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By Hans Mommsen

ISBN-10: 1860647456

ISBN-13: 9781860647451

German resistance to Hitler is a valuable portion of the historical past of Nazism. during this textual content, modern historian Hans Mommsen finds the variety 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 army oppositions. those resistance teams all endeavoured to discover a potential replacement to Hitler and to accomplish an ethical renewal of politics and society - even if lots of them rejected democracy and had a occasionally ambivalent angle in the direction of the persecution of the Jews.

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They were fighting the Nazi evil, and sacrificing themselves for their cause, with just as much courage as other German resistance movements. We should regard the various forms and directions taken by the resistance in their totality as a mirror of existing political alternatives to National Socialism in German society. For a long time there has been an inclination to interpret the history of the resistance in a dualistic sense and to posit the existence of the ‘other Germany’ in opposition to the reality of Nazism.

Therefore they initially restricted themselves to planning for the long-awaited Day X. Despite their misgivings about assassination and thus about deliberate intervention in the historical process, from 1942 onwards the two men actively dedicated themselves to overthrowing the regime. Once aware of the full extent of the impending moral, military and political catastrophe, they saw they could no longer merely wait on events. Under those circumstances the boundaries between piecemeal criticisms, open opposition and active resistance were necessarily fluid.

Their unquestioning identification with the idea of the German state explains why the conservative-nationalist opposition took a long time to act in the name of the nation, without taking on board the desirability of democratic legitimation. Thus the plans for a new order, developed by the groups around Moltke and Goerdeler, exuded a spirit of ‘revolution from the top down’, even though by invoking the idea of subsidiarity of ‘small communities’ (kleine Gemeinschaften) and of the principle of self-government, they were targeting the centralized, authoritarian state.

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Alternatives to Hitler by Hans Mommsen

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