Charisma and Factionalism in the Nazi Party
by Joseph Nyomarkay
University of Minnesota Press, 1967
Paper: 978-0-8166-5839-8


Charisma and Factionalism in the Nazi Party was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Few aspects of the history of the German Nazi party have had as little scholarly attention as has the nature or pattern of the intraparty factionalism. References to conflicts within the party may be found in most accounts dealing with the Nazi movement, but this book presents the first systematic study of those conflicts and their significance to an understanding of Nazism.

Professor Nyomarkay bases his study on extensive research in which he had access to original source materials, including diaries and memoirs of party leaders and documents from Nazi trials and party archives. His study is concerned with the issues, attitudes, motivations, and actions of the various factions. His conclusions suggest new interpretations of such turning points in the history of Nazism as the Hanover and Bamberg conferences of 1925 and 1926, respectively, the Strasser crisis of 1930, and the stormtrooper purge of 1934.

The author examines the role of Hitler's charisma in the party and shows that this trait elevated Hitler above factional strife, making him the object rather than the subject of rivalries. The discussion of charisma points up the difference between the Nazi factionalism and that which has occurred in other totalitarian movements, such as communism, where authority rests on ideology rather than on charisma.

Through his study Professor Nyomarkay offers a new theory of the relationship between factional conflict and legitimacy of power, presenting a hypothesis of possible typologies of factional behavior based on the nature and degree of group cohesion.

The book is important for students of political science and history and particularly for those interested in totalitarian movements and comparative political parties.

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