Ovation for Hitler in the Kroll Opera House after announcing the successful Anschluss, 1938

The Anschluss (German for "Union") was the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany in March 1938. One of the Nazi ideologies was to reunite all Germans born or living outside the Reich to form an "All-German". Reach".

From the very beginning of his leadership in the Nazi Party, Hitler publicly stated in his 1924 autobiography (Mein Kampf) that he would create a union between his country of birth and Germany by any means.

On the morning of March 12, the 8th Army of the German Wehrmacht crossed the Austrian border. German-Austrian soldiers were greeted with Nazi salutes, Nazi flags and flowers by cheering. Because of this, the Nazi annexing was also called the Blumenkrieg (War of the Flowers).

For the Wehrmacht, the invasion was the first major test of its machinery. Although the invading forces were badly organized and the coordination between the units was poor, it mattered little as no fighting took place.

Hitler's car crossed the border in the afternoon in Braunau, his birthplace. In the evening, he arrived in Linz and was greeted enthusiastically.

The enthusiasm displayed towards Hitler and the Germans took both Nazis and non-Nazis by surprise, as most Austrians believed that most Austrians opposed the Anschluss.

Hitler intended to leave Austria as a puppet state, with Seuss-Inquart as the head of a Nazi government. However, the overwhelming reception caused them to change course and formally absorbed Austria into the Reich.

Hitler's journey through Austria became a triumphant voyage, reaching a climax in Vienna on 15 March 1938, when about 200,000 German-Austrians gathered to hear Hitler say it in front of thousands of enthusiastic crowd at the Heldenplatz (Square of Heroes). ) that "the eastern province of the oldest German people will, from this point onwards, be the newest stronghold of the German Reich".

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