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Military government weekly information bulletin
No. 37 (April 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. [5]-9 PDF (2.6 MB)

Page [5]

It was hard to enter and harder to remain in the Nazi Party. Analysis
of membership regulations discredit the "I was forced to join"
Volitional principle stressed by all
Can you tell a Nazi sheep from a Nazi
goat? Is it true that many a well-meaning
German was forced into the NSDAP
membership? Was many another duped,
led in while innocent of the Party's pur-
poses and history? Can we make any safe
distinction between one date of Party
membership and another to determine the
dividing line between "good" Nazis and
"bad" Nazis?
In the light of a recently completed
analysis of NSDAP membership history
and policy, Military Government person-
nel would do well to scan with an ex-
tremely skeptial eye the political ret
cords of all NSDAP members and mem-
ber-aspirants. This analysis, gleaned from
exhaustive study of Party records and
from personal interviews with the leading
executives of the Reichsschatzmeisterei
(NSDAP treasury, the office in charge
of membership affairs), furnishes little
support for the deprecations of the "I
was forced" or "I didn't know" variety
of membership disclaimer. It indicates
that there are few if any loopholes of in-
tent, ignorance or timing through which a
member or applicant for membership
NSDAP leaders and directives.
should be able to escape the consequen-
ces of his ideological preference.
There are five significant dates in the
membership history of the NSDAP:
27 February 1925:  Founding -of the
"new" NSDAP;
I May 1933: Beginning of closed period
for membership (Mitgliedersperre);
1 May 1937: Loosening of closed period
(Lockerung der Mitgliedersperre);
I'May 1939:' End of closed period;
2 February.1942: Beginning of closed
The original Nazi Party was dissolved
after Hitler's arrest on 9 November 1923
and recreated on 27 February 1925.
Membership in the old NSDAP could not
be carried over into the new, and former
members who joined the new group could
not retain their old numbers (Hitler, who
was Member No. 7 in the original group,
became Member No. 1 in 1925).
On 15 July 1932, after a closed period,
the Party membership gates were swung
open and accepted practically anybody
who wished to join. This membership

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