Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggresion. Vol. II. USGPO, Washington, 1946,pp.956-1004

[Note: The characters in brackets, eg, (2233-N-PS) refer to the official document numbers included in the series Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression.  A list of legal references and documents relating to Seyss-Inquart is on pages 1004-1014.  For information on the referencing of Internet sources see Chapter 4 of S D Stein Learning, Teaching and Researching on the Internet. Addison Wesley Longman 1999-published Nov.1998]

Error Submission Form

Individual Responsibility of Defendants

Artur Seyss-Inquart

[Nuremberg Tribunal Charges]

Part II


[Promotes Seizure of Power in Austria (Part 2)]

(6) The activities of Seyss-lnquart and his fellow Nazi conspirators and collaborators forced the then Austrian government into a critical situation and a struggle for survival.

As the result of the plans, maneuvers, and disturbances created by the Nazis in Austria, Schuschnigg, Chancellor of Austria, accompanied by his State Secretary, Guido Schmid, conferred with Hitler at Berchtesgaden on 12 February 1938. Dr. Muehlmann was also present but not as a member of the Schuschnigg delegation. At this meeting the possibilities for military action by Germany against Austria were demonstrated to the Chancellor. The ulti-mate result was that Chancellor Schuschnigg had no choice but to accept the demands of Hitler that the Austrian Nazi Party be legalized; that amnesty be granted to Austrian Nazis already convicted for illegal activities; and that Seyss-Inquart be appointed Minister of the Interior and Security in the Austrian cabinet, (2995-PS; 3254-PS; 3425--PS; 2469-PS; 2464-PS)

A few days after the Berchtesgaden meeting of Hitler and Schuschnigg, and immediately after his appointment as Minister of the Interior and Security of Austria, Seyss-Inquart went to Berlin for a conference with Hitler. Upon arrival in Berlin he was met by Keppler, Hitler's special delegate on Austrian affairs, who took him to Himmler. After a short conference with Himmler, the defendant was conducted to Hitler, to whom he gave the Nazi salute and with whom he had a conference lasting two hours and ten minutes. Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop and Keppler waited in the ante-chamber during the conference. Seyss-Inquart first offered Hitler an explanation for greeting him with the Hitler salute, by saying: "I consider him as the Fuehrer of the German people who led us out of the discriminations of the peace treaties." During the conference, he rendered a report to Hitler concerning the Austrian situation since June of 1934 and pre-sented his own program for Hitler's approval. Hitler expressed his approval of the plan but told Seyss-Inquart that he doubtedwhether Chancellor Schuschnigg would be willing to go so far. It seems clear that Hitler's doubt concerning Schuschnigg's approval of the Seyss-Inquart plan referred solely to Seyss-Inquart's proposal to allow Austrian Nazis to "conduct their activities ac-cording to the Austrian Constitution and on those lines find their way t o the Reich," because all. other portions of his plan had previously been adopted as a result of the Berchtesgaden Agreement. (3254-PS; 3425-PS; 2484-PS)

Seyss-Inquart has asserted that, upon his return to Vienna after his conference with Hitler,, he reported to Chancellor Schuschnigg the content of his discussion and urged the Chancel-lor to make a decision about the Austrian National Socialist question. He then attended rallies of the Austrian National Socialists held in various places in Austria to inform them of the content of his conference with Hitler. Two of the principal meetings were held at Graz and Linz (3425-PS; 3254-PS). Considerable doubt is cast upon the truth of Seyss-Inquart's assertions that he re-ported the contents of his conference with Hitler to Chancellor Schuschnigg and in public meetings of the Austrian Nazis, by a statement contained in a letter written by Seyss-Inquart to Himmler on 19 August 1939. The statement is as follows:

"I had a conversation of over two hours with the Fuehrer on February 17, 1938, in which I explained to him my point of view, I would only be able to make statements about the content of this conversation if the Fuehrer would grant me permission. I left this discussion as a very sincere man and with a feeling of great happiness to be of help to the Fuehrer." (3271-PS)

(7) Finally Chancellor Schuschnigg determined to go before the people for a decision on the question of Austrian independence.

