Germany Never Elected Hitler | BETWEEN 2 WARS I 1933 Part 1 of 3
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Germany Never Elected Hitler | BETWEEN 2 WARS I 1933 Part 1 of 3

October 15, 2019

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler, Führer
of the Nazi Party, walks out of the offices of German President Paul von Hindenburg with
tears in his eyes. He is greeted by a small crowd cheering and
saluting him with the Hitler Salute. When he gets into his car, he repeats; “we
did it, we did it.” Against all democratic principles, he has
been appointed Chancellor of the German Reich. It is the beginning of the downfall of Germany
and a prelude to tens of millions of deaths. Welcome to Between-2-Wars a chronological
summary of the interwar years, covering all facets of life, the uncertainty, hedonism,
and euphoria, and ultimately humanity’s descent into the darkness of the Second World War. I’m Indy Neidell. In our previous episode about German elections,
we left things off as Germany had once again managed to elect a parliament incapable of
selecting a government with majority support. Parts of the electorate had abandoned traditional
parties for the Communists on the extreme left or the Nazis on the outer right. Chancellor Franz von Papen of the Conservative
Zentrum party had convinced President Paul von Hindenburg to issue an emergency decree
making Papen dictator of Prussia. Hitler had snubbed Papen’s attempt to forge
a nazi-conservative coalition, and finally, in a showdown with the Reichstag, Hindenburg
and Papen dissolved parliament and called for new elections on November 4. Exciting stuff. While that election campaign starts, Papen
remains Chancellor by emergency decree and continues to court the NSDAP, the Nazis, for
a coalition. His Nazi counterpart and ally Gregor Strasser
was one of the first Nazi members of parliament and is now Reichsorganisationsleiter, General
Secretary of the party, the second most powerful Nazi after Hitler. Strasser is one of the last members of the
left NSDAP still in the party leadership. In the early days of the party, together with
his brother Otto Strasser, he had led a faction with outspoken anti-bourgeois, left-leaning
sympathies. In 1925 he even challenged Hitler’s leadership
over ideas about proposing Soviet-style land reforms. But Hitler, with support of the ultra-reactionary
party right wing defeats Strasser in a public showdown at the party leadership summit at
Bamberg in 1926. Hitler rails against the leftists, labeling
them Nationalbolsheviken, and decrying them as traitors to the Nazi cause. Strasser backs down, and it is here that Hitler
gets confirmed as the absolute leader of the party – the Führer. Despite Strasser’s loss and that his leftist
economic views have no real effect on the party anymore, he is appointed Reichspropagandaleiter,
Head of Propaganda. Together with his apprentice Joseph Goebbels
he now continues the campaign that will make the Nazis a real force in German politics. Now, by Goebbels’ had, by his own account,
already abandoned any sympathy for the left during the Bamberg showdown. But he bridges Strasser’s economic leftism
and Hitler’s ultra-racist positions by converging them around anti-semitism where their views
are already aligned anyway. Goebbels and Strasser now perfect the Nazi
racist, antisemitic newspeak where “Socialism” means “solidarity within the German race”
– “Bolshevik” is synonymous with “Jew” – “Bourgeoisie” indicates “Jewish middle class” – “Banker”
is “a Jew” – “Capitalism” is the “Jewish conspiracy of international finance” – and so on. The issue is not a new one in this the “National
Socialist German Workers Party.” And yet, Hitler opposes continued Socialist
sounding rhetoric at first, but Goebbels convinces him to play along. Not only is this instrumental in making the
NSDAP acceptable to former Socialists with Nationalist sympathies, but it also saves
Strasser from Hitler’s ire. And it’s a success, attracting huge amounts
of violent Socialist militants and activists dissatisfied with the floundering Communist
Party. Between 1925 and 1930, NSDAP membership grows
from 26,000 to 389,000. In May 1929, Strasser loses but survives yet
another showdown with Hitler when Strasser dares to propose entertaining the idea of
a coalition with the Social Democrats, or even the Communists for a state government
in Saxony. This episode also marks a final break with
Goebbels, now his successor as head of propaganda. But despite the infighting, between1928 and
1930, Strasser advances his position and rebuilds the party into a model of efficiency. He introduces a structure closely mirroring
the provincial structure of Germany, with Gauleiters instead of provincial governors,
and the Sturmabteilung or SA structured like the state and federal police. He appoints Reichsleiters to handle a state-like
administration and restructures the party leadership like a shadow cabinet of the chancellery. By 1932, the NSDAP is a complete state within
the state, poised and pouncing at a takeover of the country. For that Hitler has two plans;
A Hitler wins the Presidency and appoints Strasser Chancellor. B Hitler doesn’t win the Presidency, and they
demand that Hitler is appointed Chancellor. Strasser considers both ideas unrealistic
and has only one plan: enter into a coalition with the conservatives and settle for key
cabinet positions. When plan A falls through, he takes this to
Papen, without informing Hitler. But already before the July polls, Hitler
finds out from British journalist Sefton Delmer and once again blows a gasket at Strasser. The rest of the leadership calm Hitler down
enough to not make a public scene and to pay lip service to Strasser’s and Papen’s agreement. With the Parliament seats gained in July,
Hitler stays his course and snubs Papen. Strasser, though, is less optimistic about
the November elections and continues negotiations with Papen as the new election campaign starts. Now, street violence coming mostly from the
Nazis against the Communists was the central theme of the July election, this election
campaign we see the Communists go after the Social Democrats, for Ernst Thälmann, leader
of the Communist Party the KPD, has smelled blood. In July the new votes he captured came almost
exclusively at the expense of the center-left Social Democrats, the SPD. And if you have found a winning formula, why
not roll with it? Well, that is what he does! Their main slogan is still that they are the
only genuine anti-fascist alternative. But now, they add the SPD to this list of
fascists by labeling them ‘social fascists.’ The SPD themselves position Social Democracy
as the alternative to everything – against von Papen – against the Nazis – against the
Communists. The Nazis, on Goebbels orders, had toned down
the anti-semitic rhetoric in 1930 and in July, but now it creeps back into their main campaign
focus. And the patchwork of Conservative parties,
including Zentrum and the German National People’s Party DNVP, run on an identity campaign
