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Holocaust: The Impact of the German Political Policy and Anti-Semitism

By jllybnz624 Jan 08, 2011 2256 Words
Plan of Investigation
This paper was researched in order to discover to what extent German political policy, and anti-Semitism affected the Holocaust. This topic was chosen because the Holocaust may be a very interesting and quite controversial topic for many people. Various books and articles, such as The Holocaust, by Mitchell G. Bard, as well as A History of the Holocaust, by Yehuda Baur were used in order to gather information and learn about this topic to the fullest extent. These sources were helpful in answering the research question and further explaining important facts and events that occurred during this time period. The website entitled Noodletools aided me in organizing the research. Subtopics were created in order to keep the information that was gathered organized. For example, information was split into subtopics like Anti-Semitism, “Arayanization”, Nuremburg Laws, Kristallnacht, and lastly, effects of the causes of the Holocaust. All of the information was then gathered into an outline, and lastly, compiled into the final product.

Summary of Evidence
German policy was strict from the year 1933 to 1938, the years before the Jewish people were forced into concentration camps and killed. The anti-Semitism all began with the Germans needing a scapegoat, someone to blame for Germany’s problems. For example, The Jews experienced anti-Semitism from Christians throughout the years. Christians viewed the Jewish people as humans being possessed by the devil, and often tried to “save” Jews by baptizing them. This was the first evidence of anti-Semitism in Germany. The Nazi party, which was a political party in Germany, dictated by Adolf Hitler, viewed the Jews as the devil himself. They blamed them for problems like not having enough food, or even money. They believed that the best thing to do was genocide. [1] The Nazi party gained more and more support through Hitler’s choices and proposals to what he could do for the country to get them out of the economic depression they were in after World War I. This gave the Nazi’s the power that they needed and strived for in order to act on their plan to wipe out the Jewish population. False rumors that the Jewish used blood of Christian children for ritual purposes increased the Nazi’s reasoning for wanting to act on their plan.[2] The Nazi’s slowly but surely began taking away rights from the Jews. In May of 1933, The Association of Aryan Clothing Manufacturers was established, and would put their labels on clothing reading “ADEFA”. This would ensure the customer that the garment was made by ‘Aryan hands only’.[3] People only bought clothing that had this label printed on it, and as a result, many Jewish clothing companies went out of business or lost a lot of service. Jews were often criticized, and pogroms were created against Jews frequently. Adolf Hitler stated, “The Jew is a parasite. Wherever he flourishes, the people will die...Elimination of the Jew from our community is to be regarded as an emergency defense measure.” [4] Hitler so strongly displayed hate for the Jewish people, without even a solid reason as to why.

The Nazi party wanted to “Aryanize” Europe, by killing off all the Jewish people. They tried cutting off the Jews from society by stripping them of their rights and making them feel uncomfortable in their own country, and home. Jews were also excluded from certain areas like “Aryan Zones”, banned from theaters, public schools, universities, and sports arenas. Non-Aryan doctors were even banned from treating Aryan patients. Also, Jewish lawyers were taken away their license to practice law.[5] Hitler abolished all other political parties other than his own Nazi party. His goal was to deprive Jews of their citizenship.[6] Hitler worked as hard as he could to reach this goal. The Jews felt pressure to leave the country, to flee and escape the Nazi policy and Anti Semitism going on. Out of 525,000 Jews, 129,000 of them emigrated between the years 1933 and the end of 1937.[7] Although that is a fairly large percentage, one would think that more Jews would have emigrated after all they were experiencing. Many people did not emigrate or speak up because of fear of the Nazis. At this point, they did not know what they were capable of either- and did not know the Nazis more dangerous and hurtful plans. In 1935, the Nuremburg Laws were issued. These laws stated that marriage between Jews and subjects of German blood were forbidden. Jews were also forbidden to raise the national flag or display national colors, although they were allowed to display Jewish colors.[8] Article four of the Nuremburg Laws stated, "A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He cannot exercise the right to vote. He cannot hold public office."[9] The Reich was the German empire, as the Germans tried so hardly to exclude the Jewish people from it. A Holocaust survivor recognized in the article “Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany” once stated, “The Nuremberg Laws did not identify a "Jew" as someone with particular religious beliefs. Instead, the first amendment to the Nuremberg Laws defined anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents as a Jew, regardless of whether that individual recognized himself or herself as a Jew or belonged to the Jewish religious community.”[10] This seems very unfair to many people, seeing as a person had no control over what their ancestors believed. People should not be criticized by who or what heritage they came from. The event “Kristallnacht” was a turning point in the events leading up to the Holocaust. It was a night when the Nazis wrecked many Jewish businesses and homes. It is often called “Night of the broken glass”. It took place on November 9th and 10th,1938, in Germany.[11] No one got in trouble for committing this frightful, and horrifying crime. This event finally opened peoples eyes to see what was truly going on. Louis L. Snyder stated, "It was decided at the meeting that, since Jews were to blame for these events, they be held legally and financially responsible for the damages incurred by the pogrom. Accordingly, a "fine of 1 billion marks was levied for the slaying of Vom Rath, and 6 million marks paid by insurance companies for broken windows was to be given to the state coffers"[12] The fact that the Jews were blamed for the crime that was committed against them is absolutely shocking. "The shattered glass was so many Jewish "crystals" or "diamonds." Two days after the attacks, Hermann Goering, a German military leader, ordered the enactment of statutes to punish the Jewish community. Jews were disallowed from owning stores, working as independent skilled workers, or attending concerts, movies, or other forms of public entertainment—they were even prohibited from driving cars,” [13] Mark Roseman stated talking about the events and aftermath of “Kristallnacht”. The Nazi’s took away more and more rights from the Jewish people as they gained more and more power in order to be able to do so. As effects of all of these events, The Nazi’s finally began opening up concentration camps around Germany. Not long after, the parliament passed the enabling act, granting Hitler doctoral powers. [14] Concentration camps were camps that the Jewish people, or any non-Aryan was put into where the Nazi’s would work them to death. Some even had gas chambers where they would just simply kill them in mass amounts, like animals. On May 10th 1940, Nazis invaded France (Jewish population 350,000), Belgium (Jewish population 65,000), Holland (Jewish population 140,000), and Luxembourg (Jewish population 3,500). The Nazis also occupied Paris, and France signed an armistice with Hitler.[15] The anti Semitism began to spread not only throughout Germany but throughout the entire continent. Hitler was moving closer and closer to reach his goal.

