Although the DAP was created by the Thule Society, there was another, a far more powerful organization interested in using it as a powerful tool to sway the German proletariat away from Communism, which had become highly influential following the German Revolution.
The German Army. The Reichswehr (more accurately, the Reichsheer).
According to the official Nazi version, after the lecture delivered by Gottfried Feder (the future chief economic advisor of NSDAP), Adolf Hitler was about to leave.
But he suddenly heard an invited guest, a one Professor Baumann, attack Feder and then speak in favor of Bavarian separatism. A diehard Pan-German nationalist, Hitler simply could not let it pass. He intervened so heatedly that Baumann, totally deflated, took his hat and left even while Hitler was still speaking, looking ‘like a wet poodle’.
The Party Chairman, Anton Drexler, was so impressed by Hitler’s oratorical abilities, that he made him a party member without the latter even applying for membership.
According to Adolf Hitler, within a week of attending the meeting, he then received a postcard informing him that he had been accepted as a member, and should attend a committee meeting of the party a few days later to discuss the matter.
After a few days of indecision he finally made up his mind to join. What determined him was the feeling that such a small organization offered ‘the individual an opportunity for real personal activity’ – the prospect, that is, of quickly making his mark and dominating it.
Reality was quite different. According to Captain Mayr, Hitler’s boss at that time, he had ordered Hitler to join the DAP to help foster its growth and eventually take control of the party. Making it essentially one of the political tools of the Reichswehr.
Consequently, Drexler or no Drexler, postcard or no postcard, Hitler had no other choice but to (1) join the DAP; (2) make it grow – and grow real fast; and (3) ultimately take control of the party and become its Führer.
Money talks – and the gold money talks loud and clear. Captain Mayr’s order was supported with a generous weekly allowance of twenty gold German Marks. In addition to this (for all practical purposes) salary of an undercover Army agent, he was allowed to keep substantial speaker’s fees.
This income allowed him – in contrast to the other DAP leaders who had to work full-time elsewhere to support themselves– to devote all his time to political activities.
Hitler was also allowed to stay in the Army which was not just highly unusual – it was downright illegal (Reichswehr soldiers were forbidden by law to join political parties). He will be officially discharged from the Army only six months later – on March 31st, 1920.
Nazis were always very secretive (to put it mildly) about the sources of their finances but it will be safe to assume that the Reichswehr essentially bankrolled the NSDAP during the first crucial months of its existence by provided the “seed money” for its rapid growth. Thus making the German Army one of the “midwives” of the latter and of Adolf Hitler as a politician.
This “seed money” and the whole “Adolf Hitler project” created an uneasy alliance between NSDAP and Reicshwehr (subsequently with the Wehrmacht) which will last until the end of the World War II and thus until the demise of the Third Reich. Alliance where the Reichswehr was soon forced to accept Hitler and the Nazis as equal partners and later – after he obtained the (almost) absolute power in Germany – as a senior partner.