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annexation austria

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  • Annexation of Austria

    Film

    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.

    Annexation of Austria
  • Annexation of Austria

    Photo

    Adolf Hitler and his entourage view a military parade following the annexation of Austria (the Anschluss). Vienna, Austria, March 1938.

    Annexation of Austria
  • German Annexation of Austria

    Timeline Event

    March 11-13, 1938. On this date, German troops invaded and incorporated Austria into the German Reich. This event is known as the Anschluss.

    German Annexation of Austria
  • Annexation of Austria: The Anschluss

    Film

    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…

    Annexation of Austria: The Anschluss
  • Hitler's return to Berlin following the annexation of Austria

    Photo

    Scene during Adolf Hitler's triumphant return to Berlin shortly after Germany's annexation of Austria (the Anschluss). Berlin, Germany, March 17, 1938.

    Hitler's return to Berlin following the annexation of Austria
  • Austria

    Article

    Learn about the German annexation of Austria, the establishment of Nazi camps, Kristallnacht, and deportations from Austria during the Holocaust.

    Austria
  • Jews line up outside a Vienna police station hoping for exit visas

    Photo

    Jews wait in line at the Margarethen police station for exit visas after Germany's annexation of Austria (the Anschluss). Vienna, Austria, March 1938.

    Jews line up outside a Vienna police station hoping for exit visas
  • The Soviet Union and Europe after 1945

    Article

    Learn more about the Soviet occupation of Europe before and after the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II.

    The Soviet Union and Europe after 1945
  • Klara Taussig and Ernst Brecher on an outing in the Austrian countryside

    Photo

    Klara Taussig and Ernst Brecher go on an outing in the Austrian countryside before their marriage. They later had a son, Heinz, who was born on August 29, 1932 in Graz, Austria. where his father was a merchant. After the Germans annexed Austria in 1938, Klara and Ernst sent Heinz to live with friends of an aunt in Zagreb. Heinz survived and eventually came to the United States on the Henry Gibbins, a military troop transport. Klara and Ernst died in the concentration camps.  Photograph taken…

    Tags: Austria
    Klara Taussig and Ernst Brecher on an outing in the Austrian countryside
  • Franz von Papen

    Article

    Franz von Papen was one of the leading German officials tried during the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. He was acquitted of all charges.

    Franz von Papen
  • Nazi Territorial Aggression: The Anschluss

    Article

    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

    Article

    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

    ID Card

    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

    Photo

    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

    ID Card

    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

    ID Card

    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

    ID Card

    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
  • Ossi Stojka

    ID Card

    Ossi was the youngest of six children born to Roma ("Gypsies") who traveled in a family wagon. His family was Roman Catholic. Their caravan spent winters in Vienna, Austria's capital, and summers in the Austrian countryside. The Stojkas belonged to a tribe called the Lowara Roma, who made their living as itinerant horse traders. Ossi's ancestors had lived in Austria for more than 200 years. 1933-39: Ossi was 2 years old when Germany annexed Austria in March 1938. The Stojka family wagon was parked for the…

    Ossi Stojka
  • Gregor Wohlfahrt

    ID Card

    Gregor was the second of six children born to Catholic parents in a village in the part of Austria known as Carinthia. His father was a farmer and quarryman. Disillusioned with Catholicism, his parents became Jehovah's Witnesses and raised their children according to that religion. As a boy, Gregor loved mountain climbing and skiing. 1933-39: Gregor attended school and worked as a waiter. The situation for Jehovah's Witnesses worsened after Germany annexed Austria in March 1938; Witnesses refused to swear…

    Gregor Wohlfahrt
  • Ernst Reiter

    ID Card

    Ernst was an only child born to atheist parents in southern Austria during the middle of World War I. Raised in Austria's second largest city, he loved the outdoors, especially skiing in the Alps. In the early 1930s Ernst became a Jehovah's Witness. Although Austria was then in a deep economic depression, he was fortunate to find a job as a sales clerk in a grocery store. 1933-39: Austria's Catholic government was hostile towards Jehovah's Witnesses. When the Germans annexed Austria in March 1938, their…

    Ernst Reiter
  • Vienna - Animated Map/Map

    Media Essay

    Germany annexed Austria in March 1938, bringing approximately 200,000 additional Jews under Nazi rule. The Nazi regime quickly extended anti-Jewish legislation to Austria. At the time, the majority of Austrian Jews lived in Vienna, the capital and...

