asked me for a reason, and I told him: I want to keep Austria autonomous and independent, and I need a foreign minister who has connections with the Western Powers. Schmidt refused, remarking that Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg had introduced him into politics and that he would remain loyal to him . . . .
The resignation of the whole Cabinet was not accepted by the Federal President; and we, including myself, remained Ministers. When Dr. Schuschnigg made his farewell speech, he did not speak of the resignation of the whole Cabinet. He only said, "We yield to force." Dr. Schuschnigg and Federal President Miklas had agreed at that time that I would not actually be appointed Federal Chancellor, but that with the entry of German troops executive power should be passed to me. Therefore, in my opinion, I was de facto Minister of the Interior and Foreign Minister . . . . I did not see Federal President Miklas at all until 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening, after Schuschnigg's speech . . . .
I believe it was after Schuschnigg's farewell speech, when I saw in the anterooms 10 or 15 young men in black trousers and white shirts, that was the SS. I had the impression that they were doing messenger and orderly duty for State Secretary Keppler and the others. As they approached the rooms in which Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg and President Miklas were, I ordered guards of the Austrian Guard Battalion to be placed at their doors. I may mention that these were selected men of the Austrian Army who according to Austrian standards were very well armed, while these SS men--40 at most--possibly carried pistols. Moreover, 50 steps from the Federal Chancellor's office were the barracks of the Guard Battalion, with a few hundred picked and well-armed anew. If Federal President Miklas and Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg had not been concerned with things other than those which happened in the Federal Chancellor's office and on the street outside it, they could easily have put an end to this situation by calling out the Guard Battalion.
Top secret; Berlin, 11 March 1938, 2045 hours; Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, OKW, 35 copies, 6th copy. C-in-C Navy has been informed. Re: Operation Otto. Directive No. 2.
1) The demands of the German ultimatum to the Austrian Government have not been fulfilled.
2) The Austrian Armed Forces have been ordered to withdraw before the entry of German troops and to avoid fighting. The Austrian Government has ceased to function of its own accord.
3) To avoid further bloodshed in Austrian towns, the entry of the German Armed Forces into Austria will commence, according to Directive No. 1, at daybreak on 12.3.
I expect the set objectives to be reached by exerting all forces to the full as quickly as possible. [Signed] Adolf Hitler (IMT)
Goering: Listen, the main thing is that if Inquart takes over all powers of Government he keeps the radio stations occupied.
Keppler: Well, we represent the Government now.
Goering: Yes, that's it. You are the Government. Listen carefully. The following telegram should be sent here by Seyss-Inquart. Take the notes: The provisional Austrian Government which, after the dismissal of the Schuschnigg Government, considered it its task to establish peace and order in Austria, sends to the German Government the urgent request for support in its task of preventing bloodshed. For this purpose, it asks the German Government to send German troops as soon as possible.
Keppler: Well, SA and SS are marching through the streets but everything is quiet. Everything has collapsed with the professional groups . . . .
Goering: Then our troops will cross the border today.
Goering: Well, and he should send the telegram as soon as possible.
Keppler: Well, send the telegram to Seyss-Inquart in the office of the Federal Chancellor.
Goering: Please show him the text of the telegram and do tell him that we are asking him-well, he does not even need to send the telegram. All he needs to do is to say, "Agreed."
Goering: He should call me at the Fuehrer's or at my place. Well, good luck. Heil Hitler. (IMT)
Dietrich: I need the telegram urgently.
Keppler: Tell the General Field Marshal that Seyss-Inquart agrees.
Dietrich: This is marvelous. Thank you.
Keppler: Listen to the radio. News will be given.
Keppler: From Vienna.
Dietrich: So Seyss-Inquart agrees?
Keppler: Jawohl. (IMT)
From Kaltenbrunner's IMT testimony: In March 1938 I became a member of the Austrian Government; that is, I had to take over the position of State Secretary for Security m Austria, which was under the Ministry of the Interior. That Austrian Government was dissolved in 1941; that is to say, their activity was discontinued in favor of such bodies of administration which prevailed in the Reich; consequently, the Office of State Secretary for Security was also dissolved, and in order to retain me at the same level in the budget, I was appointed Higher SS and Police Leader, I think in July 1941 . . . .
The Prosecution charge that I had led the Security Police already in Austria. In that respect the Prosecution are mistaken. The State Police and the Criminal Police as well as the Security Service in Austria were directed centrally from Berlin and were completely removed from the power of Seyss-Inquart, then the responsible Minister, and his deputy, Kaltenbrunner. My activity as Higher SS and Police Leader in Austria-unlike the activity of the same men in the Reich-was therefore limited merely to the task of representing or leading the General SS, which in no way took up all my time.
During these 2 years I therefore followed out my intentions concerning political activity and developed a rather large political intelligence service radiating from Austria toward the southeast. I did that because, in the first place, I regretted that the Reich did not make use of at least the political and the economic resources, of all the resources which Austria could have put at the disposal of the Reich, and because the Reich with unequalled shortsightedness did not fall back upon Austria's most significant mission as an intermediary with the Southeast. Thus, my reports met with increased interest in Berlin, and since Himmler was continuously reproached by Hitler that his intelligence service, which was run by Heydrich in the Reich, did not furnish adequate reports on political results, Himmler, 8 months after Heydrich's death, felt obliged to look for a man who could free him from Hitler's reproaches that he had no intelligence service worth mentioning.
Special Instruction Number 1 to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Number 427/38, Directive for policy toward Czechoslovakian and Italian troops or militia units on Austrian soil.
1. If Czechoslovakian troops or militia units are encountered in Austria they are to be regarded as hostile.
2. The Italians are everywhere to be treated as friends, especially as Mussolini has declared himself disinterested in the solution of the Austrian question. The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, by order, Jodl. (IMT)
It is untrue that the Reich used forceful pressure to bring about this development, especially the assertion, which was spread later by the former Federal Chancellor, that the German Government had presented the Federal President with a conditional ultimatum. It is a pure invention . . . . The truth of the matter is that the question of sending military or police forces from the Reich was only brought up when the newly formed Austrian Cabinet addressed a telegram, already published by the press, to the German Government, urgently asking for the dispatch of German troops as soon as possible, in order to restore peace and order and to avoid bloodshed. Faced with the imminent danger of a bloody civil war in Austria, the German Government then decided to comply with the appeal addressed to it. (IMT)
From von Neurath's IMT testimony: On 12 March, in the morning, I did as Hitler had instructed me, and passed on his description of events to the State Secretary, who was the official representative of Ribbentrop. Goering was appointed by Hitler to be his deputy during the time he was absent . . . . I personally told the former about the letter addressed to me by the British Ambassador containing the British protest against the occupation of Austria. I told him that the Foreign Office would submit a note of reply. When the draft of this note had been prepared I told Goering about the contents of the note over the telephone. Goering as Hitler's deputy asked me to sign the reply in his stead, since the British Ambassador's letter had been addressed to me. Goering has already stated this as a witness here in this courtroom; hence the phrase in this letter which says "in the name of the Reich Government." I repeatedly asked Goering to have Ribbentrop recalled from London and to keep him informed. From the telephone conversation between Goering and Ribbentrop, which has already been mentioned here, it appears that Goering did this. The explanation why the British note was addressed to me I learned only here through the testimony of Goering, when he said that on the evening of the 11th he himself had told the British Ambassador that he, Goering, was representing Hitler during his absence and that Hitler had asked me to advise him, if need be, on matters of foreign policy . . . .
Ministerial Director von Weizsacker telephoned me at my home, telling me that the Czechoslovakian Minister Mastny was with him and wanted to know whether he could see me sometime during the course of the day. I asked M. Mastny to come to my apartment during the afternoon. M. Mastny asked me whether I believed that Hitler, after the Austrian Anschluss, would now undertake something against Czechoslovakia as well. I replied that he could set his mind at rest, that Hitler had told me on the previous evening, in reply to my suggestion that the Austrian Anschluss might create unrest in Czechoslovakia, that he had no thoughts of undertaking anything against Czechoslovakia. Mastny then asked me whether Germany still considered herself bound by the agreement concluded in 1925. On the strength of the answer given to me by Hitler I was able to confirm this with a clear conscience. Hitler had added in this connection that he believed the relations with Czechoslovakia would even improve considerably. The settlement of the Austrian Anschluss was after all a domestic affair.
From Hermann Goering's IMT testimony: I am especially grateful that I can at last make a clear statement about this "word of honor," which has been mentioned so often during the last months and which has been so incriminating for me. I mentioned that on that evening almost all the diplomats were present at that ball. After I had spoken to Sir Neville Henderson and returned to the ballroom, the Czechoslovak Ambassador, Dr. Mastny, came to me, very excited and trembling, and asked me what was happening that night and whether we intended to march into Czechoslovakia also. I gave him a short explanation and said, "No, it is only a question of the Anschluss of Austria; it has absolutely nothing to do with your country, especially if you keep out of things altogether." He thanked me and went, apparently, to the telephone.
But after a short time he came back even more excited, and I had the impression that in his excitement he could hardly understand me. I said to him then in the presence of others: "Your Excellency, listen carefully. I give you my personal word of honor that this is a question of the Anschluss of Austria only, and that not a single German soldier will come anywhere near the Czechoslovak border. See to it that there is no mobilization on the part of Czechoslovakia which might lead to difficulties." He then agreed. At no time did I say to him, "I give you my word of honor that we never want to have anything to do with Czechoslovakia for all time."
All he wanted was an explanation for this particular event, for this particular time. I gave him this particular explanation, because I had already clearly stated before that that the solution of the Sudeten German problem would be necessary at some time and in some way. I would never have given him a declaration on my word of honor in regard to a final solution, and it would not have been possible for me, because before that, I had already made a statement to a different effect. An explanation was desired for the moment and in connection with the Austrian events. I could conscientiously assure him on my word of honor that Czechoslovakia would not be touched then, because at that time no decisions had been made by us, as far as a definite time was concerned with respect to Czechoslovakia or the solution of the Sudeten problem.
From a report from Gauleiter Rainer to Reich Commissioner Buerckel (Document 812-PS):
On Friday, 11 March, the Minister Glaise-Horstenau arrived in Vienna after a visit with the Fuehrer. After talks with Seyss-Inquart he went to see the Chancellor. At 11:30 a.m. the Landesleitung had a meeting at which Klausner, Rainer, Globocnik, Jury, Seyss-Inquart, Glaise-Horstenau, Fischboeck, and Muhlmann participated. Dr. Seyss-Inquart reported on his talks with Dr. Schuschnigg which had ended in a rejection of the proposal of the two ministers.
