Vienna (Mar. 15)
Chancellor Adolf Hitler today formally proclaimed the incorporation of Austria into the Nazi Reich and told cheering thousands in this ancient Austrian capital that their nation would be transformed into a “National Socialist fortress.”
(One of the first official decrees of the day, the Associated Press reported, deprived the Jews of their citizenship. In their new status the Jews will not be permitted to vote in the April 10 plebiscite. Storm troopers forced Jews in the ghetto quarter to scrub “Heil Austria” signs off the sidewalks. the United Press said Nazis were picketing numerous Jewish shops to keep out prospective buyers.)
“As Fuehrer-Chancellor of the German nation I announce the entry of my native land into the German Reich,” Hitler declared at ceremonies marking his official welcome to Vienna. “I proclaim the new mission of this nation. The oldest march of Germany will henceforth become the youngest bulwark of the German nation. The march of Austria henceforth will be a steel guaranty of German security and a guaranty of peace for our people.
“I speak in the name of the people of Austria, of Vienna and of 68,000,000 German citizens. This nation is German. It has a German mission to fulfill and will fulfill it. Our task will be to solve by work and order our great cultural and social problems and we will make of Austria a Nationalist Socialist fortress.”
Hitler announced that President-Chancellor Arthur von Seyss-Inquart had been made Reichsstatthalter (governor) of Austria. He expressed his thanks to the Nazi Austrian leader and other members of the now non-existent Government for their aid in carrying out the long-planned Anschluss with Germany.
Ten Jewish merchants were arrested in Linz today on charges of “activities contrary to the interests of the nation.” A large part of their personal property and money was confiscated by the government.