What is Strasserism? Aside from one of the worst ever ideologies?
You’ll see many a right-wing communist hater declare that because the National Socialist Party, the Nazi’s has socialism as part of their name it means they are one and the same.
Now whilst sane thinking people obviously know this is ridiculous, sticking feathers up your arse does not make you a chicken after all, there was indeed, briefly at least a socialist faction to the Nazi Party.
Beginnings of Nazism
We don’t need to blah on too much about how a slightly poor artist from Austria became a leading Nazi, but we can summarize that after the loss of World War 1 Germans were a bit butt-hurt This let to militant factions largely falling into two ideologies,, communists, or ultra-nationalists, such as the Nazi Party. Now whilst Fascism is definitely of the far-right variety, in many respects they equally hated the capitalist system of the time, considering it to be run by Jews. Jews and world capital were seen as one and he same, so the Nazis wanted to do away with capitalism, well kinda.
Was Hitler secretly an Everton supporter? We check it out here.
The Strasser Brothers
Strasserism is largely associated with the two brothers who thought up the catchy idea, Gregor and Otto Strasser. The left-wing of the Nazi party is also largely associated with former head of the SA and genuine sexual swinger Ernt Rohm, who aside from being a leftie, also really loved a man in uniform. We mean like really loved men in uniform.
What was Strasserism?
It is a little bit hard to sum up, but to do a brief idiots guide to to it, it is basically Nazism with socialist characteristics. You can still hate the Jews, but also rich people. Ideally you’d have some state owned stuff too and share all the wonderful wealth (between Aryans) that Germany was to get from its wars. Socialism + a bit of racism, or fascism + a bit of socialism if you will.
How did it play out in Germany then?
Sadly for Mr Rohm and Gregor Strasser, very badly as they were killed in the night of the long knives. There are numerous reasons for the night of the long knives, but a primary one was that Ernst Rohm felt the Nazi victory had been a half revolution and that he wanted to not only control the army, but wanted to put the Socialism back into National Socialism.
As it turns out Mr Hitler wasn’t all that socialist and decided he wanted the conservative army and business on his side. Thus the left-wing of party and the SA itself were purged. Nazism had now disbanded with even the smallest vestiges of any kind of Socialist program. It was now fascism all the way!
In fact the SA of the time was considered so socialist that its members were called beefsteak Nazis, not as a homoerotic compliment on being such hunks, but because they were “red on the inside”, brown on the onside. Closet communists if you will.
Otto Strasser and the Black Front
Whilst Gregor remained in the Nazi party, eventually to be killed Otto was kicked out in 1930 and for a while ran an offshoot Nazi organization called the Combat League of Revolutionary National Socialists (German: Kampfgemeinschaft Revolutionärer Nationalsozialisten, KGRNS). More popularly known as the Black Front. During this period Strasser wrote two books critiquing nazism and Adolph Hitler (not a great idea at the time). Ironically one of the things that pissed Hitler the most was his suggestion that Nazi Germany form a pact with the Soviet Union. This obviously enraged Hitler, at least until he indeed did make a pact with Stalin and the USSR.
Strasserism in World War 2
Strasser was eventually forced to flee, going through Prague, Switzerland and France, before making his way to Bermuda via Portugal of all places. He then settled in not so fascist Canada.
He was so reviled by the Nazi leadership that Goebells declared him German Enemy Number 1, which when you consider how much the Nazis hated EVERYONE could almost be seen as a compliment. He also had a 500k bounty put on his head, so aside from writing the odd article he largely kept his head down.
Return of Strasser to Germany
Strasser claimed to have been invited to live in the DDR (East Germany) and become a party member, a dubious claim, but in the end he returned to Munich and tried to do political stuff again. Parties he involved himself in, that were later banned included the Socialist Reich Party and the German Social Union, neither of which survived or had much success.
Having been kicked out of the Nazi’s he was not invited to South America, the dark side of the moon, The West German Government, the Papacy, or any other places that Nazis ended up in after the war.
He died in relative obscurity in 1974, unaware that his quirky ideology was about to make a big comeback.
When you get an ideology that is to be polite a “but shit” you’d really expect it to just die, but when it comes to fringe ideologies there is always a niche market of idiots out there. Strasserism was about to become cool again.
Strasserism had a fairly big resurgence in the 1970’s both in Germany and even in the UK, where it was briefly embraced by the National Front. The period of the National Front resurgence marked the biggest support for far-right ideology since the Daily Mail supported Brown-Shirts of Oswald Mosley. Thankfully people soon bored of them.
Nowadays European Neo-Nazis still use the iconic Crossed Hammer And Sword at various rallies. This is less an endorsement of Strasser, but to get around the various bans in various countries on the Swastika.
And that is the story of Strasserism and the left-wing arm of the National Socialists. The ideology might still exist, but we probably won’t see it being put into place any time soon. Ideally.