New Chancellor von Papen's Gets Overwhelming No-Confidence Vote in Reichstag

New Chancellor von Papen's Gets Overwhelming No-Confidence Vote in Reichstag

Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen
Source: Deutsches Bundesarchiv

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Franz von Papen, until recently an important member of the Catholic Center Party, presides over his first Reichstag as Chancellor and is immediately given an overwhelming no-confidence vote, 513-32. He calls for new elections in November, at which time the number of seats held by his party will actually drop, thus decreasing his support in the Reichstag.

In December Franz von Papen will be replaced by Kurt von Schleicher, a former military officer who hopes to get support from the Nazis to eliminate German democracy; he then intends to undermine the Nazis, too, leaving him in charge without any serious rivals. Streicher gravely underestimates Adolf Hitler.

Paul von Hindenburg's appointment of Franz von Papen was met with incredulity by everyone. The French ambassador to Germany, André François-Poncet, writes that Papen

"enjoyed the peculiarity of being taken seriously by neither his friends nor his enemies. He was reputed to be superficial, blundering, untrue, ambitious, vain, crafty and an intriguer."

This is the person whom Paul von Hindenburg trusts to lead the German government and protect German democracy.

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