Gottfried Feder

Gottfried Feder (27 January 1883 – 24 September 1941) was a German civil engineer, a self-taught economist and one of the early key members of the Nazi Party. He was their economic theoretician. It was one of his lectures, delivered in 1919, that drew Hitler into the party.[1]

Gottfried Feder
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R16259, Gottfried Feder
Born27 January 1883
Died24 September 1941 (aged 58)
NationalityGerman
InstitutionBerlin Institute of Technology
FieldUrbanism
School or
tradition
Nazism
Alma materHumboldt University of Berlin
ContributionsNazism
Strasserism
Anti-capitalism
Planned community
Deep foundation

Biography

Feder was born in Würzburg, Germany on 27 January 1883 as the son of civil servant Hanse Feder and Mathilde Feder (née Luz). After studying in classical Gymnasiums in Ansbach and Munich, he studied engineering in Berlin and Zürich (Switzerland). He then founded a construction company in 1908 that became particularly active in Bulgaria where it built a number of official buildings.

From 1917 on, Feder studied financial politics and economics on his own. He developed a hostility towards wealthy bankers during World War I and wrote a "manifesto on breaking the shackles of interest" ("Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft") in 1919. This was soon followed by the founding of a "task force" dedicated to those goals that demanded a nationalisation of all banks and an abolition of interest.

That year, Feder, together with Anton Drexler, Dietrich Eckart and Karl Harrer, were involved in the founding of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers' Party-DAP).[2] Adolf Hitler met him in the summer of 1919 while he was in an anti-Bolshevik training course at Munich university—funded by the army and organized by Major Karl Mayr—and Feder became his mentor in finance and economics. He helped to inspire Hitler's opposition to "Jewish finance capitalism."[3] Delivering political courses alongside Feder was Karl Alexander von Müller (son of Bavaria's Culture Minister) who spotted Hitler's oratorical ability and forwarded his name as a political instructor for the army—an important step in Hitler's career.

1920s

In February 1920, together with Adolf Hitler and Anton Drexler, Feder drafted the so-called "25 points" which summed up the party's views and introduced his own anti-capitalist views into the program. When the paper was announced on 24 February 1920, more than 2,000 people attended the rally. In an attempt to make the party more broadly appealing to larger segments of the population, the DAP was renamed in February 1920 to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party, NSDAP), more commonly known as the Nazi Party.[4]

Feder took part in the party's Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923. After Hitler's arrest, he remained one of the leaders of the party and was elected to the Reichstag in 1924, where he stayed until 1936 and demanded the freezing of interest rates and dispossession of Jewish citizens. He remained one of the leaders of the anti-capitalistic wing of the NSDAP, and published several papers, including "National and social bases of the German state" (1920), "Das Programm der NSDAP und seine weltanschaulichen Grundlagen" ("The programme of the NSDAP and the world views it's based on," 1927) and "Was will Adolf Hitler?" ("What does Adolf Hitler want?", 1931).

Feder briefly dominated the Nazi Party's official views on financial politics, but after he became chairman of the party's economic council in 1931, his anti-capitalist views led to a great decline in financial support from Germany's major industrialists. Following pressure from Walther Funk, Albert Voegler, Gustav Krupp, Friedrich Flick, Fritz Thyssen, Hjalmar Schacht and Emil Kirdorf, Hitler decided to move the party away from Feder's economic views. When Hitler became Reichskanzler in 1933, he appointed Feder as under-secretary at the ministry of economics in July, which appointment disappointed Feder, who had hoped for a much higher position.

Nazi Germany

Feder continued to write papers, putting out "Kampf gegen die Hochfinanz" ("The Fight against high finance", 1933) and the anti-semitic "Die Juden" ("The Jews," 1933); in 1934, he became Reichskommissar (Reich commissioner).