Chancellor Schuschnigg planned to hold a plebiscite on that precise question and fixed 13 March 1938 as a date upon which the plebiscite would be held. The Chancellor took Seyss-Inquart into his confidence and discussed the matter of the plebiscite with him. The Chancellor requested Seyss-Inquart to keep the matter a secret until noon of the next day, and the defendant promised to do ao. Thereafter, Seyss-Inquart prepared a letter to Schuschnigg objecting to the plebiscite on constitutional grounds and alleging that the manner in which the plebiscite was to be held would not allow the Austrians to express their own desires. Seyss-Inquart admits that a copy of his letter was delivered to Hitler in Berlin by Globotschnigg. (3254-PS; 3425-P'S)

On 9 March 1938, a meeting of the Austrian Nazis was held because they had learned, through an illegal information service, that a plebiscite was to be held. Dr. Rainer describes this meeting in the following language:

"The 'Landesleitung' received word about the planned plebi-scite through illegal information services on 9 March 1938 at 10 a. m. At the session, which was called immediately afterwards, Seyss-Inquart explained that he had known about this information only a few hours, but that he could not talk about it because he had given his word to keep silent on this subject. But during the talks he made us understand that the illegal information we received was based on truth, and that in view of the new situation, he had been cooperating with the 'Landesleitung' from the very first moment. Klausner, Jury, Rainer, Globotschnigg, and Seyss-Inquart were present at the first talks which were held at 10 a. m. There it was decided that first, the Fuehrer had to be informed immediately; secondly, the opportunity for the Fuehrer to intervene must be given to him by way of an official declaration made by Minister Seyss-Inquart to Schuschnigg; and thirdly, Seyss-Inquart must negotiate with the government until clear instructions and orders were received from the Fuehrer. Seyss-Inquart and Rainer together composed. a letter to Schuschnigg, and only one copy of it was brought to the Fuehrer by Globocnik, who flew to him on the afternoon of 9 March 1938." (812-PS)

Seyss-Inquart himself admits that he attended this meeting, which was held at the Regina Hotel, Vienna, (3425-PS; 3254-PS) . The defendant was informed at this meeting that he would receive a letter from Hitler by messenger the next morning. (3425-PS; 3254-PS).

Early on the morning of 11 March 1938, Seyss-Inquart received Hitler's letter. He describes it as having contained several erroneous statements and containing a demand that a decision should be arrived at before noon; that in case of rejection the Reich Government would denounce the agreement of 12 February 1938 and military action must be understood. According to Seyss-Inquart, Hitler also gave expression to his belief that there would be disturbances in Austria if Chancellor Schuschnigg would not relent and that the Reich would come to the help of Austria if Austria demanded so. Glaise-Horstenau arrived by plane in Vienna early that same morning with the information that Berlin was greatly excited and that military steps were in preparation. (3254-PS; 3425-PS)

(8) Seyss-Inquart then proceeded to carry out Hitter's orders and to fulfill the plans made by himself and his fellow Nazi conspirators.

Dr. Rainer in his report to Reich Commissar Gauleiter Josef Buerckel, and in his covering letter dated 6 July 1939, related his version of the sequence of events during this period and described the precise role of Seyss-Inquart, as he viewed it. He complained about the fact that Hitler and the general public seemed to give Seyss-Inquart all the credit for the annexation of Austria by Germany. The following quotation from this letter and report is significant:

"Soon after taking over in Austria, Klausner, Globocnik, and I flew to Berlin to report to Hitler's deputy, Hess, about the events which led to our taking over the government. We did this because we had the impression that the general opinion, perhaps also Hitler's own, was that the liberation depended more on Austrian matters of state rather than the Party. To be more exact, Hitler especially mentioned Dr. Seyss-Inquart alone; and public opinion gave him alone credit for the change and thus believed him to have played the sole leading role."(812-PS)

Dr. Rainer then proceeded to describe just what happened in those critical days, and outlined the final instructions given by him for Friday, 11 March 1938. He explained that three situations might develop within the following days:

"1st Case: The plebiscite will not be held. In this case, a great demonstration must be held.
"2nd Case: Schuschnigg will resign. In this case, a demon-stration was ordered in taking over the government power.
"3rd Case: Schuschnigg will take up the fight. In this case, all party leaders were ordered to act upon their own initiative, using all means to capture the position of power." (812-PS)

Dr. Seyss-Inquart took part in these talks with the Gauleiters.

