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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Tyler

The German Home Front in The Second World War

Morale is the key problem for wartime Governments to grapple with. Morale is an issue not only for the military forces fighting at The Front but for the civilian population back at home.

In Germany the attitudes of 1940/41 were not those of 1942-45, when defeats replaced victories, and consequently created a fall in morale. The propaganda of the regime increasingly began to diverge from the reality of the war situation that this led to further collapses of morale.

Food was in short supply and towards the end of the war the whole infrastructure of the country began to fail.

Yet strangely, the Government sought to mitigate the deteriorating conditions at Home, especially for the Nazi elite - the opposite of Churchill's message in 1940.

A very different issue of the situation on The Home Front were those Germans who sought not just to stand up to Nazism but those who were actively involved in plots to overethrow it. The question of why so few Germans made a stand and fewer still took part in plots has been put down to the fact that in a police state it is nigh to impossible to resist. Moreover, not only would the individual pay the price but their family would too.

This argument has been challenged in more recent times by historians who argue that a sizeable part of the German nation were actively involved with the regime, and not just simple passively complicit.

Such arguments are likely to run and run. Yet what is not in question is the bravery of individuals, whether acting alone, or in consort with others. They came from many strata of German society - religious, communist, socialist, aristocratic conservatists, disillusioned Army Officers, and so on.

Of the resistance plots that of July 1944 came closest to success as senior officers and others plotted the assassination of Hitler and the destruction of the Nazi State.

The Home Front in many ways is the key to understanding Nazi psychology.

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