July 31, 1932: apogee?
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July 31, 1932: apogee? book
People likely to have read the Nazi Völkische Beobachter on August 1, 1932 would immediately have discerned in that day’s edition a single theme: Germany Victorious. Across the second page, the country’s first gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympiad was celebrated in bold headlines. Rudolf Ismaner, the top German middle-weight lifter had just taken first place in his class, with a combined lift of 305 kilograms. And the front page announced an “achievement” for Germany in the political arena. A victory for National Socialism, the reader would probably have understood, in the Nazi lexicon meant a victory for Germany, and the headlines declared that National Socialism had just won a victory of the greatest scope. The German electorate had voted on July 31 for a new Reichstag and, as indicated by the polling stations, awarded the Nazis a total of 229 parliamentary seats (see Figure 2). This would create the biggest NSDAP block to date and the largest bloc – if not yet an absolute majority – in the heavily divided legislature of the Weimar Republic. Hitler issued a statement to mark the day:
A great victory has been achieved! The National Socialist German Worker Party has now risen [to be] by far the strongest party of the German Reichstag. This development, unique in the history of our people, is the result of an enormous effort, of an ever-steady persistence. In view of this very great success of our movement, for nobody is there a “thank you,” but for all of us only the duty, to pick up and continue the struggle again and with increased vigor.1