to return Germany to an imagined glorious past. And while they all rail against each other,
something essential happens in the background: the economy starts to recover. Not overnight, it has been in recovery for
many months, but now people begin to notice it in their wallets and on the job market. It’s a combination of Papen’s repeal of several
of the draconian austerity measures set by his predecessor, and the early effects of
overall European recovery from the 1929 October crash. Moreover, many of the briefly canceled social
security programs, part of German welfare capitalism, have been reintroduced. Together, it leads to a lower sense of financial
urgency, which coupled with exhaustion over the constant elections suppresses voter turnout,
which sinks from 84.1% in July to 80.6% in November. On election day, the biggest losers are actually
the Nazis, but the Social Democrats also take a beating, an essential beating. The NSDAP loses 34 seats to 196, but is still
the biggest party. Papen’s conservative block combined gains
16 seats to 154 or 26.3%, making them the second-biggest faction. The moderate and liberal centrist parties
are now wholly insignificant, but the change on the left flank has dramatic effects. The SPD lose 12 seats, out of which 11 go
to the KPD- the Communists. So even with the NSDAP losses, 50.7% of votes
in the Reichstag are either for Communists or Nazis. This means nothing has changed – the extremists
on both ends can still block the formation of a government by merely abstaining from
voting. It was so close. If the Communists had taken only four fewer
seats from SPD, a new grand coalition would have been possible. But now even if a coalition of SPD and KPD
was ideologically possible, which it isn’t, they don’t have the votes for that either. Instead, the only viable alternatives are
yet another election or a coalition of Conservatives and Nazis, right? Well, now with the losses of the NSDAP and
the improving economy, Papen comes up with another plan. He will take charge of the country as dictator
of Germany. Now, Papen and his Minster of the Interior
Wilhelm, Baron von Gayl, advise Hindenburg to prorogue the Reichstag for six months and
only then hold new elections. In that time they will devise a new constitution. It is his old plan of a return to constitutional
Monarchy. New elections in the spring should give them
time to build a sufficient base to get this through the new Reichstag. Hindenburg likes the idea, but before they
can start putting it into play, they meet resistance. The execution of the plan depends on having
the Riechswehr, the army on their side, but Reichswehr Minister Kurt von Schleicher has
some serious concerns with this plan. During the only major violent clash between
police, Communists, and Nazis in the November election campaign, one of his generals, Eugen
Ott was playing war games and coming up with disaster scenarios. According to Ott, the Reichswehr is in no
position to resist the Nazi paramilitaries without launching a civil war. His scenarios predict that the Communists
would build a third front. And in various versions of the events that
then unfold, Ott foresees doom. Such as; Invasion by Poland, intervention
by the USSR, a secession of Bavaria as a Nazi State, occupation by the Western Allies, and
several other effects that lead to the end of Germany. Not a single scenario foresees a successful
outcome for the Reichswehr. To put it bluntly: combined, the NSDAP and
KPD armed forces are now in many ways superior to the better equipped German armed forces. So Schleicher suggests another plan: appease
the Nazis and the Communists and use Strasser to break up the NSDAP from within. It’s an old idea called Querfront, in English
the Third Position, that supporters of a Conservative Revolution have toyed with for over a decade. In basic terms, it combines the reactionary
social positions of the extreme right with some collectivist, labor-friendly fiscal policy
of the radical left. Sound familiar? You got it – it’s the Strasser position! Now, for the Conservative mainstream, this
has been an unacceptable idea until now, but under the dreadful prospects of the Ott scenarios,
most of the Conservative cabinet backs Schleicher’s plan. Unsurprisingly, Strasser is also all for it. Somewhat surprisingly, he also indicates that
he will have no problem to get Hitler and the rest of the NSDAP behind it too. On December 3, 1932, Hindenburg dismisses
Papen and makes Schleicher new Chancellor of Germany and dictator of Prussia by emergency
decree. Meanwhile, Strasser takes the proposal for
a coalition with Hitler as deputy Chancellor to the rest of the Nazi leadership. This time Hitler doesn’t explode, the election
losses have left him more cautious. Instead, Strasser meets immediate opposition
from Reichstag President Hermann Göring and from Josef Goebbels, who favor an “all or
nothing” approach. Now, Hitler has spent the last few weeks in
meetings with industrialists and bankers, working tirelessly to convince and assure
them that they have no Socialist measures to fear from the National Socialists. Then his new industrialist and banker friends
have been put pressure on Hindenburg to accept Hitler, even as Chancellor, but they have
also impressed on Hitler the need for diplomacy. While the NSDAP leaders argue, Schleicher
starts making known his intent for a Third Front through a broad coalition. Not only is this met with skepticism by the
general public, but it also infuriates Conservatives who deride him as the Red General. Hitler fumes with anger when he realizes that
he’s being played. On the fifth day of the crisis, Strasser is
forced to resign from his positions in the party. Schleicher’s Third Position has failed before
he even gets a chance to try it. For Hitler, it is now all or nothing, him
or Schleicher, Chancellor or bust. And the general public in Germany goes to
celebrate Christmas and New Year with false sense of relief. The economy continues to make public signs
of recovery, with spending and employment during the holiday season above expectations. The Communists are relieved that the Nazis
didn’t make a government, who are relieved that the Communists didn’t form part of the
government. To the majority, it looks like a defeat for
both extremes, especially Hitler- whom the media now portrays as a loser, relegated back
to just a provincial Bavarian trouble maker. For Schleicher, it is nothing short of a disaster
– he has no mandate, no coalition partners, no plan, but he does have enemies. Papen and Schleicher had been close friends
and allies for many years. But in only a few days, they have now become
bitter enemies, and this will have consequences for the whole world. To salvage public support, Schleicher now
publicly and repeatedly attacks the unpopular Papen, which he had promised Hindenburg he
would not do, s not only is the principled old man in the Presidential Palace- Hindenburg-
