Establishment of the Nazi Party and Nazi Policies

Establishment of the Nazi Party

The German Workers' Party was a political party established in Weimar Germany after World War I. The DAP was set up by Anton Drexler only and only lasted from 5 January 1919 until 24 February 1920 when it was succeeded by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. 

Hitler was first introduced to the Nazi Party when he was employed by the Army to spy on the German Workers Party. He attended several of their meetings and realised he agreed with many of their ideas. After Hitler spoke at one of their meetings, Leader Anton Drexler was so impressed with Hitler's public speaking skills that he invited him to join the party. Hitler was put in charge of Recruitment and Propaganda as he was a very talented speaker.

In 1920, Hitler wrote a new 25-point programme that listed their beliefs.

In 1921, Hitler set up the Sturmabteilung (known as the SA) who protected Nazi Party meetings and often beat up Political Opponents.

In 1922, Hitler became the leader of the Nazi Party after it had grown to 6,000 political members.

In 1923, Hitler plotted to overthrow the Weimar Government. 

Following his release, he reestablish his control over the party and created the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute.

From 1928 to 1929, votes for the Nazi Party increased in rural areas, while they gained their first majority in Coburg. Hitler also led the campaign against the Young Plan referendum.

In the 1930s, Hitler made numerous speeches which increased the popularity of the Nazi Party as they presented solutions on how to solve the Weimar Republic’s economic problems. 

In 1932, Hitler was able to further establish his support as he took part in the Presidential Election of 1932, garnering a total of 13.4 million votes. In July 1932, Hitler demanded to be made chancellor as the Nazi Party was the largest political party with 32% of the votes. 

Finally, Hitler was appointed Chancellor on the 30th January 1933, with Von Papen as Vice-Chancellor. Von Papen had persuaded Hindenburg that Hitler could be controlled if he (von Papen) was made Vice-Chancellor, as von Papen and von Schleicher were unpopular as chancellors.

Hitler’s appointment came about due to a number of factors;

What are the main elements of Nazi ideology?

This is hatred and disdain for Jewish people. Hitler contributed to the spread of the belief that Jews had a business-minded nature and made profits by taking advantage of German war production. They were also believed to be sub-human and the most racially inferior. This aligns with the belief that the Aryan race is the superior race.

The unification of all German-speaking people. He was able to succeed in doing this with the Anschluss with Austria in 1938. 

Hitler aimed at creating Lebensraum– meaning ‘living space’ for German people.

Nothing and no one should go against the state. The Nazis should receive total obedience from the population.

Hitler took many steps to centralise power & control over Nazi Germany and remove democracy from the country.

The Nazis believed that it was imperative for Germany to have a great military capability to aggressively defend and enforce their territorial interests, and also for National Pride.

Hitler wanted to make Germany self-sufficient in terms of its economy and supply of resources. 

What were Nazi policies and how were they appealing to certain groups?