Resistance to National Socialism

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Special stamp for the 100th birthday of Georg Elser (2003)
The postage stamp "Persecution and Resistance 1933–1945" of the Deutsche Bundespost from 1983 symbolizes the topic with a white rose surrounded by barbed wire , the hallmark of the student resistance group of the same name

As resistance to National Socialism is resistance from individuals, groups and institutions referred to in the area of the Nazi state and in the Wehrmacht occupied countries before and during the dictatorship of the Nazis has been done against the Nazi regime.


"Resistance to the Nazi dictatorship is a provocation that consciously crosses the tolerance threshold of the National Socialist regime under the given circumstances, with an action perspective aimed at damaging or liquidating the system of rule."

Resistance to the Nazi dictatorship was offered by people and resistance movements with different origins or ideological backgrounds and motivations. There was such resistance in the entire domain of National Socialism ; In the areas occupied by the German Reich during World War II, the resistance movement took on large proportions. The Polish Home Army arose in Poland and the Resistance in France . The partisan war occurred mainly in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union and in the Balkan states of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Albania and Greece. The political ideas of the resistance groups in the occupied territories were very different (e.g. in Italy the currents of the Resistancea or the Andreas Hofer Bund ), but for years they fought side by side against the Germans and the Nazi system. Even in the German Reich itself there was “no uniform German resistance movement acting and acting”. The resistance actions there were partly uncoordinated individual actions, such as the assassination attempt by Georg Elser in the Bürgerbräukeller , partly professionally prepared, such as the passing on of information about NS armaments factories to the Allies by the resistance group around Heinrich Maier , at the Rote Kapelle or during the assassination attempt on July 20, 1944 .

The resistance in the German Reich itself received almost no support from the Allies. Such support could have consisted in sparing cities with known resistance actions, i.e. not bombing them with Allied air strikes. It was different in the occupied territories and in Austria, where the American OSS and the British SOE supported and supplied local resistance groups. With its organs such as the Gestapo , Abwehr and SS Security Service, the Nazi state persecuted internal political opponents and resistance groups. Many resistance fighters have been arrested, imprisoned, brutally tortured and killed.

Even before the National Socialists came to power, resistance developed from various groups. During the time of National Socialism itself, the resistance in the German Reich - always associated with mortal danger - was limited to a small minority of the German population. In addition to the political, there was religious and ethically motivated resistance. A basic distinction is made between organized and individual resistance. The individual resistance of private individuals often consisted of refusing to give the Hitler salute , but sometimes went even further: Forced laborers were supplied with food, leaflets were produced, the persecuted were hidden or assassinations were carried out. An example of active resistance was the uncovered plans of Karl Burian to blow up the Gestapo headquarters in Vienna. Resistance groups also formed in concentration camps , prison camps and labor camps . So far, little attention has been paid to the Jewish resistance. Historians point out on various occasions that there is a risk of hierarchization in evaluating resistance. But it is not appropriate if you consider the scope, use and effect of the different forms.

Structure of the resistance in the German Reich

In Germany by 1934 all means of the constitution for the disempowerment of Adolf Hitler had been switched off. Therefore, unlike in Italy , no legal removal of Hitler was possible. Shortly after the seizure of power of the NSDAP in particular were Communist , Socialist and other leftist groups active. However, within a few years these were severely weakened by the Gestapo and the SS . In the years that followed, religiously and ethically motivated groups and individuals were increasingly active. The organization was only capable of a comprehensive, coup-like resistance action around July 20, which was largely recruited from the functional elites of the Third Reich.

Parts of the Wehrmacht leadership and even politicians with a conservative national mind ( Paul von Hindenburg , Kurt von Schleicher ) were rather critical of National Socialism from the start. Since the disempowerment of the Wehrmacht leadership with the help of the staged scandals about von Blomberg and von Fritsch ( Blomberg-Fritsch crisis ), General Ludwig Beck tried to organize a joint action by the generals against Hitler's war plans. Major overturn plans were not implemented before July 20. Most of the time, the system and the persecution of the workers' movement were supported as long as a victorious outcome of the war seemed possible.

All groups were aware that they represented a tiny minority of the population. They had no realistic chance of fundamentally changing the system. The structure of the resistance and its development was similar throughout the German Empire. The German resistance did not receive any significant support from the Allies; rather, the demand for unconditional surrender led to solidarity with the leadership and gave the resistance no opportunity to improve the conditions of peace by taking power. The modest attempts by Heinrich Brüning , Erich Koch-Weser and others. Establishing a German government in exile failed.

After 1945 the reference to the resistance often served as a basis for identity and legitimation for newly established organizations and systems. The Bundeswehr , which emerged as a result of rearmament , strongly related (and relates) to July 20, while the “communist resistance” during the Nazi era became one of the main legitimizations of the GDR . This usually led to an overemphasis on one form of resistance in historical memory, while others were marginalized. Individual resistance fighters like Georg Elser or the Edelweiss Pirates disappeared almost completely from the collective memory. The assessment of the work still depends on the point of view.

Resistance groups in Germany

Resistance from the labor movement

“The diverse workers' resistance to the Nazi regime - including the resistance of trade unionists - was extensive. Workers' resistance showed considerable continuity and suffered the greatest losses. In fact, far more than two thirds of the people who offered resistance between 1933 and 1945 can probably be assigned to the workers' resistance. "

Communist resistance

Many members of the KPD, which had been forced into illegality, had been active in the anti-fascist resistance since they came to power . In 1934/1935, due to its manageable organizational structure, it was severely weakened by waves of arrests and partly relocated to the concentration camps, where illegal prisoner structures were set up. After 1933, many communists fled to other European countries, where they often found no permanent home, as these countries were not prepared for the large influx of immigrants and did not want to accept political refugees (e.g. the Netherlands). Many communists continued their resistance abroad at the risk of their lives and brought propaganda material, e.g. B. the Brown Book , into the realm. 1936–1938 numerous communists went to Spain to fight in the international brigades . After the German attack on the Soviet Union (June 1941), a number of communist resistance groups emerged again (including around Bernhard Bästlein , Wilhelm Knöchel , Anton Saefkow , Georg Schumann , Robert Uhrig ), some of which were oriented towards the National Committee for Free Germany (NKFD). The group around Robert Uhrig established contacts to the Munich Hartwimmer-Olschewski group and other regional groups through the national revolutionary communist Beppo Römer . In 1942 the groups around Uhrig and Römer were broken up by the Gestapo. Saefkow and Bästlein had contact with the conspirators of July 20, 1944 through Adolf Reichwein in 1944.

As an example of a resistance action initiated by communists in the form of an attempted general strike at the beginning of National Socialism, see Mössinger General Strike .

A communist resistance organization consisting mainly of Jewish members was the group around Herbert Baum in Berlin, the majority of which were arrested and murdered in 1942 after an arson attack on a National Socialist propaganda exhibition in the Lustgarten .

