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Explain the status and position of European Jews in the beginning of the 20th century.

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Introduction

Explain the status and position of European Jews in the beginning of the 20th century Prejudice towards the Jews can be traced back over 2000 years till the death of Christ, for which the Jews were blamed for. Judas, meaning, Jew, was the man who betrayed Jesus, a character that is believed to have been created to sow the deep route origins of the hatred towards the Jews. The Jews were exiled in 70 ad, called Diasporas, as they spread over time to all area of the world they could reach, no longer having a land to call their own. In 1939 on the eve of the Second World War, there were 16.5 million Jews in the world, of whom 9.5 million still lived in Europe, representing 57% of the Jewish population. Many of these Jews were in Poland, over three million, and the USSR, Germany and the rest of Europe. In the modern 20th century the underlying reasons of Anti Semitism reflected this traditional stereotype of the Jew. For each individual country, the extent of the prejudice varied and the reasons for it. For instance in Britain where the populating of Jews was not large, as they had previously been exiled, the prejudice was not so high as for say Germany. ...read more.

Middle

The signing of the treaty embarrassed the people and money became worthless in the depression, unemployment increased wildly. Germany at the time was in a bad situation; there were attempted communist takeovers and revolts, all led by Jews. The Jews were described as taking advantage of a country whilst it was weak, as thousands of Jews pilled into the city. This gave the opportunity for the German National Socialist Party (Nazi Party) to oppose the republic, the socialists and communist parties, and above all oppose the Jews. Hitler had the people's answer and their solution: the hatred for the Jews. Jews were only 0.75% of the population yet they were over represented in key positions of society, when the depression came after the war, many of the poorer Jews flooded into society, where the Germans were caught in the middle. The Germans felt that they were slowly being trapped under Jewish conspiracy. The Germans used this and exploited the, "Protocols of Elders of Zion," a manufactured script that planned the Jewish domination of the world. Jews in power were slowly removed or assassinated such as Walther Rathenau, the signer of the treaty. ...read more.

Conclusion

Following Hitler's policies they happily sent the Jews to Hitler's death camps or worked them as slaves. Italy like Britain, did not have a tradition of hatred for the Jews as the population was relatively small, only 60,000. Mussolini, who was leader of Italy, was not particularly Anti-Semitic. However under influence from Italy's allies, Hitler, Italy introduced a number of anti-Jewish measures. These never enjoyed much support. Many Italians protected Jews until the direct rule under Germany. For Jews, the worst anti-Semitism took place in Russia. Here the Jews were hated by all, in all classes. For centuries they had been kept in ghettos, forbidden to travel freely and barred from jobs. The Government regularly relieved pressure from the people by allowing, " Pogroms," extremely violent attacks on the Jews, resulting in loss of life and destruction of property. Ukrainian nationalists and others massacred 60,000 Jews in this way in 1919. Many Jews fled due to this, approximately 2 million Jews immigrated to the USA alone. The soviet Government did try to set up a Jewish homeland in Birobidjan in the Far East, but it was extremely remote, so the experiment failed The remainder of Europe was barely better for the Jew. Their status and position like most other countries, was one of hatred, discrimination and persecution, where anti Semitic views ran unopposed. A.M.D.G Aaron Mcloughlin 07/05/2007 ...read more.

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