Miroslav Klose made history in Munich and helped Germany put one foot in Brazil in the process.
The Lazio striker's 33rd-minute goal was his 68th in German colours and took
him level with Gerd Muller as the country's all-time leading scorer.
It was a memorable enough moment in isolation but the goal, added to Toni
Kroos' second-half goal, ensured Germany moved on to 19 points in qualifying
Austria had been five points behind their rivals prior to kick-off but now trail by eight, with second spot in the group - with three games to go - in the
hands of Sweden.
Only something catastrophic will deny Germany now and, with Klose as potent now as he was when he scored on his debut against Albania in 2001, the signs are promising.
Germany had found the going somewhat tough before Klose's intervention, having to survive an early chance which fell to Emanuel Pogatetz.
The defender headed over, though, and Germany grew after that, with Klose hitting wide and then Sami Khedira doing the same.
The pressure was gradually increased and Robert Almer had to perform a brilliant double save to keep out first Marco Reus and then then Klose on the
rebound with a header. Klose's magical moment arrived not long after that, taking in - as he has done
for so many goals - a pass from Thomas Muller before doing the rest.
The mood in the stadium was naturally euphoric as a result of the frenzied celebrations which followed, but David Alaba nearly killed it with a low strike
which Manuel Neuer dealt with.
Kroos would make sure any nerves quickly disappeared after the break, though, as he rattled in a second from 25 yards.
Muller then embarked on a duel with Almer who twice denied him from close range, with Austria's efforts boiling down to a hit from Julian Baumgartlinger.
Muller would not be denied, though, and two minutes from the end he took in a pass from Benedikt Howedes before crowning a memorable night in the German capital.