Explain why the Nazi ideology was both Nationalist and Socialist Nazism was a combination of both nationalism and socialism; this was evident in a large amount of the Nazi ideology. After the defeat of Germany in the first world and the signing of the treaty of Versailles, the German people had received a major loss of morale. Hitler and his new found influence over the Nazi party meant that many Nationalist beliefs had an effect on the Nazi ideology. However, whilst Hitler had always been unreceptive to socialist ideas they had become very popular in German politics after the First World War. Hitler therefore saw that to appeal to the working class and socialists, the Nazi party had no option but to include socialist concepts. The Combination of both Socialist and Nationalist ideas were reflected in the Nazi party’s first programme which became known as the “Twenty-Five Points.”
The twenty-five point programme was composed mainly by Anton Drexler and Hitler, both of whom had very different goals which is one of the significant reasons for the Nazi party having both Socialist and Nationalist views, although the 25 points were only ever outlined vaguely. Strong Nationalist views were evident in the programme as there were aggressive beliefs that Germany should regain territories lost after 1918 which should be given to the German people due to their racial superiority, as well as expanding in order to unite the German speaking people, this was also known as ‘Lebensraum’ meaning more living space.
In the programme the party rejected the terms of the treaty of Versailles due to the myth of ‘the stab in the back’ from the government that had signed the treaty and were commonly referred to as ‘November criminals’. To reinforce their ideas on nationalism, equal rights were only to be given to German citizens. “Foreigners” that had entered Germany after the 2nd August 1914 were required to leave, this included many Jews were also believed to be ‘November Criminals’. However, though many of the 25 points were grounded around strong Nationalist beliefs, a large amount sought to attract the working class and socialists. Hitler believed in ‘Volkgemeinschaft’…a peoples community based on German values, meaning that German workers would be protected by redistribution of wealth from non- Germans.
The programme also focused a lot on the education system and health standards including compulsory sports clubs for youth as well as the protection of mothers and infants. Various point also aimed to satisfy German workers such as ‘Every citizen should have a job. Their work should not be selfish, but help everyone’ however these points also had a large anti-Semitic influence as many Jews were restricted from working and their rights to be a citizen. The combination of nationalism and socialism accommodated a large amount of Germans as due to the huge lack of central authority the Nazis used their ideologies alongside anti-Semitism to appeal to a wide variety of Germans and gain their support.
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