Download e-book for kindle: Alternatives to Hitler by Hans Mommsen

By Hans Mommsen

ISBN-10: 1860647456

ISBN-13: 9781860647451

German resistance to Hitler is a imperative part of the historical past of Nazism. during this textual content, modern historian Hans Mommsen finds the variety of the political goals held through 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 armed forces oppositions. those resistance teams all endeavoured to discover a achievable replacement to Hitler and to accomplish an ethical renewal of politics and society - even if a lot of them rejected democracy and had a occasionally ambivalent perspective in the direction of the persecution of the Jews.

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Sample text

Until the outbreak of war, at least, the majority of them continued to hope that they could circumvent the more extreme tendencies of the regime – which seemed to jeopardise the international status of the Reich – without introducing any significant changes to the internal structure of the regime itself. The contingency decision to arrest Hitler if necessary, which was taken when the Czechoslovakian crisis was boiling up, was certainly not aimed at overthrowing the existing regime, and even in the ‘X Report’, sent by Beck and Hassell to Britain via the Vatican, we find the proposal to appoint Hermann Göring as Reich Chancellor.

Whether the latter is at all true, even of the resistance groups of the extreme left, would require more detailed examination; however that would go well beyond the framework of this study, which is limited to an analysis of the non-communist resistance. At the same time, it would be wrong to discount the communist resistance, for reasons of ideological convenience, from the overall phenomenon of anti-Nazi opposition in Germany. Both Romoser’s supporters and his critics succumb to the temptation to pass judgement without reference to the specific conditions prevailing at that time; in doing so they erase the historical dimension in which the political thought of the resistance 44 ALTERNATIVES TO HITLER must be situated, and which reveals an unmistakable conflict with present-day theories of democracy.

It did not aim, as Dahrendorf suggests, for a return to the ‘values and institutions’ of the Weimar era; all groups rejected a simple reversion to the status quo ante, at least in theory. The political thinking of the resisters was borne along by their desire to find 50 ALTERNATIVES TO HITLER new solutions to the intellectual and political crisis, which they perceived as a pan-European phenomenon. But in their search they often harked back to the experience of history. To a great extent this thinking combined traditional elements with social utopianism, a fact which distinguishes it from ‘restoration’ pure and simple, while still giving it markedly conservative features.

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Alternatives to Hitler by Hans Mommsen

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