angered, he sees this as destructive to the chances of forming any government at all. On January 4, 1933, Papen meets Hitler in
secret in Cologne at a prominent banker’s house. The topic is how to overthrow Schleicher. Papen’s suggestion is the old one – a new
government with himself as Chancellor and Hitler as Deputy but now on equal footing. Hitler is agreeable in general but evasive
on the Chancellor issue. The meeting leaks to the press, framed as
an attempt to form a majority government finally, one with the Nazis but under Conservative
oversight. A panicked Schleicher rushes to Hindenburg
demanding him to charge Papen with treason by Presidential executive order, Hindenburg
declines. On January 9, Papen meets in secret with Hindenburg
and proposes a government with Hitler in some form, but not as Chancellor. On January 22, Hitler and Papen meet at Joachim
von Ribbentrop’s home in Berlin in yet another secret meeting. Von Ribbentrop, as many of you know, will
one day be Nazi Germany’s Foreign Minister. Göring and Goebbels are there, as well as
Hindenburg’s confidants Otto Meissner and Oskar von Hindenburg, the President’s son,
attend too. They negotiate a compromise, Hitler as Chancellor,
Papen Deputy Chancellor and Governor of Prussia, and Göring Minister of the Interior of Prussia. Meanwhile, Schleicher rushes to Hindenburg
again, demanding that he dissolve the Reichstag, declare a state of emergency, and suspend
elections indefinitely. Hindenburg declines, and when the attempted
coup leaks to the press, Scheicher faces outrage and loud public calls for his immediate dismissal. Oskar von Hindenburg and Meissner now start
convincing the President to go along with Hitler and Papen’s plan. On January 28, Schleicher makes a last-ditch
attempt to persuade Hindenburg to at least Prorogue the Reichstag, let him govern for
now, and announce new elections. Hindenburg refuses again and Schleicher hands
in his resignation. The same day Papen meets Hindenburg and assures
him that they have Hitler’ boxed in’ and the tired old general agrees with the proposal. The next day Papen and Hitler meet, and Hitler
informs Papen of the real plan- announce elections for March, ensure that these elections are
a landslide for the Nazis, by whatever means. Then they will enact an Enabling Law, giving
Hitler dictatorial powers. Papen will later claim that Hitler’s words
left him shaken to the core, but that it was too late. On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler is formally
appointed Chancellor of the German Reich by presidential executive order. Gregor Strasser, now a private citizen, reportedly
evaluates the development like this to a friend: “Dr. Martin, I am a man marked by death. We shall not be able to go on seeing each
other for long, and in your own interest; I suggest you do not come here anymore. Whatever happens, mark what I say: From now
on, Germany is in the hands of an Austrian who is a congenital liar, a former officer
who is a pervert, and a clubfoot. And I tell you the last is the worst of them
all; this is Satan in human form.” He is referring to Hitler, Göring, and Goebbels
in that order. SEGUE
Perhaps ironically, it is with the organization that Strasser has built that the three will
proceed to seize totalitarian power. See, Franz von Papen is the one who’s boxed
in. He might control large parts of the German
administration, but remember that Strasser built the Nazi party as a state within the
state. A powerful organization that now quickly reaches
its tentacles into all aspects of governance. Even as dictator of Prussia, Papen is powerless. Göring is now Prussian Minister of the Interior
with full control of the Prussian police and administration. Within days the Prussian state is fully controlled
by the SA. Göring formalizes the NSDAP intelligence
efforts as the Geheime Staatspolizei, Gestapo who proceed to infiltrate every aspect of
Prussian public life. Meanwhile, Hitler and Goebbels start setting
up the Gauleiters to do the same in all of the German provinces. As the election campaign for the March elections
gets underway, the NSDAP unleashes violence, voter suppression, and terror on a scale that
widely surpasses any previous election unrest. On the night of February 28, a Dutch Communist
sets fire to the Reichstag in protest against the Nazis. The next day Hindenburg signs the Reichstag
Fire Decree, or Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State, enabling
Hitler to suspend law and order to pursue ostensible political enemies of the state. In reality, it just makes the already ongoing
activities of the party less cumbersome. Now the Prussian Police, the SA and Hitler’s
bodyguard, the Schutzstaffel or SS arrest thousands of KPD members, Social Democrats,
and Liberals, many of them on the ballots. To systematically jail, beat, torture, and
sometimes murder them, Gauleiters, the SA and SS set up improvised internment camps
all across the country. It is the beginning of the concentration camp
system. Political rallies of the Social Democrats
and Communists are attacked and dispersed. On election day 50,000 SA and SS come out
to patrol the polling booths to safeguard the elections. Still, despite this massive voter intimidation
and manipulation campaign, more than 30% still dare to vote for the Communists or Social
Democrats. On March 24 the new Reichstag passes the Enabling
Act, and Hitler is for all practical purposes dictator of Germany. It’s an event that is sometimes analyzed as
if it could have stopped the Nazis. Many of the SPD deputies and all of KPD deputies
were not even there; they were in Concentration Camps. Lining the walls of the plenary hall of the
Reichstag were hundreds of uniformed, armed SA men. It was not the beginning of the Nazi power
grab, but merely a ceremonial end. Thirteen years earlier, Social Democrat, Liberal
and Conservative politicians of Germany had united around the idea of a free, tolerant
and open democracy. Faced with extremists on the right and the
left, they had appeased one side to beat down the other. They had tried to win their votes by themselves
embracing conspiracy theories and populist positions. Ideas that they knew were false, anti-democratic,
and not even workable solutions. Willingly or unwillingly they had moved closer
and closer to extremism themselves. They were now reaping the poisonous fruits
that they had planted. Fruit that will now kill many of them together
with the tens of millions of innocent people that they, the pillar of German democracy,
had on this day condemned to death. We’ve created a playlist of all the episodes
we have done on Hitler’s rise to power… it will be here any moment now. Our TimeGhost Army member for this episode
is Omar Gallardo. It’s thanks to Omar and the rest of the TimeGhost
army members’ contributions that we can continue shining a light on these events. And as MLK said: “Let us not seek to satisfy
our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” Cheers, and stay safe!

