Background: The Nazis moved fast when it came to propaganda, extending their reach into every area of life. On 12 March 1938 Nazi forces marched into Austria. A few weeks later the Austrian publication for those interested in traditional costumes ran this article welcoming the event.
The source: “Heil Alldeutschland!” Österr. Gebirgs- und Volkstrachten-Zeitung, April 1938, p. 26. The full issue is available on ANNO, a project by the Austrians to digitize newspapers.
Austria has joined the German Reich, finding its way “home in the Reich,” which it had remained part of over its thousand-year history.
When Kaiser Franz laid down the imperial German crown under Napoleon’s pressure, Germany suffered its deepest degradation. After the Battle of Nations at Leipzig the German tribes wanted to unite to form a new great Reich, but the nobility stood in the way, the same south-German nobility who along with France formed the Rhine Federation against Austria and Prussia. German student fraternities were founded, the black-red-gold flag unfurled, and for the first time the whole people was seized with thoughts about a greater Germany. The police, however, beat down the idea of national freedom in every province.
The German tribes stood together for a second time after the Revolution of 1848. Germany’s best minds met during the Frankfurt Parliament. The black-red-gold flag again become the symbol of German unity. But the German nobility failed yet again and put their private interests ahead of the national good. The conflict between the nobility great so great that the German question finally had to be solved with “blood and iron,” and after the battle of Königgratz Austria had to leave the German federation. Long years of peace followed until the World War interrupted the outward splendor and brought back a period of national impotence. The German nobility was chased out and German national sentiments grew. In private gatherings some Austrian provinces affirmed with overwhelming majorities a desire to join the German Reich. Yet the great age found a weak generation. Jewry and Jewish lackeys used foreign currency and moneybags to shove aside the people’s will.
Finally came the unprecedented spiritual awakening of the whole German people. Long hidden wells of the German spirit were again opened and state borders were seen as the work of men, whereas the living stream of common blood demanded its natural justice. A new morality broke out and the terrible and limited desires of self-interest had to give way to the good of the whole people. An unprecedented source of strength opened up, which united the strength of will of each individual into a powerful river of strength of the whole, and the dreadful division between the interests of the state and those of the people gave way to inner clarity and truth.
Those of us interested in traditional costumes welcome the transformation of our ethnic and governmental relations with our whole hearts. We support the new order with our entire souls and with all our strength. Our decades-long support of traditional customs was a true national task. We know that our Führer Adolf Hitler is a patron of traditional costumes. His eyes glow when he receives flowers from the hands of women wearing traditional costumes on the Bückeberg when he is surrounded by traditional costumes. The movement for traditional costumes has been given a great boost by his leadership. Our Reich federation will now be incorporated into the German Labor Front in the NS-Community Kraft durch Freude. We will become a new Gau within the German traditional costume system and our festive gatherings will become those of the whole German people.
We greet our Führer, we greet our common German fatherland! Heil Hitler!
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