[Marxism] Far Right

Nicholas Siemensma nsiemensma at yahoo.com.au
Fri Jun 25 01:08:17 MDT 2004


Some of the most recent studies of the social base of Nazi support can
be found in "Hitlers Wähler" (Hitler's Voter) by Jürgen Falter, and in
the work of Reinhard Bendix, another Weberian. They pretty much confirm
Trotsky's interpretation: the lower middle-class were proportionately
over-represented in party membership and voting patterns.

Falter looks at things from the "social strata" angle, and finds that
most Nazi voters were older, often born before 1869. There was also a
confessional divide between Protestants and Catholics, with the
socially atomised Protestants considerably more likely to vote for
Hitler than Catholics, who had their Zentrum party and a solid social
milieu. The Nazis did by far the best in north and NE Germany, in
agricultural areas and in small Protestant towns. If you look at the
Nazi vote over several elections, region by region, they had very
little support in Berlin and Düsseldorf, despite the high unemployment,
but got big numbers in East Prussia, Schleswig Holstein, Hanover - and
also in Frankfurt. They won votes not from the KPD or SPD but from
other nationalist parties. Mostly they took voters from the DNVP, then
splinter parties, then the centrist DVP and DDP. There was a noticeable
gender division over time, with few women supporting the Nazis before
1930 but a big female vote in the March 1933 election. As people have
said, Hitler won backing amongst the least class-conscious workers, who
were under-represented as a class, and amongst Protestant capitalists
and managers, civil servants and farmers. Overall workers and Catholics
had their own parties and social structures and were not tempted by the
fascists, or so say the Weberians.

Nick

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