Reading

Nazi Party Platform

In February 1920, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) came up with a 25-point program. Included in the party’s new program were the following points:

  1. A union of all Germans to from a great Germany on the basis of the right to self-determination of peoples.
  2. Abolition of the Treaty of Versailles.
  3. Land and territory (colonies) for our surplus population.
  4. German blood as a requirement for German citizenship. No Jew can be a member of the nation.
  5. Non-citizens can live in Germany only as foreigners, subject to the law of aliens.
  6. Only citizens can vote or hold public office.
  7. The state insures that every citizen live decently and earn his livelihood. If it is impossible to provide food for the whole population, then aliens must be expelled.
  8. No further immigration of non-Germans. Any non-German who entered Germany after August 2,1914, shall leave immediately.
  9. A thorough reconstruction of our national system of education. The science of citizenship shall be taught from the beginning.
  10. All newspapers must be published in the German language by German citizens and owners.

Connection Questions

  1. Some documents have to be studied carefully. The Nazi program is one of those documents. Divide into groups and focus on two or three points. As you study them, consider these questions:
    • What is the aim of this particular point? What key phrases provide clues to its meaning?
    • To whom will this particular point appeal? Why?
    • If the word American were substituted for the term German, would your opinion of any point change? Which point or points?
    • Do you think that any of these ideas would be acceptable to people today? If so, which one or ones?
  2. To many people in the 1920s, the Nazi platform did not seem to be the work of an extremist group. What parts of the document may have seemed most reasonable?
  3. Is it possible to accept the good parts of the Nazi program and overlook the bad parts? What are the advantages of doing so? The risks?

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