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This article is about German opposition to the Nazi Regime. For Nazi resistance to the Allies, see Werwolf.

The German Resistance (Widerstand) was the opposition by individuals and groups in Germany to the National Socialist regime between 1933 and 1945. Some of these engaged in active plans to remove Adolf Hitler from power and overthrow his regime.

The term German resistance should not be understood as meaning that there was a united resistance movement in Germany at any time during the Nazi period, analogous to the more coordinated Polish Underground State, Yugoslav Partisans, French Resistance, and Italian Resistance. The German resistance consisted of small and usually isolated groups. They were unable to mobilize political opposition. Save for individual attacks on Nazis (including Hitler) or sabotage acts, the only real strategy was to persuade leaders of the Wehrmacht to stage a coup against the regime: the 1944 assassination attempt against Hitler was intended to trigger such a coup.

Approximately 77,000 German citizens were killed for one or another form of resistance by Special Courts, courts-martial, People's Court and the civil justice system. Many of these Germans had served in government, the military, or in civil positions, which enabled them to engage in subversion and conspiracy; in addition the Canadian historian Peter Hoffman counts unspecified "tens of thousands" in concentration camps who were either suspected or actually engaged in opposition. By contrast, the German historian Hans Mommsen wrote that resistance in Germany was "resistance without the people" and that the number of those Germans engaged in resistance to the Nazi regime was very small. The resistance in Germany included German citizens of non-German ethnicity, such as members of the Polish minority who formed resistance groups like Olimp.


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