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Backing HitlerConsent and Coercion in Nazi Germany$
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Robert Gellately

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205609.001.0001

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Dictatorship and People at the End of the Third Reich

Dictatorship and People at the End of the Third Reich

Chapter:
(p.224) 10 Dictatorship and People at the End of the Third Reich
Source:
Backing Hitler
Author(s):

Robert Gellately

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205609.003.0011

This chapter discusses the end of Hitler's dictatorship. Social support for Hitler and for National Socialism steadily eroded as the war encroached more and more into German life, and many people certainly became fed up. Nazi propaganda played upon German fears about what would happen if or when the Soviets arrived on German territory, in order to try to strengthen the determination to resist. The warning of retribution to come for Nazi barbarities committed in the Soviet Union led many Germans to flee to the west. Those who could not or would not go were overrun by the Soviet advance. Hitler's political testament, written up on 29 April in the bunker, stated that he would rather die than be taken prisoner and deposed, and he asked his successors to do what they could to strengthen the spirit of resistance and continue the war. Before he committed suicide, he appointed a new government and stripped Himmler and Göring of their offices for opening negotiations with the Allies.

Keywords:   Nazis, Hitler, dictatorship, World War II, Soviets, suicide, Soviet advance

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