7 Dec. 45

"Instead, the former Austrian Chancellor announced on the evening of the 9th of March the surprising and arbitrary resolution decided on by himself to hold an election within a few days which, under the prevailing circumstances and especially according to the details provided for the execution of the election, could and was to have the sole purpose of oppressing politically the predominant majority of the population of Austria. As could have been foreseen, this procedure, being a flagrant violation of the agreement of Berchtesgaden, led to a very critical point in Austria's internal situation. It was only natural that the members of the then Austrian Cabinet who had not taken part in the decision for an election protested very strongly against it. Therefore a crisis of the Cabinet occurred in Vienna which, on the 11th of March, resulted in the resignation of the former Chancellor and in the formation of a new Cabinet. It is untrue that the Reich used forceful pressure to bring about this development. Especially the assertion which was spread later by the former Chancellor that the German Government had presented the Federal President with a conditional ultimatum, is a pure invention; according to the ultimatum he had to appoint a proposed candidate as Chancellor and to form a Cabinet conforming to the proposals of the German Government otherwise the invasion of Austria by German troops was held in prospect. The truth of the matter is that the question of sending military or police forces from the Reich was only brought up when the newly formed Austrian Cabinet addressed a telegram, already published by the press, to the German Government urgently asking for the dispatch of German troops as soon as possible in order to restore peace and in order to avoid bloodshed. Faced with the immediately threatening danger of a bloody civil war in Austria, the German Government then decided to comply with the appeal addressed to it.

"This being the state of affairs, it is impossible that the attitude of the German Government as asserted in your letter could lead to some unforseeable reactions. A complete picture of the political situation is given in the proclamation which, at noon today, the German Reich Chancellor has addressed to the German people. Dangerous reactions to this situation can take place only if eventually a third party should try to exercise its influence contrary to the peaceful intentions and legitimate aims of the German Government on the shaping of events in Austria, which would be incompatible with the right of self-government of the German people."