Did the Nazis have total control over of the German people?
Was there any opposition to Hitler and the Nazi’s Third Reich? This section looks at whether or not Hitler did have total control over his people.
In the period 1933-43 the Nazi party could be said to have had virtually total control of Germany. There were no attempts to overthrow the Government, few incidents of public opposition to Nazi policy and little in the way of political pressure groups opposing policies.
This suggests that Hitler and the Nazi’s had total control of Germany during this period. It is however a slightly misleading image. There was some underground resistance to Nazi measures, some anti government pamphlets were produced and there were certainly instances of members of the public refusing to join the party or make the Nazi salute. There is evidence to show that some people were executed for failing to comply with these regulations.
It must also be remembered that the Nazi party employed a very forceful approach to opposition and that the Nazi propaganda machine was such that opposing views would rarely have been visible publicly. This means that the scale of opposition is extremely hard to gauge: it is true though that the majority of people within Hitler’s Third Reich were either supportive or sympathetic towards the regime. The most obvious opposition was from the churches, yet this was not on a scale large enough to worry the government and wasn’t pointed enough to have any great impact upon popular beliefs.
In general it can be said that the Nazi’s, until the first defeats in the east, were very much in control of the people. They didn’t pacify all Germans and there were occasions when policy would be grumbled about. The nature of the regime was such though that complaints were dealt with quickly and effectively through propaganda, the people would see benefits in other aspects of their lives and those who had more hard line views about the Nazi leadership would be removed from public circulation, either through imprisonment or execution.