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Assess the impact of the role of Paul von Hindenburg in the period following World War 1 and prior to World War 2.

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Introduction

Assess the impact of the role of Paul von Hindenburg in the period following World War 1 and prior to World War 2 Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Hindenburg und Benechendorff was a German field marshal and right-wing politician. He was born into a Prussian Junker family in Posen, Prussia in 1847 being the eldest of three sons. His military interest was sparked at an early age when he attended two cadet schools in Wahlstatt and Berlin. He entered the Prussian Army and served in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and then in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71. His rank rose steadily as he was appointed to the general staff in 1878, by 1903 he had rose to the Commanding General of the Fourth Army in Magdeburg but in 1911 he retired from military service. He married a woman named Gertrud von Sperling in 1879 and had three children, one boy and two girls. They stayed stationed at Strettin. World War I On August the 22nd, 1914 he was recalled to active duty as Supreme Commander on the Eastern Front, as Commander of East Prussia. It was here that he led the Germans to victory against the much larger Russian forces in the Battle of Tannenberg. ...read more.

Middle

Hindenburg ran for office again in 1932, but this time, he was running against Adolf Hitler, Ernst Thaelmann (a communist) and Theodor Duesterberg (a candidate for the German Nationalist party whose campaign was ruined when Nazi's revealed that his grandfather was in fact a Jew). "To Hindenburg, a Protestant, a Prussian, a Conservative and a Monarchists went the support of the Socialists, the Trade Unions, the Catholics of Bruening's Centre Party and the remnants of the Liberal, democratic middle-class parties. To Hitler, a Catholic, an Austrian, a former tramp, a 'national socialists', a leader of the lower-middle-class mass, was rallied in addition to his own followers, the support of the upper-class Protestants of the north, the conservative Junker agrarians and a number of monarchists, including, at the last minute, the former Crown Prince himself. The confusion was further compounded by the entrance of two other candidates, neither of whom could hope to win but both of whom might poll enough votes to prevent either of the leading contestants from obtaining the absolute majority"3 Hitler's campaign was tireless as he flew from town to town, speaking at rallies and gaining support. Hitler threw himself into the campaign with furious energy, crisscrossing the country, addressing large crowds at scores of mass meetings and whipping them up into a state of frenzy...In this first campaign he harped on the misery ...read more.

Conclusion

It was evident in the previous election that the German people did not want a country run by political extremists, the left or right winged having both candidates being voted down. But with his declining health and oncoming senility, Hindenburg was unable to prevent the uprising of the Third Reich. It probably comes down to the fact that Hindenburg was too old and shouldn't have been put into the Presidency position for the second time. But all this did was give Hitler more time. He did receive 36.8% of the votes in the election, which was the second highest, so if Hindenburg had not been elected, then Hitler would have gained power in 1932 rather than 1934. Hitler was determined to gain power. At one stage Hitler was quoted as saying: "Hindenburg? He is 85 years old, I am 45. I can wait" Hindenburg proved himself to be a great military leader and a charismatic politician, working for the good of the people. It was unfortunate that at the most crucial time of his career he was unaware of what was going on. The period of time from 1932-34 was messy for the German government, and it wasn't helpful that Hindenburg was mentally incapable of making thorough judgments. This is how a man who was voted down by the people was eventually given the role of Fuehrer and lead the world into World War II. ...read more.

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