Old English east "east, easterly, eastward," from Proto-Germanic *aus-to-, *austra- "east, toward the sunrise" (cf. Old Frisian ast "east," aster "eastward," Dutch oost Old Saxon ost , Old High German ostan , German Ost , Old Norse austr "from the east"), from PIE *aus- "to shine," especially "dawn" (cf. Sanskrit ushas "dawn;" Greek aurion "morning;" Old Irish usah , Lithuanian auszra "dawn;" Latin aurora "dawn," auster "south"), literally "to shine." The east is the direction in which dawn breaks. For theory of shift in sense in Latin, see Australia .
Meaning "the eastern part of the world" (from Europe) is from . French est , Spanish este are borrowings from Middle English, originally nautical. The east wind in Biblical Palestine was scorching and destructive (cf. Ezek. xvii:10); in New England it is bleak, wet, unhealthful.
Cold War use of East for "communist states" first recorded 1951. Natives of eastern Germany and the Baltics were known as easterlings 16c.-18c. East End of London so called by 1846; East Side of Manhattan so called from 1882; East Indies (India and Southeast Asia) so called 1590s to distinguish them from the West Indies.
There remained, however, a substantial base for opposition to Hitler’s regime. Although the Nazi Party had taken control of the German state, it had not destroyed and rebuilt the state apparatus in the way the Bolshevik regime had done in the Soviet Union . Institutions such as the Foreign Office, the intelligence services and, above all, the army, retained some measure of independence, while outwardly submitting to the new regime. In May 1934, Colonel-General Ludwig Beck , Chief of Staff of the Army, had offered to resign if preparations were made for an offensive war against Czechoslovakia.  The independence of the army was eroded in 1938, when both the War Minister, General Werner von Blomberg , and the Army Chief, General Werner von Fritsch , were removed from office, but an informal network of officers critical of the Nazi regime remained.