National Socialist Factory Cell Organization
- (Nationalsozialistische Betriebszellenorganisation, NSBO)never a union, the NSBO conducted propaganda activity among workers through the preexisting trade-union* structure. It was instituted as part of the NSDAP in January 1931; its basic framework evolved spontaneously in June 1928 in Berlin's* industrial district. The first leader of the cells was Johannes Engel, a Nazi who was also a factory-council representative. Although Joseph Goebbels* gave the NSBO Party status within Berlin, Hitler* refused to formalize its national status before the NSDAP Congress of September 1929. From January 1931 the NSBO was coordinated by Gregor Strasser's* Reich Department for Industrial Cells (Reichsbetriebszellenabteilung, RBA). To promote the aim of locating a cell in every factory, it published the bimonthly Arbeitertum from March 1931 and, under pressure from Strasser, employed Marxist rhetoric to broaden its appeal. More effective with disaffected white-collar and farm workers than factory workers, it grew from a membership of 43,000 in December 1931 to 106,000 in May 1932; membership then doubled to about 200,000 after the July 1932 Reichstag* elections and was almost 400,000 by January 1933. But since such numbers must be judged against the five-million-strong socialist unions, the NSBO was relatively ineffectual. With its membership often denounced during 1933-1934 as Marxist rogues, the organization soon withered to insignificance.REFERENCES:Childers, Nazi Voter; Kele, Nazis and Workers; Orlow, History of the Nazi Party.
A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. C. Paul Vincent.
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