Old fighter

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" Old fighter " was a term introduced in October 1933 for members of the NSDAP from the " fighting time " before the seizure of power in January 1933, who had a membership number below 300,000, and for " officials of the NSDAP " from October 1, 1932. As " Old fighters ”also counted NSDAP members who had joined the“ fighting organizations ” Sturmabteilung (SA) or Schutzstaffel (SS) before 1933 .

For the Reichsgau Sudetenland , the regulation applied from December 1938 that all former members of the Czechoslovak German National Socialist Workers' Party (DNSAP) and the Sudeten German Party (SdP) were included under the term "Old Fighters" . Likewise, in the Ostmark (see also Austria in the time of National Socialism ) all members of the Austrian NSDAP (Hitler movement) were included who had joined the party before the party was banned on June 19, 1933 and who had also operated illegally as National Socialists.

Old guard

The Corps of the Old Fighters , also known as the Old Guard , consisted of party members who had belonged to the NSDAP or to NS fighting organizations such as the Sturmabteilung and the Adolf Hitler raid troop from 1919 to 1923, or who had participated in the 1923 Hitler putsch in Munich. After the party was re-established in February 1925, the party members rejoined under their old membership number, and members of the fighting organizations were given one of the 550 reserved membership numbers when they joined the NSDAP. In particular, members of this corps formed the highest-ranking officials in the structure of the NSDAP .

The group of the old guard held the golden party badge of the NSDAP, partly also the " blood order ". They wore numerous insignia on their uniforms, such as various chevrons of honor and sleeve stripes, which made this group recognizable as old fighters.

On November 8th and 9th of each year the “Day of the Corps of Old Fighters” took place in Munich, which commemorated the “March on the Feldherrnhalle”, the failed Hitler putsch of 1923.

Preferred care

In May 1933 the NSDAP parliamentary group in the Prussian state parliament obliged its members to ensure that all party members with a membership number below 100,000 are accommodated in paid positions. In July, Rudolf Heß issued a circular that all unemployed "old party members" should be given preference, ie all members who had joined the NSDAP before January 30, 1933. This preference was justified because the old members in times "of the old system experienced severe disadvantages in many respects and partly lost their jobs, partly were postponed in the allocation of jobs." In October 1933, the special campaign to accelerate the accommodation of party members at the Reichsanstalt for job placement and unemployment insurance in Berlin centrally controlled. In particular, party members with membership numbers up to 300,000 (ie joining the party before the end of 1930) as well as officials of the NSDAP who have been active for at least one year should be given preference; also all members of the SA, SS and Stahlhelm who had joined before January 30, 1933.

According to Frank Bajohr , such differentiations turned out to be of little relevance in practice: in fact, party members often held lucrative posts and jobs regardless of membership number. Of the more than 3,000 positions that were filled with party comrades in the middle and lower service of a ministry until 1936, only 369 had previously been registered as unemployed.

"Old fighters of the Ostmark"

In Austria, with an instruction from the "Reich Commissioner for Reunification" Josef Bürckel, those party comrades were declared "old fighters of the Ostmark" who had joined the Austrian NSDAP before the party was banned on June 19, 1933 and after the "Anschluss" in the course of the " Reorganization ”of the Austrian party have received their old membership number again. This was the case if, during a review, it was found that Nazi activities had continued during the period of the party ban. In addition, those in Austria were declared "old fighters" who had been awarded the "Blood Order" or who had done "exceptionally meritorious" party work before March 11, 1938. From December 1938, the same discounts were valid for the "old fighters of the Ostmark" as for the "old fighters" in the " Altreich ".

After the end of the war

The "old fighters" were among the people to be denazified .

According to Article 10 of the Control Council Directive No. 24, the bearers of the National Socialist Blood Order of November 9, 1923 were to be removed from offices and responsible positions. Anyone who received an office or position during the Nazi regime solely because of their membership in the NSDAP was considered to be a “beneficiary” and thus a “burdened person” according to the Control Council Directive No. 38 . Certain atonement measures could be imposed on him in an arbitration chamber procedure , apart from imprisonment, for example, the confiscation of property or the loss of legal claims to a pension or benefit payable from public funds.

See also


  • Hilde chamber, Elisabeth Bartsch: Youth lexicon National Socialism. Terms from the period of tyranny 1933–1945. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1982, ISBN 3-499-16288-1 ( Rororo 6288 rororo manual ).
  • Christian Zentner , Friedemann needy (ed.): The Great Lexicon of the Third Reich. Südwest Verlag, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-517-00834-6 .
  • Martin Moll: The fall of old fighters. A new approach to the rule analysis of the Nazi regime. In: Historische Mitteilungen der Ranke-Gesellschaft 5th Jg. (1992), pp. 1-51.
  • Anja Stanciu: "Old Fighters" of the NSDAP. A Berlin functional elite 1926–1949. (= Contemporary historical studies. Volume 59). Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2018, ISBN 978-3-412-50367-3 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ FA Brockhaus: The New Brockhaus. Allbuch in four volumes and an atlas , volume 1, p. 70, Leipzig 1938.
  2. a b Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vokabular des Nationalozialismus , 2nd edition Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-11-019549-1 ; P. 26, limited preview in Google Book search.
  3. ^ A b Gerhard Botz : The Austrian NSDAP as an asymmetrical people's party: social dynamics or bureaucratic self-construction? In: Jürgen W. Falter (Ed.): Young fighters, old opportunists. The members of the NSDAP 1919–1945 . Campus, Frankfurt / New York 2016, ISBN 978-3-593-50614-2 , p. 437 .
  4. Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vocabulary of National Socialism , 2nd edition Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-11-019549-1 , p. 24.
  5. ^ Brian L. Davis and Ian Westwell: German uniforms and badges 1933-1945 , Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2006, p. 113.
  6. ^ Frank Bajohr: Parvenus and Profiteurs - Corruption in the Nazi Era. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-596-15388-3 , p. 22.
  7. ^ Frank Bajohr: Parvenus and Profiteurs - Corruption in the Nazi Era. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-596-15388-3 , pp. 22/23.
  8. ^ Frank Bajohr: Parvenus and Profiteurs - Corruption in the Nazi Era. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-596-15388-3 , p. 24.
  9. Benefits for old fighters. In:  Kleine Volks-Zeitung , December 28, 1938, p. 14 (online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / kvz.
  10. Clemens Vollnhals (Ed.): Denazification. Political cleansing and rehabilitation in the four zones of occupation 1945-1949. Munich 1991, ISBN 3-423-02962-5 .