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Chengar Qordath

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Berlin, German Reich: January 13, 1932
Reichpräsident Paul von Hindenburg​
Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg was an old and tired man. He had never been enthusiastic about entering politics, and he was even less happy to be mixed up in politics now. He certainly felt that at the age of 84 it was more than past time for him to go into retirement, and in darker moments he would quietly admit to himself that he was no longer capable of performing his duties as reichpräsident; his memory was failing him. At first it had just been a few minor things but now it was beginning to become a serious problem, lately he was becoming more and more dependent on his advisors and political allies, everything just seemed so much more complicated and confusing lately.

But as much as he disliked politics and desperately wished to retire he could not, or at least that was what all his advisors and political allies kept telling him. Von Hindenburg agreed with them, for only a man of renowned military service and the highest reputation could stand up to Hitler in the upcoming election in March. Von Hindenburg had done everything he could to find a better candidate, but he was becoming resigned to the fact that he was the only viable choice. As much as von Hindenburg would have loved to finally retire he had a duty to Germany, and for him duty came before all else, but he could not help but wish that he could pass this duty on to someone else.

To all appearances though he was simply out of options, certainly career politicians like Franz von Papen stood no chance against of winning an election against Hitler. What von Hindenburg needed, he concluded with only a bit of hubris, was more or less a younger version of himself. However, Germany was sadly lacking in staunchly conservative career warriors with no ties to the Nazi party who would be willing to run for the Presidency, and would actually have a good enough reputation to have a chance of winning.

However, the lack was not quite so severe as von Hindenburg first thought, for there was in fact one man who almost perfectly fit these criteria. A man who had been hailed as a war hero, and who was hated the Nazis with an impressive passion. This man also had the important willingness to involve himself in the political game, at least enough to hold a seat in Reichstag for a time, and was a solid monarchist who had lost his position in the military for being too supportive of the Kapp Putsch. When a letter from the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, with whom von Hindenburg occaisionally exchanged letters, happened to make a passing reference to the exploits of the young Major General during the war von Hindenburg could only attribute his failure to think of such a well suited candidate to his advanced age and failing mind.

The next day he arranged a meeting with the other conservative leaders, and after some initial hesitance and discussion all agreed that to accept the candidate suggested by von Hindenburg. While none there would ever admit it, the main reason they desired to keep von Hindenburg in power was that his age had made him easy to manipulate, while a younger reichpräsident would not fall for such trickery. However, von Hindenburg was adamant and his suggested candidate was an excellent choice, and in the end there were no objections left. With the decision made von Hindenburg set out to the residence of his chosen successor, ready to offer him the chance of a lifetime.

During the short drive von Hindenburg felt quite relieved, though he had been honored to render such long and distinguished service to Germany he was quite ready to finally have a chance to relax and enjoy his retirement. He felt a small twinge of pity for the man who would soon take his place and carry the massive burden of the fate of the German people on his shoulders, but that pity soon faded as he was distracted by casual musing on just what he would do with all the free time he would have on his hands soon. Maybe he could take up golf...
 
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Sir Humphrey

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Great start. :)
 

The Yogi

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Paul von Lettow-Voerbeck for Reichspräsident! ;)
 

unmerged(28944)

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*flopping about his desk like a fish on the hook*

You've got me... with fine writing such as that, who couldn't be? Am surely hungry for more! :D
 

Chengar Qordath

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A New Leader

Paul Erich von Lettow Vorbeck, conservative candidate for Reichpräsident​

On January 17th, 1932 Paul Erich von Lettow-Voreck officially announced his intention to run for Reichpräsident. He soon gained the endorsements of top conservative politicians like Franz von Papen, Kurt von Schleicher, Reichskanzler Heinrich Brüning and perhaps most importantly outgoing Reichpräsident Paul von Hindenburg. He would need all these endorsements, for Adolph Hitler was a formidable opponent.

Adolph Hitler, NSDAP candidate for Reichpräsident​

While Hitler lacked the support of much of the establishment of the German Reich, he had a dangerous popularity amongst the electorate. Though not popular among the urban working class, he was popular amongst farmers, war veterans, and the middle-class; all groups that had suffered heavily due to the hyperinflation and unemployment that plagued Germany in the 1920's and early 30's. He was also a skilled public speaker possessed of an almost demonic charisma that could sway crowds to his side of any arguement.

