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Resistance in Nazi Germany Why was there so little resistance?

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Presentation on theme: "Resistance in Nazi Germany Why was there so little resistance?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Resistance in Nazi Germany Why was there so little resistance?

2 In January 1933 there were several internal and external form of opposition to the Nazis Religion Army Traditional Elite Trade Unions Schools/ Education Media Jews SA / Ernst Rohm Communists

3 Why was there so little opposition? Factors which discouraged opposition… Factors which discouraged opposition… Factors which made opposition difficult… Factors which made opposition difficult… Ways people tried to oppose the regime… Ways people tried to oppose the regime… Groups that resisted … Groups that resisted … Individuals that resisted … Individuals that resisted … Therefore, how much opposition was there? Therefore, how much opposition was there?

4 Factors which discouraged opposition …

5 Nazi successes Hitler’s arrival caused a wave of enthusiasm and anticipation after the weak and indecisive Weimar Republic Hitler’s arrival caused a wave of enthusiasm and anticipation after the weak and indecisive Weimar Republic Hitler was successful in getting rid of unemployment: Hitler was successful in getting rid of unemployment: Public work schemes Public work schemes Party bureaucracy Party bureaucracy Purges of Jews and anti Nazis from civil service, education, journalism etc Purges of Jews and anti Nazis from civil service, education, journalism etc Conscription re – introduced in 1935 Conscription re – introduced in 1935 Arbeit and Brot Arbeit and Brot Kraft Der Freud Kraft Der Freud

6 Support from many different groups Wealthy industrialists and businessmen e.g. Hugenberg, Krupps, Thyssen, IG Farben, did well (in spite of the government’s interference with their industries). Wages increased but so too did hours of work. Wealthy industrialists and businessmen e.g. Hugenberg, Krupps, Thyssen, IG Farben, did well (in spite of the government’s interference with their industries). Wages increased but so too did hours of work. A KDF CAR

7 Care was taken to keep the support of the workers once it had been gained by: Providing Jobs Providing Jobs DAF DAF Kraft durch Freude Kraft durch Freude This poster links the German Labor Front (the DAF) to World War I. The point is that just as soldiers were comrades regardless of their standing in civil life, so too all German workers were comrades in the DAF, regardless of whether they were white or blue collar. This appeared in 1933..

8 Farmers supported them: Farmers supported them: Autarky or aim of self sufficiency in food supplies “Blood and Soil” Racial – Aryan Prices fixed on produce Farmer could not be forced to sell or mortgage his farm to pay off debt – this was important as many had been ruined in the previous financial crises. Farms became hereditary estates and on the death of the owner could be passed on

9 The Reichswehr was won over by : Hitler’s stated aims of setting aside the restrictions of Versailles Hitler’s stated aims of setting aside the restrictions of Versailles Rearmament and conscription Rearmament and conscription The Night of the Long Knives purge The Night of the Long Knives purge Brilliant successes of Hitler’s foreign policies Brilliant successes of Hitler’s foreign policies

10 Methods used to deal with these forms of opposition Religion Communists Banned from 1933 Concordat/ New Church/ Oath of elegance Army Works with Army. SA gains support. Traditional Elite Awarding of contracts Trade Unions Abolished in 1933. Schools/ Education 1934 – Education Changed Media Controlled from the centre Jews Anti-semitism SA/ Ernst Rohm June 1934 – Night of the Long Knives After August 1934 there was no legal way to remove Hitler. However opposition did not cease to exist. It only meant that opposition had to operate under the surface and consequently opposition found it difficult to organise.

