1932: Field Marshal von Hindenburg Beats Hitler in Presidential Election

1932: Field Marshal von Hindenburg Beats Hitler in Presidential Election
Photo Credit To https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-S38324,_Tag_von_Potsdam,_Adolf_Hitler,_Paul_v._Hindenburg.jpg

On this day in 1932 Paul von Hindenburg defeated his opponent Adolf Hitler in the presidential elections in Germany. This took place about a year before the Nazis took power in Germany. Hindenburg was a well-respected field marshal, who led the German army in the previous war (World War I). In fact, Hindenburg was a German president since the year 1925, so had already done one seven-year term on the eve of these elections. He wanted to retire before the next elections (he was already 85 years old), but he still ran, probably precisely to stop Hitler from becoming the new German president.

Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) were already on the eve of these presidential elections a great force in the parliament (Reichstag). In fact, they had 107 MPs, and only the Social Democrats (SPD) were stronger, with 143 representatives. The Communists were also quite powerful, having 77 representatives. By winning the presidential elections, Hitler wanted to ensure the further strengthening of the Nazis, and possibly take over all the power in the country on dictatorial basis. Hindenburg, of course, feared that and ran as a rival to Hitler.

The third relatively strong candidate, along with Hitler and Hindenburg, was communist Ernst Thälmann. Only these three were able to exceed 10% in the first round, and thus enter the second round. The second round of elections was held on this day. Hindenburg won with 53% of the vote, Hitler was second with 36.8%, and Thälmann third with 10.2%.

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