In regard to Rainer's proposal, von Klausner ordered that the Government be presented with an ultimatum, expiring at 1400 hours, signed by legal political 'front' men, including both Ministers and also State Councillors Fishbock and Jury, for the establishment of a voting date in 3 weeks and a free and secret ballot in accordance with the constitution.
On the basis of written evidence which Glaise-Horstenau had brought with him, a leaflet, to be printed in millions of copies, and a telegram to the Fuehrer calling for help were prepared.
Klausner placed the leadership of the final political actions in the hands of Rainer and Globocnik. Schuschnigg called a session of all ministers for 2 PM. Rainer agreed with Seyss-Inquart that Rainer would send the telegram to the Fuehrer and the statement to the population at 3 PM and at the same time he would start all necessary actions to take over power unless he received news from the session of the Ministers' Council before that time. During this time all measures had been prepared. At 2:30 Seyss-Inquart telephoned Rainer and informed him that Schuschnigg had been unable to take the pressure and had recalled the plebiscite but that he refused to call a new plebiscite and had ordered the strongest police measures for maintaining order. Rainer asked whether the two Ministers had resigned, and Seyss-Inquart answered, "No."
Rainer informed the Reichskanzlei through the German Embassy, and received an answer from Goering through the same channels, that the Fuehrer will not consent to partial solutions and that Schuschnigg must resign. Seyss-Inquart was informed of this by Globocnik and Muehlmann. Talks were held between Seyss-Inquart and Schuschnigg. Schuschnigg resigned. Seyss-Inquart asked Rainer what measures the Party wished taken. Rainer's answer: Reestablishment of the Government by Seyss-Inquart, legalization of the Party, and calling up of the SS and SA as auxiliaries to the police force. Seyss-Inquart promised to have these measures carried out, but very soon the announcement followed that everything might be threatened by the resistance of Miklas, the President. Meanwhile word arrived from the German Embassy that the Fuehrer expected the establishment of a government under Seyss-Inquart with a national majority, the legalization of the Party, and permission for the Legion [the Austrian Legion in Germany] to return, all within the specified time of 7:30 PM; otherwise German troops would cross the border at 8 p.m. At 5 PM Rainer and Globocnik, accompanied by Muhlmann, went to the Chancellor's office to carry out this errand.
Situation: Miklas negotiated with Ender for the creation of a government whim included Blacks, Reds, and National Socialists, and proposed the post of Vice-Chancellor to Seyss-Inquart. The latter rejected it and told Rainer that he was not able to negotiate by himself because he was personally involved, and therefore a weak and unfavorable political situation for the cause might result. Rainer negotiated with Zernatto. Director of the Cabinet Huber, Guido Schmidt, Glaise-Horstenau, Legation Councillor Stein, Military Attache General Muff, and the Gruppenfuehrer Keppler, who had arrived in the meantime, were already negotiating. At 7 p.m. Seyss-Inquart entered the negotiations again. Situation at 7:30 PM: Stubborn refusal of Miklas to appoint Seyss-Inquart as Chancellor; appeal to the world in case of a German invasion.
Gruppenfuehrer Keppler explained that the Fuehrer did not yet have an urgent reason for the invasion. This reason must first be created. The situation in Vienna and in the country is most dangerous. It is feared that street fights will break out any moment because Rainer ordered the entire Party to demonstrate at 3 o'clock. Rainer proposed storming and seizing the Chancellor's palace in order to force the reconstruction of the Government. The proposal was rejected by Keppler but was carried out by Rainer after he discussed it with Globocnik. After 8 PM the SA and the SS marched in and occupied the Government buildings and all important positions in the city of Vienna. At 8:30 PM Rainer, with the approval of Klausner, ordered all Gauleiter of Austria to take over power in all eight gaue of Austria, with the help of the SS and SA and with instructions that all Government representatives who try to resist, should be told that this action was taken on order of Chancellor Seyss-Inquart.
With this the revolution broke out, and this resulted in the complete occupation of Austria within 3 hours and the taking over of all important posts by the Party.
The seizure of power was the work of the Party supported by the Fuehrer's threat of invasion and the legal standing of Seyss-Inquart in the Government. The national result in the form of the taking over of the Government by Seyss-Inquart was due to the actual seizure of power by the Party on one hand, and the Political efficiency of Dr. Seyss-Inquart in his territory on the other; but both factors may be considered only in relation to the Fuehrer's decision on 9 March 1938 to solve the Austrian problem under any circumstances and the orders consequently issued by the Fuehrer.
From Hermann Goering's IMT testimony: For already plans had again appeared in which the Fuehrer only, as the head of the German Reich, should be simultaneously the head of German Austria; there would otherwise be a separation. That I considered intolerable. The hour had come and we should make the best use of it. In the conversation which I had with Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop, who was in London at that time, I pointed out that the ultimatum had not been presented by us but by Seyss-Inquart. That was absolutely true de jure; de facto, of course it was my wish. But this telephone conversation was being listened to by the English, and I had to conduct a diplomatic conversation, and I have never heard yet that diplomats in such cases say how matters are de facto; rather they always stress how they are de jure. And why should I make a possible exception here?
In this telephone conversation I demanded of Herr von Ribbentrop that he ask the British Government to name British persons in whom they had the fullest confidence. I would make all arrangements so that these persons could travel around Austria everywhere in order to see for themselves that the Austrian people in an overwhelming majority wanted this Anschluss and greeted it with enthusiasm. Here, during the discussion of the Austrian question no mention was made of the fact that already--this conversation took place on a Friday--the Sunday before in Styria, one of the most important parts of the hereditary countries, an internal partial Anschluss had practically taken place, and that the population there had already declared itself in favor of the Anschluss and had more or less severed its ties with the Viennese Government.
I considered it important that the English Government should send to Austria as soon as possible people in whom they had confidence, in order that they might see for themselves the actual state of affairs; and secondly, those passages in which I refer to the fact that we were going to hold a plebiscite according to the Charter of the Saar Plebiscite and that, whatever the result might be, we should acknowledge it. I could promise that all the more, as it was personally known to me and quite clear that an overwhelming majority would vote in favor of the Anschluss.
Now I come to the decisive part concerning the entry of the troops. That was the second point where the Fuehrer interfered and we were not of the same opinion. The Fuehrer wanted the reasons for the march into Austria to be a request by the new Government of Seyss-Inquart, that is the government desired by us--that they should ask for the troops in order to maintain order in the country. I was against this, not against the march into Austria--I was for the march under all circumstances--against only the reasons to be given. Here there was a difference of opinion.
Certainly there might be disturbances at one place, namely Vienna and Wiener-Neustadt, because some of the Austrian Marxists, who once before had started an armed uprising, were actually armed. That, however, was not of such decisive importance. It was rather of the greatest importance that German troops should march into Austria immediately in sufficient numbers to stave off any desire on the part of a neighboring country to inherit even a single Austrian village on this occasion.
I should like to emphasize that at that time Mussolini's attitude to the Austrian question had not yet crystallized, although I had worked on him the year before to that end. The Italians were still looking with longing eyes at eastern Tyrol. The five divisions along the Brenner Pass I had not forgotten. The Hungarians talked too much about the Burgenland. The Yugoslavs once mentioned something about Carinthia, but I believe that I made it clear to them at the time that that was absurd. So to prevent the fulfillment of these hopes once and for all, which might easily happen in such circumstances, I very definitely wanted the German troops to march into Austria proclaiming: "The Anschluss has taken place; Austria is a part of Germany and therefore in its entirety automatically and completely under the protection of the German Reich and its Armed Forces."
The Fuehrer did not want to have such a striking demonstration of foreign policy, and finally asked me to inform Seyss-Inquart to send a telegram to that effect. The fact that we were in agreement about the decisive point, the march into Austria, helps explain the telephone conversation in which I told Seyss-Inquart that he need not send a telegram, that he could do it by telephone; that would be sufficient. That was the reason.
Mussolini's consent did not come until 11:30 at night. It is well known what a relief that was for the Fuehrer. In the evening of the same day, after everything had become clear, and the outcome could be seen in advance, I went to the Flieger Club, where I had been invited several weeks before, to a ball. I mention this because here that too has been described as a deceptive maneuver. But that invitation had been sent out, I believe, even before the Berchtesgaden conference took place. There I met almost all the diplomats. I immediately took Sir Neville Henderson, the British Ambassador, aside. I spoke to him for 2 hours and gave him all the reasons and explained everything, and also asked him to tell me--the same question which I later asked Ribbentrop--what nation in the whole world was damaged in any way by our union with Austria? From whom had we taken anything, and whom had we harmed? I said that this was an absolute restitution, that both parts had belonged together in the German Empire for centuries and that they had been separated only because of political developments, the later monarchy and Austria's secession.
Hessen: I have just come back from Palazzo Venezia. Il Duce accepted the whole thing in a very friendly manner. He sends you his regards. He had been informed from Austria; Schuschnigg gave him the news. He had then said it would be a complete impossibility; it would be a bluff; such a thing could not be done. So he was told that it was unfortunately arranged thus, and it could not be changed any more. Then Mussolini said that Austria would be immaterial to him.
Hitler: Then please tell Mussolini I will never forget him for this.
Hitler: Never, never, never, whatever happens. I am still ready to make a quite different agreement with him.
Hessen: Yes, I told him that, too.
Hitler: As soon as the Austrian affair been settled, I shall be ready to go with him through thick and thin; nothing matters.
Hessen: Yes, my Fuehrer.
Hitler: Listen, I shall make any agreement, I am no longer in fear of the terrible position which would have existed militarily in case we had gotten into a conflict. You may tell him that I do thank him ever so much, never, never shall I forget that.
Hessen: Yes, my Fuehrer.
Hitler: I will never forget it, whatever will happen. If he should ever need any help or be in any danger, he can be convinced that I shall stick to him whatever might happen, even if the whole world were against him.
Hessen: Yes, my Fuehrer. (IMT)
From Himmler by Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel: Himmler was sufficiently prepared for the Austrian putsch to have ready a new and special uniform of feild grey in which to invade Austria. Accompanied by his staff and SS bodyguards, all heavily armed, he flew south to Aspern aerodrome, near Vienna. With him was his adjutant Wolff, Walter Schellenberg, who had been in charge of coordinating intelligence reports from Austria, and the Austrian official in the SD, Adolf Eichmann, now a specialist in Jewish affairs, who had prepared lists of the large numbers of Austrian Jews Himmler was determined should be given no chance to cause trouble.
