Posts Tagged ‘1914’

PAUL VON HINDENBURG (German) (1847 – 1934)

After being the figurehead of Germany’s WWI effort Hindenburg became as president of the Republic, the man who largely let the Nazis get power. After an orthodox army career he was retired in 1908 for criticizing the Kaiser’s handling of maneuvers. In August 1914 he was brought back to act as nominal chief to Ludendorff in defeating the Russians in East Prussia. Then onwards Ludendorff did the work and provided the ideas, but Hindenburg, besides taking the responsibility and credit, provided psychological ballast when Ludendorff got nerves. He was made Supreme Commander in 1916. After Ludendorff’s dismissal, Hindenburg insisted, in November 1918, on the Kaiser fleeing to Holland, to escape from his mutinous troops. He then led the army home and retired. But in 1924 he was induced to become President and remained loyal to the Republic until in March 1930. He was persuaded by his son Oscar, General Von Schleicher and others to introduce rule by emergency decree, under BrĂ¼ning, as Chancellor. Two years later the same influences persuaded the old gentlemen to replace BrĂ¼ning by the less democratic Papen, who proved to be a failure. He was ousted by Schleicher, but revenged himself by overcoming Hindenburg’s distaste for Hitler, who was thus made Chancellor in 1939. This attempt to replace the democratic Weimar Republic with the restoration of authoritarian Prussian ideals ended in the destruction of the Germany he valued.
Trivia: He was ashamed about his mother’s non-aristocratic background that never even mentioned her name in his memoirs. He was a direct descendent of Martin Luther.

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