From Wikipedia:

Nazism (Nationalsozialismus, National Socialism; alternatively spelled Naziism[1]) was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] It was a unique variety of fascism that involved biological racism and antisemitism.[10] Nazism presented itself as politically syncretic, incorporating policies, tactics and philosophies from right- and left-wing ideologies; in practice, Nazism was a far right form of politics.[11]

The Nazis believed in the supremacy of an Aryan master race and claimed that Germans represent the most pure Aryan nation.[12] They argued that Germany's survival as a modern great nation required it to create a New Order — an empire in Europe that would give the German nation the necessary land mass, resources, and expansion of population needed to be able to economically and militarily compete with other powers.[13]

The Nazis claimed that Jews were the greatest threat to the Aryan race and the German nation. They considered Jews a parasitic race that attached itself to various ideologies and movements to secure its self-preservation, such as: the Enlightenment, liberalism, democracy, parliamentary politics, capitalism, industrialisation, Marxism and trade unionism.[14]

To rescue Germany from the effects of the Great Depression, Nazism promoted an economic Third Position; a managed economy that was neither capitalist nor communist.[15][16] The Nazis accused communism and capitalism of being associated with Jewish influences and interests.[17] They declared support for a nationalist form of socialism that was to provide for the Aryan race and the German nation economic security, social welfare programs for workers, a just wage, honour for workers' importance to the nation, and protection from capitalist exploitation.[18]


The self-identification term, used by exponents of the ideology past and present is National Socialism and adherents describe themselves as National Socialists. For instance the best known organisation expousing this system, the German party led by Adolf Hitler was called the National Socialist German Workers' Party (German abbreviation: NSDAP). Similarly, the second volume of Mein Kampf is entitled The National Socialist Movement.[19] According to Joseph Goebbels in an official exposition of the ideology, the logic behind the synthesis of Nationalism and Socialism as represented in the name, was to "counter the Internationalism of Marxism with the nationalism of a German Socialism".[20]

The term Nazi derives from the first two syllables of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.[21] 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).[22][23] 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.[23]


A 1919 Austrian postcard depicting the "stab-in-the-back" legend, which blamed Jews for Germany's defeat in World War I.

Prior to its adoption by the Nazi Party, the term national socialism was coined by French intellectual Maurice Barrès. His rejections of pluralism, individualism and materialism were based on a combination of the anti-Semitism of the counter-revolutionary right, and the socialism, nationalism, and republicanism of the anti-liberal left, in nineteenth-century France.[24] Historian Robert Toombs sees this amalgamation exemplified in General Georges Ernest Boulanger, a general and politician popular among both royalists and the urban left.[25]

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).[26][27] 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.[26][28] On 24 February 1920, the DAP was renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, against Hitler’s preferred “Social Revolutionary Party” name.[26] Later, in consolidating his control of the NSDAP, Hitler ousted Drexler from the party and assumed leadership on 29 July 1921.[26]

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”) [29] 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.[30][31] 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.[26]

Continue reading 04.13.2011. 19:18

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