The weather was bad and made the flight to Vienna in the overloaded plane unpleasant, and Schellenberg records that Himmler discussed with him the administration of the new state of Ostmark, as Austria was now to be called . . . . Himmler and his entourage arrived as Aspern aerodrome before daybreak. They were uncertain of their reception in Vienna, but by the time they arrived the struggle for Austria was already over. Hitler's troops had crossed the frontier overnight and on behalf of the provisional government orders had been given by Seyss-Inquart to the Austrian Army that they were to offer no resistance to the invaders. Himmler, who was Hitler's most senior representative in Austria, was met by the Austrian Chief of Police, Michael Skubl, whose feelings at having this duty to perform must have been bitter, since he had been appointed by ollfuss on the very day of his murder by the Nazis. Himmler hurried by car to the Chancellery in Vienna to confer with Kaltyenbrunner, the head of the Austrian SS. Following exactly the procedure he had originated for himself in Germany, Himmler dismissed Stubl and put the police in the charge of Kaltenbrunner. Leaving the immediate control of Vienna in this mans hands, Himmler left by air for Linz to supervise the reception to be given Hitler that afternoon in the town where he had lived as a child. With him went Seyss-Inquart, now the new Nazi Chancellor of Austria. On the same day Heydrich joined Kaltenbrunner in Vienna, and the Austrian capital began to experiance the savagery of Nazi control . . . .
Seyss-Inquart himself was to admit after the war that 79,000 arrests took place in Vienna within a matter of weeks. Jews were evicted, humiliated and forced to scrubb the streets. Many men of distinction among those opposed to the Nazis, both Jews and non-Jews, were to be sent to Dachau and other camps in Germany; the freight trains transporting prisoners crushed together in wagons became a regular service from Austria.
From the IMT testimony of Michael Skubl: Seyss-Inquart proposed that I retain direction of matters of public security in the State Secretariat under his Government. I accepted the offer, having confidence that Seyss-Inquart would remember the conditions which he had stipulated with the Fuehrer; that is, that he would be Federal Chancellor of an independent Austria. Apart from that, I was impelled by the desire and hope that I could keep the executive force in my hands, and that in the event that Seyss-Inquart had difficulties in representing the Austrian point of view, I could be of assistance to him. In other words, there should be an Austrian strong point, an Austrian enclave, in the Cabinet of the Austrian Federal Chancellor Seyss-Inquart.
During the night between March 11 and 12 I took over the task of going to the airfield to receive the Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler, who had been announced from Berlin. On that occasion he did not arrive alone, but with a whole entourage. I can no longer remember the names of the individuals, the number was too large; one name I understood very clearly, and that was the name of Meissner-Meissner, the Austrian naval officer who had joined the National Socialist uprising on 25 July, and who then, after the collapse of this uprising, had fled to the Reich and now had returned under Himmler's protection.
That to me was such an impossible situation that I made the firm decision not to have any more to do with all this, and so when I entered the Federal Chancellery at noon and received the surprising news from Glaise-Horstenau that Himmler had demanded my resignation, I answered, "He can have that very cheaply, because I had already decided on that in the early hours of the morning.'
Subsequently I also informed Federal Chancellor Dr. Seyss-Inquart that I had had knowledge of Himmler's request, and that I had naturally decided to resign and asked him to take official notice of my resignation.
Upon this Seyss-Inquart replied, "It is true that Himmler has demanded your resignation, but I am not going to have anything dictated to me from outside. At the moment the situation is such that I think it is perhaps better for you to disappear for a few weeks, but then you must come back because I consider your cooperation important."
Naturally I declared that I would not do that. And the following day, in writing, I handed in my resignation as Chief of Police and State Secretary, after I had already on the evening of the 12th actually handed the affairs of the office over to Kaltenbrunner, who had been attached to me as a so-called political leader of the executive force . . . .
First of all, I was held prisoner in my official apartment under SS and police guard and then, on 24 May, two officials of the Kassel Gestapo conducted me to a forced residence in Kassel, where I remained until my liberation by the Allies.
From Churchill: A Biography by Roy Jenkins: Eden's resignation in February 1938 was therefore understandably a shock, particularly as it was followed by a year during which Nazi expansionism became increasingly rampant and the policy of the Chamberlain government more firmly committed to pursuing peace by seeking accommodation with Hitler and Mussolini, a policy summed up by the new label of "appeasement". Nonetheless Churchill was still inclined to give Chamberlain some benefit of the doubt. In mid-March he caused Harold Nicolson to record that "never has any man inherited a more ghastly situation than Neville Chamberlain and he (Churchill) places the blame wholly on Mr. Baldwin."
At about the same time a bizarre luncheon took place in 10 Downing Street. Joachim von Ribbentrop, who had been German ambassador in London since 1936, had been appointed Foreign Minister in place of Neurath [February 4, 1938] and was about to return to Berlin. On Friday, 11 March 1938 he and his wife were given a farewell luncheon by the Chamberlains. This was rating him very high. Most departing ambassador's are lucky to get a Foreign Secretary's luncheon party. Many of them, including some of distinction, have today to be content with a farewell meal presided over by a Foreign Office minister of state. Ribbentrop's unique feat was that of first attracting a Prime Minister's farewell luncheon and then, eight and a half years later, being hanged by order of a court jointly set up by a government of the country to which he had been accredited. To add to the bizarreness of the occasion the Chuirchill's were invited to be a part of the fairly small luncheon party--about sixteen--and accepted, although neither by virtue of any official position nor of friendship or sympathy with the Ribbentrop's were they natural guests. And to round off the sense of macabre farce, the Foreign Office permanent under-secretary Sir Alexander Cadogan, sitting next to Clementine Churchill, received in the course of the meal a message indicating that German troops were begining their movement into Austria for the Anschluss, the incorporation of that small country into the Greater German Reich. When Cadogan had quietly informed him, even Chamberlain became politely keen for the Ribbentrop's to be off. However, they blandly lingered for another half-hour, giving Frau von Ribbentrop the opporunity chidingly to suggest to Churchill that he should be careful not to spoil friendly Anglo-German relations.
This was the last time that Churchill lunched (or dined) in 10 Downing Street until after the outbreak of war.
From von Ribbentrop's IMT Testimony: I do not consider the Anschluss as an act of aggression . . . . I consider it the realization of the mutual purpose of both nations involved. They had always wished to be together and the government before Adolf Hitler had already striven for it ... it was no aggression in that sense, but a union in accordance with the right of self-determination of nations, as laid down in 1919 by the President of the United States, Wilson.
From Seyss-Inquart's IMT testimony: One cannot call it an invasion; it was a stormy, loudly cheered entry of German troops. There were no villages--even those with an orthodox Catholic population--and no workers' districts which did not burst out in stormy jubilation. Moreover, both Dr. Schuschnigg and I were completely clear about this; once in 1937 he had agreed with me when I said that the entry of German troops into Austria could not be impeded by anything but the ovations of the population.
From Seyss-Inquart's IMT testimony: I called the Fuehrer in connection with the entry of troops . . . . I did nothing which in any way furthered the taking over of control in Austria or to express it more correctly, which intentionally furthered the establishment of the National Socialists and the seizure of power. I only acted as an intermediary within the meaning of the Treaty of 12 February. But from the moment when the system of the Fatherland Front came to an end, I considered it my responsibility to take action.
First I made a radio speech, but not the one which had been prescribed for me in the morning. For I did not speak of a provisional government, but referred to myself as Minister of the Interior. Only then did I call on the SA and the SS to act as auxiliary police; and like Schuschnigg, I gave the order to offer no resistance to the entry of German troops. Subsequently I was appointed Federal Chancellor, and my Cabinet was approved. On the same night I drove Dr. Schuschnigg home in my car, because I was afraid something might happen to him at the hands of provocateurs; and I asked Dr. Keppler to call up the Fuehrer and ask him not to give the order for the entry of troops. Reich Marshal Goering spoke about that here. In the morning I called up again; then I met the Fuehrer at the airport in Linz, and, as the entry of the troops was in full progress, I asked him whether it would not be possible to have Austrian troops march into the German Reich, so that, symbolically at least, equal rights would be maintained. The Fuehrer agreed; and Austrian troops actually marched into Munich, Berlin, and other cities, in Austrian uniform.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: On 11 March, in the afternoon, I had news from the Reich Chancellery that the Wehrmacht was not to move in, but that the Police would pass through the Wehrmacht and move in alone. In the evening, however, on 11 March, at 2030 hours, the final decision reached me, which was that the Wehrmacht was to move in after all. I was unable to find out the reason for that hesitation . . . .
[It was not really an invasion by force], it was a purely peaceful occupation. It was characterized by my suggestion to the chief of the operations department of the Army that he should have bands marching at the head of the columns and that all drivers should be sure to wear goggles, otherwise they might be blinded by the flowers thrown at them . . . .
It came off exactly as expected. There was jubilation and a triumphal march, such as the world probably has seldom seen--even though no one likes to acknowledge it today. The population came to meet us during the night already; the custom barriers were removed, and all the German troops called that march just a battle of flowers.
From von Neurath's IMT testimony: I should like to add that the incidents which led to the Austrian Anschluss were never planned during my period of office, and nothing of the kind was ever mentioned. Hitler never had any definite foreign policy plans at all, rather did he take decisions very suddenly and immediately translated them into action, so that even his closest associate had knowledge of them only a few days in advance. The expression "Austrian Anschluss," as it is used here and generally, does not express that which actually happened later, which was in fact the incorporation of Austria. It is this incorporation of Austria that we are now concerned with. This incorporation of Austria was conceived by Hitler at the very last moment, in Linz, as the troops were marching in. A further proof that the plan for invasion had not been made in advance is the fact that Hitler a few days earlier had sent his Foreign Minister to London to clear up some diplomatic formalities.
From Baldur von Schirach's IMT testimony: I heard of the Anschluss of Austria, which of course I hailed enthusiastically, through the radio, if I remember rightly, during a trip by car from my Academy at Brunswick to Berlin. I continued my journey to Berlin, boarded a train at once, and arrived the following morning in Vienna. There I greeted the young people: youth leaders, some. of whom had been in prisons or in a concentration camp at Woellersdorf for a long time, and also many women youth leaders, who had also experienced great hardships.
