I know Anton Drexler was one of the founders of the Nazi party, but did the NSDAP's policy of anti-semitism begin with Drexler or Hitler? Are there any old, pre-Hitler speeches/quotes involving anti-Semitism given by Drexler?
I am one of the volunteers who answers these types of questions.
There isn't a lot known about Anton Drexler. He was a Munich locksmith and indeed the founder of the German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiter Partei) which eventually became the Nazi Party. It was this party that Hitler was sent to check out by his superiors in 1919, and which he eventually joined and became leader of. A short article I found that casts a little light on Drexler is at
Hitler's version of the story is in Mein Kampf. See
The best information I have seen on Drexler in English is Konrad Heiden's Der Fuehrer, although it is somewhat abbreviated. Drexler had come up with the idea of a nationalist-minded workers' party during World War I and had founded the German Workers' Party in 1919. The leader though was a man named Harrer who retired after a run-in with Hitler. Ernst Roehm, Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckhart joined around there same time, and although the party was really nobodies, it had connections through Roehm to right-wing elements of the Army.
Interestingly, the Nazi Party Program ("the 25 points") was written By Drexler, Hitler, Feder and Eckhart. Eventually, Hitler pushed Drexler out as leader, gave him a ceremonial role (honorary chairman) and Drexler faded from history. I have never seen any speeches of Drexler's. The ones he made are, I am sure, long gone, he wasn't much of a speaker anyway, and most of the speaking was done by Hitler.
As for the antisemitic policy, most of the nationalist groups in southern Germany at that time were antisemitic in nature. The German Workers' Party was no exception and, as I said, Drexler was one of the authors of the Nazi Program, which included the antisemitic clauses.
I hope this helps.
I'm interested in finding out more about Anton Drexler. Do you know whathis role was, if any, in the Nazi party and later government once Hitlertook control. Do you know if he left any descendants? You can use this e-mail adress to reply (****).
Thanks very much for your help!
Although one of the creators of the German Worker's Party, later renamed the National Socialist Party, Drexler was soon displaced by Hitler and died unknown and unrecognized in 1942.
You may read more about him at:
Drexler was active in the Thule Society, an organization that attempted to give the German people a new identity:
Finally, Ernst Hanfstaengl, a colorful early collaborator of Hitler (and later of Franklin D. Roosevelt!), wrote about Drexler in his three books:
I have not been able to establish whether Drexler left any descendants, but I will ask one of my colleagues in Munich -- where Drexler died in 1942 -- to investigate.
Harry W. Mazal OBE
back to the list of questions