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Nazism (Nationalsozialismus, National Socialism), is the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany.  It is a politically syncretic variety of fascism that incorporates policies, tactics and philosophies from right- and left-wing ideologies; in practice, Nazism is a far right form of politics.
In post–World War I Weimar Germany, the Nazis were among right-wing political parties defining their ideology as National Socialism. In 1920, the Nazi Party published their 25-point National Socialist Program, the key tenets being: anti-parliamentarism, pan-Germanism, racism, anti-Semitism, collectivism, social Darwinism, eugenics, anti-communism, totalitarianism, and opposition to economic and political liberalism. Yet, by the 1930s, despite such intellectual bases, Nazism was not a specific ideology, but a conflation of ideas, concepts, and philosophies meant to realise the mythic ethnostate of Großdeutschland (Greater Germany).
To rescue Germany from the socio-economic chaos established by the world-wide Great Depression, Nazism promoted a politico-economic “Third Way”; a managed economy, neither capitalist nor communist. The far-right character of Nazism was established with the purging of the anti-capitalist Black Front and Strasserism, leftist Nazi sub-groups motivated by nationalist rancour towards Germany’s conditions under the Treaty of Versailles, and a perceived internal Judæo–Bolshevist conspiracy that abetted military defeat. The defeat-induced social, political, cultural and economic ills of Weimar democracy proved critical to the ideologic consolidation of Nazism, and its successful electoral challenges to the Weimar Constitution of the Deutsches Reich, which allowed the Nazi Party to legally assume power of German government in 1933.
Post-World War II Nazism (neo-Nazism) has adherents in several countries around the world, although it remains a fringe movement. The ideology, iconography, and literature of Nazism are now outlawed in Germany and some other European countries. Due to Nazism’s racism and antisemitism, the term Nazi and affiliated ideas and symbols (e.g. the Swastika, SS runes, SS uniforms) denote and connote white supremacist racism in Europe and North America.
The term Nazi derives from the first two syllables of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers’ Party). Members of the Nazi Party identified themselves as Nationalsozialisten (National Socialists), rarely as Nazis. The German term Nazi parallels the analogous political term Sozi, an abbreviation for a member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democratic Party of Germany). In 1933, when Adolf Hitler assumed power of the German government, usage of the term Nazi diminished in Germany, although Austrian anti-Nazis used it as an insult.
A large part of Nazi ideology is the racist belief in the superiority of the Aryan race Herrenvolk, a white supremacist master race abstraction of the Nordic, ethnic Germans found in pan-Germanism. Led by Adolf Hitler, the Nazis advocated a strong, central government, under the Führer, for defending Germany, and the Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans), against communism and Jewish subversion. To the end of establishing Großdeutschland (Greater Germany), the German peoples must acquire Lebensraum (living space) from Russia, Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union of the 1930s.
The racist subject of National Socialism is Das Volk, the German people living under continual cultural attack by Judeo-Bolshevism, who must unite under Nazi Party leadership, and, per the spartan nationalist tenets of Nazism: be stoic, self-disciplined and self-sacrificing until victory. Adolf Hitler’s political biography, Mein Kampf (My Struggle) formulates the Weltanshauung of Nazism with the ideologic trinity of: history as a struggle for world supremacy among the human races, conquered only by a master race, the Herrenvolk; the decisive, autocratic Führerprinzip (leader principle); and anti-Semitism as universal source of socio-cultural and economic discord.
The Jewish–Bolshevism conspiracy theory derives from anti-Semitism and anti-communism; Adolf Hitler first developed his worldview from living and observing Viennese life from 1907 to 1913, concluding that the Austro–Hungarian Empire comprised racial, religious, and cultural hierarchies; per his interpretations, atop were the “Aryans”, the ultimate, white master race, whilst Jews and Gypsies were at bottom.
Intellectually, Hitler little considered and questioned the empire of which he was a citizen; moreover, disliking its multi-cultural society, he concluded that ethnic and linguistic diversity had weakened the Austro–Hungarian Empire, thus the contemporary political dissent. He disliked democracy because it allowed political power to ethnic minorities and to liberal political parties, who “weakened and destabilized” the empire with internal division. Hitler’s cultural, historical, and political beliefs were tempered in combat during World War I; by Germany’s loss of the war, and by the Bolsheviks’ successful October Revolution of 1917 that installed Marxist communism in Russia. In the 1920–23 quadrennium, Hitler formulated his ideology, then published it in 1925–26, as Mein Kampf , a two-volume, biography and political letter-of-intent.
