Old-line blood and iron Nazis, whose affiliations with the party are almost as old as the party itself, must be distressed at the treatment accorded Dr. Gottfried Feder, original economist of the party and father of most of its economic principles. Hitler, in his “Mein Kampf,” frequently acknowledges the debt he is under to Feder for the principles and program upon which the National Socialist Party is founded.
When Hitler became chancellor, the old-time Nazis expected, and with some justification, that Feder would be given an important cabinet post permitting him to guide German economic life along the lines of Nazi ideology. Hugenberg, the Nationalist leader, was made minister of economics and Feder, vice-minister. Hugenberg subsequently was squeezed out of the cabinet but, instead of a tried and true Nazi being given the post, it went to a representative of big business interests, Dr. Kurt Schmitt, who was not even a member of the party.
Schmitt, with little support in the government, has steadily waged a battle to restrict discriminations against the Jews–not from any altruistic motives necessarily–but because he recognized the fact that driving the Jews out of German commerce was weakening still further the dangerously swaying German economic structure. Feder, however, loyal to his beliefs, has differed with his superior on many occasions. Last January, for instance, he called on Germany to purge its commerce of all Jewish influence and demanded the carrying out in full of the Nazi program in all its twenty-five points.
With him in his stand were the rank and file of the Nazi leaders who regarded, and still consider. Schmitt as an interloper and resented any toning down of the Nazi anti-Jewish program. Their weight, against that of the figures presented by Schmitt to Hitler, apparently was unavailing for Feder has been ousted from the Ministry of Economics and “promoted” to the comparatively unimportant post of head of the Reich commissariat for land settlement.
The sidetracking of Dr. Feder is generally considered to mean the sidetracking also of the socialistic aspects of Nazism of which Feder was the chief and foremost exponent.