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_Fried Hans Ernest: The Guilt of the German 
   Army 1942._

German Labor Party Meeting Nov.12 1919:

...and it is certainly true that upon Adolf Hitler, 
who was used to the discipline and power of the 
Army, the meeting made absolutely no impression."

Since that meeting made no impression on Adolf 
Hitler, why did he join the little group as "executive 
member"? There is no direct evidence available 
for the assumption that he did so in order to receive 
more information for the Army, or in order to 
influence the group in a sense agreeable to the 
Army, rather than from genuine interest. But such 
an explanation of Hitler's steps cannot be excluded.
As of January 1st, 1920, the party decided to draw 
up new membership lists; and in order to give the 
illusion of greater strength the lists "began with 
#500". Thus, in the new alphabetical list, Hitler 
received membership card #555, as an ordinary 
member between 554, Georg Heuring, electrician, 
and 556, Joseph Hoetzel, soldier. Indeed, so little 
was Hitler known at the time, that on this 
membership list his name was spelled "Hittler" 
ans [sic] as his profession the compiler of the list 
first noted "painter". Only later (as a photograph of 
the page shows) was the second "t" omitted and 
"painter" changed to "writer." As late as January 
1921, the Voelkische Beobachter called a Viennese 
lawyer, Walter Riehl, the "Fuehrer" of the National 
Socialist movement of Greater Germany.

In the early stages. the Army officers gave 
Hitler an opportunity to exercise his genius 
for propaganda and oratory such as his party 
could never have provided. There is, for instance, 
the officially reported story of Colonel Hans G. 
Hofmann, who returned September, 1919, with 
his volunteer troops from a military action 
against Hamburg, and who, after his volunteer 
corps have been taken into the regular Reichswehr, 
went with them to the German fortress of Passau.

At this time Hitler was education officer in 
the first Bavarian Riflemen's Regiment. For 
that reason, Hofmann let him come to Passau, 
because Hofmann's battalion had been thrown 
together with a troop that left a great deal to 
be desired. Hitler addressed the officers and 
noncoms of the battalion with so much success 
that Hofmann, the same evening... summoned the 
citizens' guard so that they might hear Hitler (too). 
Possibly this was Hitler's first appearance in 
public. Thus it was an active Army officer who 
arranged for Hitler's debut outside the military 
lecture rooms to which he had hitherto been limited. 
The next day, Colonel Hofmann arranged for Hitler 
to address an audience of high school students. No 
less important than these connections is the fact 
that they were by no means concealed by either side. 
These passages are contained in a eulogizing 
biography of Colonel Hofmann by the future National 
Youth Leader, Baldur von Schirach, published before 
Hitler rose to Chancellorship. Schirach also points 
out that another active officer ordered the crack 
troops of an infantry company to protect the first 
public meeting at which Hitler spoke in Munich. 
"The first company of the Reichswehr Infantry 
Regiment (?) that was led by (the officer Adolf) 
Huehnlein us a strong, proud, and nationalistic-
minded troop. Hence it was its shock troopers 
who in 1919 protected the first meeting held by 
Adolf Hitler."

pp.91/92. Fried, The Guilt of the German Army.

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