The original National Socialists, the 1919 German Workers’ Party (DAP) said there would be no program binding upon them, thus rejecting any Weltanshauung. Nonetheless, when Hitler assumed command of its successor, the Nazi Party, the politico-ideologic substance of Nazism concorded with his political beliefs — man and idea as political entity, the Führer.
Nazism is a politically syncretic variety of fascism, which incorporates policies, tactics and philosophic tenets from left and right-wing politics. Italian fascism and German Nazism reject liberalism, democracy and Marxism. Usually supported by the far right (military, business, Church), fascism is also historically anti-communist, anti-conservative and anti-parliamentary.
The Italian fascists proposed a corporatist "organic state" that required uniting the classes of society, like a fasces. Moreover, because fascism exalted the state and the nation, Italian fascist ideology lacked racial theories and official racism. German Nazism, however, over-emphasized the Aryan race Herrenvolk concept until reducing the German state to mere means to an ideologic end. Furthermore, blond-blue-eyed-Aryanism was unpopluar with Italians, who are not such a volk; nonetheless, the Italian Fascist government exercised a variety of nationalist racism and genocide in its concentration camps, antedating Nazi Germany.
The Israeli political scientist and historian Zeev Sternhell proposes that the varieties of fascism are unique, despite the schematic resemblance between Italian fascism and German Nazism — greater than resemblances among the Eastern Bloc Communist states of the Cold War, and among European liberal democracies. Moreover, fascist and Nazi criminalities developed comparably, for example the coups d'état of Benito Mussolini's successful March on Rome and Adolf Hitler’s failed Munich Beer Hall Putsch.
Nazi Germany was ideologically based upon the racially-defined Deutsche Volk (German People), which denied the limitations of nationalism. The Nazi Party and the German people were consolidated in the Volksgemeinschaft (People’s Community), a late-nineteenth-century neologism defining the citizens’ communal duty is to the Reich, rather than to civil society, the citizen-nation basis of Nazism; the socialism would be realized via common duty to the volk, by service to the Third Reich in establishing Großdeutschland, the embodying locus of the peoples’ will. Hence, Nazism encouraged ultra-nationalism, to establish a world-dominating, Aryan Volksgemeinschaft. The précis of this central tenet of Mein Kampf is the motto Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer (One People, One Empire, One Leader).
Nazi militarism was based upon the belief that great nations grow from military power, and maintain order in the world. The Nazi Party exploited irredentist and revanchist sentiments, and cultural aversions to aspects of Modernism, (despite the Reich embracing modernism by their admiration for engine power), thus conflating nationalism and militarism into the ultra-nationalism necessary to establishing Großdeutschland.
Given its politically syncretic nature, Nazism appealed to every class of voter with custom-tailored politics promising social stability, employment, and national pride, in helping the Führer and the Third Reich to establish the pan-German Großdeutschland. Moreover, in opposing finance capitalism, the Nazis especially emphasized “the Jewish conspiracy” of bankers who truly controlled international finance, and thus the the countries of the world.
Early Nazi rhetoric included anti-capitalism, especially anti-finance capitalism;  in attacking the ills of Weimar democracy, Adolf Hitler identified the “pluto-democracy” Jewish conspiracy that favoured liberal, democratic parties, in order to maintain the integrity of capitalism. Furthermore, ideologically orthodox leftist Nazis attacked the corporation as the leading instrument of finance capitalism’s oppression of the worker (later, they were purged from the party); nonetheless, throughout his politcal campaigning, Hitler emphasized the background role of Jewish financiers in the ills of Weimar democracy. In 1920, the Nazi Party published the National Socialist Program, an ideology that in 25 points demanded:
that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens . . . the abolition of all incomes unearned by work . . . the ruthless confiscation of all war profits ... the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations ... profit-sharing in large enterprises ... extensive development of insurance for old-age ... land reform suitable to our national requirements.
Despite such demands, during the 1920s, Nazi Party officials variously attempted either to change or to replace the National Socialist Program. In 1924, the Party economist theoretician Gottfried Feder proposed a new, 39-point program, retaining some old and introducing some new ideas. Hitler did not directly mention the program in Mein Kampf; he only mentioned "the so-called programme of the movement". In 1927, expounding the Nazi Party’s socialism, Hitler said: "We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak; with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property, instead of responsibility and performance”.
Yet two years later, in 1929, Hitler corrected himself, saying that socialism was “an unfortunate word altogether” to have used; dissembling, he said: “if people have something to eat, and their pleasures, then they have their socialism”. Historian Henry A. Turner reports Hitler’s regret at having integrated the word socialism to the Nazi Party name. In 1930, Hitler further disambiguated the socialist misnomer matter, saying: “Our adopted term ‘Socialist’ has nothing to do with Marxian Socialism. Marxism is anti-property; true Socialism is not”. In 1931, during a confidential interview, to influential editor Richard Breiting, of the Leipziger Neueste Nachrichten, a pro-business newspaper, Hitler said:
I want everyone to keep what he has earned, subject to the principle that the good of the community takes priority over that of the individual. But the State should retain control; every owner should feel himself to be an agent of the State ... The Third Reich will always retain the right to control property owners.