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  1. Hi, for those of you that don't know me yet, I'm the lead author of this series and the author of this episode. Now, as you will, or have just seen, this episode covers an event of earth-shattering magnitude in human history. An event that is often misunderstood and glossed over. The reason for that is not that there is anything controversial, or stupendously new with what we're documenting here. The simple fact is that its just too detailed and too complicated to cover in general history studies, especially in secondary school. The level we get into here is usually only covered in specialized lectures at college or university level. Tons and tons of books have been written on the topic and yet, many misconceptions remain. It was my goal to dispel some of the many misunderstandings that abound about how Hitler finally seized power. One of the chief myths is that Hitler was elected. As the video shows, that is not what happened. So you might ask yourself; how come the vast majority of Germans finally rallied behind him? Because they did, there's no question. But you see, that happens after he seizes power and it will be the topic of our next episode on Germany that covers the Nazi consolidation of power.

    It was also my goal to cast some more light on a topic that has been weaponized in political debate in recent years: the level of Socialism in the German National Socialist Worker's Party. I hope that I have laid the latter one to rest, but I fear that the comment section will still be full of politically biased nonsense on this topic. It's quite tiring for our community managers to answer that misrepresenting alt-right trope over and over again. And we won't stop you from posting it, even if it's nonsense. Instead we will try to patiently answer, but think fifteen times about posting 'Nazis were Socialists, duh!' or "Dude, Nazis are left-wing, duh!' out of respect for us. What we will not tolerate is that you post links to any of the clown videos by non-historians that try to perpetuate that myth. We are a team of actual historians. We have no interest in 'pinning' Naziism on anyone. We also have no interest in 'pinning' Socialism on anyone. Nor should you, if you have any interest whatsoever in understanding history. Revolutionary Socialism, Communism, Fascism and Nazism have all brought down a lot of suffering on humanity – if we are supporters of freedom and democracy we need to learn from that. Throwing them all in one bucket and dumping it on our perceived political opponents is not learning, it's obfuscation, confusion, and destruction of education. So respect humanity, respect history and don't take part in that kind of nonsense. Also I will again post our rules, respect them:

