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View all events before 1933

May 12, 1925

Inauguration of Paul von Hindenburg as President of Germany

In 1925, war hero Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg was elected to serve as president of Germany’s young democracy. The Weimar Republic had been established following the German defeat in World War I in 1918. This new government’s first several years had been marked by intense social unrest and economic uncertainty. In this political climate, Hindenburg ran a successful nationalist campaign based on his appeal as a symbol of Germany’s imperial past. 

Huge crowds filled the streets in celebration when Hindenburg was inaugurated. Hindenburg’s presidency marked a shift toward greater popular support for right wing political movements in the Weimar Republic. His presidency also partly contributed to the conditions in which the Nazi Party rose to power. In 1933, Hindenburg reluctantly appointed Adolf Hitler as German chancellor and approved of the Nazi regime’s suspension of civil liberties. When Hindenburg died in 1934, the office of the president was abolished. Hitler became the undisputed leader of the German state.

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