Opposition to the Nazis and Hitler's rule

Why was there little opposition to the Nazis and Hitler's rule

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'For the Good of Germany'

  • Many Germans admired and trusted Hitler and they were prepared to tolerate his rule of terror and to trade there rights in political freedom and free speech in turn for work, foreign policy success and the thought of a strong government
  • Economic recovery was deeply appreciated
  • Many people felt the Nazis were bringing much needed discipline to Germany by restoring traditional values and clamping down on rowdy Communists
  • Between 1933 and 1938 Hitler success in foreign affairs made Germans feel like there country was a great power again after the humiliation of WW1 and the Treaty of Versailles
  • For many Germans the dubious methods of the Nazis may have been regrettable but they were neccessary for the greater good of Germany
  • If you asked no questions and kept your head down life under Nazi rule was comfortable
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'Be careful what you say'

  • 'Keeping your head down' became a national obsession
  • In private Germans complained about the Nazi regime and its actions. Some might refuse the Nazi salute and they may say anti Nazi jokes and stories about the senior Nazis - serious criticism was never public
  • However, the ** went to great lengths to find out what people were saying about the regime by listening in on conversations in cafes and bars
  • German workers feared losing there jobs if they express opposition and Germany had been hit hard by the Depression so it was a terrifying idea to be out of work
  • It was a similar situation for the bosses - businesses that did not contribute to Nazi Party funds risked losing Nazi business and going bankrupt and so in self defence they too conformed
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'Have you heard the good news?'

  • Underlying the whole regime was propaganda
  • This ensured that many Germans found out very little about the bad things happening and if they did only the positive slant on them
  • Propaganda was very important in maintaining Hitler's image
  • Evidence shows that he had high personal support throughout the 1930s and  was even widely respected in 1944 when Germany was losing the war
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