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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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The ‘Inverted Fronts’ of 1932

The ‘Inverted Fronts’ of 1932

(p.144) 7 The ‘Inverted Fronts’ of 1932

Anna von der Goltz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a reassessment of the presidential elections of 1932, during which Hindenburg's former republican opponents supported him while many on the nationalist right campaigned for Hitler. Apart from discussing the meaning of this reversal of voter coalitions, it provides a detailed examination of the pro- and anti-Hindenburg campaigns. It highlights the centrality of Hindenburg's mythical standing to both. Far from being united solely by their opposition to Hitler, the President's campaign still relied overwhelmingly on the Hindenburg myth to mobilize support. His nationalist opponents faced difficulties similar to those of Weimar democrats in 1925: ruthless attacks against this national father figure would backfire. Even the Nazis' approach was surprisingly tame, focussing attacks on the republican ‘system’. Special attention is given to the content and style of the Hindenburg campaign. Far from being overshadowed by Nazi propaganda, it was highly modern and effective, and was soon emulated by the Nazi party.

Keywords:   presidential elections, Hitler, propaganda, myth, nationalist right, Nazi party

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