The Attempted Takeover

ThuleThe crisis the ultimately made Adolf Hitler the absolute and unquestionable leader – the Führer – of NSDAP in June of 1921, began two months earlier – in April. It was prompted by what ostensibly was a merger offer from the leaders of German Socialist Party (DSP). In reality it was not a merger offer, but an attempt of a hostile takeover by DSP over the NSDAP. Hostile to Adolf Hitler that is.

DSP and DAP (subsequently NSDAP) were sister parties set up by a single parent – the Thule Society. To achieve its very ambitious political objectives, Thule obviously needed a political party.

As a precaution (that subsequently turned out to be a wise one), the society established not one, but two political parties – DAP and DSP (which consequently had little – if any – fundamental differences). By August 1920, NSDAP had Adolf Hitler (whom DSP once rejected), but DSP had a much wider infrastructure (branch network).

In addition to its Nuremberg headquarters (subsequently moved to Berlin), it had offices in Düsseldorf, Kiel, Frankfurt am Main, Dresden, and Munich. In other words, by that time it was already a national party while NSDAP was still very much a local outfit. And when a nationwide party merges with a local one, it is no merger – it is a takeover, plain and simple.

There was another serious reason for this takeover attempt. Adolf Hitler – a de-facto leader of NSDAP – severed all ties with Thule society which consequently lost all control over its “baby”. And while it still had a significant control over DSP, the latter had nowhere near the political potential of NSDAP.

Thule wanted both potential and control so the takeover attempt made perfect sense – it will acquire Adolf Hitler and use the extensive DSP infrastructure to control him. It was another attempt to control Hitler that failed miserably – and quickly.

Although in March of 1920 DSP leaders managed to convince Anton Drexler (then Chairman of NSDAP who had his own reasons for establishing control over Hitler) to agree to their merger (i.e. takeover) terms – including the transfer of NSDAP headquarters to Berlin.

When Hitler learned about the agreement (which for him was tantamount to a betrayal), he exploded with fury and threatened to resign from the party – something that would have been fatal to NSDAP. So Drexler had no other choice but to cancel the agreement with DSP and any further negotiations with this party. The Thule-engineered takeover attempt failed.

Which did not make some other NSDAP leaders happy (to put it mildly) as they believed that DSP offer to expand NSDAP outreach via its branches and put Adolf Hitler under control made perfect sense.


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