Otto Johann Maximilian Strasser (also German: Straßer, see ß; 10 September 1897 – 27 August 1974) was a German politician and an early member of the Nazi Party. Otto Strasser, together with his brother Gregor Strasser, was a leading member of the party's left-wing faction, and broke from the party due to disputes with the dominant "Hitlerite" faction. He formed the Black Front, a group intended to split the Nazi Party and take it from the grasp of Hitler. This group also functioned during his exile and World War II as a secret opposition group.
Otto Strasser delivering a speech soon after his return to West Germany following World War II
|Born||10 September 1897|
Bad Windsheim, Bavaria, German Empire
|Died||27 August 1974 (aged 76)|
Munich, Bavaria, West Germany
|Political party||Social Democratic Party (1917–1920)|
Völkischer Block (1922–1925)
Nazi Party (1925–1930)
Black Front (1930–1934)
German Social Union (1956–1962)
|Alma mater||Humboldt University of Berlin|
|Occupation||Philosopher, editor, politician|
|Years of service||1914–1918|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Born at Windsheim in Bavaria, Otto Strasser took an active part in World War I. On 2 August 1914, he joined the Bavarian Army as a volunteer. He rose through the ranks to lieutenant and was twice wounded. He returned to Germany in 1919 where he served in the Freikorps that put down the Bavarian Soviet Republic which was organized on the principles of workers' councils. At the same time, he also joined the Social Democratic Party. In 1920 he participated in the opposition to the Kapp Putsch. However, he grew increasingly alienated with that reformist-socialist party's stand, particularly when it put down a workers' uprising in the Ruhr, and he left the party later that year. In 1925, he joined the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers' Party), in which his brother, Gregor had been a member for several years, and worked for its newspaper as a journalist, ultimately taking it over with his brother. He was focused particularly on the socialist elements of the party's programme and led the party's left faction in northern Germany together with his brother and Joseph Goebbels. His faction advocated support for strikes, nationalisation of banks and industry, and — despite acknowledged differences — closer ties with the Soviet Union. Some of these policies were opposed by Hitler, who thought they were too radical and too alienating from parts of the German people (middle class and Nazi-supporting nationalist industrialists in particular), and the Strasser faction was defeated at the Bamberg Conference (1926), with Joseph Goebbels joining Hitler. Humiliated, he nonetheless, along with his brother Gregor, continued as a leading Left Nazi within the Party, until expelled from the NSDAP by Hitler in 1930.
Following his expulsion, he set up his own party, the Black Front, composed of like-minded former NSDAP members, in an attempt to split the Nazi Party. His party proved unable to counter Hitler's rise to power in 1933, and Strasser spent the years of the Nazi era in exile. The Nazi Left itself was annihilated during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934 – in which his brother was killed – leaving Hitler as undisputed party leader and able to pacify both industrialists and the military into accepting his new National Socialist regime. In addition to the "Black Front", Strasser at this time headed the Free German Movement outside Germany which sought to enlist the aid of Germans throughout the world in bringing about the downfall of Hitler and his vision of Nazism.
Strasser fled first to Austria, then to Prague, Switzerland and France. In 1940, he went to Bermuda by way of Portugal, leaving a wife and two children behind in Switzerland. In 1941, he emigrated to Canada, where he was the famed "Prisoner of Ottawa". During this time, Goebbels denounced Strasser as the Nazis' "Public Enemy Number One" and a price of $500,000 was set on his head. He settled for a time in Montreal. In 1942, he lived for a time in Clarence, Nova Scotia on a farm owned by a German-speaking Czech, Adolph Schmidt, then moved to nearby Paradise where he lived for more than a decade in a rented apartment above a general store. As an influential and uncondemned former Nazi Party member still faithful to many doctrines of National Socialism, he was initially prevented from returning to West Germany after the war, first by the Allied powers and then by the West German government.
During his exile, he wrote articles on Nazi Germany and its leadership for a number of British, American and Canadian newspapers, including the New Statesman, and a series for the Montreal Gazette, which was ghostwritten by then Gazette reporter and later politician Donald C. MacDonald.
Otto Strasser was permitted to return to West Germany in 1955, after years of being denied entry by the West German government, due to a ruling of the Federal Administrative Court. He regained his citizenship and settled in Munich.
