Ian McKay

A writer with a particular passion for war stories and comedy.

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The Nazis - From Weimar to Hitler

The years after World War One had been turbulent ones in Germany; there had been coup and counter coup attempts. Riots, murders and political chaos had continued, unabated, ever since the end of the war. In the month of January1919, amid the mayhem and murders, far to the south of Berlin in a small Munich hotel named the Fürstenfelder Hof, a new political party was being formed. It was called the ‘Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (DAP) the German Workers Party; and the founding members of this new political party were Anton Drexler, Karl Harrer, Gottfried Feder; and Dietrich Eckhart. Initially, they were just a small, disaffected and disillusioned group of men who, like many millions more in Germany; felt that something had to be done to restore order to their country. It was agreed that they should meet once a month and by the end of May of that year, the membership had grown from four people, to ten; and, by the August meeting, to thirty eight members. However, unbeknown to its members, the DAP’s meetings had been secretly infiltrated by a Reichswehr spy, an undercover intelligence agent. The agent had been ordered to infiltrate the DAP, to attend their meetings, and to monitor their activities: the spy was named Corporal Adolf Hitler!

Once he started attending their meetings, the DAP's political ideology so mirrored his own than, when invited to join them Hitler did so immediately. Once he joined them, by his sheer force of personality and his ability to convince an audience, Hitler set about reorganizing the party's publicity activities and creating a higher profile for them. He tried to persuaded the other members that the existing name of the DAP should be changed to the “Social Revolutionary Party”. However, after listening to the views and arguments of another DAP member, Karl Jung, he changed his mind. Jung had argued that the name of the party should be changed from the DAP to the ‘Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei’:

(The NSDAP). This was because he was of the opinion that this name more accurately reflected both the nationalist and socialist aims of the new party. Nodding his head, Hitler agreed to this; and, early in 1920, the name of the DAP was thus changed. It quickly became known by the abbreviated name of “The NAZIS”.

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