Why was opposition to the Nazis so ineffective?
Ever since Hitler rose to power in January 1931, up to 1932, he built his power base and managed as well to make it impossible for him to be legally removed from power. He managed to do so, mainly; by making sure that every powerful group that could have indeed removed him from power remained idle or was annihilated. These were, at the time, trade unions, his political opponents, church leaders and army officers, and they were dealt with differently according to how much power they had in reality, either giving concessions or eliminating them ruthlessly. In the case of trade unions, they were thought of as opponents to the Nazi regime due to the fact that most were ideologically linked to the SPD, therefore they were politically opposed; and they represented a true threat for a bad reaction to a Nazi measure could end up in the calling of a general strike by trade unionists. To deal with them, Hitler took advantage of the first German celebration of Labour Day and in the process of the holiday, he made use of force by the SA and SS to shut down all trade unions and in replacement he created one general Nazi trade union called the DAF to deal with all the sectors of labour. Nonetheless, as complaints were expected, he gave concessions to minimize damage done and make it look as if they were actually benefitting from the creation of the DAF. Some examples of the concessions given were paid holidays, cheap cruises around the Mediterranean and the Rhine, cheap theatre and cinema tickets; all this through the scheme known as Strength Through Joy; alongside the Beauty of Labour movement, which improved working conditions in factories, for example. Even so, they could no longer strike for better pay and conditions, move to better paid jobs and still the standards hadn’t improved much since the Depression; therefore we could state that even though they effectively eliminated trade unions as political...
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