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What is the significance of Germany annexing Austria?

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The German expansion into Austria helps to set the stage for future designs of Hitler and the Nazi party.  The pattern that would be visited repeatedly was first established in the overtaking of Austria.  On one hand, Hitler laid out a type of "historical" case as to why expansion was warranted.  This perception of history was distorted, but since no other versions were being offered (or those who were offering it were being silenced by Hitler), there became a historical basis for the land acquisition.  Some slight attempts at diplomacy was pursued, consisting of Hitler meeting with representatives and essentially bullying his way to his own ends, and then a military movement complete with social modes of control that emphasize the Nazi notion of the good being absolute.  All of these were on display with the acquisition of Austria.  If you believe MGM musicals, the Von Trapp family had much to say, or sing, about this, as well.

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To me, the main significance of this event is that it marks the first real attempt by Nazi Germany to expand its borders.  This expansion would lead to the start of WWII.

After Germany took over Austria, it went on to demand part and then all of Czechoslovakia.  After that, it thought it could take Poland with impunity.  It was this invasion that led to the war.

The actual annexation of Austria had little impact outside of Austria.  I think its only real importance is that it was the start of a series of moves that led to war.

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