The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-19-04

Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-19-04
Last-Modified: 1997/06/08

   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV

On 9 March 1938, a meeting of the Austrian Nazis was held be-

                                                  [Page 969]
cause they had learned, through an illegal information
service, that a plebiscite was to be held. Dr. Rainer
describes this meeting in the following

     "The 'Landesleitung' received word about the planned
     plebiscite through illegal information services on 9
     March 1938 at 10 a. m. At the session, which was called
     immediately afterwards, Seyss-Inquart explained that he
     had known about this information only a few hours, but
     that he could not talk about it because he had given
     his word to keep silent on this subject. But during the
     talks he made us understand that the illegal
     information we received was based on truth, and that in
     view of the new situation, he had-been cooperating with
     the 'Landesleitung' from the very first moment.
     Klausner, Jury, Rainer, Globotschnigg, and Seyss-
     Inquart were present at the first talks which were held
     at 10 a. m. There it was decided that first, the
     Fuehrer had to be informed immediately; secondly, the
     opportunity for the Fuehrer to intervene must be given
     to him by way of an official declaration made by
     Minister Seyss-Inquart to Schuschnigg; and thirdly,
     Seyss-Inquart must negotiate with the government until
     clear instructions and orders were received from the
     Fuehrer. Seyss-Inquart and Rainer together composed a
     letter to Schuschnigg, and only one copy of it was
     brought to the Fuehrer by Globocnik, who flew to him on
     the afternoon of 9 March 1938."

Seyss-Inquart himself admits that he attended this meeting,
which was held at the Regina Hotel, Vienna (3425-PS; 3254-
PS). The defendant was informed at this meeting that he
would receive a letter from Hitler by messenger the next
morning. (3425-PS; 3254-PS).

Early on the morning of 11 March 1938, Seyss-Inquart
received Hitler's letter. He describes it as having
contained several erroneous statements and containing a
demand that a decision should be arrived at before noon;
that in case of rejection the Reich Government would
denounce the agreement of 12 February 1938 and military
action must be understood. According to Seyss-Inquart,
Hitler also gave expression to his belief that there would
be disturbances in Austria if Chancellor Schuschnigg would
not relent and that the Reich would come to the help of
Austria if Austria demanded go. Glaise-Horstenau arrived by
plane in Vienna early that same morning with the information
that Berlin was greatly excited and that military steps were
in preparation. (3254-PS; 3425-PS)

                                                  [Page 970]
(8) Seyss-Inquart then proceeded to carry out Hitler's
orders and to fulfill the plans made by himself and his
fellow Nazi conspirators. Dr. Rainer in his report to Reich
Commissar Gauleiter Josef Buerckel, and in his covering
letter dated 6 July 1939, related his version of the
sequence of events during this period and described the
precise role of Seyss-Inquart, as he viewed it. He
complained about the fact that Hitler and the general public
seemed to give Seyss-Inquart all the credit for the
annexation of Austria by Germany. The following quotation
from this letter and report is significant:

     "Soon after taking over in Austria, Klausner,
     Globocnik, and I flew to Berlin to report to Hitler's
     deputy, Hess, about the events which led to our taking
     over the government. We did this because we had the
     impression that the general opinion, perhaps also
     Hitler's own, was that the liberation depended more on
     Austrian matters of state rather than the Party. To be
     more exact, Hitler especially mentioned Dr. Seyss-
     Inquart alone; and public opinion gave him alone credit
     for the change and thus believed him to have played the
     sole leading role." (812-PS)

Dr. Rainer then proceeded to describe just what happened in
those critical days, and outlined the final instructions
given by him for Friday, 1 March 1938. He explained that
three situations might develop within the following days:
     "1st Case: The plebiscite will not be held. In this
     case, a great demonstration must be held.
     "2nd Case: Schuschnigg will resign. In this case, a
     demonstration was ordered in taking over the government
     power. "3rd Case: Schuschnigg will take up the fight.
     In this case, all party leaders were ordered to act
     upon their own initiative, using all means to capture
     the position of power." (812-PS)

