1 The Nazis were aware of the importance
of maintaining good relationships with the
Church in Germany, as many Germans
were committed Christians.
2 At first the Christian Churches seemed keen to work with
the Nazis. In 1933 the Catholic Church & the Nazis
signed an agreement called the Concordat. The Church
agreed not to make comments on political matters, if the
Nazis did not interfere in religion.
3 Hitler broke the promise & interfered more & more
in Church matters, like closing down Catholic Youth
movements as they rivalled his own Hitler Youth. In
1937, Pope Pius XI denounced Nazism as
anti-Christian & in 1941 had a letter criticising the
Nazis for their abuse of human rights, read out in
4 Hitler responded by sending nuns & priests to
labour camps. Relationships with Protestant
Churches also deteriorated sharply under the Nazis,
when Hitler set up the Reich Church. 800 Protestant
churchmen, such as Pastor Martin Niemoller, were
sent to labour camps for speaking against the Nazis.
5 Some army generals were highly
suspicious of the Nazis. One of the
most prominent was General Ludwig
Beck, who disgraced with Hitler's
expansionist foreign policy. Hitler's
reaction was to sack large numbers
of generals in 1938, including Beck.
6 Although the Hitler Youth
movement was very popular with
many German youngsters, some
objected to the restrictions
placed on the them.Around 1
million young people refused to
join the Hitler Youth Movements.
7 They did not want training for the army or
motherhood. Instead they were more interested in
dancing to American & English songs & listening to
Jazz music. They listened to overseas radio
stations, meaning that they heard anti-Nazi ideas.
8 Other problems came from gangs
such as the Navajos Gang or
Edelweiss Pirates. Usually made
up of 14-17 years old, they often
fought members of the Hitler Youth
& in some cities became major
problems for the authorities.
9 Two main upper class organisations
opposed the Nazis. The Kreisau Circle
wanted the Nazis overthrown, but were no
men of violence. In 1944 their leaders were
executed. The Beck-Goerdeler Group,
realised that the only way to get rid of Hitler
was to assassinate him (July plots).
10 There was increasing opposition to the Nazis from within the
German upper classes. By 1940 the people were tired of Nazi
brutality & feared that Hitler's aggressive foreign policy might lead
to Germany's ruin.
11 When WW2 began to go badly fro the Germans, some of the
opposition to the Nazis turned to open resistance. A group of Uni
students in Munich led by Hans & Sophie Scholl, formed the White
Rose movement. They handed out pamphlets for people who wanted
to oppose the Nazi regime. The Scholls & other leaders were executed
12 Gang activities had gotten serious (Allied
propaganda). In July 1944, a supporter of the
Beck-Goerdeler Group, attended a meeting
with Hitler & placed a briefcase with a bomb
inside under the table. The bomb went off, but
Hitler was not seriously injured. Those
responsible for the July plot were executed.