Discrimination is the carrying out of prejudices by treating the group(s) of people differently, e. g. by race. This is what took place in Germany during Hitler’s power, against the Jews. The Jewish community counted for only 1% of the German population, yet 10% of doctors and 16% of lawyers. This highlights them as a very successful minority group in Germany. Hitler came to power in 1933, this was a very important event because Hitler was a violent anti-Semite, which was proven in Mein Kampf; in the next few years between 1933 -1939 a number of discriminatory measures were taken against the Jews.
The first part of Jewish life attacked by the Nazi’s was their economy. As such a successful minority group the Nazi’s were jealous, and Hitler a well-known anti-Semite saw their success and took action. The first attack was the Boycotting campaign. This took place in April 1933 when members of the SA would stand outside Jewish shop shops to prevent anyone from entering. The Star of David and/or the word Jew would be plastered across the windows. One week later lots of Jewish teachers and civil servants were fired.
However Goering, the economic minister did not want the Jewish economy completely wiped out because the Germany economy was still quite fragile from the depression and needed the Jewish support before they could get rid of them all together. This then happened after Krystallnacht (9 November 1938) when the Jewish community was destroyed, they had their businesses and economic success taken away from them and were discriminated against because of their success. The second part of Jewish life attacked by the Nazi’s attacked their legal standing.
Laws called the Nuremberg Laws were made (September 1935). They prevented Jews from being citizens of Germany, voting, being civil servants, marrying or having sexual relations with a German. The Nuremberg laws conclude that anti-Semitism is now legal. These laws greatly affected Jews, as they were now official 2nd class people, with a lack of basic rights such as citizenship, right to a partner of their own choice and right to a career of their own choice.
As a result of these laws many Jews were fired from their jobs e. g. eachers, just because of their race. Jews also had a ‘J’ on their passports to let people know they were Jews. All Jewish males were given the name Israel, and all Jewish females the name Sarah. These laws further affected Jews because they lost their jobs causing more struggles; the ‘J’ on their passports let people know who they were and therefore allowing discrimination. All being called the same name also deprived Jews of individuality. So now not only are Jews 2nd class human beings, but they are not even recognised individuals.
The third part of Jewish life attacked by the Nazi’s was their education and the indoctrination of the German public. In schools Jewish children were separated from German children and new lessons were implemented such as race study where Nazi children were taught to be anti-Semitic and that Jews were a bad race. Jewish teachers were fired and subject content was changed to further indoctrinate children such as using bombs and Jews as objects for use in maths. Textbooks were also changed to follow Nazi belief. This affected Jewish children greatly because children they were once friends with now hated them.
Similarly, adults were brainwashed into Nazi Beliefs through a free newspaper, called Der Sturmer, it had very Nazi views. As it was free, many Germans would read it. This would also have affected the Jews because now their community would be anti-Semite too. Another way to cleanse the country of thoughts the Nazi’s didn’t believe in was to burn all books with these thoughts in them. Now 1938, Policy has changed to terror against the Jewish community. In November, Ernst von Ranth, a Nazi, was assassinated by a Jew. Terrible consequences followed: Krystallnacht.
That night 1000’s of Jewish shops and homes were destroyed, Synagogues burnt and destroyed, and 26,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps. The next day to ‘put the icing on the cake’ the government told the Jews they would have to pay the repairs. So the Nazi’s rob the Jews of their jobs, lives and families, strip them of their money and destroy their community and then tell them it’s their fault and they have to pay for it. The greatly affected the Jewish community, how were they meant to pay when they’d just had their jobs taken away and had just been attacked?
Jews had now lost everything: their money, places of worship, homes, shops and families. This was the first example of real terror against the Jewish community. In 1939 the situation in Nazi Germany was very bad. Jews were encouraged to leave the country and had been banned from all parts of life: public places, professions, education and the economy. The Jewish economy was terrible, with no shops, businesses or jobs to bring money in. Life was hard for the Jews, and all this was happening just because of their race. But things were still going to get worse.