In 1939 he wrote Die Neue Stadt (the New City). This can be considered an attempt at Garden City building through the use of Nazi architecture. Here he proposed creating agricultural cities of 20,000 people divided into nine autonomous units and surrounded by agricultural areas. Each city was to be fully autonomous and self-sufficient, with detailed plans for daily living and urban amenities provided. Unlike other garden city theorists, he believed that urban areas could be reformed by subdividing the existing built environment into self-sufficient neighborhoods. This idea of creating clusters of self-contained neighbourhoods forming a mid-sized city was popularised by Uzō Nishiyama in Japan. It would later be applied in the era of Japanese New Town construction.[5]

However, despite its consistency with the blood and soil ideology of the Nazis, his concept of decentralized factories was successfully opposed by both generals and Junkers.[6] Generals objected because it interfered with rearmament, and Junkers because it would prevent their exploiting their estates for the international market.[7]

After the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934, where SA leaders like Ernst Röhm and left-leaning party officials like Gregor Strasser were murdered, Feder lost favor with Hitler and began to withdraw from the government, finally becoming Professor for Settlement Policy[8] at the Technische Hochschule Berlin in December 1936, where he stayed until his death in Murnau, Bavaria, on 24 September 1941.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Dornberg, John (1982). Munich 1923. New York: Harper & Row. p. 344. ISBN 978-0-06-038025-0.
  2. ^ Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, p. 82.
  3. ^ Kershaw, Ian (2001) [1991]. Hitler: A Profile in Power, Chapter I, London.
  4. ^ Kershaw (2008). Hitler: A Biography, p. 87.
  5. ^ Hein, Carola, Visionary Plans and Planners. In Japanese Capitals in Historical Perspective (Fiévé, Waley eds.) RoutledgeCurzon.
  6. ^ Grunberger, Richard, The 12-Year Reich, pp. 153–4, ISBN 0-03-076435-1.
  7. ^ Grunberger, The 12-Year Reich, p. 154.
  8. ^ Mühlberger, Detlef (2004). Hitler's Voice. The Völkischer Beobachter, 1920–1933. Vol. I: Organisation & Development of the NSDAP. Bern: Peter Lang AG. p. 28. ISBN 3-906769-72-0. Retrieved 2017-01-15.

See also

External links

Anton Drexler

Anton Drexler (13 June 1884 – 24 February 1942) was a German far-right political leader of the 1920s who founded the pan-German and anti-Semitic German Workers' Party (DAP), the antecedent of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Drexler mentored his successor in the NSDAP, Adolf Hitler, during his early years in politics.

Dietrich Eckart

Dietrich Eckart (German: [ˈɛkaʁt]; 23 March 1868 – 26 December 1923) was a German journalist, playwright, poet, and politician who was one of the founders of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers' Party, DAP), which later evolved into the Nazi Party (NSDAP). He was a key influence on Adolf Hitler in the early years of the Nazi Party and was a participant in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch.

He died shortly after the putsch, and was elevated, during the Nazi era, to the status of a major thinker and writer.

Eidgenössische Sammlung

Eidgenössische Sammlung (German; literally "Confederate Collection") was a Swiss political party, founded in 1940 by Robert Tobler as a successor to the recently dissolved National Front.The party demanded an adjustment in Swiss policy to favour the Axis powers. This was particularly important as, after June 1940 the country was surrounded by fascist and Nazi states. It was open in its loyalty towards Nazi Germany.The Eidgenössiche Sammlung was closely supervised by the state because of its origins and so could not develop freely. In 1943 the police finally cracked down on the group and it was outlawed along with all of its sub-organisations as part of a wider government initiative against the National Front and its offshoots.

Faith and Beauty Society

The BDM-Werk Glaube und Schönheit (German for BDM Faith and Beauty Society) was founded in 1938 to serve as a tie-in between the work of the League of German Girls (BDM) and that of the National Socialist Women's League. Membership was voluntary and open to girls aged 17 to 21.

