How the Nazis won Dortmund

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Owen, Jul 7, 2015.

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  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Been reading a few things about Dortmund pre-war.
    I read that in the 20s it was the home of the 'Red Ruhr Army', it was left leaning city with fewer than one in a hundred voting for the Nazi party in 1928. The Social Democrats & the Communists polled more than half the votes.
    On left wing paper said this in 1930, ''Death to Fascism , Dortmund will stay Red, rule the streets''.
    In 1930 the Nazis polled 24,934 votes in Dortmund (still only 8.3% of the electorate) a leap from 1,965 two years before.
    In 1931 the Nazi Party held 470 meetings there.I can imagine more than a few people were forced to change their minds about who to vote for.
    March 1933 the Nazi Party had the left wing papers change their views or close down.
    Politically unacceptable teachers were weeded out, by 1936 97% of them had joined the National Socialist Teacher's League.

    I wonder how many Dortmunders in their air-raid shelters were cursing Hitler & the Nazis when we were bombing the crap out the place ?
     
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    One district of the city where I was born, another industrial centre not far from Dortmund, was nicknamed "Little Moscow".
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I know it's not a very good thread title .
    Makes me think that if that many people had left - wing ideas they couldn't have lost them overnight.
    Even a good kicking from some Nazi thugs can't change some peoples political views, it'd harden them.
    I wonder if some just suppressed their views for a quiet life.
    I know many members on here don't believe it when they read a German saying 'I wasn't a Nazi' , I'm sure it's true it that part of Germany.
    Had a quick read about the Red Ruhr Army & the way the Ruhr Uprising was put down. Rather a brutal affair.
     
  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    By 1935 most overt dissent against the Nazi's had been fully suppressed. Many of the surviving opponents were in exile by then. The state mechanisms to root out opposition were quite effective so I believe you are correct Owen. You could only carry those ideals in your heart. I'm sure for that minority it was difficult in 1945 to now state that they were not Nazi's when in all likelihood they had been silent for the better part of 10 years.
     
  5. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    I had a German Jewish friend whose father had been a communist. Not sure what town. She told me he was arrested in the early '30s and never seen again.
    My friend and her mother managed to get to England where she trained as a midwife.
     
  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Germans Jewish or otherwise, who realized that by remaining in Germany under the NS Regime they would be badly discriminated against or even worse, managed to flee the Country.

    If you had plenty of Money or was a scientist etc it was easier for them to leave before 1933.

    Once the grip of NS took over, it was much harder to flee the Country and those that managed were basically stripped of their assets and a lot left with very Little Money or possessions.

    I had German friends that I knew from 1978 and unfortunately both Bert and Sieglinde have passed away.

    They lived in Opladen, which was a small town which is now part of Leverkusen and Sieglinde's father was the Chief of Police.

    I was once told by her as a Young Girl, she was in Church one Sunday and said somthing which was Politically not acceptable.

    Her mother was immediately spoken to by a man sitting to their rear and informed in no uncertain Terms what happened to People if they were reported to the Police! This was a friendly warning from someone who was not an informer.

    It must have been extremely hard to live under constant fear of watching what you say and perhaps wondering why your neighbours were longer
    around.

    I can well understand People not speaking out.

    Given the same conditions, how many of us, Hand on heart, would speak out and risk all.

    Many that did paid the ultimate Price.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  7. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    I agree Tom, and to protect the family too.
    How the Nazis managed to get away with calling themselves National Socialists I don't know. Must have been the uniforms.
    And to the OP - hopefully some of those with genuine socialist/communist beliefs managed to keep them until after the war.
     
  8. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    In the aftermath of the defeat of Germany in 1918 and the collapse of the monarchy there was considerable anti establishment dissent from those returning from the front.For some there was an admiration of the Russian October Revolution and the hope of an improvement in their position in society.These factions saw that an improvement would be to adopt a Soviet type of regime and certain working class areas,social structures,known as Soldiers Soviets sprung up in places such as Hamburg,Saxony and the industrial heartland of the Ruhr.

