- The study of popular attitudes towards nazism in the 1930s is a difficult undertaking. There was no single uniform german attitude towards the nazi regime, instead there was a spectrum of attitudes ranging from enthusiasm through acquiescence out to active hostility.
WHY WERE THE MIDDLE AND UPPER CLASSES ENTHUSIASTS:
- they were terrified of a communist seizure of power. In 1933 hitler destroyed the KPD and by doing so eaned the lasting gratitude of the propertied classes.
- nazis were able to claim victory in the 'battle for labour' - 1936 unemployment was under 1 mill having being 6 million in 1933. Middle classes took pride that germany had been put back on its feet.
- Hitlers foreign policy was warmly recieved by the middle&upper classes. They were successes to celebrate
* reocupation of the rhineland 1936
* union with austria 1938
- many middle classes welcomed the nazis hand-line youth policies as a return to sanity after Weimar decadence.
YOUNG PEOPLE AND NAZISM:
Hitler attached huge importance to winning over the younger genration to national socialism:
- needed people who were willing to fight and die for nazism
- wanted to ensure the regimes long-term survival.
young people were subjected to systematic indoctrination. The nationalist scoialist school curriculum prioritised 'racial science' PE and the nazis interpretation of germanys recent history.
RESISTANCE TO NAZISM:
-PROBLEM OF DEFINITION-
* 1950s and 60s historians worked on the basis that resistance meant organised attempts to bring the regime down or acts of protest provoked by nazi actions/policies
* in the 1970s historians became more interested in ordinary people and suggested that the definition needed to be broadened to include minor acts of dissent.
ACTIVE RESISTANCE IN 1930S
- very little active resistance.
SPD AND KPD:
The SPD and KPD had their organisations smashd and their leaders arrested by the nazis.
- the SPD in exiles ( SOPADE ) maintained underground informaiton gathering network. Their was distrubution of leaflets and illegal newspaper with a circulation of 200,000.
- KPD set up a spy network in 1937 which survived for 5 years.
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES:
- catholic priests condemned nazism when the nazis attempted to remove crufixes from school in 1937.
WHY WAS THERE SO LITTLE RESISTANCES?
- nazis efforts to depoliticide everyday life in the 1930s had success.
- penalities of resistance was severe.
- potential leaders of resistance were imprisoned on in conc camps.
- aimed to neutralise potential centres of opposition by:
eliminating political parties
liquidation of trade union movement
NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES 1934
- hitler had those who he belived were a threat murdered
THE SS POLICE STATE:
- historians in the 50s and 60s was strongly influenced by the concept of totalitarianism.
in the 1930s the SS became the principle instrument of nazi oppression. It kept watch of germans, seeking suspected enemies and controlling conc camps
it has been suggested that the nazis didn't use terror to control the nation but instead for percieved…