He attempted to create a new "nationalist and socialist"-oriented party in 1956, the German Social Union (often called a successor to the 1949–1952, eventually forbidden Socialist Reich Party of Germany), but his organisation was unable to attract any support. For the rest of his life, Strasser continued to advocate for Strasserite National Socialism until his death in Munich in 1974.
Otto Strasser claimed he was a dissenting Nazi regarding racial policies. During his later life, he claimed to have actively opposed such policies within the national socialist movement; for example, by organizing the removal of Julius Streicher from the German Völkisch Freedom Party.
The Combat League of Revolutionary National Socialists (German: Kampfgemeinschaft Revolutionärer Nationalsozialisten, KGRNS), more commonly known as the Black Front (German: Schwarze Front), was a political group formed by Otto Strasser after his expulsion from the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in 1930.Strasser believed the original anti-capitalist nature of the NSDAP had been betrayed by Adolf Hitler. The Black Front was composed of former radical members of the NSDAP, who intended to cause a split in the main party. Strasser's organisation published a newspaper, The German Revolution. The Black Front adopted the crossed hammer and sword symbol which is still used by several Strasserite groupings today.
The organisation was unable to oppose the NSDAP effectively and Hitler’s rise to power proved to be the final straw. Strasser spent the years of the Third Reich in exile, first in Czechoslovakia and later in Canada. The social fascist wing of the NSDAP itself was eradicated in 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives in which Gregor Strasser, Otto's elder brother, was killed.Douglas Reed
Douglas Lancelot Reed (11 March 1895 – 26 August 1976) was a British journalist, playwright, novelist and author of a number of books of political analysis. His book Insanity Fair (1938) was one of the most influential in publicising the state of Europe and the megalomania of Adolf Hitler before the Second World War. By the time of his death, Reed had been largely forgotten except for various remarks about Jews. Thus, when The Times ran his obituary, it condemned Reed as a "virulent anti-Semite," although Reed himself claimed that he drew a distinction between opposition to Zionism and antisemitism. Reed believed in a long-term Zionist conspiracy to impose a world government on an enslaved humanity. He was also staunchly anti-Communist, and once wrote that National Socialism was a "stooge or stalking horse " meant to further the aims of the "Communist Empire."European Liberation Front
The European Liberation Front (ELF) was a small neo-fascist group that split from Oswald Mosley's British Union Movement in 1948. Its founder and ideological inspiration was Francis Parker Yockey. In 1949 they issued a manifesto titled The Proclamation of London, written by Yockey. The pan-nationalist (Pan-Europeanist) and anti-American movement had little impact, and lasted until 1954.
In the 1990s, the ELF, Yockey, and his ideology, were rediscovered by the Nouvelle Résistance, Alternativa Europea, National-Bolshevik Party, National Revolutionary Faction, and others. In 1999, a manifesto of a second 'European Liberation Front' was published in Paris, but there is apparently no more active organisation of that name now. The manifesto takes its ideological inspiration from Yockey, and from Otto Strasser, who was expelled from the Nazi Party by Adolf Hitler in 1930.
Despite the pan-European style of its title, the ideology of the manifesto is ethnic and racial nationalism: the manifesto speaks of the "historical and cultural ties which exist between our respective nations" and calls for "mono-ethnic racial homelands" to preserve the "race, culture and traditions of all European peoples". European liberation, according to the manifesto, consists of "National Revolution".German Social Union (West Germany)
For the East German opposition group see German Social Union (East Germany)German Social Union (German: Deutsch-Soziale Union) was a Neo-Nazi political party founded in Germany in 1956 by Otto Strasser. It was dissolved in 1962.Gregor Strasser
Gregor Strasser (also German: Straßer, see ß; 31 May 1892 – 30 June 1934) was an early prominent German Nazi official and politician who was murdered during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934. Born in 1892 in Bavaria, Strasser served in World War I in an artillery regiment, rising to the rank of first lieutenant. He joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in 1920 and quickly became an influential and important figure. In 1923, he took part in the abortive Beer Hall Putsch in Munich and was imprisoned, but released early on for political reasons. Strasser joined a revived NSDAP in 1925 and once again established himself as a powerful and dominant member, hugely increasing the party's membership and reputation in northern Germany. Personal and political conflicts with Adolf Hitler led to his death in 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives.Hermann Ehrhardt
Hermann Ehrhardt (29 November 1881 – 27 September 1971) was a German Freikorps commander during the period of turmoil in Weimar Republic Germany from 1918 to 1920, he commanded the famous II.Marine Brigade, better known as the Ehrhardt Brigade or Marinebrigade Ehrhardt.
