"Nineteen months would elapse from the day Hitler grabbed control of the German Army until the actual start of World War II. During those months, Hitler engaged in a kind of gangster diplomacy in which he bluffed, bullied, threatened, and lied to various European leaders in order to expand the borders of his Reich.
His very first victim was Dr. Kurt von Schuschnigg, Chancellor of Austria, a country being torn apart from within by Nazi agitators and also feeling threatened from the outside by Germany's newfound military strength. Hoping for some sort of peaceful settlement with Hitler, Schuschnigg agreed to a face-to-face meeting at Berchtesgaden. The meeting was arraigned by Franz von Papen, the former ambassador to Austria.
On the chilly winter morning of February 12, 1938, Schuschnigg's car was met at the German-Austrian border by Papen, who joined him for the ride up to Hitler's spectacular mountaintop retreat. Papen informed Schuschnigg that Hitler was in a very good mood this morning. But, Papen added, Hitler hoped that Schuschnigg wouldn't mind if three of Germany's top generals were also present during the day's discussion.
Schuschnigg was somewhat taken aback by this, but it was too late to change anything now. He arrived at the steps of Hitler's villa and was greeted by the Führer himself. Standing behind Hitler were the three generals; Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the High Command, Walter von Reichenau, Commander of Army troops along the German-Austrian border, and Air Force General Hugo Sperrle.
Hitler led Schuschnigg into his villa and up to the great hall on the second floor, a big room featuring a huge plate glass window with sweeping views of the Alps, and in the far distance, Austria itself. Schuschnigg, taking it all in, broke the ice with a little small talk about the view. But Hitler cut him right off. "We did not gather here to speak of the fine view or the weather!"
Thus began two hours of hell in which the quiet-spoken Austrian Chancellor was lambasted without mercy by the Führer. "You have done everything to avoid a friendly policy!" Hitler yelled. "The whole history of Austria is just one uninterrupted act of high treason...And I can tell you right now, Herr Schuschnigg, that I am absolutely determined to make an end of this. The German Reich is one of the great powers, and nobody will raise his voice if it settles its border problems."
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Does this sound like the current news about Russia.....? This isn't a political Blog, so I am not offering any opinions about what is wrong or right... I am just reminding what happened once before....