I have therefore decided to offer the millions of Germans in Austria the assistance of the Reich. Since this morning soldiers of the German armed forces have been crossing all of the German-Austrian borders. Armored units, infantry divisions and SS units on the ground and the German Luftwaffe in the skies, summoned by the new National Socialist Government in Vienna, will ensure that the Austrian People are within the very near future finally given the opportunity to determine for themselves their future, and thus their fate, through a genuine plebiscite. And these units are supported by the will and determination of the entire German nation. I myself, as Führer and Chancellor of the German People, will be happy once again to be able to enter the country which is also my homeland as a German and a free citizen. The world, however, shall see for itself that for the German People in Austria these days are filled with hours of blissful joy.1938 March 12 Anschluss: Hitler's car crosses the border into Austria at Braunau, his birthplace. In the evening, he arrives at Linz and is given an enthusiastic welcome in the city hall.
From The Last European War by John Lukas: Save for the symbol of its location, Braunau had little importance in Hitler's life. His family moved away from Braunau before he was four years old; it seems that he had not come back to Braunau until his triumphant day in 1938. He crossed the border there. He stayed but for an hour or so, while jubulation reigned. Presently through the darkening afternoon he drove into Leonding, to visit has parents' graves. (He remembered much more of Leonding than of Braunau; often he would talk among his circle about his childhood in this small suburb of Linz.) In the evening he drove from Leonding into Linz. There he was received by a crying and cheering mass such as the history of Linz or, indeed, of Austria, had never seen. According to some accounts, 100,000 people had massed together, including thousands of peasants who had come in their carts or by foot (the population of Linz was less than 120,000 at that time). This enormous crowd pressed thick before the Hotel Weinzinger in the cirt that he had remembered with special affection, and for which he would have even more affection thereafter (he made special provisions for it in his Testament, and a few days before his death he would still seek mental solace in talking about architectural plans for Linz). He responded to the crowd with a sudden impulse. Going beyond his plans for a political union, he would receive Austria in the bosom of his Reich. To the delight and surprise of the Linzers (Linz was one of Austria's most Nazified towns), Hitler stayed for nearly two days. Only on Monday afternoon, 14 March, did his motor cortege start eastward again, For Vienna, where another kind of jubulant reception awaited him.
There is reason to believe that no journey Hitler made as Fuehrer made a deeper impression on him than this return to Austria. An hour or so in Braunau, then Leonding, then a prolonged and sentimental forty hours in Linz, then on to Vienna . . . . One wonders whether Hitler knew that in March 1938, he traced, almost exactly, the path of his early life, from his birth in 1889 to 1906, the year of his mother's traumatically tragic death. It was the peak moment of his life.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I was told that the Fuehrer had decided: "I do not want a martyr [made of Schuschnigg], under any circumstances, but I cannot liberate him; I must put him in honorary custody." That was the impression I had during the entire war.
From Keitel's IMT testimony: Nothing further need be said concerning the further developments of the affair. It has already been presented here in detail. On the day of the invasion by the troops I flew with Hitler to the front. We drove along the highways through Braunau, Linz. We stayed overnight and proceeded to Vienna. And to put it modestly, it is true that in every village we were received most enthusiastically and the Austrian Federal Army marched side by side with the German soldiers through the streets over which we drove. Not a shot was fired. On the other side the only formation which had a certain military significance was an armored unit on the road from Passau to Vienna which arrived in Vienna with very few vehicles. This division was on the spot for the parade the next day. That is a very sober picture of what I saw.
From Hermann Goering's IMT testimony: When the Fuehrer flew to Austria the next morning, I took over all the business of the Reich in his absence, as is known. At that time I also prohibited for the time being the return of the so-called Austrian Legion--that was a group of people who had left Austria during the early time of the fighting period--because I did not want to have any disturbances. Secondly, however, I also made sure that north of the Danube, that is between the Czechoslovak border and the Danube, only one battalion should, march through the villages, so that Czechoslovakia would see very clearly that this was merely an Austro-German affair. That battalion had to march through so that the towns north of the Danube could also take part in the jubilation.
In this connection I want to stress two points in concluding: If Mr. Messersmith says in his long affidavit that before the Anschluss I had made various visits to Yugoslavia and Hungary in order to win over both these nations for the Anschluss, and that I had promised to Yugoslavia a part of Carinthia, I can only say in answer to these statements that I do not understand them at all. My visits in Yugoslavia and the other Balkan countries were designed to improve relations, particularly trade relations, which were very important to me with respect to the Four-Year Plan. If at any time Yugoslavia had demanded one single village in Carinthia, I would have said that I would not even answer such a point, because, if any country is. German to the core, it was and is Carinthia.
The second point: Here in the Indictment mention is made of an aggressive war against Austria. Aggressive war is carried out by shooting, throwing bombs, and so on; but there only one thing was thrown--and that was flowers. But maybe the Prosecution meant something else, and there I could agree. I personally have always stated that I would do everything to make sure that the Anschluss should not disturb the peace, but that in the long run, if this should be denied us forever, I personally might resort to war in order to reach this goal; that these Germans return to their fatherland--a war for Austria, not against Austria. I believe, I have given in brief a picture of the Austrian events. And I close with the statement that in this matter not so much the Fuehrer as I, personally, bear the full and entire responsibility for everything that has happened.
The Jews are the enemy of National Socialism. From the time of their emancipation their methods were directed to the annihilation of the folkish and moral worth of the German people and to replace a national and responsible ideology with international nihilism. It was really they who stabbed the Army in the back which broke the resistance of the Germans (in the First World War). The Jews are the enemy with whom no armistice or peace can be made. We will smite the Jews where we meet them and whoever goes along with them must take the consequences.1938 March 12 Anschluss: A telegram [Document L-292] from the American Legation in Vienna to the US Secretary of State:
Numerous German bombers flying over Vienna dropping leaflets 'National Socialist Germany greets its possession, National Socialist Austria and her new Government in true indivisible Union.' Continual rumors small German troop movements into Austria and impending arrival Austrian Legion. SS and set in undisputed control in Vienna. Police wear swastika arm bands. Schuschnigg and Schmidt rumored arrested. Himmler and Hess here. [Signed] Wiley. (IMT)1938 March 13 Anschluss: Among those who greet Hitler in Austria is Robert Kauer, president of Austria's minority Lutheran Church. He welcomes Hitler as the "saviour of the 350,000 German Protestants in Austria and liberator from a five-year hardship".
From The Life And Death of Adolf Hitler by Robert Payne: The next day [March 13, 1938] he [Hitler] drove in his armored Mercedes to Leonding to see the garden house where he had grown up and to lay a wreath on the grave of his parents. August Kubizek, now the town clerk at Efferding, nearly bald but still recognizably the same person Hitler had known in Vienna, came to visit him at the Weinzinger Hotel, and they spent an hour together recalling old times. Standing at the window, Hitler pointed to the city, which had scarcely changed in a quarter of a century. "It will change now," he said. He spoke of throwing a new bridge across the Danube, to be known as Nibelung's Bridge, and there would be a new opera house, a new theater, and a new concert hall. He promised that Linz would become one of the great cities in Greater Germany, rivaling Vienna in its magnificence and beauty; and whjile Kubizek listened open-mouthed, Hitler sketched out his plans for rebuilding the city. Later there were parades of the local National Socialists, who wore swastika armbands but had no uniforms. They paraded in leather shorts, knickerbockers, and ski pants. From an upper window on the Landstrasse, old Dr. Eduard Bloch, who had attended Hitler in his youthful sickness and looked after Klara Hitler when she lay dying, watched and trembled, wondering if he would suffer the fate of all other Jew in Linz.
From the IMT testimony of Dr. Hans Heinrich Lammers: Like every other radio listener I heard about the march of German troops into Austria through the radio. And since I assumed that I might be needed I went to Vienna. At that point the law had already been signed and published. I did not participate in the drafting of this law; the Minister of the Interior and State Secretary Stuckart drafted that law. I did not work on it at all, because I did not even know that this action was to take place. It was the wish of the Fuehrer [that the law was published so precipitately].
From Edmund Glaise-Horstenau's IMT testimony: I was a cosignatory of this law. I entered into the Government after Keppler requested me to and I countersigned this law, for three reasons:
First, under the impression that Austria was completely alone in the world, and that no one was lifting a finger on our behalf; secondly, and I must say something here which has been said in the southern German press, I entered under the impression of the overwhelming street demonstrations that were taking place. You can call this mass psychology, or what you will, but this mass psychology was present and it was an unequaled popular demonstration. Thirdly, on the Ballhausplatz, on the night that I received this law into my hands-I did not participate in the origination of this law- the German tanks were rolling past below me, and the occupation of the country by Adolf Hitler was accomplished. With him this meant "bend or break." If Austria had tried to assert a different will it would not have been possible.
Of course, one is easily inclined to say about my home country that it should have committed suicide from fear of death.
From Seyss-Inquart's IMT testimony: I reported on the Anschluss Law to the Fuehrer; and I took the opportunity of discussing three questions with him immediately. That was, however, not at all easy, for the Fuehrer was deeply moved and wept. First, I asked that the Austrian Party might retain relative independence and be headed by an Austrian as the provincial leader; second, that Austria as a state might also enjoy a certain degree of independence. To the first request the Fuehrer said, "Possibly"; to the second he said, "Yes"; Austria would receive her own governor, a Reichsstatthalter. I then rose and asked the Fuehrer that I be allowed to return to my private practice as a lawyer. As a third request, I asked that the unjust exchange rate of 2 schillings to 1 mark be altered to 1.50. The Fuehrer agreed to that also.
Goering: As you know, the Fuehrer has entrusted me with the administration of the current government procedures (Fuehrung der Regierungsgeschaefte), and therefore I wanted to inform you. There is overwhelming joy in Austria, that you can hear over the radio.
Ribbentrop: Yes, it is fantastic, is it not?
Goering: Yes, the last march into the Rhineland is completely overshadowed. The Fuehrer was deeply moved, when he talked to me last night. You must remember it was the first time that he saw his homeland again. Now, I mainly want to talk about political things. Well, this story that we had given an ultimatum is just foolish gossip. From the very beginning the National Socialist Ministers and the representatives of the people (Volksreferenten) have presented the ultimatum. Later on more and more prominent people of the movement participated, and as a natural result, the Austrian National Socialist Ministers asked us to back them up so that they would not be completely beaten up again and be subjected to terror and civil war.
