The White Rose & Internal Resistance to Hitler.

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by Gerard, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    It wa during an article on the BBC Radio 4 program Today on Friday the 21st 2006 that I heard that according to the historian Roger Moorhouse there were about 50 assasination attempts on the life of Hitler, almost all of which were by Germans, and not all of which were after the start of the war.

    That doesn't actually sound like he had no opposition.

    Also, having lived and worked in Germany for many years, and spoken to many fine old ladies and Gents, the views that seem to come across was a view that Hitler did bring a very down trodden 1920s Germany back to it's feet, he went too far with the war.

    Now you could say that "they would say that wouldn't they" but I have met some that wouldn't have a bad word said agains Hitler, except that he shouldn't have lost the war. My feeling is that any opposition that he did have was keeping quiet while things were going good. Of course once your country is at war, it's not a very sensible thing in a dictatorship to start shouting opposition. There were a lot of 'bad pennies' but I feel most were carried along with the tide as many of the silent majority still do today..
     
  2. Warulfsdottyr

    Warulfsdottyr Junior Member

    you should define what "while things were going good." and " silent majority still do today".
     
  3. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    you should define what "while things were going good." and " silent majority still do today".

    "while things were going good." i.e. Employment up, inflation down and an end to the depression.

    "silent majority still do today" i.e. The many people who time in time out can't be bothered to actually use their vote because they think it won't count, but still complain when things don't change.

    Hope that makes things clearer.
     
  4. Warulfsdottyr

    Warulfsdottyr Junior Member

    sadly many people were and some are still very unpolitical

    "who does not vote , voted for the nazis " is an german proverb.
     
  5. Warulfsdottyr

    Warulfsdottyr Junior Member

    germany was always a country of knowlegde , science and culture.

    The more its astonishing how a country of Goethes,Schillers ,Mozarts , Beethoven,Nobels , Manns and Einsteins was able to be overwhelmed by a anti-intellectual proletarian regime.

    it sadly were the unpolitical and illiterated persons who voted for hitler .
    Hitler himself was low-educated , he was a person of the folk ..thats why many people loved him so much , people who distrust the politicians of the weimarer republik .

    its sad that such a folk was( and by some is) called " hun" .
    This is really sad.
     
  6. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    germany was always a country of knowlegde , science and culture.

    The more its astonishing how a country of Goethes,Schillers ,Mozarts , Beethoven,Nobels , Manns and Einsteins was able to be overwhelmed by a anti-intellectual proletarian regime.

    it sadly were the unpolitical and illiterated persons who voted for hitler .
    Hitler himself was low-educated , he was a person of the folk ..thats why many people loved him so much , people who distrust the politicians of the weimarer republik .

    True, but it was those people who had suffered the most from the post First World War depression. It is those people who had the most to gain from a strong ideological leader and the strong sense of unity that the Nazi Party gave. Once in the Party it was easy for the uneducated bullys to be manipulated into thinking that 'what isn't one of us is the enemy'. If everyone else had more than they did it was their fault and it could be taken away. They don't matter so we can take their land in order to expand.

    Indeed there was such a mix of events and feelings that there was the ideal breeding ground for bullys and hatred. Something, that if Hitler hadn't actually planned from the Start, he very soon noticed it and grasped it with both hands in order to take full advantage of it.

    Which leads to the question.... Evil manipulator, or oppertunist?
     
  7. Warulfsdottyr

    Warulfsdottyr Junior Member

    one thing I have forgotten to mention is the "sippenhaft".

    it means that not only the one who resisted and opponened the regime was arrested and sent to a kz/killed but also the whole family of him !.
    I think this is one of the major reasons for less "public" resistance.
     
  8. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    one thing I have forgotten to mention is the "sippenhaft".

    it means that not only the one who resisted and opponened the regime was arrested and sent to a kz/killed but also the whole family of him !.
    I think this is one of the major reasons for less "public" resistance.

    True, but this could only happen after the party came to power and after there was a state of dictatorship.

    Such a threat to suppress the opposition is only a threat if it is known or at least seriously suggested. By the time that happens it's far too late for democracy already.
     
  9. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

     
  10. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    I don't think this has been posted before:

    Memories of The White Rose - Part One

    Dr. Wittenstein is one of only two survivors of the inner circle of the White Rose, a resistance group of anti-Nazi German students and their supporters that openly opposed Hitler.

    And this is fascinating:

    Transcripts
     
  11. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    And putting the White Rose into context:

    German Resistance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Most of the info in the article comes from Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler’s Death: The German Resistance to Hitler 1933-1945, which is excellent.

    Have a look at the links at the end of the article.

    A similar thread was started on the forum before (link)
     
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The text of their leaflets is reproduced here:
    The White Rose - Leaflets
    The poor sods always struck me as rather a damp squib, a kind of gentle, idealistic and academic resistance without really appreciating the inevitable response of the monstrous state they were criticising.
    Incredibly brave but also somewhat naïve.
     
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Theirs was a different courage to evaluate and they were overt rather than covert.

    Additionally,there were many young men who refused to do military service and paid for it with their lives.

