Radicalisation : case studies

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When the Nazis came into power, the SA and other racist groups attacked the jews on the streets, synagogues and in their homes

There was no attempt by the authorities to restrict the violence.

  • There was condemnation from abroad, 1933 - Jewish groups in the USA and Europe pressed for a boycott of German goods in protest against the anti-Jewish violence. 

Nazi radicals such as Julias Streicher - in response - called for a boycott of Jewish buisness in Germany 

- This idea won favour with Hitler 


  • The real importance of the boycott was that it triggered a more radical response from the state 
  • The unease about the impact of street violence resulted in the decision to introduce laws that discriminated the Jews. 
  • The process of ministers framing laws to exclude Jews from jobs, reflected the initiatives taken at a local level even at the early stage of the regime. 



  • 1935 - there was a similar pattern of unrest in Germany similar to that of 1933 :  The Gauleiter (e.g. Goebbels and Streicher) stirred up local violence.
  • There was an intensification of discrimination in the workplace followed by a 'working towards the fuhrer' at a policy level by the establishment and Nazi leadership.
  • 1935 - propaganda against jews intensified in newspapers

e.g. Joseph Goebbels newspaper Der Angriff 

  • Many Nazis had become frustrated at the apparent lack of progress in implementing the Nazi revolution. Thousands of SA members were keen to implement the Nazi programme
  • summer 1935 - attacks against Jewish businesses and Jews intensified. 
  • May - There were anti-Jewish riots in Munich
  • July - Jews were attacked on the streets of Berlin


  • As the violence spread - the reaction among the wider population in Germany was mixed.
  • Many Germans disliked the hooliganism of the SA
  • Conservatives such as Hjalmar Schacht argued that the street violence was having a negative impact on Germany's image - and that a more systematic 'legal' approach to the 'Jewish Question' was preferable. 

AUG - 1935 - a meeting of ministers chaired by Schacht

- agreed that the government needed to take the initiatives on the 'Jewish Question' 

- Hitler was concerned about the apparent lawlessness of the local attacks on Jews and ordered an end to random attacks. 

- However, in order to placate the radicals in the party - the leadership moved to 'deal' with the issue of marital and sexual relations between Jews and Aryans. 

SEP - The Reich Doctors' Leader - Gerhard Wagner 

  • made a speech indicating that a law banning mixed marriages was imminent 
  • the next day - Hitler ordered his civil servants to draw up legislation to deal with this affair. 
  • They constructed a law that banned marriage and sexual relationships between Jew and Aryan illegal and punished them with harsh penalities. 
  • Hitler also demanded that his civil servants draw up a Reich Citizenship Law - depriving Jews of German citizenship. 


The Nuremberg Laws served their purpose:



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