  • Karl Stojka

    ID Card

    Karl was the fourth of six children born to Roman Catholic parents in the village of Wampersdorf in eastern Austria. The Stojkas belonged to a tribe of Roma ("Gypsies") called the Lowara Roma, who made their living as itinerant horse traders. They lived in a traveling family wagon, and spent winters in Austria's capital of Vienna. Karl's ancestors had lived in Austria for more than 200 years. 1933-39: Karl grew up used to freedom, travel and hard work. In March 1938 his family's wagon was parked for the…

    Karl Stojka
  • Johanna Niedermeier Buchner

    ID Card

    Johanna was born in Vienna when it was still the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Her Christian family experienced the disruption resulting from the empire's collapse, as well as the instability of the Austrian republic. The depression of 1929 hit Vienna especially hard. In 1931 Johanna became a Jehovah's Witness. 1933-39: Johanna traveled constantly in and out of Austria distributing our Jehovah's Witness literature. In March 1938 Germany annexed Austria and her family was subjected to Nazi law;…

    Johanna Niedermeier Buchner
  • Judith Gabriel Dichter: Maps

    Media Essay

    Judith Gabriel Dichter was living in Vienna when Germany annexed Austria in 1938. A Jew, she was later deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia. On September 19, 1942, she was deported to Maly Trostin...

  • Franz Wohlfahrt

    ID Card

    The eldest of six children born to Catholic parents, Franz was raised in a village in the part of Austria known as Carinthia. His father was a farmer and quarryman. Disillusioned with Catholicism, his parents became Jehovah's Witnesses during Franz's childhood and raised their children in their new faith. As a teenager, Franz was interested in painting and skiing. 1933-39: Franz was apprenticed to be a house painter and decorator. After Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938, like other Jehovah's…

    Franz Wohlfahrt
  • Alice Edelstein-Friedmann

    ID Card

    Alice, born Alice Edelstein, was the youngest of two children raised in a Jewish family in the Bohemian village of Hostoun, near Prague. Shortly after Alice was born, her father moved the family to Vienna. There, Alice's father owned a wholesale shoe business. As a child, Alice attended public school and also received a religious education. 1933-39: After graduating from business school, Alice had a hard time finding a job because of the economic depression in Austria. In 1936 her father let her work in…

    Alice Edelstein-Friedmann
  • Johann (Hansi) Stojka

    ID Card

    Hansi, as he was called by family and friends, was the third of six children born to Roma ("Gypsy") parents who were Roman Catholic. The family wagon traveled with a caravan that spent winters in Vienna, Austria's capital, 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: Hansi grew up used to freedom, travel and hard work. He was 9 years old and their wagon was parked for the winter in a Vienna…

    Johann (Hansi) Stojka
  • Wilhelm Edelstein

    ID Card

    Wilhelm was the oldest of two children in a Jewish family living in the Habsburg capital of Vienna. Shortly after Wilhelm was born, World War I broke out. Because of food shortages, Wilhelm and his mother left for her hometown of Hostoun, near Prague. After the war they returned to Vienna where his father had remained to run his shoe business. As a young man, Wilhelm worked for his father. 1933-39: In March 1938 Germany annexed Austria. Soon after, the Germans arrested Wilhelm because he was a Jew dating…

    Wilhelm Edelstein
  • Josef Edelstein

    ID Card

    Josef was one of seven children born to a Jewish family in the Czechoslovakian village of Hvozdnice. After graduating from school, Josef worked as a salesman in Vienna. In 1912 he married Ida Kohn, and the couple had a son before he left to fight for Austria in World War I. After the war, they had a daughter. 1933-39: Because of the economic depression of the 1930s, it was difficult for Josef to make a living in his wholesale shoe business. In 1938 the Germans annexed Austria [the Anschluss], and soon…

    Josef Edelstein
  • League of German Girls members wave Nazi flags in Vienna

    Photo

    Members of the League of German Girls wave Nazi flags in support of the German annexation of Austria. Vienna, Austria, March 1938.

    League of German Girls members wave Nazi flags in Vienna
  • Pro-Hitler propaganda in Vienna

    Photo

    A streetcar decorated with swastikas passes billboards displaying Hitler's face. The billboards urge Austrians to vote "Ja" (Yes) in the upcoming plebiscite on the German annexation of Austria. Vienna, Austria, April 1938.

