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German History in Documents and Images
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The New Minister of the Reichswehr, Wilhelm Groener (left), with his Predecessor Otto Gessler (January 1928)
Despite the limitations placed on it by the Treaty of Versailles, the German army remained a disciplined, powerful, and united force. The appointment in January 1928 of retired General Wilhelm Groener to replace German Democratic Party [Deutsche Demokratische Partei or DDP] co-founder Otto Gessler as Minister of Defense signaled the army’s liberation from political control. Groener quickly established a close and confidential relationship with President Hindenburg, to whom he was able to report directly as opposed to going through the cabinet – one result of the expanded powers the president was steadily claiming for himself.