• Art S.

Nazis Hold First Public Meeting, 1920

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

On This Day in Jewish History: February 24, 1920

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On this day, 1920, Adolf Hitler presented the 25 Point Program of the National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazi Party) to a meeting of 2,000 supporters and Party members in Munich at the first public Nazi rally in Germany. The Program served as an ideological road map for the Party’s agenda but its rhetoric concerning public welfare, later largely ignored, was overshadowed by the clearly antisemitic and racist tenets that were its foundation. The Program had two overriding concerns—concentrating power in the hands of the state and excluding Jews from German society. Throughout the 25 Point Program, Hitler and his associates emphasized a commitment to all things German in both racial and territorial terms. The right of self-determination was understood in terms of blood lines. Thus, Hitler declared, “None but the members of the nation may be citizens of the state. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed may be. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation.” Voting rights were thus to be stripped of the Jews, as were any benefits provided by the state for the welfare of livelihood and old-age protections. Furthermore, the Program demanded that all non-Germans who had emigrated to Germany since 1914 be forced to exit the country immediately. The Program took special aim at war profiteering and what it defined as non-laboring income, both of which were subtle attacks on the stereotypical assumptions about the role of Jews in the economy. Finally, the Program called for a Positive Christianity to take on “the Jewish-materialistic materialism spirit.” During the decade to follow, Hitler would refuse to revise the Program, insisting its points were inviolable. Declaring the ideas contained in the Program beyond reconsideration, as essential truths for Germany, was part of its propagandistic appeal. This meeting in Munich established the blueprint for the Party that would take power in Germany thirteen years later and launch a genocidal attack on the Jews of Europe.

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