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Slide 1

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Opposition in
Nazi Germany
1933-1945…read more

Slide 2

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Lack of Opposition
Didn't have normal methods of expressing resistance due to the censorship.
Various forms of Resistance: Nonconformity, Acceptance, Resistance,
Participation, Enthusiasm, Protest, Commitment.
Recent historiography focussed on public opposition e.g. Bishop Galen over
euthanasia & July 1944 Bomb Plot
Death of Hindenburg helped Hitler
Hitler was legally elected
Opposition banned under Law against Formation of New Parties, Jul '33.
Army appeased by Night of the Long Knives 1944.
Early victims unpopular in Germany, KPD, Jews, SA
Successes in economy
Opposition was poorly organised: Hite&Hinton `the story of resistance is really
that of a hundred subgroups and thousands of individuals."…read more

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Introduce the concept of opposition: explain that given the nature of the Nazi
state a far broader explanation of opposition is necessary.
Offer a range of examples from non-conformity to resistance.
Remember to explain opposition to the party is different to Hitler, people
remained loyal to Hitler personally and were still convinced by the Hitler myth
even when the popularity of the Nazi Party was in decline.
Opposition was more common towards the end of the war.
Give a judgement on WHATEVER FACTOR is given in the question. For
example, whilst moral considerations were important in motivating elements of
opposition it was the consequence of a range of complex and integrated
factors including the desire for self-preservation or advancement.
Then evaluate the other important factors in motivation opposition in order that
you feel them to be significant.
Conclusion: many different contributory factors for opposition, different groups
and individuals were motivated by different concerns. A reason for limited
opposition may have been terror(explain this briefly) and the fact that there was
considerable genuine popular support(explain this briefly.) Reiterate your
judgement.…read more

Slide 4

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Moral reasons for opposition
Moral considerations were undoubtedly a motivating factor for the White Rose
Group. They were horrified by the atrocities on the Eastern Front and
concerned about the way in which the German people would be regarded by
the world. DO NOT tell the story here, rather explain what motivated them and
highlight their limited success.
Many clergyman were disheartened by the programme of Euthanasia and
were increasingly distanced from the Nazi party as a result of this, Bishop
Galen, Lion of Munster was quite successful in his sermons where he openly
preached against this policy. He is widely regarded by historians as the most
successful example of opposition as he was too popular a public figure for the
Nazi's to remove(also highlights limitation to the power of the party).
In rural areas there was increasing apprehensiveness and disenchantment
with the party as the reality of `total war' was conveyed home by young men
who had been fighting on the Eastern Front. The tales of shooting women and
children and the systematic murder of Jews was causing great concern among
this section of the population.
Elements of the army intelligence, Abwher, protected Jews and helped them
escape.…read more

Slide 5

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Political Reasons
There are a number of different political reasons for opposition to the party.
Discuss the narrow political opposition to the party, the Red Orchestra and
Communist/Socialist opposition.
Explain that there was no legal process for opposition of other political parties
following 14th July 1933 legislation that made Germany a one party state.
Discuss the limitations of this opposition, they were forced underground and
split into little cells with limited communications between them.
Discuss the Kreisau Circle, they did not see themselves as capable of
opposition in Nazi Germany, In the aftermath of the July Bomb Plot hundreds of
associates were murdered so the regime clearly deemed them to be capable of
Consider the July Bomb Plot- Political in the sense that it was opposition to the
way in which the war was being conducted but you must show an awareness
of the fact that many cynical observers regard this army resistance as
motivated by self-preservation. They highlight how the army felt conveniently
"bound" by their oath when the war was going well but by late 1943/1944 when
the war was clearly going to be lost they found the `courage' to act. May be
regarded as an attempt to obtain a fairer peace settlement from the Allies.
Hess flying to Scotland, interesting form of political opposition from a key
member of the Kitchen Cabinet.…read more

Slide 6

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Religious Opposition
Include an introductory sentence indicating how the religious institutions in
Germany did oppose but the limited opposition has been explained as a desire
to maintain their institutional autonomy and much organised resistance when it
did occur form this section was the result of such considerations.
The only real example of organised resistance: the breaking away of the
Confessional Church under Martin Neomoller. This was essentially a protest
against the `false theology' and interference of the German Christians.…read more

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