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THE NAZI'S TREATMENT OF RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS MINORITIES BETWEEN 1933 AND 1945
1923-1933 ERA OF ANTI-SEMITISM RHETORIC
Why did Hitler target the Jews in his speeches, newspapers, posters and rallies?
Hitler targeted the Jews for three main reasons: he believed strongly in an Aryan race; Germany's
defeat in the first world war; and he believed that Jews were communists and socialists.
If someone was Aryan, they had blonde, straight or wavy hair; blue eyes; and were tall and
skinny, whereas Jews generally had dark hair and eyes. Hitler believed that the Aryan race was
contaminated by mixing with other races such as the Jews, and Germans needed to bred a pure
Germany surrendered in the First World War and Hitler blamed this on the Jews. They were
supposedly weak and if Germany had only fought without them, they could have fought longer
and harder and could have easily own the war. The surrender lead to the Treaty of Versailles
which lost Germany power and strength and forced them to pay a lot of money to help rebuild
the damaged countries. The Jews were thought to be the communists and politicians who
committed Germany to the treaty.
Hitler believed in Nationalism and Fascism but was completely against communism. As he thought
Jews were communists is occurred to him that they were devising some kind of
World-Jewish-Marxist-Conspiracy and were polluting Germany and preventing it from being
How did Hitler describe the `Ideal German' and who else did the Nazis persecute?
Hitler described the ideal German as a man or woman with blonde, smooth, straight or wavy
hair; blue eyes; narrow oval faced; a narrow nose; and a tall, slender body.
The Nazis also persecuted Gypsies as they had a different religion and physical features. Other
groups such as alcoholics, juvenile delinquents and those with disabilities were also victimised.
What was the significance of the Nuremburg Laws and Kristallnacht?
Hitler formed the Nuremburg Laws which were the Laws for the Protection of German Blood and Honour
which banned marriages and relationships between Jews and Aryans; and the Reich Citizen Law which
made Jews subjects they are no longer German citizens and do not benefit from the rights of the
This was significant as this distanced Jews from Germans and marks the next step for the Nazis in the
persecution of the Jews.
Kristallnacht occurred on the 9th-10th November. This was the first outbreak of mass violence of Jews.
Kristallnacht was triggered by the murder of a German in Paris by a Jew. On the night of the 9th
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November Jewish shop windows were shattered, synagogues burned, and many Jews either shot,
arrested or sent to concentration camps.
This is significant because this outbreak was no longer secret, but was public and people abroad heard of
this news and started to realise the Nazi's true intentions.
What was the significance of the Wannsee Conference?
In January 1942 many of the leading Nazis met in Wannsee, just outside Berlin, to discuss the current
details of the Holocaust.…read more