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Austria marks 75 years since Nazi 'annexation'

The Local · 12 Mar 2013, 14:04

Published: 12 Mar 2013 14:04 GMT+01:00

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"Already on the evening of March 11 swastika flags were fluttering over Vienna and other cities, including at police headquarters in Vienna ... even though not a single German soldier had yet set foot on Austrian soil," President Heinz Fischer said at a ceremony in the capital.

"Soon afterwards we were pulled into World War II, with all its consequences, and Austrians were massively involved in the crimes of National Socialism. This all became part of our history, and this is still painful to this day."

Three days after the entry of his troops, Hitler gave a speech in Vienna - the city he had left in 1913 as a failed artist - to a jubilant crowd of 250,000 people. A plebiscite soon afterwards sealed the annexation.

Among Austria's vibrant Jewish community, 66,000 were subsequently murdered and 130,000 forced to flee. Around 20,000 Austrians were killed in the Nazi's "euthanasia programme" targeted at the mentally handicapped and 90 percent of the country's Roma and Sinti perished, Fischer said.

Some 9,500 Austrian opponents to Nazism were either executed or died at the hand of the Gestapo secret police and 247,000 Austrian soldiers died in the 1939-1945 war, as did 35,000 civilians.

Story continues below…

Fischer, who also laid a wreath at a monument to victims of fascism and war, said that the system of Nazi totalitarianism "could only come about through the cooperation of fanatics, followers and collaborators, as well as deliberately turning a blind eye."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:34 March 12, 2013 by zeddriver
Marched across unopposed! Annexed! What? I don't think so. They were invited and annexed by request. Then greeted with a festive parade by all the xenophobic bigots. Whom couldn't see the forest because of all the trees.

But I do commend the Austrians of today. For not simply trying to pretend that this never happened. It should serve as a lesson to the new generations of how easy it is for otherwise good people to be swayed by the governments propaganda machine. Everyone should always be skeptical of what any government says. As all governments only look out for them selves.
19:00 March 12, 2013 by Englishted

On most points i agree ,however I think you need to reread your history ,they were hardly invited anymore than the Falkland invited Argentina .

There was no armed resistant granted, but annexed they certainly were.
19:56 March 12, 2013 by EffectivelyME
Invited, perhaps not. Welcomed - absolutely! Well wishers along the invasion routes by the thousands - positively.
20:49 March 12, 2013 by zeddriver
@Englishted EffectivelyME

I guess it might be all about semantics. The way I see it. If a nation goes along to get along. I.E. Not resisting and then acquiescing to such a regime. It's all the same to me. But, Point taken.

Again. It's good that they don't try to forget the mistakes of the past.
22:19 March 12, 2013 by Leo Strauss
The annexation, or 'The Rape of Austria', was a myth concocted by Churchill and then put forth as part of a British propaganda campaign to lever out the Russkies who were the sole occupiers of the place when the smoke cleared in 45. The irony is that the real rape of Austria was committed by the Red Army soldiers who 'liberated' tens of thousands of Austrian women while their Allies were busy elsewhere. Four Power Administration and then Austrian neutrality a la Finland followed. Winston's fairly tale worked so well that many still believe it today. :)
02:30 March 13, 2013 by thehunt02
It is time for media control bashing of the german people to cease. now you're starting on the austrians. What the socialist have done is done. It is sad for me to see Germany being polluted by third world invasion. Germany belongs to germans and austria to austrians. Tough..
22:05 March 13, 2013 by zeddriver

President Heinz Fischer said at a ceremony in the capital.

Fischer, who also laid a wreath at a monument to victims of fascism and war, said that the system of Nazi totalitarianism "could only come about through the cooperation of fanatics, followers and collaborators, as well as deliberately turning a blind eye."

So thehunt02, Did you somehow miss the above sentences in the article. This ceremony was put on by the Austrian's and their president to remind folks that one needs to be wary. And to not let the past repeat it's self.

Immigration of auslanders has nothing to do with this ceremony. If Austria and Germany want to have tough immigration laws. That's fine. I think those laws should be tough. But. The Austria of the past. supported a regime that put those immigrants into ovens.

No matter how much one does not like immigrants. Killing them is not the right thing to do. That's what this ceremony is about.

I guess the blindness is with you.
14:05 March 15, 2013 by DOZ
Another Anglo Article. All that is missing is the paw prints and little mounds of ooze
15:07 March 15, 2013 by raandy
Hitler gave Schuschnigg a choice to resign or be invaded, Schuschnigg wanted a vote on the issue but Hitler sad no, as he could not be sure of the outcome. Schuschnigg and the cabinet resigned except for Seyss-Inquart a self proclaimed Nazi. As Seyss-Inquart was the only member of the government left he invited Hitler to come. Hitler was pleasantly surprised by the huge crowds that cheered him, even he did not expect such an out coming.

Schuschnigg was imprisoned and the Austrian Jews immediately lost their rights.
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