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National Socialist Program: Wikis


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The National Socialist Program, also referred to as the 25-point program or 25-point plan was developed to formulate the party policies of, first, the Austrian German Workers Party (or DAP) and was copied later by Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party. It was first developed in Vienna, at a German Workers Party congress, and was brought to Munich by Rudolf Jung, who was expelled from Czechoslovakia.[1] Josef Pfitzner, a Sudetenland German Nazi author, wrote that "the synthesis of the two great dynamic powers of the century, of the national and social idea, had been perfected in the German borderlands [i.e. Sudetenland] which thus were far ahead of their motherland."[2] The National Socialist program also contained a number of points that supported democracy and even called for wider democratic rights. These, like much of the program, lost their importance as the Party evolved, and were ignored by the Nazis after they rose to power.



At the time this program was written, Czechoslovakia and Austria did not exist as separate countries. They both existed under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The programs of the Sudetenland and Austrian National Socialists developed under the Habsburg monarchy and in one single country at the time. Different German Worker parties developed in Vienna, Aussig, and Eger. Hitler and the other leaders that would later play a major role in Nazi Germany were not involved in the creation of the original National Socialist programs, a fact which explains the differences between these programs and the actions of the German Nazi Party.

Austrian Party Platform

Before Austria became a republic, the Austrian DNSAP (Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei, German National Socialist Worker's Party), proclaimed a similar program in May 1918. Here are a few excerpts:

...the German National Socialist Workers' Party is not a party exclusively for labourers; it stands for the interests of every decent and honest enterprise. It is a liberal (freiheitlich) and strictly folkic (volkisch) party fighting against all reactionary efforts, clerical, feudal and capitalistic privileges; but before all against the increasing influence of the Jewish commercial mentality which encroaches on public life.... demands the amalgamation of all European regions inhabited by Germans into a democratic and socialized Germany... demands the introduction of plebiscites (referendums; democratic decision-making) for all important laws in the country... demands the elimination of the rule of Jewish banks over our economic life and the establishment of People's Banks under democratic control...[3]

German Party Platform

The 25 point Program of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) was proclaimed by Adolf Hitler at a large public gathering in Munich on February 24, 1920 when the group was still known as the German Workers Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or DAP).[4] The party kept the program when it changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party in April 1920 and it remained the official party program throughout the party's existence - though many of the demands listed in it were not carried out after the NSDAP eventually came to power. The program was adapted from Rudolf Jung's Austro-Bohemian program by Anton Drexler, Adolf Hitler, Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckart. Unlike the Austrian program, the NSDAP program makes no claims of being "liberal" or democratic, nor does it express an opposition to "reaction" or to aristocracy. However, it endorses democratic institutions such as the central parliament of Germany, and makes no mention of wishing to abolish democracy - on the contrary, by demanding that only Germans be allowed to vote, it implicitly assumes that voting would still take place under a NSDAP government. This is one of the several areas where real Nazi practice diverged from Nazi demands.

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn argues that ten of the twenty-five points are pro-labor, claiming that "the program championed the right to employment and called for the institution of profit sharing, confiscation of war profits, prosecution of userers and profiteers, nationalization of trusts, communalization of department stores, extension of the old-age pension system, creation of a national education program of all classes, prohibition of child labor, and an end to the dominance of investment capital."[5] William Brustein argues that these aspects of the program, along with the statements of Anton Drexler, show that the NSDAP had its origins as a working-class party.[6]

The Agrarian crisis of the late 1920s prompted Hitler to add a further explanation of point 17, in the hope of winning the sizable agricultural vote in the May 1928 elections. Point 17 stated: "We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land". Hitler explained that "gratuitous expropriation concerns only the creation of legal opportunities to expropriate if necessary, land which has been illegally acquired or is not administered from the view-point of the national welfare. This is directed primarily against the Jewish land-speculation companies".

Several attempts were made in the 1920s to change some of the program or replace it entirely. For instance, in 1924, Gottfried Feder proposed a new 39-point program that kept some of the old planks, replaced others and added many completely new ones.[7] However, all such attempts ultimately failed, because Hitler refused to allow any discussion of the party program after 1925. Ostensibly, Hitler claimed that no discussion was necessary because the program was "inviolable" and did not need any changes.[8] At the same time, however, Hitler never voiced public support for the program and many historians argue that he was in fact privately opposed to it. Hitler did not mention any of the planks of the National Socialist Program in his book, Mein Kampf, and only talked about it in passing as "the so-called program of the movement".[9] Henry A. Turner holds that many of the program's vague calls for economic reform and pro-labor legislation, as well as its endorsement of democratic politics, went directly contrary to Hitler's own social Darwinist views and dictatorial ambitions. Furthermore, he noted that the program's calls for land reform and anti-trust legislation threatened the interests of the big business tycoons whose support and funding Hitler was trying to acquire (though his efforts in this direction proved largely unsuccessful).[10] Since he could not abolish the program entirely without causing a stir among the party's voters, Hitler chose to ban all discussion of it instead and hoped it would be largely forgotten.[11]

The full text of the 25 point program

See also


  1. ^ Leftism Revisited, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Regnery Gateway, Washington, D.C., 1990. pp 147-149
  2. ^ Leftism Revisited, pg 149.
  3. ^ The Logic of Evil, The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933, William Brustein, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1996. pg 141.
  4. ^ Some 2000 persons attended the meeting at the Hofbrauhaus; although this was several times more than the party's actual membership, Hitler offered up the program point-by-point to the crowd, which approved the program by acclamation. Toland, John (1976). Adolf Hitler. New York: Doubleday & Company. pp. 94–98. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0-385-03724-4 (Toland)|0-385-03724-4 (Toland)]].  
  5. ^ Liberty or Equality, von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Christendom Press, Front Royal, VA, 1952, 1993. pg 257
  6. ^ The Logic of Evil, The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933, William Brustein, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1996. pg 141.
  7. ^ Henry A. Turner, "German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler", Oxford University Press, 1985. p.62
  8. ^ At the Bamberg Conference in February 1926, the dissident faction endeavored to change the program, but Hitler declared that no changes could be tolerated because that would be an insult to the Nazi brothers who had sacrificed their lives at the Feldherrnhalle during the Beer Hall Putsch. At the party's annual general meeting three months thereafter, the program was officially declared to be "immutable."
  9. ^ Henry A. Turner, "German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler", Oxford University Press, 1985. p.77
  10. ^ Simkin, John. Nazi Party - NSDAP
  11. ^ Henry A. Turner, "German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler", Oxford University Press, 1985. p.82
  12. ^ Konrad Heiden, A History of National Socialism, 1935. Translated by Alfred A. Knopf, page 17.

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