    On the right were organisations,chiefly based in Munich and within Bavaria who were opposed to these Soldiers Soviets and who were violently opposed to the Versailles Treaty and all it stood for...loss of territories,loss of population,imposition of reparations and a military force restricted to 100000 and the manufacturing of aircraft and the presence of an air force forbidden.Equally the right despised the Weimar republican goverment threatening members of the government with when we have gained power, we shall have the further duty of taking these creators of ruin,these traitors to their state,and hanging them from the gallows to which they belong".Hitler's NSDAP drew support from the unofficial Freikorps organisations whose prime purpose was to maintain the status quo of the Kaiser's imperial Germany

    Hitler whose party was too small to control events, eventually was able to form alliances with other anti Weimar factions under the Working Union of Patriotic Fighting Association In an effort to gain power by keeping himself in the political limelight,Hitler tried to break up the annual trade union demonstations on May Day with armed SA stormtrooper groups located outside Munich and awaiting the signal to intervene..this failed through flawed synchronising and Hitler fearing defeat instructed his force to surrender.

    As regards the Soldiers Soviets,these were crushed by the Weimar Army commander Von Seeckt and Hitler's Beer Hall Putch failed in Munich,being crushed by Von Kahr,the Bavarian State Commmissioner who was to pay for his involvement with his life on the Night of the Long Knives as did Von Seeckt.Hitler for his part received 5 years imprisonment in Landsberg and while in prison wrote Mein Kampf with some difficulty.

    When Hitler's and his party,the NSDAP formed a minority government in January 1933,the first action he took was to firmly eastablish his regime's control over Germany by the introduction of an Enabling Act which meant that the power of passing legislation transferred from the Reichstag to his cabinet which by definition of the Fuhrer principle,meant that supreme power was vested in Hitler.

    The immediate effect was that Trade Unions were banned and there assets seized.The SDP and Communist Parties followed and their assets seized and a law introduced which banned any formation of any opposition....3 years imprisonment for defaulters.For the industrialists it was seen as an advantage in enhancing their profits and the fear of nationalisation was eliminated.For Hitler, he was assured that industrialists would bankroll the NSDAP.

    Independent newspapers were banned unless they were anaemic publications and the leading publications became the party mouthpieces,Das Schwarze Korps and Der Sturmer.Both Catholic and Protestant churches and their organisations were placed under party surveillance and control.

    Antisemitism was firmly established as national policy and legislated as the 1935 Nuremberg Laws.Those of the Jewish faith,stripped of their assets, had only one option and that was to leave Germany for any country which would accept them.Goering set down the building block for a police state when he formed the Gestapo whose proficiency was to a great extent gained by denunciations

    The SS was preferred to the SA and was emphaised by the Night of the Long Knives.Himmler's SS gained more and more influence in the maintenance of National Socialism and were able to make profits from their business dealings in dispensing terror.

    To secure his control throughout Germany,Hitler formed Gaus,(similar to Britsh County Councils) in place of state parliaments which were abolished...the Gau was headed by a Gauleiter who would be a leading Nazi Party member and whose primary role was to impose National Socialism into an individual's daily life.

    Concentration Camps were introduced for the correction of opposition party members,dissenters,homosexuals and social undesirables,criminals etc.

    This list is not exhaustive but it would appear that the root problem for Germany was the Enabling Act which allowed Hitler to rule as his pleased with nothing legislated for the frequency of free elections.
     
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    For a good insight to the concept of the Third Reich's KLs is Nikolaus Wachsmann's KL ...A HISTORY OF THE NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS published recently, it is comprehensive and intense....KL deaths put at over 1.7 million.

    "Hitler,as a public figure remained studiously detached from concentration camps,keeping a careful distance throughout the Third Reich.He was never seen inside a concentration camp and rarely referred to them in public.There was good reason for his reticence,as Nazi leaders knew that the camps' reputation was not the best.In private it was a different matter,Hitler conferred about the camps with his closest associates from the start and would become one of the greatest champions of the KL". ........now read on.
     

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