Mystery Seen in Retirement of Hindenburg

Retirement of Colonel Oscar von Hindenburg, son of the late President of Germany, leaves unsolved the mystery of exactly what role he has played in the rise to power of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis, the Chicago Daily News says, hastening to add that “the only certain thing is that the role was one of the greatest importance.”

In a dispatch from Wallace R. Deuel, Daily News correspondent in Berlin, it is asserted that the Colonel, as a Prussian land-owning Junker, probably hoped to use the Nazi movement for the furtherance of the Junkers’ nationalist aims, “chiefly the building up of a powerful army.”

“Colonel von Hindenburg has been credited,” the dispatch states, “with having played the role of special pleader to his father on behalf of the National Socialists. This, however, appears to be true in only a limited sense.”

Characterized as “one of the most mysterious and, at the same time, most important figures of post-War Germany,” Colonel von Hindenburg, as his last public act, it is recalled, supported Hitler in radio speeches before the recent plebiscite.

The report continues:

“His next to the last act was to refrain from delivering his father’s political ‘will’ to Hitler—although the old general had written on the envelope in which the estament was found:

” ‘To be delivered to the Chancellor by my son, Oscar von Hindenburg.’

“Baron Franz von Papen, the Vice-Chancellor, delivered it instead.

“Throughout his father’s presidency, Colonel von Hindenburg acted as his personal adjutant. He never left his father’s side and for several weeks at the end of the general’s life only Oscar and the President’s chief of cabinet, Otto Meissner, could see him.

“It was through them that the dying old man received all that he knew of what was happening in the nation of which he was the Chief Executive.”

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