Hitler and the Early Years of the Nazi Party 1919-1922

HITLER AND THE LEADERSHIP OF THE NAZI PARTY

Early nazi Party

  • Hitler was a German soldier during World War One
  • He hated the Treaty of Versailles and wanted someone to blame for it
  • Chose to blame the communists, Jews and the Weimar government
  • He was employed by the German army to spy on extremist groups
  • In September 1919 he was asked to spy on a small extremist political group called the German Workers’ Party (DAP), led by Anton Drexler
  • It had 6 members
  • Hitler was impressed by the party’s ideas so he joined as party member number 7
  • Drexler wanted to appeal to the working class and nationalists
  • Hitler realised he had more chance of leading a small group than a large mainstream party
  • In February 1920 Hitler was put in charge of propaganda for the DAP
  • He used their funds to buy control of The Munich Observer
  • On 24th February Hitler advertised a meeting of the party and 2000 people attended
  • He insisted on the German Workers Party getting a new name = National Socialist German Worker’s Party (NSDAP) or Nazis as they became known
  • Hitler announced a 25 point programme
  • It became quickly apparent that he had a talent for public speaking
  • He confidently challenged Drexler’s leadership in 1921 and took over the Nazi Party

KEY FEATURES OF THE EARLY NAZI PARTY 1920-22

By 1922 the Nazi Party had spread from its Munich base into other areas of Germany and had reached 6000 members

How had this happened?

SWASTIKA

swastika

  • Hitler designed the flag
  • Used 3 colours of the German flag under the Kaiser but had them reworked
  • Red = socialist, White = nationalist, Swastika = racial views

HITLER

hitlers-speeches

  • Talented public speaker
  • Rehearsed his speeches so he could give a dramatic build up to his words
  • Studied photos of himself to ensure he got the right gestures in place

SA

hitler-brown-shirts

  • Set up in 1921 – Sturm Abteilung/Stormtroopers (SA)
  • Attracted many ex-soldiers who liked the idea of being part of a disciplined force, particularly one that was against the government of the Weimar Republic like they were
  • Disrupted meetings of Hitler’s opponents and often beat up members of the audience
  • Dealt with hecklers in Nazi Party meetings
  • Known as ‘Brownshirts’ (uniform)
  • Ernst Rohm = leader of the SA had been a member of the original German Workers’ Party

PARTY PROGRAMME

nazi Party programme

  • Hitler kept this deliberately vague so it could appeal to as many different types of people as possible
  • Some of its aims were to: destroy the Treaty of Versailles, rearm Germany, give workers shares in company profits, share out land to everyone, blame Jews for losing the First World War