American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History

Article excerpt

American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History edited by Jirgen Heideking and Christof Mauch. Westview Press, 5500 Central Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80301-2877, 1996, 457 pages, $35.00. Contrary to the popular historical ideal of the seemingly invincible Third Reich, ruthlessly ruled by Adolf Hitler, the Nazis had many enemies at the grassroots level of German society. Heideking and Mauch bring out the little-known truth behind the political, military, and social scenes in Nazi Germany in this eye-opening book of recently declassified letters and essays of European operations in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler chronologically unfolds the story of the numerous people and groups determined to dismantle the German military machine. Unlike the more famous French underground groups, which were capable of distracting German soldiers on the front lines, the German resistance movement centered around German labor unions. Perhaps the most interesting evidence comes from the OSS Research and Analysis Branch. In letters describing the methods of using foreign workers from conquered territories for psychological operations, the OSS sought to persuade German laborers that foreign workers were going to take over their jobs in the factories. Various other methods targeted foreign workers to slow the German war machine by stalling production lines.

The churches of Germany also aided the resistance to Hitler's regime. The Protestant and Catholic churches both had organized movements to counter Hitler's intense use of propaganda by allowing youth and adults to speak their minds and listen to what the clergy held as the truth behind the Nazi government. Relief from the Nazi political agenda proved risky, as many clergy were held in concentration camps throughout the war. …