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Biography of Paul von Hindenburg


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Hindenburg, Paul von Beneckendorff und von, a German soldier who was raised by the German Emperor to the highest military rank, that of Marshal, and who was the idol of the German people during the First World War. Born at Posen in 1847, Hindenburg became a subaltern in 1866, distinguished himself in the war against Austria and during the Franco-Prussian War, and in 1914 was a retired general living on a pension. At one time he was a lecturer on applied tactics at the War Academy, where, because he had located some of his imaginary battles in the swampy regions of northeastern Prussia, he had been laughed at. The Kaiser called von Hindenburg from retirement in 1914, and in the same year the Marshal overwhelmingly defeated a superior force of Russians on the very scene of his imaginary victories. It was at once realized that in Hindenburg lay Germany's hope of success. Von Hindenburg employed railways for the mass movement of troops, and in other ways raised the German military to a high state of efficiency. He was decorated and redecorated, and a statue was raised to him in Berlin. After Germany's defeat he remained in the country. In 1925 he was elected President of the German Republic.