Last modified on June 19, 2023, at 15:50

Communist origins of Nazism

Up to early 1919, Hitler was a Communist.

The Communist origins of Nazism are indisputable: Adolf Hitler, prior to purporting himself as an "anti-Communist" when leading the Nazi Party, was a card-carrying, high-ranking member of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, a short-lived German Communist state formed amidst post–World War I turmoil.[1] Hitler's later personal chauffer, Julius Schreck, was likewise a Communist member of the Red Army militia.[2]

Despite Hitler building the Nazi Party's ideology as an antithesis of "Jewish Communism," in early 1919 he was an attendee of the funeral of Kurt Eisner, a Communist revolutionary of Jewish heritage.[3][4][5] At the procession, Hitler wore two armbands: a black one mourning Eisner, and a red one demonstrating solidarity with the Communist revolution.[6]

Hitler's admissions that Nazism is an outgrowth of Marxist Communism

Hitler in Mein Kampf admits his Marxist past.

Hitler once lamented to Otto Wagener that politicians in the Weimar Republic "had never even read Marx."[7][8] In Mein Kampf, Hitler openly admitted that the only difference between Marxist Communism and National Socialism is that Communists lack the ideological racial component that fuels Nazism:[primary ref 1]

The folkish philosophy is fundamentally distinguished from the Marxist by reason of the fact that the former recognizes the significance of race and therefore also personal worth and has made these the pillars of its structure. These are the most important factors of its view of life.

If the National Socialist Movement should fail to understand the fundamental importance of this essential principle, if it should merely varnish the external appearance of the present State and adopt the majority principle, it would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground. For that reason it would not have the right to call itself a philosophy of life. If the social programme of the movement consisted in eliminating personality and putting the multitude in its place, then National Socialism would be corrupted with the poison of Marxism, just as our national-bourgeois parties are.

—Hitler in Mein Kampf, Vol. 2, Ch. 4

Even as late as 1941 amidst World War II, Hitler declared that "basically National Socialism and Marxism are the same."[8]

Disparity in academic narratives

The mainstream source Britannica purports:[primary ref 2]

Over the following years the brothers Otto and Gregor Strasser did much to grow the party by tying Hitler’s racist nationalism to socialist rhetoric that appealed to the suffering lower middle classes. In doing so, the Strassers also succeeded in expanding the Nazi reach beyond its traditional Bavarian base. By the late 1920s, however, with the German economy in free fall, Hitler had enlisted support from wealthy industrialists who sought to pursue avowedly anti-socialist policies. Otto Strasser soon recognized that the Nazis were neither a party of socialists nor a party of workers, and in 1930 he broke away to form the anti-capitalist Schwarze Front (Black Front). Gregor remained the head of the left wing of the Nazi Party, but the lot for the ideological soul of the party had been cast.

—"Were the Nazis Socialists," Britannica

However, the Strasser brothers, leaders of what academics designate as the "left-wing" faction of the Nazi Party that was ultimately purged, were, as noted by independent historian TIKhistory, previously members of the Freikorps,[9] which the same academia figureheads argue was "counterrevolutionary" and "far-right." Meanwhile, among the "regular" faction of the Nazi Party, which supposedly was "anti-socialist" and "far-right," Hitler and Schreck were previously members of the Communist Bavaria Republic which was crushed by the Freikorps that fought at the behest of the Weimar Republic against the splinter Communist revolution.

See also


  2. Confronting Fascism: Discussion Documents for a Militant Movement. Google Books. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  3. Barnetti, Micky; Xun, Lin; Cory, Richard. MARX, HITLER, COMMUNISM, NAZISM. Google Books. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  4. Jon Robins, Ian Tinny, Dead Writers Club, Rex Curry (January 28, 2020). Bernie Sanders, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro & Other Socialists. Google Books. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  5. Todd "Skippy" Conroy (January 9, 2013). It Can Happen Here, p. 102. Google Books. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  6. Weber, Thomas (September 16, 2010). Hitler's First War: Adolf Hitler, the Men of the List Regiment, and the First World War, p. 251. Google Books. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  7. Watson, George (November 22, 1998). Hitler and the socialist dream. The Independent. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jossey, Paul (September 11, 2018). Read A Pile Of Top Nazis Talking About How They Love Leftist Marxism. The Federalist. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  9. Stachura, Peter D. (1983). Gregor Strasser and the Rise of Nazism (RLE Nazi Germany & Holocaust). Google Books. Retrieved June 19, 2023.

Primary sources

  1. Mein Kampf – Volume II, Chapter IV.
  2. Ray, Michael. Were the Nazis Socialists? Britannica. Retrieved June 19, 2023.

External links