Social Democratic Resistance

When the SPD was banned on June 22, 1933, the social democratic resistance was mainly grouped into the following organizations:

Symbol of the Iron Front

Resistance from other left or anarchist organizations and parties

In the first phase of the resistance up to around 1937/38, smaller left-wing organizations gained an above-average importance compared to their numerical strength in the final phase of the Weimar Republic. The organizations named below succeeded much better than the SPD or KPD in preparing for work in the illegality, also due to a more realistic assessment of the stability of the Nazi regime. Due to their structure as closed and stable cadre organizations, these organizations also succeeded in integrating the majority of their own membership in illegal work and counteracting infiltration efforts on the part of the police and the Gestapo; The smaller left organizations also benefited from the fact that they initially received less attention from the Gestapo than the mass parties SPD and KPD. The central and most of the regional structures of these organizations were smashed by the Gestapo by 1937/38.

Union resistance

Recent research shows that a comparatively large number of social democratic free trade unionists , especially functionaries at the higher and middle levels of the ADGB trade unions, who "failed" with their adjustment policy towards the Nazi regime in the spring of 1933, became involved in the resistance only a short time later. Trade union resistance against the Nazi regime was particularly intense among the metal workers who were oriented towards social democracy - as was the case with the communist metalworkers. Railway workers' union resistance groups were also particularly active.

There was explicit trade union resistance from free trade union resistance groups, from illegal groups of the Communist Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition (RGO) and their “red associations”. Trade union resistance also came from the ranks of the Christian and Hirsch-Duncker trade unions as well as from the ranks of the anarchist Free Workers' Union (FAUD), the International Socialist Combat League (ISK) and structures of intermediate groups such as the Communist Party opposition ( KPO).

Opposition among forced laborers and prisoners of war

The organization Fraternal Cooperation of Prisoners of War (Russian: Bratskoje Sotrudnitschetswo Wojennoplennych , BSW) tried to oppose recruitment to the Vlasov Army among Soviet prisoners of war and forced laborers in southern Germany and to advertise acts of sabotage.

Alliance and youth movement resistance

Wall graffiti in Cologne-Ehrenfeld next to the execution site of several edelweiss pirates

Members of the Bündische Jugend organized their resistance in various ways:

Cultural resistance

  • The Swing youth acted with increasing persecution and politically
Signet of the Kreisau Circle

Civil resistance

Resistance within the Wehrmacht

Postage stamp in memory of the Rote Kapelle group
  • In the early years of the republic, parts of the Reichswehr were hostile to the NSDAP and in particular to the SA (as a power competitor) despite an often critical or even anti-republic attitude . This was expressed around 1923 in the ban on the NSDAP by Hans von Seeckt or in the course of the Blomberg-Fritsch crisis in early 1938, in which the Wehrmacht leadership, which had been relatively independent and was critical of Hitler's war plans, was dismissed.
  • September conspiracy 1938: When Hitler seemed determined to go to war during the Sudeten crisis , a group of military personnel led by the resigned General Ludwig Beck planned to arrest Hitler. The plan failed when Great Britain gave in at the last minute in the Munich Agreement, thereby enabling Hitler to achieve immense prestige in Germany.
  • In the Red Chapel , members of the Wehrmacht, from ordinary soldiers to colonels, were active alongside workers, artists and bourgeois intellectuals. Almost all of the members of the internationally active resistance group were sentenced to prison terms or to death and executed between December 1942 and 1944. Four of the accused by the groups of Harro Schulze-Boysen and Arvid Harnack committed in detention suicide , five were killed without trial.
  • Attempted assassination by Wilhelm Canaris , Erwin Lahousen , Fabian von Schlabrendorff , Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager and Georg Freiherr von Boeselager by placing a bomb in the Führer aircraft on March 13, 1943 in Smolensk , but it did not detonate. The triggering of Operation Valkyrie , which had already taken place , could just be presented as an exercise and thus hushed up.
  • Under the leadership of Walther von Seydlitz, the National Committee for Free Germany and the Federation of German Officers , which General Friedrich Paulus also joined , were founded in 1943 as a Soviet prisoner of war . A propaganda company was set up and appeals like “50 Generals against Hitler” called on soldiers to desert and the German population to resist Hitler.
  • Attempted coup and assassination attempt of July 20, 1944 on Adolf Hitler: largest organized attempt at resistance against National Socialism ( persons of July 20, 1944 ).
  • Freedom Campaign Bavaria , end of April 1945. Several members of the Wehrmacht tried to hand Bavaria over to the US units without a fight and to prevent further bloodshed. There was fighting between the Wehrmacht and the SS in downtown Munich.
  • Major Josef Gangl , 12 Wehrmacht soldiers and a defected SS officer allied themselves with units of the US Army on May 5, 1945 and helped liberate prominent French prisoners of war from Itter Castle in Austria , which resulted in fights with the Waffen SS and killed Gangl has been. Gangl had already at the end of April, d. H. Before Hitler's death was announced on the evening of May 1, contact was made with a local Austrian resistance group for support. In South Tyrol, on April 30, 1945, Captain Wichard von Alvensleben and several Wehrmacht units had already succeeded in freeing prominent prisoners, including prisoners from the family of July 20 , from the hands of the SS . Alvensleben had the backing of Colonel General von Vietinghoff , who, together with Karl Wolff, also ensured the surrender of Army Group C (so-called Operation Sunrise ), which was signed on April 29, 1945 while Hitler was still alive. The entry into force of the same drove the Dachau concentration camp commandant Eduard Weiter , at the time at the Itter Castle branch , to commit suicide on May 2nd.
  • There were also Germans who avoided participating in the war through desertion , conscientious objection or as “ traitors ”. It is estimated that of the approximately 626,000 Wehrmacht justice trials up to the end of 1944, around a quarter concerned allegations such as desertion, “dismantling of military strength” and the like. Based on this, Fritz Wüllner assumes up to 1.5 million criminal convictions (with around 20 million members of the Wehrmacht) by the Nazi military justice system by the end of the war. Some of these have not yet been fully rehabilitated. The non-compliance or even the failed execution of destruction orders , the voluntary program in captivity (see, eg. As Botho Henning Elster ) and the non-combat or "premature" handover of cities to the Allies as Greifswald or Hannover was part of the regime even as Cowardice and treason were valued, as in the case of the commandant of Konigsberg , who was sentenced to death in absentia for not fighting any further when his bunker was surrounded. Several officers involved in Operation Radetzky , the surrender of Vienna without a fight, were executed on April 8, 1945, including Major Karl Biedermann (whose photo, showing him as an executed man with the sign “I made a pact with the Bolsheviks”, gained some prominence Has).
  • Some Wehrmacht members appeared as saviors of Jews (some were later named Righteous Among the Nations ): Sergeant Hugo Armann , Lieutenant Heinz Droßel , Major Karl Plagge , Sergeant Anton Schmid , Captain Gerhard Wander , Captain Wilm Hosenfeld , Major General Gerhard Schmidhuber .
  • Furthermore, German defectors were involved in the respective resistance groups such as the Resistance or Tito's partisans in the occupied territories.