The Nazi Party’s early self-description as “socialist”, caused conservative opponents, such as the Industrial Employers Association, to describe it as “totalitarian, terrorist, conspiratorial, and socialist”.
In 1922, to ensure German public perception of the Nazi Party as politically unique, Adolf Hitler discredited other nationalist and racialist political parties as disconnected from the mass populace, especially lower- and working-class young people:
The racialists were not capable of drawing the practical conclusions from correct theoretical judgements, especially in the Jewish Question. In this way, the German racialist movement developed a similar pattern to that of the 1880s and 1890s. As in those days, its leadership gradually fell into the hands of highly honourable, but fantastically naïve men of learning, professors, district counsellors, schoolmasters, and lawyers — in short a bourgeois, idealistic, and refined class. It lacked the warm breath of the nation’s youthful vigour.
Despite many working-class supporters and members, the appeal of the Nazi Party to the working class was neither true nor effective, because its politics mostly appealed to the middle-class, as a stabilizing, pro-business political party, not a revolutionary workers’ party.  Moreover, the financial collapse of the white collar middle-class of the 1920s figures much in their strong support of Nazism, thus the great percentage of declared middle-class support for the Nazis. In the poor country that was the Weimar Republic of the early 1930s, the Nazi Party realised their socialist policies with food and shelter for the unemployed and the homeless — later recruited to the Brownshirt Sturmabteilung (SA — Storm Detachment).
Fundamental to Nazism is the unification of every German tribe that was “unjustly” divided among different nation states The racialist philosophy of Nazism derived from the seminal white supremacist works of: the French Arthur de Gobineau (An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races; the Briton Houston Stewart Chamberlain (The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century); and of the American Madison Grant (The Passing of The Great Race: or, The Racial Basis of European History).
Their ideas were synthesized by the Reichstag Secretary, Alfred Rosenberg, in The Myth of the Twentieth Century, a pseudoscientific treatise proposing that: “[F]rom a northern centre of creation which, without postulating an actual submerged Atlantic continent, we may call Atlantis, swarms of warriors once fanned out, in obedience to the ever-renewed and incarnate Nordic longing for distance to conquer and space to shape”. According to Terrence Ball and Richard Bellamy, The Myth of the Twentieth Century is the second-most important book to Nazism, after Mein Kampf.
In establishing Nazi German racial superiority, Adolf Hitler defined “the Nation” as the highest creation of a race, and that that great nations were the creations of homogeneous populations of great races working together. These nations developed cultures that naturally grew from races with “natural good health, and aggressive, intelligent, courageous traits”. Whereas the weakest nations were those of “impure” or “mongrel races”, because they were disunited. Hitler claimed that lowest races were the parasitic Untermenschen (subhumans), principally the Jews, who were living lebensunwertes Leben (“life-unworthy life”) owing to racial inferiority, and their wandering, nationless invasions of greater nations, such as Germany — thus, either permitting or encouraging national plurality is an obvious mistake.
During World War II, when faced with occupying too much territory with too-few German soldiers, Nazism expanded the Master Race definition to include Dutch and Scandinavian men as superior, German-stock Herrenvolk, in order to recruit them into the Schutzstaffel (SS); few joined.
Hitler argued that nations who could not defend their territories did not deserve a country. He said that “slave races”, such as the Slavic peoples, had less of a right to life than did the master races — especially concerning Lebensraum. He claimed that the Herrenvolk had the right to vanquish inferior indigenous races from their countries.
Hitler argued that “races without homelands” were “parasitic races”, and that the richer the parasite race, the more virulent their parasitism. A master race could, therefore, easily strengthen themselves by killing the parasite races in the Heimat. The Herrenvolk philosophic tenet of Nazism rationalized Die Endlösung (the Final Solution), extermination of Jews, Gypsies, Czechs, Poles, the mentally retarded, the crippled, the handicapped, homosexuals and others deemed undesirable. During the Holocaust, the Waffen-SS, Wehrmacht soldiers, and right-wing paramilitary civilian militias killed some 11 million people in Nazi-occupied lands via concentration camps, prisoner-of-war camps, labor camps, and death camps, such as the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Treblinka extermination camp.
