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Anschluss (änˈshlo͝os), German term designating the incorporation of Austria into Germany in the 1930s. Anschluss was first advocated by Austrian Social Democrats. The 1919 peace treaty of St. Germain prohibited Anschluss, to prevent a resurgence of a strong Germany. After Hitler's rise to power the Nazis took over the idea. In 1938, Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg was forced to agree to Hitler's demands for Anschluss, but reneged, calling for a plebiscite. After the Chancellor's forced resignation, the Austrian president refused to name an Austrian Nazi, Seyss-Inquart, to replace him, and the German agent in Vienna telegrammed for German troops. Adolf Hitler occupied Austria on Mar. 11, 1938, and, to popular approval, annexed it as the province of Ostmark. In the Moscow Declaration (1943) the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union annulled the Anschluss, recognizing Austria's right to independence; an independent government was not established until the end of World War II.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(annexation in German), Germany’s policy of annexation of Austria; it was pursued by German imperialism after World War I and with particular vigor after the establishment of the fascist dictatorship in Germany in 1933.

The first attempts at anschluss were made by representatives of the bourgeoisie and right-wing social-democratic leaders of Germany after the defeat of Germany in World War I and the collapse of Austria-Hungary (Article 61 of the Weimar Constitution of 1919 provided for the possibility of anschluss). The policy of anschluss was actively supported by Austrian bourgeois circles and right-wing social democrats (decision of the Austrian Provisional National Assembly of 1918 on the unification of Austria and Germany). The Versailles and Saint-Germain peace treaties of 1919 contained clauses prohibiting anschluss, but the German imperialists did not abandon their plans to absorb Austria (proposal for an Austro-German customs union of 1931 and others). In July 1934 fascist Germany, with a view toward implementing anschluss, staged an armed putsch in Vienna with the help of Austrian Nazis. In July 1936 fascist Germany imposed an agreement on Austria: Austria was declared a second German state and virtually pledged to subordinate its policy to the interests of German fascism. Fearing that in the plebiscite on the fate of Austria set for Mar. 13, 1938, the Austrian people would vote against anschluss, fascist Germany occupied Austria on March 11–12. On March 13 the law on the reunion of Austria and the German Reich was published; this law declared Austria to be “a land of the German Reich.”

Anschluss was made possible by the British, French, and American policy of promoting fascist aggression as well as by the national betrayal of Austrian reactionary circles, which hoped to obtain the support of the Hitlerites in their fight against the workers’ movement. Of all the great powers, the USSR alone took a stand against anschluss and in defense of the independence of Austria (note of Mar. 17, 1938; speeches of Soviet representatives in the League of Nations).

In Austria itself the progressive forces of the Austrian people, headed by the Austrian Communist Party, fought against the invaders. During World War II the allies of the anti-Hitler coalition reached an accord on the restoration of Austrian independence (declaration of the Moscow Conference of Oct. 19–30, 1943, on Austria). In April 1945, after the liberation of Austria, its independence was restored. On May 15, 1955, the USSR, the USA, Britain, and France signed the state treaty on the restoration of an independent and democratic Austria, which restated the complete sovereignty and independence of Austria and prohibited anschluss.


Kommunisty v bor’be za nezavisimost’ Avstrii (collection). Moscow, 1956. (Translated from German.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Appearing on Austrian television alongside other leading politicians for the Anschluss commemorations, Strache said it was everyone's individual responsibility to remember "the National Socialist (Nazi) terror regime that murdered people on a large scale because of their religion, their origin and their political opinions."
it was easier to escape the pressures of bureaucracy than it is now to avoid the pressures of money." indeed at the time of anschluss ddr had 9.7 million jobs.
I remind of the German-Austrian anschluss which envisaged protection of the borders of the two countries," Majko writes, adding that "a signal comes from Skopje that surprises Macedonians more than the Albanians."
In Focus: The Vienna Reichsbank Head Office' investigates the political history of the OeNB's liquidation and the takeover by Nazi officials in March 1938 as well as the effects of the Anschluss on OeNB employees.
On the 75th anniversary of the Anschluss, with new research only now revealing that more than half of the Vienna Philharmonic's musicians were members of the Nazi Party, Elisabeth de Waal's brilliantly contemporary novel deserves a wide readership.
For a writer looking to reveal the darker forces concealed beneath a refined and beautiful surface, Vienna in the years before the Anschluss presents an ideal setting.
In another article Georg Spinier and David Forster for the first time try to reconstruct the paths of life of the members of the Hakoah soccer section after the German "Anschluss" (annexation) in 1938.
This is the story of the welcome U-turn that means a shadow mayor will not be imposed on Liverpool before a referendum next May, in what one critic compared with Hitler''s "Anschluss" of Austria.
Besides building projects in Austria, Germany and Turkey, he remained the Director of the Academy until being removed from this post during the Anschluss by the new German government in 1938.
And with the infamous 'Anschluss agreement' between West Germany and Austria in 1982, when the teams contrived a 1-0 win for the Germans to send both through at the expense of Algeria, still fresh in the memory, the layers want the stalemate on their side with 4-5 the best price about the draw.