German federal election, July 1932

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German federal election, July 1932
Germany
1930 ←
31 July 1932
→ November 1932

All 608 seats in the Reichstag
305 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 70.84%
  First party Second party Third party
  Adolf Hitler 1933 (foto carnet).jpg Otto Wels.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 102-12940, Ernst Thälmann (scrap).jpg
Leader Adolf Hitler Otto Wels Ernst Thälmann
Party NSDAP SPD KPD
Leader since 28 July 1921 1919 October 1925
Last election 107 seats, 18.25% 143 seats, 24.53% 77 seats, 14.32%
Seats won 230 133 89
Seat change Increase123 Decrease10 Increase12
Popular vote 13,745,680 7,251,690 5,282,636
Percentage 37.27% 21.58% 14.32%
Swing Increase19.02% Decrease2.55% Increase1.19%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Ludwig Kaas Konkordatsunterzeichnung mini.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2005-0621-500, Reichsminister Alfred Hugenberg.jpg Heinrich held 102 01176crop.png
Leader Ludwig Kaas Alfred Hugenberg Heinrich Held
Party Centre DNVP BVP
Leader since September 1928 1928 27 June 1924
Last election 68 seats, 11.81% 41 seats, 7.03% 19 seats, 3.23%
Seats won 75 37 22
Seat change Increase7 Decrease4 Increase3
Popular vote 4,589,430 2,178,024 1,192,684
Percentage 12.44% 5.91% 3.23%
Swing Increase0.63% Decrease1.12% Decrease0.14%

Chancellor before election

Franz von Papen
Non-partisan

Elected Chancellor

None (von Papen remained as unelected Chancellor)

Coat of arms of Germany.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Germany
Foreign relations

Federal elections were held in Germany on 31 July 1932, following the premature dissolution of the Reichstag. They saw great gains by the Nazi Party, which for the first time became the largest party in parliament, though without winning a majority. With the Communists remaining strong, anti-republican parties together now had a majority in the Reichstag (called a "negative majority" by contemporary observers since the two parties would never have allied), making a (majority) government by any union of pro-republican parties impossible.

Background[edit]

Campaigning in front of a polling place in Berlin

Since 1929, Germany was suffering from the Great Depression as unemployment rose from 8.5% to nearly 30% between 1929 and 1932,[1] while industrial production inside Germany dropped roughly 42%.[1]

In 1930, the governing grand coalition of the pro-republican parties – Social Democrats, Centre Party and the two liberal parties – had broken apart. President Hindenburg had then appointed a minority government headed by the Centre Party's Heinrich Brüning which could only govern via the President's emergency powers. Shortly afterwards, in the elections of 1930, the democratic parties lost their majority in the Reichstag, making any parliamentary government impossible. These elections also saw Hitler's Nazi Party rise to national prominence, it became the largest anti-democratic party for the first time.[1] Brüning's policies, implemented via presidential decree and tolerated by parliament, failed to solve the economic crisis while weakening the parliamentary system.

In March 1932, presidential elections pitted the incumbent Field Marshal Hindenburg, supported by pro-republican parties, against Hitler and the Communist candidate Ernst Thälmann. Hitler gained roughly a third of the vote and was thus defeated in the second round in April by Hindenburg, who gained a narrow majority.[1] However, after this victory Hindenburg increasingly moved towards the political right and at the end of May 1932 was persuaded to dismiss Brüning as Chancellor, replacing him with Franz von Papen (a renegade of the Centre Party) and a non-partisan "Cabinet of Barons". Papen's cabinet had almost no support in parliament and only three days after his appointment, when faced with this opposition, had the President dissolve the Reichstag and called for new elections, to be held on 31 July, so that the Reichstag could not dismiss him immediately.[2]

The election campaign took place under violent circumstances, as Papen lifted the token ban on the SA, the Nazi paramilitary, which Brüning had banned during the last days of his administration. This inevitably led to clashes with the Communist paramilitary. Note: The SA openly carried unsharpened Holbein style parade daggers to maintain compliance with an existing weapon law, while simultaneously using the appearance of an armed force for intimidation. The main purpose of such a strategy was to use Police manpower as a tool, by diverting their attention toward other partisans who armed themselves with functional weapons in response to the ploy, partly disrupting competitors efforts.

The elections resulted in great gains by the Nazi party, who with 230 seats for the first time became the largest party in parliament. Neither the Nazi Party nor President Hindenburg had a governing majority and the other parties refused cooperation. Neither side had a majority on its own and no coalition could be formed to create a governing majority.[2] Hence, Papen's minority government continued, leading to another election in November.