In Germany, the master-race populace was realised by purifying the Deutsche Volk via [[ (see: eugenics; the culmination was involuntary euthanasia of disabled people, and the compulsory sterilization of the mentally retarded. The ideologic justification was Adolf Hitler’s consideration of Sparta(11th c.–195 BC) as the original Völkisch state; he praised their dispassionate destruction of congenitally-deformed infants in maintaining racial purity:  "Sparta must be regarded as the first Völkisch State. The exposure of the sick, weak, deformed children, in short, their destruction, was more decent, and, in truth, a thousand times more humane, than the wretched insanity of our day, which preserves the most pathological subject."
Nazi cultural perception of the Jews, based upon the anti-Semitic The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, emphasized that Jews throve on fomenting division among Germans, and among nation-states. Yet Nazi anti-Semitism was also physical and racial. Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels said: “The Jew is the enemy and destroyer of the purity of blood, the conscious destroyer of our race ... As socialists, we are opponents of the Jews, because we see, in the Hebrews, the incarnation of capitalism, of the misuse of the nation’s goods.”
In late February 1933, as the moderating influence of Ernst Röhm diminished, the Nazi Party purged the homophile clubs where gay, lesbian, and bisexual Berliners congregated, then outlawed academic and pornographic sexual publications, and organized homosexual societies, forcing the emigration of the likes of the actress and writer Erika Mann, and the novelist Richard Plaut. In March 1933, Kurt Hiller, the organizer of Magnus Hirschfeld's Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute of Sex Research), was imprisoned to a concentration camp; the Nazi régime incarcerated some 100,000 homosexuals during the 1930s.
On 6 May 1933, Hitler Youth of the Deutsche Studentenschaft attack on the Institute of Sex Research, and later publicly incinerated its library and archives, in the streets of the Opernplatz, destroying some 20,000 books and journals, and some 5,000 images. The Hitler Youth also seized the Institute’s rosters of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender patients. During the book-burnings, Joseph Goebbels formally addressed a crowd of some 40,000 people.
Initially, Hitler had protected Röhm from Nazis who considered his homosexuality a violation of the Party’s anti-homosexual policy; when Röhm proved a politically-viable challenger to his leadership of the Nazi Party, Hitler betrayed him. Hence, in 1934, with the Night of the Long Knives (30 June–2 July), Hitler assassinated every feasible Nazi political opponent; Ernst Röhm’s killing was justified because he was homosexual, and to suppress moral outrage in the Brownshirt Sturmabteilung (SA) ranks.
Schutzstaffel (SS) Chief Heinrich Himmler, also an initial supporter of Röhm, defended him against charges of homosexuality, arguing they were the fabrications of a Jewish character-assassination conspiracy. After the Night of the Long Knives purge, Hitler promoted Himmler, who then zealously suppressed homosexuality, explaining that: “We must exterminate these people root and branch . . . the homosexual must be eliminated.” In 1936, Himmler established the Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion; homosexuality was officially declared contrary to “wholesome popular sentiment”, identifying gay men as “defilers of German blood”; as concentration camp prisoners, they wore a pink triangle idenfying them as such.
Nazi anti-homosexual laws did not much persecute lesbians, because they considered female homosexuals easier to persuade or to compel to conformity with the heterosexual mores of patriarchy; nonetheless, lesbians remained a cultural threat to Nazi Germany’s family values, and so, often were legally identified as anti-social elements. (See: Black triangle (badge), Persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust)
Hitler extended his rationalizations into a religious doctrine supported by his criticism of traditional Roman Catholicism. In particular, and closely related to Positive Christianity, he objected to Catholicism because it was not the religion of an exclusive race and its culture. Simultaneously, the Nazis integrated to Nazism the community elements of Lutheranism, from its organic pagan past. Hitlerian theology integrated militarism by proposing that his was a true, master-religion, because it would create mastery by avoiding comforting lies. About religions that preached love, tolerance, and equality “in contravention to the facts”, Hitler said they were false, slave religions, and that the man who recognized said “truths” was a “natural leader”, whilst deniers were “natural slaves”; hence, slaves, especially the intelligent, continually hindered their masters with false religions.
Although the “National Socialist leaders and dogmas were basically, uncompromisingly antireligious”, Nazi Germany usually did not directly attack the Churches, the exceptions being clerics who refused accommodation with the Nazi régime. Martin Bormann, a prominent Nazi official, said: "Priests will be paid by us and, as a result, they will preach what we want. If we find a priest acting otherwise, short work is to be made of him. The task of the priest consists in keeping the Poles quiet, stupid, and dull-witted." To demoralize Poland, the Nazis killed almost 16 per cent of the Polish Catholic clergy; 13 of 38 Bishops were sent to concentration camps. These actions, and the closing of churches, seminaries and other religious insitutions, almost succeeded in exterminating the Polish clergy.
