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Transcript of Nazi Opposition
1. Those who became disillusioned with the Third Reich;
2. Those who acted out of necessity;
3. Those who resisted because of political, religious or moral principles.
Though there were three types of resisters, as mentioned above, they were subdivided into four major groups;
Opposition To The Nazis
Ingrid, Samantha & Trishna
Following the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Führer and Reich Chancellor on August 2, 1934, the Nazi State (also referred to as the Third Reich) quickly became a regime in which Germans enjoyed no guaranteed basic rights.
Several groups resisted this regime for different reasons. They all actively participated in an organised attempt to undermine the Third Reich, as well as, Hitler's ideals.
Led by Hans and Sophie Scholl
Hated the Nazi regime due to the crimes that Hitler and the rest of the Nazis had committed.
Members clandestinely distributed anti-Nazi and anti-war leaflets.
Painted anti-Nazi slogans on buildings around Munich
Produced six leaflets before their arrest.
Three executed by the guillotine.
These were young people who rejected Nazi values by drinking alcohol and dancing to jazz music; though Hitler had banned this genre.
They opposed the regime by meeting to dance and play jazz music. They also allowed Jews into their clubs.
Something we never want to see again.
Dance with attitude
Clubs were raided in 1942, and participants were hauled off to camps with beatings and forced labour.
Led by Hans Steinbruck
Reacted against the regimentation of the Hitler Youth.
Helped army deserters and refugees;
One group attacked the Gestapo.
Hitler responded to these resisters by publicly hanging twelve of them.
The Jews opposed the Third Reich due to Hitler's policy of persecuting them for stealing and not being Aryan.
Jews fired upon German troops as the latter rounded up another group of ghetto inhabitants for deportation.
The revolt ended in May when 56,000 Jews were captured. 7,000 were shot and the remainder, taken to concentration camps.
Oskar Schindler was the man behind the well-known 'Schindler's list'.
He saved 1,200 Jews by having them moved to his own factory as 'workers'.
He succeeded in saving the workers on his list; some of which were able to testify.
"...We arrived in Brunnlitz in October 1944. Several days later the women hadn’t yet arrived, despite the authorized list. [...] At the same time Schindler’s secretary entered. [...] Schindler told her “take the list of the Jewish women, put the best food and drink in your suitcase and go to Auschwitz. You know, the commander there likes pretty girls. When you return and once the women arrive, you will get the diamond and more.” The secretary went on her way. When two days passed and she hadn’t returned, Schindler took Major Platte with him and went to Auschwitz. A few days later all the women – the wives, mothers and sisters of the men – arrived. [...] Brothers. In the Hebrew language there are three terms, three grades: person, man, human being. I believe there is a fourth one: ‘Schindler’."
The Church opposed Hitler as he was trying to replace Christianity with Nazism (Reich Church). They thought that his policies were morally wrong.
The Catholic Church, with Cardinal Galen leading, campaigned strongly against Hitler and the Nazis.
The Cardinal's home was attacked, but he campaigned relentlessly until his natural death.
The Protestants were led by Bonhoeffer and Niemoller. They criticised Nazis and sermons through poetry.
Bonhoeffer was sent to a concentration camp in which he died in 1945.
Niemoller was arrested but given a suspended sentence and survived the war.
Some soldiers always thought Hitler was reckless.
The Bomb Plot
In 1944, a group of army officers and intellectuals called the Kreisau Circle tried to kill Hitler in a bomb plot.
Von Stauffenberg placed a briefcase with a bomb inside Hitler's headquarters.
Stauffenberg was shot at midnight by a firing squad. Due to Erwin Rommel's implication, he was poisoned.
However, his failures in Russia in 1941, especially in Stalingrad, led to opposition growing.
It exploded, but Hitler survived. In retaliation, 5,000 people were executed.
The Reich Banner
A paramilitary wing of the Social Democratic Party, called the Reich banner, damaged railway lines and acted as spies.
The fifth White Rose leaflet was entitled, Leaflet of the Resistance (February, 1943)
"...Germans! Do you and your children want to suffer the same fate that befell the Jews? Do you want to be judged by the same standards as your traducers? Are we to forever be the nation which is hated and rejected by all mankind? No. Dissociate yourselves from National Socialist gangsterism. Prove by your deeds that you think otherwise. A new war of liberation is about to begin. The better part of the nation will fight on our side. Cast off the cloak of indifference you have wrapped around you. Make the decision before it is too late! Do not believe the National Socialist propaganda which has driven the fear of Bolshevism into your bones. Do not believe that Germany's welfare is linked to the victory of National Socialism for good or ill. A criminal regime cannot achieve a victory. Separate yourself in time from everything connected with National Socialism. In the aftermath a terrible but just judgment will be meted out to those who stayed in hiding, who were cowardly and hesitant..."
Image from a Communist Anti-Nazi demonstration. The banner reads, in English: "Red United Front Smashes Fascism!" (trans. Inge Spiegel).
Sixty-eight years later, it would be inhumane not to feel for the suffering and the frustration of those people who, through political; religious; or moral principles, resisted the regime of the Third Reich imposed upon them. Though some groups were organised, even disciplined, whilst others were inconsequential in numbers; their determination to fight for their rights and to be heard linked them in bravery. As R.J. Tarr said, "...They are the bright lights in a dark period of German history."
TO SUM UP...