The German Workers Party

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The German Workers Party

  • The Nazi Party was originally called the German Workers Party (DAP) and was founded by Anton Drexler in Munich in January 1919. 
  • Adolf Hitler joined the Party as a member- NOT A LEADER- in September 1919.
  • At the time, there wasn't anything special about the party. It was a small and radical group that had sprung up during a period of dramatic political change in Germany. The party did not worry anyone.
  • Drexler himself had very few ambitions for the party and saw it as little more than a discussion group.
  • Hitler has very different ideas! Once he had joined the DAP he quickly channelled his hatred for the new Weimar Republic into the public speaking he did for the party. He was very talented at this and could command his audience completely.
  • In February 1920 Hitler and Drexler created the Twenty Five Point Programme. This set out the direction that the party was due to take in the future.
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The Twenty-Five Point Programme

Included:

  • " We demand the union of all Germans in a Greater Germany".
  • "Only those of German blood may be members of the nation...no Jew may be a member of the nation".
  • "We demand the formation of a people's army."
  • "We demand the creation of a strong central state power for the Reich."
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Then...

  • Hitler then helped the party to buy a newspaper - The Munich Observer - and organised a change of name for the party as a whole. It became known as The National Socialist German Workers Party.
  • Using his now powerful position, Hitler challenged Drexler for leadership of the party of 1921 and took control.
  • He quickly changed the vision of the party and made it much more aggressive and demanding.
  • Hitler himself asserted all his personal powers of public speaking and presence to captivate his audiences.
  • In no time at all, his own party had come to see him as there Fuhrer, they followed him completely and showed him their total allegiance and obedience.
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Mass Movement

  • In August 1921 Hitler attempted to develop the party into a MASS MOVEMENT.
  • He organised an armed group called the STURM ABTEILUNG (SA, also known as the Brownshirts) to parade in their brown uniforms, carry Swastika banners and generally disrupt and hassel other political parties and their meetings.
  • The SA took its main recruits from the old Freikorps and ex-soldiers generally. Many of them had been connected with the Kapp Putsch in 1920.
  • They were therefore, a very radical Right Wing army that were both dangerous and committed to their new leader Adolf Hitler.
  • It was the knowledge that he had these men to rely on that made Hitler attempt his first Putsch in 1923.
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