Resistance from nobles

Admittedly, many nobles also adhered to folkish and nationalist and in some cases also National Socialist ideas (many were more closely related to the DNVP). However, some nobles kept a critical distance from National Socialism , the “uneducated thugs” of the SA and the “upstart” Hitler from an early stage .

In the course of the war and in the light of the atrocities experienced, a number of initially enthusiastic or moderate supporters increasingly turned away from National Socialism and became opponents of the regime. Nobles often played a leading role within resistance circles. This applies to alliance, civil, ecclesiastical and especially military resistance groups.

Military men from noble families also played a central role in a number of specific assassination attempts on Hitler. Here was Henning von Tresckow and Claus von Stauffenberg centrally involved:

Religiously motivated and ecclesiastical resistance

Some representatives of various churches denounced the persecution of the Jews or concentration camps in sermons and were then banned from speaking and writing or were imprisoned in concentration camps.

  • The three Catholic priests Johannes Prassek , Eduard Müller and Hermann Lange as well as the Protestant pastor Karl Friedrich Stellbrink are described as Lübeck martyrs . On November 10, 1943, they were executed in quick succession in the Hamburg remand prison on Holstenglacis by beheading them with the guillotine . The reason for this was her, as clergymen, publicly expressed critical comments on the injustice committed by the National Socialists . The three Catholic clergy were beatified on June 25, 2011. Stellbrink has been remembered in the Evangelical Name Calendar since its introduction in 1969 .
  • The Confessing Church was an opposition movement of Protestant Christians; she rejected the church alignment. In addition, some members such as Niemöller , Schneider , von Jan , Stöhr and Bonhoeffer offered passive and active resistance.
  • The Württemberg parsonage chain , organized by Theodor Dipper , was an underground organization of Protestant pastors for the rescue of Jews.
  • Clemens August Graf von Galen , Catholic Bishop of Münster, criticized Alfred Rosenberg's racial ideology , the Gestapo and the T4 campaign in sermons and was even able to have this euthanasia program temporarily stopped.
  • The Berlin cathedral provost Bernhard Lichtenberg campaigned publicly for the persecuted Jews and, like von Galen, turned against the systematic murder of incurable sick people.
  • The Catholic cross fight in the Oldenburger Land of the diocese of Münster was a rare case of open popular resistance against the National Socialists. After the prohibition of crosses in schools, such a storm of protest broke out in 1936 that this ban had to be lifted again. Similar events occurred in all of Upper and Lower Bavaria after the school cross decree of the Bavarian Interior Minister and Gauleiter Adolf Wagner in 1941. Here, too, the decree was withdrawn a little later.
  • The Catholic Association of Young Men (dissolved in 1938) took a stand against the NSDAP in the 1933 election campaign and opposed the forced withdrawal from church life.
  • The Cologne Circle was a civil resistance group from the political Catholic sphere.
  • Young Bundschuh was a group of escape helpers that consisted mainly of Catholics.
  • The Jehovah's Witnesses did not participate in elections; they rejected the personality cult around Hitler (such as the Hitler salute) and membership in the Nazi organizations. Many Jehovah's Witnesses refused to do military service . In large leaflet distribution campaigns in 1936/37 they drew attention to the suppression of Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany.
  • Members of the Seventh-day Adventist Reformation Movement community refused to do military service , as did members of the Christadelphians .
  • The groups of four were resistance groups that arose simultaneously and independently of one another in the summer of 1941 through Christian youth in Hamburg, Munich and Vienna.
  • Hugolinus Dörr , a Catholic missionary, founded the Saarland Economic Association against the incorporation of the Saarland into the German Empire.
  • Members of the White Rose ( Hans Scholl , Sophie Scholl , Christoph Probst , Willi Graf , Alexander Schmorell ) printed and distributed leaflets from June 1942 to February 1943 calling for a clear decision against Hitler's dictatorship. Certain members of the student circle around the White Rose were strongly motivated by Christianity and, according to their own statement, acted out of Christian conviction.
  • The Bethanien resistance movement, founded in 1933 by Cuno and Margarete Horkenbach , Reinhold Meyer and others (mainly from the former Trinity congregation in Berlin-Kreuzberg), organized the rescue of numerous victims of the Nazi regime.
  • Vicar Ernst Moritz Roth actively opposed the National Socialists in Dattenfeld . The result was the revocation of his teaching permit and his transfer.
  • Joseph Roth , teacher and politician. As a politician and a Catholic, he actively demonstrated his opposition. Ernst Moritz Roth was his younger brother.
  • By Karl Ludwig Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg issued White leaves offered to 1943 clearance before the DC circuit , which came to fruition in the collection of the conservative resistance.
  • Provikar Carl Lampert opposed the Nazi regime, was executed and beatified by the Catholic Church.
  • The Katholische Tatgemeinschaft , initiated in 1930, led to the founding of the Catholic Kampfblatt Der direkt Weg by Prince Erich von Waldburg-Zeil and the editor-in-chief Fritz Gerlich , who thereby became one of the most important representatives of the journalistic resistance against Hitler.
  • The Bavarian Catholic pastor Korbinian Aigner was imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp from 1941 to 1945 after he said in religious education class on November 9, 1939 about the assassination attempt by Georg Elser : "Then maybe a million people would have been saved."

Jewish resistance

See Jewish resistance in the Holocaust articleSee also Herbert Baum

Occasional resistance on a small scale

In 1943 a group of wives of arrested Jewish men gathered in front of the Gestapo building in Berlin and stayed there until their husbands were released (see Rosenstrasse protest ).

Viewed as an overview and in relation to the total population, there were very few citizens in Germany between 1933 and 1945 who displayed the moral courage in everyday life to refuse or even to oppose the system of the Nazi state. But there was occasional civil resistance on a small scale, in that government orders were not followed, Jews were hidden or forced laborers were provided with food. The embezzlement of files by judicial employees in order to protect prisoners from deportation is just as much a part of it as parents who tried to keep their children away from the Hitler Youth.

In the military, soldiers could try to stay away from war crimes as far as possible, e.g. by refusing to take part in mass shootings, because even if an order was issued and not only volunteers served in the firing squad, there was no order emergency that would have put a refuser in mortal danger (such as often used as an excuse after the war, cf. Josef-Schulz Mythos ). In principle, the soldiers were also free to report war crimes they had observed to their superiors, but this was almost always without consequences, as the majority of the crimes were tolerated by the armed forces leadership (see, for example, the martial law decree ).

Resistance in Austria

Code of the resistance group O5 at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

Most of the Austrian resistance groups not only aimed to combat the National Socialist regime, but also to break Austria's position from the German Reich. In many cases the groups' resources were located in the political sphere (propaganda, organizational formation, etc.). The transition between resistance activities and intelligence work for the Allies was fluid. From today's point of view, the military and secret service work for the Allies such as the group around Heinrich Maier and Franz Josef Messner (- insulted by Nazi courts, Gestapo and today's right-wing extremists as "high treason or treason") is an essential part of the struggle Anti-Hitler coalition and the European resistance. Militant groups formed the minority and were mostly active only after 1942. For social democratic, socialist and communist groups, resistance in illegality and exile began as early as 1933/34, when these were made illegal with the establishment of the corporate state .