Dr. Seyss-Inquart took part in these talks with the

     "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, Fishboeck and Muehlmann 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, includ-
                                                  [Page 971]
     ing both ministers and also State Councillors Fishboeck
     and Jury, for the establishment of a voting date in
     three 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 2:00
     p.m. Rainer agreed with Seyss-Inquart that Rainer would
     send the telegram to the Fuehrer and the statement to
     the population at 3:00 p.m. 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
     'phoned Rainer and informed him that Schuschnigg had
     been unable to take the pressure and had recalled the
     plebiscite but that he had 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 had 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. 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 to return, all within the
     specified time of 7:30 p.m.; otherwise, German troops
     would cross the border at 8:00 p.m. At G:00 p.m. Rainer
     and Globocnik, accompanied by Muehlmann, went to the
     Chancellor's office to carry out this errand.

                                                  [Page 972]
     "Due to the cooperation of the above-mentioned people
     with group leader Keppler and other officials of the
     Reich and due to the activities of other contact-men in
     Austria, it was possible to obtain the appointment of
     Seyss-Inquart as 'Staatsrat' [councillor of State] in
     July 1937. Due to the same facts, the Chancellor Dr.
     Schuschnigg was forced to take a new so-called
     'satisfactory action'. Through all this a new and
     stronger political position was won in the Austrian
     system. The National-Socialist Party became acceptable
     again in the political field and became a partner with
     whom one had to negotiate, even when it was not
     officially incorporated into internal Austrian
     political developments. This complicated political
     maneuver, accompanied by the steadily increasing
     pressure from the Reich, led to talks between the
     Fuehrer and Schuschnigg at the Obersalzberg. Here
     Gruppenfuehrer Keppler presented the concrete political
     demands of the fighting underground movement, which he
     estimated according to his personal experiences and the
     information he received. The results of these talks
     were the right of a free acknowledgment of the National
     Socialist movement on the one hand and the recognition
     of an independent Austrian state on the other hand, as
     well as the appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Minister of
     Interior and Public Safety, as a person who will
     guarantee to both sides the proper carrying out of the
     agreements. In this way Seyss-Inquart occupied the key
     position and was in the center of all obvious political
     actions. A legal base in the government was won for the
     party. This resulted in a paralysis of the 'system
     apparatus' [Schuschnigg government] at a time when a
     revolution needed to be carried out. Through this, the
     basis for a new attack on the Schuschnigg government
     was won.
     "Situation: Miklas negotiated with Ender for the
     creation of a government which 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 unpleasant political situation
     might result. Rainer negotiated with Zernette. Director
     of the cabinet Huber, Guido Schmid, Glaise-Horstenau,
     Legation Councillor Stein, Military Attache General
     Muffe, and the 'Gruppenfuehrer' Keppler, who had
     arrived in the meantime, were also negotiating. At 7:00
     Seyss-Inquart entered the negotiations again. Situation
     at 7:30 p.m.: Stubborn
                                                  [Page 973]
     refusal of Miklas to appoint Seyss-Inquart as
     Chancellor; appeal to the world in case of a German

     "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 fighting will break out any moment because
     Rainer ordered the entire party to demonstrate at 3
     o'clock. Rainer proposed storming and seizing the
     government 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 8:00 p.m. the SA and SS marched
     in and occupied the government buildings and all
     important positions in the city of Vienna. At 8:30 p.m.
     Rainer, with the approval of Klausner, ordered all
     Gauleiters of Austria to take over power in all eight
     'gaus' 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 three
     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 1;he other; but both factors may be
     considered only in the 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." (812-PS)

Seyss-Inquart's own story of the events on 11 March 1938 is
not fundamentally different, although he does show a marked
tendency to minimize his role in the planning,
precipitating, and accomplishment of the annexation of
Austria by Germany, in a statement signed by him after his
arrest and indictment:

