Portal:Nazism

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Nazism

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National Socialism, more commonly known as Nazism, is the ideology and set of practices associated with the 20th-century German Nazi Party, Nazi Germany, and other far-right groups. Sometimes characterised as a form of fascism that incorporates scientific racism and antisemitism, Nazism's development was influenced by German nationalism (especially Pan-Germanism), the Völkisch movement and the anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary groups that emerged during the Weimar Republic after Germany's defeat in First World War.

Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are common names for Germany during the period from 1933 to 1945, when its government was controlled by Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), commonly known as the Nazi Party. On 30 January 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Thereafter, the Nazi Party began to quickly eliminate all political opposition and consolidate their power. The Gestapo (secret state police) and SS under Heinrich Himmler destroyed the dissenting liberal, socialist, and communist political parties, and oversaw the persecution and mass murder of Jews throughout Nazi-occupied territories. The other Nazi paramilitary organization was the SA. The state idolized Hitler as its Führer ("leader"). Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the state. The Germanic peoples—also referred to as the Nordic race—were considered by the Nazis to be the purest representation of Aryanism, and therefore the master race. Concentration camps, established as early as 1933, were used to hold political prisoners and opponents of the regime. The number of camps quadrupled between 1939 and 1942 to 300+, as slave-laborers from across Europe, Jews, political prisoners, criminals, homosexuals, gypsies, the mentally ill and others were imprisoned. The system which began as an instrument of political oppression culminated in the mass genocide of Jews and others deemed undesirable in the Holocaust. The nazis persecuted and murdered homosexuals, members of the catholic church and Polish. Nazis also practiced eugenics and engaged in acts described as war crimes.

Germany made increasingly aggressive demands, threatening war if they were not met. Britain and France responded with appeasement, hoping Hitler would finally be satisfied. Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, starting World War II in Europe. In alliance with Benito Mussolini's Italy, Germany conquered France and most of Europe by 1940, and threatened its remaining major foe: Great Britain. People in occupied territories were subjected to forced labour. After the german invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the tide turned against the Third Reich with the major military defeats of the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk in 1943. The Soviet counter-attacks became the largest land battles in history. Nazi Germany engaged in a policy of deliberate maltreatment of Soviet prisoners of war. Germany was overrun in 1945 by the Soviets from the east and the Allies from the west. After the surrender of Nazi Germany, the victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put the Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials.

Neo-Nazism borrows elements from Nazi doctrine, including ultranationalism, racism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, antiziganism, antisemitism, and initiating the Fourth Reich. Holocaust denial is a common feature, as is the incorporation of Nazi symbols and admiration of Adolf Hitler. Neo-Nazi activity is a global phenomenon, with organized representation in many countries, as well as international networks. In some European and Latin American countries, laws have been enacted that prohibit the expression of pro-Nazi, racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic views. Many Nazi-related symbols are banned in European countries in an effort to curtail neo-Nazism.

Selected article

After German doctors became the first to identify the link between smoking and lung cancer, Germany initiated a strong anti-tobacco movement and led the first public anti-smoking campaign in modern history. Anti-tobacco movements grew in many nations from the beginning of the 20th century, but these had little success, except in Germany, where the campaign was supported by the government after the Nazis came to power. It was the most powerful anti-smoking movement in the world during the 1930s and early 1940s. The National Socialist leadership condemned smoking and several of them openly criticized tobacco consumption. Research on smoking and its effects on health thrived under Nazi rule and was the most important of its type at that time. Adolf Hitler's personal distaste for tobacco and the Nazi reproductive policies were among the motivating factors behind their campaign against smoking.

The Nazi anti-tobacco campaign included banning smoking in trams, buses and city trains, promoting health education, limiting cigarette rations in the Wehrmacht, organizing medical lectures for soldiers, and raising the tobacco tax. The National Socialists also imposed restrictions on tobacco advertising and smoking in public spaces, and regulated restaurants and coffeehouses. The anti-tobacco movement did not have much effect in the early years of the Nazi regime and tobacco use increased between 1933 and 1939, Even by the end of the 20th century, the anti-smoking movement in postwar Germany had not attained the influence of the Nazi anti-smoking campaign.


