Political Platform of the Original NSDAP
by Gottfried Feder
The following material has been abstracted and translated from the 17th edition of Gottfried Feder’s pamphlet, Das Programm der NSDAP und seine weltanschaulichen Grundgedanken (Munich, 1930). The Twenty-five Points, constituting the political platform of the Party, have been given here in complete form, exactly as originally published, except for their translation into English. The remaining material from the 52-page pamphlet has been considerably condensed, however.
The program of the NSDAP is presented here strictly for historical reasons. The Party program, as distinct from the philosophical foundations of National Socialism, was intimately bound and constrained by the immediate political, economic, and social circumstances and conditions of Germany some seven decades ago. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see just what was the content of the program which led to the Party’s success in Germany.
Liberal elements labeled the program “reactionary.” And conservative elements labeled it “socialist” (i.e. “Marxist”). The two most widely read “authorities” on the subject, namely, W. L. Shirer and Alan Bullock, vehemently denounced the Twenty-five Points in their books but have been careful to avoid actually setting forth those Points so that their readers could judge for themselves.
Here they are.
PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST GERMAN WORKERS PARTY
The National Socialist German Workers Party registered as the “National Socialist German Workers Union” at a great mass meeting on February 25, 1920, in the Hofbrauhaus-Festsaal in Munich, announced its program to the world.
In Section 2 of the Constitution of our Party this program is declared to be unalterable. It is as follows:
The program of the German Workers Party is limited as to period. The leaders have no intention, once the aims announced in it have been achieved, of setting up fresh ones in order to ensure the continued existence of the Party by the artificially inspired discontent of the masses.
1. We demand the union of all Germans, on the basis of the right of the self-determination of peoples, to form a Great Germany.
2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in its dealings with other nations, and abolition of the Peace Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.
3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the nourishment of our people and for settling our surplus population.
4. None but members of the nation may be citizens of the State. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation.
5. Anyone who is not a citizen of the State may live in Germany only as a guest and must be regarded as being subject to the Alien Laws.
6. The right of voting on the leadership and laws of the State is to be enjoyed by the citizens of the State alone. We demand, therefore, that all official positions, of whatever kind, whether in the Reich, the provinces, or the small communities, shall be held by citizens of the State alone. We oppose the corrupt parliamentary custom of filling posts merely with a view to party considerations, and without reference to character or ability.
7. We demand that the State shall make it its first duty to promote the industry and livelihood of the citizens of the State. If it is not possible to nourish the entire population of the State, foreign national (non-citizens of the State) must be excluded from the Reich.
8. All further non-German immigration must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who entered Germany subsequently to August 2, 1914, shall be required forthwith to depart from the Reich.
9. All citizens of the State shall possess equal rights and duties.
10. It must be the first duty of every citizen of the State to perform mental or physical work. The activities of the individual must not clash with the interests of the whole, but must proceed within the framework of the community and must be for the general good.
We Demand Therefore:
11. Abolition of incomes unearned by work. BREAKING OF THE THRALDOM OF INTEREST.
12. In view of the enormous sacrifice of life and property demanded of a nation by every war, personal enrichment through war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. We demand, therefore, the total confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have (hitherto) been amalgamated (into trusts).
14. We demand that there shall be profit sharing in the great industries.
15. We demand a generous development of provision for old age.
16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, immediate communalization of the large department stores and their lease at a low rate to small traders, and that the most careful consideration shall be shown to all small traders in purveying to the State, the provinces, or smaller communities.
17. We demand a land reform suitable to our national requirements, the passing of a law for the confiscation without compensation of land for communal purposes, the abolition of interest on land mortgages, and prohibition of all speculation in land.
On April 13, 1928, Adolf Hitler made the following elucidation to the program:
“Because of the mendacious interpretations on the part of our opponents of Point 17 of the program of the NSDAP, the following explanation is necessary: Because the NSDAP is fundamentally based on the principle of private property, it is obvious that the expression “confiscation without compensation” refers merely to the creation of possible legal means of confiscating when necessary, land illegally acquired, or not administered in accordance with the national welfare. It is therefore directed in the first instance against the Jewish companies which speculate in land.
18. We demand ruthless war upon all those whose activities are injurious to the common interest. Sordid criminals against the nation, usurers, profiteers, etc., must be punished with death, whatever their creed or race.
19. We demand that the Roman law, which serves the materialistic world order, shall be replaced by a German common law.
20. With the aim of opening to every capable and industrious German the possibility of higher education and consequent advancement to leading positions, the State must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education. The curriculum of all educational establishments must be brought into line with the requirements of practical life. Directly the mind begins to develop the schools must aim at teaching the pupil to understand the idea of the State (State sociology). We demand the education of specially gifted children of poor parents, whatever their class or occupation, at the expense of the State.
21. The State must apply itself to raising the standard of health in the nation by protecting mothers and infants, prohibiting child labor, and increasing bodily efficiency by legally obligatory gymnastics and sports, and by extensive support of clubs engaged in the physical training of the young.
22. We demand the abolition of mercenary troops and the formation of a national army.
23. We demand legal warfare against conscious political lies and their dissemination in the press. In order to facilitate the creation of a German national press we demand that: (a) all editors, and their coworkers, of newspapers employing the German language must be members of the nation; (b) special permission from the State shall be necessary before non-German newspapers may appear (these need not necessarily be printed in the German language); ( c ) non-Germans shall be prohibited by law from participating financially in or influencing German newspapers, and the penalty for contravention of the shall be suppression of any such newspaper, and immediate deportation of the non-German involved It must be forbidden to publish newspapers which are damaging to the national welfare. We demand the legal prosecution of all tendencies in art and literature which exert a destructive influence on our national life and the closing of institutions which militate against the above-mentioned requirements.
24. We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the moral and ethical feelings of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent recovery from within only on the principle: THE COMMON INTEREST BEFORE SELF-INTEREST.
25. That all the foregoing requirements may be realized we demand the creation of a strong, central national authority; unconditional authority of the central legislative body over the entire Reich and its organizations in general; and the formation of diets and vocational chambers for the purpose of executing the general laws promulgated by the Reich in the various States of the Confederation. The leaders of the Party swear to proceed regardless of consequences if necessary at the sacrifice of their lives toward the fulfillment of the foregoing Points.
Munich, February 24, 1920.
After full discussion at the general meeting of members on May 22, 1920, it was resolved that “This program is unalterable.” This does not imply that every word must stand unchanged, nor that any efforts to extend or develop the program are to be prohibited, but it does imply that the principles and basic ideas contained in it are not to be tampered with.
There can be no twisting and turning for reasons of expediency, no secret meddling with the most important and for the present order of politics, society, and economics, most unwelcome points in the program; no deviation from its original sense.
Adolf Hitler has emphasized the two cornerstones of the program by printing them in heavy type:
THE COMMON INTEREST BEFORE SELF-INTEREST — THAT IS THE SPIRIT OF THE PROGRAM. BREAKING OF THE THRALDOM OF INTEREST — THAT IS THE KERNEL OF NATIONAL SOCIALISM.