     "At 10 o'clock in the morning Glaise-Horstenau and I
     went to the Bundes Chancellery and conferred for about
     two hours with Dr. Schuschnigg. We told him of all that
     we knew, particularly about the possibility of
     disturbances and preparations by the Reich. The
     Chancellor said that he would
                                                  [Page 974]
     give his decision by 1400 hours. While I was with
     Glaise-Horstenau and Dr. Schuschnigg, I was repeatedly
     called to the telephone to speak to Goering. He
     informed me, (the demands of the Reich steadily
     increasing) that the agreement of 2/12 had been
     cancelled, and demanded Dr. Schuschnigg's resignation
     and my appointment as Chancellor. I delivered this
     information verbally to Dr. Schuschnigg and withdrew
     from the conference.
     "In the meantime Keppler arrived from Berlin and had a
     conference in the Bundes Chancellery, I believe also
     with President Miklas. The latter refused to concede to
     the demands and sought to find various other solutions.
     When Keppler arrived from Berlin he showed me the
     contents of a telegram which I, as leader of the
     provisional Austrian Government, was to send to Hitler
     and in which I was to request sending of German troops
     to Austria to put down disorders. I refused as I did
     not want to establish myself as head of a provisional
     government, and there were no disorders in Austria.
     Keppler repeatedly urged me about the telegram. Around
     6 p.m. I told him that he knew my standpoint and should
     do what he wished with Berlin. Keppler, as I have been
     able to confirm from records available, understood my
     answer and did not send off the telegram at that time.
     Around 7:30 p.m. a frontier police post announced that
     German troops were crossing the frontier. Thereupon Dr.
     Schuschnigg gave his well known farewell speech over
     the radio. Upon-requests from various sides I followed
     with a speech over the radio, stating that I was still
     functioning as Minister of Interior and Security,
     requesting preservation of peace and order, and gave
     directions that no resistance should be offered the
     "As I am able to gather from the records available, I
     was again requested about 10 p.m. to give my sanction
     to another somewhat altered telegram, about which I
     informed President Miklas and Dr. Schuschnigg. Finally
     President Miklas appointed me Chancellor and a little
     while later he approved of my proposed ministers."

However, Seyss-Inquart displayed undue modesty in this
statement. His letter to Himmler indicates how active he was
on 11 March 1938, and reveals that he was not satisfied with
making demands upon Chancellor Schuschnigg, but also handed
an ultimatum to President Miklas:

     "It is only possible that Buerckels made a statement
     that in the critical hours it was hard to find me.
     After I had handed
                                                  [Page 975]
     an ultimatum to Miklas which was respited until 5:45
     p.m. I took a recess of about a half hour to catch some
     fresh air. I conceded that I was, in a way, exhausted
     from the things which happened just a few hours before
     that and I tried to find recreation in the fresh air.
     Besides that I planned to take a look at the situation
     on the streets. Furthermore, I wanted to make a phone
     call to Berlin, not from the Chancellery, but from some
     other place. Phone calls from the Chancellery were
     always tapped whereas they were only sometimes tapped
     from other places. I was sure they didn't need me until
     5:30 p.m., because the men of the old system would not
     make a decision a second earlier than they had to."

A stenographic transcript of Goering's telephone
conversation with Seyss-Inquart confirms the fact that Seyss-
Inquart was ordered to demand Chancellor Schuschnigg's
resignation and the appointment of himself as Chancellor.

This stenographic record of Goering's conversations also
reveals that Seyss-Inquart had an agent keep in contact with
Goering during the negotiations with Chancellor Schuschnigg.
Seyss-Inquart was given an order by Goering through this
agent to report by 7:30 p.m., 11 March 1938, that he had
formed a new government. He was informed that the foreign
political aspect would be handled exclusively by Germany and
that Hitler would talk with him about this matter at a
future date.

In addition the stenographic transcript of these telephone
conversations show that the selection of individual members
of the cabinet of the new government to be established by
Seyss-Inquart was to be made by the Nazi conspirators in
Berlin. (2949-PS)

At 1726 hours on the night of 11 March 1938, Seyss-Inquart
reported to Goering by telephone as ordered. He reported
that President Miklas had accepted the resignation of
Chancellor Schuschnigg but wanted to appoint a man like
Ender to the Chancellorship. He further reported his
suggestion to the President that the Chancellorship be
entrusted to him -- Seyss-Inquartand also reported that "We
have ordered the SA and the SS to take over police duties."
Thereupon Goering ordered Seyss-Inquart to go with Lt. Gen.
Muff to President Miklas and inform him that if the demands
were not met immediately German troops, already advancing to
the frontier, would invade Austria that night and Austria
would cease to exist. An audience with the President was to
be demanded. The invasion would be stopped only if President
Miklas entrusted Seyss-Inquart with the Chancellorship.
Seyss-Inquart was also instructed to call out the National

