Why was there so little opposition to the Nazis? Learning objective – to be able to explain the reasons why there was so little opposition to the Nazis. I can describe some of the reasons why there was little opposition to the Nazis. Grade D I can explain why there was limited opposition to the Nazis. Grade B I can explain and evaluate reasons why there was so little opposition to the Nazis. Grade A Starter – order these reasons why opposition was limited in importance? How far was opposition to the Nazis open? The main form of opposition to the Nazis occurred in private and was mainly in the form of grumbling, passing anti-Nazi jokes, refusing to do the Nazi salute and telling rude stories about Nazi officials. The main reason for this was that many people were terrified with the control network the Nazis created. All the Nazis’ main opponents had been killed, exiled or imprisoned. However, terror cannot fully explain why there was so little opposition in Nazi Germany …… Why did the Nazis face so little opposition? Nazi successes Economic fears Propaganda How far were people satisfied with the economic recovery under the Nazis? Many people in Germany were satisfied with the German economic recovery, especially in the mid 1930s. They were prepared to tolerate rule by terror and have limited political rights in a strong government in return for German economic recovery and foreign policy success. The key economic successes under the Nazis were – • Reducing unemployment from 6 million in 1933 to 250,000 in 1939 through conscription, rearmament, public works projects and creating jobs in the civil service. • Creating a series of schemes to improve working conditions, such as the Strength Through Joy campaign which gave social opportunities to workers. • Improved standards of living, such as creating the Volkswagen Beetle car, for which workers saved five marks a week to pay for. How far were people satisfied with the international recovery under the Nazis? Many people in Germany felt the Nazis brought pride back to Germany in a series of foreign policy success, although in the face of dubious, but necessary, methods – • Rearmament allowed for a restored German army and weaponry. • A series of successful foreign missions which expanded borders and brought back pride. • Defiance of the Treaty of Versailles. How far were people satisfied with the political stability under the Nazis? The 1920s and early 1930s saw a period of infighting and poor discipline in Germany. Many people saw the Nazis return discipline and strong government back to Germany, which tapped into the traditional values of the nation. Also the clamping down on Communism was especially popular in some areas of German society who saw them as a threat to national order and were rowdy in their political actions. How far did economic fears impact upon limited opposition to the Nazis? Many Germans feared the possibility of being out of work such was their scarring experience of the Great Depression. Therefore, with the Nazis bringing down unemployment, albeit due to dubious methods, many were willing to put up with this as the alternative was much worse. Conforming to the Nazis looked the easier option. ‘Keeping your head down’ became a national obsession as life become more comfortable for people. This was augmented by the SS and Gestapo listening in on any conversations. If you were caught saying the wrong thing then you could lose your job. How far did propaganda impact upon limited opposition to the Nazis? The Nazi state was a propaganda state and this underpinned the whole regime. Propaganda shielded negative things about the Nazis from the population while highlighting messages what they wanted the people to believe. Propaganda was central to promoting the image of Hitler and swamping the nation with Nazi achievements – real or otherwise. Propaganda was a crucial instrument which helped maintain Hitler’s high level of popularity throughout the Nazi regime. Task Draw a diagram the summarises why there was so little opposition towards the Nazis. Use the following subheadings to group your evidence – • • • • Propaganda Isolation Terror Nazi Achievements. You can use either a mind map or hexagons to make your notes. Plenary – a touch of Scrabble What are the three key words from this lesson that sums up your learning? Which word has the highest value if you used in a game of Scrabble? Compare with the person next to you. Which word has the highest value?