Hitler outlines the platform of the National German’s German Workers Party, which eventually becomes the Nazi Party, in a speech delivered to 2,000 people on February 24, 1920. Hitler outlined the goals of his newly renamed party, and true to it’s socialist roots, many points of the platform are extremely socialist. For example, Hitler called for equal rights for all citizens, profit-sharing from large industries, and increases in retirement pensions. In addition, he wanted public education of poor students, as well as maternity welfare centers. The common image of the Nazi Party is restrictive, unyielding, and forceful. When the word “Nazi” is heard, the first association is Auschwitz, and the socialist roots of the party remain undiscussed. However, it is important to note that Hitler calls for these benefits to German citizens, not simply the inhabitants of Germany. He recognizes a clear hierarchy amongst the races, and Aryan is the only race that truly deserves to inhabit Germany. He called for the end of immigration of non-Germans, and the expulsion of non-Germans if food supplies were to run short.
The portions in regards to the superiority of the German race is more in line with the traditional view of Nazism. Hitler’s solution to solving race problems was to expunge non-Germans, which would also cause the available wealth to be distributed more evenly to the superior German race. Upon reflection, it is difficult to accept that an entire nation would be willing to join a party committed to destroying an “inferior people,” but many elements of the party platform remain undiscussed. When an individual is taking home wheelbarrows full of worthless money, the idea of retirement pensions is extremely appealing. While the Jews were not responsible for the terrible peace treaty, the Jews were an easy scapegoat, and the socialist platform was appealing to many Germans. Hitler’s charisma and the turmoil caused by the Treaty of Versailles is often used as the explanation for the rise of Nazism. However, ignoring the socialist platform is disregarding an extremely important part of the popularity of Nazism.