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WI: Crown Prince Wilhelm runs in the 1932 German Presidential Election

Torten

Well-known member
Location
Wessex, UK
According to wiki, Crown Prince Wilhelm was interested in running for the German Presidency in 1932, but his father forbid him from running as he preferred Hindenburg. But say Hindenburg decided not to run or was unable to run due to poor health, and Wilhelm II agrees to Crown Prince Wilhelm runnning for the Presidency as Wilhelm Von Hohenzollern, Former Crown Prince and General.

It's unlikely that the SPD and the other Liberal parties would back Wilhelm, as the former Crown Prince was a member of Der Stalhelm and was a firm monarchist. Der Stalhelm ran Theodor Duesterberg, who recieved 6.8% of the vote in the first round of the election - Der Stalhem wouldn't run a candiate if Wilhelm was running.

Hitler ran for the Presidency as well, a decision that broke the Harzburg front between the NSDAP and the DNVP. The NSDAP were intially doubtful about running Hitler in the election, though this had much to do with Hindenburg's popularity. Additionally, Wilhelm might sapp support from a Hitler bid.

Almost certainly, the Reichbanner and the SPD would run a candiate.

Wilhelm stands a very good chance of winning in my view, especially if the NSDAP chose to back him. I've put some rough results in below to suggest how the election could have gone.

If Hitler runs
CP Wilhelm ~ 35%
Reichbanner/SPD Candiate ~ 30%
Hitler ~ 25%
Thalmann (Communist) ~ 10%

In this scenario, Wilhelm would probably win the runoff.

If Hitler doesn't run
CP Wilhelm ~ 55%
Reichbanner/SPD Candiate ~ 35%
Thalmann (Communist) ~ 10%

The most obvious consequence of Wilhelm's election would be the complete destruction of the Weimar Republic within a few years. Hindenburg was prepared to play lip service to the Republic as a way to build up Germany's strength. Wilhelm's endgame is going to be restoring the German Empire with either himself or his father at the helm. How he goes about that is interesting - if Hitler backed him for the Presidency, he might appoint Hitler as Chancellor in the hope that he can control him?

Any thoughts?
 

Sylvanus

Member
Well, CP Wilhelm lived until 1951, so if that doesn't change, then he's going to be able to stay around and control Hitler for much longer than Hindenburg would. I wonder if Hitler would try disqualifying CP Wilhelm for the 1939 German presidential election so that Hitler would be able to assume the German Presidency that year without any opposition.

Hitler might also be more cautious on the foreign policy front knowing that CP Wilhelm (the German President in this TL) could fire him at any moment with the support of the German military, who will NOT have given an exclusive loyalty oath to Hitler in this TL.
 

Torten

Well-known member
Location
Wessex, UK
Well, CP Wilhelm lived until 1951, so if that doesn't change, then he's going to be able to stay around and control Hitler for much longer than Hindenburg would. I wonder if Hitler would try disqualifying CP Wilhelm for the 1939 German presidential election so that Hitler would be able to assume the German Presidency that year without any opposition.

Hitler might also be more cautious on the foreign policy front knowing that CP Wilhelm (the German President in this TL) could fire him at any moment with the support of the German military, who will NOT have given an exclusive loyalty oath to Hitler in this TL.
He did die of a heart attack OTL, which could happen earlier or later - probably earlier with the stress of being President/Kaiser.

I don't see how Hitler could disqualify him for the 1939 election without provoking a military coup, and Willhelm might have managed to crown either himself or his father as Kaiser by that point.

I agree with your points on foreign policy. Additionally, there might be more interest in reclaiming former parts of the German empire like Eupen Malmedy and Danzig, rather than the Suedtenland.
 

Creekmench

A shade of indigo
Pronouns
He/him
He did die of a heart attack OTL, which could happen earlier or later - probably earlier with the stress of being President/Kaiser.

I don't see how Hitler could disqualify him for the 1939 election without provoking a military coup, and Willhelm might have managed to crown either himself or his father as Kaiser by that point.

I agree with your points on foreign policy. Additionally, there might be more interest in reclaiming former parts of the German empire like Eupen Malmedy and Danzig, rather than the Suedtenland.
I can see austria still being done combined with an attempt to regain 1914 eastern border bc the Anschluss was extremely popular on both sides.
 

Catalunya

Well-known member
Would Austrofascist Austria actually support a unification with a more ‘normal’ fascist Germany?

Also I feel like considering all the scenarios that Germany could have gone through in the 1930s the DNVP coming to power and establishing an authoritarian state is the most likely.
 

rosa

Well-known member
Would it be possible we see a German Civil War once Hitler and friends realize they won't gain power peacefully? With the Communists, as well
 

zaffre

I want rustlers,
Location
Massachusetts
I admittedly do not know the nuances of Crown Prince Wilhelm’s personality, but I’m pretty sure that long-term political coexistence between Hitler and him is impossible for the same reason that long-term political coexistence between Hitler and anyone else was impossible - early ‘30s Hitler was a rather adept political player, but Wilhelm is also going to have the constant support of the military, so you could make a decent case for the power struggle going either way. If the Nazis end up trying to pick up more leftward allies in opposition to the Crown Prince I think Strasser is also a possibility.

Probably also useful to state the obvious that without hindsight, other European countries are going to be far *more* suspicious of Wilhelm than of your average DNVP politician or of Hitler, just because of who his father is - no one wants war, but an actual Hohenzollern restoration is not going to be given the same benefit of the doubt that a random Austrian corporal was.
 

Creekmench

A shade of indigo
Pronouns
He/him
I admittedly do not know the nuances of Crown Prince Wilhelm’s personality, but I’m pretty sure that long-term political coexistence between Hitler and him is impossible for the same reason that long-term political coexistence between Hitler and anyone else was impossible - early ‘30s Hitler was a rather adept political player, but Wilhelm is also going to have the constant support of the military, so you could make a decent case for the power struggle going either way. If the Nazis end up trying to pick up more leftward allies in opposition to the Crown Prince I think Strasser is also a possibility.

Probably also useful to state the obvious that without hindsight, other European countries are going to be far *more* suspicious of Wilhelm than of your average DNVP politician or of Hitler, just because of who his father is - no one wants war, but an actual Hohenzollern restoration is not going to be given the same benefit of the doubt that a random Austrian corporal was.
Yeah, it's very unlikely, that Warsaw trusts this Neo-Kaiserreich to do an non-aggresion pact like with the Nazis, Ironically in the runup to the second world war, The Nazis were pretty Polonophilic IIRC, while I doubt things like the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, or the Rhineland thing will occur at the same time as OTL. IIRC, he was supportive of the Nazis until he realized that he won't be crowned by them.
 
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