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The Life of Otto Strasser

                                                                                                                                         

                      

                                A Note to the Reader 

When I was originally writing this, I was planning on having this be a comparison of Otto Strasser and Leon Trotsky but as I continued to write this, I started to realize that this was not the format on how I wanted this comparison to be along with realizing that I needed to get more information on Leon Trotsky. Instead of deleting this I decided to just have this article as a brief history of the life and political career of Otto Strasser. In recent years there has been a lot more information on Strasser in English however a lot of this information is scattered throw out the internet. Luckily, I have been able gather as much of the information as possible along with trying to debunk some miss information about Strasser Ideology Strasserism. One last ting to note is that I have put sources at the bottom of this text so that you can see were I got my information from and for all of you guys can go reads these books and articles yourself to get a more in-depth version of Strasser and his ideas.

Best Regards Albino Squirrel 

        The Early Life of Otto Strasser

Otto Strasser was born in Bad Windsheim Bavaria Germany on September 10th, 1897. He was born to Peter Strasser and Pauline Strobel and was the middle sibling of 5 children. His father Peter Strasser wrote a pamphlet called New Essences that was about a socialism based on Christianity and the nation which influnced many of Otto early political views. Strasser served in the first world war for Germany where he became a lieutenant and was wounded twice. He was nicknamed the red lieutenant for having a subscription in a social democratic journal. After the war he joined the Freikorps and help put down the Bavarian Social Republic and the Kapp Putsch. He also studied economics and got a doctoral degree in political science at the University of Wuzburg. He also joined the Majority Social Democratic Party of Germany or MSPD however ended up leaving the MSPD in 1920 due to dissatisfaction with leadership, the reformist direction, and the anti-nationalist sentiments in the party. After that He would start to take influence from conservative revolutionary intellectuals like Oswald Spengler and Arthur Moeller van Burk who the latter, he became friends with. He also started writing for the conservative revolutionary journal the Gewissen which was run by Burk which had many different conservative, nationalist and socialist writers that influenced Strasser. He also gave lectures at the Reich Ministry of Food in Berlin for a brief period of time.

First Interactions with the NSADP

Otto’s brother Gregor Strasser had been a member of the NSADP since 1920 and had become an important member of the party.  on that same year Gregor invited Otto to come eat with him, Adolf Hitler, and General Ludendorff. Otto Strasser was impressed by Ludendorff and the two got along well however when it came to Hitler, Hitler criticized Otto for taking part in the suppression of the Kappa Putsch. The two would continue to argue until Ludendorff stepped in and sided with Otto Strasser and Hitler stopped arguing. Then they started to argue again this time over  war, Jews, and socialism Which Ludendorff ended up stepping in again. Hitler ended up telling Gregor that “I’m afraid I’ll shall never get along well with this intellectual brother of yours.”

Otto did not join the NSADP for another 5 years however he continued to watch the group and continued to have negative opinions on Hitler and other national socialist leaders but at the same time he started to advocate for a more racial nationalist and anti-Semitic positions along with taking influence from Rudolf Jung and Gottfried Feder the main intellectuals behind National Socialism. Strasser finally decided to join the NSADP in 1925 but when he joined the party was completely disorganized due to the failure of the beer hall putsch which caused many of the National Socialist leadership to be arrested and the party to be ban for a brief period. The section of the NSADP that Strasser joined was the Northern section of the party which was led by his brother Gregor Strasser.

          Time In The NSADP

Due to Otto Strasser being the brother of Gregor Strasser and due to his intellect Strasser became one of the leading figures of the northern NSADP. He was the main editor and owner of the party northern magazine called Arbeitsblatt. Strasser magazine advocated for redistribution of land, nationalization, strikes, Agrarianism, anti-Imperialism, anti-Semitism, and a form of Democratic National Socialism.  Strasser also began to work with upcoming figure of the Nazi Party Joseph Goebbels who was sympathetic with many of Strasser ideas and even helped him and Gregor write the Strasser Program which was supposed to replace the original 25 points of the NSADP which they saw as vague and outdated but they also wanted to limit power of the leader and wanted to push the party in a more socialist direction.  All seemed well for the Strasser at first, but things would start to change. Hitler would start to rebuild the party and bring it back under his control. Unlike before the beer hall putsch were Hitler advocated for a more socialist platform and revolution. Hitler took a more pragmatic and electoral approach than before. Along with trying to win over sections of the nationalist bourgeoisie class to his cause. This caused Hitler to strike down the Strasser Program which angered both Strassers.  Hitler claimed it was too mild and lacked a volkisch spirit. Hitler also saw the program as a threat to his own power inside the party. Goebbels ended up siding with Hitler as well which made the Strasser brothers to feel betrayed. However, Hitler allowed Strasser magazine to be the party official magazine of Northern Germany, but this did not end hostilities between the two as Strasser’s magazine would begin to openly criticize Hitler and his decision.

