What did the German conservatives who supported Hitler in 1933 expect to happen after Hindenburg's death?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#1
What struck me is the complete eagerness and willingness of German conservatives such as Franz von Papen and Alfred Hugenberg to support Adolf Hitler in 1933 in the hopes that they would be able to control him. We ultimately know that Hitler successfully outmaneuvered them and seized absolute power for himself after President Hindenburg's death in 1934. In turn, this motivated me to ask this question:

What exactly did the German conservatives who supported Hitler in 1933 expect to happen after Hindenburg's death?

The fact that Hindenburg was already 85 years old and in poor health in 1932 would suggest that people would be aware of the possibility that he might not survive an additional seven-year term as Germany's President--a term that would have ended in 1939, when Hindenburg would have been 91. In turn, this raises the question of what exactly non-Nazi German conservatives thought was going to happen to Germany in the event that Hindenburg would have died sometime before his (1932-1939) term would have ended.

Anyway, does anyone have any thoughts and/or relevant information in regards to this?
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,485
Dispargum
#2
I thought von Papen hated Hitler and only supported him as chancellor because: 1) no one else could form a working government, and 2) von Papen thought he could control Hitler by filling the cabinet with non-Nazis.

I assume everyone thought there would be another president chosen after Hindenburg. No one imagined Hitler would assume the powers of both the president and the chancellor at the same time.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#3
I thought von Papen hated Hitler and only supported him as chancellor because: 1) no one else could form a working government, and 2) von Papen thought he could control Hitler by filling the cabinet with non-Nazis.

I assume everyone thought there would be another president chosen after Hindenburg. No one imagined Hitler would assume the powers of both the president and the chancellor at the same time.
I don't know if Papen hated Hitler (Hindenburg does appear to have hated Hitler, or at least viewed him as an Austrian has-been), but Yes, Papen does appear to have thought that he could control Hitler as a result of the mostly non-Nazi composition of the German Cabinet.

Also, Yes, technically speaking, AFAIK, the Nazis and Communists combined had a majority of the total seats in the German Reichstag and thus it would have been impossible to form a governing coalition without one of these two parties. However, here's the catch: Germany could have been continued to be ruled by emergency decrees from the German President without a working majority in the Reichstag. AFAIK, this is what non-Nazi German governments between 1930 and 1933 all did. This could have been continued to be done had Germany's conservatives desired it; they didn't have to create a governing coalition with the Nazis.

In addition, how exactly were German conservatives going to ensure that the offices of President and Chancellor won't get merged after Hindenburg's death? I mean, they could have at least spoken out against this in real life but did not do so.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,350
#4
They expect to set up some sort of dictatorship /authoritarian government but one where there was more ollbaroation across a range of consevative/reactionary groups.

Papen was out to revenge himself on Schieler. Papen actually spoke out agianst Hitler, shortly after on night of the long knives his secretaries were murdred.m Papen put undre house arrest. One of the abortive plans for intervention in Austria involved killing Papen (who was appointed Ambassador) in a false flag excuse for invasion. Hirtler did a deal with the Army and cleared the deck with night of the long Knives. after that it was plain, anyone who wanted to step out of line would be killed.
 

stevev

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Apr 2017
2,790
Las Vegas, NV USA
#5
Hindenburg died in August 1934. By this time Hitler had established himself as dictator. Hindenburg was ineffective after the elections of March 1933. The NSDAP was in full control of most power centers. Hitler's main worry was the SA under Ernst Röhm. Hitler still did not have full control of the Army who were suspicious of the SA as troublemakers. With the Night of the Long Knives in July,1934, Hitler essentially wiped out the leadership of the SA and incorporated it into the SS. His taking over as Head of State the following month was noticed more outside of Germany, but really was a formality.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#6
They expect to set up some sort of dictatorship /authoritarian government but one where there was more ollbaroation across a range of consevative/reactionary groups.
How exactly were they going to ensure this after Hindenburg's death, though?

Papen was out to revenge himself on Schieler.
Yep.

Papen actually spoke out agianst Hitler, shortly after on night of the long knives his secretaries were murdred.m Papen put undre house arrest.
Papen should have been more forceful and tried speaking directly to Hindenburg about what would happen after Hindenburg's death. Some plans should have been made so that Hitler simply couldn't seize total power afterwards.

One of the abortive plans for intervention in Austria involved killing Papen (who was appointed Ambassador) in a false flag excuse for invasion. Hirtler did a deal with the Army and cleared the deck with night of the long Knives. after that it was plain, anyone who wanted to step out of line would be killed.
Why exactly did the German Army agree to give Hitler total power? I mean, sure, they wanted to rearm and all that, but couldn't they have still done this under a conservative but non-Nazi German government?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,350
#7
How exactly were they going to ensure this after Hindenburg's death, though?
I'm not left with impression that those opertaing were the sharpest pencils in the box. They really did not graps the concept that Nazi violence coudl be turned against any one the Nazi's did not agree with not just the mutally agreed targets on the left.