In pro-Nazi countries, fascist anti-clericalism was unofficial, and was usually manifested in the arrests of select clergy via false charges of immorality,  and secret harassment by Gestapo and SD agents provocateur. A notable case was that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran Pastor and theologian who fought Nazism in the German Resistance. Nonetheless, the Nazis often used the Church to justify their politics, by using Christian symbols as Reich symbols, and, in other cases, replacing Christian symbols with Reich symbols, Nazism thus conflated Church and State as an ultra-nationalist political entity — the Nazi Germany embodied in the motto Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer (“One People, One Empire, One Leader”). 
Several of the founders and leaders of the Nazi Party were members of the Thule-Gesellschaft (Thule Society), who romanticized Aryan race superstitions with ritual and theology. Originally, derived from the Germanenorden, the Thule Society shared the racist superstitions of Ariosophy that were common to such pan-German groups; Rudolf von Sebottendorf, and a man named Wilde, lectured the Thule Society on occultism. Generally, the society’s lectures and excursions comprised anti-Semitism and Germanic antiquity, yet it is historically notable for having fought as a paramilitary militia against the Bavarian Soviet Republic. Dietrich Eckart, an associate of the Thule Society, coached Adolf Hitler as a public speaker, and Hitler later dedicated Mein Kampf to Eckart. The DAP was initially supported by the Thule Society — but Hitler quickly excluded them in favour of a mass movement political party, by denigrating their superstitious approach to politics. In contrast, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler was much interested in the occult.
Regarding the persecution of Jews, the contemporary, historical perspective is that in the period between the Protestant Reformation and the Holocaust, [[Martin Luther's treatise On the Jews and their Lies (1543), exercised a major and persistent intellectual influence upon the German practice of anti-Semitism against Jewish citizens. The Nazis publicly displayed an original of On the Jews and their Lies during the annual Nuremberg rallies, and the city also presented a first edition of it to Julius Streicher, the editor of Der Stürmer, which described Luther’s treatise as the most radically anti-Semitic tract ever published. 
Protestant Bishop Martin Sasse published a compendium of Martin Luther’s writings shortly after Kristallnacht; in the introduction, he approved of the burning of synagogues and mentioned the coincidental date: “On November 10, 1938, on Luther’s birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany.” He urged Germans to heed the words “of the greatest antisemite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews.” Theologian Johannes Wallmann, however, said Luther’s anti-Semitic tract exercised no continual influence in Germany, that it was mostly ignored during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Nonetheless, Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch said that On the Jews and Their Lies was the blueprint for Kristallnacht.
Regarding international finance, Nazism postulated an international banking Jewish conspiracy headed by a cabal of financiers responsible for the Great Depression. The Nazis claimed that controllers of the cabal, who had manœuvred themselves into economically controlling the United States and Europe, were a powerful Jewish élite. The Nazis believed that the cabal was integral to a greater, long-term Jewish conspiracy, wherein Jews would establish global domination via the New World Order. The banks that the cabal allegedly controlled exerted political influence upon nation-states by granting or withholding credit.
Nazi economic practice first concerned the immediate domestic economy of Germany, then international trade. To eliminate Germany’s poverty, domestic policy was narrowly concerned with four major goals: (i) elimination of unemployment, (ii) rapid and substantial re-armament, (iii) fiscal protection against resurgent hyper-inflation, and (iv) expansion of consumer-goods production, to raise middle- and lower- class living standards. The intent was correcting the Nazi-perceived short-comings of the Weimar Republic, and to solidify domestic support for the Nazi Party; between 1933 and 1936, the German (Gross National Product) annually increased 9.5 per cent, and the industrial rate increased 17.2 per cent.
The expansion propelled the German economy from depression to full employment in less than four years. Public consumption increased 18.7 per cent, and private consumption increased 3.6 per cent annually. Historian Richard Evans reports that before the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the German economy "had recovered from the Depression faster than its counterparts in other countries. Germany’s foreign debt had been stabilized, interest rates had fallen to half their 1932 level, the stock exchange had recovered from the Depression, the gross national product had risen by 81 per cent over the same period . . . Inflation and unemployment had been conquered."
