One Hundred Years of National Socialism: 1919-2019
by Martin Kerr
THE YEAR 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the National Socialist movement. On September 12, 1919, Adolf Hitler attended a meeting of the German Worker’s Party in Munich, and four days later, on September 16, he officially joined the group. No one at the time could have realized the fateful implications of this seemingly insignificant occasion, but history recognizes it as the beginning of Hitler’s political career, an event that would change the world forever.
To recount the century-old history of National Socialism in comprehensive detail would require more than just a single article, or indeed, more than just a single book. Many volumes would be needed for the task. However, we may review some of the important highlights of our legacy, as to a degree our past is a prelude to our future.
In the beginning was the National Socialist Idea, which sprang from the mind of Adolf Hitler.
Implicit in the Idea is the notion of the National Socialist Struggle, for it was never Hitler’s intention that his worldview should exist only as an abstract construction for intellectuals to admire in detachment, but rather that it should be put into effect through action.
The Struggle takes place through the agency of the Movement, which historically assumed concrete form as the Party.
Likewise, the Idea is articulated in definitive form as the Word, especially as set down authoritatively in Mein Kampf.
The National Socialist Idea does not define itself narrowly as an ideology or a philosophy. Rather it is a Worldview (Weltanschauung), which is a fundamental attitude to human existence that is more encompassing than ideologies and philosophies.
Evolution of the Movement
It should come as no surprise that the Movement has evolved over the course of the last century. While its fundamental principles have remained constant, its specific policies and programs have been adapted to meet the requirements of a changing world, for the world is much different in 2019 than it was in 1919. This evolution is proof that National Socialism is a dynamic, living entity, and not merely the fossilized remains of a long-dead political movement left over from previous generations.
This evolution can be noted in the development of National Socialist thought, both in the realm of racial policy and elsewhere, as well as in the formal organizational structure of the Movement.
Period of Incubation, 1919-1923 – The German Workers’ Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) was formally founded on January 5, 1919, but it was not until Adolf Hitler joined it on September 16 of that year that the Movement as we know it really began. During its first four years of operation, the foundations were laid for the future. Munich was established as the Movement’s base of operations; its name was lengthened to National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei); the Swastika was selected as its symbol; the Stormtroops (Sturmabteilung) were formed as the party’s militia; and the Folkish Observer (Völkischer Beobachter) became its official newspaper.
On November 8 and 9, 1923, the NSDAP and the SA, supported by other folkish formations, led an unsuccessful uprising against the Weimar Republic, and in consequence, the Movement was banned and many of its leaders were imprisoned.
Period of the Ban, 1923-1925 – Although officially declared illegal, the Movement continued to function on a reduced basis during the period of the ban. Alfred Rosenberg was named by Hitler to lead the Movement during this period. He formed an ad hoc replacement for the NSDAP called the Greater German Folk Community (Grossdeutsche Volksgemeinschaft). Other NS formations also appeared such as the National Socialist Freedom Movement and the Folkish Bloc of Bavaria. The SA continued as an underground organization known as the Frontbann.
The most important development during the period, however, was the writing of the first volume of Mein Kampf by the Führer. In it, he codified the NS worldview in a definitive form, and laid down the operational guidelines for the future.
Period of Vanguard Opposition, 1925-1930 – The Führer was released from prison in December 1924. He officially refounded the NSDAP in February 1925. For the next five years, the Movement existed as a small vanguard party on the fringes of the political scene. It continued to spread its message among the German people, and gradually built up its strength. On November 9, 1925, the SS was founded, and on July 3, 1926, the Hitler Youth was established.
Breakthrough and the Struggle for Power, 1930-1932 – After years of wandering in the political wilderness, the NSDAP made a decisive political breakthrough on September 14, 1930. It won 107 seats in the German parliament, making it the second-largest political party in Germany. The struggle for national political power then began in earnest. In the Reichstag election of July 31, 1932, the NSDAP became the largest political party. In keeping with the established practices of the Weimar Republic, Hitler should have been asked to form a national government at this time. However, conservatives blocked his path, and it was not until January 30, 1933, that Hitler was appointed Chancellor. He immediately began the work of constructing the National Socialist state.
