Nazi Party

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Nazi Party
Flag of the NSDAP (1920–1945).svg.png
Fullname: National-Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei
Alias: Nazi Party
Third Reich
Nazi Germany
NSDAP
National Socialist German Workers' Party
Origin: Germany
Foundation: February 24, 1920
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Commanders: Anton Drexler (1920 - 1933)
Adolf Hitler (1933 - 1945)
Joseph Goebbels (1945)
Karl Dönitz (as President of Germany; April - May 1945)
Goals: Establish the "Aryans" as the master race that will rule the world (failed)
Establish a thousand-year Reich (failed)
Conquer all of Europe (failed)
Crimes: Mass murder
Genocide
Tyranny
Torture
Slavery
Hatemongering
Warmongering
Human experimentation
Unlawful mass detention
Ethnic cleansing
War crimes
Human rights vilations
Crimes against humanity
Xenophobia
Terrorism
Propaganda


The party must not become the servant of the masses, but their master.
~ Adolf Hitler

The National Socialist German Workers' Party (often shorted simply to "Nazis") were the ruling party of Germany during the events of World War II. First emerging in 1920 as the successor to the nationalistic German Workers' Party, the Nazi Party became infamous as a society that, under the control of Adolf Hitler, orchestrated a number of unlawful invasions as well as numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, with the most well known being the Holocaust, the genocidal mass slaughter of Jews all across Europe that is widely accepted to be the worst act of genocide in modern history.

The Nazi Party is considered by many to be the most evil organization to have ever existed; they have become a staple symbol of evil in the minds of many along with their symbol, the Swastika, which is outlawed in a few countries as a hate symbol — the Nazi Party was part of a wider network of regimes collectively known as the Axis Powers during World War II and ultimately found defeat shortly after Hitler committed suicide.

Although extensive work was done to try and remove and evidence of the Nazis' crimes from Germany and the world in general, sadly, their legacy continues to live on across the world in the forms of various Neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations throughout the world. Their ideals have also seen a major resurgence in popularity during the mid-to-late 2010's with the rise of the Alt-Right movement.

Ideology

The Nazi Party's prime ideology was a variation of fascism known as National Socialism (not to be confused with the type of socialism associated with communism) and it promoted the idea that the Aryan race (humans of Nordic and Germanic descent) was an innately superior breed of human and therefore deserved dominance over the world and other races. While the party is well-remembered for its extreme antisemitism, the Nazis also targeted Slavs (such as Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenes, Serbians, Croatians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Russians), Romani (targeting them with a separate event known as the Porajmos) Greeks, Arabs, Muslims, homosexuals, the disabled, Catholics, socialists, leftist-sympathizers, and others deemed Untermensch (sub-human) by the dictatorship.

History

The Nazi Party was founded as the German Workers’ Party by Anton Drexler, a Munich locksmith, in 1919. Adolf Hitler attended one of its meetings that year, and before long his energy and oratorical skills would enable him to take over the party, which was renamed National Socialist German Workers’ Party in 1920.

That year Hitler also formulated a 25-point program that became the permanent basis for the party. The program called for German abandonment of the Treaty of Versailles and for the expansion of German territory. These appeals for national aggrandizement were accompanied by a strident anti-Semitic rhetoric. The party’s socialist orientation was basically a demagogic gambit designed to attract support from the working class. By 1921 Hitler had ousted the party’s other leaders and taken over.

Under Hitler the Nazi Party grew steadily in its home base of Bavaria. It organized strong-arm groups to protect its rallies and meetings. These groups drew their members from war veterans groups and paramilitary organizations and were organized under the name Sturmabteilung (SA). In 1923 Hitler and his followers felt strong enough to stage the Beer Hall Putsch, an unsuccessful attempt to take control of the Bavarian state government in the hope that it would trigger a nationwide insurrection against the Weimar Republic. The coup failed, the Nazi Party was temporarily banned, and Hitler was sent to prison for most of 1924.

Upon his release Hitler quickly set about rebuilding his moribund party, vowing to achieve power only through legal political means thereafter. The Nazi Party’s membership grew from 25,000 in 1925 to about 180,000 in 1929. Its organizational system of gauleiters (“district leaders”) spread through Germany at this time, and the party began contesting municipal, state, and federal elections with increasing frequency.

However, it was the effects of the Great Depression in Germany that brought the Nazi Party to its first real nationwide importance. The rapid rise in unemployment in 1929–30 provided millions of jobless and dissatisfied voters whom the Nazi Party exploited to its advantage. From 1929 to 1932 the party vastly increased its membership and voting strength; its vote in elections to the Reichstag (the German Parliament) increased from 800,000 votes in 1928 to about 14,000,000 votes in July 1932, and it thus emerged as the largest voting bloc in the Reichstag, with 230 members (38 percent of the total vote). By then big-business circles had begun to finance the Nazi electoral campaigns, and swelling bands of SA toughs increasingly dominated the street fighting with the communists that accompanied such campaigns.

When unemployment began to drop in Germany in late 1932, the Nazi Party’s vote also dropped, to about 12,000,000 (33 percent of the vote) in the November 1932 elections. Nevertheless, Hitler’s shrewd maneuvering behind the scenes prompted the president of the German republic, Paul von Hindenburg, to name him chancellor on January 30, 1933. Hitler used the powers of his office to solidify the Nazis’ position in the government during the following months. The elections of March 5, 1933—precipitated by the burning of the Reichstag building only days earlier—gave the Nazi Party 44 percent of the votes, and further unscrupulous tactics on Hitler’s part turned the voting balance in the Reichstag in the Nazis’ favour. On March 23, 1933, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which “enabled” Hitler’s government to issue decrees independently of the Reichstag and the presidency; Hitler in effect assumed dictatorial powers.

On July 14, 1933, his government declared the Nazi Party to be the only political party in Germany. On the death of Hindenburg in 1934 Hitler took the titles of Führer (“Leader”), chancellor, and commander in chief of the army, and he remained leader of the Nazi Party as well. Nazi Party membership became mandatory for all higher civil servants and bureaucrats, and the gauleiters became powerful figures in the state governments. Hitler crushed the Nazi Party’s left, or socialist-oriented, wing in 1934, executing Ernst Röhm and other rebellious SA leaders on what would become known as the “Night of the Long Knives.” Thereafter, Hitler’s word was the supreme and undisputed command in the party.

The party came to control virtually all political, social, and cultural activities in Germany. Its vast and complex hierarchy was structured like a pyramid, with party-controlled mass organizations for youth, women, workers, and other groups at the bottom, party members and officials in the middle, and Hitler and his closest associates at the top wielding undisputed authority.

Upon Germany’s defeat, Hitler’s suicide, and the Allied occupation of the country in 1945 at the end of World War II, the Nazi Party was banned, and its top leaders were convicted of crimes against peace and against humanity.

Members