In an attempt to prevent the German annexation of Austria, Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schusnigg proposed a plebiscite on Austrian independence. This German newsreel footage shows pro-German residents of Graz expressing their opposition to the plebiscite. On the following day, March 13, 1938, the residents of Graz and other Austrian cities celebrated the resignation of the Austrian government and the proclamation of union with Germany (the Anschluss).
Bayonets have to be used to hold back the crowds of people in the streets of the cities of Austria, as here in Graz, for example, who repeatedly express their bitterness at the attempt to hold a plebiscite [on unity with Germany] and their unshakable loyalty to the Fuehrer and the Reich. Graz 24 hours later. The resignation of the Austrian government gives rise to tremendous jubilation. The people are on the streets in every city, in the smallest community. Austria is free! Austria is National Socialist! Austria is once again the Ostmark [Eastern March] of the Reich! Adolf Hitler: "In the future I want to be nothing other than what I have been in the past: warner of my people, teacher of my people, and the Fuehrer of my people!"