Von Lettow-Vorbeck knew that he had to deflect the campaign as much as possible from Germany's economic troubles, for he was well aware that the economy was Hitler's strongest campaign issue. One of the early clashes of the election would center on the war records of the two candidates.

Hitler (Left) and Von Lettow-Vorbeck(Right) during the war.​

Von Lettow-Vorbeck certainly was certainly on strong ground here, for his campaign in East Africa was was much celebrated and even his opponents, such as South African general Jan Smuts, expressed a grudging admiration for his skill. He had fought a for four long years completely cut off from any aid and facing British forces at least ten times the size of his own, yet he not only survived but managed to win several major battles and never suffer a major defeat. Upon his return to Germany he was hailed as a hero, and Kaiser Wilhelm's last edict before going into exile was to promote him to Major General.

The Battle of Tanga, Von Lettow-Vorbeck's greatest victory.​

Hitler tried to fight back by pointing out that he had a respectable war record as well, having won the Iron Cross, First Class. However this accomplishment seemed a minor thing compared to everything von Lettow-Vorbeck had achieved. His war record was also badly undermined when a report filed by a military physician was leaked to the press, which described him as "incompetent to command people," "dangerously psychotic," and stated that a case of temporary blindness he claimed to be a result of poison gas was actually caused by hysteria. Hitler naturally stated that the report was faked, and all claims within it were false.

The most important event of the campaign was indisputably the Nuremburg Debate held on March 7th, 1932, just six days before the election. Von Lettow-Vorbeck had previously sought to avoid any public confrontation with Hitler, as he knew that in a contest of public speaking he would be at a major disadvantage. In his later autobiography Mein Lieben he would state that his decision to face Hitler in a public debate at Nuremburg which would be broadcast over the radio to much of the German nation was in fact a carefully calculated risk. He chose to face Hitler in a situation where he knew he would be at a disadvantage, hoping to take advantage of Hitler's overconfidence.

Throughout the debate many would contrast von Lettow-Vorbeck's calm and dignified manner with the wild histrionics of Hitler. The key moment of the debate would actually come from a seemingly offhand comment made by von Lettow-Vorbeck that the Askari soldiers who had made up a large portion of his forces in Africa were among the finest he had ever commanded. Hitler flew into a wild rage at this, furiously denouncing Von Lettow-Vorbeck for comparing Africans and Germans on equal terms, which was in total contravention to Hitler's racial theories.

As often happens when a person totally loses control of their temper, Hitler soon drifted from simply denouncing one statement of von Lettow-Vorbeck's to a long rambling monologue which mainly focused on spelling out Hitler's racial theories and plans to implement them in dsiturbing detail and even included veiled threats against von Lettow-Vorbeck. Several of his more politically knowledgable allies were desperate to stop him, but it soon became clear that Hitler had built up his momentum and nothing short of physically dragging him away would end his speach. As Hitler continued to ramble on about his mad plans many listeners began to recall the leaked medical report that had been so widely publicised, and suddenly the claims that Hitler was a dangerous psychopath sounded all to believable.

After nearly 20 minutes of near silence aside from Hitler's furious phillipic, an unidentified member of the crowd near the front hurled a ripe tomato at the NSDAP candidate. After a moment of shocked silence the vast majority of the crowd burst out against Hitler, booing, hissing, and generally making their displeasure with Herr Hitler abundantly clear. With his momentum finally broken, Hitler's advisors were able to extract him and quickly withdraw from the scene.

The Nuremburg debate was a truly amazing disaster for Adolph Hitler and the NSDAP. Goebbels tried desperately to find a way to contain the damage and possibly even turn the disaster to Hitler's advantage, but with only a few days before the election there simply was not enough time. On March 13th the election in returned a strong majority in favor of von Lettow-Vorbeck.

Candidate......................................................Votes
Paul Erich von Lettow-Vorbeck (None).................64.7%
Theodor Duesterberg (DNVP).............................17.4%
Ernst Thälmann (KPD).......................................13.7%
Adolf Hitler (NSDAP)..........................................4.2%
 
Last edited:

Chengar Qordath

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Sir Humphrey, cthulhu, & Draco Rexus: Glad you like it so far, I hope the update pleases.

Yogi: Well done, I tried to put in enough clues to give someone a fair chance at guessing if they knew enough about the situation, but not make it too obvious so that some people could still enjoy the surprise.
 

