By Konrad Heiden
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Extra resources for A history of national socialism
Not until he came in touch with the Reichswehr did he find his true political path. He is certainly not an ideal type; even Hitler has never allowed his oldest fellow-campaigner to come right to the fore. In the early days, however, he was irreplaceable, because unique. These two unknown men, Hitler and Esser, did not at first succeed in taking the city of Munich by storm, nor did they achieve anything remarkable at their first meetings. Hitler’s statements in his speeches and writings that the bourgeoisie at that time had held no great political meetings are false.
But then they never spurned Jews or broke up meetings, they did not make a noise or extort things forcibly. And, of course, they had no Reichswehr and no Röhm to back them. THREE THOUSAND MEMBERS Hitler had every reason to be satisfied with the past year. His friend Esser was already describing Hitler’s brilliant oratory and power Downloaded by [INFLIBNET Centre] at 08:49 29 August 2012 Hitler’s Fight for the Party Leadership 39 over his audience in the reports of the meetings that he sent to the Beobachter.
On the other hand, Point 11, the most equivocal and disputed, which has been rejected by large sections of the Party, the famous “breaking of the bondage of interest,” achieved a significance which was undreamt of by the compilers of the programme and not recognized until much later. In conjunction with the rejected Point 17, it has since 1929 won for the Party the hearts of the debt-burdened landowners. Point 15 is the “social” part, Point 16 possibly the real kernel of the programme, namely, the section dealing with the middle classes.
A history of national socialism by Konrad Heiden