Hitler’s Anti-Jewish Policies
‘I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature’
• Racism & anti-Semitism
• Germany, possessed a feeling that their nation was superior to everybody else.
• Nazi planned to move all ethnic Germans, who were citizens of other countries,
into the Third Reich.
• Racist ideas were in the form of the exclusion of undesirable individuals from the
• mentally ill patients
• the handicapped
• 'Gypsies', including Roma
• Germans of African descent
• Political dissidents, trade
unionists, and communists
• Jews – the chief enemy
A racist Utopia
The National Socialists’ goal- reshaping of existing society into a racially
homogenous, 'Aryan' national community
1. the 'races' existed only in the fantasy world of the Nazis.
2. The racial homogeneity they desired could only be created negatively, through
discrimination, exclusion, eradication & killing those who did not fit into their
perfect 'Aryan' society.
• ‘hatred towards Jews’.
• Nazi leaders persecuted German Jews soon after their assumption of
• 2,000 Nazi anti-Jewish decrees passed between 1933-1945.
• Those laws were national ones. But state, regional, and municipal officials
also promulgated regulation.
• Thus, hundreds of individuals in all levels of government throughout the
country were involved in the persecution of Jews as they discussed,
drafted, adopted, enforced, and supported anti-Jewish legislation.
The Holocaust, 1941-1945
The Nazis murdered six million Jewish people, including 1,500,000 children.
Between 1941 and 1945 ,6 million Jews fell victim to the Nazi persecution.
This mass murder in history referred to as the Holocaust
Hitler and Mein Kampf
• In the book Hitler argued that the
German (the Aryan race) was superior
to all others.
• The races should not be mixed.
• The ‘purity of the blood’ was a
prerequisite for the greatness of the
• The Aryan's superiority was being
threatened by intermarriage.
• Aryan superiority was being threatened
particularly by the Jewish race.
1. The “Stab in the back” theory
- The Jews were responsible for losing the
First World War.
- The Treaty of Versailles was a betrayal
planned by Jewish and socialist
- It was a conspiracy between Jewish
capitalists in the allied countries that
had financed World War I.
- But 100,000 Jews fought in the German
2. The ‘Jewish world conspiracy’ theory
• Hitler believed the Jews conspired to take over the world.
In this conspiracy, Jewish capitalists had joined forces with
the Bolshevist socialism
• As some of the most prominent German communists had
been Jewish, Hitler believed Jews had created communism
to destroy the Aryans.
• But the German Jews were only about 1% of the population
3. A scapegoat for the political and economic problems
• At the time of Hitler's rise to power, Germany was experiencing great economic
hardship. A scapegoat had to be found: the Jews.
• The Nazis used Anti-Semitism as a propaganda tool in order to gain support for
their Party. The Nazis found so many willing adherents to the Nazi cause against
• ‘*Many Germans+ were drawn to anti-Semitism because they were drawn to
Nazism, not the other way around. ‘ William S. Allen.
Stages of Persecution , 1933-1945
1933-1934 The exclusion of Jews from public life
1935-1936 Biological segregation through
1937-1838 Economic Exclusion
1938-1939 Mass Emigration
The night of the broken glass
Malformed children and mental patients were murdered
1942-1945 ‘The Final Solution ‘
Mass murder in order to create additional 'living space' (Lebensraum)
Across Germany, small Jewish stores
were painted with Stars of David
or slogans ‘Don’t buy from Jews’.
The Sturmabteilung (SA-private army
of the Nazis) remained outside
Later many shops and restaurants
decided not to serve the Jewish
population. "Jews not admitted“
The country Jews were banned from
public parks, swimming-pools and
1 April 1933 - a one-day boycott
of Jewish-owned shops
Nazi Anti-Jewish Laws, 1933-1934
The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service removes Jews
from government service.
The Law on the Admission to the Legal Profession forbids the admission of
Jews to the bar.
The Law against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities limits the
number of Jewish students
in public schools.
The Denaturalization Law revokes the citizenship of naturalized Jews and
The Nuremberg Laws,
1. The Reich Citizenship Law
A citizen of the Reich - ‘who is of
German blood and who, through
his conduct, shows that he is both
desirous and fit to serve faithfully
the German people and Reich.’
‘only the citizen of the Reich enjoys
full political rights in accordance
with the provision of the laws. ‘
2. The Law for the Protection of
the German Blood and Honour
prohibited marriage between
German citizens and Jews
How to define a Jew
The announcement of the Nuremberg Laws generated heated debate as to how one
should define a Jew.
November 14, 1935 ‘First Decree to the Reich Citizenship Law’
A Jew is anyone who is descended from at least three grandparents who were racially
"A Jew cannot be a Reich citizen. He is not entitled to the right to vote on political
matters; he cannot hold public office.
It was based on the ‘blood’. The German Jews
were unable to escape deportation by
converting to Christianity.
