Was Nazism Socialist?

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by von Poop, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member Patron

    By the same token, not all Germans that fought in WW2 were Nazis but they all fought under the German flag which as far as I’m concerned tared them all with the same brush. I say again Nazism was a political party and I have no doubt in saying that the majority of the members were German and should be so called.
     
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  2. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    As a follow-up on the OP's question was Nazism a form of Socialism. My wife nipped out to Waitrose this morning and brought back a copy of the BBC's history magazne. I've just been flicking though it with my morning coffee and have come across a short review of Thomas Weber's new book, 'Becoming Hitler: The Making of a Nazi'. The reviewer pointed out something I'd completely forgotten, which is that Hitler started out as a Socialist and that in 1919 Hitler most probably took part in the funeral possession "for Kurt Eisner, the radical socialist premier of Bavaria, who had been murdered by a right-wing assassin..". Weber describes Hitler in 1919 as "an opportunist with mild left-leaning sympathies" and that of the various misfit groupings and parties that Hitler gravitated to at this time, the one he settled on was the 'German Workers Party, the DAP, which later became the NSDAP. Some of this has already been covered by Ian Kershaw in his biogrpahhy of Hitler (the first volume of which I never managed to finish because some arse stole my hardback copy when I fell asleep on the train one evening. Nothing worse than a low-life who steals a book, especially one you're clearly reading!) Still it is interesting to note that old Adolf started out as a Socialist and took political root in the German Workers Party. Adolf probably knew then what another Austrian (Von Hayek) pointed out much later, "socialism pursued consistently always leads to totalitarianism."

    Of course if you want some controversial meat to get your teeth into, you could ask, about the influences of Catholicism on Fascist ideology of the early 20th Century and the roots of anti-Semitism, or the influences of Nazism in the foundation of the European Union. For the latter you may take as a starting point Jochem Peiper's assertion, during one of his trials, that "the first Europeans died on the Russian Steppe", by which he undoubtedly meant the troops of the Waffen SS. It is interesting to note that although the Nazi's were promoting Aryan Supremacy in the 1930's by the time they'd extended their reach over all Europe they wre in fact promoting a Pan-European alliance against the asiatic hordes from the East. How much of this did they teach in the schools of the occupied countries (for surely the Nazi's did not pass up such an opportunity to 'educate' a new generation) and what, if any, of that came to frution in the post-war period, especially given that the post-war period settled down to just such an East-West stand-off! From a purely academic point of view, I've always found it interesting that no-one seems to have done an indepth study on Nazi Pedagogy, especially in the occupied territories.
     
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  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I think that to understand how Socialism became identified in National Socialism ideology, it requires looking at the root of Hitler's progress from being what he was at the end of the Great War to his accent to the pinnacle of absolute power in the totalitarian state he created as the Third Reich.

    At the end of the Great War,Hitler by this time showing core values as an extreme Nationalist for a foreign country,being Germany, did not chose to join veteran organisations such as the Freikorps or the Stalheim as the majority did.Neither did he adopt what might be have been attractive to some left wing idealists in Bavaria, returning from war who set up "Soviets"

    The path to political power appeared to be more attractive by joining the German Workers' Party where his leadership would gain him more prominence than the Freikorps or the Stalheim where his wartime rank would be somewhat inferior to those in the leadership of these organisations.Hitler had his own ideas in looking for a party which he could advance his leadership and carry his ideology....the German Workers' Party

    Hitler found that the small German Workers'Party,founded in January 1919, had no funds, no agenda to speak of and no plan of action.The only common principle was that like him,they were against the government...Hitler joined the party and within two years became its head.He then declared 25 points of principle of the party at the first mass meeting of 24 February 1920....the points that were to be the building block for the creation of the later Third Reich under his new name for the party..........his party name change to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei to reflect his nationalistic traits.....the introduction of National and Socialist,thus the NSDAP was born.

    His new party created a media outlet, the Volkischer Beobachter....the Racial Observer..... to advance the party ideology. To guard his meetings against intrusion,Hitler organised a trained militia based on the German Imperial Army's elite force,the storm troopers....the brown shirted Sturmabteilung....the SA,commanded by his close friend, Ernst Roehm. In parallel the black shirted Schutzstaffel was formed to act as Hitler's bodyguard.

    Any reference to socialism was eliminated on the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934 when Roehm who had visions of his own version of a revolution was murdered by the fledgling SS along with leading members of his SA. Roehm envisaged that the SA would be absorbed into the Reichwehr to create a "Peoples Army" through a second revolution.The Reichwehr leadership objected and Hitler had to choose between the national and socialist fractions of the NSDSP,he chose,backed by the NSDSP,the SS and the Reichwehr to reject his friend Roehm in order to win the respect of the Reichwehr but above all, gain absolute power.

    After 30 June 1934,the SA remained but posed no threat to Hitler,with its leadership eliminated, their functional duties were relegated to the mundane.On the other hand the SS were declared to be an independent force and went on as the chief police arm of the NSDSP.

    Hitler's Third Reich and Stalin's Soviet Union....both totalitarian states,the difference being that Hitler did not interfere with businesses and maintained an alliance throughout the duration of his regime....business donations bank rolling his climb to power and business in turn returning wealth to themselves from the 5 year plans of Schacht,then of Goering, aided by the elimination of Trade Unions by Ley in May 1933.
     
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  4. HA96

    HA96 Member

    Peter,

    my uncle, a totally non-political man said something stupid in 1941,was taken away by the Gestapo and although being the son of a WW1 veteran with 5 kids, was sent to Stalingrad and fought under the German flag and never returned home. Not even a dog tag was found up until today.

    Stefan.
     
  5. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    German Workers' Party - Wikipedia

    The above is a potted history of the German Worker's Party. Some key things to note: Hitler originally joined the group to keep an eye on them as an agent of the Reichswehr. He was attracted to some of the ideas he heard and the leader and founder of the DAP, Anton Drexler became a mentor to him. Drexler was nationalist, anti-Semetic, anti-capitalist and also anti-Marxist.

    A good short bio of him and his influence on Hitler
    Anton Drexler

    which contains this passage:
    which gives an idea of his philosophy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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