Resistance and Conformity

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  • Created by: ellen
  • Created on: 30-04-13 18:13

Problems with the sources

  • The elections were held in an atmosphere of fear.
  • There were no free opinion polls.
  • The SD reports are helpful but they might not be entirely truthful as many of the officers who were writing the reports were too scared to write the truthful exntent of opposition because of their superiors. Some only reporter what people told them.
  • The SOPDE (Social Democratic Party) might have exaggerated anti-Nazi views.
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Evidence of support

  • There was no widespread or serious opposition.  
  • Many people preferred the Third Reich to the disfunctional last years of the Weimar Republic as they did nothing for the Great Depression. 
  • A series of elections held by the Nazis in the 1930's showed more than 90% of support from people.
  • Gestapo, SD and SOPADE also wrote that there was support for the Nazis.
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The SDP were not prepared for the Nazi takeover in 1933 and were unable to manage a situation when they worked within the law and the Nazis didn't. They voted against the Enabling Act but the Nazis crushed the Party as thousands were murdered or placed into custody. 

They set up small, secret groups but fear of exposure by the Gestapo limited their work and prevented them from being a huge threat to the Nazi Party. 

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They were the first Party to be banned by the Nazis and 10% of them were killed by 1933. They set up underground networks all across Germany, however by 1935 they were discovered by the Gestapo and smashed. They were not a serious threat as their parties no longer existed, they focused on survival.

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The workers

The SDP and KDP did not have success attracting the middle class. There wasn't much resistance as Hitler has reduced unemployment and it would have been too risky. 

The Nazis banned Trade Union and introduced the German Labour Front and many were unhappy. 

As a result there were many strikes, in 1935 there were 35 strikes whereas in 1937, 250 strikes were recorded. This was because many were unhappy with work conditions and poor wages.

Absenteeism and damaging machinery became a new way workers expressed their resistance. This was so severe that many were arrested. 

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Young People

There was resistance from the youth because  Hitler Youth membership became compulsory by 1936. There was too much emphasis put on military training and many had no free time to do what they wanted e.g. leisure activities. 

  • There was growing abstenteeism by the late 1930's
  • Less discipline
  • Development of gangs
  • Formation of youth movements against the Nazi Party
  • Many young boys who were conscripted to the army left the country
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The White Rose Group

The White Rose group was led by Hans and Sophie. They distributed leaflets against the Nazi regime across Germany. They held anti-Nazi beliefs, thought badly of the treatment of Jews and Slavs and thought Hitler was a mass murderer. However, the Nazis got hold of the 5 leaders and executed them.

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The Edelweiss Pirates

This was groups of 14-18 year olds across the country who disliked the Hitler Youth and wanted to avoid conscription. They were more active during war years, they teamed up with communists underground to smuggle prisoners out.

 However, some of them were caught and had their heads shaven or sent to labour camps. The leaders were publicly hanged after the assassination of a Gestapo officer and attacks on the military.

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The Swing Youth

They were not serious opposition; they listened to Jazz music and dressed in an English style. They were sent to concentration camps.

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The Bomb Plot

Led by Colonel Stauffenberg who placed a bomb in Hitler's briefing room, it only caused Hitler minor injuries. 

Some wanted to end Hitler leading the country as they felt it would lead to failure and a communist takeover.

Others wanted an end to the holocaust.

Others thoughts that if they got rid of Hitler, the other countries might give more favourable terms for peace.

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