Private property rights were conditional upon the economic mode of use; if it did not advance Nazi economic goals, the state could nationalize it . Nazi government corporate takeovers, and threatened takeovers, encouraged compliance with government production plans, even if unprofitable for the firm. For example, the owner of the Junkers aeroplane factory refused the government’s directives, whereupon the Nazis occupied the factory and arrested Hugo Junkers, but paid him for his nationalized business. Although the Nazis privatised public properties and public services, they also increased economic state control. Under Nazi economics, free competition and self-regulating markets diminished; nevertheless, Adolf Hitler’s social Darwinist beliefs made him reluctant to entirely disregard business competition and private property as economic engines. In 1942, Hitler privately said: “I absolutely insist on protecting private property ... we must encourage private initiative”.
To the proposition that businesses were private property in name but not in substance, but, in Ther Journal of Economic History article “The Role of Private Property in the Nazi Economy: The Case of Industry”, Christoph Buchheim and Jonas Scherner counter that despite state control, business had much production and investment planning freedom — yet acknowledge that Nazi German economy was state-directed.
Agricultural and industrial central planning was a prominent feature of Nazi economics. To tie farmers to the land, selling agricultural land was prohibited; farm ownership was nominally private, but discretion over operations and residual income were proscribed. That was achieved by granting business monopoly rights to marketing boards, to control production and prices with a quota system. Quotas also were established for industrial goods, such as pig iron, steel, aluminium, magnesium, gunpowder, explosives, synthetic rubber, fuels, and electricity. A compulsory cartel law was enacted in 1936, allowing the minister of economics to make existing cartels compulsory and permanent, and compel industries to form cartels, where none existed, although disestablished by decree, by 1943, they were replaced with more authoritarian economic agencies.
In place of ordinary profit-incentive determining the economy, financial investment was regulated per the needs of the state. The profit incentive for businessmen remained, but was greatly modified: “Fixing of profits, not their suppression, was the official policy of the Nazi party”; however, Nazi agencies replaced the profit-motive that automatically allocated investment, and the course of the economy. Nazi government financing eventually dominated private financial investment, which the proportion of private securities issued falling from over half of the total in 1933–34 to approximately 10 per cent in 1935–38. Heavy business-profit taxes limited self-financing of firms. The largest firms were mostly exempt from taxes on profits, however, government control of these were extensive enough to leave “only the shell of private ownership”. Taxes and financial subsidies also directed the economy; the underlying economic policy — terror — was incentive to agree and comply. Nazi language indicated death or concentration camp for any business owner who pursued his own self-interest, instead of the ends of the State.
After World War I, German Nazism and Bolshevik communism emerged as the two main political contenders for the government of Germany, especially because the Weimar Republic government was unstable. What became the Nazi movement arose from far right business and political resistance to the Bolshevik-inspired insurgencies occurring in Germany during the post-war political instability. Moreover, because the Russian Revolution of 1917 legitimised Leninism, Vladimir Lenin’s interpretation of Marxism, which inspired many German socialists. To suppress the 1919 Spartacist uprising general strike in Berlin, and the Bavarian Soviet Republic in Munich, the Weimar Republic government used Freikorps (Free Corps), right-wing paramilitary groups composed of ex-soldiers. Many Freikorps leaders, including Ernst Röhm, later became Nazi Party leaders.
Nazism successfully competed for voters against communism because Nazism appealed to the anti-Bolshevik German establishment — by promising socio-economic stability — and to the working class — by promising jobs. The Nazis particularly appealed to the lumpenproletariat, whom leftists had dismissed as politically inconsequential. Nazi pro-labour rhetoric appealed to workers disaffected with capitalism, by promoting profit limitations, rent abolition, and increased social benefits (for German gentiles, only), whilst simultaneously proposing a politico-economic model that divested Marxist socialism of ideologic tenets dangerous to capitalism, i.e. class struggle, dictatorship of the proletariat, and worker-controlled means of production. Sociologist Michael Mann defined fascism as a “transcendent and cleansing nation statism through paramilitarism”, with the word transcendent denoting the abolishment of social classes, in order for the birth of a new, organic, and pure people: all classes are abolished by transition, all “others” (approximately two-thirds of the German populace).
The simplistic Nazi electoral rhetoric, effected with simple campaigns, and a reactionary ideology incorporating pan-Germanism, deceived the Nazi Party’s conservative German establishment allies into underestimating the Nazis’ political strength, ability to govern and continued existence as a political party. The populism, anti-Communism, and anti-capitalism of Nazism gave it a popular strength greater than that of traditional conservative parties, such as the DNVP (German National People’s Party).
After Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista) assumed Italian government in 1922, Italian Fascism became a respectable, politically realistic opposition to Marxist Communism — especially after the Fascist Blackshirt suppression of Communist and anarchist parties and movements, who had destabilized post–Great War Italy with strikes and factory occupations.
