‘The Marshal and the Corporal . . . ’
This chapter discusses the role of the Hindenburg myth during the early years of the ‘Third Reich’. Analyzing, amongst others, the celebrations of the ‘Day of Potsdam’ and the President's funeral in 1934, it is argued that the regime continued to accept Hindenburg as a parallel symbolic authority. His myth was crucial to consolidating Nazi rule after the ‘seizure of power’. It is shown that Hindenburg willingly participated in such propagandistic displays, and that the political will he left provided the regime with invaluable symbolic ammunition. A sense of trust in Hindenburg's personal integrity, and his power to alter people's fortunes, nevertheless survived among many of those pursued by the regime. That Hindenburg remained a rallying point for Nazi opponents highlights the perpetual polyvalence of his myth.
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