Karl Harrer (8 October 1890 – 5 September 1926) was a German
journalist and politician, one of the founding members of the
"Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" (German Workers' Party, DAP) in January
1919, the predecessor to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche
Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party – NSDAP);
more commonly known as the Nazi Party.
2 See also
Harrer was "commissioned" by the
Thule Society to try and politically
influence German workers in Munich after the end of World War I. At
the time, Harrer was a reporter with a right-wing newspaper. Harrer
Anton Drexler and several others to form the Politischer
Arbeiterzirkel (Political Workers' Circle) in 1918. The members met
periodically for discussions with themes of nationalism and racism
directed against the Jews. Although Harrer preferred that the small
group remain a semi-secret nationalistic club, Drexler wanted to make
it a political party. Thereafter, Drexler proposed the founding of
the DAP in December, 1918. On 5 January 1919 the DAP was formed, in
which not only Harrer and Drexler but also
Gottfried Feder and
Dietrich Eckart were involved. With the DAP founding, Drexler was
elected chairman and Harrer was made "Reich Chairman", an honorary
title. The DAP was the predecessor to the Nationalsozialistische
Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party –
NSDAP); commonly known as the Nazi Party.
Harrer became increasingly unhappy with the direction in which the
party was going after
Adolf Hitler became an influential force within
it. Early in 1920, Hitler moved to sever the party's link with the
Thule Society, and to redefine the policies of the DAP. On 24 February
1920 in the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München, 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. Such was the significance of this particular move in
expanding the party's public profile that Harrer resigned from the
party in disagreement, as he had always believed that it should be a
semi-secret elite group rather than a mass popular movement. The
Thule Society subsequently fell into decline, and was dissolved about
five years later, well before Hitler came to power.
Karl Harrer died aged 35 of natural causes in Munich.
^ a b c d Kershaw 2008, p. 82.
^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 82, 83.
^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 82, 83, 87.
^ Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 37
^ Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 36
^ Goodrick-Clarke 1985, p. 221
Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. 1985. The Occult Roots of Nazism: The
Ariosophists of Austria and
Germany 1890-1935. Wellingborough,
England: The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-402-4.
Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography. New York: W. W. Norton &
Company. ISBN 978-0-393-06757-6.