Hitler becomes Chancellor

1/30/1933

Several days after the November 1932 elections, the Reichstag rejected the program of the incumbent Chancellor, Franz von Papen, for a "government of national concentration." In response, von Papen resigned. Hitler asked President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint him chancellor, but the president refused, feeling that Hitler would use the office to amass dictatorial power. In early December, he appointed the Minister of Defense, Kurt von Schleicher, to the premiership, but he, too, resigned less than two months later. Now Hindenburg chose Hitler by recommendation of the Conservatives, who thought they could manipulate him for their purposes. The new era started out modestly; only three of the 11 ministers in Hitler's government were Nazis.(Hitler, Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior and Goering, minister for Prussia). Swiftly, however, Hitler took over all mechanisms of governance and functions of state, making Nazi Germany a totalitarian dictatorship.