NSV - Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfaht

The NSV (The National Socialist People’s Welfare) was the social welfare organisation of the NSDAP. Founded in 1931 as a small Nazi Party-affiliated organisation under the leadership of Erich Hilgenfeldt it was expanded in May 1933, shortly after the NSDAP took power, to cover the whole of Germany.

Initially the idea of welfare and charity was repugnant to many Nazi ideologue’s who despised the Weimar Republic’s welfare system as being bureaucratic, wasteful, benefiting the racially undesirable and the weak in society. However, as the effects of the depression increased both unemployment and the suffering among Germans deemed ‘worthy’ these arguments were no longer valid. Hitler directed Hilgenfeldt to “see to the disbanding of all private welfare institutions” so as to exclude Jews, non-Germans, opponents of the Nazi regime, and other “racially inferior” persons from receiving aid while radically expanding the role of the NSV.

By 1935 the NSV had become the second largest Nazi group organisation second only to the German Labour Front (DAF). It had 4.7 million members and 520,000 volunteer workers. Nazi Party members who were active in communal welfare professionally or as volunteers now had to be NSV members

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