"On Friday, 11 March, the Minister Glaise-Horstenau arrived in Vienna after a visit with the Fuehrer. After talks with Seyss-Inquart he went to see the chancellor. At 11: 30 a. m. the 'Landesleitung' had a meeting at which Klausner, Rainer, Globocnik, Jury, Seyss-Inquart, Glaise-Horstenau, Fishboeck and Muehlmann participated. Dr. Seyss-Inquart reported on his talks with Dr. Schuschnigg which had ended in a rejection of the proposal of the two ministers.
"In regard to Rainer's proposal, von Klausner ordered that the government be presented with an ultimatum, expiring at 1400 hours, signed by legal political, 'Front' men, including both ministers and also State Councillors Fishboeck and Jury, for the establishment of a voting date in three weeks and a free and secret ballot in accordance with the constitution.
"On the basis of written evidence which Glaise-Horstenau had brought with him, a leaflet, to be printed in millions of copies, and a telegram to the Fuehrer calling for help, were prepared.
"Klausner placed the leadership of the final political actions in the hands of Rainer and Globocnik. Schuschnigg called a session of all ministers for 2 :00 p. m. Rainer agreed with Seyss-Inquart that Rainer would send the telegram to the Fuehrer and the statement to the population at 3: 00 p. m. and at the same time he would start all necessary actions to take over power unless he received news from the session of the ministers' council before that time. During this time all measures had been prepared. At 2 :30 Seyss-Inquart 'phoned Rainer and informed him that Schuschnigg had been unable to take the pressure and had recalled the plebiscite but that he had refused to call a new plebiscite and had ordered the strongest police measures for maintaining order. Rainer asked whether the two ministers had resigned, and Seyss-Inquart answered : 'No. ' Rainer informed the 'Reichskanzlei' through the German Embassy, and received an answer from Goering through the same channels' that the Fuehrer will not consent to partial solutions and that Schuschnigg must resign. Seyss-Inquart was informed of this by Globocnik and Muehlmann; talks were had between Seyss-Inquart and Schuschnigg: Schuschnigg resigned. Seyss-Inquart asked Rainer what measures the party wished taken. Rainer's answer: Reestablishment of the govern-ment by Seyss-Inquart, legalization of the party, and calling up of the SS and SA as auxiliaries to the police force. Seyss-Inquart promised to have these measures carried out, but very soon the announcement followed that everything might be threatened by the resistance of Miklas. Meanwhile word arrived from the German Embassy that the Fuehrer expected the establishment of a government under Seyss-Inquart with a national majority, the legalization of the party, and permission for the legion to return, all within the specified time of 7 :30 p. m.; otherwise, German troops would cross the border at 8: 00 p. m. At 5:00 p. m. Rainer and Globocnik, accompanied by Muehlmann, went to the Chancellor's office to carry out this errand.
"Due to the cooperation of the above-mentionedpeople with group leader Keppler and other' officials of the Reich and due to the activities of other contact-men in Austria, it was possible to obtain the appointment of Seyss-Inquart as 'Staatsrat' [councillor of State] in July 1937. Due to the same facts, the Chancellor Dr. Schuschnigg was forced to take a new so-called 'satisfactory action'. Through all this a new and stronger political position was won in the Aus-trian system. The National-Socialist Party became acceptable again in the political field and became a partner with whom one had to negotiate, even when it was not of-ficially incorporated into internal Austrian political developments. This complicated political maneuver, accompanied by the steadily increasing pressure from the Reich, led to talks between the Fuehrer and Schuschnigg at the Obersalz-berg. Here Gruppenfuehrer Keppler presented the concrete political demands of the fighting upderground movement, which he estimated according to his personal experiences and the information he received. The results of these talks were the right of a free acknowledgment of the National Socialist movement on the one hand and the recognition of an independent Austrian state on the other hand, as well as the appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Minister of Interior and Public Safety, as a person who will guarantee to both sides the proper carrying out of the agreements. In this way Seyss-Inquart occupied the key position and was in the center of all obvious political actions. A legal base in the government was won for the party. This resulted in a paralysis of the 'system apparates' [ Schuschnigg government] at a time when a revolution needed to be carried out. Through this, the basis for a new attack on the Schuschnigg government was won.
"Situation: Miklas negotiated with Ender for the creation of a government which included, blacks, reds and National Socialists, and proposed the post of Vice-Chancellor to Seyss-Inquart. The latter rejected it and told Rainer that he was not able to negotiate by himself because he was personally involved, and therefore a weak and unpleasant political situation might result. Rainer negotiated with Zernette. Director of the cabinet Huber, Guido Schmid, Glaise-Horstenau, Legation Councillor Stein, Military Attache General Muffe, and the 'Gruppenfuehrer' Keppler, who had arrived in the mean-time, were also negotiating. At 7: 00 Seyss-Inquart entered the negotiations again. Situation at '7: 30 p. m.: Stubbornrefusal of Miklas to appoint Seyss-Inquart as Chancellor; appeal to the world in case of a German invasion.
"Gruppenfuehrer Keppler explained that the Fuehrer did not yet have an urgent reason for the invasion. This reason must first be created. The situation in Vienna and in the country is most dangerous. It is feared that street fight-ing will break out any moment because Rainer ordered the entire party to demonstrate at 3 o'clock. Rainer proposed storming and seizing the government palace in order to force the reconstruction of the government. The proposal was rejected by Keppler but was carried out by Rainer after he discussed it with Globocnik. After 8: 00 p. m. the SA and SS marched in and occupied the government buildings and all important positions in the city of Vienna. At 8: 30 p. m. Rainer, with the approval of Klausner, ordered all Gauleiters of Austria to take over power in all eight 'gaus' of Austria, with the help of the SS and SA and with instructions that all government representatives who try to resist should be told that this action was taken on order of Chancellor Seyss-Inquart.
"With this, the revolution broke out, and this resulted in the complete occupation of Austria within three hours and the taking over of all important posts by the party * * *. "The seizure of power was the work of the party supported by the Fuehrer's threat of invasion and the legal standing of Seyss-Inquart in the government. The national result in the form of the taking over of the government by Seyss-Inquart was due to the actual seizure of power by the party on one hand, and the political efficiency of Dr. Seyss-Inquart in his territory on the other; but both factors may be considered only in the relation to the Fuehrer's decision on 9 March 1938 to solve the Austrian problem under any circumstances and the orders consequently issued b y the Fuehrer." (812-PS)

