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      Red (imperial colors)

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 (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, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.

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 in itself have monarchical connotations per se. 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 Place in Bavaria, Germany

Munich is the capital and most populous city of the second most populous German federal state of Bavaria, and, with a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city of 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 later changed membership number 7 Hitler's DAP membership card.png
Adolf Hitler's DAP card with the later changed membership number 7

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] 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 found 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. [5] Impressed with Hitler's oratory skills, Drexler encouraged him to join. On the orders of his army superiors, Hitler applied to join the party. [6] 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. [7]

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 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 to become dictator of Germany, serving as Chancellor from 1933 and Führer ("Leader") from 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He closely supervised military operations during the war and by December 1941 had full control of all strategic decisions, especially on the Eastern Front. He 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. [8] 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. [9] 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. [10] 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. [11] 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. [12]

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 the National Socialist leader Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf is a 1925 autobiographical book 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 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. [13] [14] Such was the significance of Hitler's particular move in publicity that Harrer resigned from the party in disagreement. [15] 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. [16]

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 anti-semitism, 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 political party in Germany 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 Nazism. 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.

Related Research Articles

The Thule Society, originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum, was a German occultist and völkisch group founded in Munich right after World War I, named after a mythical northern country in Greek legend. The society is notable chiefly as the organization that sponsored the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, which was later reorganized by Adolf Hitler into the National Socialist German Workers' Party. According to Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw, the organization's "membership list ... reads like a Who's Who of early Nazi sympathizers and leading figures in Munich", including Rudolf Hess, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Julius Lehmann, Gottfried Feder, Dietrich Eckart, and Karl Harrer.

Max Amann German Nazi official and publisher

Max Amann was a German politician, businessman and a member of the Nazi Party. He was the first business manager of the Nazi Party and later became the head of Eher Verlag, the official Nazi Party publishing house. After the war ended, Amann was arrested by Allied troops and deemed a Hauptschuldiger and sentenced to ten years in a labour camp. He was released in 1953. Amann died in poverty on 30 March 1957, in Munich.

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.

Rudolf Jung Czechoslovak member of Czechoslovak national parliament and german nation politician

Rudolf Jung was an instrumental figure and agitator in the German Bohemian National Socialist movement, and later became a member of the Nazi Party.

Austrian National Socialism was a Pan-German movement that was formed at the beginning of the 20th century. The movement took a concrete form on November 15, 1903 when the German Worker's Party (DAP) was established in Austria with its secretariat stationed in the town of Aussig. It was suppressed under the rule of Engelbert Dollfuss (1932–34), with its political organization, the DNSAP banned in early 1933, but revived and made part of the German Nazi Party after the German annexation of Austria in 1938.

The early timeline of Nazism begins with its origins and continues until Hitler's rise to power.

Franz Xaver Schwarz was a German Schutzstaffel (SS) functionary and politician in Nazi Germany. He served as Reichsschatzmeister of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) during most of the party's existence.

Adolf Hitlers rise to power

Adolf Hitler's rise to power began in Germany in September 1919 when Hitler joined the political party known as the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – DAP. The name was changed in 1920 to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP. This political party was formed and developed during the post-World War I era. It was anti-Marxist and opposed to the democratic post-war government of the Weimar Republic and the Treaty of Versailles; and it advocated extreme nationalism and Pan-Germanism as well as virulent anti-Semitism. Hitler's "rise" can be considered to have ended in March 1933, after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933 in that month. President Paul von Hindenburg had already appointed Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 after a series of parliamentary elections and associated backroom intrigues. The Enabling Act—when used ruthlessly and with authority—virtually assured that Hitler could thereafter constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection.

Brown House, Munich

The Brown House was the name given to the Munich mansion located between the Karolinenplatz and Königsplatz, known before as the Palais Barlow, which was purchased in 1930 for the Nazis. They converted the structure into the headquarters of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Its namesake was the result of the early Nazi Party uniforms, which were brown. Many leading Nazis, including Hitler, maintained offices there throughout the Party's existence. It was destroyed by Allied bombing raids during the Second World War.

Hitlers Chancellery

Hitler's Chancellery, officially known as the Kanzlei des Führers der NSDAP was a Nazi Party organization. Also known as the Privatkanzlei des Führers, the agency served as the private chancellery of Adolf Hitler, handling different issues pertaining to matters such as complaints against party officials, appeals from party courts, official judgments, clemency petitions by NSDAP fellows and Hitler's personal affairs. The Chancellery of the Führer was also a key player in the Nazi euthanasia program.

Military career of Adolf Hitler

The military career of Adolf Hitler can be divided into two distinct portions of Adolf Hitler's life. Mainly, the period during World War I when Hitler served as a Gefreiter in the Bavarian Army, and the era of World War II when Hitler served as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht through his position as Führer of Nazi Germany.

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.

Politischer Arbeiter-Zirkel was a political activist group founded by Karl Harrer, a known rightist, in hopes of gathering intellectuals to discuss the political future of Germany in March 1918. The organization eventually merged with the Workers' Committee for a Good Peace formed by Anton Drexler to become the German Workers' Party in January 1919. Ultimately these principles would develop into the National Socialist German Workers Party, also known as the Nazi Party.

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. Kershaw 2008, p. 75.
  6. Evans 2003, p. 170.
  7. Kershaw 1999, p. 126.
  8. Kershaw 2008, pp. 75, 76.
  9. Kershaw 2008, p. 76.
  10. Mitcham 1996, p. 67.
  11. 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.
  12. Kershaw 2008, pp. 81, 84, 85, 89, 96.
  13. Kershaw 2008, p. 87.
  14. Zentner & Bedürftig 1997, p. 629.
  15. Shirer 1960, p. 36.
  16. Konrad Heiden, "Les débuts du national-socialisme", Revue d'Allemagne, VII, No. 71 (Sept. 15, 1933), p. 821.

Bibliography