Consequences of the
• Created the distinction between Jew and Aryan.
• The state had a legally sanctioned right to discriminate the Jews. This became an
important “prerequisite” for the later extermination of the Jews, who were no
longer a part of the German community.
Economic Exclusion, 1938
The Nazi government eliminated Jews from German economic life. Preventing
them from earning a living.
Nazi laws banned Jews from certain occupations.
- the government forbade Jewish doctors to treat non-Jews,
- revoked the licenses of Jewish lawyers to practice law.
Prohibited Jews from working alongside Aryans. This made it impossible for
some businesses to retain or find workers.
‘Aryanization’ of Jewish businesses
• "Aryanization" meant the dismissal of Jewish workers and managers of a
company and the takeover of Jewish-owned businesses by non-Jewish
Jewish-owned businesses endured pressure, aimed at forcing them to close
down or sell to Aryan Germans.
Thousands of Jewish businesses were forced into closure or bankruptcy by
this economic apartheid.
The Night of the Broken Glass,
• 7,500 Jewish shops were
• 400 synagogues (house of
worship) were burnt down.
• 91 Jews were killed
• 20,000 were sent to
• a reaction of the German
people to the murder of a
German diplomat by a young
Jewish refugee in Paris. The
whole event was in fact
organized by the NSDAP.
More Anti-Jewish Laws
banned Jews from owning or operating any form of business
expelled all Jewish children from public schools.
restricted the freedom of movement of Jews.
cancelled all state contracts held with Jewish-owned firms.
banned Jews to have own a car or a driver’s license
expelled all Jewish academics, lecturers and students from universities
After the ‘Night of the Broken Glass’ the numbers of Jews wishing to
leave Germany increased dramatically.
German policy officially encouraged Jewish emigration. 300,000 of
Germany’s 500,000 Jews left the country between 1933 and 1941
• Emigration to neighboring European countries (France, Belgium, the
Netherlands, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, and Switzerland).
• Most of these refugees were later caught by the Nazis after their conquest
of western Europe in May 1940.
• The sudden flood of emigrants in 1938 created a major refugee crisis. The
Night of Broken Glass caused a flood of visa applications.
• In 1941, Jewish emigration was forbidden. The number of Jews still in
Germany - 163,000 - were murdered during the Holocaust.
The Nazis initiated forced
sterilizations of the hereditary ill
Carried out euthanasia (mercy
killings) on 200,000 mentally and
physically disabled Germans.
Physically and mentally disabled
were killed by gassing and lethal
Nazis borrowed the gas chamber and
crematoria, to murder Jews in
The ‘final solution’
Germany forced the Jews to immigrate but its territorial expansions kept bringing
more Jews under its control.
• Controlled Austria in March 1938 ,
• Controlled the Sudetenland in September 1938.
Plans to deport all the Jews to the Poland, Siberia & Madagascar. Failed
Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 (3 million Jews), the “Jewish question”
This led to Nazi plans for a solution to the ’Jewish Question’!
Systematic mass murder of Jews
3 million Jews died in six extermination
camps (killing centres), situated in
1.5 million Jews, died in the
concentration camps, the ghettos
and elsewhere as a result of hunger,
slave labour and executions.
1.5 million Jews were murdered in the
occupied Soviet territories carried
out by the four so-called
• In 1942, the comprehensive European-wide programme of systematic murder
• six extermination camps were established with only one purpose: to
exterminate the Jews.
• Participants understood “evacuation to the east” to mean deportation to
July 1942 saw the first systematic
deportations from Western
Europe to Auschwitz (the
Gassing was the most common
method of mass murdering
People were subjected to a process
- incapable of work - sent directly
to the gas chambers
- fit to work were separated
• Women and children waiting to
be gassed in Auschwitz-Birkenau
Thousands of concentration and
slave-labour camps throughout
detention centers for persons
deemed to be of danger to the
The Nazis introduced the concept of
‘working to death’ for the German
Died of hunger, and disease.
Mobile Killing Units (Einsatzgruppen)
Task: murder of those perceived
to be racial or political
enemies found in the occupied
Jews were transported by truck to
the execution site, where
trenches had been prepared.
In some cases the captive victims
had to dig their own graves.
Anne Frank’s Family
• The diary was written in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, between 1942 and 1944.
• The Franks were a Jewish family originally from Germany. Anne was born in
Frankfurt, Germany in 1929.
• When Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933, conditions for Jews
• The Franks moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands to escape Nazi persecution.
Living in Amsterdam
• The family lived in relative peace until 1940, when
Germany occupied the Netherlands.
• Implemented strict anti-Semitic laws aimed at isolating
the Jews from the rest of Dutch society.
• Forced Jews to attend separate schools - Anne and her
older sister, Margot, attended a Jewish school.
