12.3.1938, 5 Spittelwiese
On the day of the “Anschluss” the Nazis take over the Gutenberg Printing Company and change its name to “NS-Druckerei und Verlag Linz [NS Printing and Publishing House Linz]”. On the 13th of March the first edition of the Nazi propaganda paper “Arbeitersturm [Workers’ Storm]” is published.
The “Arbeitersturm [Workers’ Storm]” was the first new Nazi paper to be founded after the “Anschluss” and defined itself as an “activist newspaper for the National Socialist workers and employees of German Austria”. Immediately after the “Anschluss”, Nazi propaganda targeted workers in an effort to win them to the cause.
The latter found themselves in a contradictory position. On the one hand, workers’ movements regarded themselves as “anti-fascist”, while on the other no small number of workers joined the Nazis and some of them were prominent. One important contributory factor was the political oppression they had suffered in common under the “corporatestate” dictatorship. Before March 1938 came to an end, highly-placed Nazis, always accompanied by journalists, visited the socially deprived areas of Linz and promised the workers prompt help. The “Arbeitersturm” also announced that “party comrade Göring will make sure that, in the shortest possible time, there will be no unemployment in Austria”.
In addition, social democrats who had been dismissed from the civil service after the uprising in February 1934 and the following ban on the Social Democratic Party, were demonstrably reinstated. Those who did not accept the “offer” to change sides were brutally persecuted as political opponents.