- Reuniting Austria and Germany (Anschluss) was forbidden by the treaty of Versailles.
- Hitler was born within the boundaries of Austria and had said in Mein Kampf he felt Austria belonged with Germany.
- In 1934 the Austrian Nazis encouraged by Hitler, had tried to seize power after the murder of Austrian Chancellor, Dollfuss.
- This was prevented by Mussolini.
- By 1938 things had changed: Mussolini was now allied with Germany and occupied in the Spanish Civil war. So he was unlikely to help Austria.
- One of Hitlers aims was to unite all German speaking people, and Austria were German speaking.
- The Nazi party remained strong and there were rumours in 1938 that there was a Nazi plot to overthrow the Austrian Government.
- Chancellor Schuschnigg appealed to Hitler for help to end plotting.
- Hitler refused and instead of helping he put pressure on Schuschnigg and forced him to appoint Seyys Inquart as in charge of the police force.
- This was followed…
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