The National Socialist German Workers' Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), abbreviated NSDAP), commonly known in English as the Nazi Party (from the German Nazi, abbreviated from the pronunciation of Nationalsozialist) is the ruling party of Germany. It has ruled Germany in a one-party dictatorship since 1933.
Nazi ideology stressed the failures of laissez-faire capitalism, communism, economic liberalism, and democracy; advocated Positive Christianity; supported the "racial purity of the German people" and that of other Northwestern Europeans; and claimed itself as the protector of Germany from Jewish influence and corruption. The Nazis persecuted those they perceived as either race enemies or Lebensunwertes Leben, that is "life unworthy of living". This included Jews, Slavs, Roma, and so-called "Mischlinge" along with Communists, homosexuals, the mentally and physically disabled, and others. The persecution reached its climax when the party and the German state which it controlled organized the systematic murder of approximately six million Jews and six million other people from the other targeted groups, in what has become known as the Holocaust. Hitler's desire to build a German empire through expansionist policies led to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
The titular leader of the NSDAP is "Der Ewige Führer" (The Eternal Führer), Adolf Hitler. After Hitler's death in 1968, no one dared use the title "Führer", therefore at the top of the modern National Socialist Party is the Party Chairman. The Party Chairman is always the reigning Reichskanzler (Reich Chancellor). His Party duties are organised by the Kanzlei des Vorsitzenden der Partei (Chancellory of the Party Chairman).
Under the Party Chairman are the Reichsleiters. Reichsleiters are responsible to the Chairman personally, and fulfill tasks in the entire competency assigned by the Chairman. Reichsleiters also lead party organisations. For example, the Reichsführer-SS also holds the party rank of Reichsleiter.
Below the Reichsleiters, there was the Nazi Party's regional organisation, the Political Leadership Corps. The Political Leadership Corps enforce Nazi doctrine, and ran local government affairs in accordance with instructions from the Nazi Party. They are organised geographically. The largest unit is the Gau controlled by a Gauleiter. Gauleiters are responsible to the Party Chairman for political affairs and the Reich President (advised by the Reich Chancellor) in local administrative affairs. Gauleiters have almost absolute control of their regions, and often countermand the orders of State Ministries. In accordance with Führerprinzip, Gauleiters are virtually never reprimanded or punished for disobeying Ministries. The Ministries are expected to force compliance with instructions from Berlin.
A Gau (or Reichsgau) is subdivided into several Circles (Kreie) controlled by a Kreisleiter. Within each Kreis was several Ortsgruppen lead by an Ortsgruppenleiter. The Ortsgruppe would consist of several small towns or part of a large city. Ortsgruppen are divided into Zellen which contain 4-8 city blocks or a corresponding number households in a smaller town. The Zelienleiter controls the Zelle. At the bottom of the Political Leadership Corps is the Blockleiter, who controls 40-60 households.
The Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadron) is the most important Nazi Party organisation. Although the SS is called the Schutzstaffel der NSDAP, it is essentially independent. Its primary purpose is protection of the regime. To this end it runs the German Police Forces, has its own army (the Waffen-SS, and runs a network of concentration camps for enemies of the Reich.
The Sturmabteilung (Storm Troopers) was the group that enabled Hitler to take the streets for the NSDAP in their struggle for power. Its uniform gave the SA the nickname "Brownshirts". It later became a type of "People's Army". During 1934, it was decapitated, and became irrelevant for the rest of the 1930s. After the war, the SA was revived as a "Home Guard". Germans who had finished their military service, and their compulsory stint in the reserves could join the SA. The SA also took responsibility for pre-military training in German schools. It effectively functions as the NSDAP's non-independent private army.
The Hitler Youth is the Nazi Party youth movement. It is the sole legal youth organisation in Germany. Joining is compulsory for German children. It is the second oldest Nazi Party organisation (one year younger than the SA). It consists of three organisations; the Hitler Youth (boys 14-18), the Deutsches Jungvolk (boys 10-14), and the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM, the League of German Girls) (girls 10-18)
It is organised on para-military lines with regional commands across the Reich. National camps are held annually at which large numbers of Hitler Youths come together. These often coincide with the annual "Party Week". Typical local activities include parades, marches, weekend field camps, community work, and visits to military bases. Specialised air, motorised, and naval sections of the Hitler Youth are designed to promote professional membership of the Army, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe. All Hitler Youth formations carry out general military training.
The BDM's program consists of campfire romanticism, summer camps, folklorism, tradition, and sport to educate girls within the National Socialist belief system, and to train them for their roles in German society: wife, mother, and homemaker. Community work is also common, as is farm labour.
German Labour FrontEdit
The German Labour Front (German: Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF) is the National Socialist trade union organisation which replaced the various trade unions of the Weimar Republic after Adolf Hitler's rise to power. All German workers in the private sector are members, as are practically all employers. The German Labour Front in theory acts as a medium between workers and employers. In practice, it tells employers what they will provide, and tells workers what they must accept. The DAF also regiments a workers life. Under the organisation Kraft durch Freude (KdF; Strength through Joy), workers can access cheap, highly organised holidays. They also provide hobby organisations. The DAF is one oh the most important tools in the Nazi drive to control every aspect of German life.
Reich Federation of German Civil ServantsEdit
The Reich Federation of German Civil Servants is Germany's civil servant's trade union.
National Socialist Flyers CorpsEdit
The National Socialist Flyers Corps' primary function is to act as an aviation arm to the Waffen-SS and to the Reich Security Main Office. In effect, it combines an Army Aviation Corps with a Police Aviation Service. It uses the same aircraft as the Army, plus several civilian types for policing. It also provides a reserve to the Luftwaffe, and organises recreational flying in Germany. The Special Transport Section of the NSFK provides air transport to the Nazi Party where the use of Luftwaffe aircraft is not appropriate. All Special Transport Section personnel are Air Force reservists. NSFK paramilitary units man fixed short to medium range air defences in German cities. These weapons are usually a generation behind those used by the Luftwaffe, and some date back to the late-1950s.
National Socialist Motor CorpsEdit
The National Socialist Motor Corps is the motor transport organisation of the Nazi Party. It operates the motor vehicle fleet of the Party (as well as for parts of the civil Reich Administration), and provides roadside assistance to German motorists. It has some paramilitary units equipped with older armoured vehicles to provide armoured support to the SA's home defence units.
National Socialist Sea CorpsEdit
The National Socialist Sea Corps is the maritime organisation of the NSDAP. Its primary job is to provide coastal and river patrol craft. It also provides a beach and pool lifesaver service, as well as a series of sailing clubs throughout Germany. The NSSK also provides swimming instruction for children.
National Socialist German Students' LeagueEdit
The National Socialist German Students' League was Germany's university student union. It serves to organise campus life in accordance with Nazi principles. All German university students must be members.
National Socialist Teachers LeagueEdit
The National Socialist Teachers League organises all German school teachers towards teaching the Nazi world view. It is impossible to work as a German teacher without a good membership record.
National Socialist German University Lecturers LeagueEdit
This is the university counterpart to the National Socialist Teachers League.
National Socialist League of the Reich for Physical ExerciseEdit
This is the Nazi sporting association. It governs all professional and amateur sport in Germany. It runs the German Football Association and other sporting bodies. It also organises all European Olympics and the German Olympic Team. It is banned from the Free World Games due to several cases of steroid abuse.
National Socialist German Doctors' AssociationEdit
This organisation controls all German doctors not working for the government (i.e. it has no influence over the SS Medical Corps, or the Army Medical Corps).
National Socialist Lawyers LeagueEdit
This controls all German lawyers outside the Wehrmacht.