The German Workers’ Party, otherwise called the DAP, was the predecessor of the German “Nazi Party” (NSDAP). It was founded in the Furstenfelder Hof, which was a hotel located in Munich. Anton Drexler, who was a member of the Thule Society, established the DAP. The group developed and branched out from the Free Workers’ Committee, which was another group led and founded by Drexler.
About the DAP and Its Members
Among the first members of the DAP were Drexler’s colleagues that were from the rail depot in Munich. Drexler was motivated to organize the DAP by Dr. Paul Tafel, which was also his mentor. Tafel was the leader of the Pan-Germanist Union, and a Thule Society member. His main goal was to create a group that would be in touch with the nationalist and the masses, which were not carried out by the middle-class parties. Initially, there were only 40 members in the group.
Karl Harrer joined the DAP on March 24, 1919. He was also a Thule Society member, as well as a thriving sports journalist. He wanted to increase the group’s influence over the activities of the DAP. Eventually, the group was renamed “Political Workers’ Circle,” and there were only a few members in this party. Furthermore, the meetings of members were held at local beer houses in Munich.
Progress of the DAP
Adolf Hitler was a former corporal who served in the German army, and he was tasked to spy on one of the meetings of the DAP. The gathering was held at a beer hall on September 12, 1919. When he came to that place, he was caught in a violent discussion with one of the guests. After this incident, Drexler was amazed with the excellent oratory skills shown by Hitler. Eventually, Hitler was invited to become a guest in the party, and he left the army when he joined the DAP.
During that time, anyone can become a member even without being issued a card or number. It was only in 1920 when there was an issuance of numeration, and Hitler was assigned the membership number 555. In reality, there were only 55 members of the party, which included Hitler. He also claimed that he was the 7th member of the group, and that would give him the title as a founding member, yet this concept was refuted. It was only because of his original work called Mein Kampf that he received the group’s membership card that was labeled with the number 7. Moreover, his highly impressive speech delivered at one of the party’s meetings gave him the opportunity to rise to fame and made him a prominent figure in the group.
Growth and Branching Out of the Group
Several party members were enlightened by the political beliefs of Hitler, and more individuals have decided to join the group. In 1920, the German Workers’ Party was founded, and it was a term borrowed from another Austrian party that was rather popular at that time. Hitler, however, wanted the name “Social Revolutionary Party,” yet Rudolf Jung encouraged him to consider NSDAP as a better name for the party.