    STAY CIVIL AND POLITE we will delete any comments with personal insults, or attacks.
    AVOID PARTISAN POLITICS AS FAR AS YOU CAN we reserve the right to cut off vitriolic debates.
    HATE SPEECH IN ANY DIRECTION will lead to a ban.
    RACISM, XENOPHOBIA, OR SLAMMING OF MINORITIES will lead to an immediate ban.

  2. 20:28 So, the Reichstagfeuer set by a Dutch communist, or was he a retarded homeless man who had a communist pamphlet slipped into his pocket? That is a whole episode in itself! I don’t blame you for not covering the details. But still, it shows the incredible complexity of this time.

  3. There is a quote from a fictional character- Dr. Erskine in Captain America: The First Avenger, to be precise- that sums all this up quite well:

    "So many people forget that the first country the Nazis invaded was their own."

    This is the culmination of that invasion.

  4. I know, I know! It just dawned on me. Your channel design reminds me of the Partridge Family!
    (Sigh) yes I know I'm dating myself. I love your channel. Keep up the great work!

  5. What I had always known is that Nazis won a rigged an election, but they technically still won one if not fairly. Today I learned there's a lot that happened before that rigged election.

  6. Completely unrelated, but what was Indy drinking?
    I don't think I've ever seen this topic covered in as much detail on YouTube. Amazing job as always, people! Keep it up!!

  7. Oversimplfied history, The people who put Napoleon into power thought they could puppet him. The people who put Hitler into power thought they could puppet him. Maybe stop putting power hungry madmen into power to advance your own goals.

  8. Wow Indy, you outdid yourself with this one!
    It's important that people today know this stuff. Hopefully we can say in truth, Never again!
    Yet, as an American, I'm worried.

  9. It's amazing how you guys have improved your writting as this series has developed especially when you are covering stuff that might not be as exciting as a war for example and it's not so "mainstream" as other topics. it's very hard to keep it interesting and not boring but you guys manage to make it interesting congrats!!!

  10. Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and Nazism do share one very critical trait, a desire to concentrate power in the state at the cost of the individual. They go about it in different ways and to different degrees, but the end result tends to be the same – incarceration, torture, or death for all perceived enemies of the people. Terms such as left wing, right wing, and alt right have unclear meanings, so I try to avoid them as much as possible. This is particularly true when trying to comprehend the European vs. American use of these words. When our Constitution was written, our forefathers, well educated on the potential dangers of any form of government, sought to create one in which the consolidation of power was made extremely difficult. Indeed, it was the decentralization of power which was foremost on their minds and a cornerstone of our republic. Yet if any of them were alive today, they would be gravely disappointed to see how far we have drifted from their ideal. I suppose it is to be expected. Human nature can be as predictable as the actions of a moth drawn to a flame. Perhaps that is why the price of freedom is eternal vigilance (yes, I know this is a paraphrase).

  11. Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and Nazism do share one very critical trait, a desire to concentrate power in the state at the cost of the individual. They go about it in different ways and to different degrees, but the end result tends to be the same – incarceration, torture, or death for all perceived enemies of the people. Terms such as left wing, right wing, and alt right have unclear meanings, so I try to avoid them as much as possible. This is particularly true when trying to comprehend the European vs. American use of these words. When our Constitution was written, our forefathers, well educated on the potential dangers of any form of government, sought to create one in which the consolidation of power was made extremely difficult. Indeed, it was the decentralization of power which was foremost on their minds and a cornerstone of our republic. Yet if any of them were alive today, they would be gravely disappointed to see how far we have drifted from their ideal. I suppose it is to be expected. Human nature can be as predictable as the actions of a moth drawn to a flame. Perhaps that is why the price of freedom is eternal vigilance (yes, I know this is a paraphrase).

  12. To quote Big Ben, “a republic, if you can keep it”.

    Hitler and Stalin both in power at the same time! A lousy time to be a European !

