LETTER : When Hitler invaded Austria

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From Dr Annemarie D. Tupper

Sir: Jojo Moyes' throwaway remark about Austria "which joined the side of Nazi Germany in the Second World War" shows a sad distortion and neglect of historical facts ("Anniversary revives painful memories in Europe", 9 May).

Austria was invaded by Hitler's troops, like the rest of the world, unprepared and unable to offer effective resistance on its own. The Munich Agreement, tacitly accepting the occupation of Austria and the Sudetenland, and presented by Neville Chamberlain as a diplomatic triumph of "Peace in our time", was no help to these countries. It indubitably bought time for the Allies to mobilise for total war and for Hitler to consolidate his "Third Reich".

When war was eventually declared, in September 1939, Austria had been well and truly integrated, with all that implied, including brutal suppression of opposition activists, "Aryanisation" of schools, public services and businesses, and persecution of Jews and other minorities.

I know this - I was there.

Yours sincerely,


London, SW20

10 May