Things went to a boiling point in 1930 when the trade unions in Saxony declared a general strike. Otto Strasser supported the strikes while Hitler did not. Hitler ended up calling Strasser to a private meeting to try to get him back in line, but this did not work. Hitler ended up accusing Strasser of being a Marxist and Strasser accused him of betraying the social revolution.  Only a few months later Hitler order the explosion of Otto Strasser and the rest of the so called “Salon Marxist”. On July 4th Otto Strasser along with 5000 of his followers officially left the NSADP and published an article called The Socialist Leave the NSADP which lays down their grievances and problems with the direction the party was going in. Siting the imperialist and capitalist direction the party was going in. While Strasser was able to get a sizeable number of people to follow him out of the party unfortunately for him, he was not able to get any major leader of the party to leave with him not even his brother Gregor supported him and the two would not speak until 1933.

The Black Front and Hitler’s Rise to Power

After leaving the Nazi party Otto Strasser and his followers founded the group called Black Front which would be the first Strasserist group to be created. What separated them in terms of ideology from the Nazi Party was not only there more radical socialist and anti- Hitler stances, but the group largely abandoned anti-Semitism and was more willing to work with communist. They also tried to collaborate with some inside the Conservative Revolution like Ernst Junger, Kurt Hiller and National Bolshevik thinker Karl Otto Patel.

The group held many meetings and protest. They also were able to help incite the Stennes SA revolt and collaborated with Walter Stennes. Which caused sections of the SA to break off from the NSADP and join the Black Front they were also able to infiltrate the Gestapo which helped Strasser later to escape capture however, what Otto Strasser could do Adolf Hitler could do 5 times better. Hitler was able to hold bigger rallies and win seats in government along with being able to infiltrate the Black Front a lot better than the Black Front could infiltrate the NSADP. They were able to break up meetings, discover plots against the NSADP and even jumped Strasser at one point all be it Strasser pulled out a pistol and they backed off. 

It was not long until Hitler came to power in 1933 becoming chancellor then president of Germany in 1934. One of the first actions Hitler did was to ban the Black Front and Otto Strasser went into hiding before doing so Strasser order the remaining of his followers to infiltrate the NSADP and be prepared for the revolution which never came and many of his followers were caught and sent to concentration camps.  Strasser was hoping for Ernst Rohm and others in the SA would revolt against Hitler due to there more radical leanings however on June 4th, 1934 the night of the long knives happened leading to the death of Rohm and his brother Gregor. After this Strasser was told the news by his brother Paul Strasser. Then he decided to head to Austria and Gregor Strasser become a martyr for the Strasserist cause.

Running Around Europe and North America

Otto Strasser first fled to Austria then to Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, France and finally to Canada. During his time outside of Germany Strasser gave lectures and speeches against the regime along with trying to organize whatever was left of his Black Front organization. Strasser was able to radio broadcast into Germany but was eventually destroyed by Nazi agents. Strasser also tried to attack the regime head on by attacking the NSADP HQ in Nuremburg but the plot was discovered and the attacker Helmut Hirsch a German Jew was executed. Nazi agents also tried to capture Strasser several times, but he always escaped.

Strasser for a time even collaborated with both the Austrian and Czechoslovakian governments but he would be told to leave due to NSADP pressure and inanimate invasion by Germany.  Strasser would go on to live in Canada collaborate with the British government, wrote for the New Statemen, and wrote his biography Hitler and I and his Manifesto Germany Tomorrow. Along with trying to get those books inside Germany to insight a revolution against Hitler. However, Canada would soon forbid him from publishing Political writings in 1943 due to his ideology and past associations with the Nazi Party, which lead Strasser to be very bitter. Strasser would stay in Canada for the rest of World War 2.

           After World War 2

Even though the war was over and being against Hitler. Strasser was not allowed back into West Germany until 1955 due to the Western Allies seeing him as potential threat to their cause however, he was invited to East Germany, but Strasser declined each time East German officials made the offer.  Once he got back to West Germany, he created his own party called the German Social Union, but it did not go anywhere and fell apart in 1962. Strasser also took part in the European Social movement and National European Party. Parties that advocated for a unified Europe which include Nationalist and Fascist parties such as Mosely Union Movement, Juene Europe, Italian Social Movement and the German Reich Party. Strasser would constantly debate other members like Oswald Mosely on foreign policy with Strasser taking a more pro-Soviet stance and on how the federation should preserve the diverse European peoples. He would also have contact with Jean Francis Thirart a man of similar ideas to Strasser who would later go onto influences Alexander Dugin. Strasser also had contact with a London based Yockeyite group that also had similar ideas. 