    Great episode, both in content and presentation!

  13. I have heard about Strasser and the left wing of the NSDAP.
    Very interesting topics. The nazi party could have been a party of the extreme left. It became one of the extreme right.
    Most of the left wing was purged in the Long Knives' Night

  14. One of the most under appreciated aspects of of every successful functioning government by the people is the separation of powers that are designed to stop things like this from happening. I know you hear it over and over again, but those who won't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It's a shame that so many details about what happened are not covered in modern day studies. The Nazis have been turned into a political tool with so many considering themselves experts without having any real knowledge whatsoever about what they actually were.

    "It can never happen to us," you hear. Oh yes it can. Yes it can.

  15. Meissner upheld the same job for 25 years. He was the secretery of state and aid first to the president and then to the Führer during the uninterrupted period of 1920-1945

  16. The always present predicament of democracy. What do you do when a majority of voters vote for anti-democratic parties?

  17. I've read an article some time ago, that it isn't sure that the Reichstagsbrand was layed by the dutch communist and rather a play by the Nazis to get more power. Not quite sure what magazine it was, the Spiegel maybe, or "Die Zeit"

  18. It is important to remember that the German people, under constant intimidation and terror, refused to ever elect a reichstag that gave Hitler's bloc a majority, even till the bitter end.Hitler was indeed the devil, but it was men like von Papen, not the German people, who let him out.

  19. though the chain of events set in motion by Hindenburg and Papan end of 32 start of 33 did directly lead to hitler siezing power and by extension the anywhere from 30 to 50 million dead in the European side of the war was it really possible to stop a well oiled machine following El Duce's model and Refined by the events of 1923 come the July elections without fundamentally breaching German law? secondly I have heard the Reich-stag fire was an inside NASDAP job is there evidence of this or is it a fiction of postwar revisionism.

  20. Another great video, thank you guys so much for all your hard work I learn something everytime, I'm proud to be apart of the Time ghost army

  21. Hey, TimeGhostHistory guy, what do you mean, … "the Nazis [were] on the outer right"? If you actually believe that you know nothing about the subject. And if that's the case; consider talking about something else! The Nazis, that is to say, the NATIONAL SOCIALISTS were a left wing party, not "outer right". They believed that true socialism was achieved though 'racial struggle' in much the same way that the Marxists believe it was achieved through 'class struggle'. For the love of Christ, the Nazis actually abolished private property, implemented racial collectivism and direct state control of capitalist enterprises.

  22. Without Goebbels' efforts the Nazis would not have gained so much power, admirers and control. Goebbels was more important than Goering and Hitler combined.

  23. I wonder why many of the people who were involved in the political actions died in 1934. So: will you cover the so-called "Nacht der langen Messer", "Röhm-Putsch" or "Röhm-Mord" in a detailed episode?

  24. I'm thinking his last speech was meant as a rebuke for current center right and center left politicians today.

  25. Dear TimeGhost Crew,
    i am somewhat confused. For the social democrats sake. You end your episode by a blistering attack on germanys centrist parties of the weimar time. Accusing them of allying with one extremist to counter the other, ignoring principles, feeding conspiracies, engaging in populist, wrong narratives. For the most part I agree, especially for Franz von Papen and his followers within the Zentrum-party. But I miss the answer to one question. Why on earth do you include the social democrats of the SPD in this. (I should add that as a member of the very same party i am, by no means, neutral) They made some errors like tolerating the beginning of the presidential cabinets, the momentous error of not resisting the Preßenschlag by calling a strike or similar action. But they, for my best knowledge, didnt engage in antidemocratic or inhumane political activities. They werent even in government since the fall of the Müller governement in 1929 (?). So my question is, why were they included in the speech just for the reason of being to tame ? For just fitting into the narrative of the failure of the parties in the Weimar Koalition, or why ? (Please feel free to correctme if i am wrong on any of my listed points)

  26. Right now in America we going through the same thing we have fascist on the far right trying to drum up nationalism and xenophobia against immigrants mostly from southern border. Now we have more far left movement here in america. Many are not fan of capitalism and want more socialism but not full blown Communism. Many in Media have tried to tie socialism to Venezuela or USSR or Cuba. As we know communism and even Socialism fails in many 3rd world countries is because they very poor and corrupted so any benefits that was suppose to go the masses instead go to military, corporations and government.

  27. And yet after all this carnage that we call WW2 Germany rose from the ashes like a phoenix and is now stronger then ever. I doubt Germany would have developed in this positive way without WW2.Now we just need to work on feeling a bit more proud of our country and not listening to the idiots who call us Nazis every time Germany acts in a way the dont approve. So I proudly say: I <3 my country.

