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Dr. Heinrich Bruening, former Chancellor of the German Republic, and lecturer in Government here, spoke to members of Eliot House last night on the rise of the Nazi party in Germany.
A monarchist in sympathies, Dr. Bruening felt that Germany was at heart an empire. In 1929, when the Nazis resolved on a big upheavel to do away with the radical thought brewing among the classes suffering from the consequences of the inflation, the impression was that Hitler would restore the monarchy. A plebiscite held in 1932 would undoubtedly have resulted in a monarchial restoration Dr. Bruening said. But President von Hindenburg refused to permit a plebiscite on the grounds that the crown should not depend on a vote of the people. At present, he added, there is not much hope for a restoration.
A second point made by Dr. Bruening was that the emotional intensity caused by Nazi mass meetings had overcome popular interest in politics and legislation to such an extent that the people were willing to believe anything. In fact in 1931, he said, the government found it necessary to persuade Parliment to stay together to pass the budget, in order to preserve the face of democracy.
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