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 pissed off. This let militant factions largely into two directions,, 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. Nazis obviously not being too fond of Jews thus also wanted to rip up the capita;ist system of the day.
The Strasser Brothers
Strasserism is largely associated with the two brothers who thought up the catchy idea, Gregor and Otto Strasser. It is also largely associated with former head of the SA and eternal party animal Ernst Rohm.
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 German was to get from its wars.
How did Strasserism 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.
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 a socialist outlook.
In fact the SA of the time was considered so socialist that its members were called beefsteak Nazis, not as a compliment on being such hunks, but because they were “red on the inside”.
Otto Strasser and the Black Front
Whilst Gregor remained in the Nazi party, eventually to be killed Gregor 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) or as it was more popularly known 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, which, well ironically it did.
Strasser was eventually forced to flee going from Prague Switzerland and France, before making his way to Bermuda via Portugal of all places, before settling in 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. He died in relative obscurity in 1974.
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 ro fringe ideologies there is always a niche market of idiots out there.
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, who at the time were relatively popular. Nowadays European Neo-Nazis still use the iconic Crossed Hammer And Sword to get around using the Nazi flag that is banned in many nations.
And that is the story of Strasserism and ideology that you probably had not heard of, and will never see put into practice, we hope.
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