Living in Nazi Germany – What Would I Have Done? Essay

I think the type of resistance that would have been the most effective against the growing power of the Nazi government is discreet subversive resistance. This is because if one were to outspokenly in clear daylight help a Jew or show dissent in any way, the Nazis would have dealt the person with severe punishment, probably death. In this case, yes, that person is helping a Jew and is doing a good deed, but it would most probably result in death as soon as the Nazis found out which would be a short period of time.

Therefore, although a type of resistance where one is outspoken and shows dissent publicly should be used in certain circumstances, such as to raise public awareness at the start of revolutions, this type of resistance was not effective in Nazi Germany as one would be put to death swiftly and brutally, thereby limiting the time period where one could help the Jews. On that note, I believe the type of resistance that would be most effective would be resistance that is shown through small, almost unnoticeable ways by the authorities but that have substantial impact.

Examples are hiding a Jew in your souse, slipping them food discreetly, encouraging them, providing comfort, and telling your family members about you disagreement with Nazi policies. Granted, all these acts of rebellion still carry the punishment of capture and death but the chances of getting caught are significantly less compared to open rebellion for everyone to see. It might be argued that this is immoral because if one were to employ a discreet use of rebellion, fewer Jews would be helped but I think that a single life should not Just be another number.

It is better to help Just a single person wrought small, ‘insignificant’ deeds than to not save anyone because the type of resistance used was too public and resulted in a quick death before any significant help could be given. On the issue of what I would have done if I had been living in Germany in the sass’s, it is hard to know what I would have done because I think actually living in Germany in the sass’s would change my current set of beliefs and moral values drastically. I think I honestly have to say that I probably would have been a Nazi openly supporting the government.

After reading the effects on World War I and the despair of the German public, if I were a German citizen then and a talented leader rose to power promising all sorts of good things when all else seemed bleak, I would have readily followed him. As a youth who knew no better, I would have most likely joined the Hitler Youth as the descriptions of the activities done such as sports, map reading, weapons training and literature reading seems innocent and fun’ to a certain extent, aside from all the Nazi brainwashing involved.

It is common thought hat it is outrageous in today’s world when one sympathizes with the Nazis because what type of person would feel that way after knowing all the atrocities that the Nazis committed? However, I think people tend to underestimate the power of the nationalistic pride and terror sweeping Germany at that time. The people were despairing over the effects of losing the war and were suffering. Suddenly, a great leader comes along and stirs up patriotism in the citizens, saying Germany will once again be victorious and making great promises.

I find it easy to see how normal people would have been caught up with Nazi ideology without knowing better. We tend to think of all Nazis as evil people, but I think some were Just normal people who were caught up in the nationalistic fervor sweeping Germany with Hitler as its leader. Most people think that had they been living in Germany during the Nazi regime, they would have the morals to openly fight the government but when we look at history and the little dissent that most people showed in the midst of atrocities, it can be said that how people think they would act and how they would actually act are starkly contrasting.


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