Seyss-Inquart's own story of the events on 11 March 1938 is not fundamentally different, although he does show a marked tendency to minimize his role in the planning, precipitating, and accomplishment of the annexation of Austria by Germany, in a statement signed by him after his arrest and indictment:

"At 10 o'clock in the morning Glaise-Horstenau and I went to the Bundes Chancellery and conferred for about two hours with Dr. Schuschnigg. We told him of all that we knew, particularly about the possibility of disturbances and preparations by the Reich. The Chancellor said that he would give his decision by 1400 hours. While I was with Glaise-Horstenau and Dr. Schuschnigg, I was repeatedly called to the telephone to speak to Goering. He informed me, (the demands of the Reich steadily increasing) that the agreement of 12-2 had been cancelled, and demanded Dr. Schuschnigg's resignation and my appointment as Chancellor. I delivered this information verbally to Dr. Schuschnigg and withdrew from the conference.
"In the meantime Keppler arrived from Berlin and had a conference in the Bundes Chancellery, I believe also with President Miklas. The latter refused to concede to the de-mands and sought to find various other solutions. When Keppler arrived from Berlin he showed me the contents of a telegram which I, as leader of the provisional Austrian Government, was to send to Hitler and in which I was. to request sending of German troops to Austria to put down disorders. I refused as I did not want to establish myself as head of a provisional government, and there were no disorders in Austria. Keppler repeatedly urged me about the telegram. Around 6 p. m. I told him that he knew my standpoint and should do what he wished with Berlin. Keppler, as I have been able to confirm from records available, understood my answer and did not send off the telegram at that time. Around 7: 30 p. m. a frontier police post announced that German troops were crossing the frontier. Thereupon Dr. Schuschnigg gave his well known farewell speech over the radio. Upon requests from various sides I followed with a speech over the radio, stating that I was still functioning as Minister of Interior and Security, requesting preservation of peace and order, and gave directions that no resistance should be offered the German troops.
"As I am able to gather from the records available, I was again requested about 10 p. m. to give my sanction to another somewhat altered telegram, about which I informed President Miklas and Dr. Schuschnigg. Finally President Miklas appointed me Chancellor and a little while later he approved of my proposed ministers." (3425-PS)

However, Seyss-Inquart displayed undue modesty in this state-ment. His letter to Himmler indicates how active he was on 11 March 1938, and reveals that he was not satisfied with making demands upon Chancellor Schuschnigg, but also handed an ultimatum to President Miklas:

"It is only possible that Buerckels made a statement that in the critical hours it was hard to find me. After I had handed an ultimatum to Miklas which was respited until 5: 45 p. m. I took a recess of about a half hour to catch some fresh air. I conceded that I was, in a way, exhausted from the things which happened just a few hours before that and I tried to find recreation in the fresh air. Besides that I planned to take a look at the situation on the streets. Furthermore, I wanted to make a phone call to Berlin, not from the Chancellery, but from some other place. Phone calls from the Chancellery were always tapped whereas they were only some-times tapped from other places. I was sure they didn't need me until 5 :30 p. m., because the men of the old system would not make a decision a second earlier than they had to." (3271-PS)