    The fact of the matter is that the Nazi reime could have only been toppled if the Wehrmacht had provided the leadership.The sad facts are that the military leadership had been seduced by Hitler as far back as 1938 when those such as Beck who had serious reservations about Hitler failed to act.
     
  14. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    What's interesting is Britain's refusal to assist the limited resistance to Hitler before the war:

    The Unnecessary War, an essay review by Brian Martin

    www.wallenberg.org/arkiv/gordeler.doc

    (copy and paste into a new window - you'll be prompted to open this as a word doc - I've scanned the doc for viruses and it seems safe)
     
  15. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    There was a cat and mouse game played between British Intelligence and the Abwehr in the late 1930s all centering around a supposed German "Generals revolt".The Abwehr led the field in this game,managed by Canaris but were soon replaced by the SD under Schellenberg.The SD's motivation came from Himmler and Heydrich who were anxious to unearth any plot against Hitler's life and to identify and crush any opposition that could be revealed as having or attempting to make contact with British Intelligence.

    The upshot was that British Intelligence received a "bloody nose" in the autumn of 1939 which is recorded in history as the Venlo Incident.Two senior MI-6 officers, Major S. Payne Best and Captain R.Henry Stevens were kidnapped by the SD at Venlo on the Dutch/Grerman border crossing when they were supposingly meeting dissenting emissaries of the Wehrmacht.In fact,the two emissaries were no other than Schellenberg and a side kick,de Crinis.

    After Venlo,British Intelligence became unreceptive to any German dissent with the view that any such organisation would be the work of the SD or,if genuine, would be insecure against SD penitration.From then on any German resistance to the regime, as far as British Intelligence was concerned, could be regarded as being on its own.

    Payne Best and Stevens survived the war having being kept in various concentration camps and, with other notable prisoners were herded into the 'Prominente', a group whose future was supposed to be decided by Hitler,possibily as a bargaining tool in future negotiations with the Allies.As things turned out, the group was fortunate to escape with their lives as they were held by the SS in a secure travelling group "awaiting orders" as regards their fate.The killing of the regime's enemies continued throughout the dying throes of the Third Reich but luckily the group were liberated in late April 1945.
     
  16. Trincomalee

    Trincomalee Senior Member

    I listened to Gunther Grass latest book . He described a man who was called up into his unit . Each time he was handed a gun he dropped the gun and said "We don't do that" . That became his nickname . Eventually he disappeared . But Grass either does not remember or does not mention his name . I was left feeling that this is tragic . This is the one person he describes who actually resisted . And he is nameless . Is there no way to discover his name ?
    Linden
     
  17. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I can understand the younger generations view of Hitler and his acolytes. But it would be entirely different if you had experienced and seen what was going on, back in those highly dangerous and traumatic days.

    Any opposition to Hitler was promptly removed, the term at the time was
    "dunkle und Nebelnächte" Folk mysteriously vanished. No trace of where or when.

    For the greater part the "Leader" was a figure of nation wide adulation. Make no mistake about that, HE was the Germanic Conquering hero that was going to make Germany Great again.
    Had he travelled in a different direction? he may well have succeeded. But his fanaticism had to have the Jews as victims to concentrate the nations hate and prejudice. can you imagine to day a regime that had the fancy costumes the sticking your hand in the air and yelling Heil Hitler? They would cart you off to the funny farm

    No! there was precious little opposition until the looming catastrophic defeat reared its huge ugly head, with the Russians on their doorsteps, and the vision of the righteous, but terrible revenge that would be enacted on the "Fatherland" For the years of mass murder, and the unspeakable atrocities carried out on the Steppes of Russia. Serious Opposition? only when all was lost.
    Sapper
     
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  19. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    I can understand the younger generations view of Hitler and his acolytes. But it would be entirely different if you had experienced and seen what was going on, back in those highly dangerous and traumatic days....

    ...No! there was precious little opposition until the looming catastrophic defeat reared its huge ugly head, with the Russians on their doorsteps, and the vision of the righteous, but terrible revenge that would be enacted on the "Fatherland" For the years of mass murder, and the unspeakable atrocities carried out on the Steppes of Russia. Serious Opposition? only when all was lost.

    Again, what you say does have merit, but you fail to mention that it was the military and economic reparations imposed by the allies that crippled an already defeated Germany after the first World War, that provided the breeding ground for the political instability which Hiltler eventually took advantage of.

    If the German people had not been so humiliated, and economically down trodden, the people would not have embraced the first strong character that came along. And I don't think anyone can disagree that he was a strong if not very flawed character.

    Another point is, why would there be any strong opposition to a leader that not only brought economic strength but also by rebuilding the military strength, pride to a downtrodden nation? After all, while doing so he professed that he was working for peace by bringing military re-balance to europe. An image backed up by signing treaties with Great Britain and forging economic ties with the US. I mean if Neville Chamberlain thought that he had agreed on 'Peace in our time" what were the German non-nazi public supposed to believe.

    As has been said, once the country is at war, open opposition becomes impossible and all bets are off.
     
  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    You defend the cause of Hitler and Germany as much as you like. One thing you can never do is to eradicate the sheer murderous brutality of the pigs. One only has to recite the names of the Concentration camps, let alone the other millions that they killed and murdered.
    Sapper
     

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