Mussolini’s success fomented fascist political parties forming throughout Europe. Historians Ian Kershaw and Joachim Fest propose that, in post-war Germany, Hitler’s Nazis were one of many nationalist and fascistic political parties contending for the leadership of Germany’s anti-communist movement and of the German state. During the late 1930s and the 1940s, ideologically sympathetic countries supported Nazism; the Falange in Spain, Vichy France, and the Legion of French Volunteers against Bolshevism (Wehrmacht Infantry Regiment 638), and, in Britain, the Cliveden set, Lord Halifax, and associates of Neville Chamberlain, who sympathized with Nazism and perceived Nazi Germany as the defence against Bolshevism.
The ideological roots of Nazism derive from Romanticism, nineteenth-century idealism, and a biologic interpretation of Friedrich Nietzsche’s concepts of “breeding upwards” — towards the Übermensch (“Superman”). Such ideas, as espoused by the Ariosophe Germanenorden (German Order) and the Thule society much influenced Adolf Hitler’s world-view; to that pseudo-intellectual base, he incorporated populist policies, such as limiting profits, abolishing rents, and generous social benefits — but only for German gentiles.
In the Tree of Hate (1985), Phillip Wayne Powell reports that “in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, a powerful surge of German patriotism was stimulated by the disdain of Italians for German cultural inferiority and barbarism, which lead to a counter-attempt, by German humanists, to laud German qualities.” M.W. Fodor claimed in The Nation in 1936, “No race has suffered so much from an inferiority complex as has the German. National Socialism was a kind of Coué method of converting the inferiority complex, at least temporarily, into a feeling of superiority”.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Nazism was ideologically heterogeneous, comprising two sub-ideologies, those of Otto Strasser and of Adolf Hitler. As leftists, the Strasserites fell afoul of Hitler, who expelled Otto Strasser from the Nazi Party when he failed to establish the Black Front, an oppositional, anti-capitalist bloc, in 1930. The Strasserites remaining in the Party, mostly of the Sturmabteilung (SA), were assassinated in the Night of the Long Knives purge, including Gregor Strasser, Otto’s brother.
The post-war crises of Weimar Germany (1919–33) consolidated Nazism as an ideology: military defeat in the First World War (1914–18), capitulation with the Treaty of Versailles, economic depression, and the consequent societal instability. In exploiting, and excusing, the military defeat, Nazism proffered the political Dolchstosslegende (“Legend of the Dagger-stab in the Back”)  claiming that the Imperial German war effort was internally sabotaged, by Jews, socialists, and Bolsheviks. Proposing that, because the Reichwehr’s defeat did not occur in Germany, the sabotage included a lack of patriotism among their political antagonists, specifically the Social Democrats and the Ebert Government, whom the Nazis accused of treason.
Using the “stab in the back” legend, the Nazis accused German Jews, and other populaces it considered non-German, of possessing extra-national loyalties, thereby exacerbating German anti-semitism about the Judenfrage (the Jewish Question), the perennial far right political canard popular when the ethnic Völkisch movement and their politics of Romantic nationalism for establishing a Großdeutschland were strong. The seminal ideas of Nazism originated in the German cultural past of the Völkisch (folk) movement and the superstitions of Ariosophy, an occultism that proposed the Germanic peoples as the purest examples of the Aryan race, whose cultures feature runic symbols and the swastika. From among the Ariosophs, only the Thule-Gesellschaft (Thule Society) in Munich, features in the origin of Nazism; they sponsored the DAP.
On 5 January 1919, the locksmith Anton Drexler, and five other men, founded the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP — German Workers' Party), the predecessor of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP — National Socialist German Workers’ Party). In July 1919, the Reichswehr intelligence department despatched Corporal Adolf Hitler, as a Verbindungsmann (police spy) to infiltrate and subvert the DAP. His oratory so impressed the DAP members, they asked him join the party, and, in September 1919, the police spy Hitler became the party's propagandist. On 24 February 1920, the DAP was renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, against Hitler’s preferred “Social Revolutionary Party” name.  Later, in consolidating his control of the NSDAP, Hitler ousted Drexler from the party and assumed leadership on 29 July 1921.
The votes that the Nazis received in the 1932 elections established the Nazi Party as the largest parliamentary faction of the Weimar Republic government. Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933, and his subsequent consolidation of offices and their consequent dictatorial powers established the Third Reich (Dritte Reich), denoting Nazi Germany as the historical successor to the First Reich of the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806), and to the Second Reich of the German Empire (1871–1918). Under Nazism, Germany bore two official names, the Deutsches Reich (German Reich) and Großdeutsches Reich (Greater German Reich). In 1934, its first year in power, the Nazi Party announced that the Dritte Reich was to be a Tausendjähriges Reich (Thousand Year Empire); but lasted only twelve years.