  28. Quick and easy guide to the left right spectrum. Thought it up long ago when friends were getting into Alex Jones channel and repeating his claim that there is no difference between left and right. His claim could be seen as reasonable during the era of Clinton and Blairs "Third way" governments, where both leaders dragged their parties rightwards for electoral gain. Or it could be obfuscation, so new viewers repeat the mantra and can't see how extreme Jones really is.
    Left vs Right.
    Co-operation vs competition.
    Public property vs private property.
    Internationalist vs Nationalist.
    Slightly more contentious differences, because it took me a while to get past my own bias and pick neutral words (and I still can't think of the neutral opposite of sharing):
    Progressive (building the future) vs Traditionalist (restoring/reviving the past)
    Egalitarian (equality for all) vs Hierarchical (knowing or earning your rank)

    That's it – A list of polar opposite qualities forever maintaining the conflict between left and right. Hope most of us have found our own place of balance between the extremes. Hope it helps the debate.

  29. It's doubtful that van der Lubbe actually set fire to the Reichstag. There is evidence that the Nazi's set fire to it themselves. He was just a useful scapegoat for the Nazi's so they could blame the communists

  30. It is absurd to try to categorize all political philosophies at any time in human history by where they would have sat in the revolutionary French National Assembly, even those who are not revolutionary or would have had a part in that government. Rather than argue about the revolutionaries what about the non-revolutionary groups?
    I propose the following "decoder ring" for 1930s German Political factions (constructive criticism welcome):
    -Social Democrats (Labor party in England, Democratic Party in US).
    -Liberal Democrats (major political force in 18th and 19th Century European politics but minor faction in the 20th Century Europe–small/limited government beliefs. Whigs in England and many Conservatives and Libertarians in the US). "Liberal" is still used in this context in Europe.
    -Conservatives (the non-revolutionary monarchists–some were revolutionary).
    -Christian Democrats (economic statists who lean socially conservative, Tories in England [Thatcherism excluded], the former "Blue Dog" Democrats in the US).
    None of these analogies are perfect by any means.

  31. Germany also did not reject Hitler, they made the Nazis the largest single party in the legislature. Multiple times. And with the Communists, gave authoritarianism a majority, albeit in opposing camps. Whatever the dream for a liberal democraitic Germany was, a majority of the electorate was rejecting it. That cannot lead anywhere good.

  32. Your episodes Just keep getting better and better. I am really thankful for being able to learn history in a detailed unbiased way.

  33. Indy Neidell and time ghost team, this is your best video, not only the acting of Indy is flawless but also the information given and images. Please, I beg you, add Portuguese subtitles for me to show in classes here in Brazil

  34. Germany never elected Angela Merkel. Her party is too small. /s
    I dislike the German style method of electing a president. The US model is one of the best, delegates from each state to ensure the entire country feels a part.

  35. One must know what has happened to legislate. Hitler nestled the countereformation deep beneath his wing. This is conspiracy. The speaker trundles conspiracy theory in as a wickedness at the end of an essay about election versus conspiracy. Of course, if you ask why he must do this, you become the sinner. Too bad. A superb essay must fail under the current paradigm. The speaker has been bullied.

  36. National Socialism never had to nationalize the "means of production" since the private owners of those means were under coercion already.

  37. Spartacus Olsson Reading through your comments about the politics of the NSDAP, I still find myself confused by references to "left wing," "right wing," and "democracy." Historically these terms have very specific meanings. Clearly the meanings of these words have changed over time, and I'm wondering how you define them. More specifically, I wonder if, today, they can be defined in a way that conveys any useful information at all.

    Let me give some examples:

    "Left wing" and "right wing" originally came from the French revolution.

    The "right wing" was that group that advocated on behalf of a large and powerful government that benefited the aristocracy and the church.

    The "left wing" was the group that advocated on behalf of a large and powerful government that benefited the "commune."

    Of course there is no place in these definitions for places like the United States as originally conceived by the founders. The founders intended that there should not be a large and powerful government

    What's more, we threw out the king, and religious tests are banned by the constitution. It would be essentially impossible to have a right wing government in the USA so long as we follow our constitution. Yet Americans conceived of as "leftists" routinely call their opponents, who advocate for a limited government, "right wing." Advocating for a more limited government is somehow equated to being a Nazi. It makes no sense at all.

    Clearly the NSDAP advocated for a large and powerful government, but they didn't advocate for any established religion, and didn't want to reinstate Wilhelm II. By the original definition, there is simply no way to describe the NSDAP as right wing.

    By the original definition there are few right wing governments around today. Saudi Arabia would be the archetype of a right wing government in the world today. Iran certainly has a right wing government. It appears that the government of Turkey is right wing. The government of China and North Korea are on the left, whether by modern or historic definitions.

    Of course a major factor in warping the definitions of right wing came when Stalin defined anybody (Trotsky, for example) who wasn't to his left as "right-wing." That's how the NSDAP came to be referred to as "right wing."

