Von Pappens Importance to Hitlers Rise to Power
Hitler came to power not only by winning seats in the Reichstag but also from the unconscious help of Von Papen and his efforts to stay in power for as long as he could. President Hindenburg aimed to keep Hitler out of power for as long as possible because he knew what Hitler was capable of and what he could do to Germany. He therefore appointed Bruning but as he had less votes and seats than Hitler Bruning relied on decree by Hindenburg. Von Papen then held an election in hope to gain more supporters for his party.
This however failed and gained the Nazis another 230 seats in the Reichstag. So Von Papen’s hope to gain supporters only aided Hitler more. Von Papen was a weak chancellor though and had 32 supporters over 513 who were against him. He relied on the decree of Hindenburg. He then held another election hoping to gain more seats however he won less than before and the Nazi seats fell to 196. This lead to the government of von Schleicher as he warned that a civil war would occur if there was any more rule from Von Papen.
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However this lasted a small 2 months and angered Von Papen and lead to Papen to have secret talks with Hitler to make him chancellor providing Papen could stay as vice chancellor. However Hindenburg still refused to have a Nazi Government. Von Schleicher then resigned after failing to gain any more support in the Reichstag and Von Papen persuaded Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor as he warned of a civil war and civil unrest.
Hindenburg agreed on the condition that the Nazis had fewer seats in the cabinet. In conclusion to this I think that Von Papen did aid Hitler’s rise to power however not all of his support was given consciously I think. For example his first election attempt to gain support for himself failed and won the Nazis 230 seats to become the largest party in the Reichstag; this cannot of have been Von Papen’s goal whoever for it would be totally against his own goal of staying in power.
One of the more purposeful acts to get Hitler into power however was his attempt to persuade Hindenburg to appoint Hitler in January 1933. However this to failed until Von Schleicher failed to win support in the Reichstag and resigned which left Von Papen with the opportunity to not only get back at Von Schleicher for taking his place as chancellor but also to get Hitler into power as he spoke yet again with Hindenburg only this time warned of civil war if he refused to put Hitler in power.
This therefore was the point where Hindenburg decided to put Hitler in power however I don’t think that Hindenburg would have taken that option if Von Papen hadn’t warned of civil war and public unrest. Therefore I think Von Papen was important to Hitler’s rise to power for with out Papen’s link to Hindenburg, Hitler would have had to find another way to get into power as Hindenburg was adamant to keep Hitler out of power for as long as possible.