Results[edit]

Party Votes Seats % +/–
National Socialist German Workers Party 13,745,680 230 37.27 +123
Social Democratic Party of Germany 7,959,712 133 21.58 –10
Communist Party of Germany 5,282,636 89 14.32 +12
Centre Party 4,589,430 75 12.44 +7
German National People's Party 2,178,024 37 5.91 –4
Bavarian People's Party 1,192,684 22 3.23 +3
German People's Party 436,002 7 1.18 –23
German State Party 371,800 4 1.01 –16
Christian Social People's Service 364,543 3 0.99 –11
Reich Party of the German Middle Class 146,876 2 0.40 –21
German Farmers' Party 137,133 2 0.37 –4
Agricultural League 96,851 2 0.26 –1
German Country People 90,554 1 0.25 –18
Socialist Workers Party of Germany 72,630 0 0.20 New
German-Hanoverian Party 46,927 0 0.13 –3
People's Justice Party 40,825 0 0.11 New
Poland List 33,436 0 0.09 New
Nationalsozialistische Kleinrentner, Inflationsgeschädigte und Vorkriegsgeldbesitzer 14,816 0 0.04 New
Worker and Farmer Party of Germany/Christian Radical People's Front 13,950 0 0.04 New
Free Economy Party of Germany 12,247 0 0.03 New
Farmers, House and Property Owners 9,465 0 0.03 New
Radical Middle Class 8,637 0 0.02 New
Kampfgemeinschaft der Arbeiter und Bauern 4,551 0 0.01 New
Interessengemeinschaft der Kleinrentner und Inflationsgeschädigten 2,932 0 0.01 New
National Socialist People's Alliance for Truth and Justice 2,436 0 0.01 New
Nationalsozialistische Handwerker, Handels- und Gewerbetreibende 2,221 0 0.01 New
Nationalsozialistische Kriegsteilnehmer, Kriegsbeschädigte und Kriegshinterbliebene 2,213 0 0.01 New
Nationalsozialistischer enteigneter Mittelstand 2,186 0 0.01 New
Gerechtigkeitsbewegung für Parteienverbot – gegen Lohn-, Gehalts- und Rentenkürzungen – für Arbeitsbeschaffung 2,035 0 0.01 New
German Free Economy Party 1,916 0 0.01 New
Deutsche Einheitspartei für wahre Volkswirtschaft, Unterstützungsempfänger- Partei Deutschlands 1,709 0 0.00 New
Schleswig Home 1,511 0 0.00 New
Partei der Unzufriedenen 1,341 0 0.00 New
Höchstgehalt der Beamten 5000 M. Für die Arbeitslosen und bis jetzt abgewiesenen Kriegsbeschädigten 1,141 0 0.00 New
German Socialist Struggle Movement 947 0 0.00 New
Liste gegen Kürzung der Invaliden-, Sozial- und Kriegsbeschädigtenrenten 887 0 0.00 New
Unemployed Front 853 0 0.00 New
Kampfbund gegen Hauszinssteuer 790 0 0.00 New
German People's Community 618 0 0.00 New
Greater Germany Schmalix List 610 0 0.00 0
Schlesiens Handwerk und Gewerbe 598 0 0.00 New
Der ernste evangelisch-lutherische Christ (Gerechtigkeits-Bewegung) 587 0 0.00 New
Bund Bayerisches Handwerk und Gewerbe, Haus- und Grundbesitz und Landwirtschaft 577 0 0.00 New
Kampfgemeinschaft der Rentner, Sparer und Inflationsgeschädigten 532 0 0.00 New
Nationale Rentner, Sparer und Inflationsgeschädigte 522 0 0.00 New
Party of the Unemployed for Work and Bread 492 0 0.00 New
Freiheitliche National-Soziale Deutsche Mittelstandsbewegung 480 0 0.00 New
National Freedom Party of Germany 392 0 0.00 New
National-Soziale Partei gegen die Hauszinssteuer 376 0 0.00 New
Nationalsoziale Kampfgemeinschaft für Handwerk, Gewerbe, Hausbesitz und Landwirtschaft 334 0 0.00 New
General Social-National Unity Worker Party of Germany 277 0 0.00 New
Freiwirtschaftsbewegung für Freiland, Freigeld, Festwährung 270 0 0.00 New
German Workers Party 257 0 0.00 New
Nationaler Bürger- und Wirtschaftsblock 226 0 0.00 New
Kampfbund der Lohn- und Gehaltsabgebauten und Auslandsgeschädigten 177 0 0.00 New
Radical Party 154 0 0.00 New
Kampfgemeinschaft der Lohn- und Gehaltsabgebauten 128 0 0.00 New
Unitarianist Union of Germany 81 0 0.00 New
Mieter- und Volks-Reichspartei 69 0 0.00 New
German Social Monarchist Party 66 0 0.00 New
German Reform Party 59 0 0.00 New
Invalid/blank votes 279,727
Total 37,162,081 608 100 +31
Registered voters/turnout 44,211,216 84.1
Source: Gonschior.de

See also[edit]

References[edit]