Austria votes to merge with Germany in a referendum.

The Third Reich was one of the most powerful and influential movements the world has ever seen. Its enormous power shocked the world. Yet part of its supremacy came from its ability to seem harmless, and Anschluss was Hitler’s first move toward global domination.

On this day April 10th, in 1938, the vote is tallied for Austria’s referendum as to whether it should merge with Germany as 99.75% of the public votes in favor. A referendum is a vote for the people, without electorates such as congress or a senate. It’s on one topic and an individual choses to be either for it, or against it.

The authenticity of these votes is questioned because a month before, Germany committed a coup d’etat, where they illegally overthrew the Austrian government. Austria’s merging with Germany went directly against the Treaty of Versailles, which Germany had been forced to sign after WWI. It is also speculated that this Treaty of Versailles sparked anger in Germans and added fuel to their cause for WWII.  Austria would not gain full independence until 1955.