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

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

Page 6

drive lasted for less than a year. (1 May
1933). The Party was not opien six years
later, for general membership again until
1939 ; atlhough a temporary exception was
made. in the early months of 1935 for pre-
1934 applicants from Gau Bayrische Ost-
mark, in memory lof Nazi Hans Schemm.
Always excepted from the closed
periods were members of the HJ who
were 18 years old, members of theNSBO,
and applicants with active service in the
SA or SS. These exceptions were reduced
on 2 Ja~nuary 1936 to members of HJ or
BDM and members of the Stahlhelm.
Individual departures from the Mit-
gliederspierre could be made only by Hitler
himself or by Hess. The only large-scale
exception was authorized 1 May 1937
when the gates were opened a crack to
let in Nazis who had proved themselves
active and devoted in the interim. This ac-
tion was known as the "Lockerung der Mit-
gliedersperre," ;or loosening of the closted,
and was anticipated in 1935 by the publi-
cation 'of a list of the following groups,
who would be eligible to apply as soon
as the Lockerung took place.
a,. German citizens who had since 1
November 1936 been active in office as
Zellenleiter, Blockleiter, Blaockhelfer ior
treasurer in Ortsgrupp'en and Stuetzpunk-
ten for the NSDAP.
b. German citizens who had been mem-
bers since 1 October 1934, without inter-
ruption, of the SA, SS tor NSKK -(excep-
tion to 1934 qualification: transfers into
these formations from HJ or Stahlhelm).
c. Members of the HJ !or BDM from I
May 1933 who had held -,the minimum
rank 'equivalent of Second Lieutenant.
d. Women who had be'en members of
the NS Frauenschaft prior to 1 October
le. Pre-Nov'ember 1934 leaders 'of NSDOP
(Party - controlled league 'of university
readers and teachers) or NSDSTB (Party
,affiliate composed of university students).
f. Pre-Novembier 1934 officers of Af-
filiated Organizations.
g-; Stammpersonal 'of the RAD (National
Labor Service) who had been RAD mem-
ber's s.ince 1 Octobier 1934 unless transfer-
red into RAD from SA, SS, NSKK or HJ.
h. Army veterans with six years of
service who had be-en honorably dischar-
ged after 30 April 1933.
i. German citizens needed by an office
of the NSDAP for special services with-
in the Party or whose membership was
of special political value, as well as cer-
tain Opferring members of proved relia-
bility (las suggested jonly by the Gauleiters).
The order specified that the purposte
of its limitations, was to confine accept-
ance of new membership to cases of
proved merit. Applicants whos'e qualifica-
tions did not fully correspond to the 'exact
-conditions, yet who could prove. their
political reliability and zeal, were also
given .a chance to come into the fold.
To make sure that only the choice
Nazis could join during the Lockerung,
Hess introduced the institution of Partei-
anwaerter, whereby the aspirant paid
dues, wore the Party badge and went
through the motions of membership for
sometimes as long as' a year under NSDAP
scrutiny before his acceptance or rejec-
tion became final. During. the years of
the Mitgliedersp erre many would-be mem-
bers banded together in groups called
Opferringe to dev'ote themselves to prov-
ing their, loyalty to Nazism. Their chief
contribution to the Party seems to have
been cash, and their members were never
recognized in the sense the Anwa'erter
were, probational m'embers 'of the Party.
In 1938 an Opferring was 'established in
Sudetenland and in 1940 one in Alsace.
In some districts Nazi enthusiasts who
were prevented from joining th'e Party
because of formier political or lodge mem-
berships 'or for 'other reasons, formed
groups called NS-Opfergemeinschaften to
prove their r'eadiness to cooperate with

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