(German: union) Political union of Austria with Germany, which occurred when Adolf Hitler annexed Austria. In 1938 the Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg was bullied into canceling a plebiscite on union with Germany, which he expected Austrians to oppose. He resigned his office and ordered the Austrian army not to resist the Germans. The Germans invaded on March 12, and the enthusiasm shown by Austrians persuaded Hitler to annex Austria outright the next day. Though France and Britain protested Hitler's methods, they and other countries accepted the fait accompli.
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