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By Hans Mommsen

ISBN-10: 1860647456

ISBN-13: 9781860647451

German resistance to Hitler is a critical section of the heritage of Nazism. during this textual content, modern historian Hans Mommsen finds the range of the political goals held by way of those "other Germans". He analyses the ideologies of the assassination plot of twentieth July 1944, in addition to these of the Kreisau Circle and the conservative, socialist, church and armed forces oppositions. those resistance teams all endeavoured to discover a conceivable substitute to Hitler and to accomplish an ethical renewal of politics and society - even supposing a lot of them rejected democracy and had a occasionally ambivalent perspective in the direction of the persecution of the Jews.

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This can be explained by the mutual loyalty of the upper class, which proved to be increasingly misplaced, and to the marked hostility and boundless distrust shown towards them by the Nazi ‘upstarts’. The social origins of the resistance are one of the reasons why it never took the form of a collective movement and never gave itself a name – the term ‘German Freedom Movement’ did not catch on. Not until 1943 did efforts to form a broad ‘popular movement’ begin. To this extent the resistance was not a political ‘movement’ with the declared aim of gaining a popular majority, of winning over latent public opinion and thus at least fictively representing it.

These shared experiences and convictions should be regarded as more important than the differences in mentality between the generations. The older generation remembered the Kaiser’s Germany and saw its collapse in 1918 as the beginning of the end; the political ideas of the younger generation, on the other hand, were formed in the period when the traditional party-system was apparently being remoulded by reformist efforts ranging from the Volkskonservativen (right-wing populists) to the intra-party opposition within the Social-Democrats (SPD).

The opposition overestimated the political weight behind the National Socialist mobilization of the masses in the early years of the regime and the significance of the electoral successes of the NSDAP in 1930–1933, which were largely attributable to agitation and indoctrination. The plotters saw the experience of National Socialism not as a contrast to that of Weimar, but rather as a logical extension of it. The one-party system of the Third Reich seemed to be no more than the multiparty Weimar state taken to its utmost extremes.

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Alternatives to Hitler by Hans Mommsen


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