Sir Humphrey

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Maybe he has ideas about trying get Germanies colonies back?.....
 

TekcoR

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Amazing work.
 

aussieboy

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Long live the President!!!! Down with the Nazis!!!!!
 

unmerged(39157)

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go Lettow-Vorbeck! go Lettow-Vorbeck!
 

unmerged(28944)

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Nice move with Lettow-Vorbeck, one of Germanies less known WWI leaders (which is a shame to admit!).

Even nicer move with the debate and the effective removal of Herr Mustache. Acutally, that was simply beautiful, my hat's off to you, sir!

So with such an overwhelming majority of the vote, what's next for the new Reichpräsident? I like Humps' idea about Lettow-Vorbeck mayhap having ideas about recovering Germany's African colonies, worth a shot?
 

Stonewall

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Very nicely done. Keep it up!
 

Chengar Qordath

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Downfall​

Von Lettow-Vorback would retain the unpopular Heinrich Brüning as Reichskanzler​

Following the election of 1932 Reichpräsident von Lettow-Vorbeck would enjoy a much stronger political position than any had expected before the Nuremburg debates. The left-wing SDP and KDP had gained little from the collapse of the NSDAP, most voters instead gravitating to the Centre party, KVP, DNVP, DSP, and DDP. All these parties were at the least inclined to give the new Reichpräsident a chance to put his polcies into effect and decrease his popularity before they actively opposed him.

Von Lettow-Vorbeck chose to largely retain von Hindenburg's cabinet, due to the fact that such men were already experienced and familiar with the current situation, which would be valuable while von Lettow-Vorbeck adjusted to his new position. The retention of Brüning as Reichskanzler was a controversial move, as he many felt his economic policies had done more harm than good. However, von Lettow-Vorbeck managed to calm most opposition through private meetings with major party leaders, during which he he hinted that Brüning would only remain Reichskanzler until a replacement had been decided upon.

However, by the middle of 1932 Brüning would finally begin regaining his popularity, aided by the Lausanne Conference that went from June 16 - July 9, 1932 and resulted in an agreement to defer the German reparation debts. Bolstered by this good news the German economy finally began to recover from and Brüning's economic policy was redeemed. Unsurprisingly Brüning was able to retain his position as Reichkanzler due to the success of his economic policy.

Hermann Wilhelm Göring was the first prominent members of NSDAP to abandon the party, but by no means the last.​

After the disasterous election of 1932, it was not long before the NSDAP began to collapse. Already the party had lost any hope of gaining the support of a sizable portion of the population of Germany, and before long even the party leadership would begin to either defect to other parties or attempt to break off their own splinter groups. Hermann Göring and most of the other right wing leaders would either defect to the DNVP or simply exit politics altogether.

Gregor Strasser would break off the left wing of the NSDAP, but would fail to maintain political power.​

The left wing of NSDAP would also break off from Hitler, under Gregor Strasser's leadership. However, despite efforts and half a dozen name changes Strasser was never able to remove the taint of NSDAP from his party and in 1939 he would finally disband what was then called the SAP (Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei),

Ernst Röhm, leader of the SA, was one of the few who would remain loyal to Hitler.​

However, while the chances of NSDAP ever becoming the dominant force in Germany were now utterly dashed, some would remain loyal to Hitler. Ernst Röhm and a few of the more devoted units of the SA, and a few other fanatical believers in Hitler's cause, would stand by Hitler even as all others abandoned him. Hitler was determined to take power in Germany, and he was not known for accepting defeat.
 

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Stonewall, Draco Rexus, cthulhu, Dante Essex, aussieboy, TekcoR, & CSL_GG: Glad you like the AAR, I do try to please.

Sir Humphrey & Draco Rexus: Well I don't want to give away the entire plot just yet...

There will probably be three or four more posts of backstory, and then I'll move into the actual game. I'll be using narrarative style in the posts which introduce the title character, and once I get to actual game I'll be going back and forth between the broader history book style and narraratives for some of the major events.
 

aussieboy

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Mar 28, 2005
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Well, long live democracy!!!
 

The Yogi

Evil Genius
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Dec 16, 2002
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Marvelous work, Chengar!

But beware when those brownshirts have had too much beer in some smelly cellar... time to call the Reichswher to the streets!