Nazi Resistance and the Morality of Germany
Mentor:David Nelson, Assistant Professor of History, California Lutheran University
It is often assumed that Nazism was unanimously supported by the citizens of Germany. In popular culture, the rise of Nazism is often portrayed as though the Nazi party gained complete acceptance very quickly, and that Germans fully supported the party's goals. This, however, was not the case. Even if one disregards the countless number of people who were sent to concentration camps or killed for refusing to support the regime, there were resistance movements inside Germany from the very beginnings of Nazi Party's rise to power. Utilizing pamphlets produced by anti-Nazi protest groups, documents relating to the swing movement, and published interviews with survivors, this paper shows that Nazi resistance was active within Germany, in the form of plans to overthrow the government, assassination attempts on Hitler, as well as simple attempts to spread awareness on what was happening behind closed doors. Individuals fought until the end to bring about the downfall of the Nazi movement. These movements must not be ignored; while they were not successful, these acts show that morality survived within the German population, despite the atrocities committed by the Nazi party, and that individuals did resist the inexorable pressures of Nazi-controlled society, proving themselves willing to die for what was right.