Then we told them we would not allow Schuschnigg to provoke a civil war, under any circumstances. Whether by Schuschnigg's direct order or with his consent, the communists and the Reds had been armed and were already making demonstrations, which were photographed with "Heil Moskau" and so on. Naturally, all these facts caused some danger for Wiener-Neustadt. Then you have to consider that Schuschnigg made his speeches, telling them the Vaterlaendische Front would fight to the last man. One could not know that they would capitulate like that, and therefore Seyss-Inquart, who already had taken over the Government, asked us to march in immediately. We had already marched up to the frontier before this, since we could not know whether or not there would be a civil war. These are the actual facts which can be proved by documents . . . .
I want you once more [to] tell the following to Halifax and Chamberlain: It is not correct that Germany has given an ultimatum. This is a lie by Schuschnigg, because the ultimatum was presented to him by Seyss-Inquart, Glaise-Horstenau, and Jury. Furthermore, it is not true that we have presented an ultimatum to the Federal President, but that it also was given by the others, and as far as I know, just a military attache came along, asked by Seyss-Inquart, because of a technical question. He was supposed to ask whether, in case Seyss-Inquart would ask for the support of German troops, Germany would grant this request. Furthermore, I want to state that Seyss-Inquart asked us expressly, by phone and by telegram, to send troops because he did not know about the situation in Wiener-Neustadt, Vienna, and so on; because arms had been distributed there. And then he could not know how the Fatherland Front might react since they always had had such a big mouth.
Ribbentrop: Herr Goering, tell me, how is the situation in Vienna; is everything settled yet?
Goering: Yes. Yesterday I landed hundreds of airplanes with some companies, in order to secure the airfields, and they were received with joy. Today the advance unit of the 17th division marches in, together with the Austrian troops. Also, I want to point out that the Austrian troops did not withdraw, but that they got together and fraternized immediately with the German troops, wherever they were stationed . . . .
Goering: Well, do come! I shall be delighted to see you.
Ribbentrop: I shall see you this afternoon.
Goering: The weather is wonderful here-blue sky. I am sitting here on my balcony--all covered with blankets--in the fresh air, drinking my coffee. Later on I have to drive in. I have to make the speech. And the birds are twittering, and here and there I can hear over the radio the enthusiasm, which must be wonderful over there [Vienna].
Ribbentrop: That is marvelous. (IMT)
His Majesty's Government have throughout been in the closest touch with the situation. The Foreign Secretary saw the German Foreign Minister on the 10th of March and addressed to him a grave warning on the Austrian situation and upon what appeared to be the policy of the German Government in regard to it . . . . Late on the 11th of March our Ambassador in Berlin registered a protest in strong terms with the German Government against such use of coercion, backed by force, against an independent State in order to create a situation incompatible with its national independence . . . .
I imagine that according to the temperament of the individual the events which are in our minds to-day will be the cause of regret, of sorrow, perhaps of indignation. They cannot be regarded by His Majesty's Government with indifference or equanimity. They are bound to have effects which cannot yet be measured. The immediate result must be to intensify the sense of uncertainty and insecurity in Europe. Unfortunately, while the policy of appeasement would lead to a relaxation of the economic pressure under which many countries are suffering to-day, what has just occurred must inevitably retard economic recovery and, indeed, increased care will be required to ensure that marked deterioration does not set in. This is not a moment for hasty decisions or for careless words. We must consider the new situation quickly, but with cool judgement . . . .
As regards our defence programs, we have always made it clear that they were flexible and that they would have to be reviewed from time to time in the light of any development in the international situation. It would be idle to pretend that recent events do not constitute a change of the kind that we had in mind. Accordingly we have decided to make a fresh review, and in due course we shall announce what further steps we may think it necessary to take.
From The Nightmare Years 1930-1940 by William L. Shirer: At 4 PM on Monday, I broadcast a report on Prime Minister Chamberlain's statement to the Commons on Hitler's conquest. The immediacy of radio fascinated me. "Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain," I began, "arose to make a statement in the House of Commons a half-hour ago." It was still coming in over the news ticker as I began to report.
What Chamberlain said did not surprise me, but it disturbed me, as had a statement to the Commons on the Austrian situation he made on March 2. Then he had pretended that "What happened [at Berchtesgaden] wes merely two statesmen [Hitler and Schuschnigg] had agreed upon certain measures for the improvement of relations between the two co8untries." In Vienna I had read that statement with astonishment. I knew that the British legation in Vienna had provided Chamberlain with the details of Hitler's Berchtesgaden ultimatum to Schuschnigg. The prime minister's deceit shocked me.
Now, as I read his statement over the air, I became skeptical of much of what he was saying. He was telling the Commons that his new foreign secretary, Lord Halifax, had told the new German foregn minister, Ribbentrop, in London twenty-four hopurs before AHitler's march into Austria "that the British government attached the greatest importance to all measures being taken to ensure that the plebiscite in Austria was carried out without interference or intimidation from Germany." He himself, Chamberlain added, had made very earnest representations in the same sense. I wondered.
The prime minister finally got to the point of what he had to say: "The hard fact is that nothing could have arrested what was actually happened [in Austria] unless this country and other countries had been prepared to use force."
That was true enough. But I wondered what the future of Great Britain could be if it were unwilling to use force to counter Nazi force.
The gravity of the event of March 12 cannot be exaggerated. Europe is confronted with a program of aggression , nicely calculated and timed, unfolding stage by stage, and there is only one choice open, not only to us but to other countries, either to submit, like Austria, or else to take effective measures while time remains to ward off the danger, and if it cannot be warded off to cope with it . . . .
If we go on waiting upon events, how much shall we throw away of resources now available for our security and the maintenance of peace? How many friends will be alienated, how many potential allies shall we see go one by one down the grisly gulf? How many times will bluff succeed until behind bluff ever-gathering forces have accumulated reality? . . . .Where are we going to be two years hence, for instance, when the German Army will certainly be much larger than the French Army, and when all the small nations will have fled from Geneva to pay homage to the ever-waxing power of the Nazi system, and to make the best terms that they can for themselves? . . . .
Vienna is the center of the communications of all the countries which formed the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, and of the countries lying to the southeast in Europe. A long stretch of the Danube is now in German hands. The mastery of Vienna gives to Nazi Germany military and economic control of the whole of the communications of Southeastern Europe, by road, by river and rail. What is the effect of this on the structure of Europe? What is the effect of it on what is called the balance of power, such as it is--upon what is called the "Little Entente [Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia]"? I must say a word about this group of powers called the Little Entente. Taken singly, the three countries of the Little Entente may be called powers of the second rank, but they are very powerful and vigorous states, and united they are a Great Power. They have hitherto been, and are still, united by the closest military agreement. Together they make the complement of a Great Power and of the military machinery of a Great Power. Romania has the oil, Yugoslavia has the minerals and raw materials. Both have large armies, both are mainly supplied with munitions from Czechoslovakia. To English ears, the name of Czechoslovakia sounds outlandish. No doubt they are only a small democratic state, no doubt they have an army only two or three times as large as ours, no doubt they have a munitions supply only three times as great as that of Italy, but still they are a virile people, they have their rights, they have their treaty rights, they have a line of fortresses, and they have a strongly manifested will to live, a will to live freely.
Czechoslovakia is at this moment isolated, both in the economic and in the military sense. Her trade outlet through Hamburg, which is based upon the Peace Treaty, can of course be closed at any moment. Now her communications by rail and river to the south, and beyond the south to the southwest, are liable to be severed at any moment. Her trade may be subjected to tolls of a destructive character, of an absolutely strangling character. Here is a country which was once the greatest manufacturing area in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is now cut off, or may be cut off at once, unless out of the discussions which must follow arrangements are made securing the communications of Czechoslovakia. She may be cut off at once from the sources of her raw materials in Yugoslavia and from the natural markets which she has established there. The economic life of this small state may be very largely strangled as a result of the act of violence which was perpetrated last Friday night. A wedge has been driven into the heart of what is called the Little Entente, this group of countries which have as much right to live in Europe unmolested as any of us have the right to live unmolested in our native land. (Churchill)
On the day on which she was to have voted on her freedom and independence, Austria was last night officially proclaimed a "State of the German Reich." The Anschluss has been brought into being. A month hence the Austrian people will be asked to say what they think of it.
The law--enacted by the Austrian government and "accepted" by the Germans--states: On the basis of the Federal Constitution law regarding the extraordinary measures within the scope of the Constitution, the Federal Government has resolved;
1. Austria is a state of the German Reich.
2. On Sunday, April 10, a free and secret plebiscite of the German men and women of Austria over twenty years of age will take place regarding the reunion with the German Reich.
It is explained in Berlin that Austria now becomes a Federal State of the Reich, such as Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberberg. Austria, like Bavaria, will retain her own Government, and for the present the existing laws will remain in force.
Herr Hitler has incorporated the Austrian Army in the German Army and placed it under his command.
Last night it was announced that President Miklas had resigned at the request of Dr. Seyss-Inquart, the Nazi Chancellor, who took over the President's powers.
In all countries--except Italy and Japan, partners with Germany in the anti-Comintern Pact--the annexing of Austria is condemned.
From letters written by Michael Hellman to Aaron Freiwald, author of The Last Nazi: None of us had any inkling of what we would come back to. We came back to a city full of swastika flags flying from windows, slogans painted everywhere, "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer," practically all passerby in the streets sporting swastika badges, police wearing swastika arm bands and the previously illegal SA, SS and Hitler Youth all walking about in uniform. It was like a nightmare come true . . . .
They [Vienniese Jews] talked about the "scrubbing parties." That first weekend groups of Jewish men and women had been rounded up and forced to scrub pavements to remove the Schuschnigg slogans and Fatherland Front symbols painted there in previous weeks. They were surrounded by jeering mobs, including children, who were enjoying this "fun". Another thing people talked about was the spate of suicides reported gleefully in the Nazi papers. The impending "aryanization" of Jewish stores and businesses was another topic being discussed.
From Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer: I was in the salon of Hitler's Berlin apartment when the second event of the year, and one which testified to the acceleration in Hitler's political plans, began to unfold. The day was March 9, 1938. Hitler's adjutant, Scaub, sat at the radio listening to the Innsbruck speech of Dr. Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor. Hitler had withdrawn to his private study on the second floor. Apparently Schaub was waiting for something in particular. He was taking notes. Schuschnigg spoke more and more plainly, finally presenting his plan for a plebiscite in Austria. The Austrian people themselves would decide for or against independance. And then Schuschnigg sounded the watchword to his fellow countrymen: "Austrians, the time has come!"
The time had come for Schaub too; he rushed upstairs to Hitler. A short while later, Goebbels in full dress and Goering in gala uniform hustled in. They were coming from some party, for the Berlin season for balls was in full swing, and vanished upstairs for some mysterious conference.
Once more enlightenment came to me several days later and via the newspapers. On March 13, German troops marched into Austria. Some three weeks later I too drove to Vienna by car to prepare the hall of the Northwest Railroad Station for a grand rally. Everywhere in towns and villages German cars were cheered. A t the hotel Imperial in Vienna I encountered the sordid hidden side of the rejoicing over the Anschluss. Many bigwigs from the Reich, such as Berlin Police Commissioner Count Helldorf, had hurried there, lured by the well-stocked shops. "They still have good underclothing . . . . Wool blankets, as many as you like . . . . I've discovered a place for foreign liquers . . . ." Scraps of the conversations in the hotel lobby. I felt repelled and limited myself to buying a Borsalino [hat]. Did any of this concern me?
From Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth by Gitta Sereny: Speer wrote in Inside the Third Reich that he wqas in Hitler's apartement when these events were decided on or took place, thus--providentially, he implies, as he was only Hitler's architect--a witness to them.
Given this fact, and that the realization of the importance the world accorded to these developments must have come to him later, it does seem extrordinary that both in his book and the "Spandau draft" [Note: The Spandau Draft is a first draft of Speer's best-selling memoir, Inside the Third Reich. Written during his post-Nuremberg incarceration, it differs in some respects from the published version. These differences are considered a more honest account when compared to the more calculated prose of the published version.] he mentions them in the chattiest of tones, and without the least indication that in 1938, when they occured, in 1953, when he wrote the "Spandau draft," or in 1969, when he wrote Inside the Third Reich, he was aware of their political or moral significance.
And yet, once again there is that slight difference between the two versions in the way he describes the Anschluss. In the "Spandau draft" (and in the book) he speaks of sitting in Hitler's sitting room in Berlin with Hitler's adjutant and other guests--Hitler having retired to his study--listening to the radio when the Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg announced a plebiscite for March 13 in order to allow the people to choose an independent or German Austria. Schuschnigg ended the speech--during which Hitler's adjutant had taken notes--with the words "Austrians, the time [for decision] has come!" The adjutant, grabbing his notes, rushed up to see Hitler, reports Speer, and shortly afterwards Goering and Goebbels hurried in, in festive garb--"it was ball-season, and a few days later, the Germans marched into Austria."
In the "Spandau draft" he makes it quite clear that he knew immediately that this was the prelude to the annexation of Austria. In the book, however, he distances himself from these events. "A few days later, the Germans marched into Austria" is replaced by "Once more enlightenment came to me several days later and via the newspapers . . . on March 13, German troops marched into Austria," he writes, giving the impression that no such thought had previously entered his head--despite the fact that the Anschluss had been on the lips of everyone around Hitler for weeks, if not months, and that he had known exactly what Schuschnigg's speech would lead to.
There is yet another small and, on the face of it, unremarkable omission in the book. In the "Spandau draft," describing his own trip to Vienna ten days later in order to "prepare a hall for a grand Hitler rally," he wrote--with honest perception--"Wherever I went, the German car was recognized. Up to this day I am touched by the reception of the population: happy, hopeful, I would say almost virginally expectant . . . ."
In the book this has shrunk to "Everywhere in towns and villages German cars were cheered . . . ." It is such a very small omission one feels it is almost petty to mention it. And yet is it so trivial? For there is a difference. In Spandau in 1953, thinking back to this event, he admits to emotional involvement--"To this day I am touched . . . ."--and he uses emotional adjectives to describe the population: "happy, hopeful . . . virginally expectant."
Sisteen years later in Heidlberg, he rationalizes it: no emotion, no communicated joy with the "virginally expectant" Austrians. Here he represents himself as nothing more than a cool observer and--in order to drive home both his lack of involvement and, just in case anyone might not realize it, his own post-Hitler willingness for mea culpas--he asks at the end of the paragraph, "Did any of this concern me?"
From Eichmann In My Hands by Peter Z. Malkin & Harry Stein: It was only with the Anschluss, the German annexation of Austria in March 1938, that Eichmann emerged from the bureaucratc shadows. Four days after German storm troopers marched into Austria, the thirty-two-year-old SS man appeared in Vienna, assigned to render his former country judenrein, literally, "Jew-free." Within days he had devised a program of action: a combination of calculated brutality and brazen duplicity. First he moved to have the Gestapo terrorize the capital's Jewish population, numbering 183,000. Men and women were dragged from their homes and shops and viciously beaten; rabbis were seized, their heads shorn before jeering mobs; synagogues were razed, Jewish property seized or destroyed. In a couple of weeks, more than a thousand Jews were murdered; dozens of others took their own lives. Then it suddenly stopped. Eichmann, the very picture of reason, now offered the council of Jewish leaders he had assembled his assurance that, if the Jews would only trust him and cooperate, conditions would improve. Indeed, he actually managed to persuade some of his victims of his sympathy for their plight. On one occasion he astomished a roomful of Jewsish functionaries by reciting by heart a page from a contemporary volume on the history of Zionism.
Eichmann began meeting regularly with highly placed Jewish officials, setting up a system that accomplished several Nazi ends simultaneously. Still more than a year before the outgreak of war, the Nazi aim in Austria was not annihilation but expulsion. Granted limited administration over their own affairs, but with all funds in the community frozen and the SS otherwise overseeing financial matters, the desperate Jews were thus made to cooperate in their own undoing. The final stage of Eichmann's process ensured that no one escaped before being robbed,not just of his property, but of his self-respect.
I think it is quite useful if we recall these things to our mind in order to expose all the sanctimonious hypocrisy exuding from the foreign press. Thank God, these things could after all not hinder the great German people on their way, for Adolf Hitler has created a communion of German will and German thought. He has bolstered it up with the newly strengthened Wehrmacht, and he has thereby given the external aspect to the inner union between Germany and Austria. I am known for sometimes expressing thoughts which give offense; nor would I care to depart from this custom today. . . . .
I know that there are even here in this country a few people--I believe they are not too numerous--who find fault with the events of the last few days. But nobody, I believe, doubts the goal; and it should be said to all hecklers that you cannot satisfy everybody. There are those who say they would have done it in some other way, perhaps, but strange to say they did not do it (hilarity) it was done by our Adolf Hitler (Long, continued applause); and if there is still something left to be improved, then those hecklers should try to bring about these improvements from within the German Reich and the German community and not disturb it from without. . . . . The Reichsbank will always be nothing but National Socialist, or I shall cease to be its manager. (Heavy, protracted applause) . . . .
I ask you to raise your hands and to repeat after me: I swear that: I will be faithful, and obedient to the Fuehrer of the German Reich and the German people, Adolf Hitler, and will perform my duties conscientiously and selflessly . . . . You have taken this pledge. A scoundrel, he who breaks it. To our Fuehrer a triple Sieg heil. (IMT)
From Schacht’s IMT testimony: If I did [adopt a tone that exuded National Socialist ideas] in the first years, I did so only in order to remind Party circles and the people of the original program of the National Socialist Party, to which the actual attitude of the Party members and functionaries stood in direct contrast. I always tried to show that the principles which I upheld in many political matters agreed completely with the principles of the National Socialist program as they were stated in the Party program, namely, equal rights for all, the dignity of the individual, esteem for the church, and so forth.
In the later years I also repeatedly used National Socialist phraseology, because from the time of my speech at Koenigsberg, the contrast between my views and Hitler’s views regarding the Party was entirely clear. And gradually within the Party I got the reputation of being an enemy of the Party, a man whose views were contrary to those of the Party. From that moment on not only the possibility of my co-operation, but also my very existence was endangered; and in such moments, when I saw my activity, my freedom, and my life seriously threatened by the Party I utilized these moments to show by means of an emphatically National Socialist phraseology that I was working entirely within the framework of the traditional policies and that my activity was in agreement with these policies--in order to protect myself against these attacks . . . .
That [taking over the Austrian National Bank] was my duty. I merged it, amalgamated it. The oath is the prescribed civil service oath and it is quite in accordance with what I said here yesterday, that the oath is made to the head of the state just as I have stated before too: "We stand united before the German people"--I do not know exactly what the German expression is. I hear your English version here. That oath is exactly the same. One obviously cannot take an oath to an idea. Therefore, one has to use a person. But I said yesterday that I did not take an oath to Herr Ebert or to Herr Hindenburg or to the Kaiser, but to the head of State as representative of the people. If you read it again, it does not say to the man but to the leader as the head of State. There is a very great difference. I never broke the oath to this man as representative of the German people, but I broke my oath when I found out that that man was a criminal . . . .
Certainly I did not keep the oath which I took to Hitler because Hitler unfortunately was a criminal, a perjurer, and there was no true head of State. I do not know what you mean by "breaking the oath," but I did not keep my oath to him and I am proud of it. That was in March 1938 when as you have heard me say before, I still was in doubt, and therefore it was not clear to me yet what kind of a man Hitler was. Only when in the course of 1938 I observed that Hitler was possibly walking into a war, did I break the oath. In the course of 1938 when, judging from the events, I gradually became convinced that Hitler might steer into a war, that is to say, intentionally. Then only did I break my oath.
From Schacht’s pre-trial interrogation:1938 March 24: Winston Churchill addresses the House of Commons:
Q: But you make this statement at the end of the oath, after everybody has raised his hand and made his oath. Did you say the following, "You have taken this pledge. A bad fellow he who breaks it"?’
A: Yes, I agree to that and I must say that I myself broke it.
Q: Do you also say that at the time that you urged this upon the audience, that you already were breaking it?
A: I am sorry to say that within my soul I felt very shaken in my loyalty already at that time, but I hoped that things would turn out well at the end. (IMT)
Let me give a warning drawn from our recent experiences. Very likely this immediate crisis will pass, will dissipate itself and calm down. After a boa constrictor has devoured its prey it often has a considerable digestive spell. It was so after the revelation of the secret German air force. There was a pause. It was so after German conscription was proclaimed in breach of the Treaty. It was so after the Rhineland was forcibly occupied. The House may recall that we were told how glad we ought to be because there would be no question of fortifying it. Now, after Austria has been struck down, we are all disturbed and alarmed, but in a little while there may be another pause. There may not--we cannot tell. But if there is a pause, then people will be saying, "See how the alarmists have been confuted; Europe has calmed down, it has all blown over, and the war scare has passed away."
The Prime Minister will perhaps repeat what he said a few weeks ago, that the tension in Europe is greatly relaxed. The Times will write a leading article to say how silly those people look who on the morrow of the Austrian incorporation raised a clamour for exceptional action in foreign policy and home defence, and how wise the Government were not to let themselves be carried away by this passing incident.
All this time the vast degeneration of the forces of Parliamentary democracy will be proceeding throughout Europe. Every six weeks another corps will be added to the German army. All this time important countries and great rail and river communications will pass under the control of the German General Staff. All this time populations will be continually reduced to the rigours of Nazi domination and assimilated to that system. All this time the forces of conquest and intimidation will be consolidated, towering up soon in real and not make-believe strength and superiority. Then presently will come another stroke. Upon whom? Our questions with Germany are unsettled and unanswered. We cannot tell. What I dread is that the impulse now given to active effort may pass away when the dangers are not diminishing, but accumulating and gathering as country after country is involved in the Nazi system, and as their vast preparations reach their final perfection...
I decided not to wait until April 10, but to effect the unification forthwith.That which has happened in those last weeks is the result of the triumph of an idea, a triumph of will, but also a triumph of endurance and tenacity and, above all, it is the result of the miracle of faith: for only faith has availed to move these mountains. I once went forth with faith in the German people and began this vast fight. With faith in me first thousands, then hundreds of thousands, and at last millions have followed after me. With faith in Germany and in this idea, millions of our fellow countrymen in the New Ostmark in the south of our Reich have held their banners high and have remained loyal to the Reich and to the life of the German people. And now I have faith in this 10th of April. I am convinced that on this day for the first time in history in very truth all Germany will be on the march. And on this day I shall be the Leader of the greatest army in the history of the world; for when on this 10th of April I cast my voting paper into the urn, then I shall know that behind me come 50 millions, and they all know only my watchword: One People and one Reich...1938 April 6: The US officially recognizes the German Anschluss of Austria.
The National Socialist Party in Austria never tried to hide its inclination for a greater Germany. That Austria would one day return to the Reich was a matter of course for all National Socialists and for true Germans in Austria. I asked the Fuehrer for armed assistance to save Austria from a civil war and from the fate of Spain because I had information that the workers' militia was to act as an armed military force at the Schuschnigg plebiscite.1938 April 8: Seyss-Inquart meets with Hitler.
From Kaltenbrunner's IMT testimony: The plebiscite of 10 April 1938 was completely in accordance with the will of the Austrian population. The result of 99.73 percent for Anschluss to the German Reich was perfectly genuine . . . . The representation and opinion of the Prosecution are completely incorrect when they think that National Socialism in Austria at that time could in any way be compared with the development which had already taken place in Germany. The development of Austrian National Socialism was on the contrary completely different.
The starting point was the abnormal economic depression in Austria and beyond that the Anschluss movement, and finally National Socialism made the Anschluss come true. This course, from economic depression via Anschluss movement to National Socialism, was the road of nearly all National Socialists, and the ideology of the Party program of the time was in no way responsible. I believe this has to be taken for granted and I believe I also ought to say it first, that the Anschluss movement in Austria was backed by the people; the fact that the plebiscite in the various provinces, like the Tyrol or Salzburg, had already in previous years--I believe from 1925 to 1928--shown a result of more than 90 percent of the votes in favor of the Anschluss should now be taken into consideration. Back in 1928 the National Council of Austria and the Austrian Federal Council signed the decree of the National Council of the year 1918 which said that both these assemblies had resolved to join the Reich; and they did not swerve from that resolution.
The two high points of the celebration were the memorial assembly on the 24th at Klagenfurt, capital of the Province of Carinthia, where in 1934 the Vienna Nazi revolt found its widest response and the march on the 25th to the former Federal Chancellery in Vienna by the surviving members of the SS Standarte 89, which made the attack on the Chancellery in 1934.
The assembled thousands at Klagenfurt were addressed by the Fuehrer's deputy, Rudolf Hess, in the presence of the families of the 13 National Socialists who were hanged for their part in the July Putsch. The Klagenfurt memorial celebration was also made the occasion for the solemn swearing in of the seven recently appointed Gauleiter of the Ostmark. From the point of view of the outside world, this speech of Reich Minister Hess was chiefly remarkable for the fact that after devoting the first half of his speech to the expected praise of the sacrifices of the men, women, and youths of Austria in the struggle for Greater Germany, he then launched into a defense of the occupation of Austria, an attack on the 'lying foreign press' and on those who spread the idea of a new war. The world was fortunate, declared Hess, that Germany's leader was a man who would not allow himself to be provoked. The Fuehrer does what is necessary for his people in sovereign calm and labors for the peace of Europe, even though provocators 'completely ignoring the deliberate threat of the peace of certain small states,' deceitfully claim that he is a menace to the peace of Europe.
The march on the former Federal Chancellery (referring back to the Putsch of 4 years before) now the Reichsstatthalterei, followed the exact route and time schedule of the original attack. The marchers were met at the Chancellery by Reichsstatthalter Seyss-Inquart, who addressed them and unveiled a memorial tablet. From the Reichsstatthalterei the Standarte [the SS organization which made the original attack and which marched on this occasion 4 years later] marched from the old Ravag broadcasting center, from which false news of the resignation of Dollfuss had been broadcast, and there unveiled a second memorial tablet. Steinhaeusel, the present Police President of Vienna, is a member of the SS Standarte 89.
From The Holocaust Chronicle: When the Germans annexed Austria on March 12, 1938, its 190,000 Jews came under the control of the Nazis. Attcks upon these unfortunate Jews began almost immediately, and the isolation and persecution of Jews, which happened over five years in Germany, took place in just a few months in Austria.
Jews were assaulted by the Nazis on the street, and became subject to the infamous Nuremberg Laws. The Nazis also sunjected Jews to numerous forms of humiliation. Jews had to run in circles until they collapsed, while some men had their beards publicaly shaved. Many elderly Jews died as the result of heart attacks vaused by their torment, and hundreds of others commintted suicide rather than be subjected to Nazi oppression.
Germany's Aryanization of Jewish property also extended to the newly annexed region. Over the first few months after the Anschluss, for example, 78 of Vienna's 86 Jewish-owned banks fell into Aryan hands. By the end of the year, about two-thirds of the city's Jewish-owned apartments had been Aryanized.
The Nazis established concentration camps in Austria, among them the infamous Mauthausen, to confine their Jewish victims. Most of Austria's Jews died during the seven years of Nazi rule. (IMT)
From The Order of the Deaths Head by Heinz Hohne: Eichmann's new office used blackmail to give impetus to the Jewish exodus. The majority of Austria's Jews were destitute and could not produce the minimum capital demanded by the receiving countries; the Nazi regime, onthe other hand, was short of foreign currency and could provide no funds. The richer Jews were accordingly compelled to subsidise the exodus from their own resources. Heydrich later explained the procedure: "We worked it this way: through the Jewish community we extracted a certain amount of money from the rich Jews who wanted to emigrate . . . . The problem was not to make the rich Jews leave but to get rid of the Jewish mob." Simultaneously Eichmann allowed the leaders of Austrian Jewry to travel abroad to obtain money for the emigration from Jewish aid organizations; in Spring 1938, for instance, the American Distribution Committee provided $100,000.
Such methods enabled Eichmann to report record figures to Berlin. By late autumn 1938 his office had organized the emigration of 45,000 Austrian Jews; in a bare 18 months he hasd driven 150,000 Jews from their homes. His merciless policy of compulsory emigration, however, could only succeed provided boty the frontiers of the receiving countries and the coffers of the Jewish Aid Organizations remained open, and neither would do so unless the SS technocrats could keep the deportations running smoothly. The Party extremists now set out to sabatoge this machinery; annoyed by the SD's intrusion into Jewish policy, they initiated a fresh anti-Jewish atrocity campaign in the summer of 1938.
From Kaltenbrunner's IMT testimony: After the ensuing Anschluss I had to take over the leadership of the General SS in Austria, namely, the SS Main Sector Danube. At that time I had been promoted to brigade leader without going exactly through the preceding ranks of SS leaders. And I think it was in September that I was appointed Gruppenfuehrer, so that my rank was made the same as that of all the other main SS sector leaders in the entire Reich.
If I may add something about myself, it is the following: I know that I am not of an active fighting nature, unless final decisions are at stake. At this time of pronounced activism [Aktivismus] this will certainly be regarded as a fault of my personality. Yet I know that I cling with unconquerable tenacity to the goal in which I believe, that is Greater Germany [Grossdeutschland] and the Fuehrer. And if some people are already tired out from the struggle and some have been killed in the fight, I am still around somewhere and ready to go into action. This, after all, was also the development until the year 1938. Until July 1934, I conducted myself as a regular member of the Party. And if I had quietly, in whatever form, paid my membership dues (the first one, according to a receipt, I paid in December 1931) I probably would have been an undisputed, comparatively old fighter and Party member of Austria, but I would not have done any more for the union.
I told myself in July 1934 that we must fight this clerical regime on its own ground in order to give the Fuehrer a chance to use whatever method he desires. I told myself that this Austria was worth a mass. I have stuck to this attitude with an iron determination because I and my friends have had to fight against the whole political church, and Free Masonry, the Jewry, in short, against everything in Austria. The slightest weakness which we might have displayed would undoubtedly have led to our political annihilation; it would have deprived the Fuehrer of the means and tools to carry out his ingenious political solution for Austria as became evident in the days of March 1938. I have been fully conscious of the fact that I am following a path which is not comprehensible to the masses and also not to my party comrades. I have followed it calmly and would without hesitation follow it again because I am satisfied that at one point I could serve the Fuehrer as a tool in his work, even though my former attitude, even now, gives occasion to very worthy and honorable Party comrades to doubt my trustworthiness. I have never paid attention to such things because I am satisfied with the opinion which the Fuehrer and the men close to him have of me. (IMT)
Dear Dr. Seyss:
I have received your letter of 19 August 1939, in which you asked me to inform you what I know of those matters which, among others, are the subject of your correspondence with [Reich Commissioner and Gauleiter Josef] Burckel.