A stenographic transcript of Goering's telephone conversation with Seyss-Inquart confirms the fact that Seyss-Inquart was ordered to demand Chancellor Schuschnigg's resignation and the appointment of himself as Chancellor. (2949-PS)

This stenographic record of Goering's conversations also reveals that Seyss-Inquart had an agent keep in contact with Goering during the negotiations with Chancellor Schuschnigg. Seyss-Inquart was given an order by Goering through this agent to report by 7: 30 p. m., 11 March 1938, that he had formed a new government. He was informed that the foreign political aspect would be handled exclusively by Germany and that Hitler would talk with him about this matter at a future date. (2949-PS)

In addition the stenographic transcript of these telephone conversations show that the selection of individual members of the cabinet of the new government to be established by Seyss-Inquart was to be made by the Nazi conspirators in Berlin. (2949-PS)

At 1726 hours on the night of 11 March 1938, Seyss-Inquart reported to Goering by telephone as ordered. He reported that President Miklas had accepted the resignation of Chancellor Schuschnigg but waited to appoint a man like Ender to the Chan-cellorship. He further reported his suggestion to the President that the Chancellorship be entrusted to him-Seyss-Inquart-and also reported that "We have ordered the SA and the SS to take over police duties." Thereupon Goering ordered Seyss-Inquart to go with Lt. Gen. Muff to President Miklas and inform him that if the demands were not met immediately German troops, already advancing to the frontier, would invade Austria that night and Austria would cease to exist. An audience with the President was to be demanded. The invasion would be stopped only if President Miklas entrusted Seyss-Inquart with the Chancellorship. Seyss-Inquart was also instructed to call out the National Socialists of Austria all over the country, because Austrian Nazis should even then be in the streets. Seyss-Inquart was to report again at 7: 30 p.m. (2949-PS)

The telegram, already prepared, asking Hitler to send German troops into Austria, over the defendant Seyss-Inquart's signature, was transmitted as ordered and agreed upon. (2463-PS)

Even before Seyss-Inquart received his appointment as Chancellor of Austria he dispatched a telegram using that title. An affidavit of August Eigruber states as follows:

"On the evening of 11 March 1938 at between 8 and 9 o'clock p. m. he received two telegrams; one of which came from Dr. Seyss-Inquart, as Bundes Chancellor of Austria, and the other from one Dr. Rainer ; that the telegram from Dr. Seyss-Inquart appointed the affiant as temporary Landeshauptmann in Upper Austria ; and that the telegram from Dr. Rainer appointed the affiant temporary leader of the National Socialist Party in Upper Austria." (2909-PS)

Schuschnigg presented his resignation, which was accepted by President Miklas. The appointment of Seyss-Inquart as Chancellor came late on the evening of 11 March 1938. (2465-PS)

(9) Having infiltrated into the Austrian Government of Chan-cellor Schuschnigg according to plan, Seyss-Inquart exploited his opportunities to carry out the plan to its ultimate conclusion, i. e. German annexation of Austria.

The first act of Seyss-Inquart as the new Chancellor of Austria was to hold a telephone conversation with Hitler early in the morning of 12 March 1938. He has described the substance of this telephone conversation as follows:

"During the morning of 12 March I held a telephone conver-sation with Hitler in which I suggested that while German troops were entering Austria, Austrian troops as a symbol should march into the Reich. Hitler agreed to this sugges-tion and we agreed to meet in Linz, Upper Austria, later on that same day." (3425-PS)

Thereafter, on 12 March 1938, Seyss-Inquart greeted Hitler on the balcony of the City Hall of Linz, Upper Austria. In his ensuing speech, Seyss-Inquart announced that Article 88 of the Treaty of St. Germain, which provided that "the independence of Austria is inalienable otherwise than with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations," was no longer operative.

