Racism and Persecution

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Nazi Beliefs in a Master Race

Nazis believed Aryans were the Germans' ancestors.

  • Believed Northern Europeans including Germans were part of a Aryan race
  • Ideas came from 19th century writers- argued- superior race
  • Thought- be identified by measuring shape of head & face
  • Non Aryan people did not belong- weakening pure German people
  • Wanted removal of non pure people- included Jews and Romani (gypsies)
  • 1931- ** started a Race and Settlement office- decide which individuals were pure enough to marry
  • 1935- Nuremburg laws- based on idea Jews were biologically different to Germans

A Master Race would need more space.

  • Lebensraum- more living space- main reason for the invasion of Eastern Europe
  • Volksgemeinschaft- all people would serve the Reich together as a community- greater Germany
  • Non-Aryans- could play no part
  • Some jews- given passports to leave but not to return

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Nazi Beliefs in a Master Race

Nazi ideas of a Master Race harmed many people.

  • Jews- spolied purity
  • Romani- racial threat- 30,000 in Germany
  • Many were sent to concentration camps
  • Mentally & physically disabled- murdered or sterilised
  • 400,000+ people were sterilised
  • Mixed race were also targeted & sterilised 
  • Homosexuals- sent to concentration camps
  • 1936- Himmler (head of **) began the Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion
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Persecution of the Jews

The Nazis hated the Jews.

  • Responsible for Germany's problems
  • 1933- Nazis murdered 36 Jews- 35,000+ fled Germany
  • 1935- Nuremburg laws- Jew could not vote or marry Germans
  • Concentration camps established
  • 1938 November- Night of Broken glass- Jewish shops, homes & synagogues attacked
  • 1939- increased control- curfew introduced & could no longer own radios
  • 1941- made to wear a yellow star, banned from public transport & rations were reduced
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Persecution of the Jews Song

1933, Jews fled Germany,

1935, Nuremburg laws were signed,

-concentration camps established-

1938, Kristallnacht showed hate,

1939, control, be home on time,

1941, yellow stars brightly shone.

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Persecution of the Jews

In 1935 the Nazis passed the Nuremburg laws.

  • Stopped Jews being German citizens
  • Banned marriage between Jews and Germans
  • Banned sexual relationships between Jews and Germans
  • Many Jews went into exile

Kristallnacht 1938- The Night of the Broken Glass

  • A Jew murdered a German Diplomat in Paris- Novermber 1938
  • Rioting- Jewish shops smashed & thousands arrested
  • Nazi Propaganda- Jews were bad- should be sent to concentration camps, or humiliated & maltreated in public
  • Many believed the camps- work camps & Jews would work there
  • Later- Nazis policy became worse- exterminate Jewish Race
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Persecution of the Jews

There was little German opposition to the persecution.

  • Everyone was scared of the ** and the Gestapo
  • They were better off after hardship- ignore what they didn't like
  • Goebbels' propaganda was effective
  • Opponents had been eliminated
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The Holocaust

The War made Nazi persecution worse.

  • After invasions of Poland & Russia- more Jews under Nazi control
  • Adolf Eichmann- in charge of dealing with these Jews
  • 1940- Jews moved into ghettos- small areas in cities
  • 1941- Russia invaded- Special Action Corps followed the army with orders to kill every Jew on sight

The Nazis began the Final Solution in 1942.

  • Plan to destroy the Jewish people
  • Death camps- Eastern Europe- gas chambers for mass murder
  • Mainly jews but others too
  • Heinrich Himmler (head of **) was in overall charge
  • Some camps in Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Chelmno & Belzec
  • End of war- approx. 6 million Jews had been killed
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The Holocaust

Its hard to understand how this mass murder happened.

  • Nazis guards- obeying orders- feared their leaders
  • Jews- not regarded as humans by Nazis- didn't mind killing them
  • Soldiers hid the truth
  • World only discovered horror of death camps as the Allies advanced in 1945

The reaction of the Jewish people.

  • Faced death if there was any resistance
  • Fled- forests & formed resistance groups- blow up railways lines & attack soldiers
  • In ghettos, jewish authorities thought the best was to stay alive was to cooperate & produce goods
  • 1943- rebellion Warsaw ghetto- ruthlessly put down
  • Some resistance in camps & escapes from Sobibor & Auschwitz
  • Reports of horror were smuggled out
  • Before end of war- Nazi orders went out to destory camps & evidence- no time
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Opposition to the Nazis

Oppostion was weak under the Nazis.

  • People who disagreed- afraid of ** & Gestapo. Also that friends & neighbours would tell on them
  • People who voiced opposition- sent to concentration camps
  • Opposition within party- Night of the Long Knives
  • Anti- Nazi activity- in secret- difficult for groups to work together
  • Nazis propaganda- better off with Hitler

The Nazis overcame most resistance.

  • Banned communist groups & sent them to concentration camps
  • Opposition from religious groups
  • Jehovah's Witnesses sent to concentration camps- not supporting
  • Some opponents of Reich Church joined together as the Confessing Church
  • 6000+ clergy were arrested-  including Martin Niemoller (founder) 
  • 1937+ Catholic dissent more widespread when Pope Pius XI sent out a letter protesting at German nationalism & racism- read out in Catholic Churches
  • Catholic protestors- successful in reducing Nazi interference with the Church
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Opposition to the Nazis

Not all young people supported the Nazis.

  • Edelweiss Pirates- rebellious young people- hard to control- slogan 'Everlasting war on Hitler Youth'
  • Some sided with the Allies during war & several were executed
  • Swing Kids- liked banned Jazz music- not serious threat- nuisance
  • 1943- White Rose- arrested for distributing anti- Nazi leaflets
  • Several were executed

Resistance in the army grew during the war.

  • When- go badly- some believed Hitler was leading Germany to defeat
  • Plots against Hitler from the army offiicers- before war
  • More serious plots after German defeats at El Alamein & Stalingrad- 1942
  • Claus Von Stauffenberg's- bomb in meeting room- Hitler survived- most of the plotters were executed- 1944
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