Hindenburg: Power, Myth, and the Rise of the Nazis

Paperback | October 12, 2011

byAnna von der Goltz

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Hindenburg reveals how a previously little-known general, whose career to normal retirement age had provided no real foretaste of his heroic status, became a national icon and living myth in Germany after the First World War, capturing the imagination of millions. In a period characterized byrupture and fragmentation, the legend surrounding Paul von Hindenburg brought together a broad coalition of Germans and became one of the most potent forces in Weimar politics. Charting the origins of the myth, from Hindenburg's decisive victory at the Battle of Tannenberg in 1914 to his death in Nazi Germany and beyond, Anna von der Goltz explains why the presence of Hindenburg's name on the ballot mesmerized an overwhelming number of voters in the presidential electionsof 1925. His myth, an ever-evolving phenomenon, increasingly transcended the dividing lines of interwar politics, which helped him secure re-election by left-wing and moderate voters. Indeed, the only two times in German history that the people could elect their head of state directly and secretly,they chose this national icon. Hindenburg even managed to defeat Adolf Hitler in 1932, making him the Nazi leader's final arbiter; it was he who made the final and fateful decision to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in January 1933.

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Hindenburg reveals how a previously little-known general, whose career to normal retirement age had provided no real foretaste of his heroic status, became a national icon and living myth in Germany after the First World War, capturing the imagination of millions. In a period characterized byrupture and fragmentation, the legend surrou...

Anna von der Goltz won the German History Society Essay Prize in 2006 and was awarded the prestigious Fraenkel Prize in 2008 for her work on the Hindenburg myth. Since 2007, she has been a contributor to the research project 'Around 1968: Activism, Networks, Trajectories' funded by the AHRC and the Leverhulme Trust.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:October 12, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199695865

ISBN - 13:9780199695867

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The 'Victor of Tannenberg'2. Surviving failure3. Anti-democratic politics4. Electing 'the Saviour'5. Buying the icon6. Hollow unity7. The 'inverted fronts' of 19328. 'The Marshal and the Corporal'9. Hindenburg after 1945ConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

`This is a profound study that will help any reader, German or not, better to understand this unique era in German history.' Contemporary Review