In an attempt to prevent the German annexation of Austria, Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg called a plebiscite (referendum) on Austrian independence. On March 11, 1938, the Germans pressured Schuschnigg to cancel the plebiscite and resign. This German newsreel footage from March and April 1938 served as propaganda for the Nazi annexation of Austria. It begins with images of pro-Nazi residents in Graz expressing their opposition to Schuschnigg's plebiscite. It also includes footage after Schuschnigg's resignation when the residents of Graz and other Austrian cities celebrated the Austrian 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!"
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