Nazi Party

Nazi Party
(Nationalsozialistche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
   In 1918, Anton Drexler and Karl Harrar, both railroad workers, founded the German Workers’ Party with the financial help of the Thule Society. In 1919, Adolf Hitler was sent by his army regiment commander to spy on the activities of the party. However, he quickly became impressed with the party’s program and soon became its chairman of propaganda. It was Hitler who added the term “National Socialist” to German Workers’ Party as well as making anti-Semitism central to the party platform. In July 1921, Hitler became chairman of the NSDAP, and later that year he was designated as party Fuhrer, or leader.
   Included in the 25-point program that the fledgling Nazi Party approved in February 1920 was its demand that all Jews who had arrived in Germany prior to 1914 be forced to leave. In anticipation of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, Article 4 of the party program declared that only Germans of pure blood could be countryman, “hence no Jew can be a countryman.” Article 24 called for a struggle against “the Jewish materialist spirit within and without.”
   Following Hitler’s failure to overthrow the Bavarian government in the so-called beer hall putsch in November 1923, for which he was imprisoned, Hitler moved the NSDAP away from attempting to overthrow the Weimar Republic through violence and focused on political means to attain power. The reorganization of the Nazi Party in 1925 focused not only on anti-Semitism but also on an economic program that stressed protectionism, autarkic development, tax relief, and the mandatory application of impartible inheritance. Between 1925 and 1932, the Nazis attracted voters as much because of their anti-Jewish agitation as they did because of their economic program.
   In 1932, more than 14 million Germans (37.3 percent of the electorate) voted for the Nazis, who became the largest single party in Germany, although they did not attract a majority of the German population. The political crisis of 1932, which led to Hitler’s appointment as chancellor of Germany, also marked the ascent of the Nazi Party as the real center of power in the Nazi dictatorship. Major decisions that affected the Jewish population of Germany, such as the Nuremberg Laws, were approved by the Nazi Party.

Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. . 2014.

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