Opposition to the Nazi Regime

Notes on Opposition to the Nazi Regime

Specifically for AS OCR History A Unit F964 Option B

Study Topic 4: Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933–63

[Sepcification for my course on pg 63 of:http://www.ocr.org.uk/download/kd/ocr_9582_kd_gce_spec.pdf]

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  • Created on: 13-04-10 12:11
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Opposition to the Nazi Regime
What opposition was there to the Nazi Regime?
Some varied methods of opposing the Nazi regime were:
Publicly criticising the regime.
Not giving the Hitler greeting.
Attempted assassinations.
Distribution of anti Nazi leaflets/printing and reading opposition literature and
banned literature.
Spying for foreign governments.
Obstructive collaboration (e.g. judges giving lenient punishments to those guilty of
political offences).
Listening to the BBC.
Going on strike.
Telling anti-Hitler jokes.
Not attending Nazi meetings.
Refusing to contribute to the Winterhilfe collection.
Helping victims of Nazism.
Commiting suicide.
Pressurising for higher wages.
Privately discussing an alternative government.
Writing anti Nazi graffiti.
Collecting evidence of Nazi atrocities.
Refusing to join Hitler Youth.
Applauding potentially subversive speeches in plays.
Hiding Jews.
Deserting from the armed forces.
Spontaneous protests in public.
Listening to American jazz.
Organising a coup.
Opposition, resistance and nonconformity: there were a broad range of methods of
resistance to the Nazi regime. Minor opposition might be complaining about high prices,
which was usually carried out in private, and major opposition would be, for example,
publicly criticising policies, which could involve powerful leaders.
Assassination Attempts:
There were numerous plans by groups/individuals to assassinate Hitler, in
particular after 1939.
Some of the best documented were:
1935-6 ­ Jewish students planned to assassinate Hitler, with no result due to
lack of opportunity.
9th November 1938 ­ Maurice Bavaud tried to shoot Hitler at the annual
Munich parade, but couldn't get a shot in. He was executed in 1941.
Flora Curtis, Ashburnham

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November 1939 ­ Socialist cabinet-maker Georg Elser planted a bomb in
the beer-hall where Hitler was speaking, but it went off after Hitler had left and
killed four people. He was arrested, and executed in 1945.
June 1940 ­ Police Chief Friedrich von Schulenburg wanted to assassinate
Hitler at a victory parade, but the parade was called off.
February 1943 ­ the Army command at Kharkov wanted to kill Hitler when he
visited, but he changed his plans.…read more

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In contact with other university groups, the WR was inspired by the sermons of
Bishop Galen.
Secretly distributed leaflets.
Printed details about euthanasia programmes and the atrocities on the Eastern
They were arrested and their leaders, Hans and Sophie Scholl, were executed.
The Army:
Aristocratic officers were suspicious of Nazis.
Initial cooperation.
Later relations broke down after concerns over Hitler's radical foreign policy.
General Beck ­ plan to arrest Hitler in 1938 ­ ruined by Hitler's success at the
Munich conference.…read more

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KPD ­ formed underground cells, even in DAF, but two thirds of members were
arrested ­ Rote Kapelle spy organisation sent information to the USSR, and was
smashed in 1942 by the Abwehr.
Traditional elites:
Among the elites ­ talk of replacing Hitler, especially in the Kreisau Circle on Count
Moltke's estate.…read more

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Historians disagree on the extent of opposition and the problems opponents
faced.…read more


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