    Pro-Hitler propaganda in Vienna
  • Vienna - Photographs

    Media Essay

    Germany annexed Austria in March 1938, bringing approximately 200,000 additional Jews under Nazi rule. The Nazi regime quickly extended anti-Jewish legislation to Austria. At the time, the majority of Austrian Jews...

  • Liberation of Mauthausen

    Film

    The Mauthausen concentration camp was established shortly after the German annexation of Austria (1938). Prisoners in the camp were forced to perform crushing labor in a nearby stone quarry and, later, to construct subterranean tunnels for rocket assembly factories. US forces liberated the camp in May 1945. In this footage, starving survivors of the Mauthausen concentration camp eat soup and scramble for potatoes.

    Liberation of Mauthausen
  • Helen Baker Diary Entry

    Timeline Event

    March 14, 1938. On this date, Helen Baker documented what she witnessed when Germany annexed Austria. Helen and her husband Ross Baker were Americans living in Vienna.

    Helen Baker Diary Entry
  • Vienna - ID Cards

    Media Essay

    Read about the experiences of Jews who were living in Vienna during the German annexation of Austria.

  • Gregor Wohlfahrt

    ID Card

    Gregor was born in a village in the part of Austria known as Carinthia. During World War I, he served in the Austro-Hungarian army and was wounded. Raised a Catholic, Gregor and his wife became Jehovah's Witnesses during the late 1920s. Gregor supported his wife and six children by working as a farmer and quarryman. 1933-39: The Austrian government banned Jehovah's Witness missionary work in 1936. Gregor was accused of peddling without a license and briefly jailed. When Germany annexed Austria in 1938,…

    Gregor Wohlfahrt
  • Liane Reif

    ID Card

    Liane's Polish-born Jewish parents were married in Vienna, where they lived in a 14-room apartment in a middle-class neighborhood near the Danube River. Liane's father, a dentist, had his office in their home. 1933-39: After Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Liane's father was found dead, a probable suicide. In May 1939, four months before war broke out, her mother booked passage on the St. Louis, a ship bound for Cuba. But Cuban authorities turned the ship back. Along with some other refugees from the…

    Liane Reif
  • Group portrait of students in an English language class for deaf immigrants

    Photo

    Hilda Rattner (born Hilda Wiener ) was born into a Jewish family in Vienna on June 14, 1904. Not long after her birth, Hilda’s parents realized that she was deaf. Two years later, their fourth child, Richard, was born, and he was also deaf. Vienna in particular had a very vibrant deaf community where Jews and non-Jews mixed freely. Hilda and her brother Richard attended a Jewish school, where they learned to sign, and it was through these associations and activities that Hilda met Isadore Rattner, a…

    Group portrait of students in an English language class for deaf immigrants
  • German Jewish Refugees, 1933–1939

    Article

    Learn more about the plight of Jewish refugees who attempted to escape Germany between 1933 and 1939.

    German Jewish Refugees, 1933–1939
  • Jewish Losses during the Holocaust: By Country

    Article

    Before the Nazi rise to power, the countries of Europe had varied and vibrant Jewish communities. By 1945, two out of every three European Jews had been killed.

    Jewish Losses during the Holocaust: By Country
  • Sigmund Freud

    Article

    Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis. The Nazis abhorred his new science and Jewish heritage. His works were burned in Germany in 1933. Learn more.

    Sigmund Freud
  • Austrian refugees arrive in Shanghai

    Photo

    After the Anschluss (German annexation of Austria), Austrian Jewish refugees disembark from the Italian steamship Conte Verde. Shanghai, China, December 14, 1938.

    Austrian refugees arrive in Shanghai
  • The British Policy of Appeasement toward Hitler and Nazi Germany

    Article

    In the 1930s, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the British government pursued a policy of appeasement towards Nazi Germany to avoid war. Learn more.

    The British Policy of Appeasement toward Hitler and Nazi Germany
  • Harry Burger

    Article

    Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Harry Burger.

    Harry Burger
  • William L. Shirer

    Article

    American journalist, foreign correspondent, author, and pioneer radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was one of the key observers and chroniclers of the Nazi regime.  

  • Karl Kautsky

    Article

    Karl Kautsky was a leading Marxist and Socialist theoretician in the Austrian Social Democratic movement. His books were burned in Nazi Germany in 1933. Learn more.

    Karl Kautsky
  • Yugoslavia

    Article

    Learn more about the history of Yugoslavia before World War II and the Axis invasion of 1941.

    Yugoslavia

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