Author: Piihu Pandey
Germany had lost in the First World War leaving the country in a devastated situation. This had a major impact on both Germany and more importantly Hitler, it made Hitler furious. He refused to believe that his country had given up so easily and blamed the government, Weimar republic for such a wrong and corrupted decision.
Weimar Republic was already failing and did not hold much importance in the reichstag. Hitler was determined to make his way in the politics, he believed that with his extreme ideas and suggestions, Germany would rise up again. In this process, how important was Von Papen’s role for Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in 1933?
Germany was dealing with economic crisis in the 1920s, this included the Great Depression and Hyperinflation where the currencies printed, worth nothing and had no value. You could not even buy a loaf of bread or cup of coffee. Germany was appointed to pay reparations to the allies which was impossible.
Hitler took advantage of the situation. He was an amazing speaker and had the power to influence people and convince them of his point. in the 20s and 30s Hitler had given many speeches in the country, although Hitler and his team failed in many of their tries, Hitler’s comeback after the Munich putsch had a large Impact on Germany.
During his time in jail, Hitler has planned what he is going to do with the country, he even wrote his own book ‘Mein Kampf’ or ‘My Struggle’ in which he present his irrational ideas on how he would like to control the country. In his 25 point programme or the NSDAP, Hitler reached out to many civilians in the country, this included: The capitalists (nationalists) anti-communists, people who were unemployed or even farmers.
As few years passed, Hitler had gained many supporters and wanted to be the chancellor of Germany. However, as President Hindenburg was very well aware of his cunning ways of performing tasks, he did not want him to be the Chancellor.
Before appointing Von Papen in 1932, Bruening had been the chancellor of Germany. However, he had failed in completing his task and was replaced by Von Papen who worked under Von Schiller as a ‘puppet chancellor’. Due to a coalition government and weak Weimar republic, in spite of Papen having a high status, he was not much familiarised with politics and thus failed to gather supporters and maintain his position in the Reichstag and eventually had to resign.
He tried asking Hitler for support, seeing that Hitler was the largest party. Hitler, having different political ideas compared to papen’s, decided to keep distance from him. After witnessing an another failed attempt, Hindenburg replaced Papen with Van Schiller hoping to see a difference in the country. Due to the previous arguments between Papen and schiller on how to rule the country the relationship between the two had strain.
Schiller tried his best to control the situation and held multiple secret meetings in order to split the Nazi Party. Von Papen was extremely unhappy with his ideas and approached Hitler for assistance. He had reported to him about everything that schiller was doing in to defeat the Nazi party.
Hitler was not happy, he made a deal with Papen to work together with him and urge President Hindenburg to make him the chancellor After so many failed attempts, Hindenburg approached to Hitler, finally accepting his demand and appointing him to be Germany’s Chancellor.
However, there was one condition, Von papen was to become the Vice chancellor and any laws or rule must go through President Hindenburg in order to make sure that Hitler Was under control. They were sure that both of them can manipulate him. Soon after the reichstag fire, enabling act, one party rule and the Night Of The long Knives Hitler became the Fuhrer of Germany and there was nothing no one could do to stop him.
Von Papen had played a major and important role in appointing Hitler as the Chancellor of Germany. Papen’s decision of approaching Hitler for revenge was the most ridiculous decision Papen had made. He was blind in anger and revenge which made him follow the path of betrayal.
Papen made it easier for Hitler in reaching his demands, as Papen had close relations with Hindenburg, Hitler obviously knew how to manipulate Papen and Hindenburg to appoint him as the Chancellor. If Papen had supported Schiller, there might had been a chance where The Nazi Party could have been defeated.
Another mistake of Papen was that even though he knew that Hitler was an extremist, he believed that he could be under control. How could Papen be so sure after the incident of Munich putsch? Or being familiar with his ‘out of the world ideas’. This one wrong act and decision of Papen made it possible for Hitler to become the Chancellor of Germany and as they also failed to keep Hitler under control and soon later, Hitler became the Fuhrer.
If Papen would have been smarter and had not leak information to Hitler, he might not have been the chancellor. In this situation, Papen made it possible for Hitler to become the chancellor, if he had not interrupted, it might have not been this easy for him in the first place.
Considering both side of the views, It would not have been impossible for Hitler to become the Chancellor Of Germany without Von Papen’s interference. Hitler was a wonderful speaker and was very manipulative. He had won many seats in the reichstag in the year 1933 and almost won against Hindenburg, lost with one seat.
He had many supporters from businessmen, farmer and local civilians. His ideas attracted many people and made them believe that this will make Germany Great again, Hitler not only decreased the unemployment rate but also provided cars, houses and gardens for majority of the Germans with Aryan blood.
Although it may have taken a longer time, he would have become the Chancellor anyway. However, I still believe that due to the unnecessary interruption of Von Papen in this whole situation, it gave Hitler the perfect chance to manipulate Hindenburg and Schiller.
He got schiller killed in ‘The Night of the long knives’ and became the dictator of Germany, just after Hindenburg passed away. He knew how to get opportunity even in worst of the situations. However, Von papen still played a major role in appointing Hitler as the Chancellor by speeding up the entire process.
Overall, no one could have stopped Hitler in achieving his demands, there were many mistakes that happened and it was impossible to undo them. Starting from when Hitler decided to nullify the Treaty Of Versailles, wrong decision of Papen and Hindenburg or the Policy of appeasement done by Britain and France.
Each of this event played significant importance in Hitler’s life. Becoming the chancellor and Fuhrer of the country made him abuse his power, he was overconfident blindly assumed that no one would stop him. His ‘Charisma’ worked, but not everything lasts forever and everything must come to an end. Similarly, Hitler knew he had failed after the invasion of Poland done on September one 1939, which caused the World War Two.
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Thanks for the explanation. I’m reading “Nazi Billionaires” by David de Jong and wanted more details about this man who may have very well enabled Hitler. I agree with you that he would have eventually made it to power anyways, but it would have taken much longer and perhaps less harm and genocide would have occurred.