The Nazi Party develops direct action

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Incitement to violence

NSDAP meetings were structured to immitate military parades.

Hitler addressed them with passionate speeches that unleashed strong emotions in his followers. This incited them to use violence.

In September 1921 Hitler was sent to prison for his part in a mob attack on a rival politician.

Military organisation

The political and social chaos in Germany immediately after World War One led to the rise of many violent and extreme political groups. Hitler’s NSDAP was one of these.

Hitler’s time in the army and the military background of many of his supporters led to the NSDAP becoming like a military organisation. There was a section of the party called the ‘stormtroopers’ (Sturm Abteilung – SA – ‘Brownshirts’).

The SA’s function was to protect Hitler and to disrupt political meetings of other parties. Amongst the SA’s leaders were Hermann Goering, a former war hero, and Ernst Rohm, a former army captain.