Between 1933 and 1941, the Nazis aimed to make Germany judenrein (cleansed of Jews) by making life so difficult for them that they would be forced to leave the country. By 1938, about 150,000 German Jews, one in four, had already fled the country.
The "Anschluss" - 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.
Hitler sent his army into Austria on March 11, 1938. On the morning of March 12, German troops crossed into Austria. On 13th March 1938. The Anschluss-the incorporation of Austria into the "Third German Reich"-was proclaimed on the 13th March.
Two days later, delirious crowds greeted Hitler as he paraded triumphantly through Vienna. On April 10, Hitler held his own election, and 9973 percent of Austrians voted in favor of the annexation (Anschluss).
During the great celebrations in all of Austria, many potential opponents of the regime were arrested. National Socialist rule was established now in Austria through propaganda, terror and enticements. The annexation was accompanied by protracted antisemitic eruptions and humiliations of Jews by Austrian citizens under German patronage. At the time of the Anschluss, more than 185,000 Jews lived in Austria, of whom 170, 000 resided in Vienna.
Immediately after the annexation, the Gestapo embarked on a week of organized looting of Jewish apartments, in which confiscated objets d'art and valuables were hauled away to Berlin. Before the week was out, Jews were dismissed from their positions in theatres, popular cultural institutions, and public libraries; soon afterwards, they...