7 – The Rape of Austria
Although the Second World War really begins with the invasion of Poland, Germany’s expansion began earlier with the annexation of Austria. This event, which Churchill described as “the rape of Austria,” was the first real glimpse of what Hitler intended for Europe. This episode looks at how this annexation took place and what it meant.
The recommended audiobook for this episode is:
The History of the Second World War, Volume 1 – The Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill
In the Second World War, every bond between man and man was to perish. Crimes were committed by the Hitler regime that find no equal in scale and wickedness with any that have darkened the human record.
It was a simple policy to keep Germany disarmed after the struggle of the First World War and the Victors adequately armed in vigilance. But errors were soon made. The tragedy of America’s failure to enter the League of Nations; the weakness and lack of resolution of the democracies to confront the growing strength, reach, and ambition of the fascist dictators in Germany, Italy, and Japan; the economic turmoil that allowed these events to spark and build.
In this first volume it is all too easy to see and understand how this immense tragedy could have been avoided, how the malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous. We shall hear how the counsels of prudence and restraint became the prime agents of mortal danger in this Gathering Storm. The overview is read by Winston S Churchill, MP, and the volume narrated by Michael Jayston.
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