                                                  [Page 976]
ists of Austria all over the country, because Austrian Nazis
should even then be in the streets. Seyss-Inquart was to
report again at 7:30 p.m. (2949-PS)

The telegram, already prepared, asking Hitler to send German
troops into Austria, over the defendant Seyss-Inquart's
signature, was transmitted as ordered and agreed upon. (2463-

Even before Seyss-Inquart received his appointment as
Chancellor of Austria he dispatched a telegram using that
title. An affidavit of August Eigruber states as follows:

     "On the evening of 11 March 1938 at between 8 and 9
     o'clock p.m. he received two telegrams; one of which
     came from Dr. Seyss-Inquart, as Bundes Chancellor of
     Austria, and the other from one Dr. Rainer; that the
     telegram from Dr. Seyss-Inquart appointed the affiant
     as temporary Landeshauptmann in Upper Austria; and that
     the telegram from Dr. Rainer appointed the affiant
     temporary leader of the National Socialist Party in
     Upper Austria." (2909-PS)

Schuschnigg presented his resignation, which was accepted by
President Miklas. The appointment of Seyss-Inquart as
Chancellor came late on the evening of 11 March 1938. (2465-

(9) Having infiltrated into the Austrian Government of
Chancellor Schuschnigg according to plan, Seyss-Inquart
exploited his opportunities to carry out the plan to is
ultimate conclusion, i.e. German annexation of Austria. The
first act of Seyss-Inquart as the new Chancellor of Austria
was to hold a telephone conversation with Hitler early in
the morning of 12 March 1938. He has described the substance
of this telephone conversation as follows:

     "During the morning of 12 March I held a telephone
     conversation with Hitler in which I suggested that
     while German troops were entering Austria, Austrian
     troops as a symbol should march into the Reich. Hitler
     agreed to this suggestion and we agreed to meet in
     Linz, Upper Austria, later on that same day." (3425-PS)

Thereafter, on 12 March 1938, Seyss-Inquart greeted Hitler
on the balcony of the City Hall of Linz, Upper Austria. In
his ensuing speech, Seyss-Inquart announced that Article 88
of the Treaty of St. Germain, which provided that "the
independence of Austria is inalienable otherwise than with
the consent of the Council of the League of Nations," was no
longer operative.

     "I then flew to Linz with Himmler, who had arrived in
     Vienna from Berlin. I greeted Hitler on the balcony of
     the City Hall,
                                                  [Page 977]
     and said that Article 88 of the Treaty of St. Germain
     was now inoperative." (3425-PS; L-231)

In his memorandum entitled "The Austrian Question" Seyss-
Inquart describes his meeting with Hitler as follows:

     "In the afternoon, I flew with Himmler to Linz and
     drove then to meet Hitler. Hitler entered Linz in the
     evening. I never saw such an enthusiasm. The welcome
     was spontaneous and of no precedence. In my (welcome)
     speech I declared that Article 88 of the St. Germain
     Treaty was no longer binding." (3254-PS; 2485-PS)

Seyss-Inquart then drove back to Vienna on the morning of 13
March 1938. His Secretary of State for Security begged that
he be allowed to resign, a decision he reached as a result
of a conversation with Himmler, which had caused him to fear
for his own personal welfare. Seyss-Inquart then nominated
Kaltenbrunner for State Secretary for Security, and the
nomination was accepted by President Miklas. About noon
State Under Secretary Stuckart of the German Reich Ministry
of the Interior brought a proposal for a reannexation act
uniting Austria to Germany, and announced Hitler's wish for
prompt execution of it. Seyss-Inquart then called a meeting
of his Council of Ministers, and on his proposal the council
adopted the act. (3254-PS)

Seyss-Inquart, realizing that if the President of Austria
resigned his office, then he, Seyss-Inquart, would be the
successor, went to President Miklas with the information
about the action of the Council of Ministers. Seyss-Inquart
describes this meeting with President Miklas as follows:

