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Anschluss

Anschluss (änˈshlŏs) [key], German term designating the incorporation of Austria into Germany in the 1930s. Anschluss was first advocated by Austrian Social Democrats. The 1919 peace treaty of St. Germain prohibited Anschluss, to prevent a resurgence of a strong Germany. After Hitler's rise to power the Nazis took over the idea. In 1938, Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg was forced to agree to Hitler's demands for Anschluss, but reneged, calling for a plebiscite. After the Chancellor's forced resignation, the Austrian president refused to name an Austrian Nazi, Seyss-Inquart, to replace him, and the German agent in Vienna telegrammed for German troops. Adolf Hitler occupied Austria on Mar. 11, 1938, and, to popular approval, annexed it as the province of Ostmark. In the Moscow Declaration (1943) the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union annulled the Anschluss, recognizing Austria's right to independence; an independent government was not established until the end of World War II.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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