“I will never risk transferring the power of government to a bohemian
corporal and the new National Socialist party”. The above thoughts by
president Hindenburg were voiced only two months before he appointed
Adolph Hitler, the leader of the Nazis, as Chancellor of Germany.
Although seemingly strong-minded, the old field Marshall finally gave
in to political pressures when in 1933, the more-than-60 %
anti-parliamentary Reichstag and hampering economic problems solely
pointed at two frightening alternatives - a civil war and/or a
communist coup. The reasons for this 'ghaslty political blunder'
mostly stem from the never-ending Weimar crises, the NSDAP party
politics, and the scheming of Germany's economic and political elites.
There can be no doubt that the Weimar republic was born under
difficult circumstances, indeed in circumstances of defeat and
national humiliation. It's association with the the terms of
Versailles was a constant factor in the rhetoric of the right and
therefore prohibited the essential identification of the Germans with
democratic traditions. This, as a historian once exclaimed, was mainly
why the people remained prone to political volatility, and ready to
dismiss democracy at the first difficulty. Furthermore, 'article 48'
and 'absolute proportional representation' comprised andother
impediment to democratic means by dispensing the need for
parliamentary majorities and construction of coalitions which was
never easy, given the sheer multiplicity of parties with seats.
This inevitably forged an environment were problems and dicontent ran
rife. Not ev...
... middle of paper ...
...tful Nazi politics
and so built a strong support base. However, this was not enough, as
many other parties were largest in parliaments, yet they didnt
necessarily come to power. Speculations as to what would have happened
had Weimar ignored Hitler for a bit longer can never be answered. What
can be answered is that endless political instability,conservative
miscalculations and intrigue which culminated in early 1933 made up
the final, deciding stage, which brought Hitler to the presidential
palace on to be sworn in as Chancellor. And whilst outside echoed an
overture of 'Seig Heils' a telegram was being wired to the president
about his latest decision: «I prophesy to you this evil man will
plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on
our nation.» If only old Ludendorff was listened to earlier...
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