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Opposition in Nazi Germany

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IB Hitler Opposition Essay To fully understand the topic, one must determine the definite definitions between resistance and opposition. The purest form of resistance would cover actions that were motivated by outright rejection of Nazism and with the aim of destroying it. Opposition would be considered as action prompted by rejection of individual policies but not the regime as a whole- the aim being to change this policy. The simplest level would be non-conformity, rejection of day-to-day intrusions of Nazism into everyday life. German resistance to Nazi government was, in many ways, very weak. This is partially due to the initial belief of the German people that the Nazis were nothing more than a reaction to their times and that they would die out relatively quickly and for the fact that Nazism was popular with the general populous. For these reasons opposition groups were very slow to form, with what can be seen as real active resistance beginning as late as 1938. However, other forms of opposition did exist prior to this. The most prominent of these was general non-conformity and dissent. This took the form of ?frustration and disappointment with the realities of everyday life under National Socialism? and ?led ordinary Germans to grumble and complain? (Ian Kershaw). ...read more.


Copied on a typewriter, approximately 100 copies were made and distributed around Germany. As the Gestapo maintained a strict system of surveillance, distribution was limited to leaving copies in public phonebooks, mailing them to professors and students, as well as sending them by secret courier to other schools. Typically, these couriers were female students who were able to travel more freely around the country than their male counterparts. Quoting heavily from religious and philosophical sources, the leaflets attempted to appeal to the German intelligents who the White Rose believed would support their cause. This group was seemingly fatalistic and as the penalty for their crime was death, and most members were executed in 1943, and many were arrested within hours. The ultimate arrests and deaths of the group?s leader led to the failure of this opposition group. The Catholic and Protestant churches are examples show that certain groups in Nazi Germany were prepared to stand up for their beliefs, and in some cases they won. In 1933, Hitler signed a concordant with the Vatican to guarantee the freedom of the Catholic Church to regulate its own affairs on condition that it withdrew from politics. Soon after Hitler signed the concordant, the NAZI regime was undermining it by creating groups do disseminate NAZI ideas, by suppressing Catholic schools, youth organizations and by banning Catholic newspapers. ...read more.


Von Stauffernberg wanted to create a social-democracy after Hitler?s death. Von Stauffenberg left a bomb in a briefcase near Hitler during a military briefing about the eastern front. In this plot, Karl Goerdeler, a traditional right-wing conservative politician, was to replace Hitler as chancellor. The group even included on its fringes some disillusioned Nazis such as Berlin police president Wolf Heinrich Count von Helldorf and Criminal Police chief Arthur Nebe. Hitler survived the blast, the coup attempt failed, and Roland Freisler, chief justice of the People's Court in Berlin, presided over the trial of those implicated in the plot. Invariably, Freisler convicted the defendants. Most were executed at a Berlin prison. Once again, a form of opposition had failed. However, despite the near-successful attempts on Hitler?s life and the other passive, active and non-conformist activities of the resistance, German opposition to the Nazi party still only comprised a third of the population, only a small percentage of whom actively opposed the Nazis through active or passive resistance. This, coupled with the late start of the resistance, the disorganization of opposition and the vastly superior organization of the Nazis meant that German resistance and opposition to the Nazis was weak. However this is not surprising when Nazi terror and public opinion are taken into account and it is, in fact, surprising that people were able to resist at all given the chances of failure and the consequences thereof. ...read more.

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