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Hitler Becomes Führer

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For Hitler, Hindenburg's demise couldn't have come at a better time. He had just broken the back of the rowdy Brownshirts and cemented the support of the Army's General Staff. Now he just needed to resolve the issue of who would succeed Hindenburg as president.

Leaf Small Zipper Wallet Ladies Purses Cartoon Butterfly Women Canvas Iron Wallet Handbag Coin Purse Hitler, of course, decided that he should succeed Hindenburg, but not as president, instead as Führer (supreme leader) of the German people. Although he was already called Führer by members of the Nazi Party and popularly by the German public, Hitler's actual government title at this time was simply Reich Chancellor of Germany.

However, there were still a handful of influential old-time conservatives in Germany who hoped for a return of the monarchy or perhaps some kind of non-Nazi nationalist government after Hindenburg's death. Although they loathed democracy, they also loathed the excesses of the Hitler regime. These were proud men from the 1800s reared in the days of princes and kings and ancient honor codes. And they knew their beloved Fatherland was now in the hands of murderous fanatics such as Himmler and Heydrich who cared nothing about their old-fashioned notions.

Coin Ladies Canvas Cartoon Iron Handbag Purses Leaf Small Women Wallet Butterfly Wallet Purse Zipper Among those conservatives was Franz von Papen, Germany's Vice Chancellor, who was a confidant of President Hindenburg. Just before the Night of the Long Knives, Hindenburg had told him concerning the Nazis: "Papen, things are going badly. See what you can do." But Papen had been unable to do anything except to barely escape with his own life.

Members of the regular Germany Army swear the oath of allegiance to the Führer Adolf Hitler. Below: The final resting place for Paul von Hindenburg at Tannenberg, scene of his remarkable victory in World War I.
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Below: With his position of power now solid - behind the scenes Germany's new Führer indulges his passion for architecture - overseeing plans for a redesign of the Nuremberg party rally grounds with young architect Albert Speer (left).
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Papen, however, had one last trick up his sleeve. Back in April 1934 he almost convinced Hindenburg to declare in his will that Germany should return to a constitutional monarchy upon his death. Hindenburg at first agreed to put it in his will, but then changed his mind and put it in the form of a personal letter to Hitler, to be delivered after his death.

However, for Hitler and his followers, the idea of returning to a monarchy at this point was utterly laughable. Hitler had the Nazi Reichstag (Legislature) completely in his pocket and simply exercised his power to prevent any such thing from happening. He had a law drafted abolishing the office of president and proclaiming himself as Führer.Purse Clutch Prom for Evening Bag Closure Clutch Classic Black Clutches Black for Clutch Clasp Women Evening Envelope Ball Party PU Message Wedding Clutch with Leather Af1t1qnT

About 9 a.m. on August 2, 1934, the much anticipated death of President Hindenburg finally occurred. Within hours, the Nazi Reichstag announced the following law, back-dated to August 1st:

The Reich Government has enacted the following law which is hereby promulgated.
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Wallet Coin Wallet Leaf Handbag Canvas Purse Cartoon Purses Zipper Ladies Iron Women Small Butterfly Section 1. The office of Reich President will be combined with that of Reich Chancellor. The existing authority of the Reich President will consequently be transferred to the Führer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He will select his deputy.
Section 2. This law is effective as of the time of the death of Reich President von Hindenburg.

Wallet Iron Canvas Cartoon Butterfly Leaf Ladies Handbag Wallet Zipper Purses Women Small Coin Purse The law was technically illegal since it violated provisions of the German constitution concerning presidential succession as well as the Enabling Act of 1933 which forbade Hitler from altering the presidency. But that didn't matter much anymore. Nobody raised any objections. Hitler himself was becoming the law.

Immediately following the announcement of the new Führer law, the German Officer Corps and every individual soldier in the German Army was made to swear a brand new oath of allegiance: Party ULKpiaoliang Banquet Blue Bags Bag Crystal Women Handbags Clutch Evening Rhinestone Bag Shoulder Ladies Wedding Diamond 4WfO4anq

Women Butterfly Zipper Wallet Iron Handbag Cartoon Small Wallet Leaf Purse Canvas Coin Ladies Purses "I swear by God this sacred oath: I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath."

The unprecedented oath was to Hitler personally, not the German state or constitution, as were previous Army oaths. OFloral Cotton Navy 2 Tote Owl Geometric Bag Ngil Quilted Medium Blue 8BnTqbedience to Hitler would now be regarded as a sacred duty by all men in uniform, in accordance with their military code of honor, thus making the German Army the pButterfly Zipper Handbag Purse Wallet Small Leaf Wallet Canvas Women Purses Iron Coin Cartoon Ladies ersonal instrument of the Führer.

Cartoon Ladies Wallet Zipper Purses Butterfly Wallet Leaf Canvas Purse Coin Women Iron Small Handbag On August 7th, during Hindenburg's elaborate State funeral, General Werner von Blomberg, caught up in the pomp and circumstance of the moment, offered to have the Army officially refer to Hitler as "Mein Führer" instead of the customary "Herr Hitler." Hitler immediately accepted Blomberg's offer.

After the funeral, the Nazis prepared to hold a nationwide vote (plebiscite) giving the German people an opportunity to express their approval of the Führer's new powers and thus legitimize Hitler's position in the eyes of the world.

Meanwhile, Hindenburg's last will and testament surfaced, delivered by Papen to Hitler. Among the documents was the letter from Hindenburg to Hitler suggesting a return of the Kaiser's (Hohenzollern) monarchy. Hitler ignored this message and likely destroyed the letter, as it was not published, and has never been found. The contents were only made known after the war by Papen.

The Nazis did publish Hindenburg's alleged political testament giving an account of his years of service to the Fatherland and containing complimentary references to Hitler. The testament probably was a Nazi forgery and was skillfully used as part of the intensive propaganda campaign to get a big 'Yes' vote for Hitler in the coming plebiscite.

On August 19, about 95 percent of registered voters in Germany went to the polls and gave Hitler 38 million "Ja" votes (90 percent of the vote). Thus Hitler could now claim he was Führer of the German nation with the overwhelming approval of the people.

The next day, August 20, mandatory loyalty oaths for all public officials in Germany were introduced:

"I swear: I shall be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, respect the laws, and fulfill my official duties conscientiously, so help me God."

Hitler, at long last, had achieved total power in Germany.

Two weeks later, during the annual Nazi rally at Nuremberg, the FührerFancyPrint Handbag Crossbody Cute Cute Bag Round Round Dfgca4925i Print rpfrwz's grand proclamation was read: "The German form of life is definitely determined for the next thousand years. The Age of Nerves of the nineteenth century has found its close with us. There will be no revolution in Germany for the next thousand years."

Before the rally, Hitler had summoned an up-and-coming movie director named Leni Riefenstahl and asked her to film the entire week-long event. Her film of the 1934 Nuremberg rally bore the title personally chosen by Hitler, "Triumph of the Will," and became one of the most powerful propaganda statements ever made.

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