Papen, Franz von

Papen, Franz von

(fränts fən pä`pən), 1879–1969, German politician. Appointed (1913) military attaché to the German embassy in Washington, he was implicated in espionage activities that led (1915) the U.S. government to request his recall. He subsequently served in Turkey during World War I and, after the war, entered politics. He was (1921–32) a member of the Catholic Center party in the Prussian parliament. Although a political unknown, he was chosen (June, 1932) by President Paul von Hindenburg to succeed Heinrich Brüning as German chancellor in the hope that he could obtain support from right and center. He was, however, expelled from his party for accepting this post, and his cabinet won support only from a minority on the right. In seeking to weaken the left, he contributed to the rise of the National Socialists (Nazis), chiefly by lifting (June) the ban on their militia. In July he suspended the Prussian government and ousted its Socialist premier. Two successive elections failed to bring Papen substantial support in the Reichstag, and when he submitted his formal resignation after the elections of Nov., 1932, it was accepted. Kurt von SchleicherSchleicher, Kurt von,
1882–1934, German general. A leading Reichswehr (army) figure after World War I, Schleicher wielded great power in the years before Adolf Hitler came to power (1933).
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 succeeded him as chancellor, but Papen remained a close confidant of Hindenburg and sought to return to power through an alliance with the Nazis. He succeeded in bringing Adolf HitlerHitler, Adolf
, 1889–1945, founder and leader of National Socialism (Nazism), and German dictator, b. Braunau in Upper Austria. Early Life

The son of Alois Hitler (1837–1903), an Austrian customs official, Adolf Hitler dropped out of high school, and
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 to power and was appointed vice chancellor in the new cabinet. Although Hitler soon eliminated his conservative allies from the cabinet, Papen continued to serve the Hitler regime, even after several of his close associates were murdered in the "blood purge" of June, 1934. As German minister to Vienna, he helped to prepare the German annexation of Austria (1938). From 1939 to 1944 he was ambassador to Turkey. Papen was acquitted (1946) by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal. A sentence to eight years' hard labor imposed (1947) by a German "denazification" court was rescinded in 1949. His memoirs appeared in 1952 (tr. 1953).

Papen, Franz Von


Born Oct. 29, 1879, in Werl, Westphalia; died May 2, 1969, in Obersasbach, Baden. A major war criminal of fascist Germany.

Papen was the son of a big landowner. He was an officer on the General Staff before the start of World War I (1914–18). He was a military attaché in the USA from 1913 to 1915 but was deported for espionage and subversive activity. Between 1921 and 1932 he was a deputy to the Prussian Landtag from the Catholic Center Party and a member of its extreme right wing. From July to November 1932, Papen headed the government whose policies contributed to the strengthening of the position of the Nazis. He was active in the establishment of the fascist dictatorship in January 1933 and joined Hitler’s government as vice-chancellor. As ambassador to Austria from July 1934 to March 1938, Papen played a role in the Anschluss —the forcible seizure of Austria by fascist Germany. As ambassador to Turkey from 1939 to 1944, he tried to draw Turkey into an alliance with fascist Germany. In 1946, Papen was a defendant at the International War Tribunal in Nuremberg, but he was acquitted because of disagreements among the members of the tribunal.

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