Characteristic of the resistance against National Socialism in Austria is the deep political fragmentation, which is why one can roughly distinguish between left (socialists, communists) and right (bourgeois and Catholic) resistance. Only in the later course of the war and motivated by the Moscow Declaration did bipartisan resistance develop. In addition to the individual groups, members of loose connections such as the Austrian Action , there was also individual resistance. The documentation archive of the Austrian resistance estimates the number of Austrians involved in the resistance at 100,000.

List of the various groups:

Resistance in occupied and allied countries

Resistance group Witte Brigade


The Belgian resistance was diverse and began in some cases immediately after the occupation by the Germans: a wide-ranging underground press emerged, escape aid networks were set up and large-scale acts of sabotage were carried out. One of the first resistance groups was De Zwarte Hand , which was exposed in autumn 1941: 109 men were arrested and transported to prisons and later to a camp. Twelve of the men were executed; only 37 group members survived until the end of the war. Belgian resistance groups of different political orientations ( Front de l'Indépendance / Onafhankelijkheidsfront , Mouvement National Royaliste / Nationale Koninklijke Bewegungsing , Groupe G (abbreviation of Groupe Général de Sabotage de Belgique ), Witte Brigade and the Armée secrète ) jointly ensured that the German Troops could not destroy the port of Antwerp before their departure in 1944. Many Belgian soldiers and officers joined the Armée Secrète in their country. On April 19, 1943, three Belgian school friends attacked the 20th deportation train to Auschwitz .


Bulgaria was not an occupied country, but a member state of the Tripartite Pact . There have been small communist partisan groups in Bulgaria since 1941. They were organized by Soviet agents who parachuted or landed from submarines. They carried out acts of sabotage and attacks on military transports and services. The small partisan groups were fought by the army , gendarmerie and police, also with the support of the German Wehrmacht, and largely pushed back into remote mountain areas.


When the Danish Jews were to be deported to concentration camps on October 1, 1943, in an unprecedented solidarity campaign, a large number of Danish Jews were hidden within a few days and taken by Danish fishermen across the Baltic Sea to safe Sweden . In this way, over 7,000 of the 8,000 Jews were saved from the National Socialists.


The Resistance, as a collective term for various political groups, fought against the Germans for years. Even women acted in the Resistance .

In 1940 the Free France Association was established under Charles de Gaulle . Militarily, the resistance only became significant from the summer and autumn months of 1943. From then on, the Wehrmacht also used its own troops to combat it. Before that, this was the job of French and German police forces. Before and during the landing in Normandy in June 1944, resistance groups or individual perpetrators destroyed telephone lines or other infrastructure facilities (details here ). In retaliation, a Waffen SS company killed 642 civilians in the Oradour massacre on June 10, 1944 . The Resistance was also involved in the Battle of Paris in August 1944. The surrendering Wehrmacht handed the city over to Colonel Rol , one of the Resistance chiefs.


Greek partisans committed acts of sabotage, carried out attacks on German occupation agencies and military transports. In retaliation against such resistance actions, German soldiers committed the massacres in Kalavrita in the Peloponnese and in Distomo near Delphi . During the Battle of Crete in May 1941, German mountain troops murdered all the inhabitants in the small mountain village of Floria on May 23, 1941 , because the Greeks resisted the German occupation and 14 mountain troops died in the process. Greek monks hid the British soldiers leaving Crete in the Preveli monastery on the south coast of Crete when they were cut off by German paratroopers on their retreat to their ships. Among the best-known partisans in Greece are the fighters of ELAS and other resistance fighters, such as Alberto Errera , Jerzy Iwanow-Szajnowicz , who worked with EDES , or the communist Mikis Theodorakis .


The term Resistancea ( Italian for 'resistance') denotes the entirety of parties and political movements that opposed Italian fascism and the National Socialist forces in Italy. These forces held parts of Italy after the Allied-Italian armistice of September 8, 1943. The most important core were the various forms of the partisan movement - Comitato di liberazione nazionale, CLN (Committee for National Liberation), GAP and SAP.

In retaliation against such resistance actions, the SS committed massacres, including the massacre in the Ardeatine Caves and the Marzabotto massacre .

In the post-war period there were gold medals for bravery for a number of communities as a whole that supported this partisan movement. It is calculated that the dead of the Italian resistance (shot in fighting or in captivity) together amount to approx. 44,700; another 21,200 were left mutilated and disabled. The proportion of women fighting among the partisans was very high.

The deportation of Italian Jews was only rudimentary. Around 10,000 of the Jews deported to the camps were murdered.



Luxembourg was occupied by the Wehrmacht at the beginning of the western campaign against France in May 1940. It was annexed in August 1942 . Even in the smallest neighboring country occupied and annexed by the Third Reich, there were resistance actions by underground groups such as the Lëtzeburger Patriote Liga (LPL), Lëtzeburger Freihétsbewegong (LFB), Lëtzeburger Freihétskampf (LFK), Lëtzeburger Volleks Legio'n (LVL), Lëtzeburger Legio'n (LVL) de Lé'w (LRL), Patriotes Indépendants (PI-Men), Lëtzeburger Freihétsbond (LFB), Alweraje , who came together in D'Unio'n, the union of the Luxembourg resistance groups.


Through the efforts of Geertruida Wijsmuller-Meier , 10,000 Jewish children were rescued from Germany and Austria between 1938 and the beginning of World War II , who traveled to England by means of so-called Kindertransporte .

The first Dutch resistance group, the " Geuzen ", was founded on May 15, 1940, the day of the Dutch surrender to Hitler's Germany. A few days later the communist resistance movement emerged. Even demobilized officers quickly formed a group called "Ordedienst" (OD), with the aim of preventing a possible temporary power vacuum. Many members of this organization also use their network early on to offer effective resistance. The Dutch resistance was above all non-violent.

In November 1940, the occupiers announced that Jews would be banned from working. This led to brief strikes by students and some staff at the universities of Delft and Leiden. The February strike in Amsterdam and North Holland in February 1941 was a unique reaction in occupied Europe to the first deportations of Jews to the Netherlands. The two-day strike, organized by communists, took part in around 40,000–50,000 people.

Dutch partisans hid Jews from the Netherlands and Germany (e.g. Anne Frank or Edith Stein ), as well as Dutch people who went into hiding before their labor service or work assignment, refugee prisoners of war (especially shot down crews of Allied aircraft) or helped them to escape across the English Channel, Via Gibraltar or Switzerland , they hid German armed forces deserters , transmitted information to the Allies in Great Britain about the extent, condition and situation of German Wehrmacht units, in particular their preparation for the planned invasion of Great Britain , and carried out attacks on German occupation agencies and military transports.

Illegal magazines soon appeared, 1,100 in total. Some of these editions, newspapers such as Het Parool , Trouw and the weekly Vrij Nederland , still exist today.

The banker Walraven van Hall paid a regular daily allowance for resistance fighters and tens of thousands of other citizens. The department had 2,000 illegally employed people at its peak.

In April and May 1943 there were a few days of general strikes, especially in the east of the country, when demobilized Dutch soldiers were arrested again. 90 civilians died.

On September 17, 1944, the Dutch government called for a general rail strike in support of the Allied Operation Market Garden . The Allies wanted to advance to Germany via Arnhem along the northern tip of the Western Wall.

According to the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), the Dutch hid 350,000 people at the height of the resistance. These people were supported by more than 500,000 people - up to a tenth of the population at the time. There were 25,000 Jews among those in hiding. A total of 5,200 Dutch people were named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem . According to Yad Vashem, the Netherlands has the highest proportion of award winners among the occupied countries.

The small village of Nieuwlande in Drente decided to set up a quota system for refugees. Therefore, after the war, the whole village of Yad Vashem received an award for saving Jews. The resistance group "NV", which saved Jewish children, also received this award.

Jews had a greater chance of survival in the Dutch border province of Limburg than in the rest of the country. There were even more Jews there at the end of the war than at the beginning due to the influx from outside.

The Dutch government-in-exile in London helped set up a foundation, the Nationaal Steunfonds, made up of government bonds and Dutch donations, with which it tried to support the various activities of the Dutch resistance in London. This resistance included the Landelijke Organizatie voor Hulp aan Onderduikers (LO), which was founded at the end of 1942 and tried to help people in hiding nationwide with false papers, food rationing stamps, money and hiding. In Aalten , not far from Bocholt , the Markt 12 underground museum was set up in 2005 , which makes it possible to experience the grotesque temporary situation when the local headquarters and people in hiding were housed in the same building on the ground floor. With a population of 10,000 at the time, the Aalter hid 2,500 people over time.

The armed resistance has also become more and more organized in the course of the occupation. The resulting local combat groups (K. P. or "Knokploegen") united to form the LKP . You were part of the above mentioned organization for aid to people in hiding. They focused on the seizure of ID cards and ration cards. Gradually the attacks became more violent. Resistance detainees were liberated, a dozen times with spectacular success. For example, 80 prisoners were freed in one such operation in Maastricht .

The Marx-Lenin-Luxemburg-Front (MLL-Front) around Henk Sneevliet , Willem Dolleman and Ab Menist , all of whom on April 12, 1942 , played an important role in the resistance, for example during the February strike, until it was broken up in April 1942 German occupiers were executed. The MLL front differed from most of the other resistance groups in that it refused to cooperate with forces it regarded as monarchist or imperialist . The MLL front had around 500 permanent members and published the much-read underground newspaper Spartacus every fortnight with a circulation of around 5000 copies.

The Dutch author Maarten 't Hart deals with the Dutch resistance in his novels The Raging of the Whole World and Die Netzflickerin .

An example of resistance against National Socialism on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland in Zeeland are The Ten of Renesse .


Damaged buildings and German soldiers in Bergen after the explosion of the Vorboode ammunition
ship on April 20, 1944. (Source: Federal Archives)

In May 1941 the Norwegian resistance organization Milorg was founded. The Norwegian Resistance helped Jews to flee to Sweden and provided the Allies in Great Britain with information about the size, condition and location of German units of the Wehrmacht, especially the Navy . The last large German battleship Tirpitz was attacked with British mini-submarines in the Karrfjord on September 22, 1943 with the help of the Norwegian resistance (the Norwegians had found that the submarine listening devices at the bottom of the fjord were switched off on that day for maintenance work were sunk in Tromsø in 1944 by British bombers with a special bomb, the Tallboy . The best-known member of the Norwegian resistance in Germany is probably Rut Bergaust , who met her future husband, the German exile Willy Brandt .


After the surrender of the regular Polish army in October 1939, between November 1939 and May 1945 there is evidence that over 450,000 men and women actively participated in the rescue of Jewish fellow citizens or in partisan actions against the German occupation. They carried out their fighting, espionage measures and acts of sabotage, in particular within the framework of the following underground organizations:

Jan Karski and Witold Pilecki are considered to be important actors in the engagement against the Holocaust perpetrated by the German occupiers in Poland .

Czech Republic

Operation Anthropoid Monument , 2009

At the beginning of 1940, the three largest non-communist resistance groups in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia founded the umbrella organization ÚVOD to coordinate the resistance and the communication link with the government in exile in London. By the end of 1942, the ÚVOD's activities came to a virtual standstill due to the arrests and executions of its members.

In May 1942, two Czech soldiers from the army in exile, who parachuted off a British bomber near Pilsen at the end of 1941 and went into hiding in Prague in the following months, carried out a hand grenade and submachine gun attack on the highest SS ruler in the Czech Republic, Reinhard Heydrich . The action went under the code name Operation Anthropoid . Heydrich succumbed to his injuries a few days later. In retaliation, all adult men, many women and most of the children from Lidice were murdered, and almost all residents of Ležáky were brutally killed. Both villages were completely destroyed because it was assumed that the inhabitants had given the assassins shelter.

In June 1942, General Ludvík Svoboda formed a Czechoslovak infantry battalion, which became a brigade.


In the late summer / autumn of 1944, the Slovak National Uprising broke out in Slovakia . Communist partisans fought together with parts of the Slovak army against the regime of the German satellite state under the president and leader Jozef Tiso .

The 2,500 partisans faced 50,000 German soldiers (including the Waffen SS and their Dirlewanger Brigade), the readiness units of the Hlinka Guard and 14,500 soldiers from the Slovak army. The resistance was broken on October 27, 1944, during the subsequent "purges" there were massacres and violent attacks on the partisans, but also on the Slovak civilian population.

Soviet Union

The German-Soviet War , referred to in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War , was the mobilization of large sections of the Soviet population against the invaders in connection with the war. In addition to the Red Army , which fought against the invaders on the front, there was a broad partisan movement behind the German front in the occupied territories . At the same time, any support for armaments and the Red Army in the unoccupied hinterland was patriotic (even if the CPSU as a party was not supported).


The rescue of tens of thousands of Budapest Jews was not carried out by the imperial administrator Horthy , but against the background of a social consensus on this issue.

Of the 825,000 people who lived in Hungary within the borders from 1941 to 1945 and were considered Jews, about 565,000 were killed in the Holocaust while 260,000 survived the war years (see History of Jews in Hungary # The Holocaust in Budapest ).

In June 1944, the media (newspapers, magazines, radio) in neutral and allied countries published details of the fate of the Hungarian Jews. As a result, numerous personalities, including Hungarian Protestant bishops and the Hungarian Primate Serédi , campaigned at Horthy to stop the deportations . These interventions led to the decision to suspend the deportations on July 8, which Heinrich Himmler also agreed to at the end of July.

In August the situation initially seemed to improve when the government under Sztójay von Horthy was dismissed and replaced by a less pro-German government under General Géza Lakatos . Lakatos only stayed in office until October 15, when the fascist Arrow Cross Party under Ferenc Szálasi seized power. Adolf Eichmann - left Budapest on August 24th - returned on October 17th and resumed the deportation of the Budapest Jews. Later these became impossible because Soviet troops had trapped Budapest.

Some efforts by neutral states to rescue Budapest's Jews proved to be successful: by the end of October 1944, over 1,600 protection passports had been issued by the Salvadoran consulate secretary George Mandel-Mantello . Thousands of other letters of protection were issued by the Swiss diplomats Carl Lutz , Harald Feller and Friedrich Born , the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg , the Spanish diplomat Ángel Sanz Briz (supported by the Italian businessman Giorgio Perlasca ) and the Apostolic Nuncio Angelo Rotta . Around the end of 1944, around 33,000 Budapest Jews were under diplomatic protection from neutral states or the ICRC .

Personalities who carried the resistance


Immersion and hiding of domestic refugees

The hiding of Jewish residents during the Nazi era and hiding these people to save them from deportation was also very risky for their helpers and must be viewed as an individual act of resistance. In occupied Poland it was punished by death.

Hiding a person in a war economy country is technically very difficult behavior. Groceries were not available on the free market, but only against sections of grocery cards that required authorization and verification. Carrying luggage with you could immediately arouse suspicion during checks - if your own luggage was left behind, there was a risk of losing it if you suddenly had to change your illegal overnight location. Staying longer than usual in a restaurant, library or cinema could trigger questions about identity. Accidental encounters with people who knew about the disappearance and who were at the same time potential supporters of the Nazi government had to be avoided as far as possible. Knowing about these dangers was certainly a high stress factor . The Gestapo tried specifically to smuggle spies into such networks (Berlin - February 1943; e.g. Stella Goldschlag ).

See also




  • Rudolph Bauer : Were all cowards back then? 1933 to 1945 between Trier and Koblenz . Kliomedia , Trier 2009, ISBN 978-3-89890-139-0 .
  • Wolfgang Benz , Walter H. Pehle (Hrsg.): Lexicon of the German resistance . 2., through S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-10-005702-3 .
  • Ulrich Cartarius : Opposition to Hitler. German resistance 1933–1945 . Siedler, Berlin 1984, ISBN 3-88680-110-1 .
  • Hans Coppi , Stefan Heinz (ed.): The forgotten resistance of the workers. Trade unionists, communists, social democrats, Trotskyists, anarchists and forced laborers . Dietz, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-320-02264-8 .
  • Christof Dipper : The German resistance and the Jews . In: Geschichte und Gesellschaft , Heft 3, Vol. 9, 1983 ISSN  0340-613X pp. 349-380, Zugl. Habil. Univ. Trier 1980.
  • Allen Dulles : Conspiracy in Germany . With an afterword by the translator Wolfgang von Eckardt, Europa Verlag, Zurich 1948. First published under the title Germanys Underground . Macmillan, New York 1947.
  • Joachim Fest : Coup. The long way to July 20th . Siedler, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-88680-539-5 .
  • Hans-Joachim Fieber (Ed.): Resistance in Berlin against the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 . A biographical lexicon. Trafo Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-89626-350-1 .
  • Jan Foitzik: Between the fronts. On the politics, organization and function of left political small organizations in the resistance 1933 to 1939/1940 . Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, Bonn 1986, ISBN 3-87831-439-6 .
  • Hermann Graml (Ed.): Resistance in the Third Reich - Problems, Events, Shapes . Fischer TB, Frankfurt 1994, ISBN 3-596-12236-8 .
  • Christiane Goldenstedt: Albert Goldenstedt - A Delmenhorster in the Anti-Fascist Resistance , Oldenburger Studien Volume 89, Oldenburg 2019, Isensee Verlag, ISBN 978-3-7308-1552-6 .
  • Peter Claus Hartmann : Struggle and Resistance: Munich Catholics against Hitler 1922-1945 , Schnell & Steiner Regensburg 2018, ISBN 978-3-7954-3405-2 .
  • Raimund Herder, Philipp von Boeselager: Ways in the resistance against Hitler . Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-451-06097-7 .
  • Stefan Heinz , Siegfried Mielke (ed.): Functionaries of the unified association of metal workers in Berlin in the Nazi state. Resistance and persecution (= trade unionists under National Socialism. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration , Volume 2). Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86331-062-2 .
  • Peter Hoffmann : Resistance, coup d'état, assassination attempt - the fight of the opposition against Hitler . 4th revised and supplemented edition. Piper, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-492-00718-X .
  • Michael Kißener (ed.): Resistance to the persecution of the Jews . Univ.-Verl. Constance 1996, ISBN 3-87940-511-5 .
  • Linda von Keyserlingk-Rehbein: Just a "very small clique"? The Nazi investigation via the network of July 20, 1944. Lukas-Verlag, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86732-303-1
  • Michael Kißener, Harm-Hinrich Brandt , Wolfgang Altgeld (eds.): Resistance in Europe - contemporary historical memories and studies . Universitätsverlag Konstanz, 1995, ISBN 3-89669-850-8 .
  • Manuel Limbach: Citizens against Hitler. Prehistory, structure and work of the Bavarian »Sperr-Kreis«. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2019 (= series of publications by the Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , Volume 102). ISBN 978-3-525-31071-7 .
  • Frank McDonough : Opposition and Resistance in Nazi Germany (= Cambridge Perspectives in History ). Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-521-00358-X .
  • Helmut Moll (ed.): Witnesses for Christ. The German martyrology of the 20th century . Commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference, Paderborn 1999. Numerous new editions, most recently in the 6th edition, ISBN 978-3-506-78080-5 .
  • Helmut Moll: The Catholic German Martyrs of the 20th Century. A directory . Paderborn et al., 4th edition 2005, ISBN 3-506-75777-6 .
  • Helmut Moll: Martyrdom and Truth. Witnesses to Christ in the 20th century . (Weilheim-Bierbronnen 2005; 5th, revised edition 2012), ISBN 3-928273-74-4 .
  • Hans Mommsen : Alternative to Hitler. Studies on the history of the German resistance . Beck, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-45913-7 .
  • Siegfried Mielke , Stefan Heinz (eds.) With the assistance of Marion Goers: Functionaries of the German Metalworkers' Association in the Nazi state. Resistance and persecution (=  trade unionists under National Socialism. Persecution - resistance - emigration. Volume 1). Metropol, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86331-059-2 .
  • Siegfried Mielke, Stefan Heinz (eds.) With the collaboration of Julia Pietsch: Emigrated metal trade unionists in the fight against the Nazi regime (=  trade unionists under National Socialism. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration. Volume 3). Metropol, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-86331-210-7 .
  • Siegfried Mielke, Stefan Heinz: Railway trade unionists in the Nazi state. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration (1933–1945) (=  trade unionists under National Socialism. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration. Volume 7). Metropol, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-86331-353-1 .
  • Ger van Roon : Resistance in the Third Reich. An overview . Beck, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-406-06791-3 .
  • Karl Heinz Roth , Angelika Ebbinghaus: Red chapels, Kreisau circles, black chapels: New perspectives on the German resistance against the Nazi dictatorship . vsa, Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-89965-087-5 .
  • Hans Rothfels : The German opposition to Hitler. An appreciation . Manesse, Frankfurt 1949 (new edition 1994. ISBN 3-7175-8208-9 ). First appearance in English:
  • The German opposition to Hitler, an appraisal. H. Regnery Co., Hinsdale, Illinois, 1948.
  • Hans-Rainer Sandvoss : Berlin was not only the center of Nazi terror, but also of resistance . In: Susanne Kähler / Wolfgang Krogel (ed.): The Bear of Berlin. Yearbook of the Association for the History of Berlin . 65th year, Berlin 2016, pp. 195–208.
  • Jürgen Schmädeke , Peter Steinbach : The resistance against National Socialism. German society and the resistance against Hitler . Historical Commission to Berlin / German Resistance Memorial Center (Ed.). Piper Verlag, Munich / Zurich 1985, ISBN 3-492-02988-4 .
  • Peter Steinbach (Ed.): Lexicon of Resistance 1933–1945 . Beck, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-406-37451-4 .
  • Peter Steinbach, Johannes Tuchel (ed.): Resistance to the National Socialist dictatorship 1933–1945 . Lukas-Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-936872-37-6 .
  • Gerd R. Ueberschär (Ed.): Handbook on the resistance against National Socialism and Fascism in Europe 1933/1939 to 1945 . De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2011, ISBN 978-3-598-11767-1 .
  • Gerd R. Ueberschär (Ed.): The German resistance against Hitler. Perception and valuation in Europe and the USA . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2002, ISBN 3-534-13146-0 .
  • Axel Ulrich: Political resistance against the "Third Reich" in the Rhine-Main area. 4th edition Thrun-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2015, ISBN 978-3-9809513-2-6 .
  • Rüdiger von Voss (ed.): The spirit of resistance. Writer - philosopher - historian - constitutional lawyer. Speeches for July 20, 1944 . August Dreesbach Verlag, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-944334-22-6 .
  • Günther Weisenborn (Ed.): The silent uprising. Report on the resistance movement of the German people 1933–1945 . Based on the material by Ricarda Huch. With an introduction by Martin Niemöller, Rowohlt Verlag GmbH, Hamburg 1953.
  • Resistance in Berlin from 1933 to 1945. Series of publications . Edited by the German Resistance Memorial Center , Berlin 1983 ff., 14 volumes.
  • Fritz Wüllner, The Nazi Military Justice and the Misery of Historiography. A basic research report, Baden-Baden 1996.
  • Scientific journal of the German Resistance Study Group 1933–1945: Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg. Crew - Collaboration - Resistance, No. 91, May 2020, year 45, ISSN 0938-8672 (last edition).
  • Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 42, 1994, Issue 7. ( online ( Memento from November 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), PDF, 353 kB; specialissuewith lectures from the conference "The Other Germany. The Resistance to National Socialism. Myth and Legacy". Potsdam, June 23-24, 1994).



  • Jean-Pierre Azéma : Des résistances à la Resistance. In: La France des années noires. T2, Éditions du Seuil, Paris 1993.
  • Philippe Bourdrel: L'Épuration sauvage 1944–1945 . Editions Perrin, Paris 2002.
  • Pierre Broué , Raymond Vacheron: Meurtres au maquis . Editions Grasset, Paris 1997.
  • Walther Flekl: Resistance . In: France Lexicon . Erich Schmidt, Berlin 2005, pp. 833-836 (lit.) ISBN 3-503-06184-3 .
  • Jean-François Muracciole: Histoire de la résistance en France . PUF, Que sais-je?, Paris 2003.
  • Alain Guérin: La Resistance. Chronique illustrée 1930–1950 . (5 vol.). Livre Club Diderot, Paris 1972.
  • Dominique Peillon: Les Réseaux de Resistance . In La France des années noires . T1, le Seuil 1993.
  • Dominique Peillon, Olivier Wieviorka: La Résistance . In: La France des années noires . T2, Éditions du Seuil, Paris 1993.
  • Gilles Perrault : Taupes rouges contre SS . Editions Messidor, Paris 1986 ( communistes et antifascistes allemands et autrichiens dans la Résistance en France ). Edition 1996, ISBN 978-2-209-05819-8 .

Source edition

  • Institute for Contemporary History (Ed.): Resistance as "High Treason" 1933–1945. The proceedings against German Reich citizens before the Reich Court, the People's Court and the Reich Court Martial . Munich 1994–1998, around 70,000 pages on 750 microfiches .

Web links

Commons : Anti-Fascist Resistance  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files