Selected biography

Albert Speer (1933)
Albert Speer (1905 - 1981) was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office. As "the Nazi who said sorry", he accepted responsibility at the Nuremberg trials and in his memoirs for crimes of the Nazi regime. His level of involvement in the persecution of the Jews and his level of knowledge of the Holocaust remain matters of dispute.

As Hitler's Minister of Armaments and War Production, Speer was so successful that Germany's war production continued to increase despite massive and devastating Allied bombing. After the war, he was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the Nazi regime, principally for the use of forced labor. He served his full sentence, most of it at Spandau Prison in West Berlin.


Selected quote

The fact that we had chosen red as the colour for our posters sufficed to attract them to our meetings. The ordinary bourgeoisie were very shocked to see that, we had also chosen the symbolic red of Bolshevism and they regarded this as something ambiguously significant. The suspicion was whispered in German Nationalist circles that we also were merely another variety of Marxism, perhaps even Marxists suitably disguised, or better still, Socialists. The actual difference between Socialism and Marxism still remains a mystery to these people up to this day. The charge of Marxism was conclusively proved when it was discovered that at our meetings we deliberately substituted the words ‘Fellowcountrymen and Women’ for ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ and addressed each other as ‘Party Comrade’. We used to roar with laughter at these silly faint-hearted bourgeoisie and their efforts to puzzle out our origin, our intentions and our aims.

We chose red for our posters after particular and careful deliberation, our intention being to irritate the Left, so as to arouse their attention and tempt them to come to our meetings - if only in order to break them up - so that in this way we got a chance of talking to the people. In those years’ it was indeed a delightful experience to follow the constantly changing tactics of our perplexed and helpless adversaries. First of all they appealed to their followers to ignore us and keep away from our meetings. Generally speaking this appeal was heeded. But, as time went on, more and more of their followers gradually found their way to us and accepted our teaching. Then the leaders became nervous and uneasy. They clung to their belief that such a development should not be ignored for ever, and that terror must be applied in order to put an end to it.

Appeals were then made to the ‘class-conscious proletariat’ to attend our meetings in masses and strike with the clenched hand of the proletarian at the representatives of a ‘monarchist and reactionary agitation’.

— Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)
Mein Kampf , 1925

Selected picture

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2004-0014, Nürnberg, Reichsparteitag, HJ-Aufmarsch.jpg

Nuremberg Rally

Selected battle

December 1941. Fresh forces going to the front from Moscow.
The Battle of Moscow refers to two periods of strategically significant fighting on a 600 km (370 mi) sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942. The Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitler's attack on Moscow, capital of the USSR and the largest Soviet city. Moscow was one of the primary military and political objectives for Axis forces in their invasion of the Soviet Union.

Initially, the Soviet forces conducted a strategic defence of the Moscow Oblast by constructing three defensive belts, and deploying newly raised reserve armies as well as bringing troops from the Siberian and Far Eastern Military Districts. Subsequently, as the German offensives were halted, a Soviet strategic counter-offensive and smaller-scale offensive operations were executed to force German armies back to the positions around the cities of Oryol, Vyazma and Vitebsk, nearly surrounding three German armies in the process.


Selected battleship

The Bismark in 1940
Bismarck was the first of two Bismarck-class battleships built for the German Kriegsmarine. Named after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the primary force behind the unification of Germany in 1871, the ship was laid down at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in July 1936 and launched two and a half years later in February 1939. Work was completed in August 1940, when she was commissioned into the German fleet. Bismarck and her sister ship Tirpitz were the largest battleships ever built by Germany, and two of the largest built by any European power. She was destroyed by a pair of British battleships on 27 May 1941.

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