Why did the majority of Germans conform to Nazi rule. Essay

1853 Words Apr 20th, 2003 5 Pages
The majority of German citizens conformed to Nazi rule because of the dual positive and negative pressures exerted by the regime. The Nazis designed and aggressively propagated a programme likely to be attractive to most of the community and backed this up with an apparatus of terror to silence those not convinced. The successes of the party within the country assured widespread support. Hitler 's foreign policy, that overturned the Treaty of Versailles and secured Germany a great deal of territory even before the war, garnered him unparalleled popularity. The few opposition groups, and those groups targeted by Nazi ideology, were sent to concentration camps and a vigorous secret police assured that no opposition, especially not vocal, …show more content…
In 1936, while France had no government in control, Hitler ordered German troops to march into the demilitarized Rhineland. Next, in October 1939, German reoccupied first the Sudetenland and then, in a surprise tank invasion, the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. These bloodless successes overjoyed the German populace, as shown by the wild, enthusiastic crowd scenes seen around Germany after each foreign policy success. The outbreak of war brought even greater success. Quickly defeating both Poland and France, and beating Britain back to her Island, then pushing far into Russian territory, the Nazi Government appeared to be well on the way to completely dominating the continent. Now at the peak of its power, the vast majority of Germans not only conformed to Nazi rule but actively supported it. Almost all youth, male and female, were enrolled in Hitler Youth, as the competing youth associations (even the illegal gangs) had been removed, their leaders sent to concentration camps. Unemployment was essentially nil, with the German army and Germans arm production assuring employment for anyone that wanted it. The SPD (Social Democrats) in exile sent agents to gauge popular opinion and found that the Nazis were almost uniformly supported throughout the country.

Apart from the domestic and foreign policy success of the regime, the use of terror in Nazi society is also important in understanding why the majority of Germans conformed to Nazi rule. The orthodox view of the

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