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annexation austria

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  • Nazi Territorial Aggression: The Anschluss


    The Anschluss, Germany's annexation of Austria in March 1938, was the Nazi German regime’s first act of territorial aggression and expansion. Learn more.

    Nazi Territorial Aggression: The Anschluss
  • German Prewar Expansion


    Adolf Hitler was determined to overturn the military and territorial provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. Learn more about Nazi German territorial aggression before WWII.

    German Prewar Expansion
  • Lea Ofner-Szemere

    ID Card

    Lea was born in the city of Sombor in northeastern Yugoslavia. When she was 3 years old, her parents divorced and she moved to Vienna with her mother, who taught English and French to Austrian children. Lea enjoyed living in Vienna as a child. 1933-39: Lea returned to Sombor almost every year to visit her mother's relatives. There, she became reacquainted with her younger half-sister, Julia, and her older half-brother, Francis, and would miss them when she returned to Vienna. In 1938, the Germans annexed…

    Lea Ofner-Szemere
  • Marie Sidi Stojka

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    Marie belonged to a tribe of Roma ("Gypsies") called the Lowara Roma who traveled in a caravan and made a living as itinerant horse traders. The caravan spent winters in Vienna, Austria's capital, and summers in the Austrian countryside. When Marie was 18, she married Karl Stojka from the same tribe. Marie's family was Roman Catholic and her ancestors had lived in Austria for more than 200 years. 1933-39: By 1936 Marie had six children. They lived with a caravan, and were used to freedom, travel and hard…

    Tags: Austria Roma
    Marie Sidi Stojka
  • Storm Troopers stand guard outside a defaced Jewish-owned business


    Shortly after the German annexation of Austria, Nazi Storm Troopers stand guard outside a Jewish-owned business. Graffiti painted on the window states: "You Jewish pig may your hands rot off!" Vienna, Austria, March 1938.

    Storm Troopers stand guard outside a defaced Jewish-owned business
  • Gertrud Gruenbaum

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    Born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, Gertrud grew up in Vienna. Trude, as she was affectionately called, attended a public secondary school, where half of her classmates were Jewish. At age 7 she rejected music lessons for classes in dancing and acting. Trude wanted to be like Greta Garbo. She launched an acting career at age 18, assuming the stage name Trude Hermann. 1933-39: Because Gertrud was Jewish she couldn't get acting jobs in Austria and nearby Sudetenland. In 1937 her agent found work…

    Tags: Austria Italy
    Gertrud Gruenbaum
  • Frieda Greinegger

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    Frieda was the fourth of five children born to strict Catholic parents. She had one brother and three sisters. Frieda grew up on a large farm near the village of Michaelnbach in northern Austria. The farm had cattle, horses, pigs and poultry, and the children worked long hours helping their parents on the farm. At age 12, Frieda left school to work full time on the farm. 1933-39: Germany annexed Austria in March 1938. When war broke out in September 1939, Frieda's brother was drafted into the German army.…

    Frieda Greinegger
  • Ceija Stojka

    ID Card

    Ceija was the fifth of six children born to Roma ("Gypsy") parents who were Roman Catholic. The Stojka's family wagon traveled with a caravan that spent winters in the Austrian capital of Vienna and summers in the Austrian countryside. The Stojkas belonged to a tribe called the Lowara Roma, who made their living as itinerant horse traders. 1933-39: Ceija grew up used to freedom, travel and hard work. Once, her father made her a skirt out of some material from a broken sunshade. She was 5 years old and…

    Tags: Austria Roma
    Ceija Stojka
  • Hans Heimann

    ID Card

    Hans was born to a Jewish family in the Austrian capital of Vienna. His parents ran a successful export shop for ladies' hats and sold their wares to many different countries. As a boy, Hans attended a private, preparatory school in which courses were taught in both English and German. 1933-39: Hans was attending business school when the Germans annexed Austria in 1938. Hans and his family watched from their window as German troops, led by Hitler, goose-stepped into Vienna. Hans was immediately forced out…

    Tags: Italy Austria
    Hans Heimann
  • Judith Gabriel Dichter

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    Judith, nicknamed Julie, was one of five children born to religious Hungarian-Jewish parents in the Burgenland, the eastern province of Austria that was part of Hungary until 1921. She married Tobias Dichter, a traveling salesman from Vienna who had sold merchandise to her father. The Dichters moved to an apartment in Vienna's Jewish Leopoldstadt district, where they raised two children. 1933-39: The Germans have annexed Austria. One week after the annexation, Germans came to Julie's apartment to take her…

    Judith Gabriel Dichter

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