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Anschluss

The ‘political union’ of Austria and Germany in March, 1938. Following the First World War, Austria experienced widespread economic stagnation and political friction. In 1934, a group of Austrian and German Nazis killed the Austrian chancellor, Engelbert Dollfuss, but failed to overthrow the government. Austria’s attempts to remain politically isolated from growing fascism in Europe, this became impossible after Hitler and Mussolini became allies. Despite the new Austrian Chancellor’s attempts to appease Hitler’s demands for greater control over Austria in early 1938, Hitler remained determined to unite the German-speaking peoples and cultures. German troops entered Austria on 12 March 1938 and, one day later, Austria was incorporated into the German Reich. This action received widespread support from the majority of Austrians, although it was quickly followed by violence and persecution of Jews and Roma.