Strasser throughout the remainder of his life would try defending his ideas and actions along with distancing himself from Hitlers National Socialism unfortunately for Strasser very few would listen to him in both in the mainstream and dissident circles. It would not be until after his death that some nationalist circles would take on some of his ideas. Otto Strasser would die of natural causes in March of 1974. Out living most of the NSADP leadership and his rivals but hardly as influential as the others.

   The Legacy Of Otto Strasser

Otto Strasser and his ideology Strasserism would go on to influence many different groups and ideologies such as but not limited to the German New Right, the National Anarchist Movement, British National Front, Autonomous Nationalist, and the National Democratic Party of Germany. Despite Strasser influences there has not been a revival of Strasserism in its purest form and there is still a lot of misunderstandings on what Strasserism is. These two problems go hand and hand together. Part of the problem is that Strasserism is seen as having a monopoly on left-wing National Socialism which causes many Pro Hitler radical socialist to call themselves Strasserist or be label as such. Strasserism holding this Monopoly on Left wing National Socialism is not true other radical socialist in the NSADP like Rudolf Jung, Gottfried Feder and Joseph Goebbels remained loyal to Hitler.  While others like SA leader Walter Stennes who did side with Strasser for a time ended up going their separate ways due to differences. Another problem with this narrative is that after Strasser left the NSADP Strasser over time abandon anti-Semitism (A core part of National Socialism) and a long with being more respectful towards Slavs and other racial groups. Along with making many criticisms against Hitler on the treatments of both groups. When one really looks at Strasserism and the rest of National Socialism one can see many differences between them and even with pre–Hitler National Socialism there are many differences. Arguably Strasser was more closer to Conservative Revolution than National Socialism with Strasser taking more influence from Arthur Moller Van Den Bruck and Oswald Spengler than to anyone who belong to NSADP. Strasser after leaving NSADP even used a lot of Conservative revolutionary slogans and even called himself a conservative in Germany Tomorrow.

The only reasons why Strasserism is consider a form of Nazism is because of a shared origin point along with advocating for a form of nationalism and socialism. Another problem that Strasserism has is the accusation that Strasserism is a form of Marxism or a form of National Bolshevism. This claim can easily be debunked by pointing out that 1 Strasser did not believe in Dialectical Materialism or internationalism core components of Marxism. The second thing that is needed to be pointed out is while Strasser did associate with National Bolshevik thinker Karl Otto Patel for a time and that the modern Other Russia Party has respect for Otto Strasser, but Paetel would criticize Strasser for not understanding Marx and saying that if he did read Marx, he would be a Marxist. Paetel also disliked Strasser Agrarianism due to Marxism being pro Industrialism. 

The last problem that Strasserism has is that many use the term opportunistically rather than strong convictions to Strasser ideas. The best example of this is the National Party UK which claimed to follow the teachings of Strasser and Rohm along with being a more moderate party but still circulated Holocaust Denial writings. A lot of this also goes on with the National Democratic Party of Germany. Then there’s also people like Boot who is a transgender who uses Strasserist symbolism to troll people and to seek attention for there own ego.

My Own Thoughts on Otto Strasser

My thoughts on Strasser are he is a very interesting and unique historical figure. When reading his writings and stuff about him, he seems like a political nerd who only talks about politics and views himself as this legendary revolutionary and great debater even though both are a bit exaggerated to a degree. At times I see a little bit of myself in him due to some shared interest. However, I do not follow his ideology even though I agree with him on some points and would side with him over Hitler, but his ideas were for his country and time. This is our time we live in a different era and country then Strasser. We need new ideas not copy and pasting foreign ideas that were made for a different country needs and problems. We need ideas that fits our own civilization needs and problems. Which can only be found if we examine our own conditions.

                   Sources

              Hitler and I : Otto Strasser : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

            Germany_Tomorrow : OTTO STRASSER : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

                 National Revolution Now – We must take from the right, Nationalism without Capitalism and from the left, Socialism without Internationalism – Gregor Strasser (wordpress.com)

           Revolution vs Reaction Social Nationalism and the Strasser Brothers by Troy Southgate

                                          Is Fascism Capitalism in Decay by Zoltanous HN

                                 Otto Strasser’s “New Europe,” Part 1 | Counter-Currents

                                 Otto Strasser’s “New Europe,” Part 2 | Counter-Currents

                                                   ARPLAN – Archives – Strasserism

                                                     ARPLAN – Profile: Rudolf Jung

                                        ARPLAN – Hitler Purges the ‘Salon Bolsheviks’

                                                 Helmut Hirsch – Wikipedia

                                                  National Party (UK, 1976) – Wikipedia                                     

Tradition And Revolution By Troy Southgate

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