Resistance against Nazi Germany


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Resistance against Nazi Germany

  1. 1. RESISTANCE AGAINST HITLER AND NAZI REGIME Varun Bedakihale Hayk Aslanyan
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION  The government of Adolf Hitler was popular amongst most Germans.  Even after Gestapo and the Security Service suppressed open criticism, opposition in Nazi did exist from 1933 -1945  There was not a single “German Resistance Movement”  Opposition took place at dif ferent personal, ideological and political backgrounds, outraged by Hitler‟s views and policies  Opposition ranged from protest made by students to attempts to assassinate Hitler.  Many people, both in the military and outside of it, wanted to overthrow Adolf Hitler and end the Nazi rule before the complete destruction at the hand of the allies.
  3. 3. THE RESISTANT GROUPS  The earliest resistance to the Nazi regime was from political opposition  The lef tist par ties such as the Communist Par ty (KPD) and Socialist Democratic Par ty and Conser vative Par ty resisted against the Nazi regime  Their main purpose was to weaken and over throw the Nazi regime  They conducted underground resistance  Political opposition and resistance against the Nazi regime was from 2 main groups: A)Social Democrats B)Communi sts  Industrial worker s (trade unions) were another major group which cause lot of revolts and coups  There were resistance from youth groups such as the Edelweiss Pirates and Swing Youth  Students also protested in the White Rose movement.  There also some dangerous attempts to assassinate Hitler.
  4. 4. SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PART Y (SPD)  The leadership of SPD fled into exile when the SPD was forced to disband  But the established an underground organisation to oppose the Nazi regime  An important SPD group called THE RED SHOCK, set up a newspaper called „The red shock troop‟  It suggested that the Nazi regime will be overthrown by German workers  By 1938, Gestapo‟s success in finding and arresting SPD underground groups led the leadership to conclude that underground activities were too dangerous, so they ended  Therefore, the leadership came to conclusion that this regime could only be overthrown by a coup led by the German army
  5. 5. THE COMMUNIST PART Y (KPD)  The KPD and groups associated with it led the underground resistance against the Nazi government  The most important activity of the Communist underground was the distribution of anti -Nazi literature and newspapers  However, the communists who resisted Nazism faced multitude of dangers and most died in struggle  Between 1933-1939, 150,000 communists were detained in Nazi concentration camp and further 30,000 communists were executed  Between 1933-1939, thousands of communists were arrested, 30,000 were executed and 150,000 were detained in the Nazi concentration camp
  6. 6. CONSERVATIVE PART Y  Kreisau Circle were the main conservative opposition to Nazi regime, including aristocrats, socialists, priests and foreign of fice of ficials  The group prepared for and made plans for the period after Hitler‟s downfall  Silesian estate, Count Helmuth von Moltke was arrested in January 1944 for speaking against the regime  Some members of the circle continued and developed links with Colonel von Stauf fenberg  Finally, in early 1945, Von Moltke was executed
  7. 7. RESISTANCE FROM INDUSTRIAL WORKERS  Workers remained absent, created disruption in industrial machinery and refused to serve in the German army  Most of these people were communist supporter  The most remarkable attempt by an industrial worker to bring down the Nazi regime was undertaken by Georg Elser  On 8 November 1939, he planted a bomb in a Munich beer hall, where Hitler was going to give a speech  However, due to bad weather and Hitler‟s good luck, Hitler‟s plane to Munich delayed and therefore he arrived late for his speech  The bomb exploded and Elser was arrested and subsequently executed for attempting to assassinate the Nazi leader  By the end of war, industrial unrest increased and 193,024 workers were arrested for participating in strikes
  8. 8. RESISTANCE FROM CHURCHES  The treaty between the Vatican and the Third Reich in July 1933 regulated relations between the Reich and the Catholic church  Nevertheless the Nazis supressed the Catholic groups by performing priest trials  The church were opposed to the killing of mentally and physically handicapped individuals (euthanasia)  Individual priests opposed to the growing brutality of the Nazi policies  Churches responded vigorously to attacks on their own freedom  Though, they still refrained from open criticism of the Nazis‟ policies on the „Jewish Question‟  Reports from 1943 claimed that the priests publicly expressed their outrage over the policies of genocide