Papen should have been more forceful and tried speaking directly to Hindenburg about what would happen after Hindenburg's death. Some plans should have been made so that Hitler simply couldn't seize total power afterwards.
Hindenburg was in seclusion at his country estate with Hitler controlling who was allowed to see him (IIRC)

Why exactly did the German Army agree to give Hitler total power? I mean, sure, they wanted to rearm and all that, but couldn't they have still done this under a conservative but non-Nazi German government?
Hitler had a meeteeing with teh Army before the Night of Long Knives here a worlking relationship was worked out, they would swear perosnal loyalty to Hitler, Hitler remove teh threat of the SA takenng over the armed forces (the SA were a much bigger organization, the Army was pretty paraniod about it, Rohm was certiainly expecting to take ove the Army in some form ). The Amry may have agreed to Schlicher's murder as part of this.

Ernst Röhm - Wikipedia
"On 11 April 1934, Hitler met with German military leaders on the ship Deutschland. By that time, he knew President Paul von Hindenburg would likely die before the end of the year. Hitler informed the army hierarchy of Hindenburg's declining health and proposed that the Reichswehr support him as Hindenburg's successor. In exchange, he offered to reduce the SA, suppress Röhm's ambitions, and guarantee the Reichswehr would be Germany's only military force. According to war correspondent William L. Shirer, Hitler also promised to expand the army and navy.[7"]

Blomberg was another key player who hated Schlicher, and a key figure in teh Amry going across to Hitler.

Werner von Blomberg - Wikipedia
"In his reports to Hindenburg, Blomberg wrote that his arch-rival Schleicher's attempts to create the Wehrstaat had clearly failed, and that Germany needed a new approach to forming the Wehrstaat.[14] By late January 1933, it was clear that the Schleicher government could only stay in power by proclaiming martial law and by authorizing the Reichswehr to crush popular opposition. In doing so, the military would have to kill hundreds, if not thousands of German civilians; any régime established in this way could never expect to build the national consensus necessary to create the Wehrstaat.[15] The military had decided that Hitler alone was capable of peacefully creating the national consensus that would allow the creation of the Wehrstaat, and thus the military successfully brought pressure on Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor.[15] Blomberg served as one of the main channels by which the Reichswehr informed Hindenburg of their wish to see Hitler become Chancellor.[citation needed]

In late January 1933, President Hindenburg - without informing the chancellor, Schleicher, or the army commander, General Kurt von Hammerstein - recalled Blomberg from the World Disarmament Conference to return to Berlin.[16] Upon learning of this, Schleicher guessed correctly that the order to recall Blomberg to Berlin meant his own government was doomed.[16] When Blomberg arrived at the railroad station in Berlin on 28 January 1933, he was met by two officers, Adolf-Friedrich Kuntzen and Oskar von Hindenburg, adjutant and son of President Hindenburg. Kuntzen had orders from Hammerstein for Blomberg to report at once to the Defence Ministry, while Oskar von Hindenburg had orders for Blomberg to report directly to the Reichspräsidentenpalais [de] (presidential palace).[17]

Over and despite Kuntzen's protests, Blomberg chose to go with Hindenburg to meet the president, who swore him in as defence minister.[17] This was done in a manner contrary to the Weimar constitution, under which the president could only swear in a minister after receiving the advice of the chancellor. Hindenburg had not consulted Schleicher about his wish to see Blomberg replace him as defence minister because in late January 1933, there were wild (and untrue) rumours circulating in Berlin that Schleicher was planning to stage a putsch.[18] To counter alleged plans of a putsch by Schleicher, Hindenburg wanted to remove Schleicher as defence minister as soon as possible.[18]

Two days later, on 30 January 1933, Hindenburg swore in Adolf Hitler as Chancellor, after telling him that Blomberg was to be his defence minister regardless of his wishes. Hitler for his part welcomed and accepted Blomberg. Hitler told Blomberg, much to his satisfaction, that he wanted the Army to continue to be the main military force of the Reich."
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,350
#8
It's one on uninstended consequence of the 100,000 man army limitation of the treaty of versallies.

The Amry looked on the paramilitaries as the SA defacto semi-trained reserve force. So toleration of armed paramiltaries became part of the Wiemar republic

The Army actually feared the SA, which was quite a number of times bigger. The French wewre worried about the German Military, Prussian militariasm and all that. But the much redcuced army creted somewhat of a p[ower vacumm, and the was so Small that if chllanged it wasn;t able to just over awe and over power position oppoistion. The SPD turned to the Frei Korps (precusor to the arnedd paramilitaries) sort of legitmizsing them with threatened witha KPD uprising.
 
Apr 2014
338
Istanbul Turkey
#9
It was basically fear of Communism , social and economic crisis of Great Depression especially rising unemployment (German Communist Party in political non governence was gaining strength , an ultimate fear for conservatives) and a vain nostalgia to create socia political order of Second German Reich -Kaiser Reich- that pushed arch conservative leaders like Papen , Oscar Von Hindenburg (Paul Von Hindenburg's son and advisor) and Kurt Schleicher as well as Blomberg to ally themselves with Nazis for 1933 election and coalition goverment afterwards. Papen assumed that after a few months Hitler would be unable to govern and as coalition partner he would be back as Chancellor. Meanwhile Hitler could be motivated , isolated and managed by conservatives in new goverment.
 
Jul 2018
482
Hong Kong
#10
Indeed, the Weimar Republic was secretly proceeding the rearmament by all sorts of stealth channels — using corporations set up at the foreign countries for weapon design and production, disguising the military department with "non-military department", sending officers to foreign countries as "military advisors" for gathering information and establishing military cooperation with other countries.

Adolf Hitler pretty much "inherited" the Weimar era's policy. He just publicized, materialized and escalated it to full-scale.
 
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