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Religious and Political Opposition During WWII

Religious and Political Opposition During WWII

The holocaust left tremendous concerns and painful questions long after the holocaust liberation. How could such a tragedy occur among human beings? Was there no opposition? Were all Germans ignorant to the happenings of the holocaust or were they inherently evil enough to be okay with the beyond cruel mass murdering of so many innocent lives? 
Although the Hitler Reich was rather popular among most Germans, the German secret state police called the Gestapo and the German Security Service made efforts to suppress the open criticism against the Nazi regime. However, there were some Germans that opposed the Nazi state and its increased regimentation of their society which enforced the coordination of the German individuals to the Nazi goals and institutions. Out of the few attempts of bringing down Hitler, only few were close to a holocaust liberation. 
The opposition was shown through either non-compliance with Nazi regulations, or failed attempts at assassinating Hitler in an attempt for a holocaust liberation. Among the first to resist the Nazi regime was in the political opposition that had been planned by a few leftist parties including the Communist Party of Germany and the Social Democratic Party of Germany. These oppositions were unfortunately ineffective to the German Security Police that quelled the leftist organizations with force.
Another area of Nazi regime included the need to “coordinate” religious life within the state. While in the beginning, the agreement between the Third Reich and the Vatican of July 1933 offered guidelines to regulate relations between the regime and the Catholic church, the Nazis gradually came to suppress all religious groups, including Catholic groups as they sought to defame the Catholic church through a series of “priest trails” that would be presented in front of people.
Though the church never publicly denounced the regime and were “silent” about the persecution of Jews on the record, they did play a role in the opposition to the holocaust killings of those that were mentally or physically handicapped. Also, some individual clergymen reached out to help and protect Jews when they could.
Political and religious opposition also was joined by the opposition rising from a small group of German youth who strongly resented the mandatory enlisting to the Hitler Youth. Munich’s university students had formed a resistance group against the holocaust called the White Rose in 1942. Its leaders, professor Kurt Huber, Hans Scholl, his sister Sophie Scholl were arrested and executed in 1943 for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets that spoke to raising awareness of the holocaust and its evils, called for a holocaust liberation.
A more conservative group including military officers and diplomats decided that an anti-Nazi revolt could be affected should Hitler die a violent death. The closest effort to a holocaust liberation occurred on July 20, 1944, some military officers tried to attempt to assassinate Hitler while he was in his Prussian headquarters at Rastenburg. The plan consisted of an officer leaving a bomb hidden within a briefcase near Hitler as he attended a holocaust military briefing about the eastern front. The group hoped that right-wing traditional conservative Karl Goerdeler could replace Hitler after the assassination. 
There were even several disillusioned Nazis included in this group such as a Berlin police president and a Criminal Police Chief. Hitler survived the blast resulting in a failed coup attempt. Chief justice of the Berlin people’s court, Roland Freisler, presided the trial for those that were involved in the plot. To no surprise, Freisler had them convicted and most of the group were executed in Berlin’s Ploetzensee prison.

Ethnic Cleaning and the Nazi Holocaust

Ethnic Cleaning and the Nazi HolocaustThe ethnic cleansing that was to unfold during the Nazi rule under Hitler began with the simple boycotts of Jewish shops and businesses. The escalation of the Nazi Holocaust from 1938-1945 resulted in the deaths of 6,000,000 people.

Operation “Final Solution” was also devised to kill Polish Jews with the use of railways that transported millions of people, many whom died along the ride in the overcrowded, resourceless train. This was also a ploy that gave support to the lie that the Germans were merely “resettling” the Polish Jews, when in truth, the trains were taking them to the Belzec extermination camp, where those that survived the train ride were executed.

Soviet Holocaust Ethnic Cleansing

Soviet troops liberated the Majdanek camp on Polish grounds on July 24, 1944 where a total of 360,000 Jews had already been murdered. Himmler, in fear for the fast approaching Soviet Army, mandated the destruction of the gas chambers. The SS troops began to round up the surviving concentration camp inmates for the death marches that killed many more Jews through exhaustion, starvation, dehydration. Also, any victims that failed to keep up in the march were shot by the SS.

The Soviet Army was able to approach the Auschwitz camp by January 27 of 1945. The Western Allies had followed by forcing their way onto German grounds by spring of 1945. Then they proceeded to liberate the holocaust victims in the remaining Buchenwald, Dachau and Bergen-Belsen camps.

General religious and political Opposition

Also, opposition was felt in a small group of young Germans who resented the required collaboration to the Hitler Youth. University students in Munich were also recorded to have had formed White Rose in 1942, a resistance group against the holocaust that created leaflets to distribute. This led to the arrest and execution of the group’s three main leaders, a professor and two siblings.

Moreover, a conservative group comprised of diplomats and military officers devised an assassination plan for Hitler’s death who they hoped to replace with right-wing conservative Karl Goerdeler. The attempt failed as Hitler survived the bomb’s blast. Those that were involved in the attempt were tried and most were executed.