Very little is known about the Weimar Republic and its public life. Although the entire decade of the existence of this state, the political arena was full of organizations of various kinds. The study of the German National People's Party requires special attention.
How did it all start?
The history of the Nazi regime in Germany is not as simple as most people think. The tendency to exaggerate the role of Hitler in the formation of such a regime does not allow us to see that, in fact, the specific historical conditions and requests of the elite pushed the future Fuhrer to power.
One of the pages of the history of the nationalist movement in Germany was the activity of the German National People's Party.
Reliance on financial capital
The history of Germany is largely tragic. The formation of new economic relations went with great difficulty. The influence of the old feudal elite right up to the collapse of the Third Reich was incredibly large. The old aristocracy was mostly nationalistic. Especially such sentiments increased after the defeat of Germany in the First World War. The elite, humiliated by the current state of affairs, wished for the revival of the German nation, or rather, a return to the times of the Golden Age.
This situation prompted the creation of many "patriotic" organizations. The German National People's Party appeared in November 1918. It was based on monopolists and junkers.
Revival of the empire - the basis of the program
The backbone of the new party came from the German Conservative Party, the Imperial Party and other political movements oriented to the past.
One of the key requirements of the nostalgic elite is the installation of a monarchical system. The power of the emperor, according to nationalists, could raise Germany from its knees.
Xenophobia as a scrap of society
The People’s National Party successfully played on the feelings of the Germans, who, in the defeat of Kaiser Germany, saw a blow to their own pride. Like successive imperials, organization leaders opposed parliamentarism. However, this did not prevent them from participating in the elections.
Campaign materials produced by the German People’s National Party were characterized by frantic chauvinism and anti-Semitism. As you can see, in this path the National Socialists were by no means innovators.
Gradually, harsh monarchist rhetoric was replaced only by the demand for the establishment of an authoritarian state. This turn is largely due to the electoral defeat suffered by the People’s Party. There was no national unity in weakened Germany: conservatives, fascist organizations and communists fought for the votes of voters. The NNP, led by Hugenberg, moved from demanding the restoration of the emperor’s sole rule to tough nationalism. Since 1928, the party began to collaborate with the National Socialists, who were gaining popularity among the lower and middle layers.
Popularity among Germans
Nazi populism allowed them to gain support from the petty bourgeois, peasants and partially workers. This could not boast of NNP. Her popularity has fallen and fallen. In the parliamentary elections in 1924, the party received 21% of the vote. In 1928, this figure fell to 14%.
The NSDAP was less aristocratic, in its speeches its leaders addressed, above all, ordinary Germans, playing on sympathies for socialism. NNP has become a party of mostly wealthy people. The decline in popularity played an important role in the imminent self-dissolution of the organization.
Alfred Hugenberg - leader of the NNP
The last and perhaps the most famous leader of the People's National Party was Alfred Hugenberg. Having received a law degree, the future chairman of the NNP defended the interests of the Germans in the courts. The aim of his life, he considered the fight against Poland.
Hugenberg was always interested in politics, and the People’s National Party seemed to him the most correct from ideological points of view. He began to represent NNP in parliament from the moment of its foundation in 1918. He was appointed chairman of the party at the most difficult time for her - in 1928, when popularity fell sharply by almost half.
The best solution, according to Hugenberg, was cooperation with the Nazis. The radical views of the leader of the NNP did not contradict the rhetoric of the NSDAP. After the dissolution of his native party, Hugenberg began working in the Hitler government.
In 1931, together with the militarized group Steel Helmet, the Pan-German Union and the Nazis, the NNP formed the Harzburg Front alliance. The People’s National Party tried to control the NSDAP. This initiative, of course, did not strengthen the power of a weak NNP. The Nazis, on the other hand, gained access to even greater funding and increased their own respectability in the eyes of the public.
The last days of NNP
In the recent parliamentary elections in the Weimar Republic, NNP received a critically small number of votes. In the coalition with the Nazis, she played a secondary role.
The party supported the law, which transferred all power to Hitler. In 1933, the People’s National Party self-dissolved. Many of its members joined the NSDAP.