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

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Introduction

History Coursework How much support was there for the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1939? a) Source A is the pronouncement of the Catholic Teachers Association of 1933, in support of the Nazis. It is a very patriotic statement, proclaiming how they are going to help to build the new Reich, and denouncing "un-German spirit". They say that they will put their trust in Hitler, and praise him, "and his movement". This is a public pronouncement, and is clearly aimed to please the Nazis, so that they the catholic teachers would be treated well by the new regime. What they are saying is incredibly similar to the Nazi propaganda, and Nazi ideas, so this suggests that they may not have wholeheartedly believed it, and were just sucking up to the new power. However, this was written before Hitler had established complete control of the country. He had passed the Enabling Act, but had not yet banned all other parties; this suggests that they may believe much of what they say. However, I think that this is not a perfectly true representation of what you average catholic teacher would have felt about the new regime. Hitler interfered a lot with education, and so many teachers eventually came to dislike him, but this was written before he had had much of an opportunity to do too much to the system. He also was not universally liked in the church, however, at first he tried to cooperate with them, and signed a deal with the Catholic Church in 1933 allowing them to keep their schools and churches so long as they didn't interfere with politics. This means that the catholic teachers would have had no major reason to dislike Hitler in spring 1933. Source B is a poem in praise of Hitler written by a German woman in her diary in 1934. It shows complete devotion to Hitler, saying that she would put her life at risk to follow his orders. ...read more.

Middle

In the photograph, we can see one scary looking man, in a trench coat, and another out of site behind Hitler. These would have been his bodyguards from the SS, but they may have actively, or just by their presence intimidated the people present into showing their support for Hitler. As it happens, I do not think that this is very likely because I know that their feeling that they are showing are typical to that type of person. Another problem with the source is that it only shows a very small proportion of the population, and their feelings are not necessarily representative of the whole of Germany. Source H shows an anonymous businessman handing Hitler a handful of banknotes from behind him. The caption says "Millions stand behind me", suggesting that millions of marks, not millions of people are standing behind Hitler, and keeping him in power. Hitler has his hand up as if in a salute, but it is there to receive the money. This is ridiculing Hitler's salute. Another thing to note is that Hitler is very small compared to the businessman. This could be suggesting that Hitler is a puppet for the businesses, and also literally makes Hitler seem small, which is what the Communists would have wanted. The fact that this was distributed by Communists agents in the 1930's shows that this is undoubtedly a piece of propaganda, although I could have worked that out without that information. This is clearly a very biased view of Hitler, because it is Communist propaganda, but it has some truth behind it. Hitler was supported by big business throughout his campaign for power, because they saw that he could help them out with low taxation, and rearmament. This relationship continued when he came to power in 1933, so it is very likely that Hitler continued to receive money from the owners of factories and businesses. ...read more.

Conclusion

This suggests that either source A is not very reliable, or that feelings changed a great deal over the few years between source A being written, and the others being written. I think that both reasons are valid because even if the Catholic Teachers Association had been lying a little in their pronouncement, in order to win support from the Nazis, it is unlikely that they would lie that much. I also know that Hitler interfered a lot with education, and this annoyed many teachers, possibly turning them against the Nazis. Source B is a poem of "messianic belief" in Hitler, but source C says that this had died out by 1936. This shows that although the Nazis did once have the enthusiastic support of many people, their feelings changed gradually against the Nazis. Source I is correct in saying that unemployment did decrease under the Nazis, but this does not mean that all the workers were fanatic Nazis all the way through the regime, and this is shown by the fact that the factories were the main centres for opposition activity (source F). However, the factor that strikes me as the most important in showing that there was passive opposition to the Nazis is the apathy, and everyday defiance that is described in sources E and F. Both of these sources seem to be fairly reliable, but perhaps slightly exaggerated. The American journalist would exaggerate the Nazi opposition because of the isolationist stance that his country had taken on the situation in Europe, and the police may be inclined to overestimate the threat from groups of people to justify punishment and action. They are also very late on, one from '38, and the other from '39, so they are not of that much use in deciding if the workers ever enthusiastically supported the Nazis. Therefore, I think that many workers did enthusiastically support the Nazis at one point, but this soon died out, and people retreated to "sullen apathy" as source K says. Hector Guinness 03/05/2007 ...read more.

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