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, the two Nazi brothers initially associated with this position.

Otto Strasser, opposed on strategic views to 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.

Strasser brothers

Gregor Strasser

Gregor Strasser (1892–1934) began his career in ultranationalist politics by joining the Freikorps after serving in World War I. Strasser was involved in the Kapp Putsch and formed his own völkischer Wehrverband ("popular defense union") which he merged into the NSDAP in 1921. Initially a loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler, he took part in the Beer Hall Putsch and held a number of high positions in the Nazi Party. However, Strasser soon became a strong advocate of the socialist wing of the party, arguing that the national revolution should also include strong action to tackle poverty and should seek to build working class support. After Hitler's rise to power, Ernst Röhm, who headed the Sturmabteilung (SA), then the most important paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party, called for a second revolution aimed at removing the elites from control. This was opposed by the conservative movement as well as by some Nazis who preferred an ordered authoritarian regime to the radical and disruptive program proposed by the party's left-wing.

Otto Strasser

Otto Strasser crop
Otto Strasser giving a speech shortly after his return to Germany after World War II

Otto Strasser (1897–1974) had also been a member of the Freikorps, but he joined the Social Democratic Party and fought against the Kapp Putsch. Strasser joined the Nazi Party in 1925, but he nonetheless retained his ideas about the importance of socialism. Considered more of a radical than his brother, Strasser was expelled by the Nazi Party in 1930 and set up his own dissident group, the Black Front, which called for a specifically German nationalist form of socialist revolution. Strasser fled Germany in 1933 to live firstly in Czechoslovakia and then Canada before returning to West Germany in later life, all the while writing prolifically about Hitler and what he saw as his betrayal of national socialist ideals.

Ideology

The name Strasserism came to be applied to the form of Nazism that developed around the Strasser brothers. Although they had been involved in the creation of the National Socialist Program of 1920, both called on the party to commit to "breaking the shackles of finance capital".[1] This opposition to Jewish finance capitalism, which they contrasted to "productive capitalism”, was shared by Hitler himself, who borrowed it from Gottfried Feder.[2]

This populist and antisemitic form of anti-capitalism was further developed in 1925 when Otto Strasser published the Nationalsozialistische Briefe, which discussed notions of class conflict, wealth redistribution and a possible alliance with the Soviet Union. His 1930 follow-up Ministersessel oder Revolution (Cabinet Seat or Revolution) went further by attacking Hitler's betrayal of the socialist aspect of Nazism as well as criticizing the notion of the Führerprinzip.[3] Whilst Gregor Strasser echoed many of the calls of his brother, his influence on the ideology is less, owing to his remaining in the Nazi Party longer and to his early death. Meanwhile, Otto Strasser continued to expand his argument, calling for the break-up of large estates and the development of something akin to a guild system and the related establishment of a Reich cooperative chamber to take a leading role in economic planning.[4]

Strasserism therefore became a distinct strand of Nazism that whilst holding on to previous Nazi ideals such as palingenetic ultranationalism and antisemitism, added a strong critique of capitalism and framed this in the demand for a more socialist-based approach to economics.

However, it is disputed whether Strasserism was a distinct form of Nazism. According to historian Ian Kershaw, "the leaders of the SA [which included Gregor Strasser] did not have another vision of the future of Germany or another politic to propose". The Strasserites advocated the radicalization of the Nazi regime and the toppling of the German elites, calling Hitler's rise to power a half-revolution which needed to be completed.[5]

Influence

In Germany

During the 1970s, the ideas of Strasserism began to be referred to more in European far-right groups as younger members with no ties to Hitler and a stronger sense of anti-capitalism came to the fore. Strasserite thought in Germany began to emerge as a tendency within the National Democratic Party (NPD) during the late 1960s. These Strasserites played a leading role in securing the removal of Adolf von Thadden from the leadership and after his departure the party became stronger in condemning Hitler for what it saw as his move away from socialism in order to court business and army leaders.[6]

Although initially adopted by the NPD, Strasserism soon became associated with more peripheral extremist figures, notably Michael Kühnen who produced a 1982 pamphlet Farewell to Hitler, which included a strong endorsement of the idea. The People's Socialist Movement of Germany/Labour Party (a minor extremist movement that was outlawed in 1982) adopted the policy while its successor movement, the Nationalist Front, did likewise, with its ten-point programme calling for an "anti-materialist cultural revolution" and an "anti-capitalist social revolution" to underline its support for the idea.[7] The Free German Workers' Party also moved towards these ideas under the leadership of Friedhelm Busse in the late 1980s.[8]

The flag of the Strasserite movement Black Front and its symbol a crossed hammer and a sword has been used by German and other European neo-Nazis abroad as a substitute for the more infamous Nazi flag which is banned in some countries such as Germany.

