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ing to the foolish chatter of emigres, these gentlemen would have been wiser to read what I have written thousands of

times." (2541-PS) Hitler and other Nazi leaders repeatedly made clear their willingness to use force if necessary to achieve their purposes. They glorified war. Mein Kampf is replete with early evidence of such intentions, which subsequently were reaffirmed from time to time in the years preceding 1933 (D-660; 2771-PS; 2512-PS).

The Nazi leaders prior to 1933 had openly declared their intentions to subvert democratic processes as a means to achieve their purposes, and to this end to harass and embarrass democratic forces at every turn. Thus Hitler himself had declared that,

"We shall become members of all constitutional bodies, and in this manner make the Party the decisive factor. Of course, when we possess all constitutional rights we shall then mould the State into the form we consider to be the right one.”

(2512-PS) Frick, writing in the National Socialist Yearbook, declared:

“Our participation in the parliament does not indicate a support, but rather an undermining of the parliamentarian system. It does not indicate that we renounce our antiparliamentarian attitude, but that we are fighting the enemy with his own weapons and that we are fighting for our National Socialist goal from the parliamentary platform."

(2742-PS) The practical application of these purposes was thus subsequently described by a leading Nazi constitutional authority, Ernst Rudolf Huber:

“It was necessary above all to make formal use of the possibilities of the party-state system but to refuse real cooperation and thereby to render the parliamentary system, which is by nature dependent upon the responsibility cooperation

of the opposition, incapable of action.” (2633PS). This practical application of Nazi purposes and methods was manifest at the time von Papen was a member of the Reichstag and Vice Chancellor. By this time the Nazi members of the Reichstag were engaging in tactics of disturbance which finally culminated in physical attacks upon members of the Reichstag and upon visitors, and were using terroristic measures to assure their election (L-83).

Von Papen not only had the opportunity to observe early manifestations of Nazi violence and irresponsibility. He fully under

stood the true character of the Nazi menace before 1933 and publicly condemned it.

At the time of the German elections in the summer of 1932, von Papen, President Hindenburg, and certain other German leaders were hoping that the rising Nazi menace would be dissipated by providing for National Socialist participation in a rightistcentrist government. Hitler refused all overtures inviting such participation, even when suggested by President Hindenburg himself, insisting upon assuming the chancellorship without obligation to other parties. Hitler's refusal at this time to collaborate with Hindenburg and Papen marked the beginning of a series of public declarations in which von Papen revealed a clear understanding of Nazi methods and objections. Thus, on the occasion of his Munster speech of 28 August 1932 von Papen declared :

"The licentiousness emanating from the appeal of the leader of the National Socialist Movement does not comply very well with his claims to governmental power."

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"I do not concede him the right to regard the mere minority following his banner solely as the German nation, and to treat all our fellow countrymen as 'free game'.”

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“I am advocating the constitutional state, the community of the people, law and order in government. In doing so, it is I, and not he, who is carrying on the struggle against the domination of parties, against arbitrarianism and injustice, a struggle which millions of his supporters had been wholeheartedly longing for years to fight."


"I am firmly determined to stamp out the smouldering flame of civil war, to put an end to political unrest and political violence, which today is still such a great obstacle to the positive work representing the sole task of the State.”

(3314--PS) Writing in the September 1932 issue of the periodical “Volk und Reich," von Papen declared:

“The present situation clearly shows that party domination and State leadership are concepts incompatible with one another. It is conceivable theoretically that a party might gain the majority in parliament and claims the government (State leadership) for itself. The NSDAP has proclaimed this theoretical possibility as its practical goal and has come very close to attaining it. It is to be hoped that the leaders

of this movement will place the nation above the party and will thus lend a visible expression to the faith of millions looking for a way out of the spiritual and material distress of the nation provided also by the leadership of the State.”



The hope in the hearts of millions of national socialists can be fulfilled only by an authoritarian government. The problem of forming a cabinet on the basis of a parliamentary coalition has again been brought into the field of public political discussion. If such negotiations, in the face of growing distress, are conducted with the motif of destroying the political opponent by the failure his governmental activity, this is a dangerous game against which one cannot warn

warn enough. In the last analysis such plans can mean nothing else but a tactics which counts on the possibility that matters get worse for the people and that the faith of millions will turn into the bitterest disappointment, if these tactics only result in the destruction of the political adversary. It is within the nature of such party-tactical maneuvers that they are veiled and will be disclaimed in public. That, however, cannot prevent me from warning publicly against such plans, about which it may be undecided who is the betrayer and who the betrayed one; plans, though, which will certainly cheat the German people out of their hope for improvement of their situation. Nothing can prove more urgently the necessity for an authoritarian government than such a prospect of maneuvers of a tactical game by the parties." (Papen ar

ticle quoted in "Frankfurter Zeitung”, 2 Sept. 1932, p. 2). In his Munich speech on 13 October 1932 von Papen was especially clear:

