29 Nov. 45

The Austrian Government has ceased to function of its own accord.

"3) To avoid further bloodshed in Austrian towns, the entry of the German Armed Forces into Austria will commence, according to Directive No. 1, at daybreak on 12.3.

"I expect the set objectives to be reached by exerting all forces to the full as quickly as possible."

Signed Adolf Hitler; initialed by Jodl and by a name that looks like Warlimont.

And then some interesting communications with Rome to avoid possibility of disaster from that source. At the very time that Hitler and Göring had embarked on this military undertaking, they still had a question mark in their minds, and that was Italy. Italy had massed on the Italian border in 1934 on the occasion of July 25, 1934--the Putsch. Italy had traditionally been the political protector of Austria.

With what a sigh of relief did Hitler hear at 10:25 p.m. that night from Prince Phillipp von Hessen, his Ambassador at Rome, that he had just come back from the Palazzo Venezia, and Mussolini had accepted the whole thing in a very friendly manner. The situation can really be grasped by the rereading of the conversation. The record of the conversation shows the excitement uncle;] which Hitler was operating when he spoke over the telephone. It is a short conversation, and I shall read the first half of it from Part N of the transcript of 2949-PS. I am afraid your title Part N may be blurred on the mimeographed copy. "H" is Hessen and "F" is the Führer.

"Hessen: 'I have just come back from Palazzo Venezia. Il Duce accepted the whole thing in a very friendly manner. He sends you his regards. He had been informed from Austria; Schuschnigg gave him the news. He had then said it would be a complete impossibility; it would be a bluff such a thing could not be done. So he was told that it was unfortunately arranged thus, and it could not be changed any more. Then Mussolini said that Austria would be immaterial to him.'

"Hitler: 'Then please tell Mussolini I will never forget him for this.'

"Hessen: 'Yes.'

"Hitler: 'Never, never, never, whatever happens. I am still ready to make a quite different agreement with him.'

"Hessen: 'Yes, I told him that, too.'