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The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right political party in Germany active between 1920 and 1945 that created and supported the ideology of Nazism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; DAP), existed from 1919 to 1920. The Nazi Party emerged from the extremist German nationalist, racist and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against communist uprisings in post–World War I Germany. The party was created to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism. Initially, Nazi political strategy focused on anti–big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric; it was later downplayed to gain the support of business leaders. By the 1930s, the party's main focus shifted to antisemitic and anti-Marxist themes. The party had little popular support until the Great Depression, when worsening living standards and widespread unemployment drove Germans into political extremism.
(24 February 1920 – 29 July 1921)
(29 July 1921 – 30 April 1945)
|Party Minister||Martin Bormann|
(30 April 1945 – 2 May 1945)
|Founded||24 February 1920; 103 years ago (1920-02-24)|
|Banned||10 October 1945; 78 years ago (1945-10-10)|
|Preceded by||German Workers' Party|
|Headquarters||Brown House, Munich, Germany|
|Student wing||National Socialist German Students' Union|
|Youth wing||Hitler Youth, League of German Girls|
|Women's wing||National Socialist Women's League|
|Paramilitary wings||SA, SS, Motor Corps, Flyers Corps|
|Sports body||National Socialist League of the Reich for Physical Exercise|
|Labour wing||NSBO (1928–35), DAF (1933–45)|
("Germany, awake!") (unofficial)
Central to Nazism were themes of racial segregation expressed in the idea of a "people's community" (Volksgemeinschaft). The party aimed to unite "racially desirable" Germans as national comrades while excluding those deemed to be either political dissidents, physically or intellectually inferior, or of a foreign race (Fremdvölkische). The Nazis sought to strengthen the Germanic people, the "Aryan master race", through racial purity and eugenics, broad social welfare programs, and a collective subordination of individual rights, which could be sacrificed for the good of the state on behalf of the people. To protect the supposed purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to disenfranchise, segregate, and eventually exterminate Jews, Romani, Poles, Slavs, the physically and mentally disabled, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and political opponents. The persecution reached its climax when the party-controlled German state set in motion the Final Solution – an industrial system of genocide that carried out mass murders of around 6 million Jews and millions of other targeted victims in what has become known as the Holocaust.
Adolf Hitler, the party's leader since 1921, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933, and quickly seized power afterwards. Hitler established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich and became dictator with absolute power.
Following the military defeat of Germany in World War II, the party was declared illegal. The Allies attempted to purge German society of Nazi elements in a process known as denazification. Several top leaders were tried and found guilty of crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg trials, and executed. The use of symbols associated with the party is still outlawed in many European countries, including Germany and Austria.
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