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19 June, 1919, a peace treaty known as Versailles Treaty of Peace was signed between Germany and allied powers (Britain, Russia and France) to end the World War1. The terms of this treaty were mostly biased towards Germany and many restrictions were imposed on Germany. Some of the key articles of this treaty which were biased against Germany are:
Article 231 says that Germany was responsible for triggering the War and Germany has to accept this. In article 232 Germany was forced to pay £6,600 million reparations to Allied Powers. Similarly, Germany was banned for union with Austria, some of the parts of Germany were taken by the Allied Powers, and also Germany was forced to decrease its number of army troops. (Nixon, 2003).
Treaty of Versailles adversely affected Germany, as it faced many economic problems in the wake of this treaty. It was after this treaty that the Germans realized that they were marginalized in the treaty and hence, they started a struggle for economic prosperity and glory of their nation. Germans under the command of Adolf Hitler came forward and started struggle for economic development and the glory of German Nationalism. This movement of German people under the command of Adolf Hitler is often known as Nazis movement. In this essay, I will analyze goals, ideology, outcomes of the Nazis movement and will discuss the role of Nationalism and collective identity in the movement.  
            The Nazis movement started with the formation of National Socialist German Worker`s Party in Munich in 1919. This party was opposed to Versailles Treaty, Communism, Jews, pacifism, and parliamentary democracy. This movement tented to stress matters on which majority of the Germans could agree: the greatness of the nation and the wickedness of Versailles Treaty, efficiency in the government and the need for a prosperous economy. The main triggering idea on which this movement was based: that Germans are the superior of all the races. Hitler introduced the idea of Social Darwinism to provide evidence for the superiority of the Germans. According to Social Darwinism “all sorts of groups, nations, cultures and races are subjected to same laws of natural selection, only those races will survive which are the stronger while, the weaker races will be eliminated” (Remak 1969: 02). According to this concept only those races survive in the world which struggle for their greatness and fight against the weaker races. Hitler promoted the idea that Germans are superior of all the races and in order to remain superior they need to fight against the weaker anti-Germans. Hitler promoted this ideology in his speeches and called upon the Germans to stand up against the opposite forces (Non Germans) and struggle for the glory of German nation, as he writes in his book Mein Kampf “he who would live, let him fight, and he who would not fight in this world of struggle is not deserving of life” (Hitler 1972: 316). Jews were declared responsible for the defeat of Germans in World War1 and they were considered to be the most inferior race, as described by Hitler “if one were to divide mankind into three species: the culture creators, the culture-bearers and the culture-destroyers, only the Aryan (Germans) would be likely to fit the first definition…the most powerful antipode to the Aryan is the Jew and the Jews posses no culture.” (Hitler 1972: 318-329). Joachim Remak in his book The Nazis Years mentions some of the main ideas on which the National Socialist German Worker`s Party was based upon. These ideas included:                                                                                           
1- The union of all Germans in the Great Germany                                                                                 2- Only a person of German blood can be racial comrade                                                                                            
3- All citizens possess equal rights and obligations                                                                                  
4- profit sharing in large industrial enterprises                                                                                     
5- All the public offices should be hold by the German citizens                                                                         (Remak 1969: 28).                                                                                                                                            
                           It is obvious from the above mentioned points that the ideology of Nazis was largely related with the race superiority and they wanted to create such a German society, where there would be purity of the race, that is to say, which would only consist of the Germans.  
            The goals of Nazis were very much related to the life of common Germans and it provided a sound reason for the majority of Germans to join National Socialist German Worker`s Party. The main goals of Nazis movement were to achieve economic prosperity, German national glory, and establishment of a government which could efficiently solve problems of the people. Along with this, some other goals of Nazis movement included:                                                                                                                        
 1- To provide livelihood for all German citizens                                                                              
 2- Creation of Healthy middle class                                                                                                                    
3- To bring land reforms                                                                                                                     
 4- Raising health standard of the Germans                                                                                                     
5- Providing Jobs to the Germans                                                                                                                        (Remak 1969: 29).                                                                                                                                                  
                               In order to achieve the above mentioned goals, it was necessary for the National Socialist German Worker`s Party to gain a mass support of the Germans. In 1932, Nazis emerged the strongest single party in Germany and on January 30, 1933, Hitler was appointed as the Chancellor of Germany (Remak 1969: 50). This was a big achievement for the Nazis movement and was a time to implement their agenda of prosperity of Germany.
