Austria 1918-1938
# 1938

12 February 1938
Talks between Hitler and Schuschnigg at the Obersalzberg. Under pressure Schuschnigg signs the »Berchtesgaden Agreement« on the relinquishing of the security and policy agenda to Seyß-Inquart and the release of all imprisoned Nazis.

16 February 1938
Government reshuffle and Schuschnigg’s fifth cabinet as the result of the agree-ment. Seyß-Inquart is appointed Interior and Security Minister, Guido Schmidt Foreign Minister, Edmund Glaise-Horstenau member of cabinet. Amnesty for political prisoners, including 3000 Nazis. Seyß-Inquart visits Berlin for talks with Hitler, Göring, and Himmler.

17 February 1938
Members of the illegal trade unions start to collect signatures in factories for the defense of Austrian independence.

19 February 1938
Onset of Nazi demonstrations in the Austrian provinces.

24 February 1938
Schuschnigg gives a speech against Hitler before the Austrian Federal Assembly. Nazi-inspired riots in the following days, especially in Graz.

7 March 1938
Meeting of elected representatives from the illegal workers’ movement in the Vienna district of Floridsdorf, in which they agree to support the fight for Austrian independence.

9 March 1938
Schuschnigg speaks in Innsbruck, announcing a referendum on 13 March »for an independent and social, a Christian, German, and united Austria.«

10 March 1938
Hitler issues his general staff and the 8th Army with the order to prepare the invasion of Austria. Demonstrations by Austrians loyal to Schuschnigg and by left-wingers for Austrian state sovereignty.

11 March 1938
Ultimatum by Hitler for cancellation of the Austrian referendum, Schuschnigg complies. At 2 p.m. Göring commences to issue directives by telephone from Berlin to Seyß-Inquart, now chancellor.
At approximately 7:50 p.m. Schuschnigg announces his resignation on the radio (»God protect Austria!«). Local Nazis take over power in the Austrian provinces, especially in the provincial capitals Graz, Linz, and Salzburg.

12 March 1938
After midnight Seyß-Inquart is appointed Federal Chancellor by Federal President Miklas.
5 a.m. Reich SS Leader Heinrich Himmler and staff land at Aspern airport near Vienna, onset of mass arrests.
5:30 a.m. German army enters Austria.
4 p.m. Hitler passes the Austro-German border at Braunau am Inn, holds Führer-speech in Linz.


Newspaper report
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Report of the meeting between Hitler and Schuschnigg, Obersalzberg, 12 February 1938.

Schuschnigg Nazi demonstration
Smeared poster Demonstration
Propaganda for the plebiscite planned by the government Conference of representatives from the illegal labor movement