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How Socialist was the National Socialist German Workers Party?

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How Socialist was the National Socialist German Workers Party? In April, 1920, Hitler advocated that The German Workers Party should change its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). Hitler had always been hostile to socialist ideas, especially those that involved racial or sexual equality. However, socialism was a popular political philosophy in Germany after the First World War. This was reflected in the growth in the German Social Democrat Party (SDP), the largest political party in Germany. This made Hitler realise that if he was to succeed, he had to win over the people of Germany. As a result he had to be diplomatic and include some socialist ideas. Hitler therefore redefined socialism by placing the word 'National' before it. He claimed he was only in favour of equality for those who had "German blood". Jews and other "aliens" would lose their rights of citizenship, and immigration of non-Germans should be brought to an end. For these reasons, Hitler was only socialist to a certain extent, mainly to win support from German people. ...read more.


The abolition of land rents left land owners with less income. However, the lower class would be the ones renting off the land owners. Therefore, they would be saving a lot of money and increasing their support for Hitler's party. Restricting interest on loans would not only increase support from the lower classes, but also from anyone who hated the Jews. Just after World War I, many people did begin to dislike the Jews, because Hitler and his party used propaganda to show how the Jews had let the country down at war. Many people were further incensed by the fact that only Jews were allowed to charge interest on money. Therefore by restricting interest on loans, Jews were also losing out, and this made many people who blamed the Jews for losing the war feel better and support Hitler's party. Obviously anyone who wanted to borrow money (usually the lower classes) would also benefit from this new idea from NSDAP. Therefore it helped strengthen their support for the party. ...read more.


They felt that Hitler could use the SA as a foundation for the main army in the country, defying the Treaty of Versailles. But, all these socialist ideas did not unfortunately make Hitler a socialist. His party consisted of many nationalist ideas which sometimes contradicted all of his socialist plans. For example, one of the nationalist twenty five points was to give full leadership of the party by an all powerful dictator. Also, Hitler wanted to take back land that Germany had lost due to the Treaty of Versailles. This was a very nationalist way of thinking and was potentially very dangerous. Hitler did consequently introduce many socialist ideas which appealed to many people in Germany. But did he only introduce these to win the hearts and minds of the nation? Was he really going to stick to any of his Socialist promises if he gained power? With so many nationalist ideas, which contradicted many of the socialist ones, Hitler and his party were only socialist to the extent of gaining support from as many people as possible to come into power. ...read more.

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