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Hitler added to Pan-Germanic aspirations the almost mystical fanaticism of a faith in the mission of the German race and the fervour of a social revolutionary gospel.
These appeals for national aggrandizement were accompanied by a strident anti-Semitic rhetoric.
The party’s socialist orientation was basically a demagogic gambit designed to attract support from the working class.
Rejecting rationalism, liberalism, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and all movements of international cooperation and peace, it stressed instinct, the subordination of the individual to the state, and the necessity of blind and unswerving obedience to leaders appointed from above.
It also emphasized the inequality of men and races and the right of the strong to rule the weak; sought to purge or suppress competing political, religious, and social institutions; advanced an ethic of hardness and ferocity; and partly destroyed class distinctions by drawing into the movement misfits and failures from all social classes.
Further reinforcements came from such 19th-century intellectual figures as the comte de Gobineau (1816–82), Richard Wagner (1813–83), and Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855–1927), all of whom greatly influenced early National Socialism with their claims of the racial and cultural superiority of the “Nordic” (Germanic) peoples over all other Europeans and all other races.
Hitler’s intellectual viewpoint was influenced during his youth not only by these currents in the German tradition but also by specific Austrian movements that professed various political sentiments, notably those of pan-Germanic expansionism and anti-Semitism.The significant resentment expressed toward the peace treaty gave Hitler a starting point.Because German representatives (branded the “November criminals” by National Socialists) agreed to cease hostilities and did not unconditionally surrender in the armistice of November 11, 1918, there was a widespread feeling—particularly in the military—that Germany’s defeat had been orchestrated by diplomats at the Versailles meetings.Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!Nazi Party, byname of National Socialist German Workers’ Party, German Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), political party of the mass movement known as National Socialism.That year Hitler also formulated a 25-point program that became the permanent basis for the party.The program called for German abandonment of the Treaty of Versailles and for the expansion of German territory.Under the leadership of Anton Drexler, a Munich locksmith, in 1919.Hitler attended one of its meetings that year, and before long his energy and oratorical skills would enable him to take over the party, which was renamed National Socialist German Workers’ Party in 1920.In almost every respect it was an anti-intellectual and atheoretical movement, emphasizing the will of the charismatic dictator as the sole source of inspiration of a people and a nation, as well as a vision of annihilation of all enemies of the Aryan Nazism had peculiarly German roots.It can be partly traced to the Prussian tradition as developed under Frederick William I (1688–1740), Frederick the Great (1712–68), and Otto von Bismarck (1815–98), which regarded the militant spirit and the discipline of the Prussian army as the model for all individual and civic life.