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How far was civil opposition to the Nazis a threat?

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Presentation on theme: "How far was civil opposition to the Nazis a threat?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How far was civil opposition to the Nazis a threat?

2 Learning objective – to be able to assess the impact and the extent of the opposition to Hitler from civilians. I can describe some of the ways how civilians opposed Hitler. Grade D I can explain why and how civilians opposed Hitler. Grade B I can explain and evaluate the extent and impact of the opposition to Hitler from civilians. Grade A

3 Starter – suggest who in civilian life could show their opposition to Hitler and his policies?

4 Which type of civilians opposed Hitler? Former political opponents. The Churches. Youth.

5 What did former political opponents want to happen? The main political opponents of the Nazi Party comprised of the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and the trade unions. Before they were all banned in 1933, they were huge organisations. They wanted the restoration of democracy, free speech and workers’ democratic rights. The Communist Party wanted a workers’ revolution.

6 How far were former political opponents pose effective opposition? After 1933, thousands of former political opponents were arrested and thrown into concentration camps. Here they were tortured and beaten up then released. This was done as a scare tactic to intimidate opponents to join the Nazi Party or keeping quiet. However, working class opposition continued with 400 strikes between 1933 and But Gestapo raids and mass arrests increased and many political opponents were forced underground holding secret meetings and resorting to writing anti-Nazi graffiti and occasionally handing leaflets. Although a paramilitary wing of the Social Democratic Party called the Reichsbanner were involved in blowing up railway lines and involved in spying.

7 How far did youth opposition to Hitler grow with the swing movement? Youth opposition towards the Nazi Party began to intensify when the Hitler Youth became compulsory to join in During the war, ‘swing’ groups emerged in the major German towns and cities which encouraged the rejection of Nazi values through enjoying jazz music at secret nightclubs and drinking alcohol. They even made anti-Nazi jokes by greeting each other with the salute ‘Swing Heil!’ mocking the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute. These were rebellious rather than violent groups with specific aims, although they were pursued by the Gestapo who saw them as a irritant.

8 How far did youth opposition to Hitler intensify with the Edelweiss Pirates? The Edelweiss Pirates were a more violent youth group which emerged from dissatisfied youths wanting a more confrontational approach to opposing the Nazis. They were not a coherent organisation but more a loosely connected group from a variety of towns and cities in western Germany. Their main form of opposition was daubing anti-Nazi slogans, sheltering deserters and beating up Nazi officials. In 1944, some members of the Edelweiss Pirates in Cologne were involved in the killing of the Gestapo chief. 13 were hanged. After this point, the Edelweiss Pirates provided little opposition.

9 Who was Sophie Scholl? Sophie Scholl alongside her brother Hans and Christoph Probst led a group called the White Rose Group. They were a small group of students at Munich University. They opposed the Nazis and wanted to encourage people to sabotage the war effort and overthrow Hitler. They spread anti-Nazi messages through leaflets, posters and graffiti in They were caught in 1943 and executed.

10 Who opposed the Nazis in the Church? Martin Niemöller Dietrich Bonhöffer Paul Schneider Cardinal Galen The Pope

11 How did Martin Niemöller oppose the Nazis? Martin Niemöller was a First World War hero and became the most prominent critic of the Nazis from the Church. He was a Protestant Minister who opposed the Nazis and refused to swear an oath to Hitler and join the ‘Reich Church’ – set up to bring the Protestants under one umbrella calling themselves ‘German Christians’ and swearing loyalty to Hitler. 6,000 ministers refused to swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler and Martin Niemöller led the formation of the alternative non-Nazi, Confessional Church. He was arrested and imprisoned in a concentration camp in 1937.

12 How did Dietrich Bonhöffer oppose the Nazis? Dietrich Bonhöffer trained young men to be ministers and pointed out that Nazism was anti-Christian. He preached that one could not separate politics and religion and one must stand up to corruption and dishonesty. His college was closed down in 1940 and he remained an outspoken critic of the Nazis where he was arrested in 1943 and executed in 1945.

13 How did Paul Schneider oppose the Nazis? Paul Schneider was a pastor who opposed the Nazis and protested against the Nazis but arguing the Church must not compromise with them. He was arrested in 1937 and imprisoned in Buchenwald but smuggled letters and showed defiance but refusing to do the Hitler salute.

14 How did Cardinal Galen oppose the Nazis? Cardinal Galen revealed that the Nazis were secretly conducting a euthanasia campaign in a series of sermons delivered to churches in This gained huge publicity but the Nazis feared that killing such a high priest would make him into a martyr. Although the executed three Catholic priests who were caught distributing Galen’s sermons to German soldiers.

15 How did the Pope oppose the Nazis? The Pope signed a Concordat with Hitler in 1933, agreeing that Hitler would leave the Catholic Church alone in return for the Pope staying out of politics. However, in 1937 the Pope's message 'With Burning Concern' attacked Hitler as 'a mad prophet with repulsive arrogance' and was read in every Catholic church. The Pope becoming more horrified with the growing Nazi threat. But this remained the limit of opposition from the Catholic Church.

16 Main task GroupMethods used to oppose the Nazis Danger ratingReasons why you have given that score Former political opponents The Churches Army officers Youth

17 Subheading – My Brain Draw an outline of your brain. Fill your drawn brain with all the things you have learnt in this lesson. This can be in the form of key words, drawings, bullet points, lists – anything you like so long as it summarises your learning and that others can understand it. Plenary – My Brain


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