Anschluss with Austria

Hitler wished to practice his policy of a united Germany with Austria, who were German speaking.

Many people in Austria supported this idea as their country's economy was weak. They believed that unification with Germany would make them stronger.

In early 1938, Hitler had encouraged Austrian Nazis to stir up trouble and stage demonstrations and riots across the country. They called for unification with Germany. In a meeting with the Austrian Leader, Kurt Schuschnigg, Hitler told him that the crisis would only be resolved if he accepted the anschluss with Germany.

He reluctantly agreed, however in a last-minute attempt, he called a referendum for the people to decide whether to unite with Germany. Hitler, worried that the Austrians would vote against the Anschluss, forced Schuschnigg to resign, appointing the leader of the Austrian Nazis in his place.

In the elections, voters were watched over by German soldiers and 99.75% of Austrians voted for the unification with Germany.

This meant that Austria's army, weapons, rich deposits of valuable ores and resources were added to Germany's growing Army and industry.

It had become clear that Britain and France were unlikely to react as Germany had broken yet another term of the Treaty.