Hans Knirsch (September 14, 1877, Triebendorf – December 6, 1933, Duchcov) was an Austro-German activist from Moravia for Austrian National Socialism. After the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he led the original party in Bohemia, called the Sudeten German National Socialist Party. Together with Rudolf Jung and Hans Krebs, he was one of the original core of National Socialists that remained in the Nazi Party after 1933.
Hans Knirsch became a Geschäftsführer, or managing leader, of the Mährisch-Trübauer Verband in 1901. In that capacity he published an appeal which extolled the political unification of all Germans into one state, referring to it as der alte Sehnsuchstraum der deutschen Demokraten ("the old nostalgic dream of the German democrats").
Active in several party congresses, before World War I he attempted to get the DAP to add the words "National Socialist" to their name. The effort failed, as the proposed name was felt to be too reminiscent of the Czech National Social Party Following his arrest for the failed Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler went on a hunger strike. It was Hans Knirsch who talked Hitler out of his depression and convinced him to resume eating.
Writings of Knirsch
- Aus der Geschichte der deutschen nationalsozialistischen Arbeiterbewegung Altösterreichs und der Tschechoslowakei, (Aussig, 1932).
- Liberty or Equality, Von Kuenhelt-Leddihn, Christendom Press, Front Royal, VA, 1993. pg 254.
- Leftism Revisited, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Regnery Gateway, Washington, D.C., 1990. pp 147-148
- The Bohemian Background of German National Socialism: The DAP, DNSAP and NSDAP, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, in Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Jun., 1948), pp. 339-371.
- Why Hitler, The Genesis of the Nazi Reich, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., Praeger, Westport, CT, 1996. pg 106
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