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World War II and its impacts on Germany. Rationing, bombing and Resistance.

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The War and its Impacts Since 1933, Nazis had been preparing for war; when it came it wasn’t greeted enthusiastically. Many remembered the horrors of WWI. First year went very well for AH. German army swept through Eastern and Western Europe, meeting very little resistance. First conquests quickly brought extra food and riches back to Germany. From 1942, everything went very badly. Nazi state began to fall apart. WWII disrupted policies on women and the economy. Sharpened the opposition, especially from the church; even Army leaders plotted to assassinate AH. War slowly drained German resources, leading to shortages, illness and civilian deaths on a scale never seen before. What was Life Like on the Home Front? 1939-41: The war goes well for Germany September 1939 ï Germans prepared for the first winter at war. Rationing was introduced for food and other objects (e.g. soap) Hot water only permitted on two days per week. More items rationed than in Britain. As a result of rationing, 40% Germans ate better than before the war. The diet became increasingly monotonous: Vegetables and black rye bread, small amounts of meat, butter and one egg a week. Adults received no milk ration; children a generous one. Bread was sold a day old – then it took more chewing and people ate less. ...read more.


Refugees were pouring in from areas being reconquered by the enemy. Goebbels prepared to mobilise Germany in a final effort to win the war. He ordered: All non-German servants and all workers ï armaments factory. Letter boxes closed ï to save fuel, railway and postal services. Places of entertainment closed (except cinemas). Age limit for compulsory labour for women raised to 50. Volkssturm (Home Guard) formed. Early 1945 ï most extreme air raids began. Dresden ï 150,000 people killed and 70% of properties destroyed in 2 nights. Even rural towns, like Northeim, were bombed. By end of war, almost as many German civilians had been killed as German soldiers in combat. Nazi administration ï couldn’t cope with scale of destruction. Early 1945 ï government’s plans in chaos. Ration cards stopped ï people relied on black market or scavenging for food. Northeim: April 1945 When Allied and Russian troops took over towns, they met little resistance ï drained by the war. As tanks approached Northeim, Mayor Girmann ordered his SA militia to defend the town to the death, but went to the hills to get drunk. SA ignored him and handed town over without a fight. Carl Querfurt ï brought in to head a mew emergency council for the town. He was former leader of the socialists. ...read more.


Urged Germans not to help the war effort. 1943 ï most leaders were captured and executed. Dietrich Bonhoeffer Believed Christianity could not accept Nazi views; and that Christians had a duty to resist AH and help victims of Nazi persecution. Early Opposition 1930s ï consistently preached his views against Nazism. 1935 ï campaigned against Nuremberg Laws. Failed to get Confessional Church to oppose them (Anti-Nazi already). 1937 ï Gestapo closed his training college and banned him from preaching. He joins the Anwehr Joined underground resistance with some family and secretly gathered evidence of Nazi crimes. 1939 ï involved in Abwehr, German army counter-intelligence service, within which there was a secret group working to overthrow AH. Help dvise the plan code – ‘Operation 7’. Aim ï to help Jews escape the country. Gradually he became more involved in the assassination plot. Contacted GB government ï asked for a negotiated peace if they overthrew AH. GB wanted unconditional surrender ï REFUSED. He is arrested Continued his resistance, until he was arrested in October 1942, after another member is interrogated and reveals names of others of the Abwehr. Placed in solitary confinement. Guards were forbidden to talk to him. Concentration camp AH became alarmed by plots to kill him. 1944 ï transferred to concentration camp. Even in camp he preached the word of God and resistance of Nazism. 8 April 1945 ï put on trial in Flossenburg concentration camp; sentence was death by hanging, which was carried out the next day at dawn. ...read more.

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