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To what extent were the lives of Jews and other persecuted minorities affected by the Nazi policies implemented between 1933 and 1939?

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Introduction

To what extent were the lives of Jews and other persecuted minorities affected by the Nazi policies implemented between 1933 and 1939? The Nazis had very specific racial theories and ideals, which were extremely important to them as a party, and to Hitler himself. They believed that the highest racial class was that of the Aryan race from Northern Europe, and all other races were inferior. They considered the lowest people to be those of mixed or adulterated blood, the gypsies, the Slavs of Eastern Europe and, most importantly, the Jews. The Nazis believed that the Aryan race was superior to all of mankind, and that they were the only group of people who were capable of true civilisation and culture. They adopted a rather right-winged theory known as 'Social Darwinism' which involved the idea that human society was composed of strong and weak races, fighting for survival, and so engaged in programmes to create a master race, physically superior to all other races, to secure the survival of the Aryan race. Along with this, they planned to destroy the inferior races to create more living space (Lebensraum) for the Aryans, and also to destroy any opposition which could affect the purity and racial superiority of the Nazis 'master race'. There were three main types of outsiders that the Nazi party focused on persecuting. ...read more.

Middle

On April 7th 1933 anti-Jewish legislation was introduced by the government. The Law for the Restoration of the Civil Service and the Law Concerning Admission of the Legal Profession, meant that many Jewish businessmen - apart from those who had served in the First World War, on command of President Hindenburg - were forced out of their jobs, along with all other 'non-Aryans'. On April 22nd 1933 the Decree Regarding Physicians' Services prevented Jewish doctors working in the state health system - again, apart from those who served in the First World War, as requested by Hindenburg - and in June this was also extended to dentists. On April 25th 1933 the Law Against Overcrowding German Schools restricted the amount of Jewish youths in a school or University to 5 percent. Due to Hindenburg's' requests, that those Jews who served in the First World War should be made exempt from the April laws, there was little effect at first on the Jewish community, leaving 70 percent of lawyers and 75 percent of doctors still in their jobs. Party activists were not impressed by the little effects the laws had had and continued their campaign of terror on the Jews. Propaganda Minister Goebbels declared war on 'Jewish Intellectualism' by holding book burning ceremonies in May and the Reich Chambers of Culture created in September, allowed him to expel Jews from the arts and media, there was enormous loss to Germany's cultural life as a result. ...read more.

Conclusion

Homosexuals were also discriminated against, 10,000 to 15,000 being sent to concentration camps during the Third Reich because they were considered a menace to society as they had "renounced their duty to procreate" and affected public morality. Homosexuality was already illegal in Germany, but in 1935, the laws were widened so it was easier for them to be incriminated. Gypsies were severely discriminated against, even before 1933, because they did not have regular jobs and moved around so much. The Nazis saw them as 'carriers of alien blood' resulting in many being rounded up and sterilised. In December 1938 a register of all gypsies was created to prevent German blood mixing with Gypsy. They were then confined to specific places and in 1939 after Germany's defeat of Poland, many were taken there. The Nazi policies from 1933 to 1939 greatly affected the Jews and the persecuted minorities. Businesses were ruined, jobs were lost, lives were taken or not able to begin and there was a great deal of grief for them. Relationships between Aryans and the minorities were banned causing heart ache and many lives were lost. The Nazis attempt to rid Germany of the persecuted minorities was an ongoing struggle and the Nazis brutality shocks the world. After 1939 there were many more atrocities, such as the holocaust where the minorities suffered torture and death just for being who they were. The persecution of the Jews and minorities deeply effected Germany and the world and should never be repeated. Concentration Camp Francesca Eales KAA 19.03.2004 1 ...read more.

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