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Hitler’s Party
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Hitler in Nuremberg
The Beginnings of the NSDAP
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Hitler’s Party
A copy of Hitler’s book.

Adolf Hitler became the leader of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (the NSDAP, or "National Socialist German Workers’ Party") in 1920. The party was small and obscure, until Hitler and his followers attempted to overthrow the German government in 1923.

Adolf Hitler jumped onto a table in a beer hall in Munich. He had a pistol in his hand and he shouted "I am the leader of the new government!" Hitler hoped that other people in the beer hall would join him and try to overthrow the German government. But the police arrested Hitler. He was imprisoned for five years and the NSDAP was banned.

« My Struggle »

In prison, Hitler wrote the book Mein Kampf ("My Struggle") about his life, his ideas and his plans for the future. In his book, Hitler called the Jews and the Communists the greatest enemies of the German people. According to him the only good people were members of the "Aryan race." He said that Jews, "Gypsies" and Black people were inferior. He also declared that the German people had to conquer other countries to gain Lebensraum ("Living space").

Disappointed Germans

Influential friends made sure that Hitler was released from prison after about seven months. He was forbidden to speak in public, but Mein Kampf became a bestseller. The book was especially popular with Germans who had grown bitter after the end of the First World War. Germany had lost the war and had to give up parts of its territory to neighboring countries. Germany’s economic situation was also dire. These disappointed Germans felt particularly attracted to Hitler’s ideas.

The largest party

The ban on the NSDAP was quickly lifted, because of the success of Mein Kampf and the NSDAP’s propaganda. Many Germans also cheered on the gangs of Nazi thugs who fought with trade unionists and Communists. In this way, the NSDAP gained the attention of many Germans. Hitler’s charisma and ranting speeches did the rest. Within a few years the NSDAP became a nationally-known party with a fast-growing following. In July 1932, the NSDAP won the elections and became the largest party in Germany. On 30 January 1933, Hitler was appointed the leader of Germany.
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This day in history
Today: 21 November 2018
Then: 20 November 1945

Leading Nazis are brought to trial in Nuremburg (Germany). Some are sentenced to death, others to long prison sentences.