German Workers' Party

The German Workers' Party (German: Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, DAP) was a short-lived political party established in Weimar Germany after World War I. It was the precursor of the Nazi Party, which was officially known as the National Socialist German Workers' Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP). The DAP only lasted from 5 January 1919 until 24 February 1920.

Hirden

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Jürgen Elsässer

Jürgen Elsässer (born 20 January 1957 in Pforzheim) is a German journalist and political activist.

Karl Harrer

Karl Harrer (8 October 1890 – 5 September 1926) was a German journalist and politician, one of the founding members of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers' Party, DAP) in January 1919, the predecessor to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party – NSDAP), more commonly known as the Nazi Party.

Liechtenstein Homeland Service

Liechtenstein Homeland Service (German: Liechtensteiner Heimatdienst, LHD) was a political party in Liechtenstein that advocated corporate statism and the abolition of party politics.Established in the autumn of 1933, the party's positions began to radicalize and move toward National Socialist ideas within a few months of existence. By December 1933, this radicalization caused some members (such as co-founder Eugen Schafhauser) to abandon the party.LHD merged with the Christian-Social People's Party (VP) in 1936 to form the Patriotic Union (VU).

List of Nazi ideologues

This is a list of people whose ideas became part of Nazi ideology. The ideas, writings, and speeches of these thinkers were incorporated into what became Nazism, including antisemitism, eugenics, racial hygiene, the concept of the master race, and Lebensraum. The list includes people whose ideas were incorporated, even if they did not live in the Nazi era.

National Socialist Program

The National Socialist Program, also known as the 25-point Program or the 25-point Plan (German: 25-Punkte-Programm), was the party program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP). Originally the name of the party was the German Workers' Party (DAP), but on the same day as the announced party program it was renamed the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. Adolf Hitler announced the party's program on 24 February 1920 before approximately 2,000 people in the Munich Festival of the Hofbräuhaus. The National Socialist Program originated at a DAP congress in Vienna, then was taken to Munich, by the civil engineer and theoretician Rudolf Jung, who having explicitly supported Hitler had been expelled from Czechoslovakia because of his political agitation.Historian Karl Dietrich Bracher summarizes the program by saying that its components were "hardly new" and that "German, Austrian, and Bohemian proponents of anti-capitalist, nationalist-imperialist, anti-Semitic movements were resorted to in its compilation," but that a call to "breaking the shackles of finance capital" was added in deference to the idee fixe of Gottfried Feder, one of the party's founding members, and Hitler provided the militancy of the stance against the Treaty of Versailles, and the insistence that the points could not be changed, and were to be the permanent foundation of the party. Bracher characterizes the points as being "phrased like slogans; they lent themselves to the concise sensational dissemination of the 'anti' position on which the party thrived. ... Ideologically speaking, [the program] was a wooly, eclectic mixture of political, social, racist, national-imperialist wishful thinking..."According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the 25-point program "remained the party's official statement of goals, though in later years many points were ignored."

National Union (Switzerland)

The National Union (French: Union Nationale) was a French-speaking fascist political party in Switzerland between 1932 and 1939.

The Union was formed in Geneva in 1932 by Georges Oltramare, a lawyer and writer. Noted for his anti-Semitic writing, Oltramare founded the Order Politique Nationale in 1931 but merged it with the Union de Défense Economique the following year to form the National Union. The group continued under Oltramare's leadership until 1940 when he moved to Paris in order to co-operate more closely with the Nazis. Oltramare spent four years as a member of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland representing the National Union.The Union became notorious for a demonstration in Geneva on November 9, 1932 when their march to the city's Salle Communale was counterdemonstrated by the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland. In the resulting trouble the Swiss army opened fire on the Socialists resulting in 13 deaths.

Nationale Jeugdstorm

The Nationale Jeugdstorm (English: National Youth Storm; NJS) was a Dutch youth movement that existed from 1934 to 1945, organized as the Dutch equivalent of the German Hitlerjugend and as a Nazi counterpart of Scouting Nederland.

