From 1933 to 1939 Jews were faced with huge discrimination and distain in Nazi controlled Germany.
The government actively promoted hatred and violence towards Jews. It was the view of Hitler and the Nazis that there was an ‘Aryan’ race, superior to others. The Jewry, in Hitler’s opinion, were the lowest form of mankind and must ‘removed’.By using horrific propaganda, masterminded by Goebels, a dim and distorted view of Jews was presented to the German public. The Nazis used many ways to present their propaganda including newspapers, films and posters. On one of the many posters produced was a picture of a tall, fit man clearly following the requirements of the ‘Aryan’ race. Whereas on the other side of the poster there was a grotesque cartoon picture of an obese and ugly looking Jewish man.The text accompanying the poster would describe the Jew as being shifty and untrustworthy.
This type of poster would have been seen throughout Germany giving the public a false and distorted view of the Jewish population. The Nazis controlled all of the mass media. Der Sturmer was a fanatically anti-Semitic newspaper.
For example, on the front page of one issue the headline read ‘Jewish Murder Plan against Gentile Humanity Revealed’. This headline was next to stereotypical looking Jewish men collecting Christian blood in a tray. Using this type of relentless propaganda helped the general public turn against the Jews.On 1st April 1933 the Nazis organised a general boycott of Jewish businesses. Goebels, head of propaganda, arranged for Nazi thugs and stormtroopers to stand outside Jewish shops. Using force and intimidation tactics, customers were not allowed in. Jewish civil servants, lawyers and teachers were also sacked.
This was another way of dividing Jews from interacting other Germans. Furthermore, by 1934 all Jewish shops would have the Star of David painted on the shop window, giving the impression of the Jews being abnormal and being treated like mere objects. This altogether painted a clear picture to the German public, which was that Jews were substandard to the ‘normal’ German.The Jewish population came into more widespread state discrimination through the introduction of the ‘Nuremburg laws’ in September 1935. The first law ‘The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour’ made marriage and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Germans forbidden. In the second or ‘The Reich Citizenship Law’, Jews were stripped of their German citizenship. From now on if you had even one Jewish grandparent, German citizenship was denied. These two horrific decrees, show more evidence that Hitler and the Nazis wanted to single out the Jewish faith and punish their kind.
Kristallnact or Night of the Broken Glass was the name given to the events that took place on the 9th November 1938. It was a night of attacks, violence and demolition on Jewish shops, houses and synagogues. The massive operation, which was organised by Joseph Goebels, was carried out throughout Germany and in parts of Austria. Both the SS and the general public took part in this atrocity. With over 400 synagogues burnt down and many more smashed, it showed the absolute non-existent sympathy for the Jews, as the synagogue was a sacred place for the already suffering Jews.
In addition, around 700 Jewish shops were devastated, 100 innocent people brutally murdered and a huge 30,000 were sent to the horror that was the concentration camps. The Times summed up the event by writing:”No foreign propagandist bent upon blackening Germany before the world could outdo the tale of burnings and beatings, of blackguardly assaults on defenceless and innocent people, which disgraced that country yesterday.”With all the violence surrounding the Jews, the general public would have continued to turn on and persecute the Jews. This wouild have been exactly what Hitler and Goebels planned on Kristallnacht.In order for the Nazi’s to be able to completely persecute the Jews, they would have to drill the hate into the younger generation through education. Hitler spoke fondly about his educative work, saying ‘In my great educative work, I am beginning with the young’. This implies strongly that he believed he was doing the right thing and putting the right information to the younger generation. The Nazis would have made the majority of lessons based around Germany and the Nazis views.
Furthermore, the Nazis introduced propoganda into the education system giving the young of Germany fresh, distorted views. In history, for example, the Jews were blamed for Germany’s defeat in the First World War. In ‘race science’ lessons, children were taught that Jews were ‘untermensch’ i.e. an inferior person. Even the exam questions were antisematic, for example:”A bomber aircraft on take-off carries 12 dozen bombs, each weighing 10 kilos. The aircraft takes off for Warsaw the international centre for Jewry.
It bombs the town. On take-off with all bombs on board and a fuel tank containing 100 kilos of fuel, the aircraft weighed about 8 tons. When it returns from the crusade, there are still 230 kilos left.
What is the weight of the aircraft when empty ?”This distorted use of language is something that young minds in education would have been influenced by. In 1935 Jewish children were banned from going to school, the reason the Nazis gave was that a Jew would ‘contaminate’ a German child if they sat next to each other.State sponsored discrimination by the Nazis resulted in complete misery for anyone from a Jewish background. The discrimination was relentless and effected every part of a Jewish persons life.
The so called Nuremberg Laws were introduced. German Jews were no longer ‘German’. With their citizenship stripped, the Jewish peple were truly being cast into the wilderness.
Gradually the hatred and violence become worse, this finally led to the shameful events of the Kristallnacht. Hitler and the Nazis had succeeded in their total discrimination and persecution of the Jews.