            Nazis movement can be categorized as ethnic and racial social movement, as its ideology was mainly based on the ethnicity and racism. Susan Olzak gives the definition of ethnic and racial social movement as “Ethnic and Racial social movements are goal-directed collective actions…. A key identifying feature of E/R movements is that claims are made based upon particular identity or boundary defined by the presence of racial or ethnic markers” (Olzak 2007: 667). According to this definition, ethnic and racial social movement is much related with the ethnicity. Ethnicity creates a sense of collective identity in the ethnic group, which further helps in triggering the ethnic and racial social movement. In the case of Nazis movement, it was the German nationalism which prompted the Germans to struggle for glory of the German nation, as they were considering themselves superior of all the other nations and races. It was the German nationalism and sense of racial superiority of German people which made them to act collectively in order to get the desired goals. Looking at Nazis movement from the perspective of Susan Olzak, who provides different characteristics of nationalist social movements; it becomes obvious that Nazis movement was antagonist nationalist social movement. Olzak gives the Horowitz`s definition of antagonist nationalist movement as “A movement directed against specific ethnic targets, including collective attacks ranging from genocide, ethnic cleansing, and mob violence, to symbolic threats” (Olzak 2007: 668). Nazis movement comes fit in this definition, as I mentioned earlier that the main idea of Nazis movement was based on the myth of Germans superiority and inferiority of the Jews. To strengthen the idea that Germans are the superior of all the races, Nazis in their agenda included that after they come in power, all the non-Germans will be expelled from Germany and any further immigration of non-German into Germany will be banned (Remak 1969: 29). Along with this, after Nazis formed government in 1932, ethnic cleansing of Jews were carried out and about 1,100,000 Jews were killed and almost the same number of Jews were deported (Gregor 2000: 323).Nazis carried out genocide and deportation of the Jews in order to purify the German society and establish such a society which only contain the pure and the best race: the Germans. Similarly, Nazis made certain laws which forbidden Jews from doing any business. The most decisive measure in this regard was taken on 12 November, 1938, when a law was passed, according to that law Jews were excluded from the retail business and Jewish-owned property was supposed to be transferred to the Germans ( Noakes, Pridham 1974 :479). In short, Nazis tried to eliminate the Jews, as they were considered to be responsible for their defeat in World War1, and now when Germany wanted to achieve the national greatness, they thought that it is necessary to get rid of those who are obstacle in the way of development.
            Nazis movement succeeded in achieving economic and social prosperity in Germany. After world war1 inflation and unemployment adversely affected Germany, as noted by Remak; “the price of bread rose to 2500 marks, and an egg cost 800 marks…and a large number of people were unemployed” (Remak 1969:23). In order to cope with the issue of unemployment, different programs were initiated, which were meant to provide jobs for the Germans. On January 30, 1933 a program named as United German People was initiated, under this program 8 million people were given the jobs (Remak 1969: 46). The economy of Germany boosted up during the Nazis reign and the unemployment ratio dropped drastically, the number of unemployed dropped from 5,575,500 in 1932 to 429,500 in 1938 (from 30.1% to 2.1%) (Remak 1969: 75). Although, Nazis movement achieved economic and social prosperity goals, but the killing of millions of Jews put a dark stigma on the movement, and that is why Nazis movement is always consider as a Racist movement (based on racism), the aim of which was to prove the superiority of Germans and inferiority of the Jews.       
Written By: Masood Khan

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