German Workers' Party

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German Workers' Party

Deutsche Arbeiterpartei
Party Chairman Anton Drexler
Deputy Chairman Karl Harrer
Founder Anton Drexler
Dietrich Eckart
Gottfried Feder
Karl Harrer
Founded5 January 1919
Dissolved24 February 1920
Preceded byNone (de jure)
German Fatherland Party (de facto)
Succeeded by National Socialist German Workers' Party
Headquarters Munich, Germany
Ideology German nationalism
Pan-Germanism
Anti-communism
Antisemitism
Political position Far-right
International affiliationNone
Colors     Black (customary)
     Black,      white, and      red (German Imperial colours)

The German Workers' Party (German : Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, DAP) was a short-lived political party established in Weimar Germany after World War I. It was the precursor of the Nazi Party, which was officially known as the National Socialist German Workers' Party (German : Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP). The DAP only lasted from 5 January 1919 until 24 February 1920.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

A political party is an organized group of people who have the same ideology, or who otherwise have the same political positions, and who field candidates for elections, in an attempt to get them elected and thereby implement the party's agenda.

Weimar Republic Germany state in the years 1918/1919–1933

The Weimar Republic is an unofficial historical designation for the German state from 1918 to 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place. The official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates. Although commonly translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not have monarchical connotations in itself. The Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was usually known simply as Germany.

Contents

Origins

On 5 January 1919, the German Workers' Party (DAP) was founded in Munich in the hotel Fürstenfelder Hof by Anton Drexler, [1] along with Dietrich Eckart, Gottfried Feder and Karl Harrer. It developed out of the Freier Arbeiterausschuss für einen guten Frieden (Free Workers' Committee for a Good Peace) league, a branch of which Drexler had founded in 1918. [1] Thereafter in 1918, Harrer (a journalist and member of the Thule Society), convinced Drexler and several others to form the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel (Political Workers' Circle). [1] The members met periodically for discussions with themes of nationalism and antisemitism. [1] Drexler was encouraged to form the DAP in December 1918 by his mentor, Dr. Paul Tafel. Tafel was a leader of the Alldeutscher Verband (Pan-Germanist Union), a director of the Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg and a member of the Thule Society. Drexler's wish was for a political party which was both in touch with the masses and nationalist. With the DAP founding in January 1919, Drexler was elected chairman and Harrer was made Reich Chairman, an honorary title. [2] On 17 May, only ten members were present at the meeting, and a later meeting in August only noted 38 members attending. [3]

Munich Capital and most populous city of Bavaria, Germany

Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to 6 million people. Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany. Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Anton Drexler 20th-century German politician

Anton Drexler was a German far-right political leader of the 1920s who founded the pan-German and anti-Semitic German Workers' Party (DAP), the antecedent of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Drexler mentored his successor in the NSDAP, Adolf Hitler, during his early years in politics.

Dietrich Eckart German journalist and politician

Dietrich Eckart was a German journalist, playwright, poet, and politician who was one of the founders of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, which later evolved into the Nazi Party (NSDAP). He was a key influence on Adolf Hitler in the early years of the Nazi Party and was a participant in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch.

Adolf Hitler's membership

Adolf Hitler's DAP card with the membership number 7 (altered from the original) Hitler's DAP membership card.png
Adolf Hitler's DAP card with the membership number 7 (altered from the original)

After World War I ended, Adolf Hitler returned to Munich. Having no formal education or career prospects, he tried to remain in the army for as long as possible. [4] In July 1919, he was appointed Verbindungsmann (intelligence agent) of an Aufklärungskommando (reconnaissance commando) of the Reichswehr to influence other soldiers and to infiltrate the DAP. While monitoring the activities of the DAP, Hitler became attracted to founder Anton Drexler's anti-Semitic, nationalist, anti-capitalist, and anti-Marxist ideas. [1] One day Hitler received an order from his superiors to investigate the nature of an organization called The German Worker Party where he was ordered to attend a meeting of theirs and report on the situation. [5] While attending a party meeting at the Sterneckerbräu beer hall on 12 September 1919, Hitler became involved in a heated political argument with a visitor, Professor Baumann, who questioned the soundness of Gottfried Feder's arguments against capitalism and proposed that Bavaria should break away from Prussia and become part of a new South German nation with Austria. In vehemently attacking the man's arguments, he made an impression on the other party members with his oratory skills and, according to Hitler, Baumann left the hall acknowledging unequivocal defeat. [6] Impressed with Hitler's oratory skills, Drexler encouraged him to join. On the orders of his army superiors, Hitler applied to join the party. [7] Although Hitler initially wanted to form his own party, he claimed to have been convinced to join the DAP because it was small and he could eventually become its leader. [8]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as, "the war to end all wars," it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland on 1 September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

<i>Reichswehr</i> 1921–1935 combined military forces of Germany

The Reichswehr formed the military organisation of Germany from 1919 until 1935, when it was united with the new Wehrmacht.

