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Anton Drexler
Anton Drexler
(13 June 1884 – 24 February 1942) was a German far-right political leader of the 1920s who was instrumental in the formation of the pan-German and anti-Semitic German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – DAP), the antecedent of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP). Drexler served as mentor to Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
during his early days in politics.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Politics

2.1 Early involvement in politics 2.2 Founding of the German Workers' Party

3 Death 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Early life[edit] Born in Munich, Drexler was a machine-fitter before becoming a railway toolmaker and locksmith in Berlin.[1] He joined the Fatherland Party during World War I.[2] Politics[edit] Early involvement in politics[edit] In March 1918 Drexler founded a branch of Der Freie Arbeiterausschuss für einen guten Frieden (Free Workers' Committee for a Good Peace) league.[1] Thereafter in 1918, Karl Harrer
Karl Harrer
(a journalist and member of the Thule Society), convinced Drexler and several others to form the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel (Political Workers' Circle) in 1918.[1] The members met periodically for discussions with themes of nationalism and antisemitism.[1] Drexler was a poet and a member of the völkisch agitators. Founding of the German Workers' Party[edit] Together with Harrer, Gottfried Feder
Gottfried Feder
and Dietrich Eckart, he founded the German Workers' Party
German Workers' Party
(DAP) in Munich
Munich
on 5 January 1919.[1] At a meeting of the Party in Munich
Munich
in September 1919, the main speaker was Gottfried Feder. When he had finished speaking, Adolf Hitler got involved in a heated political argument with a visitor, Professor Baumann, who questioned the soundness of Feder's arguments against capitalism and proposed that Bavaria
Bavaria
should break away from Prussia
Prussia
and found a new South German nation with Austria. In vehemently attacking the man's arguments he made an impression on the other party members with his oratory skills, and according to Hitler, the "professor" left the hall acknowledging unequivocal defeat.[3] Drexler approached Hitler and thrust a booklet into his hand. It was My Political Awakening and, according to Hitler, it reflected the ideals he already believed in.[4] Impressed with Hitler, Drexler invited him to join the DAP. On the orders of his army superiors, Hitler applied to join the party.[5] In less than a week, Hitler received a postcard stating he had officially been accepted as a DAP member and should come to a "committee" meeting to discuss it. Hitler was accepted as party member 555 (the party began counting membership at 500 to give the impression they were a much larger party). Hitler attended the "committee" meeting held at the run-down Alte Rosenbad beer-house.[6][7] Hitler began to make the party more public, and he organized their biggest meeting yet of 2,000 people, for 24 February 1920 in the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. It was in this speech that Hitler, for the first time, enunciated the twenty-five points of the German Worker's Party's manifesto that had been drawn up by Drexler, Feder, and Hitler.[8] Through these points he gave the organisation a much bolder stratagem[9] with a clear foreign policy (abrogation of The Treaty of Versailles, a Greater Germany, Eastern expansion, exclusion of Jews from citizenship). On the same day the party was renamed the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP (Nazi Party).[10] Such was the significance of this particular move in publicity that Karl Harrer
Karl Harrer
resigned from the party in disagreement.[11] By 1921, Hitler was rapidly becoming the undisputed leader of the Party. In June 1921, while Hitler and Eckart were on a fundraising trip to Berlin, a mutiny broke out within the NSDAP in Munich. Members of its executive committee wanted to merge with the rival German Socialist Party (DSP).[12] Hitler returned to Munich
Munich
on 11 July and angrily tendered his resignation. The committee members realised that the resignation of their leading public figure and speaker would mean the end of the party.[13] Hitler announced he would rejoin on the condition that he would replace Drexler as party chairman, and that the party headquarters would remain in Munich.[14] The committee agreed; he rejoined the party as member 3,680. Drexler was thereafter moved to the purely symbolic position of honorary president, and left the Party in 1923.[15] Drexler was also a member of a völkisch political club for affluent members of Munich
Munich
society known as the Thule Society. His membership in the NSDAP ended when it was temporarily outlawed in 1923 following the Beer Hall Putsch, in which Drexler had not taken part. In 1924 he was elected to the Bavarian state parliament for another party, in which he served as vice-president until 1928. He had no part in the NSDAP's refounding in 1925, and rejoined only after Hitler had come to power in 1933.[16] He founded a splinter group, the Nationalsozialer Volksbund, but this dissolved in 1928.[17] He received the party's Blood Order
Blood Order
in 1934 and was still occasionally used as a propaganda tool until about 1937, but he was never again allowed any real power or to play an active part in the movement. Death[edit] Drexler died in Munich
Munich
in February 1942.[16] Notes[edit]

