Hindenburg (1847-1934), Paul von
Hindenburg came from an aristocratic Prussian family. Credited with outstanding victories during World War I, Hindenburg retired in Hanover. At the time, the German population refused to admit that Germany had been defeated and, because of that, it accepted more easily the Stab-in-the-Back theory spread by Ludendorff and Hindenburg. At the second run of the elections of 1925, he was elected President with only 3 % more than his opponent, the catholic Wilhelm Marx. On March 28, 1930, he appointed Brüning as Chancellor without referring to the parliament. In fact, by that time, the government issued decrees often ignoring the parliament. On April 10, 1932, he was reelected again at the second run thanks to the report of the socialist votes. On May 30, 1932 he dismissed Brüning and his cabinet and appointed von Papen in his place. On November 17, 1932, von Papen resigned from his cabinet, victim of the conflict with von Schleicher but most of all of the fact that he could not face the strong opposition who rejected his anti-social policy. Von Schleicher replaced him but this time, Hindenburg considered him soon as too “social” and pushed him the way out while von Papen did not abandon the idea to come back to politics. Although Hindenburg had always seen Hitler as a Bohemian caporal and rejected him as Chancellor, Hindenburg eventually accepted to form a cabinet with Hitler as Chancellor and von Papen as Vice-Chancellor. Manipulated by Hitler when the Reichstag was burnt down, Hindenburg signed a decree which set up the legal dictatorship (February 28, 1933). Hindenburg died on August 2, 1934 in Neudeck, the family domain, situated near Gdansk. His death allowed Hitler to accumulate the functions of Chancellor and Head of state.
LUDWIG, E., 1935, Hindenburg ou la Révolution manquée. Paris: Plon.
DORPALEN, A., 1966, Hindenburg in der Geschichte der Weimarer Republik. Leber: Frankfurt am Main.