On the 9 March 1938, in a desperate act, Schuschnigg announced a referendum whereby the Austrian people would decide for themselves if they wanted to be a part of Hitler's Germany. Hitler was furious. If the Austrians voted against joining Germany his excuse for invasion would be ruined.
Hitler told his generals to prepare for the invasion of Austria. He ordered Schuschnigg to call off the referendum. Knowing he would receive no help from Italy, and that France and Britain would not interfere in Hitler's plans, Schuschnigg conceded. He called off the referendum and resigned.
The Nazi-Austrian Interior Minister, Seyss-Inquart, was ordered by Hitler to ask for German help in restoring order in Austria.
Hitler reassured Czechoslovakia that they had nothing to fear.
German troops marched into Austria unopposed. Hitler now had control of Austria. A month later, Hitler held a referendum on whether Austria should be reunited with Germany.
The result showed that 99.7% of voters approved of German control of their country.