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The German reactions to Nazi anti-Jewish policies - source related study.

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Introduction

history Coursework Q2. Source B is a report by a Social Democrat from 1935. It tells us hat the German people had many different reactions to the Nazi anti-Jewish policy. Some people "don't take it very seriously" because the country has other matters to worry about; the vast majority of people are influenced and support the policy but the majority ignore or even oppose what's going on. They don't agree but don't say anything to stop it, they are apathetic. In the other sources we can also find examples of apathy. Source c tells us that generally the crowds were "silent"; showing they neither supported or opposed what was going on. It also says that they seemed "gravely disturbed". It shows that they saw what was going on but ignored it and didn't want to get involved. In source D it tells us that the people were apathetic to begin with. He is almost saying that they were ignorant to the fact that this "minor harassment" was anything serious until 'Kristallnacht'. ...read more.

Middle

We can see this when we see an SA member guarding the entrance to a Jewish shop, turning away anyone who tried to enter. This shows us that even though it was a Jewish shop, customers still wanted to go in. Whilst we have some evidence to support the interpretation in, they all have flaws and limitations. Source C was written by an American reporting from one particular place. It is on one anti-Jewish and one event. It says that 'a wave of destruction' came over Germany. He couldn't have known this as he was not all over Germany at one time; he was just in one place and for all we know this was a one off situation. We cannot assume that this happens all over Germany. Source F only implies that all the Germans went along with the policy. It is place - Oldenburg and again we cannot assume this is the same across Germany. It doesn't tell us how the German public reacted after 'Kristallnacht'. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was written by a Social Democratic party Leader who at the time was exiled and so he was not even in the country. He has no evidence to support his claims and is also biased, as he was the Nazi opposition at the time. It was written in 1935, which was before Kristallnacht. The fact that Source B has so many flaws, that it undermines the whole question of assessing how the Germans reacted to the Nazi policies. We need to compare the source to one that itself has no limitations. Each of the sources has limitations or flaws but this is the case with every source you will get. Ultimately, we haven't enough evidence to support Source B. If we wanted to fully understand how the Germans reacted to Nazi anti-Jewish policies, we would need a great deal more evidence and much more research on the reactions of each of the policies from every German at the time all around the country. We will never fully know how the public reacted to these policies and we can only go by the information given to us by sources such as Source B, and we have to accept that there will always be limitations and flaws. ...read more.

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