This is the start of my World War 2 timeline series. Where I will be writing a series of articles about the events in World War 2. Starting from the events leading up to World War 2 in 1938. Then to World War 2 as I tell the events of World War 2 and I am sure I will put some unknown (or lesser heard) events of World War 2 in there. Since that’s what this website is about. Now back to the story you came for.
Hitler wanted all German-speaking nations inside of Europe to be unified and united with Germany and to get all of Germany’s original homeland back. However, the Treaty of Versailles forbids Germany to be unified with Austria so he had to think of clever ways to take and get ahold of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Hitler also wanted Czechoslovakia because of its largely German-speaking population.
Even more specifically he wanted control of the Sudetenland which is the historical name for the northern, southern, and western areas of former Czechoslovakia. However, that could not be realized at this point since Austria shares a border with that part of Czechoslovakia and it was forbidden to do so but Hitler I guess always find a way around to get what he wants.
The Failed Coup of Austria
It all starts in 1934 when Hitler arranges and tells the Austrian Nazis to cause as much havoc and chaos as possible. So they hold parades and marches, set buildings on fire, let off bombs, and organized fights. All so Austria could be in a state of disarray and chaos and destruction so then Hitler could just walk his troops right into Austria and say he was restoring the order even though he is the one who caused it in the first place.
So then when the Austrian government bans the Nazi party from the country since they felt like they and the socialist were ripping the country apart.
The Demand of Hitler
Then Hitler has a meeting with the leader of Austria Kurt Schuschnigg and he threatens him by saying give all of your important jobs in the government to all Nazis or I will invade you. So then to appease him since he had like no choice he put the Nazi Seyss-Inquart as Minister of the Interior.
The ‘Persuasiveness’ of Hitler
Now let’s go to 1938 where Britain and France refused to help out Austria on March 9th, 1938. To secure their borders against the Germans since Schuschnigg said he was gonna do a plebiscite (referendum) to see how the people of Austria felt about becoming apart of Germany and if they should join them.
Then Hitler after hearing this decides to send troops to the Austrian border and demands that they cancel and do not hold a plebiscite. So without any help from any other nations, he had to comply with Hitler’s orders and he resigned as well.
Hitler’s ‘Invitation’ Into Austria
Seyss-Inquart, Nazi Minister of the Interior took his place and then immediately asks Hitler to come into Austria to restore the peace and order in the country. So this is how Hitler was able to enter into Austria on March 12, 1938, he was ‘invited’ to enter.
With Hitler’s army also came the Gestapo and the SS to deal with oppressors and the opposition of the Nazi party. It also, unfortunately, was not long before Hitler set up concentration camps and he was sending Jews to them and the rest of the Austrian people just lived in terror with the brutal Nazi regime all around them.
Hitler Captures the Sudetenland Area of Czechoslovakia
Then after having succeeded in getting Austria under his regime he then used similar tactics and ways to get the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia he so longed for which contained over a few million Germans.
If you like this topic and want to know more of the backstory and what led up to this event in history. Then you should consider checking out Austria, Germany, and the Anschluss, 1931-1938. It tells of the story of the relationship of the Austria problems starting way back 1931, then the July Putsch of 1934, then furthermore it talks about the Abyssian conflict and the Spanish Civil War. Then he wraps it up with talking about the German take-over in 1938. So if you’re interested check it out and tell me what you think about it.
To achieve his goals to occupy Austria and Czechoslovakia he had to come up with some clever ways to get into these countries. So he could bypass what the Treaty of Versailles said and so he maybe would not start an international conflict just yet. Even though he inevitably would start that conflict known as World War 2. I hope you enjoyed my article and you learned something to have a great day.
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“Nazi Germany – Anschluss.” History, 12 May 2017, www.historyonthenet.com/nazi-germany-anschluss/.
“Higher Bitesize History – Anschluss : Revision.” BBC, BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/higher/history/roadwar/anschluss/revision/1/.
“Sudetenland.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Apr. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudetenland.
“Hitler Announces an Anschluss with Austria.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hitler-announces-an-anschluss-with-austria.
By Painting by John Christen Johansen (1876-1964), photo by cliff1066™ on Flickr – Signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19738636
By Records of the U.S. Office of War Information, 1926 – 1951; Series: Photographs of Allied and Axis Personalities and Activities, 1942 – 1945 – https://catalog.archives.gov/id/535792?q=208-N-39843, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45860127
By Heinrich Hoffmann – USA National Archive in Washington, D.C., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5261160