Paul von Hindenburg Fact File: Lifespan: 1847 – 1934 *** Full Name: Paul von Hindenburg was also known as Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on October 2, 1847 *** Place of Birth: Paul von Hindenburg was born in Posen, Prussia *** Family background: His father was an aristocrat called Robert von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg *** Education: Paul von Hindenburg began his education at Wahlstaff and Berlin cadet schools *** Paul von Hindenburg died on 1934.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 1: Paul von Hindenburg was born on October 2, 1847 in Posen, Prussia.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 2: His father was called Robert von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg and he was a Prussian aristocrat. His mother's name was Luise Schwickart, she came from a non-aristocratic family which embarrassed Paul von Hindenburg; a subject he chose to ignore. He preferred his father's family which was one of the most highly distinguished noble families in Prussia. He had two younger siblings, a brother called Bernhard and a sister called Otto.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 3: He was educated at Wahlstaff and Berlin cadet schools. In 1866, he was commissioned a lieutenant and served in the Austro-Prussian War and Franco-Prussian War.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 4: During his army career, he received a number of promotions: In 1878, he was appointed captain, 1881 he became major, 1891 he became lieutenant-colonel, 1893 colonel, 1897 major general, 1900 lieutenant general. He retired from the army in 1911.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 5: He married an aristocrat in 1903 called Gertrud von Sperling. The couple had two daughters and one son together. Their names were Irmengard Pauline, Annemaria and Oskar. Gertrud von Sperlind died in 1921.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 6: He was recalled to serve in the army following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The Chief of the General Staff, Helmuth von Moltke called on him for service and he was given command of the Eighth Army.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 7: He became a national hero following his promotion to colonel general on August 26, when the Eighth Army successfully fought against the Russian armies during the Battle of Tannenberg and the Battle of the Masurian Lakes.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 8: He is credited for many victories which took place during 1914 - 1916 on the Eastern Front making him a very popular war hero with the people of Germany. However, his actual military abilities are somewhat disputed. Many believe that it was the strength and intelligence of his team that really won their series of great victories during World War I.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 9: During World War One, he was perceived as being an honourable, decent and strong man. He was one of Germany's most popular men. People across the classes believed in him and saw him as an ideal leader.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 10: Wooden statues of Paul von Hindenburg were erected across Germany during the First World War. People would pin money and cheques for bonds to the statues.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 11: It was so clear to the government that the people of Germany really believed in this man, that they launched an all-out programme of industrial mobilisation in 1916 and named it the Hindenburg Programme.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 12: In August 1916, he succeeded Erich von Falkenhayn as Chief of the General Staff. Erich Ludendorff was his deputy, however, it often seemed that Paul von Hindenburg exercised the real power. In 1916, an unofficial military dictatorship had developed which later became known as the 'Silent dictatorship'.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 13: He supported the Polish Border Strip plan which refers to the territories that the German Empire wanted to take possession of, forcing Poles and Jews to leave their homes.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 14: Ludendorff advised seeking an armistice with the Allies in September 1918. He decided against his decision in October 1918. Paul von Hindenburg did not resign with him. He said that he would not desert the men under his command. Ludendorff expected him to resign and could never bring himself to forgive Hindenburg for the decision he made.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 15: He retired from his army career following the First World War. He was investigated by a Reichstag Commission for his responsibility for the outbreak of WWI and the defeat. Ludendorff became worried that the blame might be pushed onto him, and in his defence, he wrote a letter to Paul von Hindenburg which threatened to reveal the truth regarding victories which he'd been credited for during the war, he said that he would write about what really happened in his memoirs.”
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 16: He was not prosecuted when he appeared before the commission. Despite being questioned about the responsibility of the outbreak of war and the German defeat, he refused to answer any questions and instead, read out a statement which had been prepared for him. The statement blamed the defeat on disloyal people and unpatriotic politicians. He was deemed as such a war hero that he was almost shielded by the people of Germany.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 17: He was elected President of Germany mainly due to his great reputation during World War One. He stepped into power on May 12, 1925. He defended Germany's actions, shocking people across the world, when he made the following statement, 'the means of self-assertion against a world full of enemies. Pure in heart we set off to the defence of the fatherland and with clean hands the German army carried the sword.'
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 18: He was re-elected President of Germany in 1932. Most of his supporters saw him as a protection against the brutality of the Nazis. However, Hindenburg's party supported the Nazis as they found them useful although not pleasant.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 19: He refused to appoint Hitler despite being pressured to do so. However, Hitler and a former chancellor called Franz von Papen reached an agreement in November 1932 to form a government with Hitler taking on the position of chancellor. Hitler used terror, threats and manipulation to gain practically unlimited political power.
Paul von Hindenburg Fact 20: He remained in office until he died on August 2, 1934. He died from lung cancer at the age of 86 at his home in Neudeck in Prussia. Hitler visited him the day before he died after hearing that he was on his death bed. As a result of his death, Hitler became Germany's head of state and head of government. Paul von Hindenburg was buried in Hanover next to his wife Gertrud.
Paul von Hindenburg Influence & Legacy: He held a long-standing career with the German Army for which he was credited with a series of successful victories. Following his efforts during World War One, he became a war hero and one of the most popular people in Germany. He was elected President of Germany and stepped into power in May 1925. He was succeeded by Adolf Hitler.
Short Facts about Paul von Hindenburg for Kids
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