"I then flew to Linz with Himmler, who had arrived in Vienna from Berlin. I greeted Hitler on the balcony of the City Hall, and said that Article 88 of the Treaty of St. Germain was now inoperative." (3425-PS; L-231)

In his memorandum entitled "The Austrian Question" Seyss-Inquart describes his meeting with Hitler as follows:

"In the afternoon, I flew with 'Himmler to Linz and drove then to meet Hitler. Hitler entered Linz in the evening. I never saw such an enthusiasm. The welcome was spontaneous and of no precedence. In my (welcome) speech I declared that Article 88 of the St. Germain Treaty was no longer binding." (3254-PS; 2485-PS)

Seyss-Inquart then drove back to Vienna on the morning of 13 March 1938. His Secretary of State for Security begged that he be allowed to resign, a decision he reached as a result of a conversation with Himmler, which had caused him to fear for his own personal welfare. Seyss-Inquart then nominated Kaltenbrunner for State Secretary 'for Security, and the nomination was accepted by President Miklas. About noon State Under Secretary Stuckart of the German Reich Ministry of the Interior brought a proposal for a reannexation act uniting Austria to Germany, and announced Hitler's wish for prompt execution of it. Seyss-Inquart then called a meeting of his Council of Ministers, and on his proposal the council adopted the act. (3254-PS)

Seyss-Inquart, realizing that if the President of Austria re-signed his office, then he, Seyss-Inquart, would be the successor, went to President Miklas with the information about the action of the Council of Ministers. Seyss-Inquart describes this meeting with President Miklas as follows:

"In the case where the Bund President would, for any reason, either have resigned his functions or be, for some time, impeded 'in fulfilling them, his prerogatives were to go over to the Bund Chancellor, I went to the Bund President with Dr. Wolff. The President told me that he did not know whether this development would be of welfare to the Austrian Nation, but that he did not wish to interfere and preferred to resign his functions, so that all rights would come into my hands, according to the Constitution. The possibility of my dismissal or resignation were only slightly mentioned and recognized as inopportune in the prevailing situation." (3254-PS)

President Miklas then resigned and Seyss-Inquart succeeded to his office. (2466-PS)

Thereafter Seyss-Inquart signed the Act uniting Austria with Germany and hurried back to Linz to report this news to Hitler:

"Then there were some letters exchanged between the Bund President and myself, confirming our conversation and his retirement. Thereafter I drove to Linz, where I arrived around midnight and reported to the Fuehrer the accomplish-ment of the Anschluss Law. Hitler was very much impressed by it; for a while he remained quiet, then tears dropped from his eyes down his cheeks. He said then that he was especially happy because his Motherland had achieved her annexation to the Reich without any shedding of blood." (3254-W)

On 14 March 1938 Hitler entered Vienna. On 15 March 1938 there was a public demonstration in Vienna and Hitler introduced Seyss-Inquart as "Reich Statthalter for Austria." Hitler then put him in charge of the Civil Administration 'of Austria, while political matters were assigned to Gauleiter Josef Buerckel, who shortly thereafter was made Reich Commissar for the Anschluss. (3425-PS)

(10) Despite Seyss-Inquart's modesty since arrest 'and indictment, his fellow Nazi conspirators recognized the importance of his part in the Austrian Anschluss.

Goering made a speech in Vienna on 26 March 1938 in which he said:

"At this moment [announcement of the plebiscite in Austria] it has been established that now the decision really came. A complete unanimity between the Fuehrer and the N. S. con-fidants inside of Austria existed. According to their opinion also the hour of action had come, but they thought they couId not use any more democratic methods in negotiations and they took the law of action in their own strong hands and forced the others to retreat. If the N. S. rising succeeded so quickly and thoroughly without bloodshed, it is first of all due to the intelligent and decisive firmness of the present Reichsstatthalter Seyss-Inquart and his confidants. But this too proved the correctness of the previous continued politics because if our confidants had not been in the government, this whole course of events would not have been possible." (3270-PS)

According to Dr. Rainer, Hitler and the general public gave Seyss-Inquart credit for playing the leading role in the annexa-tion of Austria by Germany. This is evidenced by the covering letter written by Dr. Rainer, dated 6 July 1939, to Reich Commissar Gauleiter Josef Buerckel :

"We had the impression that the general opinion, perhaps also Hitler's own, was that the liberation depended more upon Austrian matters of state rather than the Party. To be more exact, Hitler especially mentioned Seyss-Inquart alone ; and public opinion gave him alone credit for the change and thus believed him to have-played the sole leading role." (812-PS)

In his report to Reich Commissar Buerckel, Dr. Rainer said:

