Next came gun registration. People were getting
injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we
still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens
were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register
their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best
for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had
them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.
No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said
something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who
were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke
Totalitarianism didnít come quickly; it took 5
years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had
it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last
breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were
broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state,
little by little eroded our freedom.
After World War II, Russian troops occupied
Austria. Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote
about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything
that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed
down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldnít destroy, they
burned. We called it "The Burned Earth." Most of the population barricaded
themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as
the troops mobilized. Those who couldnít; paid the price. There is a
monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by
the Russians. This is an eye witness account.
Itís true. Those of us who sailed past the Statue
of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.
America Truly is the greatest country in the world. Donít let freedom
After America, there is no place else to go!
1. Posted with the
personal approval of Kitty Werthmann.
2. An Internet search brings several different
descriptions of this "election."
Here are three:
"The Nazis moved ahead quickly with their decisive grab for power. An emphasis was placed on propaganda, with banners hung everywhere. In Vienna alone, 200,000 pictures of Hitler went up, augmented by slogans such as
'Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein FŁhrer' -- 'One people, one empire, one leader.' In the subsequent referendum, 99.73 percent of the population voted for
'reunification' with the German Reich.
"There was, of course, the immense pressure exerted by the military, but the result was also reflective of a country willing to join the Nazi movement.
The reason for the 'mass elation, even hysteria'... were many: The Austro-Hungarian Empire had collapsed in 1918 and the Republic of German Austria emerged in its place on November 12, 1918. It was a traumatic turn of events. From its very birth, the new state lacked a sense of identity, and a large portion of the population was in favor of annexation to Germany. Making things even worse was the economic crisis and resulting, large-scale unemployment. In February 1933, 600,000 Austrians were without jobs."
Annexation of Austria:
"On 12 Feb 1938, Hitler invited [Austrian Chancellor]
Schuschnigg to Berghof for a summit. Schuschnigg politely addressed Hitler as
'Herr Reichskanzler', awaiting a similar greeting from Hitler... What he got in response, however, was a series of insults and threats. Hitler preached of his mission to create a great German Empire;
'I have only to give an order,' he screamed at Schuschnigg.... After hours of
persuasion that Western Europe had abandoned Austria, Schuschnigg gave in. He
signed a two-page agreement drafted by Joachim von Ribbentrop that lifted the
ban on the Nazi Party, released jailed Austrian Nazi Party members, and
appointed Nazi Party members ...[to] ministerial positions in the Austrian government.
"Pressure from Berlin did not cease based on that agreement alone, however, and Schuschnigg announced that he would
allow a national referendum to decide the fate of Austria. Schuschnigg strategically set the voting age to 24 so that the younger citizens, who were much more likely to be persuaded to the Nazi cause, could not sway the vote. Berlin was quick to catch on to Schuschnigg's tactics, and fabricated false news reports of riots in Austria, claiming that Austrians were calling for German military to enter to preserve peace. According to Nazi propaganda, over 80% of the Austrian population wished to become a part of the German Empire; in fact, it was merely propaganda and nothing more."
The "ANCHLUSS" - Annexation of Austria by Germany:
"On 9th March 1938, the Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg announced a plebiscite on the independence of Austria. Adolf Hitler took this as an opportunity to take action against the Austrian State. Schuschnigg was pressed to resign. The National Socialist Arthur Seyss-Inquart took over the chancellorship and formed a new government. The Austrian National Socialists took power in Austria.
On the morning of 12th March 1938, troops of the German Wehrmacht and the SS
crossed the German-Austrian border. On 13th March 1938, Hitler announced in Linz
the legislation on the Anschluss? (Annexation) of Austria into the German Reich.
During the great celebrations in all of Austria, many potential opponents of the regime were arrested, as well as the Jews who were expropriated and deprived of civil rights.
National Socialist rule was established now in Austria through propaganda, terror and enticements.
"A Plebiscite was set for 10th April on the annexation of Austria to the German Reich, which was only a mockery.
Austrian citizens who were of Jewish descent were excluded from the election.
People who were of other political opinions were arrested. Despite this, many Austrian intellectuals and known personalities from all areas publicly supported Hitler's annexation. The former Chancellor Karl Renner who had founded the First Republic and the Austrian bishops did their best to convince the many who had remained sceptical.
A free democratic election was not possible on 10th April: Election publicity was present in front of and in the election booth, the votes were surveyed and the voting papers were manipulated."