Franz von Papen indicates that he is still a conservative monarchist at the time his Memoirs are written. He was from a well-off, but not aristocratic, family who. Franz von Papen was Chancellor of Germany in and Vice-Chancellor under Adolf Hitler from to Results 1 – 30 of 47 Memoirs by Von Papen, Franz and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at
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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Unknown Binding Verified Purchase. A fascinating statement by a fervent and honorable son of the Catholic church describing in detail his relationship to Hitler and the Nazi Party before, during and after the latter’s succession to total power.
His voice is that gon a man of the highest integrity who sought the best solution for his people and the World in a time that tried mens’ souls. Von Papen is best known as the hapless German Chancellor for seven months in and as the man who, two months later, helped to make Hitler Chancellor, in the belief vln, as Vice-Chancellor, he and his fellow conservatives could keep him under control.
He was then appointed ambassador to Turkey.
At the end of the war he was tried at Nuremberg for being party to a conspiracy to wage aggressive war, but was acquitted. His Memoirs, published inare largely a defence of his life, though he does admit to having made mistakes and misjudgments.
He was never a member of the Nazi Party, but, even on the assumption that he is telling the truth in his Memoirs, he emerges as someone who never allowed his disgust with Nazism to stop him from serving a regime of which he describes several times as immoral and thoroughly reprehensible and which had murdered even some of his close associates.
One can only conclude that, for all his devout Catholicism and the struggles with his conscience, in the end his own moral sense was, to say the least, seriously defective. The memoirs are far too complex for a detailed review. In the chapters dealing with the Weimar Republic Papen declares over and over again that he was motivated at bottom by his Christian beliefs, by a paternalistic social policy, by despair about the short-sighted politicking of the Weimar parties, by the need for constitutional reform to get rid of the proportional representation system so that a strong government could emerge ideally he would have liked a restoration of the monarchyopposition to the Socialist and Communists and, in foreign policy, by friendship with France on condition that France would accept Germany as an equal partner and there was an end to reparations.
Marshall Aid, the resistance to the Soviet Union, and the Franco-German understanding which led to the growing integration of Western Europe. He refutes in detail the charges that were brought against him by his opponents and by the prosecution case at Nuremberg. He denies that he plotted against Schleicher in revenge for Schleicher having secured his dismissal in December and he claims that his approaches to Hitler in January had as their aim to get Hitler to accept office under Schleicher, and that only when that failed, and at the behest of Hindenburg, did he agree to the deal which made Hitler Chancellor and himself Vice-Chancellor.
In the next chapter Papen immediately sets out how, but also why, he had misjudged Hitler as millions of Germans also did. Papen claims to have opposed Nazi antisemitism and to have persuaded Hinndenburg to insist that Jewish ex-servicemen should be excluded from the early antisemitic laws. After Hitler had banned all parties except his own and when the left wing of the party led by Roehm called for a second revolution, on June 17th Papen made his famous speech at Marburg in whih he publicly attacked both the dictatorship and the idea of a second revolution.
When Goebbels tried to suppress the speech, Papen threatened to resign and Hitler, fearing that Hindenburg might then dismiss him, forced Goebbels to rescind the censorship.
He says that he learnt later that only Goering stood between him and execution – but why that was is not at all clear. When the house arrest was lifted, he submitted his resignation, but Hitler did not allow it to be published until August 17th, by which time Papen had been made Minister later Ambassador to Austria. The relations between Germany and Austria had been bad, and Papen was known to have been a personal friend of Dollfuss, the Austrian Chancellor, and to have urged Hitler to withdraw some hostile legislation he had enacted.
But then on July 25th the Austrian Nazis assassinated Dollfuss; Mussolini, not yet an ally of Germany, had mobilized his troops and Germany was not in a position as yet to fight a war.
Hitler, in a panic, disowned the murder and Papen was sent to Vienna as a token of friendship. It is astonishing that Hitler should have chosen Papen, but even more so that Papen, who had submitted his resignation from the Cabinet, should have agreed to go on serving Hitler – and the arguments he gives for his decision are unconvincing.
Franz Von Papen Memoirs by Franz von Papen
Papen, like most Germans believed in the desirability of an Anschluss, but in one to be brought about by agreement between the Germans and the Austrians in part because he believed that a violent Anschluss might provoke a general war. Hitler had promised him that the process should be based on the peaceful consent of both countries. An Austro-German agreement to this effect had actually been signed in June Papen constantly urged Hitler to maintain good relations with Austria by keeping pspen illegal Austrian Nazis under control and urged Schuschnigg, the Austrian Chancellor, to work with pro-German but non-Nazi politicians.