Years of Peace, 1933-1939 – Summarizing all the achievements of National Socialism in Germany in a few short paragraphs is impossible. Initially, the focus of the Movement was on consolidating the National Socialist revolution and preventing counter-revolution, either from the Left or the Right. The consolidation of power was accomplished by the middle of 1934. By 1936, Germany had emerged from the Great Depression, although it had been the Western nation that had been hit the hardest by it. The German armed forces were rebuilt, the unjust shackles of the Treaty of Versailles were thrown off, and Germans in border areas who had been cut off from the Reich were reintegrated into the Fatherland. In six short years, the Movement had transformed Germany from being the sick man of Europe to a major world power. Unemployment, homelessness and poverty, all of which had characterized the Weimar Republic, became things of the past.
In addition to strengthening Germany economically and militarily, the National Socialist state also saw breathtaking advances in culture, science, technology, agriculture and education. The famous Autobahn highway system – the first of its kind anywhere – was built to connect all regions of the Reich.
Although the NSDAP had the support of only 40 percent of the German public in 1933, by 1939, 98 percent of the German people were enthusiastically National Socialist. The NSDAP was the most success political movement in modern history, and Adolf Hitler was the most popular national leader ever.
War Years, 1939-1945 – Hitler had told his generals that war would be forced on Germany by 1942. However, his optimism in hoping for an extended period of peace was unjustified. In 1939, the British and the French, at Jewish instigation, turned a local border conflict between Germany and Poland into a World War. After five-and-a-half years of heroic struggle, National Socialist Germany and her allies were overwhelmed by an unholy alliance of the Soviet Union with the Western plutocracies. To the very end, the overwhelming majority of the German people maintained their faith in the Führer and the National Socialist worldview.
The Post-War Movement – For practical purposes, the War ended on May 8, 1945, when an armistice was signed by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, whom Hitler had named as his successor as head of state. Initially, diehard National Socialists continued a military campaign against the Allies and the Soviets through the “Werwolf” guerrilla movement. However, by 1946, it was recognized that this effort was futile. National Socialists regrouped in a succession of pro-NS political parties, that sought to promote the Idea in a manner that did not violate the ban on National Socialism that was declared after the War by the Allies and the Soviets (and which remains in effect in Germany and Austria today).
The most notable of these parties substituting for the NSDAP was the Socialist Reich Party (Sozialistische Reichspartei Deutschlands), which was declared illegal in 1952. It was reconstituted in a weakened form as the German Reich Party (Deutsche Reichspartei). In 1964, the DRP and several other organizations merged to form the National Democratic Party of Germany (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or NPD), which exists to this day.
Both in the past and in the present, some NS comrades preferred underground or semi-underground struggle that openly advocated National Socialism. Examples of such formations include the Action Front of Nationalist Socialists (1980s) and the National Socialist Underground (2010). Many hardline groups were supplied by propaganda materials printed in the United States by Gerhard Lauck and the NSDAP-AO.
The Movement Outside Germany
Pre-1945 – From its earliest days in the 1920s, the Movement attracted followers outside of Germany. The NSDAP had little interest in these groups, except for that in Austria, which was considered part of the German Reich. The Austrian NS party was simply an extension of the NSDAP. After the German occupation of The Netherlands in 1940, the Dutch National Socialist Movement (Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging in Nederland) received official recognition by the NSDAP.
Other NS parties existed in Denmark, Sweden, Chile, and elsewhere, but did not receive official sanction. There was a small group in Great Britain, the National Socialist Movement, that was a split-off from Sir Oswald Mosely’s British Union of Fascists and National Socialists. Neither of these organizations were recognized by the German movement. In the United States, the German-American Bund was the premier NS formation. Hitler, however, felt that the Bund did more harm than good to Germany’s image in the US, and he put as much distance between himself and the Bundists as he could.
The most important development in extra-German National Socialism took place in the Waffen-SS, in which tens of thousands of non-Germans volunteered to fight for the Third Reich. Had the War ended differently, these foreign volunteers would have doubtlessly formed the nuclei of National Socialist governments in their respective nations.
Post-1945 – Ironically, it was outside the boundaries of the Reich that open National Socialism arose after the War. In 1959, George Lincoln Rockwell formed the American Nazi Party in the US. He renamed it the National Socialist White People’s Party in 1967. The NEW ORDER, the successor organization to the NSWPP, was formed in 1983, and continues today. In Great Britain, Colin Jordan founded the National Socialist Movement in 1962. It, too, exists today as the British Movement. In 2019, the Nordic Resistance Movement (Nordiska motståndsrörelsen), based in Sweden, is the largest, most viable NS formation. It also has branches in Norway, Denmark and Iceland.
In August of 1962, Rockwell, Jordan and comrades from various European nations came together to form the World Union of National Socialists. This was the first time that the Movement was given formal international structure.