Anti Semitic Legislations
in the Netherlands
• required the registration of businesses operated
• dismissed all Jewish civil servants
• required all Jews to register
• prohibited Jews from using public transportation
• restricted from going outside (8pm-6am)
Anti Semitic Legislations
in the Netherlands
• permitted shopping only between 3.00 p.m. and 5.00
• restricted from visiting Christian homes
• prohibited from entering cinemas, cafés and theatres
• Removed Jewish students from public schools and
• blocked all Jewish assets
• required Jews to wear yellow stars
The Yellow Star of David
• Jews throughout Nazi-occupied Europe were
forced to wear a badge in the form of a Yellow
Star as a means of identification.
• Jewish shops were also marked with a Yellow
Deportation of Jews
• From July 1942, Germany implemented a large-scale
deportation of all Jews to Eastern Europe (labour
• Margot, Anne’s sister, was “called up” by the Gestapo
(secret-police force). Being called up meant eventually
being sent to one of the concentration camps.
• Anne's family decided to go into hiding. The Frank
family were kept alive with the help of their non-Jewish
Dutch office workers.
Hiding in a secret annex,
9 July 1942 to 4 August 1944
The doorway into the Secret Annex, with the
specially adapted bookcase.
Living in Fear
They still know they are not completely safe from the Nazis. Their security depends on
the cooperation of many different people outside the annex, as well as a good amount
of luck and hope.
Their fear grows each time the doorbell rings, there is a knock on their door, or they
hear that there is a break-in at the office building.
They hear reports from the outside world about their friends who are arrested.
Anne knows what would happen to her and her family if they were discovered, and
this fear that permeates life in the annex likewise permeates the tone of Anne’s diary.
• The war causes Anne to struggle with her identity as both a German
and a Jew.
• She initially identifies herself with the Germans. She realizes that
the Nazis no longer consider Jews to be Germans. (The Nuremburg
• The adults in the annex likely share Anne’s confusion about their
national and ethnic identity. Having lived in Germany for most of
their lives, the Frank and the Van Daan adults have significant roots
• Thirty years earlier, Anne’s father and other German
Jews had fought for the German army in World War I.
• However, the Nazi regime’s rise to power brought the
painful realization that both Nazis and many other
German people considered Jews foreign or different.
• Peter (one of the resident in the annex) says that he is ashamed
that he is Jewish and wants to separate himself from his past. He
wants to make sure no one knows he is Jewish after the war.
• Anne does not consider the possibility of converting to Christianity.
Anne is proud that she is Jewish.
• Two common but opposite reactions to the Holocaust:
i) a strengthening of Jewish identification
ii) a weakening of an association with Judaism.
Removal of all Jews to
In May 1943 the SS (Schutzstaffel)
announced the removal of all
remaining Jews in the Netherlands.
Raids were carried out and 107,000
Dutch Jews were deported to
extermination during the war.
All Jews must be "cleaned out" of all
German territories by July 1 1943.
• They were then separated:
children went with the women.
• They were divested of their
luggage and valuables
• They took off their clothes and
had their hair cut
• Led them to the gas chambers.
• Their bodies were burnt
"I've reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world
will keep on turning without me, and I can't do anything to change events
anyway. I'll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying
and hope that everything will be all right in the end.“
Anne - 3 Feb 1944 -
Increased fear of death,
• Anne contemplates death more seriously. The possibility of the
family being discovered only increases with time.
• Anne begins to worry that she will not live to accomplish any of the
things she hopes to, like writing a novel or pursuing her hobbies.
• They are not sure when the war will end.
• She wonders if it would not have been better to suffer a quick
death rather than go into hiding. But she realizes that they all love
life too much.
Gestapo found the secret annex
• On 4 August 1944, Gestapo (secret police of the Nazis)raided the secret
annex and arrested the eight Jews who had been sheltered there for
• They were taken first to a local police station, then to the transit camp at
Westerbork and finally in September to the extermination camp at
• Anne and Margot were sent to Bergen-Belsen.
The death of Anne Frank
• Anne and Margot died of
typhus at the Bergen-Belsen
concentration camp in
• Their mother died of
hunger and exhaustion in
Auschwitz in January 1945.
• The assistant in Otto’s office
delivered the diary to Otto
Frank, who had survived.
the ‘Final Solution’
1. The Nazis planned the extermination of the Jews since their
takeover of power in 1933.
Mein Kampf, anti-Semitism and hatred of Hitler and many leading
Nazis. The Nazis gradually, but systematically implemented their
intention. The various phases of the holocaust were simply pursuit
of the intention as opportunities arose.
the ‘Final Solution’
2. The Nazis wanted get rid of all Jews from Germany; however, they
had not decided how this would be done,
Emigration from Germany, resettlement in the east and resettlement
on Madagascar were all put forward as ‘solutions’.
The Final Solution evolved out of a process of escalating brutality and