German National Socialist Party

The German National Socialist Workers' Party, known as the Nazi Party, was a German political party that operated between 1919 and 1945.
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| 17/07/2020 | Last update:


Political party founded in 1919 by Anton Drexler as the German Workers’ Party. In 1920 it changed its name to the National Socialist Party of German Workers (NSDAP).

The Nazi Party, as it was popularly known, became a mass movement. It ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945 under the leadership of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945).

Its ideological roots were in anti-Semitism and German nationalism. It grew up around unrest and discontent with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. This 1919 peace agreement had ended the First World War (1914-1918)

Adolf Hitler joined the party in which it was founded and became its leader in 1921. In 1933, he became Chancellor of Germany and his Nazi government soon assumed dictatorial powers.

The National Socialist Party during World War II

In early 1942, at the Wannsee Conference held near Berlin, the Nazi Party decided on the last phase of what it called the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Question“. It was the planning to carry out the systematic murder of all European Jews in the Holocaust.

Between 1942 and 1943, thousands of Jews from occupied countries in the west, such as France and Belgium, were deported by the thousands to concentration and extermination camps throughout Europe. In Poland, huge extermination camps like Auschwitz began to operate with ruthless efficiency.

The killing of Jews in German-occupied lands stopped only in the last months of the war when the withdrawal of the German armies began. By the time Hitler committed suicide in April 1945, some 6 million Jews had died.

The Denazification of Germany

After Germany’s defeat in World War II (1939-45), the German National Socialist Party was outlawed. Many of its top officials were convicted of war crimes related to the murder of 6 million European Jews during the Holocaust.

The party’s swastika flag quickly became the symbol of evil in modern post-war culture. Although Hitler committed suicide, several Nazi officials were convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.

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