History / Politics / Unreliable Sources

Unreliable Sources: No, Hitler was not democratically elected by the German people

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Unreliable Sources will be a segment in which I dispel or debunk a common myth or notion

So, did you hear that Adolf Hitler was running for reelection? No bullshit. Adolf. Hitler. Alive and well and running for reelection. Well, make that Adolf Lu Hitler. He’s a 54-year-old father of three from the tiny Indian state of Meghalaya running for state assembly, as The Guardian recently reported.

“I am aware at one point of time Adolf Hitler was the most hated person on Earth for the genocide of the Jews. But my father added ‘Lu’ in between, naming me Adolf Lu Hitler, and that’s why I am different,” Hitler told The Guardian.

Before you think that being named after Adolf Hitler would be a hindrance to a politician, worry not, Adolf Lu Hitler has already been elected three times. But this brings us to another important question: Was the real Adolf Hitler also a democratically elected politician?

Kurt Vonnegut, in his typical hyperbolic and sardonic fashion, once said, “The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was elected.” He makes an amusing and, perhaps, accurate point about the fact that George W. Bush, winning the presidency through the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, was perceived by many to have not been elected, but, rather, selected by the country’s highest court. The point he makes about Hitler, however, well… not so much.

It has become a common and oft-mentioned notion that Adolf Hitler was democratically elected to power by the German people in a popular political movement in the 1930s. But, in reality, Hitler was never elected, and, in the only election for which his name was on the ballot, he got trounced by almost 20 points.

In the 1932 election for president, Hitler lost to aging war hero Paul von Hindenburg, getting less than 37 percent of the vote. Granted, the Nazi Party did win a majority of seats in the Reichstag in the federal election in June of ’32. And the inability of Hindenburg to form a majority government led to him reluctantly appointing Hitler as chancellor in January of ’33 at the urging of several influential German politicians and businessmen—though, at the time, the chancellor position was basically akin to being chairman of the Reichstag. Less than a month later, the Reichstag was burned to the ground, an act blamed on communists and seen as a plot to overthrow the Weimar Republic, but many historians now think it was perpetrated by Nazi Party loyalists as a false flag operation. The torching of the Reichstag led to the passage of the Enabling Act, which gave the chancellor position full legislative authority. Then the 86-year-old Hindenburg passed away, and the office of presidency was dissolved, which allowed Hitler to merge the president’s authority with that of the chancellor into a new position called the Führer, effectively ending the Weimar Republic and converting Germany into a dictatorship … and the rest we all know.

Anyhow, I suppose it’s true that Nazism became a popular political movement in the ’30s, but the damn point is Hitler was not elected, and he came to power through dictatorial means. It’s a bit strange that this important aspect of history has gone through such a revision for so many people. The whole “Hitler was elected” nonsense is often mentioned by those on the right and the left to suggest that just because someone was elected doesn’t mean they’re not an evil twat. But now the next time you hear someone make this erroneous point you can call bullshit on them.

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