Born in Diersburg, now part of Hohberg, Baden-Württemberg, he served in the German Imperial Navy as a Korvettenkapitän. At the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 he commanded the 17th half-flotilla of the IX. Torpedo-boat Flotilla; his flagship, SMS V27 was sunk in action. Later in the war he was involved in action in the southern North Sea and Dover Straits. By the war's end he was commander of the IX. Torpedo-boat Flotilla, which he led into internment at Scapa Flow in November 1918, returning to Germany with the majority of his crew shortly thereafter.
Following the defeat of the German Empire, Ehrhardt formed the II.Marine Brigade. A strong opponent of the Treaty of Versailles, he held strong monarchist views. The II.Marine Brigade was a force of around 6,000 men. They fought in north-west Germany, central Germany, Upper Silesia, and Bavaria and participated in the unsuccessful Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch of 1920. After the failed Putsch, Ehrhardt fled Germany, returning at a later time. In Bavaria, which was ruled by Gustav von Kahr at that time, he formed the Organisation Consul, and later the Viking League (Bund Wiking), a secret military society.Three years later during the Beer Hall Putsch, Ehrhardt and his deputy commander Eberhard Kautter refused to help Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party. Ehrhardt later contested for leadership with Hitler, but he was unsuccessful, with most of Ehrhardt's men joining the Nazi Party. He became involved in attempts to destabilise the Nazis as a result and worked behind the scenes to forge an alliance between dissident Sturmabteilung leader Walter Stennes and Black Front leader Otto Strasser. Ultimately the initiative was not a success as Strasser abandoned Stennes when he learned that the reactionary Ehrhardt was behind the plan to link the two leaders.Ehrhardt was one of those listed to be killed during the Night of the Long Knives, but he managed to escape to Austria. He was later invited back to Nazi Germany. He died in 1971 in Brunn am Walde, Lower Austria.Jeune Europe
Jeune Europe (French; "Young Europe") was a Europeanist movement formed by Jean Thiriart in Belgium. Emile Lecerf, a later editor of the Nouvel Europe Magazine, was one of Thiriart's associates.
Following the Algerian War of Independence Thiriart decided to look to a more Europe-wide vision and founded Jeune Europe as a result, calling for a united Europe that would be "neither Moscow nor Washington" but rather a third superpower in order that the individual states could stop being squeezed in the Cold War. Jeune Europe quickly grew in influence, with major branches opening in France, Italy and Spain as well as minor groups in nine other countries. Its strongest following was amongst students although it attracted wider attention in part due to the strength of Thiriart's personality and his unusually syncretist message. They also participated in 1962 Conference at Venice, where they agreed to participate in the National Party of Europe, along with Oswald Mosley's Union Movement, Otto Strasser and others. Jeune Europe as a movement, and Thiriart in particular, also foresaw a future rapprochement with the Soviet Union and hoped that Europe could ally itself with China in order to force this to happen sooner.Although Thiriart publicly disavowed fascism and branded Nazism obsolete the movement was still accused of having a fascist basis, be it through adopting the Celtic cross, a symbol widely used in neo-fascism, as its emblem or advertising the activities of neo-Nazi leader Hans-Ulrich Rudel in its eponymous weekly magazine. The group also maintained links with the network of former SS officers that organised through the magazine Nation Europa. However Thiriart's flirtation with China and the Soviet Union alienated some rank and file members for whom links with fascism were not to be eschewed and when he began to follow a more national communist path and seek contact with Nicolae Ceauşescu membership fell. Other members went in the other direction, notably Renato Curcio, an early member of Giovane Europa (as the group was called in Italy), who eventually switched allegiance to the communist Red Brigades.In 1964, the movement took part in the municipal elections of Brussels. It was dissolved in the 1970s.National Action (Australia)
National Action was a militant Australian white supremacist group founded by a convicted criminal and neo-Nazi, Jim Saleam and former neo-Nazi David Greason. Saleam co-founded the group on Anzac Day, 1982, after having been a member of the short-lived National Socialist Party of Australia as a teenager during the 1970s.Jim Saleam’s criminal convictions include property offenses and fraud in 1984 and being an accessory before the fact in regard to organising a shotgun attack in 1989 on African National Congress representative Eddie Funde. Saleam served jail terms for both crimes. He pleaded not guilty to both charges, claiming that he was set up by police. The group was disbanded following the murder of a member, Wayne "Bovver" Smith, in the group's headquarters at Tempe. Saleam became NSW chairman of Australia First Party, and stood as its endorsed candidate several times.