It must be noted that these post-1945 National Socialist organizations are minute in size, influence and public support when compared to the pre-War movement in Germany. At best, the contemporary Movement outside of Germany is in a similar situation to the vanguard phase of the NSDAP (1925-1930) discussed above.
German Nationalism and Pan-Aryan Internationalism
Without any doubt, Adolf Hitler was the preeminent German nationalist of the modern era, and perhaps of all time. The National Socialist movement, as Hitler conceived it, was first and foremost a vehicle for restoring Germany to greatness, even at the expense of other nations and peoples. And yet, from the very beginning, there was a realization that German folk and the German Reich were built on racial foundations which the Germans shared with the other Aryan peoples of Europe, and that Germany’s destiny and fortunes were inseparably bound together with these other Aryan nations. In particular, Hitler recognized England as a great brother-nation of the German folk.
Without abandoning German nationalism one whit, he likewise championed pan-Aryanism. Writing in 1927, he noted:
We must not allow the greater racial community (die grössere Rassegemeinschaft) to be torn asunder by the difference of the individual peoples (Völker). The struggle that rages today is for very great aims. A culture combining millennia and embracing Hellenism and Germanism is fighting for its existence. (Mein Kampf, Volume II, Chapter 2, p. 423; s/ 476 auf deutsch).
So, there was a certain tension, even in Hitler’s mind, between German nationalism and pan-Aryan unity. We can see this tension slowly work itself to a resolution through Hitler’s statements over the years.
Hitler began his political career – undoubtedly without recognizing in the moment that he was do so – with an impromptu address to a private meeting of the German Workers’ Party on September 12, 1919. Specifically, he spoke against a proposal that Bavaria secede from Prussia and the rest of Germany and form an independent state. The notion outraged Hitler: to him, all the constituent political subdivisions of Germany belonged together in a united Reich.
Five months later, as leader of the Movement, he officially promulgated the political platform of the party, the famous 25 Points. Point One “demanded” the “union of all Germans” (alle Deutschen) …in a Great Germany.”
Four years later he wrote the first chapter of Mein Kampf. He begins his book – as he began the 25 Points – with a call for the union of all Germans in a single Reich. But here he expands the idea of pan-German unity from just those folk comrades living inside the Reich to the Germans of Austria as well. “Related blood belongs in a common Reich,” he writes.
During the period of the Third Reich, those with formal German citizenship were denoted as Reichsdeutsche; those of German blood who lived outside Germany, but who retained their German language and culture, were called Volksdeutsche. Literally, this translates as “folk Germans,” but perhaps is better rendered into English as “ethnic Germans.” In any event, the concept is clear: National Socialism stood for the unity of all Germans, regardless of their land of origin, into a single nation-state. As Reich’s Chancellor, the Fuehrer brought home into the Greater German Reich not only the Austrians, but also Germans from the Sudetenland, the Memelland, Silesia, Alsace and Lorraine, the South Tyrol and elsewhere.
But he did not stop there. The German folk, narrowly defined, is but one element of the larger Germanic family of peoples. Especially after the beginning of the War, long-term consideration was given into incorporating all Germanic peoples in a single Reich, probably starting with the Dutch.
The Table Talks records Hitler as saying,
“In the new world we are building it will be of no importance whether a man is a native of one region or another – whether he comes from Norway or Austria – once the conditions for racial purity have been established.” (Evening of November 1 – 2, 1941)
Including non-German Germanics within the boundary of a future Reich was a sea-change in traditional German nationalism.
The Table Talks also records the Fuehrer as telling a Danish major in the Waffen-SS:
“I understand that it may be hard for a young Dutchman or a young Norwegian to find himself called upon to form a common unit, within the framework of the Reich, together with men of other Germanic connections. But what is asked of them is no harder than what was asked of the Germanic tribes at the time of the great migrations. In those days the bitterness was so great than the chief of the Germanic tribes [Arminius – Ed.] was assassinated by members of his own family. What is asked of the countries that have formed the Second Reich is similar to what we are asking now, and to what we recently asked of the Austrians.” (Evening of February 22, 1942)
His intention to include other West Germanic peoples as well as the North Germans into single, unified Reich can also be seen in the Fuehrer’s intention to rename an expanded post-War Berlin as “Germania.”
