The Last Five Hours of Austria

The Last Five Hours of Austria

The Last Five Hours of Austria

The Last Five Hours of Austria

Excerpt

The ultimatum presented by Herr Hitler to the Federal Republic of Austria on March 11th, 1938, and its immediate consequences brought a slow and gradual process of development to a sudden and violent conclusion.

The incorporation of Austria in the Third Reich came about inorganically, and it therefore remains an open question whether the last stage in her development would have been the organic union of the little country with Germany; would there have been any Anschluss at all without violence?

It is a fact that, after the Great War, and even before the conclusion of the Peace Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain, most parties in Austria desired the Anschluss, and her leading statesmen worked for it then and later, though only until the moment when President von Hindenburg allowed the National Socialist party to obtain supreme power in Germany.

The day on which Hitler established a National Socialist dictatorship marks the date on which responsible statesmen in Austria and her leading representatives of science and the arts first conceived a definite wish to preserve the independence of their country. The desire for union with Germans entertained by the majority of Austrians, mainly by reason of their common language, was now transformed into a fundamental de-

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