The National Action co-founder David Greason's book, I was a Teenage Fascist, tells of Greason's own time within the Australian neo-Nazi movement and the events behind the founding of National Action.National Socialist Bloc
National Socialist Bloc (in Swedish: Nationalsocialistiska Blocket) was a Swedish national socialist political party formed in the end of 1933 by the merger of Nationalsocialistiska Samlingspartiet, Nationalsocialistiska Förbundet and local National Socialist units connected to the advocate Sven Hallström in Umeå. Later Svensk Nationalsocialistisk Samling merged into NSB.
The leader of the party was Colonel Martin Ekström. The party maintained several publications, Landet Fritt (Gothenburg), Vår Kamp (Gothenburg), Vår Front (Umeå), Nasisten (Malmö) and Riksposten.
NSB differentiated itself from other Swedish National Socialist groups due to its liaisons with the Swedish upper class. NSB was clearly smaller than the two main National Socialist parties in Sweden at the time, SNSP and NSAP. Gradually the party vanished.National Socialist Flyers Corps
The National Socialist Flyers Corps (German: Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps; NSFK) was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party that was founded 15 April 1937 as a successor to the German Air Sports Association; the latter had been active during the years when a German air force was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. The NSFK organization was based closely on the para-military organization of the Sturmabteilung (SA). A similar group was the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK).
During the early years of its existence, the NSFK conducted military aviation training in gliders and private airplanes. Friedrich Christiansen, originally a Generalleutnant then later a Luftwaffe General der Flieger, was NSFK Korpsführer from 15 April 1937 until 26 June 1943, followed by Generaloberst Alfred Keller until 8 May 1945.National Socialist Workers' Party (Sweden)
Nationalsocialistiska Arbetarpartiet (English: National Socialist Workers' Party) was a Swedish political party which initially espoused Nazism before adopting a more indigenous form of fascism.
The party was formed in 1933 by Sven Olof Lindholm after he split from the Swedish National Socialist Party, following a series of clashes over policy and personality. The party initially acted as a simple mirror of the National Socialist German Workers Party, with the party newspaper Den Svenske Nationalsocialisten repeating what was being said in Nazi Germany and the Nordisk Ungdom (Nordic Youth) group serving as a replica of the Hitler Youth (albeit on a smaller scale). The swastika was also initially used as the party emblem.
The NSAP did differ from the German model from the beginning however, as they placed strong emphasis on the anti-capitalist nature of their rhetoric. The party's emphasis on the socialism of their Nazism led many to label them Strasserite, although they avoided the direct criticism of Adolf Hitler that was forming the bulk of the writings of Otto Strasser by the mid-1930s.
The party continued to move away from the Hitler model and largely abandoned their ties to Germany in favour of a more Swedish model. In 1938 they stopped using the swastika and replaced it with Vasakärven (the Vasa sheaf), an old Swedish emblem used by King Gustav II Adolf. By the end of the year the party had changed its name to Svensk Socialistisk Samling (Swedish Socialist Unity) and had largely dropped all but passing reference to the Nazis. Nonetheless the party declined dramatically during the Second World War and was formally dissolved in 1950.In 1943, the party's national congress in Uppsala caused the Easter Riots to break out.
The party was one of the earliest to claim that no Holocaust happened, as soon as in May 1945 in Den Svenske Folksocialisten.National Unity Party (Canada)
The Parti National Social Chrétien (English: National Social Christian Party) was a Canadian political party formed by Adrien Arcand in February 1934. The party identified with antisemitism, and German leader Adolf Hitler's Nazism. The party was later known, in English, as the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party or National Unity Party.Proletarian nation
Proletarian nation was a term used by 20th century Italian nationalist intellectuals such as Enrico Corradini and later adopted by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to refer to Italy and other poorer countries that were subordinate to the Western imperialist powers. These powers were described by Mussolini as "plutocratic nations" (nazioni plutocratiche). Corradini associated the proletariat with the economic function of production and believed that the producers should be at the forefront of a new imperialist proletarian nation. Mussolini considered that the military struggles unfolding in Europe in the mid-20th century could have revolutionary consequences that could lead to an improvement in the position of Italy in comparison with the major imperialist powers such as Britain.
Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of internationalist class struggle, it identified "class struggle between nations" and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a proletarian nation fighting against plutocratic nations.Rudolf Kanzler
Rudolf Kanzler (born 26 February 1873 in Wasserburg am Inn - died 26 February 1956 in Munich) was a German surveyor and politician who was involved in the organisation of Freikorps units after World War I.
A Roman Catholic, Kanzler was thus a member of the Centre Party and served this party in the Landtag of Bavaria as representative for Lichtenfels from 1905 to 1918. Noted for his anti-communism he organised a Bürgerwehr or militia against the communists in Rosenheim in 1919. This group grew into the Freikorps Chiemgau, for a time the largest single Freikorps in Germany, under the command of Kanzler who became known as the 'White General'. Kanzler became an ally of the rightist militant Georg Escherich and soon led his own Organisation Kanzler or 'Orka' in imitaton of Escherich's Orgesch. Like his ally he became close to Richard Steidle in Austria and helped him in the organisation of the Heimwehr.Kanzler stood down from his Freikorps roles in 1921 and later became a member of Carl Spruner von Mertz's Bayerischer Heimat- und Königsbund, a monarchist group that was outlawed in 1933 after the formation of the Nazi Party regime. Indeed, Kanzler had been an early leader of this group, which - beyond a nostalgically sentimental attachment to the House of Wittelsbach - had little function, before giving way to General von Krafft. Kanzler had little in common with the Nazis and was jailed for treason during the Third Reich for attempting to promote monarchism and for co-operating with the Black Front of Otto Strasser. Following his death, on his 83rd birthday, he was buried in his home town of Wasserburg am Inn.Sexuality of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler's sexuality has long been a matter of historical and scholarly debate, as well as speculation and rumour. There is evidence that he had relationships with a number of women during his lifetime, as well as evidence of his antipathy to homosexuality, and no evidence of homosexual encounters. His name has been linked to a number of possible female lovers, two of whom committed suicide. A third died of complications eight years after a suicide attempt, and a fourth also attempted suicide.
Hitler created a public image of a celibate man without a domestic life, dedicated entirely to his political mission and the nation of Nazi Germany. His relationship with Eva Braun, which lasted nearly 14 years, was hidden from the public and all but his inner circle. Braun biographer Heike Görtemaker notes that the couple enjoyed a normal sex life. Hitler and Braun married in late April 1945, less than 40 hours before committing suicide together.
Two wartime reports by the Allies attempted to analyse Hitler psychologically. Walter C. Langer's 1943 report for the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) describes Hitler as having repressed homosexual tendencies and opined that he was an impotent coprophile. Psychologist Henry Murray wrote a separate psychoanalytical report for the OSS in 1943 that drew similar conclusions. Otto Strasser, one of Hitler's opponents in the Nazi Party, also told his post-war interrogators a similar story. British historian Sir Ian Kershaw describes Strasser's statement as "anti-Hitler propaganda".In research following Hitler's death, a variety of claims have been made about Hitler's sexual orientation: that he was gay, bisexual, or asexual. Conclusive evidence is lacking, but most historians believe he was heterosexual. There is at least one claim that Hitler had an illegitimate child (named Jean-Marie Loret) with one of his lovers. Mainstream historians, such as Kershaw, dismiss this as unlikely or impossible.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.Troy Southgate
Troy Southgate (born 22 July 1965) is a British far-right political activist and a self-described national-anarchist. He has been affiliated with far-right and fascist groups, such as National Front and International Third Position, and is the founder and editor-in-chief of Black Front Press. Southgate's movement has been described as working to "exploit a burgeoning counter culture of industrial heavy metal music, paganism, esotericism, occultism and Satanism that, it believes, holds the key to the spiritual reinvigoration of western society ready for an essentially Evolian revolt against the culturally and racially enervating forces of American global capitalism."World Union of National Socialists
The World Union of National Socialists (WUNS) is an organisation founded in 1962 as an umbrella group for neo-Nazi organisations across the globe.