1. In 1919, he begins by demanding the unity of all Reichsdeutsche in a unified state.
2. In 1924, he expands his call to unity to the Germans in Austria.
3. In the 1930s, he incorporates the Germans in the border territories into the framework of the Reich.
4. After the onset of the War in 1939, he further calls home the Volksdeutsche living in the Balkans and elsewhere to the Reich.
5. As the War progresses, he expands his call to include the Germanic peoples in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, not just Germans narrowly defined.
But it does not stop there. In his Political Testament, written on April 29, 1945, the day before his freewill death, he casts himself in the role of the defender of the “European children of the Aryan nations,” not just as the German Reich’s Chancellor or a pan-Germanic leader. He wrote:
Moreover, I left no one in doubt that this time millions of European children of the Aryan nations were not going to starve (dass dieses Mal nicht nur Millionen Kinder von Europäern der arischen Völker verhungern werden), and millions of grown men were not going to suffer death, and hundreds of thousands of women and children were not going to be burned and bombed to death in cities, without the real guilty ones having to atone for their guilt, even if by more humane means.
Also noteworthy is the frequently-repeated anecdote concerning the Belgian Waffen-SS General Leon Degrelle. Hitler reportedly told him, “If I had a son, I would want him to be like you.” Degrelle was neither German nor Germanic – but he was an Aryan.
It remained for George Lincoln Rockwell to bring this racial trajectory to its natural conclusion. In his groundbreaking essay In Hoc Signo Vinces (1960), he states that the interests of the individual Aryan nations are subordinate to the welfare of the White race worldwide. He writes:
Our problems today are not “American” problems, “British” problems, “French”, “German” or “European” or “African” problems — they are problems of SURVIVAL FOR ALL WHITE MEN. […]
The only thing to which I can be loyal with any deep conviction — the only loyalty which makes any sense — is my RACIAL, and therefore cultural, brotherhood with my own people, no matter where they happen to have been born! When that loyalty is challenged, and my people are in danger, it is monstrous to pretend that we must be suspicious of each other just because we live across imaginary geographical lines, and that, upon proper preparation and agitation by a gang of international Jews, we White men must march forth to kill each other and bomb each other to ashes and everlastingly hate each other because we are “trade rivals” or for “American democracy” or the “British Empire” or for anything else in the world.
I am a WHITE MAN, and a brother to all other White men, and I mean to stand with all of them and, if necessary, lead them in battle to survive against the unspeakable menace of the colored populations of the Earth…
In the same essay Rockwell includes the following passage, in which he seeks to lay to rest the centuries-old enmity between the Germans and the Slavic peoples:
And that includes our Aryan Russian brothers, who are also White men. Soon enough, they will find themselves arrayed with us against the colored hordes of China.
Thus, as National Socialism continues to push forward into the 21st century, the overarching racial unity of the Aryan race now takes precedence over narrow, petty nationalism, with its roots in the 19th century and earlier.
Into the Future: a Multidimensional Worldview
The racial dimension of National Socialism is the most-prominent feature of the Movement, both in the past and in the present. This is as it should be, as National Socialism is the only realistic – indeed, the only conceivable – path forward for Aryan humanity.
Today as yesterday, however, National Socialism is not a one-dimensional racial movement; rather it encompasses every facet of modern society.
• National Socialism replaces the modern consumer society with the folk community, in which every Aryan man, woman and child is recognized as a folk comrade. It is equally anti-communist and anti-capitalist, and it demands the elimination of class difference and inequities.
• It embraces a revolutionary restructuring of the educational system that places equal stress on physical fitness and character development, as well as on traditional academic studies.
• It is the original “green movement.” It recognizes that man is but one part of the natural order, and therefore it demands a healthy environment as the precondition for a healthy folk.
• It recognizes that the traditional family, with a single breadwinner and clearly defined gender roles, is the basic social building block for the folk community.
Contrary to what its many enemies maintain, National Socialism is not and never has been part of the extreme right. Neither is it part of the left. The Old Order – the existing dispensation – has its right wing and it has its left wing. But National Socialism is not part of the Old Order, and consequently it cannot truly be placed anywhere on its political spectrum. Instead, it stands apart, and for a resurgent New Order for our race that transcends the old left-right dichotomy.
After 100 years of ceaseless struggle, we find ourselves at a crucial juncture in the history of our race. Our very biological existence is under attack, and, indeed, we face extermination as a people. National Socialism alone provides the light, the hope and the way for an embattled Aryan mankind. As the Hitler Movement prepares to move into its second century, its leaders and members are aware of the profoundly historic nature of their struggle. They will conduct themselves accordingly.
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Source: New Order