National Socialism, or Nazism, in short, is a far-right totalitarian ideology. It links to socialism and especially closely fascism (it is as a form of fascism). Further, extreme nationalism, racism, and militarism are fundamental elements. Adolf Hitler’s reign over Nazi Germany was the only time it came into practice. Besides, he is the father of the ideology.
Some roots are traceable to late 18th century Prussia. Then leaders believed in militancy and discipline. However, it would take more than a century before Hitler would rise to power. Anton Draxler founded the German Workers’ Party in 1919.
The name changed to National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP – or Nazi Party) in 1920. Hitler became the party’s leader a year later. As a result of the World War I. defeat, Germany was in grave economic and political trouble.
The Nazi party blamed the establishment, Jews, Marxists. They promoted German superiority and some elements of socialism, such as collectivism. Hence, big business and capitalism received the blame.
Rise to power
In 1923, the party tried to take over the government in Bavaria, a part of Germany. After they failed, Hitler spent some time in prison, where he wrote the manifesto – Mein Kampf. Until 1929, the party was only marginal. That changed with The Great Depression. As a result, the situation in Germany went from bad to worse.
In 1933, the Nazi Party won the elections. Soon, they had absolute power over Germany. Hitler rejected democracy and the rule of law and began to persecute Jews. Besides, he banned political opposition and destroyed culture.
Further, they established a central-planned economy, yet, they allowed some form of private ownership. A tool this system uses is the secret police and the intimidation and bullying of citizens. Forced labor is also common.
Germany tried to expand and create a German super-state. First, they annexed Austria. Then, Poland and parts of Czechoslovakia. Once again, the desire was to unify Germans and dispose of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and others. As a result, World War II. broke out in 1939. It lasted until 1945.
During the Holocaust, the Nazis killed over six million Jews. Overall at least seventeen million people lost their lives during the regime. After the war, most countries in Europe banned Nazism. It is one of the most dangerous practices. yet, some marginal groups do exist.