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Hitler Rejects Hindenburg's Offer of a Conference (November 24, 1932)

By the fall of 1932, Hindenburg was seeking ways to bring the Nazis into a coalition government and temper their radicalism. On various occasions, Hindenburg invited Hitler to come and speak with him about the political situation and possible solutions. These invitations were extended by Hindenburg’s secretary, Otto Meissner, to whom Hitler sent the following letter. Hitler defended his political approach and expressed no interest in meeting with Hindenburg.

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Adolf Hitler
as from Berlin, 24 November 1932

Dear Herr Staatssekretär,

In acknowledging your letter rejecting my proposals for the solution of the present crisis, allow me to make the following final comments.

1. I did not describe the attempt to form a parliamentary majority government as hopeless but called it impossible in view of the conditions attached.

2. I have pointed out that if the conditions are to be laid down these must be based on the Constitution.

3. I have not asked for leadership of a presidential cabinet, but have merely submitted a proposal for the German government crisis.

4. Unlike others, I have constantly stressed the need for collaboration with the people’s representatives based on the Constitution and have given express assurances that I would only serve under such legal conditions.

5. Not only have I not asked for a party dictatorship but I was prepared, just as I was in August of this year, to open negotiations with all other suitable parties in order to form a government. These negotiations were doomed to failure so long as there was a firm intention to preserve the Papen Cabinet as a presidential cabinet at all costs.

There is thus no need to convince me of the need for collaboration with other constructive, national forces because, despite the grossest vilifications during the summer, I have done everything in my power to achieve just that. However, I simply refuse to look upon the presidential cabinet as a constructive force. Moreover, all my judgments of the activities and failures of this cabinet have thus far been proved right.

6. This knowledge has caused me to warn against an experiment that is bound to lead to the use of naked force and hence to end in failure.

7. Above all, I was not, and shall never be, prepared to place the Movement I have built up at the service of interests other than those of the German people. In all this I feel responsible to my own conscience, to the honor of the Movement I lead and to the lives of millions of Germans whom recent political experiments have thrown into ever deeper misery.

For the rest, I beg you now as before to convey to His Excellency the Herr Reichs President the expression of my deepest respect.

Yours very truly,

Adolf Hitler

Source of English translation: Louis L. Snyder, ed., Hitler's Third Reich: A Documentary History. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1981, pp. 77-78.

Source of original German text: National Archives, Washington, DC. American Committee for the Study of War Documents, National Archives Microcopy No, T-81, Roll No. R-1 Frames 11288, 11553.

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