Who Financed Hitler? Demystification of the Birth and Funding of the NSDAP

Adolf Hitler

Hitler salutes marching National Socialists in Weimar, October 1930.
Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-10541 / Unknown / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Demystification of the Birth and Funding of the NSDAP

V.K. Clark


What exactly did the NSDAP (National Socialist German Worker’s Party) represent and who were its founding members? Why and how did Adolf Hitler transform the party from an unimpressive proletariat workers’ party to a full-fledged political machine that obtained absolute power in Germany? Perhaps more important, how was it funded? We answer these questions in this introduction. But first, we begin with an examination of the early stages of the NSDAP and its recruiting process. One must understand how this process unfolded if one is to understand the NSDAP’s position on Judaism and Freemasonry as well as the prevailing social and political order of the day. Naturally, we also reveal some of the other important aspects of its early development, which necessitates a fair amount of myth busting about Hitler, including who actually gave him money.

Triumvirate: Leadership, development and unity

Adolf Hitler, contrary to his own self-myths and the myths of others, was not poor—at least not until he had drained his savings and entitlements gallivanting in Vienna. Many historians have written that Hitler simply lived day-to-day wasting both his money and time, but in so doing they overlook Hitler’s experiences and ‘life education’ that later played such an important role in the development and direction of National Socialism as well as the Second World War. The development and direction of both can be traced to Hitler’s experiences during those “lost” years.

Hitler, like so many other young German men and women of his day, fell from middle-class status into that of the “wretched proletariat.” This was something that young Hitler refused to accept. He was deeply embittered by his Vienna experiences, which offered false promises of prosperity and hope for young people with enough willpower and talent. The prevailing dissonance of the time and place in which he grew up inculcated in him a burning desire to change these circumstances, which is precisely what he did after 1933. Hitler was so resentful of the class-ridden society that was Vienna, and Austria and Europe generally, that one of his key aims throughout both the peace and war years was cultivating a system of merit. One’s birth station was not what mattered. What mattered were one’s talent, loyalty, dependability and fortitude, notably in the face of adversity and uncertainty. Hitler was able to overcome most imbedded class barriers in two distinct ways:

1.   He recruited both men and women from all social classes and accordingly tailored his speech and disposition to each, depending on his/her social standing.

2.   He supplanted economic valuation with racial valuation.

Let’s look at the first point. Hitler needed the broadest spectrum of German society he could get, so this meant that he needed to appeal to men, women, young, old, wealthy, poor, unemployed and employed alike. Women were amongst Hitler’s most devoted and fervent supporters in the early years. So were low-wage earners, small businessmen and foreign nobles, such as White Russian émigrés who wished to see the return of the Russian monarchy. They provided Hitler with a physical audience, elite and business connections and monetary support, most of which ended up being granted in the form of loans. Hitler needed industrialists as much as he needed the workers, elites and disenfranchised foreigners. Since his goal was to raise the station of all lower-class ethnic Germans, he had to win them all together, which required a strategy of multi-class appeal. When he met and spoke with counts, duchesses and other members of the former royalty, he addressed them in a royal manner. His etiquette, speech and personal manners proved impeccable in such company. When he met or spoke with industrialists, such as Fritz Thyssen, he tailored his behavior and manner to match that of the hopes and fears of industrialist Germany. At the same time he was careful to scale back his socialistic language in such company, so that the industrialists would not misidentify him as a Marxist-Communist. He had to convince them that he would crush Marxist-Communism and uphold their industrial power base in the face of the growing mass of disenchanted, underpaid workers who felt they were being cheated and exploited by German industry. Whenever things got economically tough, the workers suffered wage and benefit cuts. They blamed the industrialists, but Hitler saw that the industrialists were also suffering: many went bankrupt during the inflation as well as during the Great Depression. The crippling Versailles reparations forced most German industrialists and exporters into an untenable economic position, which in turn harmed German workers. This meant that Hitler had to at least hint at future German rearmament, which was covertly occurring anyway. On the other hand, Hitler had to promise the workers, his single largest and most important support base in almost every respect in the formative years, that he would not allow the state or industry to exploit them or continue treating them as automatons. We can see that balancing the wants and needs of these three core sectors of class-ridden Germany was far from simple. But Hitler did it, and nearly bloodlessly (relative to the Communist revolutions in Russia and throughout Eastern Europe).

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