I do not wish to discuss sundry talks and all that which has been brought to my notice in the course of time by different people. I wish to clarify essentially my own attitude.
On 6 July 1939 I was asked by telephone by the Reich Commissioner Gauleiter Buerckel if I was in possession of the memorandum of Globus regarding the events of March. I told him that I did not have this memorandum, that I never possessed a single part of it; that I, furthermore, did not then participate in the matter and do not know its content. Because of official requests by Buerckel, I have entrusted him with a report accompanied by a letter written on 6 July.
If Buerckel now writes to you that certain statements were confirmed by me, I feel obliged to entrust you with a copy each of my copies of those two documents, which were only written in single originals. I shall specially inform Buerckel of this, adding that I have given-apart from those written explanations-no confirmations, declarations, or criticisms whatsoever regarding you and your attitude and that I have authored nobody to refer to any statements of mine.
Since the beginning of our collaboration, I have always expressed and represented forcefully my ideas regarding yourself and my opinion of your personality. This conception of mine was the very basis of our collaboration. The events of February and March have not changed this, especially since I considered the political success of 11 March merely as a confirmation of the intentions and convictions which have equally induced both of us to collaborate.
As far as Globus is concerned, you are fully aware of his nature, which I judged always and in every situation only by its good side. I believe that you have already talked to Globus about the occurrences between the 11 March 1938 and today, and I am convinced that he will tell you everything that is bothering him, if you will speak to him about this matter, as is your intention.
With best regards and Heil Hitler! Yours, Friedl Rainer.
We saw in March and April how a false picture about the actual leadership conditions developed from this fact which could not be corrected in spite of our attempts to that erect. This was an important factor for the varying moods of Globocnik who hoped especially from you that you would emphasize for Hitler, and also for the public, the role of the Party during the events preceding 12 March 1938. I limited myself to address this verbal and written declaration to Party member Hess, and furthermore to secure the documents from the March days. In addition, I spoke at every available opportunity about the fight of the Party. I did not undertake steps to give just credit to other persons for the glory which was excessively ascribed to one person, Dr. Seyss-Inquart, and I would not do that, primarily because I appear as a beneficiary, and furthermore, because I believe that I would not gladden Hitler by doing so.
I am also convinced that Dr. Seyss-lnquart did not act crookedly, and furthermore, that Hitler does not want to commit an act of historical justice by special preference of his person, but rather that he is attracted to him personally. It really is of no great account to Hitler if this or that person were more or less meritorious in this sector of the great fight of the movement. Because, in the last analysis, by far the greatest part is to be ascribed only to him; he alone will be considered by history as the liberator of Austria. I, therefore, considered it best to accept existing conditions and look for new fertile fields of endeavor in the Party.
If I should be asked to describe--without personal interest--the role of the Party according to my best conviction, I am ready to do so at any time. For this reason I promised yesterday to submit to you again a short seminary, and to make it available for your confidential use. Of this letter and of this abbreviated description I retain the sole copy. Heil Hitler! Rainer.
Thus the first stage of battle commenced which ended with the July rising of 1934. The decision for the July rising was right, the execution of it was faulty. The result was a complete destruction of the organization; the loss of entire groups of fighters through imprisonment or flight into the Alt-Reich, and with regard to the political relationship of Germany to Austria, a formal acknowledgment of the existence of the Austrian State by the German Government. With the telegram to Papen, instructing him to reinstitute normal relationships between the two States, the Fuehrer had liquidated the first stage of the battle, and a new method of political penetration was to begin. By order of the Fuehrer the Landesleitung Munich was dissolved, and the Party in Austria was left to its own resources.
There was no acknowledged leader for the entire Party in Austria. New readerships were forming in the new Gaue. The process was again and again interrupted by the interference of the police; there was no liaison between the formations, and frequently there were two, three, or more rival readerships. The first evident, acknowledged speaker of almost all the Gaue in Autumn 1934 was Engineer Reinthaler (already appointed Landesbauern Fuehrer, leader of the country's farmers, by Hess). He endeavored to bring about a political appeasement by negotiations with the Government with the purpose of giving the NSDAP legal status again, thus permitting its political activities. Simultaneously, Reinthaler started the reconstruction of the illegal political organization at the head of which he had placed Engineer Neubacher . . . .
In August some further arrests took place, the victims of which were, apart from the Gauleiter"-Gau leaders-"also Globocnik and Rainer. Schattenfroh then claimed, because of an instruction received from the imprisoned Leopold, to have been made deputy country leader. A group led by engineer Raffelsberger had at this time also established connection with departments of the Alt-Reich (Ministry of Propaganda, German racial agency, et cetera), and made an attempt to formulate a political motto in the form of a program for the fighting movement of Austria . . . .
The principles of the  construction were: The organization is the bearer of the illegal fight and the trustee of the idea to create a secret organization, in a simple manner and without compromise, according to the principle of organizing an elite to be available to the illegal Land Party Council upon any emergency. Besides this, all political opportunities should be taken and all legal people and legal chances should be used without revealing any ties with the illegal organization. Therefore, cooperation between the illegal Party organization and the legal political aides was anchored at the top of the Party leadership. All connections with the Party in Germany were kept secret in accordance with the orders of the Fuehrer. These said that the German State should officially be omitted from the creation of an Austrian NSDAP and that auxiliary centers for propaganda, press, refugees, welfare, et cetera, should be established in the foreign countries bordering Austria.
From the IMT testimony of Rainer W. Friedrich: Some time after the Anschluss there were hostile activities, intrigues against Dr. Seyss-Inquart and some other people. They came from dissatisfied radical elements in Austria and the Reich. They took advantage of Dr. Seyss-Inquart's hesitant attitude on 11 March, his clinging to the revolutionary line and to the principles of the two agreements between the two States, to accuse him of being a separatist or even worse.
These people seemed to be dangerous, because Burckel and, I believe, Heydrich too, were behind them. I considered these attacks to be unfair and therefore I brought out certain facts and arguments and worded my report in such a way that the addressees would understand it and be calmed down.
Only in co-operation with us, Jury and a number of co-workers of Leopold, and also with Leopold's consent, was it possible to achieve Seyss-Inquart's appointment to the post of State Councillor. More and more Seyss turned out to be the clever negotiator. We knew he was the one who would best represent the interests of the Movement in the political forefield. He also unconditionally subordinated himself to Klausner's leadership. He always conducted himself as Klausner's deputy and conscientiously followed Klausner's instructions.
With Seyss' appointment to the post of Staatsrat, we found a new possibility to enter into further negotiations. At that time there were a number of grotesque situations. We were informed on events in the Schuschnigg camp by the political apparatus; our own connection to Ribbentrop, Goering, and Himmler we had via Keppler.
Papen had been expressly told to handle preparations for the conference confidentially. In Austria, only Schuschnigg, Schmidt, and Zernatto knew about it. They believed that on our side only Papen was informed. Papen, too, thought that only he knew about it, but we too were informed and had had conversations with Seyss about the subject . . . .
We had already prepared the following: The last result of the conversation Seyss communicated to me in a shop in the Karntnerstrasse. I called the telephone number where Globus [Globocznik] was to be reached in Berlin and told him about the negative result of the conversation. I could speak with Globus entirely freely ... In the meantime, Keppler had gone to Munich by sleeping car . . . .
I then forwarded instructions by Party member Muhlmann, who proved to be an excellent liaison man to government offices in the Reich. He left for Salzburg on the same train as Schuschnigg. While Schuschnigg had his car taken off at Salzburg and spent the night there and went on by car to the Obersalzberg, Muhlmann continued on and got to Berchtesgaden. Keppler and he went to the Fuehrer before Schuschnigg and were able to tell him everything. Schuschnigg arrived in the morning, was received, and experienced boundless surprise that the Fuehrer took up the negotiations where they had been broken off without results the day before between Seyss and him. The Fuehrer did not conduct the negotiations as Schuschnigg expected. He went the whole hog.
Schuschnigg was finished off that time, in a manner one can hardly imagine. The Fuehrer got hold of him, assaulted him, and shouted at him and reproached him for all the dirty tricks Schuschnigg had committed during the past years. Schuschnigg had become a heavy smoker. There was connection even with his bedroom. We knew about his way of life. Now he was smoking 50, now 60 cigarettes. Now, in the presence of the Fuehrer, he was not allowed to smoke. Schuschnigg could not even smoke.
Ribbentrop told me he really pitied Schuschnigg. He only stood at attention before the Fuehrer, held his hands against the seams of his trousers and all he said was "Yes, sir, Jawohl."
We asked Seyss: Is it true? Seyss said: "I am bound by my word of honor not to speak, but we want to act as if it is true." . . . .
On 10 March we issued orders to the SA and SS, Lukesch and Kaltenbrunner, to call out, beginning Friday, half of the formations, and that the best men were to remain armed in their barracks in the event of a civil war. (IMT)
From the IMT testimony of Rainer W. Friedrich: I made the speech, but I declare emphatically that whatever I have said under oath today about that point is the true version. This is a broad statement designed for the audience of that time, which cannot be taken as literally as something which I say today, conscious of my responsibility. I cannot today check this document against a correct reproduction of what I said then. I speak to people like that differently than I would speak under oath before this Tribunal, having to make concrete statements about concrete points. It seems impossible to me that I should today be required to confirm individual points of a speech which was made 4 years ago. In details it is not correct. It is correct that at about this time we were informed about the intention of having a conference.
The events as I have described them here are, as a whole, correct. Individual expressions which I read here are not mine. In that point this document has been supplemented by somebody else. Whether the events described here are correct in detail, is something I cannot say for certain because much of it did not happen in my presence.
With arms and in barracks? That cannot be right. The instructions at that time were, and it is unlikely that I recounted them otherwise, that half the strength should remain assembled at home, that is, in assembly areas. There is no question of barracks, and weapons we had almost none . . . . It was a comradely meeting of the Old Guard on the occasion of the 11th of March. We drank beer and there was music and I described events rather like telling a stole; I spoke for a very long time; in fact, it was the longest speech I ever made. I spoke more than 3 hours. I spoke suite freely and without any notes, and the shorthand record which is submitted here appears to me not to tally with my statements on every point.
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