1938 German parliamentary election and referendum

Parliamentary elections were held in Germany (including recently annexed Austria) on 10 April 1938.[1] They were the final elections to the Reichstag during Nazi rule and took the form of a single-question referendum asking whether voters approved of a single list of Nazi and pro-Nazi guest candidates for the 813-member Reichstag as well as the recent annexation of Austria. Turnout in the election was officially 99.5% with 98.9% voting 'yes'.[2] In Austria official figures claimed 99.73% voted in favour with a turnout of 99.71%.

1938 German parliamentary election

← 1936 10 April 1938
4 December 1938
West 1949 →
East 1949 →

All 813 seats in the Reichstag
407 seats needed for a majority
Turnout99.50% Increase 0.5 pp
  Majority party
  Hitler portrait crop (colorized).jpg
Leader Adolf Hitler
Party NSDAP
Leader since 29 July 1921
Last election 741 seats, 98.80%
Seats won 813 (Sole legal party)
Seat change Increase72
Popular vote 48,751,587
Percentage 98.93%
Swing Increase0.13%

German Reichstag 1938.svg
Composition of the Reichstag, 1938

Chancellor before election

Adolf Hitler
NSDAP

Subsequent
Chancellor

Adolf Hitler
NSDAP

The elections were held largely to rally official support from the new Ostmark (Austrian) province, although further elections for 41 seats were held in the recently annexed Sudetenland on 4 December.[1] NSDAP candidates and "guests" officially received 97.32% of the votes.[3]

The recently completed Kraft durch Freude cruise ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff was anchored in international waters near the United Kingdom to serve as a floating polling station for German and Austrian citizens living in the UK. On 10 April 1938, 1,978 voters (including 806 Austrians) were ferried from Tilbury, east of London. Only ten voted against annexation.[4]

ResultsEdit

 
Ballot reading: "Do you approve of the reunification of Austria with the German Reich accomplished on 13 March 1938 and do you vote for the list of our Führer, Adolf Hitler?"

GermanyEdit

Party Votes % Seats
Nazi Party (including blank votes) 44,451,092 99.01 813
Against 443,023 0.91
Invalid 69,890 0.08
Total 44,964,005 100 813
Registered voters/turnout 45,149,952 99.59
Source: Direct Democracy

AustriaEdit

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

SudetenlandEdit

 
Ballot for the Sudeten election, carried out on 5 December after the annexation of the Sudetenland. It would be the last election under Nazi rule.
Party Votes % Seats
National Socialist German Workers' Party 2,464,681 98.68 41
Against 32,923 1.32
Invalid/blank votes
Total 2,497,604 100 41
Registered voters/turnout 2,532,863 98.90
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

AftermathEdit

The new Reichstag, the last of the German Reich, convened for the first time on 30 January 1939, electing a presidium headed by incumbent President of the Reichstag Hermann Göring. It convened only a further seven times, the last on 26 July 1942. On 25 January 1943, Hitler postponed elections for a new Reichstag until after the war, with the inaugural to take place after another electoral term, subsequently on 30 January 1947—by which point the body, and the Nazi state, had ceased to exist. They were the final elections held in a united Germany prior to 1990 after German reunification.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p762 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p779
  3. ^ Zimmermann, Volker: Die Sudetendeutschen im NS-Staat. Politik und Stimmung der Bevölkerung im Reichsgau Sudetenland (1938–1945). Essen 1999. ISBN 3-88474-770-3
  4. ^ "The Wilhelm Gustloff Story". www.wilhelmgustloffmuseum.com. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  5. ^ Max Domarus (2007) The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary, Bolchazy-Carducci, p292

External linksEdit