During the first phase of the Nazi seizure of power the relationship between the two unequal coalition partners, NSDAP and DNVP, was characterized by conflict and hostility. In the historiography on the subject, these conflicts have been minimized, and historians have failed to appreciate to its full extent the Nazi party?s profound visceral resentment of their conservative alliance partner and the conservative Bürgertum. This article examines the nature of the antagonism between German Nationals and National Socialism. It focuses first on the ideological component of the struggle (the anti-bourgeois thrust of National Socialism), then analyzes the often fierce and violent confrontations of both camps, as well as the Nazis? economic campaigns against the conservative Bürgertum, in which the NSDAP attempted to undermine the economic position of the established bourgeoisie, portraying the Bürger as inherently corrupt. As substantiated by numerous examples, Nazi aggression against conservatives in the winter and spring of 1933 was all-pervasive, to the point that it would be wholly misleading to speak of an alliance between National Socialism and the conservative elites. In fact, the marked anti-conservatism of the Nazi movement in 1933 makes it clear that Nazism was not exclusively a phenomenon of the political Right, but a hybrid that united militant opposition to the Left with a fundamental rejection of the traditional bourgeois way of life. The weakened position of the conservative elites during the period of the seizure of power made it easier for the Nazi party to then co-opt them into active collaboration, not as equal partners but under the leadership of the NSDAP. Between March and July 1933 National Socialism portrayed itself as a revolutionary movement that relentlessly emphasized differences between itself and the conservative establishment with respect to ideology and identity. Given the prominence of the social revolutionary element in National Socialism during the Nazi seizure of power, it would be fallacious to assume that there was an unbroken alliance of elites across the caesura of 1933.
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