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Hitler’s Foreign Policy 1936-39 The Anschluss. Anschluss: union of Germany and Austria Since coming to power, the Nazi’s had financed and encouraged the.

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Presentation on theme: "Hitler’s Foreign Policy 1936-39 The Anschluss. Anschluss: union of Germany and Austria Since coming to power, the Nazi’s had financed and encouraged the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hitler’s Foreign Policy The Anschluss

2 Anschluss: union of Germany and Austria Since coming to power, the Nazi’s had financed and encouraged the Austrian Nazi Party to cause trouble and gain support in Austria Campaign of intimidation and terror carried out, Englebert Dollfuss, Chancellor of Austria had to suppress party This upset Hitler. Nazi’s assassinated Dolfuss in 1934 as part of an attempted coup d’état to force the union of Austria and Germany which had been forbidden under TOV

3 Italian Response International alarm was widespread. Mussolini, who had no desire for a common frontier (border) with Hitler, sent 100,000 troops to Italy’s border with Austria as he feared SouthTyrol may be next Hitler taken aback by the reaction, forced to disown the attempt to join Austria/Germany

4 Italian Response Mussolini was aware that South Tyrol, which they had gained after WW1 from Austria had a substantial German minority living there (think again about Hitler's Foreign policy) Feared that Germans would use Austria as a base to undermine Italy’s influence in the Balkans

5 Background to Hitler’s policy towards Austria Hitler’s success in re-militarising the Rhineland in March 1936 had strengthened Germany’s position in Europe Germany was now less vulnerable to attack and was in a position to influence diplomatic affairs, rather than just being the ‘victim’ of what other nations decided (Versailles) This new confidence became evident in several tactical steps that Germany took

6 The Austro- German Agreement 1936 Germany again recognised Austrian independence Both powers agreed not to interfere in each others internal affairs, however and more importantly… Austria would conduct her foreign policy in line with her being a ‘German state Think what this really means!!!!

7 Austro- German Agreement in 1936 Result: it increased Germany’s influence over Austria Secret clauses: prominent Nazi’s were to have a share in political responsibility Why was this possible???????? Hitler had very wisely drawn up an agreement with Mussolini. Remember, Mussolini was concerned originally at the take over of Austria. Nov 1936: Germany and Italy signed an agreement known as the Rome-Berlin axis, agreed to share a common foreign policy Austria would be preserved for the time being

8 Events prior to Anschluss However only a year later in November 1937, Mussolini ( after a tour of Germany where he had been impressed by the organisation and strength of the Nazi state) stated that he was no longer interested in preserving Austria’s independence This was a welcomed comment from Mussolini as Hitler could now create the Anschluss

9 The Taking of Austria The creation of the Anschluss was being halted by the involvement of Austrian President Schuschnigg. After banning the Austrian Nazi party, Hitler was very angry. The only way forward would be the creation of a new Government ruled by Austrian Nazis.

10 Hitler meets Schuschnigg Hitler attended a meeting with Schuschnigg regarding the banning of the Nazi Party. This took place in Berchtesgaden, on 11 February Hitler, as he did on many occasions, accused Schuschnigg of persecuting Germans living in Austria. This was a tactic he would adopt again!!!

11 Hitler’s Demands The ban on the Austrian Nazi Party was to be lifted and the government was to recognise its loyalty to Austria Austrian Nazis were to hold the following key positions in government Seyss-Inquart was to be Minister of the interior with control of the police Glaisse-Horstenau was to be Minister for war The German and Austrian armies were to have officer exchanges Think of how significant this move was in the takeover?

12 Further Demands Fischbok was to be Minister for Finance and the economic systems of the two countries were to be brought together as one!!! Also, imprisoned Nazis were to be released and officers and officials who had been sacked because of their Nazi connections were to be reinstated

13 These terms, if accepted were to turn Austria into Hitler’s puppet state. Schuschnigg agreed reluctantly to implement the agreement in 3 days

14 The new Nazi Ministers acted with complete disregard for the Austrian Chancellor and the Nazis led disturbances all over Austria This was in an attempt to destabilise the country and “ask” for German help to quell the trouble Against the advice of Mussolini, Schuschnigg decided to hold a plebiscite (referendum) on 13 th March to ask the Austrians if they wanted an independent Austria.

15 Hitler was furious and ordered his army to prepare to invade Austria He sent Musssolini an explanation and a promise that he accepted the Brenner Pass as the permanent frontier between Germany and Italy This would ensure Italy did not get involved in a war.

16 Italy’s Reaction 11 March, Italy’s Foreign Minister wrote in his diary that: ‘Thanks to their policy, (appeasement) France and England have lost Austria. For us too it is not an advantage (that Hitler is gaining land). But in the meantime we have acquired Abyssinia.

17 Austria’s Reaction The Austrian Nazis presented Hitler’s demand for the cancellation of the plebiscite, fearing the possibility of a German invasion, Schuschnigg agreed and resigned. He was replaced by Seyss-Inquart In order to ease the concerns of Czechoslovakia, who thought they would be Hitler's next conquest, and also to stop them mobilising their army Hitler stated...

18 Czechoslovakia was promised that they had ”nothing to fear” from the Reich. This promise would soon be broken In return, Czechoslovakia promised not to mobilise her army towards Austria. Again Hitler had successfully taken more land (Lebensraum) for Germany without Britain or France interfering.

19 Inquart in Power Seyss-Inquart had instructions that he was to telegram for help, due to the disturbances, from the German army as soon as he was in office Seyss-Inquart requested that German troops should not invade Austria

20 Despite this, German troops crossed the border at dawn on Saturday 12 March. It was not a very impressive military invasion as 70% of German armoured vehicles broke down However this did not affect the outcome

21 Hitler after the successful invasion, decided that he now wanted to establish direct rule, with Austria as a province of the German Reich 13 th March Hitler entered Vienna in triumph A plebiscite was eventually held in which 99.75% of Austrians voted for the new arrangements. This it seemed was a fixed result

22 Hitler’s Future Plans are Unveiled! Hossbach Conference was held on 5 th Nov 1937 and it detailed Hitler’s future plans He would take Austria, then move onto Czechoslovakia (green) and Poland (white). However, he had to ensure he did this without creating war!!

23 Hitler also, more importantly stated at this Conference. Germany must be ready for war by 1938 and at the latest by or the other powers would catch up in the arms race’ ‘Germany would always be faced by two hate-inspired antagonists, Britain and France’ This was a direct reference to the terms imposed by T.O.V


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