"But as a result of the agreement at Berchtesgaden and the statement of the Fuehrer made to him during his state visit to Berlin, Seyss-Inquart was the personal trustee of the Fuehrer and directly responsible to him for the illegal NSDAP in Austria within the confines of his political sphere. * * * The seizure of power was the work of the party supported by the Fuehrer's threat of invasion and the legal standing of Seyss-Inquart in the government.
"The national result in the form of the taking over of the government by Seyss-Inquart was due to the actual seizure of power by the Party on one hand and the political efficiency of Dr. Seyss-Inquart in his territory on the other." (812-PS)

Hans Frank recognized the importance of the services rendered by Seyss-Inquart to the Nazi cause in Austria. When Seyss-Inquart was about to leave Poland to become Reich commissar of the Occupied Netherlands Territories, Frank extolled him as follows : "But your name without that is shining like a light through the history of the Third Reich, since you are the creator of the National Socialist Austria." (3465-PS)

(11) The Nazi conspirators within the German Reich evidenced their intentions of annexing Austria in many ways.

Hitler, on the first page of Chapter 1 of Mein Kampf, said:

"Today it seems to me providential that Fate should have chosen Braunau on the Inn as my birthplace. For this little town lies on the boundary between two German states which we of the younger generation at least have made it our life work to reunite by every means at our disposal. "German-Austria must return to the great German Mother Country, and not because of any economic considerations. No, and again no: even if such a union were unimportant from an economic point of view; yes, even if it were harmful, it must nevertheless take place. One blood demands one Reich. Never will the German Nation possess the moral right to engage in Colonial politics until, at least, it embraces its own sons within a single state. Only when the Reich borders include the very last German, but can no longer guarantee his daily bread, will the moral right to acquire foreign soil arise from the distress of our own people. Their sword will become our plow, and from the tears of war the daily bread of future generations will grow."

Seyss-Inquart devoted his efforts to legalize the sale and circulation of Mein Kumpf in Austria. His letter to Keppler, German Secretary of State for Austrian Affairs, contained the following passage.

"The Teinfaltstrasse is very well informed even if not in de-tail about my efforts regarding the re-permission of the book 'Mein Kampf'." (3392-PS)

Goering and Schacht both told an American diplomat that it was Germany's determination to annex Austria and Sudetenland to the Reich. (L-151)

One of the missions of von Papen, as German Ambassador to Austria, was to effect a change in the personnel of the Austrian Cabinet headed by Chancellor von Schuschnigg and to eliminate anti-Nazi opposition, particularly in the Ministry of Interior and Security. (2246-PS)

The German Reich applied economic pressure upon Austria. One of the means adopted was the law of 24 March 1933, which required payment of 1,000 Reichs Marks by every German cross-ing the border into Austria (3467-PS) . Kurt von Schuschnigg, former Chancellor of Austria, in his affidavit of 19 November 1945, described this economic pressure upon Austria by Germany in the following words:

"* * * During my tenure of office as Federal Chancellor of Austria, more particularly on the 11th day of July, 1936, I negotiated with the then existing government of the German Reich, and with Adolf Hitler, an Agreement more particularly known as the Agreement of 11 July 1936.
"I further depose and say that prior to the consummation of the aforesaid Agreement, the German Government had placed certain economic barriers against trade between Germany and Austria such as-to-wit-the 1,000 mark barrier which said barrier provided that any German citizen who crosses the border of Germany into Austria is obliged to pay to the German Government the sum of 1,090 German Reichs Marks for the privilege thereof-Austria had been accustomed before this edict of the German Government to receive into Austria some one hundred thousand visitors from Germany annually.
"I further state that the aforesaid barrier placed against Austria was extremely injurious to Austrian agriculture and industrial interests." (2994-PS)

Jodl stated in his diary that in 1938 the aim of German policy was the elimination of Austria and Czechoslovakia. The will of resistance in both countries was undermined by pressure on the government as well as by propaganda and the fifth column. At the same time German military preparations for attack were worked out (1780-PS). ("Case Otto" was the code name for the Austrian campaign, and "Case Green" was the code name for the battle plans against Czechoslovakia.)

Jodl also stated in his diary that when Chancellor von Schusch-nigg announced the proposed plebiscite for 13 March 1938, Hitler was determined to intervene. Goering, General Reichenau, and Minister Glaise-Horstenau were called, before Hitler. "Case Otto" was to be prepared, and the mobilization of army units and air forces was ordered on 10 March 1938. The march into Austria took place on 11 March 1938. (1780-PS)

(12) Hitler and the Nazi conspirators completed the annexation of Austria by decree.

