Today’s date 5th of January: At the hotel Fürstenfelder Hof in Munich, the German Workers Party is founded on this day in 1919. The party will later change its name to NSDAP.
The party had its foundation in several workers’ committees that had been founded by Anton Drexler and Karl Harrer. Both Drexler and Harrer were members of the pagan Thule society. The people in these committees met regularly to discuss politics, nationalism and the Jewish question. In December 1918, Drexler had been persuaded that it was time to form a regular political
On the 5th of January, 1919, Anton Drexler, Karl Harrer, Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckart, among others, gathered at the Fürstenfelder Hof hotel in Munich. At this meeting, the German Labor Party (DAP) was formally founded. Anton Drexler was elected to the party’s first chairman.
During the first few months of the party, the number of members was very low, nor did many people gather at their public meetings. In August 1919, the party could count on 38 participants at one of their meetings in one of Munich’s many beer halls.
During the summer of the same year, Adolf Hitler had accepted an offer from the Reichswehr (English: Realm Defence) that meant that he would investigate the party’s actions. In September 1919, Hitler was present at one of the party’s meetings, this time held in Sterneckerbräu. After listening to one of the meeting participants’ arguments for Bavaria to free itself from the rest of Germany, Hitler requested the word and rejected the speaker’s people-splitting argument.
Anton Drexler was so impressed with Hitler’s passionate speech that he offered him a membership of the party on the spot, Hitler accepted and was commissioned to lead the party propaganda department. As his first task, Hitler undertook the task to get the party to grow. Only 12 days after Hitler’s entry, the party’s first major public meeting was held, with Hitler speaking. The meeting was a success.
Thanks to Hitler’s outstanding skill as a speaker, the party’s meetings gathered, within half a year, for hundreds of participants. On February 24th, 1920, over 1,000 participants gathered in the Hofbräuhaus to listen to Hitler. At the same meeting, the party announced its party program.
In February 1920, the party changed its name, they added “National Socialist” to the party name, and was now called the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP).