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19 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Morale of the German People

High morale was essential to the Nazi's and Hitler wanted WW2 to have the same unity as WW1 did when they both began. He wanted to avoid defeatism. This didn't happen. There was no cheering but no serious opposition. Hitler acted as a morale booster through speeches and celebrations.

Changes in Daily lives


Began before the war in August '39 w/ bread, meats, fat, dairy and sugar.Nazis determined not to cause weariness due to rationing(like in WW1)

Allocation of rations based on job, age & race.

Special allocations for pregnant & the ill.

Nazis were able to exploit resources of newly occupied countries for first 2 years with significant grain import from the USSR when the soviet pact was active.

Not huge rationing problems for first 2 years (apart from coal, soap, washing powder & shoes)


Increased conscription took many workers out of labour and into war - there was also an intense need in armament so foreign labour was required and those in consumer goods were often transferred.

Overtime without pay was common as overtime pay was banned in '39. This lead to increased absenteeism so was overturned.


Even though it took them out of the house,by '39

6.4m married women were in employment - women were 27% of the workforce and this was unavoidable due to limited available men (War)

Hitler was adamant this shouldn't be allowed so he gave generous benefits to families of soldiers.

NS-F organised classes for women to cope with wartime conditions and mobilised women to help with harvest and parcels for soldiers.


It was unnecessary to conscript the youth@ start of the war but it was important they contribute.

Far greater emphasis on military activities in the Hitler youth, while all young people had to help with harvest & with the Winter Aid Programme.

Winter Aid Programme:

Established in '33 as racial self-help (not charity) to the desperate. Contributing was voluntary but not contributing was seen as opposing the regime.

Invasion of the USSR

Effect on Morale

Led to the realisation war could go on far longer than expected. Looked optimistic at first but Major setbacks in December '41 (like moscow counterattack, dismissal of German Army commander - replaced by Hitler - and declaration of war on US) changed this.

Rising casualties and lack of winter supplies for troops lowered morale while Stalingrad was the turning point for morale & the start of total war.

Effect of Total war on Workers

Slave labour introduced for PoW's from the USSR. By '41 there were 4m foreign workers.

After Stalingrad there were even less workers leading to the 'Decree for the Comprehensive Deployment of Men & Women' which said that all men 16-65 and all women 17-45 had to register for work + all small businesses closed w/ employees used for more important work.

Effect of Total war on Women

Employment of women went against Nazi ideology but after the Invasion of USSR, this changed with Goring issuing a decree in June '41, stating all women w/ a family allowance & that had previously worked, must return to work. It did not apply to married women and it wasn't until January '43, with Goring's decree, that this changed. Although even now, mothers with more than 2 children and farmers wives didn't work. Total War had little effect on women.

Effect of Total War on Youth

Age of Conscription was continously lowered over the War, from 19 in '40 to 16 in '45.

In '42, 2.1m youth were called into agriculture while military camps were established for the Hitler Youth. In '43, 16/17yo boys were obliged to become auxiliaries and by the end of the war, girls were too.

Effects of Mass Bombing and Defeat

Impact of Bombing on Morale

Allies had been bombing since '39 but this stepped up to continuous bombing in '42, with US attacks in the Day, and british in the night.

40% of all homes destroyed in Germany.

Evacuations often caused tensions due to being sent to other religion houses or the separation of families.

NSV was a organisation in charge of supplying food & shelter to bombing victims. Being Homeless was a problem throughout the war.

Impact of Bombing on Workers

In August '44, all holidays were banned (including xmas) and the working week was increased to 60h. The threat of absenteeism was reduced as bosses could send their workers to the Eastern front if they did it.

Workers w/ good attendance also got more food.

Many factories switched from hour pay to production pay.

Impact of Bombing on Women

In '44, age of working for women increased to 50 and by '45, 60% of labour was done by women while there were increasing numbers in he Auxiliary (470,000 by Jan 1945).

Many women operated searchlights & AA guns.

Impact of Bombing on Youth

Men unable to fight were in the home guard, digging trenches and learning to use AT guns.

By end of the war, boys as young as 12 were in the home guard, and by '43, many Hitler Youth (16-18) had been set to France to fight.

Bombing Campaigns


27-28th July - 1943. Hamburg considered well defended, with 1,700 air raid shelters and lots of radar and AA to protect 230,000 people. In total 30,000 died.


13-15th February - 1945. Dresden not considered a viable target as it was a cultural centre but it held a rail base that went to the Eastern front. More than 3,900 tonnes dropped on Dresden, killing 25,000. Demolished the city.

Resistance during the War


Sudden opposition after the invasion of the USR, where 89 communist secret cells resided.

They spread leaflets and attacked policies but pressure from the Gestapo meant they didn't have much support.


Bishop Galen opposed Euthanasia in '40 while lead to a temporary halt of it. Archbishop Frings spoke out against the regime and was put under watch by the Gestapo.

CC was the only protestant opposition and lead to Bonhoeffer being banned from public speaking. He was later executed in 1945.

Edelweiss Pirates

14-18yo group mainly in the Ruhr & Rhineland. Opposed the hitler youth and tried to avoid conscription. Went on illegal independent expeditions into the countryside.

Gestapo arrested them, shaved their long hair and banished them to labour camps.

Cologne group helped deserters, PoW and concentration camp escapees but they were hung.

The White Rose Group

Munich group lead by Hans & Sophie Scholl, both uni students. Supported by their professor Huber. Heavily influenced by Bishop Galen and they attacked the treatment of Jews and Slavs.

Between 42-3, they issued 6 pamphlets and in '43 they graffitied anti-nazi slogans.

They were arrested and executed in 1943.

The Kreisau

Members of elite that opposed Hitler. (Bonhoeffer was part of this). No direct hatred of policies but wanted to stop the 'evil' Nazis.

Wanted to return to a non-nazi democracy.

They originally tried to get the army to arrest Hitler but when that didn't work they decided to assassinate him. The first attempt failed and lead to the arrest of Bonhoeffer and other members - a second attempt occurred in the Wolf's lair but it once again failed, resulting in 7000 people being arrested & the army losing its independence.