Anton Drexler founded the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers' Party, abbreviated DAP) in 1919, together with Gottfried Feder, Dietrich Eckart and Karl Harrer. Among the party’s earlier members were Rudolf Hess, Hans Frank and Alfred Rosenberg, all later prominent in the Nazi regime.
Although officially called a political party, the DAP was a tiny group with less than 60 members. Nevertheless, it attracted the attention of the German authorities, who were suspicious of any organization that appeared to have subversive tendencies. A young corporal, Adolf Hitler, was sent by German army intelligence to investigate the DAP. While attending a party meeting, Hitler got involved in a heated political argument and made an impression on the other party members with his oratory skills. He was invited to join, and, after some deliberation, chose to accept.
Hitler became the 55th member of the DAP much after many had registered, but he later claimed to be member number seven (he was in fact the seventh executive member of the party’s central committee). Over the following months, the DAP continued to attract new members, while remaining too small to have any real significance in German politics. On 24 February 1920, the party added "National Socialist" to its official name, becoming the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), although Hitler earlier suggested the party to be renamed the "Social Revolutionary Party"; it was Rudolf Jung who persuaded Hitler to follow the NSDAP naming. Hitler became party chairman on 28 July 1921.
On the evening of Thursday, 08 November1923 and the early afternoon of Friday, 09 November 1923, Hitler, the popular World War I General Erich Ludendorff, and other leaders of the Kampfbund unsuccessfully tried to gain power in Munich, Bavaria, and Germany, usually referred to as the Beer Hall Putsch.
Had the Army not sent unemployed veteran Hitler to infiltrate the DAP, or had a leader with a more impressive war record [such as Hermann Wilhelm Göring, who joined the party in 1923] come along, Hitler might have been relagated to the sidelines.
There was also a suicide attempt during the postwar period when he was suffering from at least partial blindness. That outcome, too might have been very different.