The Reichstag fire on 27 February 1933, was Adolf Hitler’s raison d’état for suppressing his political opponents. The following day, 28 February, he persuaded Weimar Republic President Paul von Hindenburg to grant him, as German Chancellor, an emergency-powers decree suspending civil liberties and the governments of the German federal states. On 23 March, with an Enabling Act (four-year Presidential decree-law power circumventing the Reichstag), the Reichstag conferred dictatorial powers to Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who subsequently personally managed the political emergencies of the German State, by decree. Moreover, then possessing virtually absolute power, the Nazis established totalitarian control; they abolished labour unions and political parties; and imprisoned their political opponents, first at wilde Lager, improvised camps, then in concentration camps. Nazism had been established, yet the Reichswehr remained impartial, Nazi power over Germany remained virtual, not absolute.
Having eliminated the political enemies of his Government and his party, Hitler then purged his rivals from the Nazi Party, especially the allies of Ernst Röhm, leader of the Sturmabteilung (SA), and of Gregor Strasser, leader of the Nazi left wing. In 1934, to ensure the Nazi Government of the Reichswehr’s support, for a coup d’État, they were assassinated during the Night of the Long Knives (30 June–2 July) purges; later, upon the death of President Von Hindenburg, on 2 August 1934, as President and Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler possessed virtually absolute power; yet the Reichswehr was not yet formally obeisant.
In culturally consolidating Nazism as the German way of life, the Hitler Government effected the national Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses (1 April 1933), three months upon assuming power; earlier, the Hindenburg Government had haphazardly practiced official anti-Semitism, but the Nazi Nuremberg Laws of 1935 established legal, systematic persecution of the Jews. For international public consumption, visible anti-Semitism was minimised during the 1936 Summer Olympics, but fully reinstated afterwards.
From the mid-1930s, the British and French governments generally appeased the Nazi régime and its rearmament breaching of the Treaty of Versailles. Despite Anglo-French criticism of Nazi treaty breaches, Germany established totalitarian and anti-Semitic public policies. Especially in Britain, the appeasement of Nazism was partly based upon the erroneous presumption that Adolf Hitler would not precipitate a second world war; despite already having served notice in Mein Kampf, wherein he explicitly commits to such a revanchist war.
Later, when Nazi militarism could not be ignored, the militarily-unprepared British and French continued their appeasement of Nazism. Winston Churchill noted that appeasement worsened the Nazi German threat:
You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war. If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds are against you, and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.
In 1936, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan concorded the Anti-Comintern Pact, countering the foreign policies of the Soviet Union, which, in turn, became the basis for their Tripartite Pact with Italy, the foundation of the Axis Powers.
As revanchists, the Nazis were determined to retrieve the territories Germany ceded per the Treaty of Versailles, to establish Großdeutschland (Greater Germany), which would comprise the Free City of Danzig, to which Poland had limited rights per the treaty. When diplomacy failed to secure Danzig, the Nazis and the USSR signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (23 August 1939) for aiding Nazi Germany in a war with Poland. In 1939, France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany in response its (westwards) attack on Poland; simultaneously, the USSR attacked Poland from the east; Poland was disestablished, and the war among Germany, France, and the UK continued.
In 1940, Germany attacked and defeated the French and British continental forces in France, then occupied the country. The Battle of Britain (July–October 1940) followed and stalled, so Germany then attacked east, believing that when the USSR was vanquished, the UK would sue for peace with Nazi Germany. In 1941, Germany and its Axis allies attacked the USSR with Operation Barbarossa (22 June–5 December 1941). Despite initial successes, the Red Army repelled them. After the Battle of Stalingrad (17 July 1942–2 February 1943), the USSR counter-attacked, repelled the Axis invaders from Russia, then progressed west to Nazi Germany. On 6 June 1944, the Anglo–American Normandy Invasion landed Allied armies in France, heading east en route to meeting the Red Army in vanquishing the Third Reich at the Battle of Berlin (16 April–2 May 1945).
In popular American culture, the terms Nazi, Führer, fascist, Gestapo, and Hitler, are terms of abuse used in describing authoritarian people; hence the American usages grammar Nazi and Feminazi, (see Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies). Moreover, the blackletter typefaces Fraktur and Schwabacher are associated with Nazi propaganda, despite the Nazis having proscribed them in 1941.  In cinema, the Indiana Jones series offers Nazi villains; and the video game website IGN declared Nazis as the most memorable video game villains.
Redirecting to Nazism
Nazi (plural Nazis)
Representing pronunciation of Nati in Nationalsozialist (‘National Socialist’).