Membership ban of the NSDAP
On April 19, 1933, the NSDAP introduced a ban on membership for new members in order to cope with the onslaught of applications for membership after it came to power on January 30, 1933. This lock was loosened several times in the following years and completely lifted on May 10, 1939.
Both the handover of power to the National Socialists at the beginning of 1933, referred to in their own language as the “takeover” or “national uprising”, and the process and outcome of the Reichstag elections of March 5, 1933 led to mass resignations in all other parties in Germany. The left-wing and social democratic parties such as the KPD and the SPD , but also parties of the center-right spectrum, were particularly affected . In the period that followed, hundreds of thousands of Germans applied for membership in the NSDAP. The number of party members rose from 850,000 (January 1933) to almost 2.5 million (January 1935). The numerous new members were mockingly and disparagingly referred to as “ March fallen ”. The Nazi leadership even suspected that the high number of new registrations, which also called for the administration of the party, thousands of "economic knights" and political opposition forces, who do not like old fighter from Nazi conviction, but for personal gain or with the aim of sabotaging the Party affiliation desired.
Imposition of the admission ban
To counter this, the party leadership responded on April 19, 1933 to the influx of members with a nationwide, unlimited membership ban, which was fixed in the order of April 19, 1933 of the Reich Treasurer of the NSDAP, Franz Xaver Schwarz , and on May 1 Came into force in 1933. The ordinance sheet of the Reich leadership of the NSDAP of April 30, 1933 also stated: “After this point in time, no department of the movement may accept new registrations. The districts can submit new registrations to the Reichsleitung received by the authorities before May 1 by May 15 at the latest. "Excepted from the admission ban were" members of the Hitler Youth who have reached the age of 18, members of the NSBO and all those who which services are doing in the SA or SS . ”This enabled them to continue joining the NSDAP. On May 1, 1933, " National Labor Day ", there was an above-average number of party members, including Carl Schmitt , Theodor Oberländer , Wilhelm von Opel , Fritz Thyssen , the "Crown Lawyer" Ernst Rudolf Huber and Karl Gebhardt , Heinrich Himmler's personal physician .
In addition to the existing special regulations, the comprehensive admission ban was subsequently relaxed. In 1937, Reich Treasurer Schwarz first permitted the old NSBO and NS-Hago (National Socialist Trade and Industry Organization) members to join the NSDAP with order 3/37, and then with order 18/37 of April 20, 1937, all of them to enable entry into the NSDAP, who had been active as National Socialists in the party's branches and affiliated associations since the takeover of power.
With these extended special regulations for joining the party and the introduction of the so-called “party candidate”, the number of members grew considerably after 1937, so that in 1939 the NSDAP had around 5.3 million party members. Party candidates had to assume all duties, in particular the obligation to pay contributions and to register, and were allowed to wear the party badge from January 1938 , but they were only eligible for admission to the party until they were given a red membership card by the Reich leadership.
After the complete lifting of the ban on membership for the Altreich and the Gau Danzig with the order 34/39 of May 10, 1939, which came into force retroactively to May 1, 1939, the number of members increased again significantly. After the completion of Order 18/37, Adolf Hitler set a ratio of 1:10 between the number of party members and the number of German citizens as the ideal goal. The establishment of party candidates was lifted at the same time.
In 1945 the number of membership numbers assigned was around 8.5 million.
- See Table 1 in: Michael Grüttner : The Third Reich. 1933-1939 . Stuttgart 2014, p. 101 (= Gebhardt. Handbook of German History , Volume 19).
- Axel Vieregg: Encountered your own fallibility? Günter Eich's entanglements in the Third Reich ( Memento from September 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
- Federal Archives - PG - On the membership system of the NSDAP. March 7, 2016, accessed February 7, 2019 .
- See Table 1 in: Michael Grüttner: The Third Reich. 1933-1939 . Stuttgart 2014, p. 101.
- Anton Lingg: The administration of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . Zentralverlag der NSDAP, Munich 1939, p. 162.
- Anton Lingg: The administration of the National Socialist German Workers' Party , p. 163.
- Wolfgang Benz (Ed.): How did you become a party member? The NSDAP and its members . Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-596-18068-4 .