The Effectiveness of Nazis' Dealings With Their Opponents

The Effectiveness of Nazis' Dealings With Their Opponents

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The Effectiveness of Nazis' Dealings With Their Opponents

After Nazis had control of Germany, the last thing they wanted was an
opposition of any sort, aiming to create a totalitarian state where
there are no rival parties or political debates. The citizens of
Germany were responsible to serve the state and obeying the leader.
This orderly state was acheived by providing many positive aspects for
people to focus on. This was aimed to keep people's mouths shut and
psychologically persuade them to trust and believe in the Nazis. For
those who were still not loyal to the Nazis, they were dealt with by
force.

TRADE UNIONISTS

The Nazis used Concentration camps as prisons for their own people.
Anyone who was brave enough to criticise the Nazis would end up in the
concentration camps which were located in isolated areas. Prisoners
here were forced to do hard-labour under a strict discipline with
little food. Beatings and random executions were frequent making death
tolls rise and few people emerged from the camps alive.

The trade unionists had different beliefs to the Nazis on what they
feel is the ideal trading enviroment. The Nazis did not want the trade
unionists to persuade more and more people to join the union possibly
causing a revolt, and so they felt the trade unionists posed a
substantial level of threat, enough to make the Nazis take action
towards them.The Trade Union offices were raided by the S.A. and S.S.
troops which also destroyed the Communists base camp. People who were
arrested from here were either executed or sent to concentration
camps.

This action resulted in an increase of fear amongst the public making
people believe the true power of the S.A. and S.S. Further more
encouraging them to 'keeping their heads down.' German workers feared
losing their jobs if they did express opposition. The public were
encouraged to report to the Nazis if they heard someone speak against
them. This spread distrust around the community and people no longer
knew who they could trust.

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The Gestapo reinforced this distrust making
Germans feel that is they did not inform on each other, the secret
police force would find them out anyway.

POLITICAL OPPONENTS

'Our 8000 prisoners included first of all the "politicals" (for
example the Communist members of Reichstag), many of whom have been in
concentration camps since 1933.' Concentration camps were widley used
for prisoning anyone brave enough to criticise the Nazis beliefs
including Jews, trade unionists, communists and even the general
public.

Political parties had different ideas on how the country should be run
therefore posing a threat towards the Nazis. Shortly after Hitler
became Fuhrer, all political parties except the Nazis party were
banned. This consolidated Hitler's position as it meant other parties
cannot recieve higher votes than the Nazi party if other parties did
not exist. Secret police forces and the Hitler's own elite force the
S.S.

CHURCH LEADERS

In early stages of the Nazis regime, there was some form co-operation
between the Nazis and the Churches. Hitler agreed to leave the
Catholic Church alone and allowed it to keep control of its schools if
the churched agreed to stay out of politics. With the Catholic Church
dealt with, Hitler now moved on to Protestant Churches and he tried to
make all Protestant Churches to come together to form the Reich
Church. However, many Germans felt their loyalty were with the
original churches rather than the state-approved Church. The
church-goers of both beliefs either supported the Nazis or did little
to show their distaste towards them.

Catholic Bishop Galen criticised the Nazis in the 1930s and in 1941,
he led a protest against the Nazi policies of killing mentally ill and
disabled people, forcing the Nazis to temporarily stop their actions.
His support was so strong from the public that the Nazis decided that
it was altogether too risky to get rid of him.

Protestant ministers were also against the Nazis. Pastor Martin
Niemoller was one of the most important critics in 1930s, and with
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he formed an alternative Protestant Church to the
Reich Church. This resulted in Niemoller spending 1938-45 in
concentration camp. Bonhoeffer preached against the Nazis until he was
silenced by Gespato and instead became involved with members of the
army's intelligience services who secretly opposed the Nazis
regiments. He helped Jews escape from Germany and contacted Allied
commanders what peace terms would be offered to Germany if Hitler was
overthrown. However, in October 1942, he was arrested and hanged
before the end of the war.

By exterminating the leaders of those who oppose the Nazis. They have
in a way created a flock of sheep without a shepard. They would just
stay where they are until the next shepard leads them on. The numbers
of arrest and rising number of people killed by the Nazis also meant
that people were petrified and some would even be relieved to be alive
each day.

ARMY OFFICERS

A group of army officers were almost successful in removing Hitler in
the bomb plot of July 1944. By this stage in the war, many people were
sure that the war was lost and that Hitler was leading Germany into
ruin. Count von Stauffenburg was one of these people and on 20 July
1944, he placed a bomb in Hitler's conference room. This bomb was
aimed to kill Hitler, close down radio stations and round up the other
leading Nazis and take over Germany. However, the whole procedure was
badly planned and Hitler managed to escape alive. The Nazis took
revenge and killed 5,000 to show others what would happen if this was
to take place again.

This was effective to scaring off other people planning revolts
although to others, it could encourage them to become ever more
vigilant in the matter.

The Nazis were exceptionally ruthless when dealing with their
opponents. This was to ensure that other people would be too scared to
even attempt saying anything against the Nazis aloud. In this way,
Germany would be a peaceful country where everyone worked together and
no one would know what went on underneath. But the public knew the
consequences of going against the Nazis...

"First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out
because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me - and there was no one left
to speak out for me."
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