The Sponsors

Hitler’s “SCV strategy” (scandal-confrontation-violence) had another very important objective – to be recognized and accepted as a force to be reckoned with by social groups vital to the survival (let alone growth and ultimate coming to power). The wealthy donors (sponsors) and the politicians.

Party politics is an expensive endeavor. Alas, Hitler’s audience consisted of individuals or modest means so even a very fast growth of his audience would not have provided Hitler with funds necessary to become a national party (let alone win national elections).

Besides, there were only so many of the speeches he could deliver every week. By the end of 1920, he got his newspaper – the Völkischer Beobachter – but though it rapidly became a cash cow for the Nazi party, it still did not generate enough cash to support the rapid growth and expansion of the party that was needed if it hoped to ever come to power in Germany.

He needed sponsors. Wealthy sponsors. And a lot of them. Fortunately, he had all he needed to acquire the necessary support – a man with a lot of contacts (Eckert), the attractive program (“25 points“), proven ability as a very efficient public speaker and a PR man and a powerful personal charisma and powers of persuasion (even hypnotic powers, actually).

At that time, in Bavaria and in the whole Germany there was no shortage of wealthy, powerful and well-connected individuals who desperately wanted to undo the wrongs committed by the Treaty of Versailles; exact revenge on all enemies of Germany (foreign and domestic) who committed these wrongs (or helped them being committed); unite all Germans (including Austrians) in Ein Reich; solve dire economic problems of Germany; restore its power and glory; transform it into a global political, economic and military powerhouse; protect Germany (and the whole Europe) from the existential threat – Jewish and Bolshevist – and, if necessary, fight and win the existential war with this menace.

They wanted it so desperately that they were willing to invest hefty sums into any individual and/or party who would demonstrate (beyond the reasonable doubt) the ability to solve these problems – and solve them quickly enough.

There was no shortage of politicians, political parties and groups who claimed to be able to do just that so competition for these sums was intense (to put it mildly). Besides, Hitler and his party had a clear disadvantage – their “25 points” program, though mostly attractive to potential sponsors, contained statements deemed to be too “socialist” (i.e. “left wing”).

Hence, ultimately it had to rely mostly on membership dues, other financial donations from party members, Hitler’s speaking fees and mostly on income from newspaper, magazines, pamphlets, brochures, books (e.g. Mein Kampf) and other printed materials for their financial needs.

However, contacts provided by Dietrich Eckart – by that time essentially a celebrity whose popularity and literally hundreds of social contacts introduced Hitler to sufficient number of potential sponsors to obtain sufficient “seed money” for the Nazi movement.

Still, it took a lot of fundraising efforts to obtain this “seed money”. And because for all practical purposes Adolf Hitler was the NSDAP, he had no other choice but to participate in each and every fundraising meeting. And do the lion’s share of talking and persuading.

It was during one of these fundraising trips (a June 1921 trip to Berlin) when a mutiny broke out within the NSDAP in Munich. A mutiny that became a “blessing in disguise” for Adolf Hitler, because it made him the Führer of NSDAP.

However, a year before that another event strengthened Hitler’s belief in the existential threat of Communism.

The Ruhr Uprising.


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