| MORE FREE TERM PAPERS
- RESEARCH PAPERS:
- HISTORY -
The Progression of Antisemetism in Nazi Germany prior
Throughout human history, hatred and fundamental misunderstandings have
caused great suffering and persecution. There are dozens of these groups
of people who have, at some point in their history, incurred the wrath
of their governments for various political reasons. Antisemetism, the
hatred of the Jewish peoples, is one such discrimination that persisted
in several societies. Perhaps the most extreme and horrific example of
this phenomenon is the antisemetism pushed by the Nazi regime in the years
during and prior to the Holocaust. The most prominent and influential
figure in the Nazi party was, of course, Adolf
has been speculated Hitler himself may have had Jewish heritage, but no
evidence supports this assertion. It is widely believed that Hitler’s
antisemitic ideas stemmed from the years he lived in Vienna, from 1908-1913.
These two influences were Mayor Karl Lueger and the Pan-German politician
Georg von Schonerer, who were both anti-Semites in the public eye during
that timeframe. After living in Vienna and serving in World War I, the
antisemitic mindset among his fellow soldiers also helped cement the matter
in Hitler’s mind. According to Hitler himself, his initial attraction
to Nazi-esque and antisemetic ideas was for a number of reasons, among
them being his inability to fully commit to any other established German
political party (Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler.) By 1919, Hitler successfully,
officially founded the Nazi party. The German public was very willing
to submit to Nazi ideas of antisemetism thanks to widespread propaganda
and public disenchantment with the current government following World
War I. Hitler’s charisma and excellent public speaking skills also persuaded
the masses to follow this extreme outlook. Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf ,
was bought by millions. Later the following year, the Nazi 25 point Party
Program was published. This work detailed, among other unrelated sociopolitical
issues, the Nazi’s desire to segregate Jews from Aryan society and abolish
Jewish political and legal rights(The 25 Points 1920: An Early Nazi Program.)
The Nazi party then grew in power and prevalence relatively fast.
In late March of 1933, the German parliament transferred full legislative
authority to the Nazi party. Exercising their new power, 1 April 1933
the Nazis boycotted Jewish businesses and Jewish professionals. Acts of
vandalism and violence occurred against Jewish citizens, but the police
rarely acted to stop such crimes. Although the boycott only lasted one
day and seemed to have little immediate impact, the full brunt of the
action manifested a mere week afterward. A law passed stating employment
in civil service positions could only be held by Aryans. Jewish workers
in all sectors and educational levels were fired as a result. During the
next few years, book burnings targeting Jewish authors and subject matter
were carried out. A blacklist of books deemed un-German was compiled by
Wolfgang Herrmann and served as a template for the Nazi book burners.Joseph
Goebbels, a Nazi minister, did all within his power to align German popular
art and culture with Nazi goals. Goebbels used his contacts to enlist
university students into the Nazi party, bringing in new blood. On 10
May 1933, students burned several thousand deemed un-German books and
marched by torchlight in support of Germany. About 40,000 people gathered
to hear Goebbels’ speech about Jewish corruption. His focus was on the
youth in the crowd as he shouted in German, “As a young person, to already
have the courage to face the pitiless glare, to overcome the fear of death,
and to regain respect for death; this is the task of this young generation.”(Bonfire
speech, Joseph Goebbels.)Meanwhile, antisemetic laws continued to be passed.
These laws ranged from forbidding Jews admission into medical school,
to not allowing Jewish actors stage or screen time.
In 1935, The Nuremberg Laws redefined a Jew in the popular mind. The first
amendment identified a Jew as anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents.
There was no mention of religious alignment or good standing within the
Jewish community; if an individual met the criteria, they were Jewish.
Other regulations and addendums further alienated the Jewish population.
December of 1935, the Reich Propaganda Ministry issued a decree stating
the names of Jewish soldiers would not be listed alongside the other dead
at World War I memorials. To prevent Jewish citizens from making an honest
living, Jewish employees were systematically fired and their businesses
were sold to Germans at far below actual market value. The only real lull
in openly displayed antisemetic propaganda was during the 1936 Olympics
in Berlin. Hitler and his regime were worried about the loss of revenue
if any other countries caught wind of the current policies. After the
Olympics, government sanctioned hatred of the Jews resumed at full force.
According to the researchers at The Holocaust Memorial Museum, one of
the worst incidents that occurred in these years was Kristallnacht, the
‘Night of Crystal.’ Kristallnacht, a particularly violent night in late
November of 1938, spanned across Austria and areas of Czechoslovakia as
well as Germany. Nazi troops scoured the streets and vandalized Jewish
homes, remaining businesses, synagogues, and related buildings. The properties
were ransacked and rivers of broken glass flooded the streets, lending
the night it’s misleadingly beautiful title. KRISTALLNACHT: A NATIONWIDE
In the years directly proceeding the Polish invasion, Hitler and his inner
circle displayed an even stronger public platform of German supremacy
from a biological standpoint. Dr. Ley, who held a number of important
positions within Hilter’s regime, said the following during his May 1939
speech;“My party comrades, today the swastika forces the world to take
a position for or against us. The world must decide. It has no choice.
There can be no compromise. The Jew leads the other world. It is all or
nothing. There is no going back.”(The Jews or Us, Robert Ley.)On the morning
of the 1941attack, Hitler told his fellow Nazis; “The purpose of this
front is no longer the protection of the individual nations, but rather
the safety of Europe, and therefore the salvation of everyone.” (The Fuhrer
to the German People, Adolf Hitler.)Later that day the Holocaust officially
began, forever staining history.
- "Antisemitism in History: Nazi Antisemitism." United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., n.d. Web.
- Franz, Eher, ed. The 25 Points 1920: An Early Nazi Program. N.p.:
Central House of the N.S.D.A.P., n.d. Print.
- Hitler, Adolf. "The Fuhrer to the German People."N.p., n.d.
- Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
FREE TERM PAPER »
FREE TERM PAPERS
- RESEARCH PAPERS