11 WHY WAS OPPOSITION SO INEFFECTIVE? Traditional Respect for Legality and authority Underestimation Opposition had little in common Victims such as Jews were popular Loyal Army (after Night of Long Knives)

12 Factors which made opposition difficult - ATTITUDES “ONE CANNOT LEAVE ONE’S COUNTRY IN THE LURCH JUST BECAUSE IT HAS A BAD GOVERNMENT” “ONE CANNOT LEAVE ONE’S COUNTRY IN THE LURCH JUST BECAUSE IT HAS A BAD GOVERNMENT” Bulow, Foreign Minister State Secretary Bulow, Foreign Minister State Secretary “WE CANNOT CHANGE POLITICS. WE MUST DO OUR DUTY SILENTLY” General Fritsch Commander in Chief of the Army 1934 - 38

13 Factors which made opposition difficult - REPRESSIVE MACHINERY Gestapo Gestapo SS SS Concentration camps Concentration camps Arbitrary imprisonment Arbitrary imprisonment Denunciation by a network of informers Denunciation by a network of informers Persecution Persecution

14 Who resisted? GROUPSChurchWorkersArmy Civil Service and Judiciary Political, e.g. SOPADE OR SDP in exile Elites, e.g. Kreisau Circle Youth, e.g. Edelweiss Pirates, Swing group, white Rose INDIVIDUALS Col Stauffenberg General Oster Pastor Bonhoffer Student Sophie Scholl Actor Joachim Gottschalk Journalist Carl Osseitzky Teacher Adolf Reichwein Socialist Julius Leber Bishop Galen

15 GROUPDETAILHISTORIANS Church Cathoc Church – opposition to policies of euthanasia and sterilization. Protestant Confessional Church – refused to be Nazified Workers No legal weapon of opposition. Many workers grateful for employment. However strikes existed and many workers loyal to old political parties Army Officers remained suspicious of Hitler and Nazism. Several officers tried to assinate Hitler. Government and civil service There were some critics among government, who wanted more freedom. They wanted a new form of government. Overy- “No – go” areas Mason – absentee workers, sabotage Judiciary Some tried to maintain proper standards of justice. Opposition Parties All oposition banned in July 1933, and hit by a wave of arrests. Traditional Elites Discuss of eliminating Hitler Youth Other groups of opposition existed. Peukert- Cologne and Hamburg – widespread opposition amongst the young. WHO RESISTED TYPE OF RESISTANCE PROBLEMS FACED HOW THEY DEALT WITH THEM General Hans Oster (1887- 1945) Worked with Britain Knight of the Long Knives Concentration Camp Pastor: Dietrich Bonhoffer (1906- 45) Criticised Nazis as incaptabical with Christianity He had contacts with Generals Executed in April 1945 Actor: Joachim Gottschalk Famous German married to a Jew Was Criticised Killed 8 year old child and committed suicide TeacherActive role in resistance Caught by a spy and condemned

16 WAYS PEOPLE OPPOSED THE NAZIS Listening to jazz Listening to jazz Reading banned literature Reading banned literature Nonconformity Nonconformity Private grumbling Private grumbling Not giving the Hitler salute Not giving the Hitler salute Humour Humour Deserting armed forces Deserting armed forces Assassination Assassination Spying for foreign governments Spying for foreign governments Collecting evidence of Nazi atrocities Collecting evidence of Nazi atrocities Assassination Assassination Underachieving in the workplace Underachieving in the workplace Hiding Jews Hiding Jews Refusing to join Hitler Youth Refusing to join Hitler Youth Distributing anti Nazi leaflets Distributing anti Nazi leaflets Telling anti Nazi jokes Telling anti Nazi jokes Listening to BBC Listening to BBC Emigrating Emigrating Obstructive collaboration Obstructive collaboration Going on strike Going on strike Committing suicide Committing suicide Open criticism Open criticism Continuing illegal parties and organizations Continuing illegal parties and organizations

17 CONCLUSION Historians disagree on the extent of opposition and the problems opponents of Nazism faced. Aside from assassination attempts (9) the Nazi regime was secure and was only brought down by a vast coalition of enemy powers in World War Two. Historians disagree on the extent of opposition and the problems opponents of Nazism faced. Aside from assassination attempts (9) the Nazi regime was secure and was only brought down by a vast coalition of enemy powers in World War Two.


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