What are the different rankings in the Nazi Party and how were they used?
The diffferent ranks and insignia of the Nazi Party were called para by the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) between about 1928 to the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945. These ranks were within the political leadership groups of the Nazi Party. They were usethe regular Nazi Party members. The first purpose of the Nazi party political ranks was to provide election district leadership positions during the years where the Nazis were attempting to come into power in Germany. After 1933 when the Third Reich had been made, Nazi Party ranks played a much bigger role.

Early Nazi titles
Early titles used by the Nazi Party were not used for the late 1930's and World War II. When Adolf Hitler replaced Anton Drexler as the leader of the Nazi Party, Hitler began calling himself by the title of Führer. This was the first form of rank. The position of Deputy Führer, held by Rudolf Hess was created shortly after, as well as a few other titles such as Party Secretary and Party Treasurer. The Nazi Party was disbanded between 1923 and 1925, but when they returned the very first uniform and insignia regulations were created for the Nazi Party's paramilitary group the Sturmabteilung (SA). These early regulations created some of the earliest paramilitary titles used by the Nazis. These titles were used only in the SA while the rest of the Nazi Party still had no former ranks and insignia except for the titles used by senior Nazi leaders such as Hitler. The early regulations for the Nazi Party were divided into two levels - the Politische Leitung (political leadership) and the Partei Mitglieder (Party Membership) with political leaders using standard uniforms and insignia. Hitler and his senior leaders were actually not included in the uniform regulations, and continued to wear uniforms from World War 1 .
The first formal Nazi Party ranks were:
  • Blockwart (Block Leader)
  • Zellenwart (Cell Leader)
  • Ortsgruppenleiter (Local Group Leader)
  • Kreisleiter (Country leader)
  • Gauleiter (Regional Leader)
  • Landesinspekteur (State Inspector)
  • Reichsenspekteur (National inspector)

Nazi Germany Political Positions

In 1933, the Nazi Party started a process known as Gleichschaltung that would combine the civilian government of Germany with the political leadership of the Nazi government.

The first step of this process was to divide the Nazi Party into four levels that were designed to act independently from each other. These levels were:
  • The Orstgruppen (Local level - German cities and towns)
  • The Kreisleitung (District level - German countries)
  • The Gauleitung (Regional level - German states)
  • The Reichsleitung (National level - German nation)

Each Nazi leader was to choose a level in where they would make a career. These levels were seperate from any other levels. These groups or levels were meant to reduce stress and not cause conflict by obeying or helping in the wishes of others. Hitler and senior Nazi leaders were to give orders to all the levels at the same time and sometimes different party levels were given different orders to carry out the same task. This caused high levels of fighting and backstabbing in Nazi leadership circles. It was so bad that new rules had to be introduced that would prevent deputies from succeeding their own superiors so they wouldn't intentionally sabotaging their leaders. The Nazi Party leaders made several new ranks and titles for new positions. Some positions were the same on each level of the Party while others were unique to local, county, state, or national levels. The Nazi's also created a supreme political rank called Reichslater which was considered one of the top political levels of the Reichsleitung or national level as well as a rank as Hitler's assistant.

Nazi Rankings During World War ll
The final pattern of the Nazi party ranks was made by Robert Ley in 1939. The new insignia pattern was the same as a bunch of old designs beginning with a standardized set of twenty-eight Nazi Party ranks that were to be used across all levels of the Party. In each level of the Party was a cap on the highest possible rank you could obtain. Leaders of the lower levels such as the Ortsgruppenleiter and the Kreisleiter also held standard Nazi Party ranks in addition to their leadership titles. The positions of Gauleiter and Reichsleiter had their own special insignia and were considered non-promotable and could only be directly appointmented by Hitler himself. By the start of World War II, Nazi Party paramilitary groups had also been expanding and developing their own uniform designs, such as SS uniforms and insignia as well as uniforms used by other Nazi groups such as the National Socialist Motor Corps , the Organization Todt, and as well as many others.
The four final levels of Nazi rankings were:
  • Osrtgruppen (wore yellow tags)
  • Kreisleitung (wore dark brown tags)
  • Gauleitung (wore orange tags)
  • Reichsleitung (wore dark red tags)

National Socialist Motor Corps. 17 Dec. 2010. 18 Apr. 2010 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranks_and_insignia_of_the_National_Socialist_Motor_Corps>.
Sturmabteilung. 15 Apr. 2010. 18 Apr. 2010
Nazi Party. 17 Apr. 2010. 18 Apr. 2010

Ranks and Insignia of Nazi Party. 14 Apr. 2010. 18 Apr. 2010
Paramilitary Ranks. 13 Apr. 2010. 18 Apr. 2010