    But just because the captain of a ship is on the port bridge wing, with the second officer standing next to him, doesn't mean the second officer is on the starboard bridge wing. They are both on the port side, and they have generally similar characteristics (they are both ships officers), but they are also different, because their jobs aboard ship have different characteristics.

    By the same token, just because Staling believes that Trotsky and Hitler are standing inboard of Stalin doesn't mean Trotsky and Hitler are on the starboard bridge wing — they may be to the right of Stalin (assuming they are all facing the bow), but they are still on the port bridge wing.

    I hope you can see the problem: It isn't clear what you mean, or what almost anybody means, when you refer to "right wing" and "left wing." It seems to me that the term "left wing" has had a pretty stable definition, but perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe it's time to revisit it.

    Further, how do you define "democracy." Democracy originally meant "majority rule," with the demos voting (there's more to it than that, but that's outside the present issue). The relevant issue here is that there was nothing the demos couldn't vote on. Want to enslave your neighbor? Put it to a vote! Want to kill Socrates? Put it to a vote!

    Most people believe, for example, that the USA is a democracy. It's not. It's a Republic. No matter how much some majority of people want to do something (kill 'right-wingers" for example, or enslave their neighbors), they can't even legally vote to do it unless they can persuade their fellow Americans to go through the very cumbersome and time-consuming process to change the constitution to allow it.

    That all said, I'd like to know very specifically how you define "left wing," "right wing," and "democracy"? That could go a long way toward reducing the name calling. If we can't clearly define these terms, maybe we shouldn't use them.

    I hope you can find time for an answer.

  38. I feel compelled to ask… what’s so controversial about this episode?
    It’s all fairly normal information about hitler’s rise to power, information I thought was fairly well known by WW2 interested historians.

  39. Except Germany kind of did elect Hitler. In a parliamentary system, it is extremely rare that a single party gets a clear majority. The Nazis were the largest party in Germany, and then they formed a coalition with the Conservatives. Saying Germany didn't elect Hitler is like saying Germany never elected Angela Merkel either.

  40. Wow, I had no idea how chaotic Germany was just before Hitler. I was always taught that really the sole reason Hitler came to power was because of the Reichstag fire. But sweet Jesus, the Reichstag fire is nothing compared to other things going down. Why don't they teach all of this in schools?

  41. Well I guess that is parliamentary democracy for you, you do not vote for a head of government, you vote for representatives that will elect a head of government for you, often after complicated negotiations. It is not often parliamentary democracies is ruled by majority governments and even more seldom by one-party majorities.

    Of course it does not hurt to have an army of political mobsters on your side.

  42. I have heard a ot of arguments that goes something like "Germany was the first country to be occupied by the Nazis", I would actually like to hear Spartacus Olsson comment on that. To me personally it sounds similar to the the "clean Wehrmach myth".

  43. What I struggle with though is that the nazis had a plurality, at least, in the 1932 election, right? That was (roughly) as legitimate as any of the other parties? Doesn't a plurality typically come with a mandate to attempt to form a government? Isn't dictatorially excluding them just as non-democratic as what hitler wound up doing?

  44. I hate that the roman salute is now the nazi salute

    It had thousands of years of use, and one mustache boi ruined it for everyone

  45. "Return Germany to a glorious past." Hmmm, what does that sound like? Actually, I can tell you, as my grandfather knew someone who lived in that area at that time. She said, "Hitler wanted to make Germany great again." Her exact words in the 1980s.

  46. the scheming Schleicher is one of the most overlooked characters in this drama. Most books only mention him in passing.

  47. Its so mind blowing to me that stuff like this ACTUALLY happened on this planet and seeing the descent of Germany in to extremism is something that is always terrifying to learn about.
    We must learn from our history so humanity can never go down this path of evilness and destruction again.

  48. "Democratic principles."
    They are being attacked all the time everywhere in the soviet EU for example.
    "Democratic principle" is a vague notion.

  49. A Dutch communist burned down the Reichstag? Wasn't Georgi Dimitrov tried for that during the Leipzig Trial?
    Tremendous work on creating these videos. By shedding light on these events, people have a chance to correct many of their own misconceptions about how Nazis came to power. For one, who built NSDAP as a state within a state.

  50. Germany never elected Hitler? They didn't elect Bruning, von Papen or von Schleicher either. Those worthies set the stage for Hitler by getting Hindenburg to let them rule by emergency decree. Once von Schleicher alienated Hindenburg, it was only a matter of time. The Social Democrats made implacable foes of the conservatives when they swept to victory in the latter 20s in part because of whistle blowing the Soviet-German secret military schools. They never had a chance once the conservatives regained power. The conservative leadership made two mistakes. The first was that they believed they could control Hitler. The second was that they placed the fate of Weimar on the shoulders of a pliable old man who was nearing the end of life. Hitler ended up in the right place at the right time and proved the conservative leaders were novices when it came to manipulation and double-dealing.

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