Paul von Hindenburg was commander-in-chief of the German eastern army in the First World War (1914-1918); he was a popular figure and icon of the German people even after the war had been lost. After the death of Friedrich Ebert in 1925, he was elected president of the Weimar Republic. Even though Hindenburg fulfilled his obligations dutifully according to the constitution, he personally preferred the monarchic system. In 1933 he gave, although hesitant, way to the ascent of Adolf Hitler. One year later, General von Hindenburg died. The Nazis cultivated his memory systematically. In 1935, Hindenburg's head was depicted on the silver 5-mark coins; a year later followed pieces of 2 marks. This subtle propaganda was very useful to Hitler, who had the declared goal of rebuilding the strength of the German army. From 1939, no more coins from precious metals were issued in Germany, however, since all metals were used for military purposes.