     "In the case where the Bund President would, for any
     reason, either have resigned his functions or be, for
     some time, impeded in fulfilling them, his prerogatives
     were to go over to the Bund Chancellor, I went to the
     Bund President with Dr. Wolff. The President told me
     that he did not know whether this development would be
     of welfare to the Austrian Nation, but that he did not
     wish to interfere and preferred to resign his
     functions, so that all rights would come into my hands,
     according to the Constitution. The possibility of my
     dismissal or resignation were only slightly mentioned
     and recognized as inopportune in the prevailing
     situation." (3254-PS)

President Miklas then resigned and Seyss-Inquart succeeded
to his office. (2466-PS)

                                                  [Page 978]
Thereafter Seyss-Inquart signed the Act uniting Austria with
Germany and hurried back to Linz to report this news to
Hitler: "Then there were some letters exchanged between the
Bund President and myself, confirming our conversation and
his retirement. Thereafter I drove to Linz, where I arrived
around mid-night and reported to the Fuehrer the
accomplishment of the Anschluss Law. Hitler was very much
impressed by it; for a while he remained quiet, then tears
dropped from his eyes down his cheeks. He said then that he
was especially happy because his Motherland had achieved her
annexation to the Reich without any shedding of blood."

On 14 March 1938 Hitler entered Vienna. On 15 March 1938
there was a public demonstration in Vienna- and Hitler
introduced Seyss-Inquart as "Reich Statthalter for Austria."
Hitler then put him in charge of the Civil Administration of
Austria, while political matters were assigned to Gauleiter
Josef Buerckel, who shortly thereafter was made Reich
Commissar for the Anschluss. (3425-PS)

(10) Despite Seyss-Inquart's modesty since arrest and
indictment, his fellow Nazi conspirators recognized the
importance of his part in the Austrian Anschluss.

Goering made a speech in Vienna on 26 March 1938 in which he

     "At this moment [announcement of the plebiscite in
     Austria it has been established that now the decision
     really came. A complete unanimity between the Fuehrer
     and the N.S. confidants inside of Austria existed.
     According to their opinion also the hour of action had
     come, but they thought they could not use any more
     democratic methods in negotiations and they took the
     law of action in their own strong hand and forced the
     others to retreat. If the N.S. rising succeeded so
     quickly and thoroughly without bloodshed, it is first
     of all due to the intelligent and decisive firmness of
     the present Reichsstatthalter Seyss-Inquart and his
     confidants. But this too proved the correctness of the
     previous continued politics because if our confidants
     had not been in the government, this whole course of
     events would not have been possible." (3270-PS)

According to Dr. Rainer, Hitler and the general public gave
Seyss-Inquart credit for playing the leading role in the
annexation of Austria by Germany. This is evidenced by the
covering letter' written by Dr. Rainer, dated 6 July 1939,
to Reich Commissar Gauleiter Josef Buerckel:

                                                  [Page 979]
     "We had the impression that the general opinion,
     perhaps also Hitler's own, was that the liberation
     depended more upon Austrian matters of state rather
     than the Party. To be more exact, Hitler especially
     mentioned Seyss-Inquart alone; and public opinion gave
     him alone credit for the change and thus believed him
     to have played the sole leading role." (812-PS)

In his report to Reich Commissar Buerckel, Dr. Rainer said:

     "But as a result of the agreement at Berchtesgaden and
     the statement of the Fuehrer made to him during his
     state visit to Berlin, Seyss-Inquart was the personal
     trustee of the Fuehrer and directly responsible to him
     for the illegal NSDAP in Austria within the confines of
     his political sphere. *** 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
     "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." (812-PS)

Hans Frank recognized the importance of the services
rendered by Seyss-Inquart to the Nazi cause in Austria. When
Seyss-Inquart was about to leave Poland to become Reich
commissar of the Occupied Netherlands Territories, Frank
extolled him as follows:

     "But your name without that is shining like a light
     through the history of the Third Reich, since you are
     the creator of the National Socialist Austria." (3465-

(11) The Nazi conspirators within the German Reich evidenced
their intentions of annexing Austria in many ways. Hitler,
on the first page of Chapter 1 of Mein Kampf, said:

