Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-18-06 Last-Modified: 1997/06/08 Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV [Page 944] (3) Conclusion of the Agreement of 11 July 1936 merely constituted another step towards Anschluss. Prior to 1936, sponsorship of political subversion was not the only pressure applied by Germany in its efforts to gain control of Austria. The German Government in addition had placed certain economic barriers against trade between German and Austrian subjects, the most serious of which was the 1000 mark law, which crippled the Austrian tourist traffic by levying a 1000 RM tax on any German citizen crossing the border into Austria. The effect of these pressures was to induce the Austrian Chancellor, Kurt von Schuschnigg, to seek from Hitler an agreement to "lift the 1000 Mark barrier he had levied against Austria and reassure Austria that he had no political designs concerning our state, Austria" The result was the agreement of 11 July 1936 between Germany and Austria, which was negotiated by von Papen as Hitler's representative. The published form of this agreement provided: "Being convinced that they are making a valuable contribution towards the whole European development in the direction of maintaining peace, and in the belief that they are thereby best serving the manifold mutual interests of both German States, the Governments of the Federal State of Austria and of Germany have resolved to return to relations of a normal and friendly character. In this connection it is "(1) The German Government recognizes the full sover- [Page 945] eignty of the Federal State of Austria in the spirit of the pronouncements of the German Fuehrer and Chancellor of 21 May 1935. "(2) Each of the two Governments regards the inner political order (including the question of Austrian National Socialism) obtaining in the other country as an internal concern of that country, upon which it will exercise neither direct nor indirect influence. "(3) The Austrian Federal Government will constantly follow in its policy in general, and in particular towards Germany, a line in conformity with leading principles corresponding to the fact that Austria regards herself as a German State. "By such a decision neither the Rome Protocols of 1934 and their additions of 1936, nor the relationships of Austria to Italy and Hungary as partners in these protocols, are affected. Considering that the detente desired by both sides cannot become a reality unless certain preliminary conditions are fulfilled by the Governments of both countries, the Austrian Federal Government and the German Government will pass a number of special measures to bring about the requisite preliminary state of affairs." (TC-22). More interesting was the secret part of this agreement, the most important provisions of which have been summarized by Mr. "Austria would (1) appoint a number of individuals enjoying the Chancellor's confidence but friendly to Germany to positions in the Cabinet; (2) would devise means to give the 'National opposition' a role in the political life of Austria and within the framework of the Patriotic Front, and (3) would amnesty all Nazis save those convicted of the most serious offenses." (1760-PS) Especially interesting was the manner in which this agreement contained German economic concessions and further solemn assurances regarding Austrian independence and integrity, on the one hand, alongside far-reaching political concessions to the Nazi movement (2994-PS). The effect was to place Austria completely at the mercy of German good faith. Von Papen has correctly described it (in an interrogation at Nurnberg, 8 October 1945) as "the first step" toward preparation for Anschluss, notwithstanding his clear understanding at the time that the Austrian government desired and intended to retain its independence. The Germans lost no time in making the most of their new opportunities, solemn assurances notwithstanding, The agree- [Page 946] ment merely heralded a new era in "legitimizing" the German fifth column in Austria. Thus, the immediate amnesty to political prisoners in itself presented serious police problems. The freedom granted to political demonstrations and organization by German Nazis made it difficult to police the propagandizing of Austrians. And the agreement specifically gave the German Nazis an opening wedge to representation in the Austrian government. The terroristic activities and pressure of the illegal Nazis continued without interruption under German sponsorship, until their hand was strengthened to the point of openly asking for official recognition (812-PS; 1760-PS; 2994-PS). The importance of this agreement to the Germans was underscored by the promotion of its negotiator from Gesandter to Botschafter, at the time of its signing (Announcement, Das Archiv, XXVIII, p. 571). Von Papen himself participated in this pressure game by maintaining contact with the illegal Nazis, by trying to influence appointments to strategic cabinet positions, and by attempting to secure official recognition of Nazi "front" organizations. Reporting to Hitler