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Why did anti-Semitism play such a key role in Nazi ideology?

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Introduction

Why did anti-Semitism play such a key role in Nazi ideology? 1.) Anti-Semitism played such a key role in Nazi ideology because of Germany itself and Hitler. Anti-Semitism was already present in the late 19th century in Germany, which explains why the people of Germany were prepared to accept his ideas in the 1930's. 'Informed theories about the centrality of anti-Semitism in Nazism do not rest upon claims that anti Jewish ideology was a predominantly German or a constant preoccupation of the leaders of the Third Reich.' Anti-Semitism was already in Germany; Hitler was the product rather than the creator of anti-Semitism. The roots of anti-Semitism also played a key role in Nazi ideology. The roots are religious rather than racial. The Jews have traditionally been blamed for the death of Christ and not for accepting Christianity. An example of early persecution can be seen in the First Crusade when the Crusaders massacred several hundred Jews on the basis that they were seen as being enemies of Christianity. ...read more.

Middle

Interestingly Chamberlain was the son-in-law of Richard Wagner, the famous German composer who was himself an extreme nationalist and anti-Semitic. The result of all this was that by the turn of the century many Germans, including the Kaiser himself, believed that the Jews presented a problem although they provided less than 1% of the German population. The Germans felt if the Jews were not annihilated there would very soon no longer be any struggle for living space, not just the German nation, but ultimately all nations. But if, on the other hand, the German people failed to conquer new living space, it would die out because of that and the Jews would triumph. The Jews posed a threat for the Germans, which is why anti-Semitism played such a key role in Nazi ideology. Thus, the Great depression at the end of the 19th century meant that man passed for the blame of this onto the Jewish financiers. Thus they began to provide convenient scapegoats for the problems in German society. ...read more.

Conclusion

This meant Hitler's views were more popular by 1933, due to many reasons. The reasons being, the Jews had become prominent cabinet members and were therefore associated with the weak Weimar republic. The Jews had become associated with modern music, art and drama and the Jews were blamed for the Wall Street crash due to their role as financiers. As a result of this the myth of a Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy for world domination became more popular. It was not, however, their anti-Semitic policies that made people vote for them. The people were drawn to anti-Semitism because they were drawn to Nazism and not the other way round. It was due to Hitler and his anti-Semitic policies that the majority of Germans who voted for the Nazi party in 1932-33 accepted anti-Semitism either fully of in part and the majority hoped that some action would be taken against the Jews. However, they did not want the Holocaust, they just wanted the Jews to have less involvement in the good jobs. They did not anticipate such a catastrophe! ...read more.

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