• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Nazi Germany 1933

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Nazi Germany 1933-45 7 (a) Source D is written by a modern German historian, approximately fifty years after the events described. The source talks about the active resistance in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. There were various coercive powers that were loyal to Hitler and inhibited all the political resistance he could possibly face. One of these powers being the Gestapo, as mentioned in this source. The Gestapo were a secret police force, set up by Goering in the first months of Hitler's take over. They were a small group who kept strict records and files on Nazi citizens. They closely watched the public and encouraged denunciation amongst citizens, as this was the best way to find out who was being disloyal to the Fuhrer. There was not much active resistance in Germany as people feared these 'coercive powers'' ability to effectively silence any opposition, public as well as private. As the source states, this use of terror against political antagonists was enough to freeze up even the most courageous resistant groups and we know it did exactly that. There were also the SA and SS troops who were used by Hitler to enforce total control by means of explicit, brute, physical force. The Gestapo on the other hand, did not get so physically involved. In the early stages they were legally allowed to take citizens who were hostile to the Nazi regime, into 'protective custody' and deal with them. As time went on, the protective custody myth was forgotten and the Gestapo began openly working outside the law; killing and torturing citizens who showed resistance towards the regime. ...read more.

Middle

Or whether it was a hybrid of both theories - the weakness of the opposition strengthened the regime? Source A clearly believes that the weakness of the opposition was, in fact the strength of the regime. It is an internal report by an SPD member in exile, who is now likely to be bitter and resentful about the prospect of overthrowing Hitler's rule. The source is true in saying that majority of the citizens were very capable of grumbling and complaining, but were incapable of fighting against the regime, as they were afraid, did not know what they wanted, and had no clear goals. We know that much of the opposition was generated within the lower/working class, over the economic state of the country. As this source is by a member of the SPD, he is concentrating on the weakness of the lower class, the people who support his party. The Mittelstand (lower middle class) were angry about their wages and living conditions, and each person was living in their particular state of poverty that they wanted changed for themselves. As this source correctly states, even amongst this group of economically motivated people, unity and strength in numbers was difficult to achieve, so how could everyone unite against Hitler, when their reasons for opposition was so varied. This was a major weakness in the resistant groups, and they wasted time actively disliking each other, for example the SPD and KPD. The Church was against Hitler's regime, as well as communism, and again their reasons were purely selfish and in the interest of the church. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is not because they are naturally weak, but because they were made weak. The opposition groups were stripped of all weapons, voice and finally status; during the very first year of Hitler's rule. However, he still remained popular up until 1941, because he was helping the German economy and was restoring the pride, through the Anchluss and re-militarization of the Rhineland. Hitler also used a great deal of propaganda to turn people against the KPD, SPD etc, and to increase his own popularity amongst the citizens. The public (especially the youth) and the army (who were potentially the most effective resistance group) were thoroughly indoctrinated in Nazi ideology, and the army officers were also made to swear an oath of personal allegiance to the Fuhrer. The regime also deceived the people greatly by organising rigged plebiscites and controlling all aspects of the media, giving an impression of the great popularity of the regime; which suppressed any prospective opposition. There were certain elements of weakness and flaws in the opposition groups, such as their inability to work collectively, their selfishness in only working towards changes that would benefit them and their lack of knowledge of how to make Germany a better place, and who would be a good successor to Hitler. Although the opposition was unhappy, they knew no better and were not willing to take risks. Many people feared unemployment as well as death if they defied Hitler, and they were too weak to fight for themselves. I think that Hitler started of with a strong regime, instantly crippling the opposition, and he was the able to strengthen his regime even further working on the weakness of his opposition. Anam Khan 6'1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Did Hitler succeed in creating a Volksgemeinschaft?

    The asocials were the gypsies, beggars, alcoholics, prostitutes, eccentrics, the work shy and juveniles. All those who refused to work "gave offence to the Nazi Community". In 1933 there was a collection of those who refused to work, and they were sent to concentration camps.

  2. The Nazi Police State

    On the altars there must be nothing but Mein Kampf and to the left of this a sword.' Hitler was taking the biggest step yet in his totalitarian regime; becoming God. By taking over people's faith, he was clearing a major obstacle out of his way; if his people were

  1. "The most important reason why there was little opposition in Germany towards the Nazi ...

    sent off to be indoctrinated to not defy the Nazi regime, or to face serious consequences, one of which was named the final solution. In 1937 a youth concentration camp was set up, and in 1938, another round up caught around 11,000 gypsies, tramps and beggars, who were all sent to Buchenwald concentration camp.

  2. IGCSE History Coursework Assignment B - Source Analysis of the Reichstag Fire

    Because quote ii is supported with many dependable sources, then obviously it's more likely that the Nazis were the group behind the event. 8) Use the sources and your knowledge of German history to explain why there has been so much disagreement over the Reichstag Fire.

  1. To what extent was the severity of Nazi repression an indication of the strength ...

    When Sophie, Hans and Christoph arrived at the "people's court" there were clear signs of severe beatings and all three were sentenced to die by guillotine immediately; a sentence, the other members of the group had to face. Although the White Rose were a group the were no military threat

  2. ­­How much support was there for the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1939?

    is "still" out of the line of fire of criticism, which implies that the negative feelings are growing. He suggests that there is a negative support for the Nazis overall because he talks about how Goebbels is hated and how people are uncertain about the future, and suggests that Hitler

  1. How widespread and dangerous was Youth opposition in the Third Reich?

    a "rejection of the Hitler Youth and other duties to the community, indifference towards the course of war, ... attacks on members of the Hitler Youth, listening to foreign radio stations and the spreading of rumours ?in forma leaflets, flyers and graffiti?", to which merely the White Rose movement counts.

  2. Thr opposition of the Church.

    support Hitler's regime. The German Churches stumbled, and they stumbled badly. The leaders of the Churches spent a great deal of time delineating a "viable" position: one that would conform to Christian doctrine, prevents their Church from dividing into opposing factions, and avoids antagonizing the Nazi authorities.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work