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Describe Hitler’s Role in the Development of the Nazi Party from 1920-22

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At first, the Nazis were both nationalists and socialists and there were a number of people involved in the running of the party. However, it all began to change as Hitler was accepted. Hitler’s reputation as an orator grew, and it became clear that he was the main reason why people were joining the party. This gave Hitler an incredible amount of power within the organisation, as the leaders knew they could not afford to lose him. When he was in the party, he even recruited men he had known in the Army, already increasing its popularity. In February 1920, the Nazis published its first programme, on account of Hitler, and it became known as the ‘Twenty-Five Points’. It reflected all of Hitler’s Views, including equal rights only being given to German people. Also in February, Hitler urged the German Workers’ Party to hold its first mass meeting, to gain publicity. In April 1920, Hitler encouraged that the party should change its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party. Hitler had always been hostile towards socialist ideas, especially racial or sexual equality, but socialism was popular in Germany after the Great War.

Hitler knew that it would help gain more supporters, as the German Social Democrat Party, the largest political party in Germany, reflected it perfectly. In the summer of 1920, Hitler realised that the Party needed a symbol to promote it, so he chose the swastika as his party’s symbol. It was already linked with anti-Semitism and the Freikorps, so the views the Nazis held were very clear to others. To publicise meetings, Hitler sent out truckloads of Party supports to drive around with swastikas, cause big commotions and throw out leaflets. This proved a success, and the credit for it went to Hitler. However, Hitler faced unforeseen revolt among his own Nazi Party leadership in Munich. To weaken his position, they formed an alliance with a group of socialists. Hitler countered them by announcing his resignation from the Party on the 11th of July, 1921.

The leaders realised that the loss of Hitler would effectively mean the end of the Nazi Party, and Hitler took advantage of this, as he too knew the success of his party relied exclusively on his rage-filled speeches. Hitler declared that he would return on the condition that he was made chairman and given dictatorial powers in the party. After Hitler’s demands were met, he became the sole boss of the Nazis and built up the organisation so he was unquestioned leader. His ideas comprised of the theory that there was a secret world conspiracy against them and that the Jews who seemed to be so trustworthy were going to be their demise one day. His ideas could not be proven true, yet not proven false either, and along with his rebellious speeches which included him suggesting overthrowing the German government and executing its leaders, he was unstoppable in raising the worth of the Nazis party.

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