Hindenburg, Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff von, born on 02-10-1847 in Posen
, Prussia (now Poznan, Poland), into an aristocratic German family.
as son of
Otto Friedrich von Hindenburg Luise Schwickart. During an honourable but undistinguished military career, he served in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, retiring in 1911.
Generalmajor von Hindenburg around 1897 with five commander crosses and the plaque of the Order of St. Mauritius and St. Lazarus. On 24-09-1879 Hindenburg married Gertrud von Sperling (1860 – 1921). The couple had a son, Oskar (1883 – 1960) and two daughters, Irmengard Pauline (1880–1948) and Annemarie (1891–1978).
However, in 1914 he was recalled as the nominal superior of Erich Ludendorff, a talented military strategist. Credit for Erich Ludendorff‘
invasion of Russia was misdirected to Hindenburg, who was appointed Field Marshal and commander of all German land forces, with Ludendorff at his side. Hindenburg oversaw the mobilisation of the whole German state for war, and became immensely popular throughout the country. Kaiser Wilhelm II
was sidelined. After Germany’s defeat in 1918 Hindenburg retired, but in 1925, largely because of his status as a war hero, he was elected president of Germany. In 1930, as economic depression took hold and another government fell, he appointed a cabinet accountable only to him and in July authorised Chancellor Heinrich Brüning
to dissolve the Reichstag. New elections saw the National Socialists emerge as the second largest party and with parliamentary cooperation withering, Brüning governed almost exclusively by decree. His deflationist policies aggravated the economic difficulties and unrest mounted, fuelled by the Nazis. Hindenburg was re-elected president in 1932, mainly with the support of those who saw him as a protection against Nazi lawlessness and brutality. Yet Hindenburg’s own circle thought the Nazis as a useful – albeit unpleasant – group, who were worth accommodating. Two successive governments failed to win Nazi support as Adolf Hitler
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insisted on becoming chancellor in any government in which his party participated. Despite considerable pressure, Hindenburg refused to appoint him. But in November 1932 an agreement
as chancellor, but with non-Nazis in most other posts. Once in office,
Hitler quickly secured almost unlimited political power through terror and manipulations.
Death and burial ground of Hindenburg, Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff von.
Hitler was publicly respectful to Hindenburg, who remained in office until his death on his estate Neudeck near Freystadt
on 02-08-1934 of Alzheimer and lung cancer, age 86.
The day before Hitler received word that Hindenburg was on his deathbed. Hitler then had the cabinet pass the “Law Concerning the Highest State Office of the Reich,” which stipulated that upon Hindenburg’s death, the offices of president and chancellor would be merged under the title of Leader and chancellor (Führer und Reichskanzler). The day of Hindenburg’s death, the cabinet ordered a plebiscite for August 19 for the German people to approve the combination of the two offices. All soldiers would have to swear an oath to Hitler personally.
Contrary to Hindenburg’s will, he was interred with his wife in a magnificent ceremony at the Tannenberg Memorial.
In 1944, as the Russians approached, Generalleutnant Oskar von Hindenburg moved his parents’ remains to western Germany. After World War II the Poles razed the Tannenberg Memorial to the ground.