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HindenburgPower, Myth, and the Rise of the Nazis$
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Anna von der Goltz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570324

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570324.001.0001

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Hollow Unity

Hollow Unity

(p.124) 6 Hollow Unity

Anna von der Goltz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the fate of the Hindenburg myth during the period of relative stabilization of German politics and society. The author shows that Hindenburg's first term witnessed profound changes in attitude among his followers and former opponents. Although he had largely owed his presidential victory to the political right, radical right-wingers such as Heinrich Claβ and Joseph Goebbels started to turn their back on the President for his failure to overturn the republican order. Republicans, on the other hand, began to sing his praises for his constitutional stance and backing of crucial foreign policy initiatives. However, there was a considerable, if momentary, overlap of republican and anti-republican Hindenburg-worship, most evident during the near-regal festivities of his eightieth birthday in 1927. The chapter charts the mythical narrative as a multi-layered phenomenon appealing to different groups simultaneously, which helps to understand Hindenburg's remarkably broad and enduring appeal.

Keywords:   Joseph Goebbels, Hindenburg myth, stabilization, German politics, German society, presidential victory

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