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German troops entered Austria on March 12, 1938. The annexation of Austria to Germany was proclaimed on March 13, 1938. In this German newsreel footage, Austrians express overwhelming enthusiasm for the Nazi takeover of their country.
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).
US forces under the command of General Omar Bradley reached the Ebensee forced-labor camp in Austria in early May 1945. The Germans had built Ebensee at the foot of the Austrian Alps as part of the Mauthausen system of camps. The Nazis employed Ebensee prisoners as forced laborers during the construction of an underground rocket factory. Thousands died from the harsh conditions and back-breaking labor.
This film footage is excerpted from documentary film titled "Mauthausen Concentration Camp," showing footage from both Mauthausen and the nearby Gusen camp. Filmed by US cameramen, the footage opens with a broad view of buildings in the Gusen camp. Excerpts that follow show scenes in the camps, American care of the liberated prisoners, and Austrian civilians loading bodies of victims onto carts for burial.
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