1. The Brüning Cabinet is a minority government in the sense that only three or four parties are represented in it. But it is able to act as a majority government because two other parties -- one to the Left, the Social Democratic Party, the other to the Right, the Economic Party -- at present support it.

2. The political pivot of all coalitions since 1919, and of future coalitions, is the Catholic Center Party, itself a cross-section of the German people of all classes and professions.

3. The growth of the National Socialists (Hitlerites) has shaken neither of the two strong constructive and "conservative" parties -- the Catholic Center and the Social Democrats. Hitlerism is, however, gradually destroying the small middle-class parties based more or less on economic interests.

4. Neither the Communists nor the Hitlerites are able to form a majority government, alone or combined.

5. The recent elections in Hesse (November 15) showed what results may be expected in the Prussian elections next spring, i.e., a negative majority of Hitlerites and Communists large enough to cause the resignation of the Braun Government (Social Democrats, Center Party, State Party), but not a majority which could coöperate to form a government.

6. Participation of the Hitlerites in the Brüning Government, with the tacit toleration of the Social Democrats, would mean nothing more than did the participation of the Nationalists in the Stresemann Government in 1924. That government accepted the Dawes Plan and the Locarno Treaties.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now