In the United Kingdom

Strasserism emerged in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s and centred on the National Front (NF) publication Britain First, the main writers of which were David McCalden, Richard Lawson and Denis Pirie. Opposing the leadership of John Tyndall, they formed an alliance with John Kingsley Read and ultimately followed him into the National Party (NP).[9] The NP called for British workers to seize the right to work and offered a fairly Strasserite economic policy.[10] Nonetheless, the NP failed to last for very long. Due in part to Read's lack of enthusiasm for Strasserism, the main exponents of the idea drifted away.

The idea was reintroduced to the NF by Andrew Brons in the early 1980s when he decided to make the party's ideology clearer.[11] However, Strasserism was soon to become the province of the radicals in the Official National Front, with Richard Lawson brought in a behind-the-scenes role to help direct policy.[12] This Political Soldier wing ultimately opted for the indigenous alternative of distributism, but their strong anti-capitalist rhetoric as well as that of their International Third Position successor demonstrated influences from Strasserism. From this background, Troy Southgate emerged, whose own ideology and those of related groups such as the English Nationalist Movement and National Revolutionary Faction were influenced by Strasserism. He has also described himself as a post-Strasserite.

Elsewhere

Third Position groups, whose inspiration is generally more Italian in derivation, have often looked to Strasserism, owing to their strong opposition to capitalism. This was noted in France, where the student group Groupe Union Défense and the more recent Renouveau français both extolled Strasserite economic platforms.[13]

Attempts to reinterpret Nazism as having a left-wing base have also been heavily influenced by this school of thought, notably through the work of Povl Riis-Knudsen, who produced the Strasser-influenced work National Socialism: A Left-Wing Movement in 1984.

In the United States, Tom Metzger also flirted with Strasserism, having been influenced by Kühnen's pamphlet.[14] Also in the United States, Matthew Heimbach of the former Traditionalist Worker Party identifies as a Strasserist.[15] Heimbach often engages primarily in anti-capitalist rhetoric during public speeches, instead of overt Antisemitism or anti-communist rhetoric. Heimbach was expelled from the National Socialist Movement (United States) due to his far-left economic views.[16] Heimbach stated that the NSM "essentially want it to remain a politically impotent white supremacist gang."[17]

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ C.T. Husbands, 'Militant Neo-Nazism in the Federal Republic of Germany' in L. Cheles, R. Ferguson & M. Vaughan, Neo-Fascism in Europe, 1992, p. 98.
  2. ^ Ian Kershaw, Hitler: A Profile in Power, first chapter (London, 1991, rev. 2001).
  3. ^ Karl Dietrich Bracher, The German Dictatorship, 1973, pp. 230–231.
  4. ^ Nolte, Ernst (1969). Three Faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian fascism, National Socialism. New York: Mentor. pp. 425–426.
  5. ^ Ian Kershaw, 1991, chapter III, first section.
  6. ^ R. Eatwell, Fascism: A History, 2003, p. 283.
  7. ^ C.T. Husbands, "Militant Neo-Nazism in the Federal Republic of Germany" in L. Cheles, R. Ferguson, M. Vaughan, Neo-Fascism in Europe, 1992, pp. 99–100.
  8. ^ C.T. Husbands, "Militant Neo-Nazism in the Federal Republic of Germany" in L. Cheles, R. Ferguson, M. Vaughan, Neo-Fascism in Europe, 1992, p. 97.
  9. ^ N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, 2004, pp. 17–18.
  10. ^ M. Walker, The National Front, 1977, p. 194.
  11. ^ N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, 2004, pp. 33–34.
  12. ^ G. Gable, 'The Far Right in Contemporary Britain' in L. Cheles, R. Ferguson & M. Vaughan, Neo-Fascism in Europe, 1992, p. 97.
  13. ^ R. Griffin, The Nature of Fascism, 1993, p. 166.
  14. ^ M.A. Lee, The Beast Reawakens, 1997, p. 257.
  15. ^ http://news2share.com/start/2018/12/02/matthew-heimbach-expelled-from-national-socialist-movement-source-says/
  16. ^ http://idavox.com/index.php/2018/12/03/matthew-heimbach-kicked-out-of-national-socialist-movement-for-being-a-communist/
  17. ^ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/neo-nazi-groups-new-leader-a-black-activist-has-vowed-to-end-it/
Further reading
  • Bolton, K. R. "Otto Strasser's 'Europe'" in Southgate, Troy ed. (2017) Eye of the Storm. The Conservative Revolutionaries of 1920s, 1930s and 1940s Germany, London: Black Front Press, pp. 7–31.
  • Reed, Douglas (1940) Nemesis: The Story of Otto Strasser.
  • Reed, Douglas (1953) The Prisoner of Ottawa: Otto Strasser.