Nazi architecture

Nazi architecture is the architecture promoted by the Third Reich from 1933 until its fall in 1945. It is characterized by three forms: a stripped neoclassicism (typified by the designs of Albert Speer); a vernacular style that drew inspiration from traditional rural architecture, especially alpine; and a utilitarian style followed for major infrastructure projects and industrial or military complexes. Nazi ideology took a pluralist attitude to architecture; however, Adolf Hitler himself believed that form should follow function and wrote against "stupid imitations of the past".While similar to Classicism, the official Nazi style is distinguished by the impression it leaves on viewers. Architectural style was used by the Nazis to deliver and enforce their ideology. Formal elements like flat roofs, horizontal extension, uniformity, and the lack of decor created "an impression of simplicity, uniformity, monumentality, solidity and eternity," which is how the Nazi Party wanted to appear.The construction of new buildings served other purposes beyond reaffirming Nazi ideology. In Flossenbürg and elsewhere, the SS built forced-labor camps where prisoners of the Third Reich were made to mine stone and make bricks, much of which went directly to Albert Speer for use in his rebuilding of Berlin and other projects in Germany. These new buildings were also built by forced-laborers. Working conditions were very hard and many laborers died. This process of mining and construction allowed Nazis to fulfill political and economical goals simultaneously while creating buildings that fulfilled ideological expression goals.The crowning achievement of this movement was to be Welthauptstadt Germania, the projected renewal of the German capital Berlin following the Nazis' victory in World War II. Speer, who oversaw the project, produced most of the plans for the new city. Only a small portion of the "World Capital" was ever built between 1937 and 1943. The plan's core features included the creation of a great neoclassical city based on an East-West axis with the Berlin victory column at its centre. Major Nazi buildings like the Reichstag or the Große Halle (never built) would adjoin wide boulevards. A great number of historic buildings in the city were demolished in the planned construction zones. However, with defeat of the Third Reich, the work was never started.

Strasserism

Strasserism (German: Strasserismus or Straßerismus) is a strand of Nazism that calls for a more radical, mass-action and worker-based form of Nazism—hostile to Jews not from a racial, ethnic, cultural or religious perspective, but from an anti-capitalist basis—to achieve a national rebirth. It derives its name from Gregor and Otto Strasser, two brothers initially associated with this position.

Otto Strasser, who strategically opposed the views of Adolf Hitler, was expelled from the Nazi Party in 1930 and went into exile in Czechoslovakia, while Gregor Strasser was murdered in Germany on 30 June 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives. Strasserism remains an active position within strands of neo-Nazism.

The Immortals (neo-Nazis)

The Immortals (German Die Unsterblichen) was a neo-Nazi organization based in Germany that uses flash mobs to coordinate, gather and demonstrate. The members wear black clothing with white facial masks and carry torches when they march.

Thule Society

The Thule Society (; German: Thule-Gesellschaft), originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum ("Study Group for Germanic Antiquity"), was a German occultist and völkisch group founded in Munich right after World War I, named after a mythical northern country in Greek legend. The society is notable chiefly as the organization that sponsored the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP; German Workers' Party), which was later reorganized by Adolf Hitler into the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP or Nazi Party). According to Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw, the organization's "membership list ... reads like a Who's Who of early Nazi sympathizers and leading figures in Munich", including Rudolf Hess, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Julius Lehmann, Gottfried Feder, Dietrich Eckart, and Karl Harrer.Author Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke contends that Hans Frank and Rudolf Hess had been Thule members, but other leading Nazis had only been invited to speak at Thule meetings or they were entirely unconnected with it. According to Johannes Hering, "There is no evidence that Hitler ever attended the Thule Society."

Völkisch movement

The völkisch movement (German: völkische Bewegung, "folkish movement") was the German interpretation of a populist movement, with a romantic focus on folklore and the "organic", i.e.: a "naturally grown community in unity", characterised by the one-body-metaphor (Volkskörper) for the entire population during a period from the late 19th century up until the Nazi era.

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