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German Field Marshal during World War I, and second President of the Weimar Republic (1925-34).

Hindenburg had retired from military service in 1911, but was recalled in 1914 to serve nominally as superior officer to Erich Ludendorff; promoted to Field Marshall in 1916 in charge of all German land forces, he rose to national heroic status--a regard that Schenker undoubtedly shared. Retired again in 1919, Hindenburg was elected President in 1925 and for a second term in 1932. It was he who appointed Hitler Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933 (ironically an event that dashed Schenker's hopes of academic advancement).

Correspondence between Hindenburg and Schenker

Four draft letters from Schenker to Hindenburg are preserved (OC 24/14, 15, 16-17), and one handwritten reply from Hindenburg (OC 24/18). The first draft was intended to accompany a copy of Der Tonwille, Heft 1 (1921). In the draft, he draws attention to the penultimate four pages of his lead article, "The Mission of German Genius" (on an earlier page of which he made allusion to "the genius of those two time-honored generals, Hindenburg and Ludendorff"), and also to some additional pages, and seeks to discredit Universal Edition as "operating internationally." The second draft appears intended to accompany Hefts 1-3, drawing attention to the whole of the lead article, to the Miscellanea of Heft 1 (one section of which begins "If I were Secretary of State for the Arts in German-Austria, I would ..."), and also the highly politically polemical Miscellanea of Heft 3 (published January 19, 1923), and speaks of the role of art in politics.

While it is clear that Schenker dispatched at least one letter to Hindenburg, we cannot be sure how many and when, and on the basis of which draft(s). The only reply from Hindenburg is dated November 19, 1921, with the single remark: "Cordial thanks for kind "Misc." thoughts. Von Hindenburg." At that date, he can have seen only Heft 1. Schenker's reaction was: "From Hindenburg (letter): thanks; only the signature in his own hand." (OJ 3/3, p. 2403, November 26, 1921).


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