"The essence of conservative ideology is its being anchored in the divine order of things. That too is its fundamental difference compared with the doctrine advocated by the NSDAP. The principle of 'exclusiveness of a political 'everything or nothing which the latter adheres to, its mythical Messiah-belief in the bombastic Fuehrer who alone is destined to direct fate, gives it the character of a political sect. And therein I see the unbridgeable cleavage between a conservative policy born of faith and a national-socialist creed as a matter of politics. It seems to me that today names and individuals are unimportant when Germany's final fate is at stake. What the nation demands is this: it expects of a movement which has written upon its banner the internal

and external national freedom that it will act, at all times
and under all circumstances, as if it were the spiritual, social
and political conscience of the nation. If it does not act that
way; if this movement follows merely tactical points of view,
democratic-parliamentarian points of view, if it engages in
the soliciting of mass support using demagogic agitation and
means of proletarian class struggle—then it is not a move-
ment any more, it has become a political party.
“And, indeed, the Reich was almost destroyed by the politi-
cal parties. One simply cannot, on one side, despise merci-
lessly masses and majorities, as Herr Hitler is doing, and on
the other hand surrender to parliamentarian democracy;
surrender to the extent of adopting resolutions against one's
own government together with Bolshevists."

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“In the interest of the entire nation we decline the claim to power by parties which want to own their followers body and soul, and which want to put themselves, as a party or a move

ment, over and above the whole nation.” (3317-PS) In a series of interviews and speeches in the fall of 1932 von Papen castigated the Nazi party for its ambitions to achieve a total and centralized control of Germany. He contrasted its objectives and methods to his own “conservatism” and emphasized its incompatibility with the preservation of the "federalistic" type of government to which he was committed. His public pronouncements in this connection were clearly reflected in the contemporary press:

“Von Papen claimed that it had been his aim from the very beginning of his tenure in office to build a new Reich for and with the various states [Laender). The Reich government is taking a definite federalist attitude. Its slogan is not a dreary centralism or unitarianism."

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“Wherever one did hear von Papen express himself in public, one did hear a chancellor who took special care to be regarded

as an unconditional federalist." (3318-PS) The Vice Chancellor's campaign against the Nazis culminated finally in a radio speech to the German public on 4 November 1932, in which he severely criticized Nazi political methods. He damned the Nazis' "pure party egoism” which resulted in methods described by him as "sabotage” and as “a crime against the nation.” He accused the Nazis of wanting complete and permanent power in Germany (Deutsche Reichsgeshichte in Dokumenten IV, p. 523 (Rundfunkrede des Reichkanzlers von Papen)).

Nor was von Papen content merely to make speeches against the Nazis. As late as November 1932, Papen was prepared to use all the forces at the command of the state in a supreme effort to suppress the rising Nazi menace. He was deterred from this purpose only by a failure to secure the support of his cabinet. The inner struggles of the German cabinet at this time are recounted by Otto Meissner (in a statement made at Nurnberg, 28 November 1945), Chief of the Chancery of Reichspresident Hindenburg

"Papen's reappointment as Chancellor by President Hinden-
burg would have been probable if he had been prepared to
take up an open fight against the National Socialists, which
would have involved the threat or use of force. Almost up
to the time of his resignation, Papen and some of the other
ministers' agreed on the necessity for pressing the fight
against the Nazis by employing all the resources of the State
and relying on Article 48 of the Constitution, even if this
might lead to armed conflict. Other ministers, however, be-
lieved that such a course would lead to civil war.
“The decision was provided by Schleicher, who in earlier
times had recommended energetic action against the Na-
tional Socialists—even if this meant the use of police and
army. Now, in the decisive cabinet meeting, he abandoned
this idea and declared himself for an understanding with
“The gist of Schleicher's report—which was given partly by
himself, partly by Major Ott, who adduced detailed statisti-
cal material—was that the weakened Reichswehr, which was
dispersed over the whole Reich, even if supported by civilian
volunteer formations, would not be equal to military opera-
tions on a large scale, and was not suited and trained for
civil war. The police, in particular the Prussian police, had
been undermined by propaganda and could not be considered
as absolutely reliable. If the Nazis began an armed revolt,
one must anticipate a revolt of the Communists and a gen-
eral strike at the same time. The forces of these two ad-
versaries were very strong. If such a 'war against two
fronts' should take place, the forces of the State would un-
doubtedly be disrupted. The outcome of a civil war would
be at the least most uncertain.
“In his, Schleicher's view, it was impossible to take the risks
implied in such a policy. In case of failure, which he believed
likely, the consequences for Germany would be terrible. All
present in the cabinet meeting were deeply impressed by

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