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The killing of millions of Jews and other "non-Aryans" in the Holocaust is the greatest crime against humanity recorded in history. It was made possible by a unique combination of factors: the total control over the machinery of a modern state by the totalitarian regime of the National Socialists; the active cooperation or passive consent of a large part of the German population; the collaboration of like-minded regimes and people in the occupied territories; and a deeply rooted anti-Semitism common to all Christian countries in Europe. The catastrophic loss of humane standards in German society took place after the prolonged political and economic crisis of the 1920s.

After the defeat in the First World War, Germany becomes a democracy. Social Democrats and Liberal parties form the new government. The enormous costs of the war cause rampant inflation. Unemployment rises to over five million. Large parts of the population live in


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