Austrian Anschluss referendum, 1938

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The ballot paper, with 'Yes' centred and much bigger than 'No'
Coat of arms of Austria.svg
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A referendum on the Anschluss with Germany was held in Austria on 10 April 1938,[1] alongside one in Germany.[2] Hitler easily secured popular support in an area he had already occupied a month earlier. The result was reported as 99.73% in favour,[3] with a 99.71% turnout.[4]


During the lead-up to the referendum, Hitler's campaign included anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic posters. This quickly won over the support of the Social Democratic Party of Austria, whose leader Karl Renner endorsed Hitler on 3 April. Campaign managers reported "no opposition to the referendum". Cardinal Theodor Innitzer also made his support public. [5]


The referendum question was:

Do you agree with the reunification of Austria with the German Reich that was enacted on 13 March 1938 and do you vote for the list of our leader Adolf Hitler?

Western media and some postwar accounts claim that the poll was rigged, but in fact there is no evidence that this was necessary.[6]

Choice Votes %
For 4,453,912 99.73
Against 11,929 0.27
Invalid/blank votes 5,777
Total 4,471,618 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,484,617 99.71
Source: Direct Democracy


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p176 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p762
  3. ^ Austria, 10 April 1938: Anschluss with Germany, Reichstag list Direct Democracy (German)
  4. ^ The propagandistic preparation for the referendum Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (German)
  5. ^ Bukey, Evan Burr (2000). Hitler's Austria : popular sentiment in the Nazi era, 1938-1945. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press. p. 36. ISBN 0807853631. 
  6. ^ Bukey 2000, p. 34