Kurt von Schleicher

 Kurt von Schleicher Ferdinand Friederich Hermann ( ? · I ) (Brandenburg,4 of Aprilof1882-Potsdam,30 of Juneof1934) was amilitary Germanand the lastChancellor of Germanyduring theWeimar Republic.



Of Prussian origin , Schleicher had an authoritarian way of seeing the order, the discipline and the call decadence of the time of the Republic of Weimar . He believed that the Army had the social function of unifying the various elements of society.

On the contrary, in general economic policy was relatively moderate. One example was his opposition to aid policies, particularly those aimed at the bankrupt estates of the noble Junkers landowners in East Prussia , the so-called ” aid to the east ” ( Osthilfe ).

Political activity

After World War I , Schleicher ascended steadily in the Reichswehr (the name of the German Army of that time), being the main link between the latter and civilian government officials. He usually preferred to act behind the scenes, publishing stories in friendly newspapers and using informal networks of informants to find out what other government departments were planning. In that way he headed the Ministeramt (Office of Political Affairs).

Influential character

Schleicher, remaining in a strategic background, became an important figure, first in the German Conservative Revolutionary Movement , and later, and consequently, in the presidential cabinet of Heinrich Brüning between 1930 and 1932 , serving as an assistant to General Wilhelm Groener , Minister of Defense. In time, Schleicher managed to maintain a close relationship with the President of the Republic Paul von Hindenburg , entering into conflict with Brüning and Groener. They were known their intrigues, which were largely responsible for the fall of the government in May of 1932 .

Schleicher became defense minister of the new chancellor Franz von Papen ‘s cabinet , whom he suggested for that position, believing that he would follow the guidelines he had set for him. He was not as conservative as von Papen; Nevertheless, evidenced in a radio speech shortly after his election his clear opposition to a military dictatorship and to a puppet government , moved by the military force. Finally, Papen and Schleicher came into conflict, and when, after the elections in November of 1932 , the government failed to maintain a working majority, Papen was forced to resign , and Schleicher succeeded him as Chancellor of Germany.

Schleicher hoped to reach the majority in the Reichstag (German parliament) by forming the so-called Querfront , which would unify the interests of disgruntled Germans around a non-parliamentary, but participatory, regime. In this way he sought to attract the affiliated unions to the SPD , the Christian unions and the nearest wing to the left of the NSDAP , headed at that time by Gregor Strasser . However, Strasser was already losing the internal power struggle against Adolf Hitler . Although Schleicher made some initial progress, eventually all his potential allies ended up turning their backs on him.

Meanwhile, the overbearing Papen now had the favor of President Hindenburg, who was beginning to distrust Schleicher, among other reasons, for his willingness to work with the SPD , which the mature president had disdained. Papen pushed the president to appoint chancellor to Hitler, in coalition with the Nationalists of the National People ‘s Party (DNVP), who, along with Papen, believed that they could moderate Nazi excesses. Behind Schleicher, Papen held a meeting with Hitler and Alfred Hugenberg (DNVP leader), who had rejected Schleicher’s request for emergency powers as well as another dissolution of the Reichstag .

Schleicher leaves his official residence after being replaced by Adolf Hitler in his position of chancellor .

Fall in disgrace

Papen used his personal bond with the aging President Hindenburg, persuading him that finally the 30 of January of 1933 , had just dismissing Schleicher and naming to Hitler for the position of chancellor. Hindenburg had always been against Hitler, and he had even stated it publicly (he even claimed that he would not appoint him to minister without a portfolio, because it would not do). The old Hindenburg’s desire was to name Papen, but at Hitler’s insistence on ceding him to Hitler, the advice of Oskar von Hindenburg (son of the president) and rumors of a possible coup d’etat led Hindenburg to finally appoint Hitler as chancellor .

Schleicher and his wife Elisabeth were killed by gunshots during the night of the long knives , which occurred on 30 of June of 1934 , along with other alleged enemies of the rising Nazi regime. His sixteen-year-old stepdaughter was the one who found their corpses.

The cabinet of Kurt von Schleicher

This is a list of the ministers who were part of Schleicher’s government (December 1932: January 1933):

  • Kurt von Schleicher: Chancellor
  • Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath : Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Franz Bracht : Minister of the Interior
  • Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk : Minister of Finance
  • Hermann Warmbold : Minister of Economy
  • Friedrich Syrup : Minister of Labor
  • Franz Gürtner ( DNVP ): Minister of Justice
  • Paul Freiherr Eltz von Rübenach : Minister of Post and Minister of Transport
  • Magnus Freiherr von Braun ( DNVP ): Minister for Agriculture
  • Günther Gereke : Reichskomissar of Employment
  • Johannes Popitz : Minister without portfolio