Bearing in mind that Nazi propaganda had been in full force for five years, the Nazi regime was a complete dictatorship and any open opposition towards the regime was a criminal offence and would have been punished by harsh methods. One night is not enough for any opposition to gather together and form a respective opposition.
You post, “The fact it was carried out by such a small minority of people speaks volumes”. How many were needed?
It's latter part we are discussing here. No one is denying that Germans had heard of rumours, but so what? Rumours were spread about all sorts. I think it's fair to assume that many Germans would have dismissed any rumours outright.You post, “Removal of Jews =/= Extermination of Jews”. In this case it did. The “removal of Jews” was an observable fact. The murder of them was also a fact but one that only reached the German public in the form of rumour - rumour which seems to have gained wider public currency as the war progressed.
I agree. However, it was mainly the youth who were indifferent to it because they had been raised by Nazi propaganda which justified racial segregation and racial persecution.You post, “Most Germans remained indifferent to what was happening to the Jews for various reasons. But, there is no evidence that most Germans between 1933-45 supported the actual extermination of Jews.” I agree. However, indifference to racial persecution and possible mass murder is not a good look of itself.
It tells us that there were rumours, nothing else.You post, “Because no evidence has ever been shown to prove that the majority of Germans knew about the extermination of the Jews.” True, but there is evidence that a lot, perhaps the great majority, had heard rumours of it. The mere fact it was even a point of debate or discussion tells us something in itself.
Have you even read the book? The book is not "explicitly anti-semitic from Chapter 1". In fact, the word "Jews" is not even mentioned once in Chapter 1! And in Chapter 2 he initially rejected anti-semitism:You post, “Do you think every person who voted for the Nazis had bothered to read Mein Kampf? The popularity of the book soared once the Nazis had come to power, not the other way around.” Ignorance is no excuse. Mein Kampf is the most complete and available version of Hitler’s manifesto and it is explicitly anti-semitic from Chapter 1. By the time Hitler came to power there were arounf a quarter of a million copies in fcirculation. By the end of 1933 it was well over a million! (https://www.jstor.org/stable/4465572?se ... b_contents). Nazism's anti-semitism was not its best kept secret!
The popularity of the book only grew after 1933 so most Germans who voted for the Nazis in the late 1920s and early 1930s had not even read the book.I cannot maintain that the way in which I became acquainted with them struck me as particularly pleasant. For the Jew was still characterized for me by nothing but his religion, and therefore, on grounds of human tolerance, I maintained my rejection of religious attacks in this case as in others. Consequently, the tone, particularly that of the Viennese anti-Semitic press, seemed to me unworthy of the cultural tradition of a great nation.
Anti-semitism wasn't what attracted people to the Nazis.You post, “Although anti-semitism was indeed a core idea of Nazi ideology, it was absent during the time when the Nazis were trying to gain power because they knew it wouldn't have been approved of by most Germans.” The evidence for this absence is what? They certainly never took Mein Kampf off the bookshelves.
The street fighting against political opponents was or the most part a thing of the past by the time the Nazis had come to power. The Nazis post-1933 didn't like to give off the impression of being thugs. On the contrary, they always presented themselves as the people who were resorting order.You post, “Someone who behaves like a thug and holds racist views is not necessarily a Nazi.” Nevertheless, both were hall marks of the Nazis’ route to power. Anyone supporting the Nazis was giving a nod of approval to both, if only by their indifference.
Don't tell me you think it was as black and white as that. Most people are driven by self-interest and for many Germans the Nazis offered prosperity.You post, “Not all members of the Nazi Party were thugs. Not all members supported the killing of people. Not all members were anti-semitic. Etc.” Again true, but they nevertheless all chose to support a party that was, did or advocated all those things publicly. If any of those were deal breakers for them, they could have resigned.
The source is Sarah Ann Gordon, Hitler, Germans, and the Jewish Question., page 266.I can’t find any reference to, “several Gauleiter and deputy Gauleiters had refused orders to enact the Kristallnacht, and many leaders of the SA and of the Hitler Youth also openly refused party orders, while expressing disgust. Some Nazis helped Jews during the Kristallnacht.” Do you have any names or primary sources?
Some Nazis even helped Jews during the Kristallnacht!