Creating the Nazi Party
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas, WJEC
Last updated 20 Jan 2019
The Nazi Party, originally called the German Workers’ Party, was formed in February 1919.
The party was led by Anton Drexler. Hitler was sent by the German Army to report on the German Workers’ Party. He attended his first meeting in September 1919 and eventually joined having been won over by the party’s ideas.
Hitler built his control slowly, growing his powerbase through various roles including being responsible for the party’s propaganda. With Drexler, he developed the 25-point programme for the German Workers’ Party.
Hitler was a persuasive orator and his appeal helped him take control of the party. Hitler attracted many to party meetings through his speeches. He practiced these speeches and his speaking style (including tone and gestures) carefully to make them the most persuasive they could be. As a result, party membership soared to 3,000 by 1920.
As propaganda lead for the party, Hitler suggested important changes to its organisation. Hitler suggested a new name for the party, designed to embrace the party’s major policy areas of nationalism and socialism. The idea was to link the three areas of nationalism, socialism and workers. The new name was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) or Nazi Party.
Hitler suggested a new logo and salute for the party comprised of a black crooked cross or swastika in a white circle with a red background - the colours of the former Imperial Germany.
Hitler also introduced professional administration to the party organisation which helped increase member numbers and revenue. A final tactic by Hitler also saw the party buy a newspaper called the People’s Observer. (Völkischer Beobachter) which ensured that the views of the Nazi Party were read all over Munich, Bavaria and Germany.