Opposition in wartime

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  • Created by: pav_ys
  • Created on: 07-05-18 15:18
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  • Opposition and Resistance in wartime
    • Youth
      • Edelweiss Pirates
        • working class, aged 14-18, mainly active in the Rhineland & Ruhr, they had badges with an edelweiss flower
        • not overtly political but were anti-HJ and tried to avoid conscription
          • uniform: short trousers, white socks, a check shirt, white pullover, scarf and a windcheater + very long hair
        • rejected the discipline of the HJ: organised independent expeditions into the countryside where they sang banned songs
        • 1944, Cologne: became linked with an underground group that helped army deserters, forced labourers, POWs and prisoners from concentration camps (bombing provided conditions for underground activity)
          • Gestapo + HJ: crushed the EPs, shaved their heads and sent them to labour camps
          • 1942: 28 groups broken up
          • Nov 1944: Cologne leaders of EP hanged publicly
      • Swing Youth
        • Middle class,  motivated by 'the desire to have a good time' - according to the Ministry of Justice
          • areas such as: Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dresden, Halle and Karlsruhe
        • not overtly political or attempting to overthrow the regime: but listening to American jazz placed them in opposition to the regime
        • their 'sleaziness' and pleasure-seeking: offended the moral precepts of the Nazi regime
          • Himmler sent the leaders to concentration camps for 2-3 years
      • Students: White Rose
        • Based in Munich: also a more consciously political movement
        • led by Hans and Sophie Scholl and supported by Professor Kurt Huber
        • based at Munich university: target audience was the educated middle-class
        • religiously mixed body: influenced by Catholics such as Bishop Galen
          • emphasised importance of individual freedom and personal responsibility in questions of morality
            • led to the group attacking the Nazi treatment of Jews and Slavs of EE
        • 1942-43: issued 6 pamphlets mainly in Munich but also outside
          • 1943: became bolder, painted anti-Nazi slogans such as 'Hitler Mass Murderer' on buildings
        • eventually executed by the Gestapo
    • Churches
      • Catholic
        • 1930s: influenced in their response by their desire to protect their organisations + their support for many of the regime's policies
          • 1939: supporter Germany's war aims --> wholehearted supports for Operation Barbarossa in 1941
        • individual churchmen raised their voices against the Nazis
          • 1940: Bishop Galen spoke out against the euthanasia programme that killed 270,000 mentally and physically disabled
            • Galen not persecuted: but priests who distributed the sermon were --> 3 Catholic priests executed
            • Bishop Frings of Cologne: condemned the killing of POWs
      • Protestant
        • Protestant Confessional Church of Prussia: only church body to publicly protest about the treatment of Jews
        • Bonhoeffer: outspoken critic of the regime since 1933 called for wider Christian resistance to the treatment of Jews
          • 1943: a statement read out from the pulpits
          • 1940: banned from speaking in public: would not reach a wider audience in Germany
            • BUT Bonhoeffer became involved with critics of the Nazis from the elite in the late 1930s + extensive contacts abroad
        • Bonhoeffer: arrested by Gestapo in 1943, held in prison until his execution in 1945 right before liberation.
    • Communists
      • underground communist resistance had been severely weakened by the Gestapo in the 1930s
      • 1939: Nazi-Soviet pact undermined Communist resistance as the KPD struggled to justify the arrangement
      • Invasion of U**R galvanised (excited) communist resistance
        • main method of spreading ideas & recruitment: leaflets
      • 1941: after the invasion there were 89 underground communist cells in Berlin, other cells in Hamburg, Mannheim and central Germany
        • 1943-43: Gestapo destroyed 22 out of 89 cells in Berlin
      • under pressure from the Gestapo + the fact that U**R was perceived as the main German enemy: communists had no prospect of attracting widespread support
    • Army and civilian critics
      • Kreisau Circle
        • diverse views of the elite in the Kreisau circle: included Moltke + aristocrats, lawyers, SPD, churchmen such as Bonhoeffer
        • common denominator linking them: belief in personal freedom and individual responsibility
        • 'intellectual powerhouse of the non-communist opposition'
        • 1942-43: 3 meetings before they were broken up by the Gestapo
      • July 1944 Plot
        • General Beck, Goerdeler, von Hassel: involved in the '38 plot continued to discuss plans
          • links to Bonhoeffer + General Oster
        • 1st attempt: convince senior army generals to arrest Hitler
          • 2nd attempt: made contact with the British gov (through Bonhoeffer) hoping to negotiate peace if Hitler was removed
            • BOTH INEFFECTIVE
        • 1st assassination attempt, March 1943: bomb placed on Hitler's plane -- FAILED TO EXPLODE
          • plot not discovered: but arrests of Bonhoeffer and other Kreisau members meant Gestapo was close
          • 1943: Colonel Srauffenberg SUCCEEDED in placing a bomb in Hitler's East Prussia HQ in July '44
        • Operation Valkyrie: take over Berlin and assassinate Hitler --> after which they planned a provisional gov Conservatives, SPD, non-party & immediately negotiate peace with the Allies
          • Bomb exploded: Hitler escaped with minor injuries
            • Broadcast by Hitler: proved he was alive and the plot had failed.
          • coup did not materialise: confusion of the conspirators who failed to seize control of radio stations
          • Himmler ordered rounding up of conspirators
            • ** cast their net wide: 7,000 arrested and 5,746 executed
            • Beck: suicide
            • Strauffenberg shot
            • ARMY LOST THE LAST VESTIGES OF ITS INDEPENDENCE: under ** control
      • 1938 Plot: never activated, remained undiscovered by Gestapo
        • those involved: continued to oppose the regime BUT had no unity of purpose
          • some acted out of moral conviction, others out of patriotism and the belief that Hitler was leading Germany to destruction, some democratic, some traditional, aristocratic conservatives who wanted an authoritarian gov
  • Pavlina YS

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