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The National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1919 and 1945. It was known as the German Workers' Party (DAP) prior to a change of name in 1920. The party's second-to-last leader, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by president Paul von Hindenburg in 1933. Hitler rapidly established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich.

Nazi ideology stressed the failures of laissez-faire capitalism, communism, economic liberalism, and democracy; advocated Positive Christianity; supported the "racial purity of the German people" and that of other Northwestern Europeans; and claimed itself as the protector of Germany from Jewish influence and corruption. The Nazis persecuted those they perceived as either race enemies or Lebensunwertes Leben, that is "life unworthy of living". This included Jews, Slavs, Roma, and so-called Mischlinge along with Communists, homosexuals, the mentally and physically disabled, and others. The persecution reached its climax when the party and the German state which it controlled organized the systematic murder of approximately six million Jews and six million other people from the other targeted groups, in what has become known as the Holocaust. Hitler's desire to build a German empire through expansionist policies led to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.

The Party fell when Germany was defeated in 1945; Hitler and several leaders committed suicide. Others were captured and tried for their crimes. Still others were able to escape justice for decades afterward.

Nazi Party in After the DownfallEdit

Hasso Pemsel, a loyal soldier of the Wehrmacht, started out indifferent to the Nazi policies. However, as World War II progressed, he began to see their inherent follies, which only became fully clear to him after his accidental emigration to a parallel universe.

Nazi Party in Crosstime Traffic Edit

Crosstime Traffic was aware of several alternates in which Germany, under the rule of the Nazi Party, and its Axis allies had won World War II. These were deemed particularly terrible. In some of them, the Axis had conquered the United States. The Crosstime Traffic employee Eduardo Caruso considered these alternates to be "only slightly worse" than one in which the Soviet Union won the Cold War.[1] In one of these alternates, Nazi Germany was responsible for starting a devastating nuclear war.

Nazi Party in The GladiatorEdit

After the Soviet Union won the Cold War, the Nazi Party was held up as a historical boogeyman, in ways that distracted the masses from its similarities to the 21st century's communist governments. Comrade Pellagrini, for example, pointed out that the Nazis called themselves the National Socialist Workers' Party, using socialist concepts to "mystify" the general population even though the Nazi Party was not truly socialist.[2]

Nazi Party in In the Presence of Mine EnemiesEdit

In 2010, the Nazi Party was the sole party in Germany proper. The countries that made up the German Empire or were allied with it were run by political parties of a similar world-view, usually fascist parties that were expected to maintain authoritarian rule and cooperate with the Nazi agenda of genocide against the Jews. Millions of Jews and other non-Aryan groups the world over were exterminated.

However, the seeds for Nazism's downfall lay within. In the first edition of Mein Kampf, Hitler had extolled the virtues of the party democratically electing its leaders. Upon the death of Führer Kurt Haldweim in 2010, the British Union of Fascists called for the German government to base the selection of the new Führer on the First Edition. The BUF followed its own advice when it allowed a popular vote for Charlie Lynton as its new leader.

Although Germany did not elect Führer Heinz Buckliger democratically, Buckliger made frequent use of the First Edition to justify his own attempts at reform. Buckliger called for multi-party elections on 10 July 2011, and an attempted Putsch by the SS was unable to stop them. With the great anger and frustration felt by most Germans with the Nazi Party, the course of Nazi politics appeared set for a great change, as reformers handily defeated conservatives.

Nazi Party in Joe SteeleEdit

U.S. President Joe Steele hated the Nazi Party, which took power in Germany in 1933, and all it stood for. His country's forces were instrumental in overthrowing the Nazis at the end of World War II in 1945. Nevertheless, his regime stayed in power by using brutal tactics comparable to the Nazis', a fact which did not escape neutral commentators.

Nazi Party in "The Last Article"Edit

Mohandas Gandhi stubbornly refused to accept just how inhumane the principles of the Nazi Party were, until German troops invaded India in 1947. Even after seeing Germans casually massacre his countrymen, Gandhi only accepted the truth of the inherent immorality of the Nazi system in the time just prior to his own execution.

