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

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

Page 8

voluntary entra~ncewhich is one of the
most valuable and essential features of
the movement, must rather be firmly up-
held. As natural as it is that the Party
authorities should wish to enroll asmany
as possible of those fellow Germans who
appear useful to them, force or pressure
to make them join the Party must never
be employed in any form, not even in the
threat of a disadvantage for those fellow
Germans who do not wish to be admitted
into the Party."
'rhe principle of volition was stressed
repeatedly in succeeding jorders and de-
crees issued by the Reichsleitung.
A -further corollary to the aim that
NSDAP memberships must be select and
freely willed is the fact. that at no time
did iautomatic or corporative membier-
ships exist. Every membership had to be
individually applied for and the applica-
tion personally signed. by the candidate.
Prerequisites for application, as stated
in the NSDAP directions for the guidance
of the national treasurer, specified that
a member-aspirant must be 21 years of
age and a citizen of the Reich, and male
applicants under 25 must show proof of
having honorably completed their military
service. Membership was automatically
denied wh'en the .applicant:
a) had a marriage partner of "Jewish
or colored racial mixture;"
b) had children surviving from such a
marriage, even though the marriage had
been dissolved by'death or divorce;
c) was a member of the Freemasons,
Oddfellows, Druids or any similar frater-
nal or secret society;
d) had been convicted of defamatory
actions; exceptions were made in cases
'of "special merit."
e) had been dishonorably discharged
from the armed- forces;
f) suffered from hereditary illness as
defined by the law 'of 14 July 1933;
g) had voluntarily resigned from the
Party (unless, his application for re-ad-
mission had the personal approval of the
Ga uleiter);
h) was   a  professor, instructor  or
student iof theology or a membier of
certain religio'us s'ects.
Even more stringent requirements were
decre'ed by Law 7/42 which put upon
sub-district and local lofficials (Kreisleiter
and Ortsgruppenleiter) the responsibility
of deciding whether the individual ap-
plicant was by conviction a true National.
Socialist. Clergymen were eliminated by
this law, which stressed the necessity of
an  "impartial" viewpoint "toward  the
Church on the part of NSDAP memblers.
It also demanded mental and physical
fitness and racial "purity."
Although it was the duty of the Kr'eis-
leiter and iespecially the Ortsgruppenteiter
to investigate the qualifications 'of ap-
plicants, it appears that in 1933 such
investigations were often of a rather su-
perfical nature, and w'erie likely to b,e
more concerned with the candidate's
party_ donations and subscriptions to
Party papers than with the history of his
politics. This, was not the case after 1936
when the -applicant had to submit, in ad-
dition to the previously required applica-
tion and photograph, detailed Fragebogen
on.his personal and political background.
Anl'organization was set up for thorough
investigation and evaluation by thie Orts-
grupplenleiter of these. Fragebogen; and
special arrangements were made for the
investigation of Wehrm.acht and RAD
(Reichsarbeitsdienst or Compulsory Nat-
ional Labor Service) personnel within
their own organizations, since th'ey were
out of reach 'of the Party officials.
In order to ;avoid a break in discipline
during the war, it was forbidden to in-
terrogate subordinate plolice officers and
men about their superiors' politics. How-
ever, a public 'official, who was also
Amtstraeger of the party, could speak
freely if asked by a Party office about
(Continuied lon page 16)

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