shortly after conclusion of the 11 July 1936 agreement, he succinctly summarized his program for "normalizing" Austro-German relations under the regime of the new agreement: "The progress of normalizing relations with Germany at the present time is obstructed by the continued persistence of the Ministry of Security, occupied by the old anti-National Socialistic officials. Changes in personnel are therefore of utmost importance. But they are definitely not to be expected prior to the conference on the abolishing of the Control of Finances [Finanzkontrolle] at Geneva. The Chancellor of the League has informed Minister de Glaise-Horstenau, of his intention, to offer him the portfolio of the Ministry of the Interior. As a guiding principle [Marschroute] I recommend on the tactical side, continued, patient psychological manipulations, with slowly intensified pressure directed at changing the regime. The proposed conference on economic relations, taking place at the end of October will be a very useful tool for the realization of some of our project. Discussion with government officials as well as with leaders of the illegal party (Leopold and Schattenfreh) who conform completely with the concordat of July 11, I am trying to direct the next developments in such a manner to aim at corporative representation of the movement in the [Page 947] fatherland front [Vaterlaendischen Front] but nevertheless refraining from putting National- Socialists in important positions for the time being. However such positions are to be occupied only by personalities, having the support and the confidence of the movement. I have a willing collaborator in this respect in Minister Glaise-Horstenau." This activity continued through 1937. In fact, by 14 January 1937 the negotiations with the Austrian Minister of Security and the development of "front" organizations had proceeded so far that "a very intensive crisis has arisen for the illegal party" with respect to its future program. In urging a patient attitude toward these problems, von Papen appeared less concerned with the legitimacy of their position under the 11 July 1936 agreement than with his fear that "a too strong and far-reaching connection (with a proposed conservative 'German Action' front organization) would be understood neither in our own ranks nor could it be of use to the action itself." (2831-PS) On the other hand when an Austrian cabinet minister failed to show sufficient energy to suit von Papen's purpose, he showed no hesitancy, under the terms of his 11 July 1936 agreement, to urge replacement by a more cooperative individual. Thus, von Papen has summarized his efforts to remove the Austrian Minister of the Interior (monograph "I had tried to persuade Schuschnigg to appoint another minister to his cabinet beside Herr von Glaise, who was not very active. The new minister was to act as trusted liaison man between the two governments, able to work on innumerable problems directly without diplomatic intervention. This simplification would also bring the men on both sides of the fence closer together." By the beginning of 1938, the Nazi hand had been so strengthened in Austria, and the differences and misunderstandings regarding the agreement of 11 July had become so serious and frequent, that Chancellor Schuschnigg found it expedient to accept von Papen's invitation to meet Hitler at Berchtesgaden, notwithstanding serious misgivings on the part of Schuschnigg (2995-PS). Von Papen showed no hesitancy in extending this invitation despite the fact that he knew Hitler's "idea to swallow Austria", despite his knowledge of Schuschnigg's distrust of Hitler, and despite his own doubts concerning the value of Hitler's word. Notwithstanding the situation, he found it possible even to urge Schuschnigg that Hitler was a man upon whom Schuschnigg could rely. And in making these representa- [Page 948] tions, he was fully aware of the extent of German rearmament and of its possible use as a diplomatic pressure device (according to interrogations, Nurnberg, 19 September 1945 and 8 October 1945). On 11 February 1938, Schuschnigg left for Berchtesgaden to meet Hitler. At this meeting the severest pressure was exerted to extort far-reaching concessions from Austria, including reorganization of the cabinet, appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Minister of Security and the Interior, and a general amnesty to Nazis convicted of crimes (2995-PS; 2461-PS; 1544-PS; 1780-PS). It was at this meeting that Papen urged upon Hitler the appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Minister of Security and the Interior (according to monograph "Austria"). Thoroughly entrenched in the government, the Nazis were now able to seize upon Schuschnigg's plebiscite as an excuse to seize power, and to call for military intervention by Germany (812-PS; 2996-PS). (See also Section 3 of Chapter IX on Aggression Against Austria.) Thereafter it was only a matter of hours before Austria became a province of the Reich -- by a law signed by von Papen's man, Seyss-Inquart (2307-PS).
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