Nazi Party in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the Nazi Party was banned by the decree of the Allies occupying Germany. However, the spirit of the Party lived on underground, in the form of the German Freedom Front. Beginning in 1945, die-hard Nazis continued to fight the Allies via terrorist action.

By 1948, the United States and United Kingdom had pulled out of Germany, and members of the Nazi Party living in their former occupation zones looked forward to seizing control again.

Nazi Party in "Must and Shall"Edit

Neil Michaels heartily condemned the tyranny of the Nazis without once questioning why he worked for an agency called the Federal Bureau of Suppression.[3]

Nazi Party in "Shtetl Days"Edit

Under the rule of the Nazi Party, the Greater German Reich won the War of Retribution and built an empire that stradled the globe. The Nazi Party also set about eradicating the so-called Untermenschen, including the Jews and Gypsies, all the while carefully studying and recording the cultures they were exterminating. By the 2040s, the Nazi Party, through the Commissariat for the Strengthening of the German Populace, had recreated the Jews and other groups with historical re-enactors, who performed in mock shtetls and other appropriate townships.

Ironically, in the shtetl of Wawolnice, the Aryan actors soon grew disenchanted with the horrifying world Nazism had built, and came to identify with their Jewish characters. In this way, the Nazis re-created that which they had destroyed.

Nazi Party in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Under the domination of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, Germany had spent the period from 1933-1938 pursuing an aggressive, racially-based foreign policy designed to restore German military greatness and the unification of all German peoples. By 1938, Germany had began rearming, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, had formally annexed Austria, and began demanding the Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia.

While the other powers of Europe were alarmed by Nazi Germany's aggression, there was little will to confront Hitler in Britain and France. The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin seemed more inclined to fight. Stalin supported the Republican faction of the Spanish Civil War openly, whereas France and Britain paid the Republicans lip-service and little else.

In September 1938, it appeared that once again, Germany would be appeased, as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Premier Edouard Daladier met in Munich with Hitler and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini (one of Hitler's main foreign allies) to enter into an agreement which would give Germany the Sudetenland. The meeting was interrupted by news that Konrad Henlein, a political leader of the Germans in the Sudetenland, had been assassinated by a Czech nationalist named Jaroslav Stribny. Hitler, who had actually wanted a war, not this handover of territory, announced his intention to declare war on Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain and Daladier could not believe that Hitler was innocent of Henlein's death (he was in fact, innocent) and so saw no other option but war.

While Germany had been rearming, in truth it was only marginally more prepared for war than its enemies. German strategy involved bluffing the Western Allies, to help slow down their advance into Germany, while Germany subdued Czechoslovakia. After 30 days, French troops had a fragile toe-hold on German territory and British troops hadn't left France, each convinced that Germany was in a far better position for war than it was. Again, the Soviet Union was willing to directly confront Germany, landing troops in Czech territory, and launching aerial attacks. But geography thwarted a direct land engagement: Poland and Romania acted as buffers between the USSR and Czechoslovakia proper. Thus, after ferocious fighting on both sides, Czechoslovakia fell completely to Germany in 30 days.

Flush with victory, Germany now turned West. In December, all French troops had been pushed out of German territory, and German forces invaded France. Simultaneously, Germany launched an invasion of the Netherlands, then Luxembourg. An invasion of Belgium was clearly in the offing, but King Leopold III was unwilling to allow Allied forces into Belgian territory until far too late. Belgium fell, and Germany had another route into France.

After the German advance was halted at Beauvais, east of Paris, the Germans had difficulties. British Empire, French, African, and Czech troops held the line, and forced back the Wehrmacht. Soon, German troops were beginning to fall back. In the east, the tenacity of the Poles stymied the Soviets. Despite this, Hitler remained defiant, and ordered an invasion of Denmark (which, completely taken by surprise, fell in days) and then Norway (which immediately fought, with help from Britain and France).

