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Describe how Jews were discriminated against in Germany in 1939.

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Introduction

Describe how Jews were discriminated against in Germany in 1939 Hitler and the Nazis did not invent anti-Semitism. Hostility towards Jews was a long established tradition in Europe. It may be traced back to Jews' treatment of Jesus. The ancient blood libel shows that the Jews called for Jesus to die and since then, Christians have held them responsible. The Jews were seen as outsiders and a threat to German race and success. The Jewish community was easily identified in most German towns. They have a distinctive culture. Their respect for education often led to more of them having a 'privileged' position as doctors, lawyers or businessmen than non-Jews. In the late nineteenth century, anti-Semitism became mixed with racial and social theories and of evolution gained from Darwin's work. This gave anti-Semitism a false respectability. Hitler tapped into the anti-Semitic tradition in German culture. His personal hatred of the Jews stem from his time in Vienna as a young man trying to make a career for himself as an artist. Moody and unpredictable, Hitler had the artistic temperament but none of the talent. Hitler had a great interest in politics and he read anti-Semitic articles that were commonly found in the newspapers if that day. He lived a hand to mouth existence. ...read more.

Middle

Hitler passing this law slowly separated the Jews from German society and erasing them from his 'pure' race'. This prevented any 'pure' Germans from mixing with Jews and so discrimination was at its peak. The second law produced on 15 September was the 'Reich Citizenship Law'. It was confirmed by a decree on 14 November which clarified the problem of the 'Mischlinge' the quarter and half Jews. This law removed the rights of Jews as citizens. They could not vote and the law made them 'aliens' or 'guests' in their own country. These laws paved the way for more persecution. Hitler had to reduce the level of anti-Semitism activity during 1936 when Germany hosted the Olympic games. Restrictions on Jews were relaxed. Hitler did not want international publicity for his new Germany. Anti-Semitic signs were removed. Many Jews took the opportunity to leave Germany. However, after the Olympics and throughout 1937, the process of Aryanisation continued. 1938 to 1940 in Germany saw Anti-Semitism becoming more vicious and unpleasant. In November 1938 the Jews saw 'Kristallnacht'. Josef Goebbels arranged a pogrom- an assault on Jewish property, shops, homes and synagogues. So many windows were smashed in the events of 7-8 November became known as 'Kristallnacht' (Crystal Night or Night of Broken Glass). About 100 Jews were killed and 20,000 sent to concentration camps. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fear of eviction and death swept over the Jewish community and they feared for their lives and families. With propaganda and SS troops spread among German society the anti-Semitism rage spread and the Jews were helpless. After 1938 the Jews lost their last remaining liberties. They were no longer allowed to trade and they were even deprived the right to chose their children's names; they now had an approved list. Jews and 'pure' Germans were segregated throughout Germany. Children had to go to different schools as well as public places like libraries, toilets and buses were not allowed to be used by Jews. It even got to the stage that Jews were not allowed to keep dogs and Jewish children were not allowed toys! By 1939 the Jewish people in Germany had no power and were indeed powerless to control anything in their lives. They were unable to be accepted by the rest of society and the segregation and discrimination laws stopped them from mixing with their usual 'pure' German friends. It stopped them going about leading a normal life. Their presence in German society was non-existence and they were thought of as the lowest class there is and was treated like it to. Their will to do anything to prevent this was weak to the powerful hold the Nazis had over the German minds. Their only will they had struggled to save in the resistance of the Nazis failed, and left them in their hold. ...read more.

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