Papen was awarded the Gold Medal of the Nazi Party – but one of his close but indiscreet aides, whom Papen had entrusted with the task of sending his papers to Switzerland, was murdered by the Gestapo. Papen says that he expected to be arrested himself, but instead memolrs was offered the post of ambassador to Turkey, which he twice refused in and early before – without any convincing explanation – accepting it in April that year.
There he several times clashed and even defied his boss, Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, but was kept in post. Soon after D-Day the Turks, succumbing to Allied pressure, severed relationships with Germany August 2nd, and Papen was ordered home immediately. On July 25th,the plot by Beck and others to kill Hitler had failed, and the consiprators were in prison and about to be executed – and Papen had sent a telegram of congratulations to Hitler on his survival.
On August 2nd the Turks, succumbing to Allied pressure, severed relationships with Germany and Papen was ordered home immediately. One of the puzzles of his story is the high positions he held in Mempirs Germany, given that he was not even a member of the Party, that his aides were murdered by the Nazis and that, if these Memoirs are correct, he frequently gave Hitler advice to which he did not listen and defied the orders of Ribbentrop.
He went to his home in the Saarland, which he had to flee as the Allies advanced, and on April 9th he was taken prisoner by the Americans. Principally the prosecution centred on his role in planning the forcible take-over of Austria; and the Court in end accepted the case stated in earlier parts of this memoir: He was set free, only to be immediately re-arrested by the new Socialist Bavarian government.
He was brought before a Denazification Court and sentenced to eight years in a labour camp. Much of his imprisonment was spent in camp hospitals, and on appeal he was released in January He died in Why did he do so?
I read the Von Papen memoirs a long time ago and from what I recall Von Papen hardly deals with such a momentous decision. Bruening was an economist and a person capable of steering a country through a very difficult economic period. No explanation seems to have been preovided what actually happened in the momentous times in the early thirties which got Hitler the reins of power. The chacellorship went to Kurt von Schleicher whom Von Papen hated.
Why Von Papen never explained. The only interesting element is that there is a photo of a poster which is probably a Nazi election poster which encourages voting against Von Papen and the Jews. Why did Von Papen agree to include the photo in his Memoirs.
Was it another ploy to show that he had miscalculated about Hitler?
What has emerged is that Hindenburg may have been old but he was not stupid and he was against Hitler being made Chancellor so how did von Papen persuade Hindenburg to agree to make Hitler Chancellor? It may have been that as a Catholic he had a tremendous hatred of Communism but Hitler was not a regular Sunday church worshipper. In the year Roosevelt had become President of the United States and had promised economic reforms.
Why did not Von Papen take the Chancellorship himself instead of entrusting power to Hitler when Hindenburg was against Hitler and still could get the majority of the votes at election. Von Papen presents a Germany in a state of chaos but the chaos is due to the absence of democratic forces and the development of a secret police force under Heydrich and Himmler.
Von Papen presented himself as an urbane diplomat but he seems to have been a total idiot.
MEMOIRS by Franz von Papen | Kirkus Reviews
Franz von Papen was a German politician during the Weimar and Nazi periods. He was the leader of a conservative party, and continued to serve in the German government well into World War 2.
After the war, he ended up in the hands of the Western Allies, memojrs was acquitted of war crimes. Papen’s memoirs give vpn great deal of insight into the chaotic situation in Germany in the 30s, and how that led to the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor. There is also a good exposition of various inner workings of the Nazi government, and the turbulence inside it.
Von Papen’s story is ultimately a tragic one, and is partially based on the emptiness of the Continental conception of conservatism. As a conservative, he’s appalled by Hitler and this gang, but because Hitler makes some obesiances to the traditional symbols and mores of Germany, von Papen was powerless to offer any principled effective opposition when there was still a chance to do so.
Even once the war has started, von Papen is blinded to the merging of the Nazi Party with the state, and continues to work for “the best interests of Germany”, including a pivotal role in dissuading Turkey from joining the Allies.
There’s a point in the book where he upstages one of Hitler’s inner circle among a working-class crowd, but he doesn’t have a compelling vision to offer, and is thus unable to offer any effective opposition, even though he realizes that the Nazis are fundamentally immoral. See all 5 reviews. There’s a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Get to Know Us.
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