By the end of the year Scandinavia and the East were more or less secure, but the situation continued to worsen in France where the German troops were pushed almost to the border with Belgium. Another coup attempt was launched, prompting the SS to conduct a second, more violent crackdown on the Wehrmacht that took the shooting to Germany itself and made civilians reminisce about the collapse of the Kaiserreich in 1918.

Hitler still stood defiant, and conducted a massive rally in Münster despite being aware that the city was a recurrent target of the RAF and the French Air Force. He refused an offer from United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt to negotiate an end to the war with a return to the status quo ante bellum, but he was careful not to anger the U.S., no mean task, as a German U-boat had sunk the luxury liner SS Athenia in January, 1939. While Germany was able to successfully blame Britain for the sinking, Hitler took additional steps, including helping American tourist Peggy Druce, trapped in Europe since the outbreak of war, to go first to Denmark and then on to neutral Sweden after Denmark fell to Germany.

In 1940, Hitler's fortunes changed dramatically (albeit temporarily) for the better when he sent his deputy, Rudolf Hess into Britain. Here, Hess was able to convince the governments of both Britain and France to end their war and arrange a new alliance wherein Britain and France joined Germany in its war against the Soviet Union. Hungary and Slovakia also joined the alliance, as did Romania early the following year. Concurrently, Hitler announced plans to force the Jews in the former Czechoslovakia into ghettos.

While the coalition made substantial gains into Soviet territory in the following year, discontent in the British military led to an unprecedented coup in the Spring of 1941 which deposed the appeasement government of Sir Horace Wilson. Britain then withdrew from the Soviet Union. As France remained a German ally, the British could not return ground troops to Europe, and concentrated on aerial bombings. Britain also engaged Italian forces in North Africa. As Britain gained the upper hand in the closing days of 1941, Germany's Afrika Korps entered the fray, opening a new front for Germany. In December 1941, France, which had been seeking to exit the German alliance, completed negotiations with Britain and the USSR, and withdrew from Russia. Now Germany was again fighting in both the east and the west.

Discontent with Hitler began to grow throughout 1941. Münich was a center, led in part by Bishop Clemens August von Galen, who was critical of the Nazis' euthanasia programs. Finally, Hitler overplayed his hand when the government arrested von Galen, prompting a round of demonstrations in Münster. In the spring of 1943, another demonstration in the square outside of Münster's cathedral erupted into violence when police officers fired on the crowd. While several protesters were shot, other were able to charge the line of police, inflicting damage in return.[4] In response, the German government sent the SS into Münster, who fortified the cathedral.[5] While the people of Münster publicly accepted martial law, resentment boiled just below the surface.[6]

Hitler also grew more reckless with regards to the U.S., which had been attacked by Japan in January 1941. Despite this war, the U.S. continued to ships arms to Britain, France, and the USSR. Hitler issued an ultimatum that the U.S. would suffer consequences. He further ordered that German troops were no longer to retreat on any front.

Things continued to go poorly for Germany throughout the remainder of 1943 and into 1944. Münster continued to fester. Despite fortifications in the Low Countries, the Allies continued to press German positions in Belgium, and Soviet troops continued to move into Ukraine and Poland. On the Spanish front, Marshal Sanjurjo was killed by a sniper in Fall 1943.[7] Despite efforts to maintain his cult of personality, Hitler's popularity waned.[8]

Hitler's downfall came after a series of blunders. In the Winter of 1943, Münster began an open revolt, prompting martial law.[9] Further, after months of tension, Hitler decided to initiate war with the United States when U-boats attacked several American merchant ships in March 1944.[10] This prompted several military leaders to form the Committee for the Salvation of the German Nation, with General Heinz Guderian as their leader. When Hitler decided to broadcast a speech from Münster in an attempt to regain the country's trust, the group successfully assassinated him with a bomb, despite the heavy security measures the SS put into place.[11]

