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“Death to the Nazi Criminals!” Resistance Against National Socialism at the End of the War

An exhibition of the German Resistance Memorial Center

In September 1944, Allied troops crossed the border into the German Reich south of Aachen. The Red Army entered East Prussia a month later. Despite the Allies' superior forces, the Nazi leadership called on the Germans to continue the war "to the last drop of blood." Every town and village was to be defended with no consideration of the civilian population. Anyone who disobeyed orders, criticized the regime, or expressed doubt in the "final victory" risked their lives.

A few individuals did oppose the National Socialist decrees of destruction, however, and attempted to prevent the pointless defense of their home towns. They made contact to the Allies, disarmed members of the Volkssturm, and wrote flyers calling on people to resist the orders to keep fighting. In various places, local people publicly demanded their towns and villages should be handed over without putting up a fight. Many of these rallies were organized by women.

The spectrum of resistance shortly before the end of the war ranged from spontaneous refusal to planned acts by political opponents of National Socialism, attempting to disempower local Nazi leaders.

Numerous people paid for their resistance against the "war to the last bullet" with their lives. Many of them were sentenced by court martial and publicly hanged as a deterrent. This frequently occurred only hours before the Allies arrived.


The exhibition is on display at the German Resistance Memorial Center in the special exhibition area on the first floor from July 10, 2020, to April 30, 2021.


Opening hours

Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat, Sun and public holidays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

We reserve the right to make changes. Information by telephone: +49 (0)30-26 99 50 00.