  9. 9. STUDENT PROTEST: THE WHITE ROSE  This movement was a student resistance organized in Munich University and was led by Hans and Sophie Scholl  When Hans Scholl returned from the Eastern Front of 1942, he got even more convinced of the need to oppose the Nazis  Along with their friends, the students conducted a leaflet campaign condemning the brutality of the Nazis  The members dropped leaflets into the university‟s lecture room accusing Nazis as sub -humans  The group was active was just over 6 months  They were arrested and Hans and Sophie were sentenced to death  The fact that one such small group became a symbol of Germany‟s resistance is a measure of how little organized opposition to Hitler there was
  10. 10. YOUTH PROTEST  Most of the young people were loyal members of either the Hitler Youth of German Girls  These organizations encouraged unhesitating support for Hitler and the Nazi regime  However, the organizations did not succeed in winning over the entire youth  Some young people were against the indoctrination and discipline and protested against the Nazi regime  The two most significant groups were the Edelweiss Pirates and Swing Youth
  11. 11. EDELWEISS PIRATES  The group emerged during the late 1930 and consisted of 1 2 -1 8 year s old boys, with no distinctive political ideology  The group were opposed to the Hitler‟s policies on youth system and the general lack of freedom in Nazi Germany  There chief slogan was „Eternal War‟  They met in dif ferent par t of cities and went on hikes in order to protest against their lack of freedom  They par ticipated in pitched battles with members of Hitler‟s youth group and daubed subways with anti -Nazi slogans  Additionally, they posted anti -Nazi leaflets dropped by the British and American bomber s  The youthful rebellion of the group changed to active resistance when they joined with communists to engage in acts of industrial sabotage.  In early December of 1942, Gestapo arrested and pirates in a „re education camp‟ to make them follow Nazi ideologies  In November 1944, the leader s were publicly hanged in order to create fear amongst the other young people
  12. 12. SWING AND JAZZ YOUTH  „Swing youth‟ and „Jazz youth‟ were the two most significant groups engaged in protest against the cultural uniformity imposed by the Nazi regime  They used to listen to banned American music  It consisted of upper-middle class teenagers living in big cities  The Nazi government imposed a ban on public dances in 1940, as these groups organised illegal dances  These youth groups were motivated by a natural youthful desire to have a good time, with more freedom
  13. 13. 20 JULY 1944: BOMB PLOT  An attempt was made by army officers to kill Hitler with an aim of bringing a end to the world war two and Nazi regime  In May 1944, Stauffenberg was appointed Chief-of-Staf f to the Home army commander. This position enabled him to make preparations to lead the Home Army, once Hitler was assassinated. It also gave Stauffenberg access to Hitler  Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauf fenberg attempted to assassinate Hitler in his East Prussian Headquarters at Rastenburg by keeping a bomb in a brief case near Hitler during a military briefing  They were motivated by a desire to save the Germany from total destruction  However, Hitler survived the blast, the coup failed and Stauffenberg was executed  Most of the people involved were executed at Berlin‟s Ploetzensee prison
  14. 14. CONCLUSION  Before the war there were few attempts to overthrow the Third Reich. This was not because of all Germans were happy with Nazi regime. What stopped people from acting more aggressively were fear and the lack of an organized opposition. It is true, however, that the Nazis did enjoy some popular support during the 1930s and this contributed to the regime‟s survival. Only the army had the power and resources to destroy the Nazi regime and it was not until defeat in the Second World War seemed imminent that army generals took action. Their failure in 1944 was a humanitarian disaster. During the final year of the war, thousands of lives were lost, not just of those fighting and living in the battle zones but also of Europe‟s Jews.