The 25 Points Manifesto was written in 1920 when the NSDAP was founded. Its purpose was to clearly outline the guiding principles of the party. Adolf Hitler and Anton Drexler wrote the Manifesto to attract popular support for the NSDAP. The 25 points targeted the working class, and were written in an easily understood language.
The Manifesto had socialist values. For example, it called for every citizen to have a job that benefitted the state, for the state to control large corporations, health standards, education, and communication, and for the people to put the interest of the sate before the interest of the individual.
It also put value in promoting the well being of the German-race. For example, it called for anyone who was not a German to be removed from the country, for German citizens to have employment priority, and for the government to stop any political or social anti-German practices.
In today’s readings: TheSpeech of April 12th, 1921, Mein Kampf, and The 25 Points of 1920, Adolf Hitler expressed many of the tenets of his political ideology, which was still in its fledgling stage. In this National Socialist ideology Hitler rejected both leftist and rightist ideologies alike. He stated, “the condition which must precede every act is the will and the courage to speak the truth-and that we do not see today in either the Right or in the Left.” Hitler despised capitalism because he believed that the Jews were able to harness it as a tool to oppress the German population through economic means. He also detested socialism and Marxism because he associated these movements with the Bolshevik-Jewish led Russia, and believed that it would lead Germany to “complete destruction-to Bolshevism.” Hitler advocated a political philosophy where the German peoples were to put the “nation” above everything else in degree of importance, and secondly to bolster the strength of this “nation” by being “social” and acting in the best interest of the community at large; Hence the term National Socialism.
Compared to the Hitler’s popular conceptions, I believe that the aforementioned documents expressed both similarities and differences. Hitler is well known for his demonization of the Jewish peoples, and this component was present in the various examples of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Hitler’s ideology created a binary opposition where there existed only the “victory of the Aryan or annihilation of the Aryan and victory of the Jew.” In his mind it was either one or the other, with no room for compromise. While he was professedly anti-Semitic, he did not yet advocate violence against this population. In these writings his principal aim was to distance the “pure-blooded” Germans from their Jewish counterparts. It was not until later, particularly with Hitler’s mandate of the Final Solution, that he garnered the reputation as a heinous, bloodthirsty, maniacal mass-murderer.
The 25 Points demanded a widespread unification of all German citizens into one greater German race, of only German blood. It commanded its citizens to behave on the basis of self-determination by repudiating the treaties of Versailles and St. Germain as a stipulation for equality in Europe.
Every German citizen was bound by equal rights and obligations to work both spiritually and physically. This meant physical work was intended for the benefit of the whole state in light of the crippled economy. Large industries were required to divide profits and a middle class was required to work in a communal economy connected by contract to their local branch of government. Spiritually, the NSDAP demanded freedom of religion for every citizen as long as it did not jeopardize or combat the moral senses of the Germanic race, but rejected the Jewish-materialistic spirit.
The 25 Points called for educational reform and placed the responsibility in the state’s hands. This was intended to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and advance into leading positions. In addition, a national health system was established requiring all young Germans to be physically fit.
How was Adolf Hitler able to become the sole dominating force in the NSDAP and solely influence such a large audience?
The twenty-fourth point outlined a demand for freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state. How could Hitler sell this point to the German population if Judaism was excluded and eventually outlawed?
I find it stunning that Hitler and the NSDAP were able to successfully implement these points in the Nazi German society. Hitler introduced this early Nazi program at the Munich Festsaal of the Hofbräuhaus in front of 2000 people. He nearly hypnotized the crowd with his uncanny influence and conviction of speech.