Nazi ideology probably gave less strength to the movement than did its well-organized party structure. From Communism Hitler borrowed the cell system, and from Italian Fascism he took the uniformed party militia. The mass of the militia was the brown-shirted SA, the Sturmabteilung [storm troops]. The elite was the black-uniformed SS, the Schutzstaffel [security echelon], under Heinrich Himmler. The party had its own salute (the raised arm and the words Heil Hitler! ), symbol (the swastika), and anthem (the Horst Wessel Lied ). The military trappings and mass demonstrations of the Nazis attracted many followers. For the coming to power of National Socialism and the history of Germany under its rule, see Germany.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.