Chapter nine of John Toland’s biography deals with both Hitler’s personal affairs as well as his skills as a leader. We are treated to details of the continued sectarianism between the north and south wings of the Nazi party as well as an unexpected death in Hitler’s family which caused his third spiral into suicidal depression.
Picking up with the strife between the sects we see that there is a revolt brewing within the SA over their overworked conditions, their low-wages, and seen perceived direction of Hitler cooperating with a new legalist policy. This revolt culminates in a dramatic showdown where Hitler orders the SS, his elite body guards, to put down and purge the troubemakers. Removing the leader, or assumed leaders, Hitler recalls Rohm from his temporary self-imposed exile in South America, as a military advisor, so that he may reorganize the SA under more loyal lines. During this period accusations of his homosexuality are increased but both he, and Hitler, ignore such detractors for now understanding that with pivotal elections coming up they cannot afford to fall prey to minor sectarianism in regards to sexuality.
The revolt is put own within 24 hours, however, and it never gains traction within the wider Party apparatus. Despite a second revolt later, and the hysterical negative publicity which results from such a scandal, the NSADP does extraordinarily well in the elections gaining dozens of additional seats in parliament thus bringing their total up to 107.
Yes this victory is overshadowed by a suicide: Geli, a favored niece of Hitler’s, commits suicide by shooting herself in the heart. The reasons for doing so are unclear and many rumors circulate; from allegations of sexual abuse to that she was pregnant with a Jewish baby, to even the more simple that she was heart-broken over a lover, all swirl around the press. To this Hitler is devastated and retreats to his private quarters for several days refusing to eat or publicly speak. This trend continues until Frank Hoffmann took the necessary legal steps to cease the smear campaign directed towards Hitler. For this Hitler is thankful and he gradually returns to eating once more and throws himself back into politics.
This renewed energy will serve him well for the Hindenburg government has reached its end. While still strong enough to pose a challenge to Hitler’s upstart party it does not take very long for the truth of the matter to be revealed: The National Socialist German Workers Party is quickly gaining ground and wealthy supporters. Hitler has been hitting the campaign trail and courting industrialists with promises of eliminating the unions and giving big business a free hand to do what they want.
These promises pay off and despite some controversies (concerning his own ancestral blood and Rohm’s sexuality) in each subsequent election, whether it is a national endeavor or local propaganda ploy, he throws the whole weight of his efforts and organization behind his attempts. Soon the Nazis become the single largest political group in Germany garnering over 40% of the total vote. Eventually this fame becomes so heavy, and the people so desperate, that president Hindenburg have no choice but to appoint Hitler as Chancellor.