Civilian Morale WW2

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Hitler's stance on morale and war
Believed WW1 was lost due to collapse of home front
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What did Gordon Craig say of the early stages of war?
"A reluctance to ask the public to bear sacrifices"
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Rationing introduced in
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Nature of rationing?
Generous. Meat 500G until 1942. Extra rations Xmas
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Until when did rations > minimum requirements
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Why weren't women mobilised?
Maintain morale
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What increased morale early on? (inside country)
Entertainment and leisure provided by the KdF
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What increased morale early on?
Victories: Britain, France and Poland
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When did morale begin to collapse?
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Allied bombings, shortages, dislocation, military defeats
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Which defeats were too big to cover?
Stalingrad + Kursk.
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How many service men died between 1944-45
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How did this affect morale?
Bereavement = :(
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What were people scared of?
Soviet invasion
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What shortages did people face?
Food and fuel
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Which group were particularly emotionally affected by war?
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Example of everyday hardship
1944; 60 hour working week introduced
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Nature of Allied Bombings
USAF by day. RAF by night
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Bombings killed
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Bombings left how many homeless?
7 Million
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What else caused anger?
Militarisation of Hitler Youth
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Discontent seen by
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Who led Propaganda?
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How did he try to lift morale?
1943 total war speech
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Two key elements of this speech
Persevere bcos soviet invasion + miracle weapons
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Why did morale lack credibility? [1]
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Why did morale lack credibility [3]
Inflated boastful claims = Hollow; Hitler myth collapsed; W-C thought they bore the burden, making Volksgemeinschaft appear Hollow
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Who operated Terror?
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What position was he given n when?
1943 - MoI
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Methods [3]
New criminal offences; Harsher prison sentencing; Filled Concentration Camps
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Example of a new criminal offence:
Listening to foreign media / hoarding food / undermining the regime.
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Death sentences 1939 v 1944
139 - 4000
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CC population by 1945
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How did the mood / behaviour change on the home front?
Everyday dissent / non-conformity became common.
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These typical forms of dissent can be called:
"Minor dissent"
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Where were they high-risk?
Nazi regime became increasingly desperate.
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Examples of minor dissent?
Listening to BBC; refusing to salute; withdrawing from nazi organisations; Black market activity; anti-regime jokes
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Important to remember to differentiate between
Simple resistance + threatening resistance
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Level of opposition during war time
Higher than before 1939
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Nazi's faced opposition from
Christians, Left Wing, Right Wing, Youthful Opposition
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Christian Opposition: 1941
Bavarian crosses + Aktion T4
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Who attacked the Aktion T4 programme and result?
Bishop Galen; its existence was covered up.
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Example of a youthful L-W group?
Edelweiss Pirates
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Smuggle out escaped PoW
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Their fate
leaders hung in 1944
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Another example of a youthful movement:
White Rose Group
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Middle class christian students from Munich university
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Their movement:
Appealed to people ethics; distributed letters and leaflets and used vandalism.
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Their fate
The Scholl siblings were executed in 1943.
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L-W opposition: Who established resistance cells in factories
Robert Uhrig
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No. of cells in Berlin in 1941
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Name of significant communist network?
Rote Kappelle
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Its members had access to?
Sensitive info
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Collected intel and distributed leaflets
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Destroyed in 1942.
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Conservative Opposition; what did they seek?
Return to rule of law and end of war.
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Two groups?
Kreisau Circle; Beck-Goerdeller Group.
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Nature of Kreisau circle:
association of U-C intellectuals and political moderates who shared a hatred for the barbarism of the nazis
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Key member:
Junker Von Moltke: links with the army
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Their fate?
Leaders made contact with Beck-Goerdeler group and paid price
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Nature of Beck-Goerdeller group
Old fashioned U-C conservative nationalists.
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Role of Beck
Former senior army general
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Role of Goerdeller
Former govt. official in early nazi period.
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When did some of the army turn?
After stalingrad
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When was the bomb plot and how many generals killed?
22. (out of 2000)
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General reason for survival of regime?
Lack of support / members in ACTIVE opposition groups
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Why did the left fail to pose a significant threat?
Underground groups were isolated = little impact
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Why did the SPD and commies fail to pose a substantial threat?
Gestapo had largely destroyed them in 1930s.
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Why did the middle and upper classes fail to pose a significant threat?
Different aims and motives / few links
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What discouraged people from participating in opposition groups?
Terror state. Fear of execution or CC
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General reason why state survived?
No worked out plans to remove nazis
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Specific reason why opposition was limited?
Bombing meant people were focused on surviving. Attention diverted away from politics. Didn't have energy to participate.
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Army reason?
Many felt bound by oath. only 20 out of 2000 generals in 1944 july plot
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Where did the most serious threat lie?
Military-conservative resistance; had capacity to get close enough to hitler.
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Card 2


What did Gordon Craig say of the early stages of war?


"A reluctance to ask the public to bear sacrifices"

Card 3


Rationing introduced in


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Card 4


Nature of rationing?


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Card 5


Until when did rations > minimum requirements


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