December 7, 2017

1930. The Ascendant Nazi Party Lays Out Its Ominous Platform

The German Fascist Movement Draws Alarm
A 1930 election poster of the German Centre Party (Zentrum) "depicts the Zentrum party as a bridge, leading its followers across the political abyss under the banner of Catholicism. Down in the chasm, 'chaos, terror, and turmoil,' personified by the followers of the extreme left and right-wing parties (who are identified by the red flag and the swastika respectively), try to forge ahead" (Illustration by Theo Matejko – source)
This article is part of a series of posts on how newspapers covered world politics and the rise of fascism in the years leading up to World War II. During the German federal election in September 1930, The New York Times wrote about the political platform of the ascendant far-right National Socialist Party in Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, the "German Mussolini." The party explicitly laid out its plans for Germany, heavily incorporating antisemitism, xenophobia, and racism. The Nazi Party ultimately received over six million votes, causing alarm both in Germany and across the world.

From The New York Times, September 15, 1930:
Stand for Ultra-Nationalism, Restrictions on Foreigners and Anti-Semitism
Hitler, Party Founder, "Man Without a Country," Came Back After Year in Jail for Coup in 1923

The National Socialist Party, or the German Fascist party, represents the extreme Pan-German ideal of a purely German State. Its platform includes demands for the immediate unification of Germany and Austria, annulment of the treaties of Versailles and St. Germain, equality in military force with every other country in Europe, the restoration of Germany's colonies, the nationalization of all trusts, the participation of workers in the profits of manufacturing, discontinuance of reparation payments, the socialization of industry and a nation-wide campaign to disfranchise or drive from Germany all the Jews.

Other planks in the party's platform, drawn up by its founder, Adolf Hitler, known as the German Mussolini, are the following:

The land shall be nationalized without compensation and exploited for the common good.

The death penalty shall be applied to usurers and persons who have made large profits out of their fellow men.

All non-Germans shall be expelled from Germany as long as unemployment exists and while it is impossible properly to nourish all German citizens.

No further immigration of non-Germans shall be permitted and all non-Germans who have entered Germany since Aug. 2, 1914 shall be immediately expelled.

The first duty of every citizen is to be physically and mentally at work; those who do not work shall not eat.

Unearned income is to be abolished.

All department stores shall be confiscated by the State, divided into small shops and rented at normal prices to small shopkeepers.

The State shall purchase its supplies mainly from small shopkeepers.

The Reichswehr shall be dissolved and a large national army established.

All journalists must be German citizens, and all productions of art and literature contrary to the principles of true Germanism are to be suppressed.

Program Widely Distributed

This program was distributed by the millions throughout Germany during the present campaign.

Herr Hitler, a one-time architectural draftsman, is, ironically enough, a man without a country. Born in Braunau on the Inn, in upper Austria, on April 20, 1889, he lost his Austrian citizenship when he volunteered in the German army at the outbreak of the war. He failed to apply for German citizenship when he was still a political non-entity, and since he has become the avowed enemy of the present republican form of government his applications for citizenship have been constantly rejected.

On Nov. 8, 1923, Herr Hitler, along with General von Ludendorff, staged the notorious Bavarian "Putsch" [coup] to overthrow the government, declaring himself dictator of Germany. The revolt was quelled the following day and next April Herr Hitler was sentenced to five years' imprisonment. He spent a year in prison, during which time his party deserted him. No longer considered a menace the Government took pity on him and released him.

As the Fascist party in Italy is the creation of Benito Mussolini, so is the Fascist party in Germany the creation of Adolf Hitler. His chief power lies in his oratory and he is ranked in this respect with Alexander Kerensky, Leon Trotsky, Aristide Briand and Signor Mussolini. So dangerous was his oratory considered by the authorities that for four years he was forbidden by every State in Germany, with the exception of Thuringia and Mecklenburg, to speak in public. The ban was first lifted by Bavaria in 1927, but Prussia did not lift it until this year.

Herr Hitler's sonorous, penetrating tenor, combined with his histrionic ability, makes him especially effective with audiences of young men and young women, the backbone of his party. He is also regarded as a remarkable organizer.

A Remarkable Come-Back

Herr Hitler's come-back after the total collapse of his "Putsch" is considered one of the most remarkable in modern European politics. For a time after the collapse he had hardly a friend left. During his year in prison his party united, against his express command, with the German People's Freedom party. One month after his release he had won enough disciples to found his present party and, in the Reichstag elections of May, 1928, he polled a vote of 809,541, gaining twelve mandates to Parliament.

In their method and organization the German Fascists very closely resemble the Communists. One of the most effective instruments organized by Herr Hitler is the "storm squads," duplicates of the Communist "red front squads." These "storm squads" are thoroughly trained with weapons and are excellently equipped for street fighting with the Communists. The two parties have been held responsible for 90 per cent of the political killings and street brawls that have made German post-war elections the most violent in any European country.