The Chancellor: January 30, 2023 will mark the 90th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s ascension to the Chancellorship of Weimar Germany. Yet, Hitler did not take power, it was offered to him. Little more than three years after the start of the Great Depression, President Paul von Hindenburg was able to exercise Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution; thereby circumventing representative government to appoint Chancellors to run the government to get Germany out of a worsening economic morass. Three candidates were chosen, all three failed to reverse the declining fortunes of the Fatherland. With investments from the United States drying up and with the Right and Left battling in the streets, prompted, of course, by a thirty-three percent unemployment rate, businessmen, bankers and the military urged the aging Hindenburg to appoint the man he little cared for, that vulgar little corporal from Austria, Adolf Hitler (who became a German citizen the year before in expectation of becoming Chancellor). And this at a time of the Nazi Party’s loss of seats in Reichstag elections. The Establishment of Germany would not, under any circumstances, countenance a candidate from the Left at the helm of the German Government. “We are hiring him,” seeing Hitler as a caretaker of Establishment expectations for Germany. A decision that, twelve years later, would see to the Fatherland becoming a shambles.
Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine in Monroe, Connecticut; and, is the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America.