Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Traveling Tuesday: German Resistance

Traveling Tuesday: German Resistance 

Photo: Pixabay/
Brigette Werner
Talking about the German WWII home front is tricky. Even after almost eighty years, the topic can produce strong emotions and opinions. But the bottom line is that the German people suffered, and many of them felt “sucker punched” by Hitler and the ensuing conflict. 

It can be difficult to imagine how Hitler made it into power, but one must study the surrounding circumstances. The German people were humiliated after The Great War (now WWI). They had been dragged into a war they didn’t want, and were embarrassed by the outcome. They were told they couldn’t build a military which made them feel defenseless. Millions of families had lost sons, fathers, brothers, and other relatives. Inflation was so bad that a wheelbarrow full of Reichsmarks wouldn’t buy a loaf of bread, and unemployment was at an all-time high. 

Rather than the two-party system common in the United States, there were multiple parties pushing their agendas in the decade and a half before WWII. Most touted their ability to solve the public’s financial troubles and rebuild the nation into a country its citizens could be proud of. Because of the number of parties in the election, the vote was splintered, meaning that a “majority” win by a particular party wasn’t truly a majority - they simply came out on top with the most votes. 

Like him or hate him, Hitler was a charismatic speaker, and he toured the country far and wide before the election, rallying the people to his party’s rhetoric. Knowing that food shortages had destroyed civilian morale and disorders and riots were factors in the Kaiser’s abdication, Hitler sought to convince the German people that should his party be elected, life would improve a hundred-fold. He even claimed he had no desire to go to war again, although anyone who’d studied his book, Mein Kampf, would have known differently. 

Once elected, Hitler stressed the successes of his party to regain the Saarland, remilitarizing the Rhineland, uniting with Austria, and reclaiming the Sudetenland. By 1939, he knew he could begin to execute his plans to take Germany into war and contrived a story that allowed him to attack Poland, setting off a war that would absorb nearly every country on earth. 

What many people don’t realize is that there was German resistance to Hitler and his nefarious plans. A group of young people known as the Edelweiss Pirates attacked members of Hitler Youth and sang anti-Nazi songs. They also managed to kill a Nazi chief. Nearly 800 of these youth were arrested and twelve were publicly hanged as a result. Another group, called The White Rose published anti-Nazi leaflets and protested at Nazi events. Wing Youth and Jazz Youth groups were formed as well. Adults also protested, hid Jew and other “undesirables,” and helped downed airmen to escape. Opposition also came from the church leaders such as Martin Bormann and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and interestingly, Hitler allowed them to denounce his activities until well into the war. 

Photo: WikiImages
There were two efforts to remove Hitler during the war. After plans were drawn up to attack France, Admiral Canaris staged a coup because he thought the attack would fail. Instead support for the plan fizzled, and Hitler remained in power. In July 1944, a group of Army officers tried to assassinate Hitler and replace him with a government led by General Beck. The bomb did not kill Hitler, and those involved were executed immediately. Field Marshal Erwin von Rommel was accused of being associated with the assassination attempt and forced to commit suicide as punishment. It would not be until May 1945 that Hitler would realize his Thousand-Year Reich would not come to fruition and killed himself.


About Love's Belief

Midwife Pia Hertz and her mother Sabine have been delivering babies long before the Nazis came to power. Now, the Third Reich has implemented mandates that require Jewish babies and other “undesirables” to be killed as part of The Final Solution. Is Pia’s new faith in Christ strong enough to defy the laws of man?

Despite the agony of the injury at the Battle of Drøbak Sound that took his arm, Dieter Fertig is relieved he’s no longer part of Hitler’s army. He returns to Berlin and discovers Jews are being deported by the thousands. When he realizes the Nuremburg Laws require his best friend’s baby girl to be killed, he must find a way to spirit the child out of Germany before the Nazis discover her existence. 

Inspired by the biblical story of Shiprah and Puah, the midwives who saved Jewish babies during Pharaoh’s reign, Love’s Belief shows how one person’s actions can change the world.

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Linda. We sometimes forget that a lot of the German people were dragged along into something they didn't want to be a part of. And good points about the country after World War I. Punishment NEVER works. We tried to punish the South, and we got Jim Crow. Talk soon, KB