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NSDAP Party Program (1920)

An extreme right-wing political movement, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party [Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei, or NSDAP] emerged after Germany’s defeat in World War I. Founded in 1919 by Anton Drexler as the German Workers’ Party [Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or DAP], the party promised to overturn the Treaty of Versailles and abolish the newly installed Weimar government. Adolf Hitler joined the DAP that same year. A charismatic speaker, Hitler co-opted conservative nationalist rhetoric, calling for a return of the territories Germany had lost in the Treaty of Versailles, propagating the “stab in the back” legend, and spreading anti-Semitism. Hitler’s extremist language captured the imagination of many of his contemporaries, including members of the Freikorps, senior officials in the German military, and professed anti-Communists. In February 1920, Hitler assumed control of the DAP and changed the party’s name to the NSDAP. Immediately after his takeover, Hitler presented the “Program of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party” (1920), also referred to as the “Twenty-Five Point” program. The NSDAP platform demanded the union of all Germans into a “Greater Germany,” the overthrow of the Versailles Treaty, and the restriction of citizenship to those with German “blood.” In addition, the NSDAP program pledged to nationalize publicly owned businesses and trusts, and to ban all media that opposed the national welfare of the state.

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Munich, February 24, 1920

The program of the German Workers’ Party is designed to be in effect for a limited period of time only. The leaders have no intention, once the aims announced in it have been achieved, of setting up fresh ones, merely in order to increase the discontent of the masses artificially, and so ensure the continued existence of the party.

1. We demand the union of all Germans to form a Greater Germany based on the right of national autonomy.

2. We demand equality for the German people in its dealings with other nations and the invalidation of the peace treaties of Versailles and Saint-Germain.

3. We demand land and territory (colonies) to feed our people and to resettle our excess population.

4. None but members of the nation may be citizens of the state. None but those of German blood, regardless of their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation.

5. Anyone who is not a citizen of the state may live in Germany only as a guest and must be subject to the laws applying to foreigners.

6. The right to vote on the leadership and legislation of the state is to be enjoyed by citizens alone. We demand therefore that all official appointments, of whatever kind, whether in the Reich, in the country, or in the smaller localities, shall be granted to citizens of the state alone. We oppose the corrupting parliamentary custom of filling posts merely with a view to party considerations, and without reference to character or ability.

7. We demand that the state shall make it its first duty to promote the employment and livelihood of citizens of the state. If it is not possible to provide for the entire population of the state, foreign nationals (non-citizens) must be expelled from the Reich.

8. All further immigration by non-Germans must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who have immigrated to Germany since August 2, 1914 are made to leave the Reich immediately.

9. All citizens of the state shall be equal as regards rights and duties.

10. It must be the first duty of each citizen of the state to work intellectually or physically. The activities of the individual must not clash with the interests of the whole, but must be within the frame of the community and be for the general good.

We demand therefore:

11. Banning income not earned by work and personal effort. Breaking the interest bondage.

12. In view of the enormous sacrifice of life and property that every war demands of a nation, personal enrichment due to war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. Therefore we demand the confiscation of all war gains without exception.

13. We demand the nationalization of all (currently) publicly owned businesses (trusts).

14. We demand profit-sharing from all large companies.

15. We demand extensive development of old age pensions.

16. We demand the creation and support of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalization of large department stores and their lease at a low rate to small businesses, and that the highest preference be given to all small businesses with regard to supplying the state, district authorities, and smaller localities.

17. We demand a land reform shaped by our national requirements, the passing of a law for the expropriation of land for public utility without compensation, the abolition of land interest and the prohibition of land speculation of any kind.

18. We demand ruthless prosecution of those whose activities hurt the common interest. Perpetrators of common crimes against the nation, usurers, profiteers, etc., must be punished by death, regardless of their creed or race.

19. We demand that the Roman Law, which serves the materialistic world order, be replaced by a general German law.

20. In order to make higher education available to every capable and industrious German and thus enable them to advance to leading positions, the state must provide for an extensive development of our entire national education system. The curricula of all educational establishments must correspond to the requirements of practical life. Schools must ensure that the idea of the state is being understood from the earliest moment of comprehension (citizenship class). We demand that the state pay for the schooling of highly gifted children of poor parents regardless of their social class or profession.

21. The state must see to raising the standard of health in the nation by protecting mothers and infants, prohibiting child labor, improving physical strength by means of obligatory gymnastics and sports stipulated by law, and by extensive support of clubs engaged in youth athletics.

22. We demand the abolition of the mercenary army and formation of a national army.

23. We demand a legal fight against deliberate political lies and their dissemination in the press. In order to facilitate the creation of a German national press we demand:

a) that all editors and staff of newspapers published in the German language must be members of the nation;

b) that special permission from the state shall be necessary before non-German newspapers may appear. These are not to be printed in the German language;

c) the legal ban on any financial investment in German newspapers or influence on them by non-Germans; as punishment for breaking this law we demand the closing of such newspapers as well as the immediate expulsion of the non-Germans involved from the Reich.

Newspapers who oppose the national welfare are to be banned. We demand legal prosecution of all tendencies in art and literature which are likely to disintegrate our life as a nation, and the closing of events which run contrary to the above-mentioned demands.

24. We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the state, so far as they are not a danger to its existence and do not hurt the moral feelings of the Germanic race. The party as such advocates a positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within us and outside of us and is convinced that a permanent cure of our people can only come from within and based on the credo: public interest before self-interest.

25. In order to execute all the above we demand the creation of a strong central power of the state. Unconditional authority of the political centralized Parliament over the entire Reich and its general organization. The formation of chambers for classes and occupations for the purpose of carrying out the general laws promulgated by the Reich in the various states of the confederation.

The leaders of the party promise to ruthlessly pursue the above-mentioned points, and to risk their lives in the process if necessary.

Source of English translation: Raymond E. Murphy, ed., National Socialism, U.S. Department of State, Publication 1864. Washington, DC, 1943, pp. 222-25. Translation edited by GHI staff.

Source of original German text: Programm der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (Program of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party) (1920), in Deutsche Parteiprogramme 1861-1954 [German Party Programs, 1861-1954], edited by Dr. Wolfgang Treue, Quellensammlung zur Kulturgeschichte [Collected Sources on Cultural History], vol. 3. Göttingen, Frankfurt, Berlin: Musterschmidt Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 1955, pp. 143-46.

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