The Nazi Party: origins, ideas, early development Flashcards Preview

History - Germany 1918-45 > The Nazi Party: origins, ideas, early development > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Nazi Party: origins, ideas, early development Deck (18):

Timeline of Nazi developments 1920-29

1920: Foundation of the NDSAP's 25 point programme
1923: The 'Beer Hall Putch' took place in Munich
1924: Hitler's treason trial
1925: Publication of Mein Kampf ('my struggle')
1926: Bamberg Conference
1929: Hitler/Nazis invited to join Hugenberg's campaign against the Young plan


Hitler's early years/involvement with the Nazis

-Austrian born
-Rejected from art school twice, 5 years as a drop out in Vienna, 4 years as low ranking officer on the Western front
-1919: Hitler instructed to look into German Workers Party (DAP) and became involved in their affairs. Renamed as National Socialist German Workers Party (NDSAP) in 1920 Hitler became dominant figure and left army to devote time to NDSAP


The NDSAP in its early years (1920-23)

-1920: More of a political debating society than a party
-No headquarters, no structure, no program/agenda
-Hitler aspired to create clear identity for party and make it operational as a political agent


How did Hitler affect the nazi party in its early years (1920-23)

-DAP leader: "Goodness, he's got a gob, we could use him" - good public speaker
-Political statement, 25 point programme, published 1920
- New name (NDSAP)
-Newspaper purchased, the 'People's observer', to popularize the party's views
- Network of local party branches established. Mostly Bavarian some in Germany
-Party rallies increasingly well attended
-Paramilitary organisation founded in 1921, the SA


NDSAP membership increase early 1920s

-6000 members by 1922
-Increased sharply after French occupation of the Ruhr and reached 50 000 by time of Beer Hall Putch November 1923


Ideology of Hitler/the Nazis

-Hitler was an activist and despised intellectuals
-Man of action/agitator - this approach meant Nazism was not a coherent political doctrine but more a bundle of instincts, hatreds, prejudices
-Ultra nationalism
-Authoritarianism/Anti-democratic(rule without people's consent, complete control)
-Anti Communist


Nazi ultra-nationalism

-most important division in mankind was division between nations and nationalities
-races competing for survival and greatness
-aim was German greatness: regain lost terrain from the TOV, Germany with all Europe's German speaking people in its borders, expand into east to create living space ('lebensraum') for Germans at the expense of the Soviet Union
-individual duty to the nation was the most important duty one had


Nazis and racism

-Groups of mankind were biologically distinct, some were superior
-line between race and nationality blurred, not clearly distinguished between
-Aryan/Nordic 'master race' were the best, Slavs of Eastern Europe and Russia were seen as sub human
-if left unchecked these inferior races would achieve world domination



-To achieve domination, Germany would have to be a total dictatorship under one all powerful leader
-Total rejection of democracy
-democracy encouraged conflict between different elements within a nation and should be discouraged in the interests of national unity/revival
-further, rejected democracy due to contemptuous view of the masses, who hitter said were "blind and stupid" so they could not be trusted with the affairs of a nation


Nazi Anti-capitalism

-hostility to big business
-sympathetic to plight of small businesses and traders stuck between trade unions and big business
-not supported by hitler who was a self proclaimed socialist when it suited him


How did nazi believes differ from those of the conservative elites?

Similar: both ultra nationalist, anti communist, anti Semitic, anti democratic

-Conservative elites wanted restoration of the economy but the nazis did not. Hitler wanted Germany ruled by "a man chosen by destiny to lead"
-conservatives were old fashioned imperialists who sought to regain lost overseas colonies, whilst Hitler wanted to drive east and create 'living space' in the Soviet Union
-conservative elites were suspicious of moment of so called 'national *socialists*' and had anti capitalist proposals
-nazi proposal of 'national community' and equality of the classes alarmed conservative elites


Causes of the beer hall putch

Causes: Hitler's personal desire for power, government of November criminals were despised by some, high unemployment due to demilitarisation and disarmament, occupation of the Ruhr and Stresemann's action to end passive resistance

Munich: Cultural, social and political centre for the elite of barbarian society. Anti republicans settled here, strained relationship with the WR , state of emergency declared in September 1923 and doctoral powers given to Von Kahr, general state commissioner

Hitler: Wished to prepare the nazis for one all powerful ruler, now he became convinced he was this all powerful ruler. Stresemann's chancellorship was about to tackle problems causing misery that Hitler could manipulate so there was urgency to act, but Hitler needed Von Kahr's support to march on Germany...


The events of the beer hall putsch

-Hitler marched into largest beer hall in Munich where Von Kahr was speaking (head of Bavarian state government)
-Hitler persuades Von Kahr at gunpoint to support right wing march on Berlin
-Hitler lets Von Kahr go, who occupies points around the city with his forces
-Nazis advance, 30 second shoot out ensues, 18 nazis dead and 2000 flee, Hitler wounded


Hitlers trial following the Munich putch

-February-March 1924
-Very lenient 5 year sentence, released after less than a year in December 1924
-sympathetic judge
-Hitler was able to turn the courtroom into a stage for Nazi propaganda, ran rings around prosecution
-Attracted huge publicity, made Hitler known nationally
-Convinced Hitler that he should be the one to rule Germany


what happened to the NDSAP after the Beer Hall Putch?

-Hitler imprisoned until December 1924
-party was banned from campaigning
-leading officials were scattered
-factional squabbling between Munich officials in party and North German wing, lead by George Strasser


George Strasser

-Life: 1892-1934
-most important leader in the NDSAP second only to Hitler himself
-well educated
-officer in the war and later a successful businessman
-aimed to make NDSAP adopt his policy of 'German Socialism' (anti capitalism)
-Never intended to lead, but still attracted a lot of jealousy from Hitler


How did Hitler reassert his authority over the NDSAP when he was released in December 1924?

Bamberg Conference 1926: 60 top NDSAP leaders subjected to two hour rant. Hitler demands unquestioning acceptance of his authority and solidifies nazi policy: no changes to policy, and no acceptance of George Strasser's anti capitalist policy. Strasser would accept this and in turn be made the party's chief of propaganda

-Fuherprinzip: Leadership principle, hierarchical system where everyone owes total obedience to their superiors. Fuher was accountable to no one and had dictatorial authority. 'Heil Hitler!' Greeting introduced in 1926

-Legality: abandon putch attempts to gain power and win by elections, building base in reichstag to take total power. Not resorting to democracy, but the nazis had to "hold their noses" (hitler) and enter the reichstag. Paramilitary forces were not made redundant but now attacked communist paramilitaries giving impression of lawlessness in republic to discredit WR.

-Gaue/Gauleiters: major reorganisation of the NDSAP to enhance election campaign abilities. Gaue areas corresponded to electoral districts of WR, Gauleiter assigned to each district responsible for all political activity. Key figures ie Joseph Goebbels.


How strong was the nazis political position in 1929?

Strong: 1923-9 membership from 50 000 to 100 000. Due to Hitler's political skills, public speaking and ability to inspire loyalty. Additional boost in 1929 when Hugenberg, nationalist party leader, invited NDSAP to join campaign against young plan. Gave party respectability and recognition in mainstream German politics

Weak: nazi policy of legality bought no immediate results, only 3% of vote in 1928 reichstag elections