Fourth NAZI Referendum: The Anschluss / New Recichstag (April 1938)

NAZI referendum
Figure 1.--This Agfa Broviar photo shows Hitler Youth children, both Jungmädel girls and Jungvolk boys boarding a small bus. The occassion is the Fourth NAZI Referendum. On the back a typewritten note (meaning it was probably taken by the Propagabda Ministry) reads, "Wahltag 1∙ April 1938, Propagandafahrt mit Jungmädel und Jungvolk nach Schliesssung [correct spelling Schließung] der Abstimmungsräume durch Bad Kissingen. Alle wollen mitfahren." This means something like "Election Day April 1 1938. Propaganda ride through Bad Kissingen with Jungmädel and Jungvolk (boys and girls in the Hitler Youth junior units) after closing of the election halls. Everyone wants to ride." The correct German way to spell sz is ß: Schließung. In order to keep the sharp s- sound it is allowed to add an s where a ß is not available. But it is not allowed to have three sss in one word. Bad Kissingen is a popular spa (nelth resort) town in the Bavarian region of Lower Franconia. It islocate south of the Rhön Mountains on the Saale River. This seems to be a kind of NAZI civics lesson. Most of the children are Jungmädel, the junior BDM division, but there are a few Jubgvolk boys as well. The photograph is a little unusual because it is a mixed gender group and because the HJ did not usually have such nice transport. Notice the SA man with them. The other uniformed man is probably the driver. Notice the use of the term propaganda by the Germans. For the Germans at the time, propaganda did not have the same sinister meaning it now has. It had more the meaning of information, perhaps politically important infomation.

The fourth and last NAZI referendum was held to ratify the Austrian Anschluss (March 1938). The vote was taken the following month (April 10, 1938). This was an action widely approved in both Austria and Germany. It was another step taken in defiance of the Vesailles Treaty which had prohibited Austrian union with Germany. The German press reported that 99 percent of registered voters voted "Ja" on that question. The refendum was held throughout the reich, but even if held just in Austria probbly would have been approved. The Referendum was held in conjunction with a Reichstag election. There was, however, no choice of candidates. Rather the electorate by voting 'Ja' simply approved a list of NAZI candidates drawn up by the government. [Suksi, p. 101.] These would be the final elections for the 813 Reichstag deputies during the NAZI era. The purpose of the referendum was to demonstrte public support for adding Austria, now Ostmark, to the Rich. Axtually there were subsequent elections for 41 seats were in the annexed Sudetenland (December 1938). NAZI candidates and 'guests' officially received 97 percent of the votes. The new Reichstag elected (actually approving their appointment) was the last one for years. It convened for the first time (January 30, 1939). They elected a presidium headed by incumbent President of the Reichstag -- Hermann Göring. Hitler was not chosen because like Kaiser Wilhelm and PresudentbHindenerg he wantd to maintain an ura as being above politics. It convened only seven nore times and never in the Richstag building which ws never repired after the fire. The last meeting was July 26, 1942. Hitler when the Sixth Army dieing in Stalingrad postponed further elections for a new Reichstag until after the war (January 25, 1943).


Suksi, Markku. Brining in the People: A Comparison of Constitutional Forms and Practices (Nijhoff).


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Created: 8:55 PM 5/15/2015
Last updated: 12:54 AM 5/16/2015