preview

Nazism

Satisfactory Essays
Nazism was the ideology held by the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, commonly called NSDAP or the Nazi Party), which was led by its "Führer", Adolf Hitler. The word Nazism is most often used in connection with the dictatorship of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 (the "Third Reich"), and it is derived from the term National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus, often abbreviated NS). Adherents of Nazism held that the Aryan race were superior to other races, and they promoted Germanic racial supremacy and a strong, centrally governed state. Nazism has been outlawed in modern Germany, yet small remnants and revivalists, known as "Neo-Nazis", continue to operate in Germany and abroad.

Originally, Nazi was invented by analogy to Sozi (a common and slightly pejorative abbreviation for socialists in Germany). The original Nazis from the era of the Third Reich probably never referred to themselves as "Nazis" and generally always as "National Socialists", since Nazi was most commonly used as a pejorative term. Currently some Neo-Nazis also use it to describe themselves.

There is a very close relationship between Nazism and Fascism. Since the term Nazism is normally used to refer to the ideology and policies of Nazi Germany alone, while Fascism is used in a broader sense, to refer to a wider political movement that exists or existed in many countries, Nazism is often classified as a particular version of Fascism.

According to Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Hitler developed his political theories after carefully observing the policies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was born as a citizen of the Empire, and believed that ethnic and linguistic diversity had weakened it. Further, he saw democracy as a destabilizing force, because it placed power in the hands of ethnic minorities, who he claimed "weakened and destabilize" the Empire, by dividing it against itself.

The Nazi rationale was heavily invested in the militarist belief that great nations grow from military power, which in turn grows "naturally" from "rational, civilized cultures." Hitler's calls appealed to disgruntled German Nationalists, eager to save face for the failure of World War I, and to salvage the militaristic nationalist mindset of that previous era. After Austria's and Germany's defeat of World War I, many Germans still had heartfelt ties to the goal of creating a greater Germany, and thought that the use of military force to achieve it was necessary.

Many placed the blame for Germany's misfortunes on those, such as Jews and communists, whom they perceived, in one way or another, to have sabotaged the goal of national victory, by obtaining a stranglehold on the national economy, and using the nation's own resources to control and corrupt it.
Get Access