Hitler, it was believed, at first desirous of having von Papen out of the cabinet, later wanted to keep him in the government as commissioner for the Saar, where von Papen’s non-Nazi affiliation could be emphasized in the campaign preceding the plebiscite. It is understood that von Papen was not agreeable to this and insisted that if he were to go out of the government, he would go out entirely.
But the decision, apparently, did not rest with either Hitler or von Papen. President Paul von Hindenburg had the final say. Although approving cordially every step taken by Hitler and Goering in the ruthless suppression of oppositionist elements, the aged President, who had warned Hitler that the Reichswehr had been made responsible for von Papen’s safety, evidently insisted that the man whom he called “dear comrade” must remain in the government.
That is the only interpretation that can be put on the unexpected announcement tonight following Hitler’s return from a conference with von Hindenburg at Neudeck and further discussions with his trusted advisers here today.
VICTORY FOR CONSERVATIVES
When Hitler left Berlin last night by airplane, it was, on the best authority, to secure von Hindenburg’s permission to dismiss the man considered the President’s representative in the government. It was confidently predicted that this permission would be forthcoming, particularly in view of von Hindenburg’s fulsome approval of the steps taken by Hitler in his bloody cleansing of hostile elements.
Von Papen’s retention in the cabinet must, therefore, be considered a victory for the conservative elements that have been alarmed by the direction in which the Nazi regime had been taking the German nation.
It signified also that Hitler recognizes the authority of von Hindenburg and that his future course will have to meet with the approval of von Hindenburg and the class he most closely representsâ€”especially so since Hitler must depend on the Reichswehr, the standing army, because of the undependability of his storm troop army revealed by the developments of last Saturday and subsequent days.
STORM TROOPS OUT
It is now expected that the great majority of the storm troops, now on a month’s vacation, will not be recalled, and that the government will take every step possible to liquidate the stormers’ organization as painlessly and definitely as possible.
Once this step is taken, Hitler will be completely at the dictate of the conservatives, retaining his office only by virtue of their acquiescence. That they will not readily depose him is believed due to von Hindenburg’s conviction that Hitler alone stands between Germany and chaos.
A whole detachment of storm troopers, it was learned today, had been placed in a concentration camp for protesting against Hitler’s “purging” of the storm troopers and execution of popular leaders.
NAZI LEADERS GATHER
Meanwhile, delegates from all over Germany were assembling at the little town of Flensburg in Schleswig-Holstein, for the congress of Nazi leaders of all districts.
Propaganda Minister Goebbels, General von Epp, commissioner for Bavaria and Adolf Wagner, Bavarian Nazi leader who first took steps to quell the Roehm revolt, have already arrived at the congress site, and are awaiting the arrival of Hitler. The principal leaders will seek means of coping with the crisis created by widespread revolt in the storm troop ranksâ€”a revolt which has reached greater proportions than the government has allowed to be generally known.