Individual evidence

  1. Christof Rieber: Political Resistance in the Nazi Dictatorship. In: Politics and Education. 2/1994, p. 3 f.
  2. Klaus Hildebrand: The Third Reich , Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich, 2009, ISBN 978-3-486-59200-9 , p. 96 f.
  3. Explained by Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer : Sustainable peace policy in acute cases. War shortening as a result of the combination of struggle from outside and inside , in: Society & Politics. Journal for social and economic engagement, 2019, no. 3, pp. 135-137.
  4. Cf. inter alia. Dams, Stolle: The Gestapo. Rule and Terror in the Third Reich (2017), p. 103 ff.
  5. Cf. inter alia. Ernst Klee : Resistance in the concentration camp: no place for heroes . In: Die Zeit of March 27, 1981.
  6. See Bernhard Schulz: Jewish resistance in the NS. They struggled to survive . In: Der Tagesspiegel from April 11, 2013.
  7. Peer Oliver Volkmann: Heinrich Brüning (1885-1970): Nationalist without a home. A partial biography . Droste, 2007, ISBN 978-3-7700-1903-8 ( [accessed April 4, 2019]).
  8. German sheets . Kraus Reprint, 1970 ( [accessed April 4, 2019]).
  9. ^ Konrad Feilchenfeldt: Deutsche Exilliteratur 1933-1945 . Winkler, 1986, ISBN 978-3-538-07040-0 ( [accessed April 4, 2019]).
  10. Scientific background discussion with Stefan Heinz (FU Berlin): "Workers' resistance had to complain about the greatest losses" - on trade union resistance against the Nazi regime.
  11. Cf. also the studies of different areas of union organization by Siegfried Mielke and Stefan Heinz in their book series »Unions in National Socialism. Persecution - Resistance - Emigration «published by Metropol Verlag in Berlin .
  12. The "Secret Germany" - The Influence of the Poet Stefan George on Stauffenberg . In: 3sat .de , January 2009.
  13. Peter Steinbach , Johannes Tuchel (Ed.): Lexicon of Resistance 1933–1945. 2nd Edition. Beck, Munich 1998, p. 166.
  14. Tony Le Tissier: Germans against Germans. Traces of armed »Seydlitz troops« in action in 1945 . In: Military History 6, 1997, pp. 64–67.
  15. Hans-Dietrich Nicolaisen: Die Flakhelfer: Luftwaffe helpers and naval helpers in World War II . Ullstein, 1981, ISBN 978-3-550-07949-8 ( [accessed on March 27, 2019]).
  16. 1945: The uprising in Munich on April 28, 1945. Retrieved on March 27, 2019 .
  17. Stephen Harding: The Last Battle: When Wehrmacht and GIs fought against the SS . Paul Zsolnay Verlag, 2015, ISBN 978-3-552-05729-6 ( [accessed September 12, 2020]).
  18. The historian Kerstin von Lingen doubts the assertion of the Waffen-SS General Wolff that he obtained Hitler's “approval” for such peace negotiations in a personal conversation with Hitler in February 1945. In order to justify his “treason”, Wolff referred to this alleged meeting as early as 1949 (cf. also the revanchist book: “With Hitler's knowledge: My secret negotiations about partial surrender in Italy 1945”). Others took up this statement, such as the TV documentary: The Alpine Fortress - Last Bulwark of the SS . In fact, it is unclear whether Wolff was even back in Berlin in 1945 - even Hitler's adjutant Otto Gushi had bitter doubts about it. If he had talked about surrender intentions on the southern front, according to Günsch, "Wolff would not have left Berlin alive." [Kerstin von Lingen, promise of immunity. How SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff escaped prosecution, in: Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift 68 (2009), pp. 379-421; especially p. 395f, FN 105].
  19. ^ Allen Welsh Dulles, Gero von Schulze Gaevernitz: Enterprise "Sunrise": the secret story of the end of the war in Italy . German Book Community, 1967 ( [accessed on September 12, 2020]).
  20. ^ Günther Haase: Art theft and art protection, Volume I: A documentation . BoD - Books on Demand, 2008, ISBN 978-3-8334-8975-4 ( [accessed on March 28, 2019]).
  21. A connecting figure between the two events was the last commander of the Dachau concentration camp, Eduard Weiter, who went to Itter Castle on April 26th and had promised SS-Obersturmführer Edgar Stiller, who was responsible for the transport of hostages to South Tyrol, that he would follow him to South Tyrol . Itter had been converted into a branch of Dachau. But Weiter committed suicide at the castle, probably as a reaction to the entry into force of the partial surrender on April 29th on May 2nd. The prisoner Cuckovic had found the dead and he was the one who informed the Americans about the whereabouts of the hostages, so this is encouraging eighth in Wörgl, where they met Gangl (which already by another inmate had been informed) that extends joined them with his people (cf. Hans-Günter Richardi, SS-Geiseln in der Alpenfestung , Bozen, 2015).
  22. ^ Sven Felix Kellerhoff: Second World War: desertion and suicide - exit from the war . March 21, 2013 ( [accessed March 27, 2019]).
  23. C. Schindler, Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance, Focus on Armed Resistance - Resistance in the Military, Yearbook, Vienna 2009, p. 23.
  24. ^ Günter Saathoff, Franz Dillmann, Manfred Messerschmidt, Federal Association of Information & Advice for Victims of National Socialism, Federal Association of Victims of National Socialist Military Justice: Victims of National Socialist Military Justice: on the need for rehabilitation and compensation . Der Bundesverband, 1994 ( [accessed on November 2, 2019]).
  25. Jürgen Möller: American occupation of the southern Leipzig area by the V. US Corps in April 1945: a military-historical outline . Arps, 2006, ISBN 978-3-936341-07-2 ( [accessed April 1, 2019]).
  26. Klaus Mammach: Resistance 1939–1945: History of the German anti-fascist resistance movement in Germany and in emigration . Akademie-Verlag, 1987, ISBN 978-3-05-000076-3 ( [accessed April 1, 2019]).
  27. program ARD de-ARD Play-Out-Center Potsdam, Potsdam Germany: France's foreign patriots - Germans in the Resistance. Retrieved January 7, 2020 .
  28. Against Hitler. Germans in the Resistance, in the armed forces of the anti-Hitler coalition and the "Free Germany" movement. Retrieved January 7, 2020 .
  29. ^ Heinz Kühnrich, Franz-Karl Wärme: Germans with Tito's Partisans 1941–1945: The fortunes of war in the Balkans in eyewitness reports and documents . GNN Verlag, 1997, ISBN 978-3-929994-83-4 ( [accessed January 7, 2020]).
  30. ^ - Louis Ferdinand. Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
  31. History 6 . Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
  32. ^ Paul Herre: Crown Prince Wilhelm. His role in German politics , Munich 1954, p. 231 ff.
  33. Kurt Finker: July 20 , Berlin 1994, p. 116 f.
  34. Hans Kratzer: A citizen, almost like everyone else . In: . 2018, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed on March 28, 2019]).
  35. ^ German biography: Rupprecht - German biography. Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
  36. ^ DÖW - Research - Publications - Complete Directory - Exile - Willibald Plöchl and Otto Habsburg in the USA. Retrieved November 14, 2020 .
  37. Avalanche Press. Retrieved November 14, 2020 .
  38. Otto von Habsburg - curriculum vitae. Retrieved March 28, 2019 .
  39. “The best names of the East Elbe nobility were united here once again (note: in the resistance).” Walter Görlitz: Die Junker , 1957, p. 407.
  40. ↑ There was room for maneuver to refuse to take part in mass shootings - without endangering one's life through an "order of emergency" - as an expert opinion by the Central Office of the State Judicial Administrations in Ludwigsburg established in the 1960s. [1]
  41. ↑ For example on the basis of the “ 10 commandments for the warfare of the German soldier ” recorded in the pay book of the Wehrmacht members , which also mentions the inviolability of the civilian population. An appeal to this or an international agreement under international war law such as the one on the treatment of prisoners of war turned out to be difficult in practice in view of the crimes that are apparently tolerated or advocated by the Wehrmacht leadership (see, for example, the martial law decree ).
  42. Wolfgang Neugebauer: Resistance in Austria - An overview. (No longer available online.) DÖW, January 19, 2005, archived from the original on March 25, 2012 ; accessed on January 23, 2018 .
  43. Cf. Manfred Mugrauer : Planned sabotage on the Erzberg . In: Mitteilungen des DÖW , episode 238, October 2018, p. 1 ff.
  44. see also Marietta Bearman et al: Out of Austria: The Austrian Center in London in World War II . London: Tauris Academic Studies, 2008. Paperback 2020, ISBN 978-1350172449 .
  45. Harry Stone: Writing in the Shadow. Resistance Publications in Occupied Europe , Routledge, London [et al.] 1996, p. 89.
  46. ^ Herman Bodson: Agent for the Resistance - A Belgian saboteur in World War II , Texas A & M Univ. Press, 1994, pp. 150-153.
  47. Mirko Crabus: De Zwarte Hand. Heimatverein Lingen, accessed on April 12, 2020 .
  48. Peter Lieb : Conventional War or Nazi Weltanschauungskrieg. Warfare and the fight against partisans in France 1943/44 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, p. 2.
  49. Herman van Rens, Vervolgd in Limburg, Joden en Sinti in Dutch Limburg tijdens de Second World War , 2013 Hilversum. (Doctoral thesis Universiteit van Amsterdam, download)
  50. Fred Cammaert. Het hidden front: geschiedenis van de georganiseerde illegaliteit in de provincie Limburg tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog (doctoral thesis Universiteit van Groningen, download). Leeuwarden 1994, Eisma, Chapter 6a p. 532.
  51. On December 25th Budapest was completely enclosed; For details see the Battle of Budapest .