80 Years of the German annexation of Austrian – Never forget!

11. März 2018

These days we have to remember the political and military occupation of Austria by the German Wehrmacht on March 12, 1938. After resign of Bundeskanzler Schuschnigg, he was a right wing politician, forced by Austrian Nazi-groups one could see swastika-banners in several Austrian cities and the German Wehrmacht crossed the border.

The “Anschluss” marked the final of the “First Republic” and a sovereign Austrian state.

It is fact that a majority of the Austrian people welcomed – from different reasons – this development. And it is also well known that a lot of Austrian fascists in the ranks of the German Wehrmacht, the SS, SA and Gestapo were responsible for horrible crimes – war crimes and crimes against humanity until genocide.

But we as FIR remember also those people they tried to resist against this occupation regime. The first declaration came from the Central committee of the KPÖ (Austrian communist party) from Prague exile, because of the political persecution by the Schuschnigg-government. They declared:

“People of Austria! Defend yourself, resist the foreign invaders and their agents. Come together, Catholics and Socialists, Workers and Peasants! Join, now and for all, to the front of all Austrians. All differences of world view, all party differences step back before the holy task, which is put today to the Austrian people! Stand together against Hitler, stand together to chase Hitler’s Soldateska out of Austria again!

People of Austria! Defend yourself! Make the slogan to action: red-white-red until the death! With its own strength and through the help of the World Front of Peace, a free, independent Austria will be resurrected.”

To remember this date it is necessary to face the tasks of today against the right wing political development in Austria too. The antifascist organization “KZ-Verband” declared on the occasion of this anniversary:

Facing the background of recent exposures about right-wing extremist fraternities in Austria, the fight for democracy, peace and freedom in Austria and the world appears as the collective responsibility of all those for whom “Never forget!” is more than a cheap slogan in election campaigns.”

FIR supports all these political attempts to stop the uprising of extreme right political forces not only in Austria.