     "Today it seems to me providential that Fate should
     have chosen Braunau on the Inn as my birthplace. For
     this little town lies on the boundary between two
     German states which we of the younger generation at
     least have made it our life work to reunite by every
     means at our disposal.
     "German-Austria must return to the great German Mother
     Country, and not because of any economic
     considerations. No, and again no: even if such a union
     were unimportant from an economic point of view; yes,
     even if it were harmful, it must nevertheless take
     place. One blood demands one Reich. Never will the
     German Nation possess the moral right to engage in
     Colonial politics until, at least, it embraces its own
     sons within a single state. Only when the Reich
                                                  [Page 980]
     borders include the very last German, but can no longer
     guarantee his daily bread, will the moral right to
     acquire foreign soil arise from the distress of our own
     people. Their sword will become our plow, and from the
     tears of war the daily bread of future generations will

Seyss-Inquart devoted his efforts to legalize the sale and
circulation of Mein Kampf in Austria. His letter to Keppler,
German Secretary of State for Austrian Affairs, contained
the following passage.

     "The Teinfaltstrasse is very well informed even if not
     in detail about my efforts regarding the re-permission
     of the book 'Mein Kampf'." (3392-PS)

Goering-and Schacht both told an American diplomat that it
was Germany's determination to annex Austria and Sudetenland
to the Reich. (L-151)

One of the missions of von Papen, as German Ambassador to
Austria, was to effect a change in the personnel of the
Austrian Cabinet headed by Chancellor von Schuschnigg and to
eliminate anti-Nazi opposition, particularly in the Ministry
of Interior and Security. (2246-PS)

The German Reich applied economic pressure upon Austria. One
of the means adopted was the law of 24 March 1933, which
required payment of 1,000 Reichs Marks by every German
crossing the border into Austria (3467-PS). Kurt von
Schuschnigg, former Chancellor of Austria, in his-affidavit
of 19 November 1945, described this economic pressure upon
Austria by Germany in the following words:

     "*** During my tenure of office as Federal Chancellor
     of Austria, more particularly on 11 July 1936, I
     negotiated with the then existing government of the
     German Reich, and with Adolf Hitler, an Agreement more
     particularly known as the Agreement of 11 July 1936.
     "I further depose and say that prior to the
     consummation of the aforesaid Agreement, the German
     Government had placed certain economic barriers against
     trade between Germany and Austria such as -- to-wit --
     the 1,000 mark barrier which said barrier provided that
     any German citizen who crosses the border of Germany
     into Austria is obliged to pay to the German Government
     the sum of 1,000 German Reichs Marks for the privilege
     thereof -- Austria had been accustomed before this
     edict of the German Government to receive into Austria
     some one hundred thousand visitors from Germany
     "I further state that the aforesaid barrier placed
                                                  [Page 981]
     Austria was extremely injurious to Austrian agriculture
     and industrial interests." (2994-PS)

Jodl stated in his diary that in 1938 the aim of German
policy was the elimination of Austria and Czechoslovakia.
The will of resistance in both countries was undermined by
pressure on the government as well as by propaganda and the
fifth column. At the same time German military preparations
for attack were worked out (1780-PS). ("Case Otto" was the
code name for the Austrian campaign, and "Case Green" was
the code name for the battle plans against Czechoslovakia.)

Jodl also stated in his diary that when Chancellor von
Schuschnigg announced the proposed plebiscite for 13 March
1938, Hitler was determined to intervene. Goering, General
Reichenau, and Minister Glaise-Horstenau were called before
Hitler. "Case Otto" was to be prepared, and the mobilization
of army units and air forces was ordered on 10 March 1938.
The march into Austria took place on 11 March 1938. (1780-

(12) Hitler and the Nazi conspirators completed the
annexation of Austria by decree. On 11 March 1938 Hitler
issued a directive regarding "Case Otto" addressed to the
German armed forces, classified Top Secret, in which he
stated that, if other measures proved, useless, his
intentions were to invade Austria with armed force. The
directive prescribed operational duties and assigned
objectives. It further provided that resistance was to be
broken up ruthlessly with armed force. (C-102)

