“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hitler's Early Days Part II

Between December 1918 and March 1919 Hitler worked at a prisoner-of-war camp at Traunstein before returning again to Munich.
After he gave evidence at an investigation on which he had witnessed a takeover bid by local Communists,
he was asked to become part of a local army organization which was responsible for persuading returning soldiers not to turn to communism or pacifism.

During his training for this tasks and subsequent duties he was able to sharpen his oratory skills. Part of his duties was to spy on certain local political groups, and during a meeting of the German Workers' Party he became so furious by one of the speeches that he delivered an angry tirade to the speaker. The founder of the party, Anion Drexler, was so impressed by Hitler's tirade that he asked him to join their organization. He finally agreed to join the committee and became their seventh official in September 1919.

Hitler was given responsibility for publicity and propaganda, and first succeeded in attracting over a hundred people to a meeting in held October where he delivered his first speech to a large audience. The meeting and his elocution were a great success, and afterwards in February 1920 he organized a much larger event for a crowd of nearly two thousand in the Munich Hofbrauhaus. Hitler himself was not the main speaker, but when his turn came he calmed a rowdy audience and presented a twenty-five point programme of ideas which were to be the basis of the party. The name of the party was itself changed to the National Socialist German Workers Party (or Nazi for short) on April 1st 1920.

Not long after the February speech he was discharged from the army. Hitler continued to expand his influence in the party and began to form a private group of thugs which he used to quell disorder at party meetings and later to break up rival party's meetings. This group later became the Sturmabteilung or S.A. - Hitler's brown shirted storm troopers. He also became the regular speaker at party events from then on, attracting large crowds for each meeting. During the summer of 1920 Hitler chose the swastika as the Nazi party emblem.

1 comment:

Marmelade said...

he was a gifted speaker, indeed!


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