In less than a week, Hitler received a postcard stating he had officially been accepted as a member and he should come to a committee meeting to discuss it. Hitler attended the committee meeting held at the run-down Altes Rosenbad beer-house. [9] Normally, enlisted army personnel were not allowed to join political parties. In this case, Hitler had Captain Karl Mayr's permission to join the DAP. Further, Hitler was allowed to stay in the army and receive his weekly pay of 20 gold marks a week. [10] At the time when Hitler joined the party, there were no membership numbers or cards. It was in January 1920 when a numeration was issued for the first time and listed in alphabetical order Hitler received the number 555. In reality, he had been the 55th member, but the counting started at the number 501 in order to make the party appear larger. [11] In his work Mein Kampf , Hitler later claimed to be the seventh party member, and he was in fact the seventh executive member of the party's central committee. [12] After giving his first speech for the DAP on 16 October at the Hofbräukeller , Hitler quickly became the party's most active orator. Hitler's considerable oratory and propaganda skills were appreciated by the party leadership as crowds began to flock to hear his speeches during 1919–1920. With the support of Drexler, Hitler became chief of propaganda for the party in early 1920. Hitler preferred that role as he saw himself as the drummer for a national cause. He saw propaganda as the way to bring nationalism to the public. [13]

Captain Karl Mayr was a German General Staff officer and Adolf Hitler's immediate superior in an army Intelligence Division in the Reichswehr, 1919–1920. Mayr was particularly known as the man who introduced Hitler to politics. In 1919, Mayr directed Hitler to write the Gemlich letter, in which Hitler first expressed his anti-semitic views in writing.

<i>Mein Kampf</i> Autobiographical manifesto by Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf is a 1925 autobiographical manifesto by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. The work describes the process by which Hitler became antisemitic and outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926. The book was edited firstly by Emil Maurice, then by Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.

The Hofbräukeller is a restaurant in Haidhausen, Munich, Germany owned by Hofbräuhaus brewery.

From DAP to NSDAP

The small number of party members were quickly won over to Hitler's political beliefs. He organized their biggest meeting yet of 2,000 people for 24 February 1920 in the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München . Further in an attempt to make the party more broadly appealing to larger segments of the population, the DAP was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) on 24 February. [14] [15] Such was the significance of Hitler's particular move in publicity that Harrer resigned from the party in disagreement. [16] The new name was borrowed from a different Austrian party active at the time (the Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei, i.e. the German National Socialist Workers' Party), although Hitler earlier suggested the party to be renamed the Social Revolutionary Party. It was Rudolf Jung who persuaded Hitler to adopt the NSDAP name. [17]

Political views of Adolf Hitler

The political views of Adolf Hitler have presented historians and biographers with some difficulty. His writings and methods were often adapted to need and circumstance, although there were some steady themes, including antisemitism, anti-communism, anti-parliamentarianism, German Lebensraum, belief in the superiority of an "Aryan race" and an extreme form of German nationalism. Hitler personally claimed he was fighting against "Jewish Marxism".

Hofbräuhaus am Platzl beer hall in the city center of Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is a beer hall in Munich, Germany, originally built in 1589 by Bavarian Duke Maximilian I as an extension of the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München brewery. The general public was admitted in 1828 by Ludwig I. The building was completely remodeled in 1897 by Max Littmann when the brewery moved to the suburbs. All of the rooms except the historic beer hall ("Schwemme") were destroyed in the World War II bombings. The reopening of the Festival Hall in 1958 marked the end of the post-war restoration work.

Nazi Party a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945

The National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920.

Membership

Early members of the party included:

Gottfried Feder German economist and politician

Gottfried Feder was a German civil engineer, a self-taught economist and one of the early key members of the Nazi Party. He was their economic theoretician. It was one of his lectures, delivered in 1919, that drew Hitler into the party.

Karl Harrer German journalist and politician

Karl Harrer was a German journalist and politician, one of the founding members of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in January 1919, the predecessor to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, more commonly known as the Nazi Party.

Hermann Esser founding member of the Nazi Party

Hermann Esser was a very early member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). A journalist, Esser was the editor of the Nazi paper, Völkischer Beobachter, and a Nazi member of the Reichstag. In the early history of the party, he was a de facto deputy of Adolf Hitler.

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The National Socialist Program, also known as the 25-point Program or the 25-point Plan, was the party program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP). Originally the name of the party was the German Workers' Party (DAP), but on the same day as the announced party program it was renamed the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. Adolf Hitler announced the party's program on 24 February 1920 before approximately 2,000 people in the Munich Festival of the Hofbräuhaus. The National Socialist Program originated at a DAP congress in Vienna, then was taken to Munich, by the civil engineer and theoretician Rudolf Jung, who having explicitly supported Hitler had been expelled from Czechoslovakia because of his political agitation.

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Sterneckerbräu

The Sterneckerbräu was a brewery in Munich, Germany. The associated inn served as a meeting place for the first branch of the German Workers' Party (DAP), which later changed its name to the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Similar to the Bürgerbräukeller, it was a place of pilgrimage for the Nazi movement. The building is now used as a residential and commercial building and is a registered monument on the Bavarian monument list.

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References

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Kershaw 2008, p. 82.
  2. Kershaw 2008, pp. 82, 83.
  3. Kershaw 2008, p. 83.
  4. Kershaw 1999, p. 109.
  5. Hitler, Adolf (September 15, 1998). Mein Kampf. Germany: Ralph Manheim. pp. 174–175. ISBN   978-0395951057.
  6. Kershaw 2008, p. 75.
  7. Evans 2003, p. 170.
  8. Kershaw 1999, p. 126.
  9. Kershaw 2008, pp. 75, 76.
  10. Kershaw 2008, p. 76.
  11. Mitcham 1996, p. 67.
  12. Werner Maser, Der Sturm auf die Republik – Frühgeschichte der NSDAP, ECON Verlag, Düsseldorf, Vienna, New York, Moscow, Special Edition 1994, ISBN   3-430-16373-0.
  13. Kershaw 2008, pp. 81, 84, 85, 89, 96.
  14. Kershaw 2008, p. 87.
  15. Zentner & Bedürftig 1997, p. 629.
  16. Shirer 1960, p. 36.
  17. Konrad Heiden, "Les débuts du national-socialisme", Revue d'Allemagne, VII, No. 71 (Sept. 15, 1933), p. 821.

Bibliography