A civil war broke out almost immediately. Several of Hitler's would-be successors were arrested or killed. Ultimately, Guderian and the Committee triumphed, and the Nazis were purged from the German government.[12] Ironically, while Germany withdrew from the Low Countries, Denmark, Norway, France, and the USSR, Guderian was able to keep many of the territorial gains Hitler had made early on, including Austria, the Sudetenland, and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.[13]

Domestically, the Committee loosened the more restrictive policies of the Nazis. News broadcasts included uncomplimentary reports about Germany and emphasized the crimes and cruelty of the SS and SD. It also quietly revoked the Reich Citizenship Law of 1935, effectively restoring citizenship to Jews rather than treating them as residents without rights. It also removed the requirement that Jews have the yellow star of David on their clothing in public.[14]

When the Committee abolished the Nazi flag of Germany, it was replaced by the pre-1918 flag of the Kaiserreich, rather than that of the incompetent, unpopular Weimar Republic. The memory of Weimar was not dear to the conservative generals of the Committee, and they gave no indication of intending to revive parliamentary democracy; rather, Germany seemed headed toward an open-ended time of military dictatorship.

Nazi Party in Worldwar Edit

The Nazi Party had alienated most of the world from Germany by the time World War II began, but with the invasion of the Race in 1942 the various human powers capable of resisting the Race's onslaught were forced to ally with one another. The decision to find common cause with the Nazis was a distasteful one in the United States, the Soviet Union (although formerly an ally of the National Socialists before Hitler's betrayal), and Britain (the leaders of the Allied Forces), but the necessity was recognized.

After the Peace of Cairo ensured Germany's continued independence, the Nazis continued to dominate Germany. Hitler's successors Heinrich Himmler and Ernst Kaltenbrunner were members of the Nazi Party. Kaltenbrunner's fanatical Nazism led him to launch an ill-advised invasion of Race-occupied Poland, touching off a disastrous war with the Race in which Germany was not supported by the other major human powers (and in which Kaltenbrunner himself was killed).

Kaltenbrunner's successor, Walter Dornberger, was not a particularly enthusiastic believer in the Nazi platform, much to the relief of most of the world's human population and the Race, which trusted the Nazis no more than any human government which had dealt with them.

Though in fact a German patriot more than a Nazi ideologue, Dornberger's efforts to reconstruct the country after the thorough destruction and devastation of nuclear war did manage to elevate Germany to being a major power again while still under a Nazi system of a kind. Thus, by the 2030s, the possibility of Nazi Germany building nuclear-armed FTL ships and arriving at Home, was a considerable worry to the Race as well as to the United States and other human powers.

Nazi Party in "Zigeuner"Edit

After Adolf Hitler assumed control of the Nazi Party, he imposed his racial politics, including the persecution of Zigeuner, Bolsheviks and homosexuals. The Nazis also promoted acceptance of the Jews.[15][16]

With the outbreak of World War II, Hitler directed the SS to round up and eliminate the Zigeuner they found in the areas Germany occupied. Hitler also directed Germany's allies to do the same thing, a task Germany oversaw past all rationality. Thus, even as the Soviet Red Army had entered eastern Hungary in October 1944, SS Haupsturmführer Joseph Stieglitz oversaw the capture and deportation of a Zigeuner village near Nagylengyel in western Hungary.[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Gladiator, pg. 262.
  2. Ibid., pg. 25.
  3. E.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, p. 86.
  4. Two Fronts, pg. 358.
  5. Ibid., pg. 386-387.
  6. Ibid., pg. 387.
  7. Last Orders, pg. 144-146.
  8. Ibid., pgs. 108-109.
  9. Ibid., pgs. 116-119.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 269-70.
  11. Ibid., pg. 300.
  12. Ibid., pg. 382.
  13. Ibid., pgs. 318-320.
  14. Ibid, pgs. 382-383.
  15. Asimov's Science Fiction, September/October, 2017, Vol. 41 Nos. 9 & 10, pg. 94-95.
  16. Ibid., pg. 100.
  17. Ibid., pg. 92-99.

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