Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 June 2019
This chapter re-examines the relationship in wartime Nazi Germany between private views and more widely voiced opinions and rumours that circulated informally and were picked up by the regime's monitoring agencies. It argues that views increasingly commonly voiced in wartime concerning Allied air raids and the regime’s murder of the Jews constituted a form of wartime ‘public opinion’ that influenced the regime’s calculations about propaganda strategy. In examining the intersections between publicly and privately expressed views, the chapter argues, firstly, that private moral thinking was strongly influenced by publicly formulated arguments about Germany’s defence and national survival, and, secondly, that private moral sentiments coloured widely expressed responses to the regime’s attempts to manage public opinion.
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