External links

Alex Linder

Milton Alexander Linder (born June 30, 1966) is the owner-operator of Vanguard News Network (VNN), an antisemitic, white separatist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi, Holocaust denying, fascist, and white nationalist website which he launched in 2000. VNN is one of the most active white supremacist sites on the Internet, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Its motto is "No Jews. Just Right."

Black Front

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.

Flag Group

The Flag Group was a British political party, formed from one of the two wings of the National Front in the 1980s. Formed in opposition to the Political Soldier wing of the Official National Front, it took its name from The Flag, a newspaper the followers of this faction formed after leaving and regrouping outside the main and diminishing rump of the rest of the party.

Free German Workers' Party

The Free German Workers' Party (German: Freiheitliche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; abbreviated FAP) was a neo-Nazi political party in Germany. It was outlawed by the Constitutional Court in 1995.

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.

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.

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.

List of fascist movements by country

This is a list of political parties, organizations, and movements that have been claimed to follow some form of fascist ideology. Since definitions of fascism vary, entries in this list may be controversial. For a discussion of the various debates surrounding the nature of fascism, see fascism and ideology and definitions of fascism.

This list has been divided into four sections for reasons of length:

List of fascist movements by country A–F

List of fascist movements by country G–M

List of fascist movements by country N–T

List of fascist movements by country U–Z

List of fascist movements by country G–M

A list of political parties, organizations, and movements adhering to various forms of fascist ideology, part of the list of fascist movements by country.

Nasserism

Nasserism (Arabic: التيار الناصري‎ at-Tayyār an-Nāṣerī) is a socialist Arab nationalist political ideology based on the thinking of Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the two principal leaders of the Egyptian revolution of 1952 and Egypt's second President. Spanning the domestic and international spheres, it combines elements of Arab socialism, republicanism, nationalism, anti-imperialism, developing world solidarity and international non-alignment. In the 1950s and 1960s, Nasserism was amongst the most potent political ideologies in the Arab world. This was especially true following the Suez Crisis of 1956 (known in Egypt as the Tripartite Aggression), the political outcome of which was seen as a validation of Nasserism and a tremendous defeat for Western imperial powers. During the Cold War, its influence was also felt in other parts of Africa and the developing world, particularly with regard to anti-imperialism and non-alignment.

The scale of the Arab defeat in the Six-Day War of 1967 damaged the standing of Nasser and the ideology associated with him. Though it survived Nasser's death in 1970, certain important tenets of Nasserism were revised or abandoned totally by his successor Anwar Sadat during what he termed the Corrective Revolution and later his Infitah economic policies. Under the three decade rule of Sadat's successor Hosni Mubarak, most of the remaining socialist infrastructure of Egypt was replaced by neoliberal policies strongly at odds with Nasserist principles. In the international arena, Mubarak departed almost entirely from traditional Egyptian policy, becoming a steadfast ally of both the United States government and Israel, the latter still viewed by most Egyptians with enmity and distrust, derived largely from the five wars that Egypt fought against Israel between 1948 and 1973.

During Nasser's lifetime, Nasserist groups were encouraged and often supported financially by Egypt to the extent that many became seen as willing agents of the Egyptian government in its efforts to spread revolutionary nationalism in the Arab world. In the 1970s, as a younger generation of Arab revolutionaries came to the fore Nasserism outside Egypt metamorphosed into other Arab nationalist and pan-Arabist movements, including component groups of the Lebanese National Movement during the Lebanese Civil War. The main Nasserite movements that continued to be active until today on the Lebanese scene are mainly represented by the organization in Sidon of populist Nasserist partisans (al-Tanzim al-Sha'bi al-Nassiri) that are led by Oussama Saad and in Beirut as represented mainly by the Al-Mourabitoun movement. Both groups have been mainly active since the early 1950s among Sunni Muslims and they are currently associated politically with the March 8 coalitions in Lebanese politics.

Nasserism continues to have significant resonance throughout the Arab world to this day and informs much of the public dialogue on politics in Egypt and the wider region. Prominent Nasserist Hamdeen Sabahi competed in the first round of the 2012 Egyptian Presidential election and only narrowly avoided securing a position in the run-off against eventual winner Mohamed Morsi.