On 11 March 1938 Hitler issued a directive regarding "Case Otto" addressed to the German armed forces, classified Top Secret, in which he stated that, if other measures proved useless, his intentions were to invade Austria with armed force. The directive prescribed operational duties and assigned objectives. It further provided that resistance was to be broken up ruthlessly with armed force. (C-102)

Later on that same day, at 8: 45 p. m., Hitler issued a second directive, which stated in substance, that the demands of the German ultimatum to Austria. had not been fulfilled, and for that reason the entry of German armed forces into Austria would com-mence at daybreak on 12 March 1938. He directed that all objectives were to be reached by exerting all forces to the full as quickly as possible. (C-182)

On 13 March 1938 Germany in violation of Article 80 of the Treaty of Versailles, formally incorporated Austria into the Reich by decree and declared it to be a province of the German Reich. (2307-PS)

Officials of the Province of Austria were then required by de-cree to take an oath of personal obedience to Hitler. Jews were barred from taking this oath, and thus could not retain offices and positions previously held. (2311-PS)

Members of the Austrian Army were required to take an oath of personal allegiance to Hitler as their Supreme Commander. (2936-PS)

Compulsory military service was instituted in Austria by law, which provided the Greater German Reich with additional manpower for its armed forces. (1660-PS)

(13) Seyss-Inquart participated in the execution of the plans for aggression against Czechoslovakia.

In an official report to Viscount Halifax, Basil Newton, an official of the British Govern-ment, related some of the "gangster methods employed by the Reich to obtain its ends in Czecho-Slovakia." The part played by Seyss-Inquart was described in this report in the following words :

"On M. Sidor's return to Bratislava, after he had been entrusted with the Government in place of Mgr. Tiso, Herr Buerckel, Herr Seyss-Inquart and five German generals came at about 10 pm on the evening of Saturday, the 11th March, into a Cabinet meeting in progress at Bratislava, and told the Slovak Government that they should proclaim the independence of Slovakia. When M. Sidor showed hesitation, Herr Buerckel took him on one side and explained that Herr Hitler had decided to settle the question of Czecho-Slovakia definitely. Slovakia ought, therefore, to proclaim her independence because Herr Hitler would otherwise disinterest himself in her fate. M. Sidor thanked Herr Buerckel for this information, but said that he must discuss the situation with the Government at Prague." (D-571)

Hitler expressed his intention to crush Czechoslovakia in the following language:

" 'At Munich I did not take Bohemia and Moravia into the German territorial sphere ["Lebensraum"]. I left the Czechs only another five months, but for the Slovaks I have some sympathy. I approved the Award of Vienna in the conviction that the Slovaks would separate themselves from the Czechs and declare their independence, which would be under German protection. That is why I have refused Hungarian demands in respect of Slovakia. As the Slovaks appear to be agreeing with the Czechs it looks as though they have not respected the spirit of the Vienna Award. This I cannot tolerate. Tomorrow at mid-day I shall begin military action against the Czechs, which will be carried out by General Brauchitsch' (who was present and to whom he pointed). (Germany, ' he said, 'does not intend to take Slovakia into her "Lebensraum," and that is why you must either immediately proclaim the independence of Slovakia or I will disinterest myself in her fate. To make your choice give you until tomorrow midday, when the Czechs will be crushed by the German steamroller. ' " (D-571)

Ribbentrop and von Neurath also participated in the execution of the Nazi plot to obliterate Czechoslovakia as a nation. (D-571)

The use of pressure, fifth columnists, and propaganda to undermine resistance in Czechoslovakia, and the preparation of military plans for the attack upon that country were all noted by Jodl in his diary.(1780-PS)

Before the annexation of Austria by Germany Seyss-Inquart was in communication and contact with Konrad Henlein, the leader of the Sudeten German Nazis in Czechoslovakia. On 29 December 1937 Seyss-Inquart wrote a letter to Henlein in encouraging terms and extended his warmest sympathy and hope for the success of the Sudeten Germans (3523-PS). Henlein thereafter replied in a letter to Seyss-Inquart dated a few days after the German annexation of Austria had been accomplished. In this letter Henlein expressed his pride in the fact that Seyss-Inquart, born a Sudeten German, had fulfilled the task determined by the Fuehrer in the most decisive hour of German history. He also thanked Seyss-Inquart for the effect and influence the developments in Austria would have in the Sudetenland. (3522-PS)

Seyss-Inquart Nurembrg Charges Part 3
Seyss-Inquart Nurembrg Charges Part 1

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 08/01/99
Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
ęS D Stein

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