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Holocaust Coursework question 1

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Introduction

How were Jews discriminated against in Germany from 1933 to 1939? Jews in Europe had been persecuted and discriminated against for hundreds of years and were known as 'Christ killers'. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, he began an unprecedented effort to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth by using propaganda, humiliation, violence, intrusion into personal and public life, segregation, forced labour, financial deprivation, ghettoisation and ultimately, in later years, extermination. During the first two years of his rule, Hitler made many new laws designed to limit Jews in their capacity to interact with the wider German community. Firstly was the boycott of Jewish shops and businesses, which was designed to hinder their ability to finance themselves, and become more dependent of the state. Other laws (enforced between 1933 and1935) stated that Jews were: not able to own land, not allowed to be editors of newspapers, not allowed health insurance, prohibited from legal profession and banned from serving in the German armed services. These were all made to segregate Jews from other Germans, and to make them seem like the 'parasites' that Hitler said they were. In public life there were also many subtle changes. In schools, there were limits on how many Jewish children were allowed in classes and those children were often put at the back of classes, and used to teach Nazi race theories by comparing them to German children. ...read more.

Middle

Though there were a number of suggestions, no country agreed to help the Jews. This lack of international intervention may have spurred Hitler on to more drastic means to his 'Jewish Problem'. As there was no possibility of any foreign activity, it may have been possible for Hitler to use more violent methods, without any repercussions. On the 7th November 1938, Ernst Von Rath, third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, was shot by Herschel Grynszpan, the son of a deported Polish Jew. Rath later dies on the 9th. This will be the trigger for the largest and most violent attack on Jews in the German Reich; Kristallnacht. Later that day, Germans went out into the street and attacked Jewish Businesses and Synagogues. Many were burned to the ground. One witness, the US consul in Leipzig, describes the streets as," a positive litter of shattered glass" and also describes when an 18 year old boy was thrown from a three story window onto the street below. He then says how the fire brigade failed to react to any fires on Jewish properties. This partially hints at some Government involvement in the events as the fire brigade would have probably have reacted unless tolled to other wise. One of the last things the Consul mentions was that, "Many male Jews have sent to concentration camps". ...read more.

Conclusion

During the same month, the Nazi newspaper, Der S�rmer, said," The Jewish people ought to be exterminated root and branch. Then the plague of pests would have disappeared in Poland at one stroke." This being the Party's paper would have been edited by a party member and that this piece has been left in the paper shows the Nazis future intensions for their next stage of Jewish persecution. Later that year, forced labour was issued for all Polish Jews between 16 and 40. This effectively made them slaves of the Nazi state. This could then only be followed by one thing, extermination. When Hitler came to power in 1933, he started a long and slow process which firstly used propaganda, humiliation, limitations in both public and personal lives and indoctrination to both undermine the Jews, and to start the German public to hate Jews. This was then carried on by passing laws and decrees to further segregate Jews from the rest of Germany, thus making a cultural divide. This then over spilled into an all out attack against Jews in Kristallnacht. Where Jews were subject to a widespread violence both against them and their properties. Later Jews were sent to concentration camps, or ghettos in preparation for the "final goal", this was later to become the "final solution". This wearing down of the Jewish population was designed to make the progression of this easier and more discreet. With a lack of international interest, the goal of the extermination of the Jewish race in Europe was about to be fulfilled. ...read more.

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