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Why did the status and position of Jews in Germany worsen in the years 1933 to 1939, and in occupied Europe in the years 1939 to 1945?

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Introduction

ASSIGNMENT ONE ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY Question 2 Why did the status and position of Jews in Germany worsen in the years 1933 to 1939, and in occupied Europe in the years 1939 to 1945? The status of Jews worsened following January 1933, when Hitler came to power. Given Mein Kampf, and the outlined 25-point programme (both show open anti-Semitism), action against Jews was inevitable. The 'intentionalists' believe Hitler always knew the ways he would persecute and discriminate Jews, whilst the functionalists believe he reacted on circumstance. Many Nazis were religiously anti-Semitic, thus there was often revolution from below. Nazi mobs attacked Jews, which led to the United States (showing disapproval) boycotting German goods. Hitler blamed the Jews for this and orchestrated the boycott of German Jews' businesses (1st-April-1933)-businessmen worse off. Anti-Semitism was rife at local level; (7th-April-1933) whilst Hitler said Jewish doctors were allowed to practice, local authorities banned them anyway. ...read more.

Middle

The SS (Schutzstaffel) increasingly became involved in policymaking, and took a more calculated approach than the SA (Storm Troopers), and began systematically confiscating Jewish property (easier, as Jews made identifiable in 1938). Germany began rearming (1937-38), and Hitler became contemptuous about international opinion, on rearmament and discrimination of Jews. The 'conservative guard' was eradicated (eg.Schact sacked, and Hindenberg dead) - Hitler was no longer constrained. Anschluss euphoria swept Germany (1938) and there was heightened vigour to anti-Semitism (confirmed confidence in such views); the persecution of Austrian Jews began (eg.made to scrub the streets). On 7th-November-1938 a Polish Jewish boy (age:17) shot a German diplomat in Paris, angered, Hitler (and party leaders) orchestrated the pogrom, 'Kristallnacht' (9th/10th-November-1938). 10,000 Jewish businesses were vandalised and their contents looted; this marked transformation from discrimination to large-scale violence. Jews were blamed for the destruction and made to pay a fine totalling 1billion marks, and the government confiscated insurance money. ...read more.

Conclusion

and thus the holocaust began (in total between 1942-45 4.5million Jews were exterminated). More concentration camps, where 'able-Jews' were used as slave labour (Jews beaten, starved, and worked to death), were built. Many people resented Jews (minority with different views, and due to their 'disproportionate success'), and were happy to hand Jews to the authorities (Hitler's willing executioners-very few took a stand, conditioned by propaganda to think of Jews as inhuman). The might of the SS was great and resistance was futile; resistance was deterred by the threat of reprisals. The Nazis exposed Jews to various horrific scientific experiments (Doctor Mengalase experimented on twins), and lack of action by the outside world meant Hitler was not in the least discouraged from killing Jews. The Victorious Allies argued that the best method of aiding Jews was to win the war. Targeting these death camps was not possible due to lack of resources (would weakens other 'objectives'). The rise of Hitler meant growth of anti-Semitism was inevitable in Germany, but this persecution became a European issue following Hitler's 'war-time expansion,' and led to genocide. Word count: 1000 Shaine Mehta Mrs Taylor Coursework ...read more.

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