Later on that same day, at 8:45 p. m., Hitler issued a
second directive, which stated in substance, that the
demands of the German ultimatum to Austria had not been
fulfilled, and for that reason the entry of German armed
forces into Austria would commence at daybreak on 12 March
1938. He directed that all objectives were to be reached by
exerting all forces to the full as quickly as possible. (C-

On 13 March 1938 Germany in violation of Article 80 of the
Treaty of Versailles, formally incorporated Austria into the
Reich by decree and declared- it to be a province of the
German Reich. (2307-PS)

Officials of the Province of Austria were then required by
decree to take an oath of personal obedience to Hitler. Jews
were barred from taking this oath, and thus could not retain
offices and positions previously held. (2311-PS)

Members of the Austrian Army were required to take an oath
of personal allegiance to Hitler as their Supreme Commander.

                                                  [Page 982]
Compulsory military service was instituted in Austria by
law, which provided the Greater German Reich with additional
man-power for its armed forces. (1660-PS)

(13) Seyss-Inquart participated in the execution of the
plans for aggression against Czechoslovakia. In an official
report to Viscount Halifax, Basil Newton, an official of the
British Government, related some of the "gangster methods
employed by the Reich to obtain its ends in Czecho-
Slovakia." The part played by Seyss-Inquart was described in
this report in the following words:

     "On M. Sidor's return to Bratislava, after he had been
     entrusted with the Government in place of Mgr. Tiso,
     Herr Buerckel, Herr Seyss-Inquart and five German
     generals came at about 10 pm on the evening of
     Saturday, the 11th March, into a Cabinet meeting in
     progress at Bratislava, and told the Slovak Government
     that they should proclaim the independence of Slovakia.
     When M. Sidor showed hesitation, Herr Buerckel took him
     on one side and explained that Herr Hitler had decided
     to settle the question of Czecho-Slovakia definitely.
     Slovakia-ought, therefore, to proclaim her independence
     because Herr Hitler would otherwise disinterest himself
     in her fate. M. Sidor thanked Herr Buerckel for this
     information, but said that he must discuss the
     situation with the Government at Prague." (D-571)

Hitler expressed his intention to crush Czechoslovakia in
the following language:

     "At Munich I did not take Bohemia and Moravia into the
     German territorial sphere ["Lebensraum"]. I left the
     Czechs only another five months, but for the Slovaks I
     have some sympathy. I approved the Award of Vienna in
     the conviction that the Slovaks would separate
     themselves from the Czechs and declare their
     independence, which would be under German protection.
     That is why I have refused Hungarian demands in respect
     of Slovakia. As the Slovaks appear to be agreeing with
     the Czechs it looks as though they have not respected
     the spirit of the Vienna Award. This I cannot tolerate.
     Tomorrow at mid-day I shall begin military action
     against the Czechs, which will be carried out by
     General Brauchitsch' (who was present and to whom he
     pointed). 'Germany,' he said, 'does not intend to take
     Slovakia into her "Lebensraum," and that is why you
     must either immediately proclaim the independence of
     Slovakia or I will disinterest myself in her fate. To
     make your choice
                                                  [Page 983]
     I give you until to-morrow mid-day, when the Czechs
     will be crushed by the German steam-roller." (D-571)

Ribbentrop and von Neurath also participated in the
execution of the Nazi plot to obliterate Czechoslovakia as a
nation. (D-571 )

The use of pressure, fifth columnists, and propaganda to
undermine resistance in Czechoslovakia, and the preparation
of military plans for the attack upon that country were all
noted by Jodl in his diary. (1780-PS)

Before the annexation of Austria by Germany Seyss-Inquart
was in communication and contact with Konrad Henlein, the
leader of the Sudeten German Nazis in Czechoslovakia. On 29
December 1937 Seyss-Inquart wrote a letter to Henlein in
encouraging terms and extended his warmest sympathy and hope
for the success of the Sudeten Germans (3523-PS). Henlein
thereafter replied in a letter to Seyss-Inquart dated a few
days after the German annexation of Austria had been
accomplished. In this letter Henlein expressed his pride in
the fact that Seyss-Inquart, born a Sudeten German, had
fulfilled the task determined by the Fuehrer in the most
decisive hour of German history. He also thanked Seyss-
Inquart for the elect and influence the developments in
Austria would have in the Sudetenland. (3522-PS)

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.