The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                           of the
               International Military Tribunal
                           For The
             Trial of German Major War Criminals

               His Majesty's Stationery Office

                                                    [Page 4]

On 5th January, 1919, not two months after the conclusion of
the Armistice which ended the first World War, and six
months before the signing of the peace treaties at
Versailles, there came into being in Germany a small
political party called the German Labor Party. On 12th
September, 1919 Adolf Hitler became a member of this Party,
and at the first public meeting held in Munich, on 24th
February, 1920, he announced the Party's program. That
program, which remained unaltered until the Party was
dissolved in 1945, consisted of 25 points, of which the
following five are of particular interest on account of the
light they throw on the matters with which the Tribunal is

     "Point 1. We demand the unification of all Germans
     in the Greater Germany, on the basis of the right
     of self-determination of peoples.
     Point 2. We demand equality of rights for the
     German People in respect to the other nations;
     abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and
     Saint Germain.
     Point 3. We demand land and territory for the
     sustenance of our people, and the colonization of
     our surplus population.
     Point 4. 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 .
     Point 22. We demand abolition of the mercenary
     troops and formation of a national army."

Of these aims, the one which seems to have been regarded as
the most important, and which figured in almost every public
speech, was the removal of the "disgrace" of the Armistice,
and the restrictions of the peace treaties of Versailles and
Saint Germain. In a typical speech at Munich on 13th April,
1923, for example, Hitler said with regard to the Treaty of

     "The Treaty was made in order to bring 20 million
     Germans to their deaths, and to ruin the German
     Nation .. At its foundation our movement
     formulated three demands:
     1. Setting aside of the Peace Treaty.
     2. Unification of all Germans.
     3. Land and soil to feed our Nation."

The demand for the unification of all Germans in the Greater
Germany was to play a large part in the events preceding the
seizure of Austria and Czechoslovakia; the abrogation of the
Treaty of Versailles was to become a decisive motive in
attempting to justify the policy of the German Government;
the demand for land was to be the justification for the
acquisition of "living space" at the expense of other
nations; the expulsion of the Jews from membership of the
race of German blood was to lead to the atrocities against
the Jewish people; and the demand for a national army was to
result in measures of rearmament on the largest possible
scale, and ultimately to war.

On 29th July, 1921, the Party which had changed its name to
National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (NSDAP) was
reorganized, Hitler becoming the first "Chairman". It was in
this year that the Sturmabteilung or SA was founded, with
Hitler at its head, as a private para-military force, which
allegedly was to be used for the purpose of protecting NSDAP
leaders from attack by rival political parties, and
preserving order at NSDAP meetings, but in reality was used
for fighting political opponents on the Streets. In March,
1923 the Defendant Goering was appointed head of the SA.

                                                    [Page 5]
The procedure within the Party was governed in the most
absolute way by the "Leadership Principle" (Fuehrerprinzip).

According to the principle, each Fuehrer has the right to
govern, administer, or decree, subject to no control of any
kind and at his complete discretion, subject only to the
orders he received from above.

This principle applied in the first instance to Hitler
himself as the leader of the Party, and in a lesser degree
to all other Party officials. All members of the Party swore
an oath of "eternal allegiance" to the leader.

There were only two ways in which Germany could achieve the
three main aims above-mentioned, by negotiation, or by
force. The 25 points of the NSDAP program do not
specifically mention the methods on which the leaders of the
Party proposed to rely, but the history of the Nazi regime
shows that Hitler and his followers were only prepared to
negotiate on the terms that their demands were conceded, and
that force would be used if they were not.

On the night of 8th November, 1923, an abortive putsch took
place in Munich. Hitler and some of his followers burst into
a meeting in the Buergerbraeu Cellar, which was being
addressed by the Bavarian Prime Minister Kahr, with the
intention of obtaining from him a decision to march
forthwith on Berlin. On the morning of 9 November, however,
no Bavarian support was forthcoming, and Hitler's
demonstration was met by the armed forces of the Reichswehr
and the police. Only a few volleys were fired; and after a
dozen of his followers had been killed, Hitler fled for his
life, and the demonstration was over. The Defendants
Streicher, Frick, and Hess all took part in the attempted
rising. Hitler was later tried for high treason, and was
convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. The SA was
outlawed. Hitler was released from prison in 1924 and in
1925 the Schutzstaffeln, or SS, was created, nominally to
act as his personal bodyguard, but in reality to terrorize
political opponents. This was also the year of the
publication of Mein Kampf, containing the political views
and aims of Hitler, which came to be regarded as the
authentic source of Nazi doctrine.

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