With the Reichstag Fire Decree in hand, Hitler moved towards his endgame. Snap elections were called for March 5th with the express aim of securing overwhelming Nazi control of the Reichstag. The Decrees certainly helped the Nazis put their thumb firmly on the electoral scale, and SA, SS, and regular police were out in force […]Read more "“The Great Silence Reigned”"
While Hitler’s triumphant ascension to the Chancellorship was extremely disquieting, the reaction on the left and in the international press was almost muted complacency. Yes, Hitler was in power. That was bad. But the Nazis would have just three ministers in the cabinet. Which was good. The remainder would be old aristocratic Junkers though, which […]Read more "Weimar Burns"
By September 1932 Papen had managed to infuriate just about everyone with little to show for it. Even worse, the KPD and Nazi parties were colluding on a planned vote of no confidence in Papen’s government. By themselves that alliance was enough to bring Papen down, even if the other parties voted in favor of […]Read more "The False Red Dawn"
The SA celebrated their re-legalization the only way they knew how, which meant getting in everyone’s faces and shooting a bunch of people. The biggest example of both came when they marched into the Hamburg suburb of Altona on July 17th 1932. Long a Communist haven the Nazis had decided to be as provocative as […]Read more "The Coup of Altona Bloody Sunday"
The Iron Front was supposedly the United Front of Republicanism, but in practice it became the SPD’s answer to the brownshirts. They borrowed the military uniforms, the marching styles, even some of the rally elements like call and response shouts. Their logo, three arrows, were designed to be painted over swastikas in sharp diagonals representing […]Read more "I’m With Him: Hindenburg and the Iron Front"
1930 marked the beginning of the Weimar death spiral. To get around the deadlocks in the Reichstag, Brüning began to turn ever more to the now 82 year old President’s emergency powers. This, in turn meant that a small clique of ex-military men and conservative politicians around Hindenburg, headed up by General Kurt von Schleicher, […]Read more "The Radical Knife Edge"
More prominent than the Blutmai schism was the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the start of the Great Depression. The speculative booms of the 20s had set up the global economy for a hard crash, and in a month long period from September 20th to October 24th first the British and then the American stock […]Read more "Market Crash"