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What were the major consequences of the Anschluss?

The Anschluss led to the incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany, escalating tensions leading to World War II and the Holocaust.

The Anschluss, or the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in March 1938, had profound and far-reaching consequences. One of the most immediate impacts was the incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany. This was a significant expansion of Hitler's Third Reich, which not only increased its territorial size but also its population and resources. The Anschluss was a clear violation of the Treaty of Versailles, which had prohibited the union of Austria and Germany. However, the international community, particularly Britain and France, chose a policy of appeasement and did not intervene, thereby indirectly encouraging Hitler's expansionist ambitions.

The Anschluss also escalated the tensions that would eventually lead to World War II. Hitler's audacious move demonstrated his disregard for international treaties and his willingness to use force to achieve his objectives. This caused alarm among other European powers, particularly those in close proximity to Germany. The Anschluss, along with the subsequent Sudeten Crisis in Czechoslovakia, made it clear that Hitler was not content with merely 'righting the wrongs' of the Treaty of Versailles, but was intent on expanding German territory and influence. This realisation led to a shift in policy from appeasement to deterrence and preparation for war.

Another major consequence of the Anschluss was the intensification of the Holocaust. Austria had a significant Jewish population, who were immediately subjected to the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazi regime. Jews were persecuted, their properties confiscated, and many were sent to concentration camps. The Anschluss thus marked a significant escalation in the scale and intensity of the Holocaust.

In conclusion, the Anschluss had significant consequences, both for the people of Austria and for the wider world. It marked a major expansion of Nazi Germany, escalated international tensions leading to World War II, and intensified the Holocaust.

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