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Few would have thought that the Nazi Party starting as a gang of unemployed soldiers in 1919 would become the legal government of Germany by 1933 In fourteen years a once obscure corporal Adolf Hitler would become the Chancellor of Germany World War I ended in 1918 with a grisly total of 37 million casualties including 9 million dead combatants German propaganda had not prepared the nation for defeat resulting in a sense of injured German national pride Those military and political leaders who were responsible claimed that Germany had been stabbed in the back by its leftwing politicians Communists and Jews When a new government the Weimar Republic tried to establish a democratic course extreme political parties from both the right and the left struggled violently for control The new regime could neither handle the depressed economy nor the rampant lawlessness and disorder The German population swallowed the bitter pill of defeat as the victorious Allies punished Germany severely In the Treaty of Versailles Germany was disarmed and forced to pay reparations to France and Britain for the huge costs of the war The German Workers Party the forerunner of the Nazi Party espoused a right-wing ideology like many similar groups of demobilized soldiers Adolf Hitler joined this small political party in 1919 and rose to leadership through his emotional and captivating speeches He encouraged national pride militarism and a commitment to the Volk and a racially pure Germany Hitler condemned the Jews exploiting anti-Semitic feelings that had prevailed in Europe for centuries He changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Workers Party called for short the Nazi Party or NSDAP By the end of 1920 the Nazi Party had about 3000 members A year later Hitler became its official leader or Fhrer Adolf Hitlers attempt at an armed overthrow of local authorities in Munich known as the Beer Hall Putsch failed miserably The Nazi Party
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