^ a b c d e Kershaw 2008, p. 82. ^ Hamilton 1984, p. 219. ^ Kershaw 2008, p. 75. ^ Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf, 1925. ^ Evans 2003, p. 170. ^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 75, 76. ^ Mitcham 1996, p. 67. ^ Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 37 ^ Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 89 ^ Kershaw 2008, p. 87. ^ Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 36 ^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 100, 101. ^ Kershaw 2008, p. 102. ^ Kershaw 2008, p. 103. ^ Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 41 ^ a b Hamilton 1984, p. 220. ^ Zentner & Bedürftig 1991, p. 209.

References[edit]

Evans, Richard J. (2003). The Coming of the Third Reich. New York: Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-14-303469-8.  Hamilton, Charles (1984). Leaders & Personalities of the Third Reich, Vol. 1. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0-912138-27-0.  Hitler, Adolf (1999) [1925]. Mein Kampf. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-395-92503-4.  Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-06757-6.  Mitcham, Samuel W. (1996). Why Hitler?: The Genesis of the Nazi Reich. Westport, Conn: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-95485-7.  Shirer, William L. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-62420-0.  Zentner, Christian; Bedürftig, Friedemann (1991). The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. (2 vols.) New York: MacMillan Publishing. ISBN 0-02-897500-6. 

External links[edit]

Mein politisches Erwachen; aus dem Tagebuch eines deutschen sozialistischen Arbeiters München, Deutscher Volksverlag 4th ed.

Party political offices

Preceded by none Chairman of the DAP 1919–1921 Succeeded by Adolf Hitler

v t e

National Socialist German Workers' Party

Leader

Anton Drexler
Anton Drexler
(1919–1921) Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
(1921–1945) Martin Bormann
Martin Bormann
(1945)

Related articles

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and World War I Stab-in-the-back myth Weimar Republic Treaty of Versailles Occupation of the Ruhr Politischer Arbeiter-Zirkel German Workers' Party Thule Society National Socialist Program Nuremberg Rally Ranks and insignia Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
(SA) Beer Hall Putsch Brown House, Munich Horst-Wessel-Lied Party songs Adolf Hitler's rise to power Night of the Long Knives Schutzstaffel
Schutzstaffel
(SS) Enabling Act of 1933 NSDAP/AO Greater German Reich Hitler Youth World War II Operation Werwolf Denazification Article 21 Paragraph 2 (de facto prohibition) National Socialism German Question Jewish Question Anti-Semitism in Germany

Party offices

NSDAP Office of Racial Policy NSDAP Office of Foreign Affairs NSDAP Office of Colonial Policy NSDAP Office of Military Policy Hitler's Chancellery Nazi Party
Nazi Party
Chancellery Amt Rosenberg

Publications

Völkischer Beobachter Das Schwarze Korps Das Reich Innviertler Heimatblatt Arbeitertum Der Angriff

Members

Gottfried Feder Dietrich Eckart Alfred Rosenberg Joseph Goebbels Heinrich Himmler Reinhard Heydrich Hermann Göring Gregor Strasser Otto Strasser Albert Speer Rudolf Hess Ernst Kaltenbrunner Adolf Eichmann Joachim von Ribbentrop Houston Stewart Chamberlain Hans Frank Rudolf Höss Richard Walther Darré Baldur von Schirach Artur Axmann Ernst Röhm Wilhelm Frick Josef Mengele Ernst Hanfstaengl Julius Streicher Hermann Esser

Derivatives

Black Front (Strasserism) / German Social Union Deutsche Rechtspartei (through entryism) / Deutsche Reichspartei / National Democratic Party of Germany Socialist Reich Party

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 77061595 ISNI: 0000 0000 1066 6130 GN

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