Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Alan E. Steinweis
What do we know about Otto Strasser? He and his brother Gregor were highly influential in the early years of the Nazi party; therefore, what should we consider when looking back? To fully understand the individual, we must investigate and analyze: Strasser's post-Nazi Party life, his post-Nazi political aspirations, and the apparent whitewashing of his past as a Nazi. The latter of which most individuals gleaned solely from the fact that he, himself, an ardent National Socialist, was, nonetheless, an opponent of Adolf Hitler. By analyzing Strasser's assertions in his numerous books, articles, and chapters, and comparing them with the voluminous historical record, the project outlined below calls to attention Strasser's attempts to transform his brand of Nazism into an acceptable political ideology. At first, during his post-Nazi life, Strasser moved around Europe, dodging Nazi assassins everywhere he went. Eventually, Strasser arrived in North America, more precisely, Canada. He spent roughly 12 years there before the West German state reversed the ban on his citizenship instated by Hitler. Strasser entered West Germany under state supervision in 1953, with particular caveats regarding his entitlement to a pension. In his time away from the Nazis, Strasser wrote about his earlier association with the Party, often perfidiously. He authored numerous books describing his relationship with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, painting himself as an aberration of Nazism and whitewashing his past by utilizing his position as an opponent of the Hitler regime. Seeking to dissimulate his past and remove from his background what was commonly deemed offensive about the Nazis, Strasser gave his opinion to everyone and anyone who would listen, even going as far as to provide a—somewhat informed—perspective on Hitler's next moves and actions during the war. Strasser was not precisely a full-fledged Nazi, but he had more in common with Der Führer than he was willing to admit. However, his break with Hitler gave him a modicum of acceptance and even legitimacy in the West. Because of his detachment from Hitler, Strasser received attention and legitimacy far beyond what a card-carrying Nazi could expect from the Allies during the war years.
Number of Pages
Hughes II, James Francis, "Otto Strasser, The Nazi Party, And The Politics Of Opposition" (2023). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 1745.