The National Socialist Program (aka the 25-point Program and the 25-point Plan), was first the political formulation of the Austrian National Socialist Party (DAP — Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei) in 1918, and later, in the 1920s, of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP — Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) headed by Adolf Hitler. The National Socialist Program originated at a DAP congress in Vienna, then was taken to Munich, by the civil engineer and theoretician Rudolf Jung, who had been expelled from Czechoslovakia, because of his political agitation. The politician Josef Pfitzner, a Sudetenland German Nazi, wrote that “the synthesis of the two, great dynamic powers of the century, of the national and social ideas, had been perfected in the German borderlands [i.e. the Sudetenland], which thus were far ahead of their motherland.” Moreover, despite the political syncretism of National Socialism — the 25-point Program advocated democracy and greater popular rights — the Nazis discarded most of it upon assuming German government in 1933.
When the national socialists redacted their 25-point Program, Czechoslovakia and Austria were sub-ordinate states integral to the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918), not sovereign nations. Hence, the political programs of the Sudetenland and the Austrian national socialist parties addressed their particular discontents with the Habsburg monarchic society; thus the development of ideologically discrete German Worker parties in Vienna, Aussig, and Eger. In the event, Adolf Hitler and cohort, the government of Nazi Germany (1933–45), did not participate in originating such national socialist programs, thus the politics and ideology of the NSDAP were specifically German adaptations of such.
Austrian Party program
In May 1918, before Austria became a republic, the Austrian DNSAP (German National Socialist Worker's Party), proclaimed a similar program:
- . . . the German National Socialist Workers’ Party is not a party exclusively for labourers; it stands for the interests of every decent and honest enterprise. It is a liberal (freiheitlich) and strictly folkic (volkisch) party fighting against all reactionary efforts, clerical, feudal, and capitalistic privileges; but, before all, against the increasing influence of the Jewish commercial mentality which encroaches on public life. . . .
- . . . it demands the amalgamation of all European regions inhabited by Germans, into a democratic and socialized Germany. . . .
- . . . it demands the introduction of plebiscites for all important laws in the country. . . .
- . . . it demands the elimination of the rule of Jewish banks over our economic life, and the establishment of People’s Banks under democratic control. . . .
German Party program
In Munich, on 24 February 1920, Adolf Hitler publicly proclaimed the 25-point Program of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party), when the Nazis were still known as the DAP (German Workers Party). They retained the National Socialist Program upon renaming themselves as the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) in April 1920, and it remained the Party’s official program — despite the Nazis’ discarding most of it upon assuming Germany’s government in 1933. The 25-point Program was a German adaptation — by Anton Drexler, Adolf Hitler, Gottfried Feder, and Dietrich Eckart — of Rudolf Jung’s Austro–Bohemian program; unlike the Austrians, the Germans did not claim to being either liberal or democratic, and opposed neither political reaction nor the aristocracy, yet advocated democratic institutions (i.e. the German central parliament) and voting rights solely for Germans — implying that a Nazi Government would retain popular suffrage.
The Austrian monarchist Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn proposed that the 25-point Program was pro-labour: “the program championed the right to employment, and called for the institution of profit sharing, confiscation of war profits, prosecution of userers and profiteers, nationalization of trusts, communalization of department stores, extension of the old-age pension system, creation of a national education program of all classes, prohibition of child labour, and an end to the dominance of investment capital.” Whereas historian William Brustein proposes that said program points, and party founder Anton Drexler’s statements, indicate that the Nazi Party (NSDAP) originated as a working-class political party.
In the course of pursuing public office, the agrarian failures of the 1920s prompted Hitler to further explain the “true” meaning of Point 17 (land reform, legal land expropriation for public utility, abolishment of the land value tax, and proscription of land speculation), in the hope of winning the farmers’ votes in the May 1928 elections. Hitler disguised the implicit contradictions of Point 17 of the National Socialist Program, by explaining that “gratuitous expropriation concerns only the creation of legal opportunities, to expropriate, if necessary, land which has been illegally acquired, or is not administered from the view-point of the national welfare. This is directed primarily against the Jewish land-speculation companies”.
Moreover, throughout the 1920s, other members of the NSDAP, seeking ideologic consistency, sought either to change or to replace the National Socialist Program. In 1924, the economist Gottfried Feder proposed a 39-point program retaining some original policies and introducing new policies. Hitler suppressed every instance of programatic change, by refusing to broach the matters after 1925, because the National Socialist Program was “inviolable”, hence immutable. Simultaneously, however, he did not publicly support it; in his political biography, Mein Kampf (1925, 1926), Hitler only mentions it as “the so-called program of the movement”.
The historian Henry A. Turner proposes that many of the Program’s policies for economic reform, pro-labour legislation, and popular democratic politics, contradicted Adolf Hitler’s Social Darwinism, the basis of his dictatorial ambition. That the land reform and anti-trust legislation especially threatened the financial interests of the businessmen whom Hitler courted for political campaign money. Because he could not safely discard the National Socialist Program of the Nazi Party — without provoking voter mutinies — Adolf Hitler, by force of personality, definitively closed all such ideologic discussion.
The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
- We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination.
- We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.
- We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.
- Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.
- Whoever has no citizenship is to be able to live in Germany only as a guest, and must be under the authority of legislation for foreigners.
- The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen. Therefore we demand that every public office, of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.
- We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
- Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
- All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
- The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently we demand:
- Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
- In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
- We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
- We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
- We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
- We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
- We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
- We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
- We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
- The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
- The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
- We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.
- We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race: b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language: c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.
- We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.
- For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.
- Twelve Theses
- National Socialism
- The Manifesto of the Fascist Struggle
- Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals
- Leftism Revisited, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Regnery Gateway, Washington, D.C., 1990. pp. 147-49
- Leftism Revisited, p. 149.
- The Logic of Evil, The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925–1933, William Brustein, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1996. p. 141.
- Some 2000 people attended the meeting at the Hofbrauhaus; Hitler offered the program point-by-point, to an approving crowd. Toland, John (1976). Adolf Hitler. New York: Doubleday & Company. pp. 94–98. ISBN 0-385-03724-4 (Toland).
- Liberty or Equality, von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Christendom Press, Front Royal, Va., 1952, 1993. p. 257
- The Logic of Evil, The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933, William Brustein, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1996. p. 141.
- Henry A. Turner, German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler, Oxford University Press, 1985. p.62
- In February 1926, at the Bamberg Conference, the dissident NSDAP faction endeavored to change the Program, but Hitler declared change intolerable, lest it be an insult to the memory of Nazi brethren killed at the Feldherrnhalle during the Beer Hall Putsch n 1923. Three months later, at the NSDAP’s annual general meeting, the National Socialist Program was declared officially immutable.
- Henry A. Turner, German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler, Oxford University Press, 1985. p. 77.
- Simkin, John. Nazi Party - NSDAP
- Henry A. Turner, German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler, Oxford University Press, 1985. p. 82.
- Konrad Heiden, A History of National Socialism, 1935. Translated by Alfred A. Knopf, page 17.
- The Program of the NSDAP at Wikisource
- Full text of the 25 point NSDAP program
- The 25 Points of the National Socialist Movement Of America
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