Failure of the July Plot in 1944
The German public had met the outbreak of World War II with a general
sense of apprehension. Although Hitler had been admired for his
achievements thus far, it was becoming increasingly obvious to the
German public that the regeneration of their economy would come at a
Hitler made considerable achievements in political and economic
fields. He also addressed military matters and to some extent social
policy. The Enabling Bill was passed in March 1933, with opposition
coming only from the Socialists. This was due to the threat posed by
the development of the Gestapo and of course, the SS, which had
advanced "from improvised terror of the early years to the gigantic
concentration-camp system of the extermination era." (Bracher - 1970)
As a result of relentless persecution and the introduction of
stringent laws, various groups emerged, with a mutual opposition to
Nazi conformity. Unfortunately there was no single, unified resistance
movement, which meant that any kind of successful campaign proved
difficult to initiate, especially under the close eye of the Gestapo.
Resistance ranged from youth groups such as the Edelweiss Pirates,
committing petty crimes, to the Beck-Goerdeler group and the Kreisau
Circle who made attempts on Hitler's life. At the same time there was
a great deal of support for Hitler and allegiance to him, which made
it more difficult still for the resistance groups to take any action.
The Edelweiss Pirates were a prime example of youth resistance to Nazi
conformity. They consisted of mostly working class youths. Some had
refused to join the Hitler youth because of the lifestyle it would
have imposed upon them. Others had simply dropped out from the Hitler
Youth presumably because they disagreed with the programme. They
daubed graffiti on public walls, disturbed uniformed officials and
held pitched battles with the Hitler Youth.
On a greater scale, groups such as the Kreisau Circle and the
Beck-Goerdeler Group spoke actively about ending the Nazi regime and
looked towards a post Nazi Germany. The founders of the Beck-Goerdeler
group, Ludwig Beck and Carl Goerdeler, had both held positions in
Hitler's governmental office. Beck was Chief of General Staff and
Goerdeler was Commissioner, having remained in office after the
government of Heinrich Bruning.
Beck particularly objected to Hitler's attempts to take over the army.
He sent a messenger to London to seek military aid from Neville
Chamberlain to help prevent Germany invading Czechoslovakia. However,
Chamberlain's regime was one of appeasement. Hitler learned of Beck's
opposition and he was thrown out of office. From there on in he kept
in touch with many others who opposed Hitler's regime. Goerdeler
resigned from office in 1934 after...