VIENNA, March 12, 1938 (UP) - Soldiers of the German army marched into a Nazified Austria at dawn today and Austrians waited for the triumphant entry of their "liberator" and countryman, Adolf Hitler.
The most amazing political coup in modern history had been consummated without the spilling of blood.
German troops, treading the roads of a foreign country for the first time since 1918 marched along country roads.
Austrian troops joined them as they marched motorized units, infantry, cavalry, in green-gray uniforms - here at the invitation of the new Austrian Nazi regime. Church bells pealed a welcome; crowds cheered; crudely painted swastikas were displayed from peasant homes.
New Nazi leaders in the Austrian provinces ordered all business suspended for a national celebration.
By official order, the Fatherland Front Organization, which had helped the Schuschnigg government maintain power was summarily dissolved. Some Fatherland Front leaders had fled across the frontier; some were reported under arrest.
In the provinces, Nazis dismissed provincial Governors, Mayors and other officials. Some were jailed. Others were put under the so-called Nazi "house arrest."
The stock exchange and money market were closed. Some banks here and in the province were closed.
It was reported that authorities ordered the closing of many banks, anticipating possible nervousness, particularly the possibility of a run by Jews.
Nazi authorities began confiscating foreign newspapers which contained "fake" reports regarding Austria.
German army planes, circling over Vienna, dropped leaflets which said:
"National Socialist Germany greets National Socialist Austria and its new National Socialist government! In loyal, indisolvable brotherhood! Heil Hilter!"
It was believed in many quarters that before long by plebiscite or by election. Adolf Hitler would be declared Fuehrer of Austria, his birthplace, which he left in his youth to seek his fortune in Germany.
Chancellor Schuschnigg, heir of Engelbert Dollfuss whom Nazis murdered in their unsuccessful putsch of 1934, had resigned and turned over his office to Dr. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Austrian Nazi leader and for years his close friend.
President Wilhelm Miklas alone held out. It was indicated that he had refused to approve the new Nazi-led ministry and that he told Seyss-Inquart he was taking charge of his own responsibility.
But the victory of the Nazis seemed complete and the long history of Austria as an independent state was ended.
At Sallbruecken, near Salzburg; at Scharding near the Czechoslovakian frontier, the German troops crossed the border and marched in toward key cities.
Some silent, some cheering, Austrians in border towns watched the motorized battalions. Nazis manned manned church bells and pealed a welcome to their "brother German" comrades.
Thousands of members of the "Austrian Legion," the 30,000 Nazis who fled to Germany after the bloody putsch of 1934, returned to Austria during the night.
Nazi anthems blared out over the government radio today. Two newspapers failed to appear - suppressed, everyone believed, and the Catholic Reichspost appeared with half its front page blanked by censors.
Nazi Storm Troops, with bayonets on rifles, occupied the head telegraph office; Nazis took charge of the official new agency; Nazis installed a censorship in a newspaper men's club. The United Press, which has its own offices, was not affected.
It was reported that Mayor Hans Schmidt had been arrested; that Guido Zernatoo. Fatherland Front leader and a member of the Schuschnigg Cabinet, and former Minister of Commerce Fritz Stockinger had fled to Czechoslovakia.
Most people went home early. The streets were almost empty a little after midnight.
This morning they came out of their homes to find the city metamorphosed. The Swastika flew from buildings. They asked in vain for the government-owned Wiener Zeitung and Czech-owned, largely Jewish-staffed Der Tag.
Housewives, tuning in the radio station to hear the woman's hour, "If Women Ask" heard instead the hastily substituted "Woman in the National Socialist State." It was reported that all Jews would soon be dismissed from broadcasting activities.
Police gave the Hitler salute to the Nazi Storm Troopers who paraded the streets. In the Jewish quarters women and children were terrified. United Press correspondents in the Jewish quarter saw Nazis spit in the faces of two young Jews and beat them last night while police looked on.
At Graz and other key towns Nazi Storm Troopers took over police powers. At Linz and other towns thousands of Nazis in uniform paraded with arms and torches.
In the streets, on the radio, in cafes, could be heard the Horst Wessel and other Nazi anthems.
"Heil Hitler," shouted the announcer when the official radio station closed last night.
Dr. Gebhard Alchinger, of the German official DNB News Agency staff here, took over the Austrian official press bureau.
It was said reorganization of Austrian police along German lines would be begun immediately.
Distribution of arms and ammunition to S.S. and S.A. men was started at the Chancellory at 8 o'clock this morning. Many of the S.S. men were without uniforms, but they were sent out on police duty.
Chosen as S.S. men were a great number of Austrian Nazis who have served prison terms for Nazi activities.
Schuschnigg consulted President Miklas, who, it was said, urged him to remain in office and resist as best he could, but to retreat in face of major force. Schuschnigg refused and resigned.
In a farewell radio speech he said: "We yield to violence," and told of an ultimatum under which "German troops would march into Austria."
Schuschnigg ordered the army not to resist the Germans when they came and named General Sigismond Czilhavsky, inspector general of the army and a Nazi sympathizer, to the supreme command.
Seyss-Inquart assumed office as "temporary Chancellor," as the Nazis officially termed it. He asked Hitler to send troops.
Major Hans Klausner, German Nazi agent in Austria, broadcast a Nazi a speech in Seyss-Inquart's behalf, saying:
"Austria has become a free Austria and is National Socialist. The new government, formed in conformity with the magnificent National Socialist movement, will employ all its faculties for the happiness and peace of the country."
Then the new Provisional Cabinet was announced, containing seven Nazis, three Nazi sympathizers and two non-Nazis:
Chancellor and Minister of Defense - Dr. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Nazi.
Vice Chancellor - Dr. Edmund Glaise-Hortenau, Nazi sympathizer.
Foreign - Wilheim Wolff, Nazi sympathizer.
Finance - Rudolf Meumayer, non-Nazi.
Justice - Frans Huber, Nazi and brother-in-law of Field Marshal Hermann Goering.
Education - Oswald Menghin, Nazi sympathizer.
Social Welfare - Dr. Hugo Jury, Nazi.
Agriculture - Anton Reinhaler, Nazi.
Commerce - Hans Fishbocck, Nazi.
Secretary of State for Public Security - Dr. Michael Skobl, non-Nazi.
Commissar of Public Security - Dr. Hans Kaltenbrunner, Nazi.
Political Education - Major Hugo Klausner, Nazi.
Today was officially a day of rejoicing and school children were given a holiday.