The Holocaust


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The Holocaust
Initial Anti-Semitic Activity,
1920 - 25 Point Programme ­ said no Jew could be a Citizen of the Reich. April 1st 1933 ­ One day boycott of Jewish shops. April
7th 1933 ­ "Law for Restoration of a Professional Civil Service". (Administration, courts, schools and universities purged of "alien
elements" i.e., Jews, political opponents, etc. 5% only removed).
1935 ­ Growth of Discontent,
Growing discontent from the Rank and File about the lack of action against Jews. Reports of sporadic boycotts of Jewish shops
throughout the country caused Hess to issue the following: "I must warn them (NS) urgently not to vent their feelings by acts of
terror against individual Jews". The situation calmed, but there was still agitation organised by local party organisations, possibly
orchestrated by Goebbels. Some local Nazi activists had become disillusioned with the regime ­ lack of "revolution". The Jews
were a useful vent for their frustration.
Prelude to the Final Solution,
When Hitler seized power in 1933 he used his new powers under the `Enabling Law' to begin his attack on the Jews. In 1938, the
Nazi attack on the Jews changed and became more violent with Himmler launching Kristallnacht on 11th November 1938. By 1939
half of Germany's 500,000 Jews had emigrated to escape Nazi persecution. In 1939, Germany invaded Poland which had a much
larger population of 3 million Jews. In 1941, Germany invaded Russia which had a population of 5 million Jews.
Economy and the Jews,
Schacht (President of the Reichbank) warned of the damage to the economy due to "exaggeration and excesses" of anti-Semitic
propaganda. Other countries were less willing to trade.Authorities believed actions against Jews should be on a legal basis.
Highlighted disagreement between Party and State.
Government Reluctance to Act,
The Government wanted to curb acts of Party terror against Jews ­ and was eventually forced to act. Had not wanted to harm the
economy. Complex issues ­ i.e. definition of Jew. May 1935 Citizenship Law, by Frick, only dealt with the question of adopting
German nationality by foreigners. Mixed marriage legislation had been demanded by local judiciary, but no laws passed. Varied
treatment in localities. The Government feared International Reaction.
September 1935 ­ Nuremburg Rally,
Great pressure from Party activist to ACT! Gerhard Wagner, a radical anti-Semite and Reich Doctors Leader ­ used pressure from
massed ranks to force change. Hitler's speech on Foreign Policy was cancelled, so the gap was filled by a law on mixed marriages
and the Flag Act. The "laws" were rushed overnight and drafted on a menu. Debates over the degree of "Jewishness".
Conflict between Frick and Wagner,
Frick, the Interior Minister (Goring), v. Wagner (Heydrich and Himmler). Frick exercised caution, Wagner wanted extreme action.
Four drafts were made. Hitler chose the least extreme, but he wanted a law to deal with Citizenship. HITLER WAS PRESSURED TO
ACT BY WAGNER AND THE RANK AND FILE.However, Propaganda indicated it was Hitler frustrated by bureaucracy ­ two
messages: To moderates ­ he chose the most lenient, To extremists ­ he would decide.
Nuremburg Laws ­ 1935,
"Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour" ­ Supplemented by "Reich Citizenship Law". All Jews were made 2nd class
citizens ­ but did not stabilise the Jewish question. 30th September: Frick ordered the dismissal of all Civil Servants descended
from 3 or 4 grandparents who were full Jews. Fierce arguments raged between Losener of Reich Ministry of Interior and Dr.
Wagner. Ministry wanted to accept half Jews into the Reich. Party conceded to ¼ Jew.
Nuremburg Laws ­ Argument,
The Ministry enlisted Schacht and Foreign Minister Neurath to warn of harm to economy of rejecting so many people. Hitler did n
want to become involved. Avoided making a judgment or verdict. Said that the Party and State needed to resolve the issue. He
even avoided a scheduled meeting on 5th November to avoid taking sides. "As a result the Party and Ministry were forced to
reach a compromise acceptable to Hitler."
New Laws,
"Protection of German Blood and Honour" ­ September. 1. Marriages - Jews and Germans forbidden. 2. Sexual relations outside
marriage Jews and Germans ­ forbidden. 3. Jews not permitted to employ German female under 45 as a domestic servant. Flag
Act: 1. Jews forbidden to display the Reich flag. 2. They are permitted to display Jewish colours. Penalty ­ hard labour
14th November 1935 ­ First Supplementary Decree of Reich,
This was based on Wagner's draft, with the exception of the definition of a Jew, and dropped the demand for divorce in mixed
marriage. "This was to be of absolutely vital importance for the future, saving thousands of half-Jews from death"
Defined Jew. Only Reich Citizens to have full political rights ­ i.e. to vote or hold office. Jews cannot be citizens. Jewish officials to
retire 31st December 1935. (War heroes to receive pension). Jewish public school teachers allowed to remain.
The "Quiet Years" 1936-1937,

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Olympics. Fear of Foreign Boycott set against a fragile recovery of the Economy. Hitler wanted to avoid disruption before
rearmament had made enough progress. 9th October ­ decree banning civil servants from consulting Jewish doctors, pharmacists,
hospitals and nursing homes.
Change of Tactics: Einsatzgruppen,
Himmler sent four specially trained SS units called "Einsatzgruppen battalions" into German occupied territory and shot at least 1
million Jews. Victims were taken to deserted areas where they were made to dig their own graves and shot.…read more

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Decree for the Restoration of the Street; All damaged Jewish properties to be repaired by Jews, Cost of repairs met by Jews and
Insurance claims to be confiscated by the state.
Decree concerning Reparations; 1 Billion Reich Marks from Jews collectively as Reparation, Jews can no longer be an employer,
Decree excluding Jews from German Economic Life and Formalised extensive Aryanism.
From Jan 1939 running of retail shops, mail order and independent trades ­ forbidden.…read more

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Was the Final Solution successful?
The Nazis aimed to kill 11 million Jews at the Wannsee Conference in 1941. Today there are only 2000 Jews living in Poland. The
Nazis managed to kill at least 6 million Jews. Men helped Jews escape the Final Solution. Not all Jews went quietly into the gas
cambers. In 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto, like many others revolted against the Nazis when the Jews realised what was really
happening.…read more


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