29 Nov. 45

which foreshadowed National Socialist Austria and then the events culminating in the actual German invasion on 12 March 1938.

Mr. President, would this be a convenient moment for a recess?

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn for 10 minutes.

[A recess was taken.]

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, I had reached the subject of the events culminating in the German invasion of Austria on 12 March 1938, and first under that, the plebiscite and the preparations for both German and Austrian National Socialists.

The day after his appointment as Minister of the Interior of Austria, Seyss-Inquart flew to Berlin for a conference with Hitler. I invite the Court to take judicial notice of the official German communiqué covering that visit of Seyss-Inquart to Hitler, as it appears in the Dokumente der Deutschen Politik, Volume 6, I, Page 128, Number 21-c, a copy of which will be found in our Document 2484-PS.

On March 9, 1938, 3 weeks after Seyss-Inquart had been put in charge of the police of Austria and was in a position to direct their handling of the National Socialists in Austria-3 weeks after the Nazis began to exploit their new prestige and position with their quota of further victories-Schuschnigg made an important announcement. On March 9, 1938, Schuschnigg announced that he would hold a plebiscite throughout Austria the following Sunday, March 13, 1938. The question to be submitted in the plebiscite was: "Are you for an independent and social, a Christian, German, and united Austria?" A "yes" answer to this question was certainly compatible with the agreement made by the German Government on 11 July 1936 and carried forward at Berchtesgaden on 12 February 1938. Moreover, for a long while the Nazis had been demanding a plebiscite on the question of Anschluss, but the Nazis apparently appreciated the likelihood of a strong "yes" vote on the question put by Schuschnigg in the plebiscite, and they could not tolerate the possibility of such a vote of confidence in the Schuschnigg Government meet.

In any case, as events showed, they took this occasion to overturn the Austrian Government. Although the plebiscite was not announced until the evening of 9 March, the Nazi organization received word about it earlier in that day. It was determined by the Nazis that they had to ask Hitler what to do about the situation (that is, the Austrian Nazis), and that they would prepare a letter of protest against the plebiscite from Seyss-Inquart to Schuschnigg;