From invasions to murder

A 1938 map of Europe highlighting Germany and Austria prior to the Anschluss

"Today I will once more be a prophet. If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevisation of the earth and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."

Hitler's Speech to the Reichstag, 30 January1939.


On 13 March 1938 Hitler’s army marched into Austria. The anti-Jewish laws, which the Germans had introduced in Germany now also applied to Austria. The 200,000 Jews of Austria were under threat with many thousands trying to escape.

At this stage, having removed all Jewish influence and participation from life in Germany, the Nazis wanted the Jews to leave German soil. By the end of the war three quarters of German Jews and two thirds of Austrian Jews had survived because they had found countries to take them in.

In the second week of July 1938 an international conference was held at Evian in France. Thirty-two countries sent delegates to discuss the Jewish refugee issue. The outcome was not a rescue plan. The Nazis realised that from that point on the world would not provide any help for the Jews. 

On 30 January 1939 Hitler had made a speech to the German Parliament. He had warned that if there was to be a world war, then it would be the fault of the Jews; the Jews, therefore, would be destroyed.