Opposition to Nazi Rule

In reality, did the Nazis win the hearts and minds of all the German people?

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Showing Opposition


 To begin with... There were 4 different ways of showing opposition in Nazi Germany, these were:

  • Attempted 'coup d'état - This meant killing or imprisoning the leader of the party and replacing him with an alternative leader as the Nazi Party could not be voted out
  • Underground Resistance & Open Opposition - This means campaigning against the government or deliberately disrupting its policies
  • Passive Resistance - This meant people were willing to publicaly declare their opposition by not co-operating with the Nazis
  • Private Grumbling - This meant people grumbled among close friends and family and in private but never in the hearing of someone who might report back to the Nazis
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Attempted 'coup d'état



In reality, during the first ten years of Nazi Rule, there were hardly any attemps in this form of opposition..

It was only in the last few years of World War II when the regime was collapsing anyway due the war effort, that there was any support for plots against Hitler.

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Underground Resistance & Open Opposition


This form of opposition, overall, wasn't common either... although there was a lot more happening that people realised.

  • Opposing groups produced 'anti government' leaflets
  • People like Pastor Grueber helped Jews
  • Sabotage of factories, railways and army depots
  • Some Germans acted as spies
  • Church leaders opposed and openly critisized the Nazi dictatorship

If the critics of the government could be arrested, tortured and sometimes executed, opponents formed the opinion that it was better to be involved in underground movements instead of publically opposing the Nazis.

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Passive Resistance



This was a very common form of opposition...

  • Many people refused to join the Nazi Party
  • They refused to give the 'Heil Hitler' salute - some were executed for this
  • Some refused to contribute to Nazi Funding
  • Members of baned political parties met in secret throughout the 1930s

In 1936, the Gestapo reported 1000 meetings of underground socialist groups

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Private Grumbling

This was extremely wide spread, and ordinary Germans resented many aspects of the Nazi regime.

They disliked the itrusion into people's private lives,the bully boy image of the SA, the propagranda etc. etc.

Another thing people hated was The Block Warden, who came to collect money or promote the latest Nazi scheme. They only paid or signed up to have an easier life. People attended parades and demonstrations but only because their jobs depended on it. It became an increasingly elaborate pretence.


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