This reader makes a point I think I made in here before, but he does it well:
Have you read Joachim Fest’s “Plotting Hitler’s Death?”
It’s a fascinating study of the German resistance from 1933-1945. He explicitly points out that the National Socialist movement was first and foremost a socialist movement. He also presents a fascinating look at why there was little resistance to the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship – the opposition was prepared to resist a coup (the SDU in fact had formed a party militia larger than the Nazi SA) but were caught off guard when Hitler took control using constitutional forms – which he did by playing on the economic crisis of the Depression, resentment over the Treaty of Versailles, and dissatisfaction with gridlock in the Weimer parliament. (sound familiar?)
The other fascinating and telling thing is the composition of the Kriesenau circle and other members of the resistance core. They came from three major groups – conservative politicians and aristocracy of the Hohenzollern period (the Mayor of Liepzig, General Beck, etc.), evangelical Protestants motivated by religious objection to the Nazis (Martin Niemoeller, Dietrich Bonhoffer, Helmut von Moltke, etc.), and the military (Treckow, Canaris, Stauffenberg, etc). Of course, some overlap occurred – Stauffenberg, for example, could fit in any of the groups, von Moltke was a member of the Prussian aristocracy as well as an evangelical leader, etc. The point, however, is that each of the clusters is distinctively a group that would be considered part of the modern RIGHT, not the left. Granted, much of the communist leadership was sent to places like Buchenwald by the end of 1933, but the Left-wing constituencies – the labor movement, etc. generally acquiesed with or amalgamated into the Nazi movement.
By the way, if you haven’t seen Valkyrie, I strongly recommend it – should have made that top 25 conservative movie list. The writers and directors did a wonderful job of communicating what I discuss in the previous paragraph. For example, when Stauffenberg is recruited into the Kriesenau conspiracy, it is in a church, and at every point he has to make a decision of conscience, the prominently display a crucifix he wears rather than the Iron Cross at his throat. The movie opens with a reading from his diary expressing his guilt at actively serving in an army that had sworn allegience to the man behind atrocities he had witnessed, and his hope for foregiveness.
Me: While I do think some of this can be overstated (though not by this reader), I do wish I had discussed it more in my Hitler chapter.