After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the First World War, the majority of the German speaking people in Austria wanted to unite with the new German Republic. However, this was forbidden by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
Demands for the union (Anschluss) of Austria and Germany increased after Adolf Hitler became German Chancellor. In February, 1938, Hitler invited Kurt von Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor, to meet him at Berchtesgarden. Hitler demanded concessions for the Austrian Nazi Party. Schuschnigg refused and after resigning was replaced by Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the leader of the Austrian Nazi Party. On 13th March, Seyss-Inquart invited the German Army to occupy Austria and proclaimed union with Germany.