by Sid Guttridge » 09 Dec 2021 20:00
I am deeply flattered that you thought my previous contributions were so important as to merit six consecutive return postings and that you have read so many of my posts going back years. Furthermore, I am deeply gratified that you not only found me to have been consistent throughout that time, but felt impelled to publicize this fact by devoting a whole post (#45 above) to quotes from me proving just this point.
You post, "The 83 % who did not appear in the photographs are not more representative than the 17 % who did appear in the photographs." Hmmm, so the fact that five times as many people did not attend the welcome demonstrations in Vienna is less representative than the relatively small minority who did? I think you will find that your logic is very severely flawed here!
You post, "You can't say that the 83 % were hostile/indifferent to the Anschluss because they remained at home ." I didn't, so I don't have to defend that. However, as you have raised the matter, it is least as implausible that their absence indicated support for the German invasion. As Bukey says at the top of p.33: “How many tears were shed behind closed doors is impossible to say.”
You post, "The majority of the 83% approved the Anschluss." Perhaps, but as ljadw would say, there is no proof of that. Why? Because Hitler rigged the conduct of his referendum, quite possibly unnecessarily. There is no other measure of public opinion because Hitler prevented Schussnoigg's referendum taking place by invading and there are no publuc opinion polls from the period. So what are you basing your claim on? I would suggest you are making an assumption which may or may not hold true.
You post, "See the results of the plebiscite in Vienna: these were not falsified." Again, you clearly have not researched the conduct of the plebiscite. Take a look at the ballot paper. Read the account of Albert Goering (Herman's brother) of conditions under which it was conducted. The whole plebiscite was rotten and doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
You post, "There were less than 17 % of the Londoners who were present on May 8 at the gates of Buckingham .They were not more representative than those who were absent." Yup. Unsurprisingly. virtually everyone was in favour of a victorious peace. Two months later they voted Churchill out. What is your point?
You post, "Those who were absent ( in Vienna and London ) were not absent because they disagreed with the festivities ." In London that is certainly true. However, in "Red Vienna" that is much less clear.
You post, "In 1966 the British Football team won the World Cup and was applauded by a minority of the British people, but that will not say that the others preferred that Germany would have won ." True. Your point is what?
You post, "Did a minority or majority of the British population in 1945 appear on the streets of the UK to celebrate VE Day?" I doubt there are statistics available, but I would imagine that virtually everyone came onto the streets somewhere to celebrate a victorious peace and the end to the deaths of relatives and friends. Again, your point is what?
You ask, "Do you have any evidence that the images were “to some degree staged”? That’s your claim, prove it. Provide some sources." It is my claim. The photographs provide their own evidence of stage management. If there was no stage management, you have to explain the motorcades, the parades, the uniformed troops, police and party members stewarding crowds, the speaking tours, the identical long banners hanging from public buildings, the large numbers of identical swastika flags carried by the crowds, etc. etc.. There is some good footage of all this on Youtube. You have yourself already conceded Reich German cameramen and broadcasters certainly provided extensive coverage of the Anschluss. How do you explain the rest?
You post, "The Germans were welcomed as liberators, not invaders." Yes, demonstrably by 40% of the population of Linz and 17% of the population of Vienna, who appear in the photographs. They weren't welcomed at all by 60% of the population of Linz (as near to a home town as Hitler had in his youth) or by 83% of the population of Viennan (the national capital). We simply have no way of knowing what they actually thought. All we know is that they didn't turn out.
You post, "The Austrians didn’t think of themselves as being “under occupation”." Again, we don't know exactly what the Austrians thought. Most appear to have been accepting of the situation and the others had no means of safely displaying any objection.
You post, "Thousands of political opponents were arrested and imprisoned AFTER the Anschluss happened." Tens of thousands, actually. Is this meant to be a point demonstrating Austrian enthusiasm for the initial German occupation? I must be missing something!
You post, "Those people weren’t arrested and imprisoned because they opposed the Anschluss." Who know what they were all arrested for? Opposition to Anschluss with Nazi Germany seems a likely contributary factor. In addition, 6% of the population were banned from voting.
You post. "If there had been any form of resistance then it would have formed when the idea of a plebiscite to keep Austria independent was being talked about by many people." What does this mean? That opposition should have occurred when Schussnigg first proposed his referendum? That Austrian Nazis should have been more active against it so that the embarrassment of a German Army invasion could have been avoided?
You post. "There wasn’t even any underground resistance to it. Even opponents of the Nazis didn’t oppose it." How could they? Some 40,000 of their leaders were arrested, German troops were in residence and Nazi thugs were on the streets beating up Jews.
You post, "There are many examples of public protests during the Third Reich." Really? When and where? I can think of one in early 1943 and quite a few in the last weeks of the war. What are you thinking of?
You post, " In the occupied territories plenty of the occupied peoples openly resisted" Not in the first month of German occupation they didn't, any more than the Austrians did!
You ask, "Why the hell do you think so many became partisans?" "So many" didn't in most of Western Europe until quite late in the war. These then included Austrians, of whom a company operated with the Yugoslav Partisans.
You ask, "Why do you think so many occupied peoples helped Jews by giving them ‘Aryan Papers’?" "So many"? How many? Remember, the great majority of Jews in Nazi occupied Europe died at Nazi hands.
You ask, "did you ever provide a source for your claim that the crowds of Austrians welcoming the Nazis were self-selected"? I don't have to. If they weren't "self selecting", (i.e. there voluntarily because they supported what was happening, or at least curious), who are you suggesting was selecting them? The Nazi Party? If I was you, I would settle for them being "self selecting"!!!!
You post, "No one denies that the plebiscite was rigged to convey that literally EVERY Austrian agreed with the Anschluss - which was obviously not the case - but, historians accept that the overall Austrian population did welcome it and there was no resistance or protest from a sizeable amount of Austrians." True, but as your quote from Bukey says, "In what specific ways the April plebiscite reflected the desires and wishes of the Austrian population must remain a matter of speculation."
You post, "The film shows images of a provincial town in which the locals have turned out en masse to demonstrate their support for the invading Nazis." Without knowing which town, its population and the total turn out, this tells us no more than the photographs under discussion and we can't say with confidence that "the footage shows genuine support from a small town", just from an indeterminate proportion of its population. There were some very strongly pro-Nazi areas in the south where this is possible but, as was found out in the 1934 coup attempt, they were not necessarily represenative of the country at large. More details please.
You post, "The streets are hung with hundreds of red, black and white swastika banners and the town square has been hastily renamed "Adolf Hitler Platz"." And this is not stage management?
You post. "The idea that the images and film footage are just simply Nazi propaganda is a way to make out that the Anschluss was an invasion and that most Austrians didn’t want it… which of course is not supported by any evidence." I didn't say most of that, so I don't have to defend it.
I did point out that the German Army's arrival was an invasion. It was conducted as a military operation with orders to suppress any resistance with severity. The main reason there was no resistance was that Schussnigg ordered his Army and the Frontmiliz not to do so. He did this because he had no hope of resisting Germany for long, no outside allies and was concerned about Austrian loss of life, which Hitler clearly wasn't. The reason why the German Army was used was that Hitler was not at all sure of the state of Austrian opinion about Schussnigg's questionable plebiscite and felt compelled to prevent it taking place. It was undoubtedly an invasion. It arguably remained to some degree an occupation until 2nd Panzer Division, an initially all German formation that was barracked in Vienna, became largely filled with Austrians a couple of years later.
Enough for now.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 09 Dec 2021 21:04, edited 1 time in total.