The rise of the Nazi movement in French-occupied Germany : the Palatinate in crisis, 1918-1933 / by Dieter K. Kuntz.
This is a case study of the rise and development of National Socialism in the Palatinate region of Germany from its origins in 1921 to the seizure of power by the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) in early 1933. It is the purpose of this work to discover how and why Nationalism Socialism took root in the Palatinate, and who its members and supporters were. This account of the Palatine NSDAP shows that the roots of the party can be traced to a number of volkisch forerunners in the region who provided not only the first leaders and membership nuclei of the Nazi movement, but also passed on ideological concepts and initial organizational structures. New leadership emerged in the post-Putsch period that took the party beyond its volkisch base of support, adopted modern propaganda approaches and vastly expanded the organizational network to reach a much larger and more varied audience. The rise of the NSDAP in the Palatinate was due to its ability to attract support from a variety of social classes. The party's membership base was gradually expanded during the early 1930s to include large representation from the lower class and from agricultural circles to become a "multi-class" party. The Palatine Nazi party's constituency was much more encompassing than that of other class-based parties, giving the party justification for its claim to be a Volkspartei. Although the leadership of the party was heavily recruited from the ranks of the middle class, the rank-and-file membership and Nazi voting support reflected a much broader social spectrum. Lower class representation was especially strong in the party's auxiliaries, the SA, SS, and Hitler Youth. The impact of the French occupation on the growth of the extremely nationalist Palatine Nazi party is also assessed. This work demonstrates that the French occupation was not a stimulant to the growth of the Nazi party in the Palatinate, but instead served to inhibit its development. The economic issues of the early 1930's were paramount in attracting popular support to the Nazi party in this region.
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