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Nazism The most merciless and cruel party in the world, was under the role of Adolf Hitler, their violence remained a deep gash in the western world history. Nazism was originated in Germany in the early 1920s. It was the doctrines or practices of the Nazi party. Nazism was a shortened version of the tern National Socialism, denoting the doctrine and form of government of Nazi Germany under the rule of Adolf as enunciated in his book Mein Kampf. The term was an abbreviation of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German National Socialist Worker Party).

National Socialist German Workers Party founded in 1919 on fascist principles and dominant from 1933 to 1945 in Germany. The party’s principles were essentially antidemocratic and racist. Hitler borrowed considerably from the Italian Fascist and Soviet Communist Systems, but the Nazi pseudoscientific racist theories were original German contributions. In the past storm troopers and communists had contested the streets on fairly equal terms. Now, three days after the formation of Hitler’s cabinet, communist meeting were banned in Prussia.

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To enforce such measures, there was a new and ominous agency. A minor department in the Berlin police, detailed to watch anticonstitutional activities, was put under Goring’s command. As of April 26, 1933, this old Department IA of the Prussian political police was replaced by the Geheime Staatspolizei (“Secret State Police”), better known as the Gestapo. Within two years its actiones would be free from judicial review and it would take its place beside the SD (Sicherheitsdienst, or “Security Service”) and the security branch of the SS in a sadistic competition to achieve the totalitarian state. Until this time Nazism was very much a function of communism– the other side of the revolutionary coin. Now, within Germany, National Socialism stood alone. Communism was gone as a counterweight.

The Jews, if their reviled relationship to Nazism had been simply that of expedient scapegoat, could now have been passed over. Hitler had arrived and did not need them in his further rise to dictator and conqueror. As unprincipled conqueror, he might well have enlisted their talents and loyalties, but Hitler had his principles and the Jews remained as ever the evil force behind all that sought to destroy the master race. As a myth they had to be crushed. As a reality within German borders they were a weak minority, so in practice the myth could be put aside and dealt with at Hitler’s convenience. Hindenburg himself had little patience with the new chancellor’s anti-Semitism and wrote Hitler a letter objecting to the persecution of those Jews who had fought bravely for the fatherland in World War I. Indeed, while Hindenburg lived, Hitler was relatively restrained in his persecutions.

Many foresighted Jews did leave the country. Others, accustomed to centuries of persecution, accepted this as just one more period of hard times which must be endured. After all, Jews in England and the United States were barred from the best clubs. A good many German Jews wishfully believed that Hitler’s venom was reserved for the Eastern Jews who had begun flooding into Germany after World War I. A few Jews, thinking of themselves of labor, Friedrich Syrup, to stop further immigration of Eastern Jews on the grounds that their presence stirred up anti-Semitism. Not until 1936, with Hindenburg dead and Hitler in sole command, was persecution seriously escalated.

On September 13, during the Nuremburg party rally, Hitler raised the specter of the almost forgotten party protocol by announcing the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor. Henceforth, only those of “German or related blood” could be citizens. This event marked a deterioration of the Jewish lot in Nazi Germany, but the monstrous “final solution,” instrumented under the Lebensraum program, remained unimaginable in 1935. Communists and Jews might have expected little better on the basis of Hitler’s past performance. Labor, though a portion of its membership merged with the communist left, seemed to be in for gentler treatment. They had, in theory, been part of the National Socialist program form the beginning. Reassuringly, Hitler declared May 1, 1933, a Day of National Labor.

Labor was flattered. A big rally was held that night at the Tempelhof airport. There, Hitler warmed a crowd of several hundred thousand with his praise of labor’s dignity and the need for unification behind the nation. His listeners cheered themselves hoarse. Patriotic songs were sung. Rockets flowered in the sky.

Bright and early the next day regular police, together with detachments of SS and SA, occupied union headquarters throughout the land. Leading officials were arrested and dispatch to concentration camps. The Labor Federation’s banks and businesses were seized. Files were confiscated. Labor newspapers were shut down.

Within three weeks the right to strike and to bargain collectively were removed, with decisionmaking left entirely to the “natural leaders,” the employers, a far cry from the socialistic goals espoused by so many early Nazis. Hitler, meanwhile, informed the disgruntled workers that they would be better off as part of the New German Labor Front. In reaction, there was not even an organized protest, let alone an uprising which the communist leadership would undoubtedly have encouraged had it not already been removed. From marching to the old “International” (the communist anthem), the workers now marched to a Nazi tune without ever breaking stride. For the duration of the Third Reich the workers were industrial serfs, secure enough in their jobs but with a share in the national income that was even below the Depression level. As the economy moved toward war, a special decree on June 22, 1938, instituted the conscription of labor.

This commanded each German to work where the state assigned him, with the reciprocal assurance that he would not be fired without government approval. Besides this promise of security, the state brought one more rigid good to the worker. For his cheap enjoyment there was the state-run Kraft Durch Freude (“Strength through Joy”) program, which organized all his leisure and vacation time into sporting and travel groups. Individuality, as far as the Nazi state was concerned, no longer existed. Could Nazism happen again? German universities remained centers of unrest, but the last likelihood seemed to be another Hitler.

For the most part, Germany was a burned-out crater of big- power politics. She had no stab-in-the-back legend, no “Jewish conspiracy” myth to spur her on. In fact, if democracy should falter, the greatest probability was that it would be supplanted by communism, that totalitarian system which existed in East Germany and which, although Nazism’s undying foe, was more akin to Nazism in practice than to democracy.


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