National Bolshevism

National Bolshevism (Russian: Национал-большевизм, German: Nationalbolschewismus), whose supporters are known as the Nazbols (Russian: Нацболы, German: Nationalbolschewisten), is a political movement that combines elements of nationalism (especially Russian nationalism) and Bolshevism.Leading proponents of National Bolshevism in Germany included Ernst Niekisch (1889-1967), Heinrich Laufenberg (1872-1932) and Karl Otto Paetel (1906-1975). In Russia, Nikolay Ustryalov (1890-1937) and his followers, the Smenovekhovtsy used the term.

In modern times leading practitioners and theorists of National Bolshevism include Aleksandr Dugin (1962- ) and Eduard Limonov (1943- ), who led the unregistered and banned National Bolshevik Party (NBP) in the Russian Federation.

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.

Nationalist Front (Germany)

The Nationalist Front (German Nationalistische Front) was a minor German neo-Nazi group active during the 1980s.

Founded in 1985 by Bernhard Pauli, the group, which had no more than 150 members, was characterized by its support for Strasserism rather than more usual forms of Nazism. The Nationalist Front - League of Social Revolutionary Nationalists had been formed in 1982 from the ashes of the banned Volkssozialistische Bewegung Deutschlands/Partei der Arbeit. This organisation was the basis for a merger with a number of smaller groups to form a new NF.In early 1986, the Nationalist Front experienced an internal power struggle, which ended up with a former German soldier and expelled member of the National Democratic Party of Germany, Meinolf Schönborn, replacing Pauli as head of the party.Based primarily in Bielefeld, the group had a largely Pagan membership, hosting fire rituals and similar ceremonies. The group also performed cross burnings and forged links with Dennis Mahon, the head of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Tulsa, Oklahoma.The group also became noted for its armed wing, the National Task Force (Nationales Einsatzkommando - NEK) which was set up in 1991 with the help of Otto Ernst Remer and Herbert Schweiger. This group was blamed for a number of attacks, including burning a man to death in the mistaken belief that he was a Jew and the arson of an asylum seeker hostel in Dolgenbrodt, near Berlin. Firmly anti-Semitic, the NF was also associated with Jürgen Rieger, the well-known German Holocaust denier who was a speaker at a number of its events. Towards the end of its existence the group came under the leadership of Andreas Pohl, a former Rock Against Communism musician, who attempted to attract the same white power skinheads to the group that he had previously played at.Its support for the Nazis led to the group being banned by the Federal Ministry of the Interior in 1992 along with the German Alternative of Michael Kühnen and the National Offensive of Michael Swierczek. The ban came in response to an arson attack on 23 November 1992 on the home of a Turkish family in Mölln, Schleswig-Holstein, with the family's deaths injecting urgency into judgements against neo-Nazi groups. The group was succeeded by a number of organisations including Direct Action Middle Germany and the Social Revolutionary Workers Front, all of which were banned.

Nazi symbolism

The 20th-century German Nazi Party made extensive use of graphic symbols, especially the swastika, notably in the form of the swastika flag, which became the co-national flag of Nazi Germany in 1933, and the sole national flag in 1935. A very similar flag had represented the Party beginning in 1920.

Otto Strasser

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.

His brand of National Socialism is now known as Strasserism.

Socialist Reich Party

The Socialist Reich Party (German: Sozialistische Reichspartei Deutschlands) was a West German Strasserist political party founded in the aftermath of World War II in 1949 as an openly neo-Nazi oriented split-off from the national conservative German Right Party (DKP-DRP). The SRP was the first party to be banned by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1952.

Third Position

Third Position is an ideology that was developed in the late 20th century by political parties including Terza Posizione in Italy and Troisième Voie in France. It emphasizes opposition to both communism and capitalism. Advocates of Third Position politics typically present themselves as "beyond left and right" while syncretizing ideas from each end of the political spectrum, usually reactionary right-wing cultural views and radical left-wing economic views.

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."

Volkssozialistische Bewegung Deutschlands/Partei der Arbeit

The Volkssozialistische Bewegung Deutschlands/Partei der Arbeit (VSBD/PdA) or People's Socialist Movement of Germany/Labour Party was a German neo-Nazi organization led by Friedhelm Busse.

Founded in 1971 and banned in 1982, it used a stylized eagle on a shield bearing a stylized Celtic cross and the Wolfsangel as its party emblems. At a time when the far-right in Germany was distancing itself from mainstream Nazism, the VSBD/PdA took the lead by supporting Strasserism, the more socialist-leaning version of Nazism. The Junge Front (Young Front), a youth movement attached to the party, was also organised.Despite its name, the movement was not a registered party, which allowed the German Minister of the Interior to ban it in 1982 as an organization opposing the constitution. Usage of the stylized Celtic cross was outlawed as well unless used in an innocuous context. Soon afterwards, many of its former members founded the Nationalist Front, which can be seen as a successor to the VSBD/PdA.

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