Blackhumouristpress's Blog

November 12, 2015

The 1932 Presidential Debate… In Germany

In early March of 1932, the president of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg agreed to have a debate with the other two major candidates, Adolf Hitler and Ernst Thalmann.  Those in the inner circle around Hindenburg thought that the old guy should take a pass on verbally sparring with the young man who sought to defeat him.  Hindenburg knew the Nazi Party was growing in popularity but he hardly took the Austrian Corporal from World War I seriously and so he agreed to face the competition in a debate.

“President Hindenburg, it is said that you are for the most part, apolitical, aloof and benign as a head of state.  You have claimed to be dedicated to democracy but hold a spot in your heart for the monarchy.  What are your thoughts on returning Germany to a monarchy?”

The dignified looking war hero of three wars, brushed back his large moustache, smiled and answered with a few short words.

“I think my running for a second term of office speaks for my dedication to the democratic process…  With a gun to my back.”

“Can you explain what you mean by a gun to your back, Mr. President?”

Hindenburg looked at young Adolf with his arms folded and tight face and tried to be light about their gathering.  Mr. Hitler patiently waited his turn.

“There are those among me that believe the only way to keep this Austrian corporal from the presidency is to continue on as president.  At my age, I am Germany’s last hope.”

Laughter in the room erupted.  The moderator turned to Adolf Hitler and asked him what he thought of the president’s comments.  Moderators love a good war of words between candidates.  Who doesn’t take notice of a good fight?

“In eight years, Bismarck was able to win three wars and in seven years our current great war hero has done what exactly for the fatherland?  Holding up a white flag while asleep in a very comfy chair is hardly progress.  I propose to make Germany great again like Bismarck.  Germany doesn’t win anymore…  We are not winning.  I pledge to you to cleanse the fatherland of elements that leach and suck from the tit leaving real Germans to want…”

Ernst Thalmann, the Communist candidate interrupted Adolf which only incensed him nearly to the point of physically attacking the distant third party candidate.

“I hope all reasonably intelligent people understand that a vote for Hindenburg is a proxy vote for Hitler and a vote for Hitler is a vote for war…”

Hitler brushed back his dark hair, smiled at the moderator and spoke over Thalmann.

“You dear dockworker, would be best of service to the fatherland if you were to fetch the president and I something to quench are parched throats as we discuss the direction one of us will be taking this country very shortly.  The idea of you marching the keys to Germany up to the Kremlin so that you might become a lap dog for Stalin, is sad.  Luckily for Germany your ideas are so obscure that you are one podium away from being on the street with a cup in your hand…  This is the crux of Germany’s problems- a tired old figurehead who thinks he is a monarch, who holds up the terms of Weimar as if it were the bible and then you have the Stalin’s cabin boy to my other side…  Germans are superior and unless we think of ourselves as superior we will never win again.”

The questioning and answering and interrupting went on for nearly an hour when the moderator asked each man to give a closing statement.  Thalmann’s closing statement came off as handwringing, the sky is falling sort of whining.  The president appeared to have nodded off twice during the debate.  He pledged to continue on with what was working for Germany.  Hitler threw out his pledge.

“If I become president, we will do something really special. We will make this country greater than ever before. We’ll have more jobs, we’ll have more of everything.  Think of Bismarck… We were discussing all sorts of things tonight, many of which will just be words, it’ll just pass on. I don’t want to say politicians … all talk, no action, but a lot of what we talked about is words and it’ll be forgotten very quickly. If I’m president, many of the things that we discussed tonight will not be forgotten. We’ll find solutions. The world will respect us, they will respect us like never before, and I have to say it’s a great honor to be here tonight.”

And well most of you know what happened next…

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