Germany

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By Hans Mommsen

ISBN-10: 1860647456

ISBN-13: 9781860647451

German resistance to Hitler is a imperative section of the heritage of Nazism. during this textual content, modern historian Hans Mommsen unearths the range of the political goals held by means 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 manageable substitute to Hitler and to accomplish an ethical renewal of politics and society - even if a lot of them rejected democracy and had a occasionally ambivalent angle in the direction of the persecution of the Jews.

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The fundamental motivation of the youth movement at the beginning of the twentieth century was its criticism of how technology and depersonalisation were undermining social and intellectual life. It raised the urgent question of what creative forces in society could be mobilized against ‘atomisation’ and ‘collectivisation’, against ‘the urban mentality’, against domination by ‘materialist concepts of utility’, against the loss of a ‘sense of quality’, against ‘promotion-chasing’ and ‘the cult of stardom’, against the mindless ‘haste’ of modern life; at the same time it attacked what were seen as the outward trappings of a ‘bourgeois’ lifestyle.

Until the outbreak of war, at least, the majority of them continued to hope that they could circumvent the more extreme tendencies of the regime – which seemed to jeopardise the international status of the Reich – without introducing any significant changes to the internal structure of the regime itself. The contingency decision to arrest Hitler if necessary, which was taken when the Czechoslovakian crisis was boiling up, was certainly not aimed at overthrowing the existing regime, and even in the ‘X Report’, sent by Beck and Hassell to Britain via the Vatican, we find the proposal to appoint Hermann Göring as Reich Chancellor.

Hitler’s gain in popularity as a result of the rapid defeat of France made his removal appear a virtually hopeless undertaking. The entire war in the west and the consequent continuous changes in the military and diplomatic situation confronted the conservative-nationalist opposition with a novel situation, as indeed did the opening of the eastern front with the invasion of Russia in 1941. The policy of preventing war changed to one of stemming its spread or ending it altogether. Senior military officers, who as late as 1939 had sympathized with the opposition group around Beck, Hassell, Popitz and Goerdeler, now withdrew from any active collaboration.

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Alternatives to Hitler by Hans Mommsen


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