On 12 March, Hitler’s troops march into Austria. The annexation of the country by Germany, known as the „Anschluss“ has immediate consequences for the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. Franz Schütz, Organ Professor at the Academy for Music and the Performing Arts, suddenly takes operational control of the Gesellschaft at the behest of the NSDAP (commonly known as the Nazi Party). The management team are removed – partly in response to their public support for an independent Austria at the end of February. An authoritarian management team is imposed, eventually taking the name “Arbeitsbeirat” (“Works council”). The Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde is amalgamated within the “Staatstheater- und Bühnenakademie” (“State Theatre and Stage Academy”). The society retains its name and, outwardly, it seems as though nothing has changed. In fact, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde as an independent and autonomous institution has ceased to exist.
The renowned musicologist Karl Geiringer, is removed “on racial grounds” as curator of the Gesellschaft and emigrates to England and thence to the USA. An order to remove works by Jewish composers and authors from the archive, library and collections of the Musikverein is not implemented. The Musikverein’s refusal takes place with the tacit approval of Franz Schütz.
Oswald Kabasta, , concert director of the Gesellschaft since 1933, becomes chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. Wilhelm Furtwängler once again becomes concert director in Vienna.