Evaluation of Source
The novel, A History of the Holocaust was written by Yehuda Baur in order to share with other people the information that he has attained about the Holocaust. He has written a large number of books all having to do with events that took place during the Holocaust. Baur incorporates various sources in his work, rather than one or two in order to make a stronger argument and have more point of views on the situations. He was not present during the actual events, therefore the information is probably not too biased (with one opinion) because he was able to take many different opinions especially from other point of views other than his own. For example, he was able to talk from his own viewpoint, as well as the viewpoint that the Nazis or Germans may have had. This source has a lot of valuable information and good, solid facts that connects to the research question very well.

The causes of the Holocaust were very important during it’s time. These events led to the killing of nearly six million Jews. Without these events, the Holocaust may never have happened. During the time, people most likely did not know what was going to become of these few restrictions, or at least know the extent of what they were going to lead to. The turning point was “Kristallnacht”. Kristallnacht means “night of broken glass”. The events of this night, including killing about 91 Jews, destroying 191 synagogues, as well as looting 7,500 Jewish owned shops[16], This event directly lead to the killing of more Jews, and the destroying of all their rights, let alone businesses and temples. This event had a large impact on society as a whole. On social development, by citizens being mentally unstable because of these horrible events occurring including the killing of many friends, family, and loved ones. Political development was restricted as the Nazis and Hitler continued to gain more and more power and “fixed” problems for the people of Germany and Hitler began to take over as Dictator. Economic development was also effected by these events. So many things were taken away from people, including their jobs as well as businesses, leaving with little money and no income. These events can be analyzed from different perspectives, for example, the perspective of a Jew may be that these events were horrible, and even life ruining. A Nazi might say that these events were helping everyone and were beneficial. A third perspective would be that of a non-Jew, who is not a Nazi either, saying that these events did not affect them, but maybe took their friends or loved ones away for no apparent reason.

German policies affected Europe in various ways, including restricting people’s rights, money, and pride. Further questions that arose from researching are were they are people that spoke out against the Nazis? Also, did World War I contribute at all to causing the Holocaust? And lastly, What was the ratio of Jews to non-Jews in Europe? The events that took place leading the Holocaust is very similar to events that are occurring in our world today, including the events that are happening in Darfur, Africa. Women are raped, children are beheaded and actually thrown alive into fires, and young men are tortured and executed in genocidal massacre. The Holocaust in Europe was definitely not the first, or last genocide to occur. People were killed in Darfur without reason, just like the Jews were. They were used as a scapegoat. Simply someone to blame for their problems. Although the Holocaust directly affected Germany and many other countries in Europe, it has affected the entire world, as we are all working to prevent a situation as horrifying as this one from ever happening again.

[1] Bauer, Yehuda. A History of The Holocaust. 1982. Reprint, Danbury, CT: Franklin      Watts, 2001.
[2] Roseman, Mark. "Wannsee Conference." World History: The Modern Era (November      2002). (accessed November 4, 2009). [3] Brackman, Arnold. "Holocaust." World History: The Modern Era. (accessed November 4, 2009).

[4] Brackman, Arnold. "Holocaust." World History: The Modern Era. (accessed November 4, 2009). [5] "Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany." united states holocaust memorial      museam. (accessed November 3, 2009). [6] Brackman, Arnold. "Holocaust." World History: The Modern Era. (accessed November 4, 2009). [7] Brackman, Arnold. "Holocaust." World History: The Modern Era. (accessed November 4, 2009). [8] Bard, Mitchell G. The Holocaust. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press Inc., 2001. [9] Roseman, Mark. "Wannsee Conference." World History: The Modern Era (November      2002). (accessed November 4, 2009). [10] "Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany." united states holocaust memorial      museam. (accessed November 3, 2009). [11] Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany." united states holocaust memorial      museam. (accessed November 3, 2009). [12] Bauer, Yehuda. A History of The Holocaust. 1982. Reprint, Danbury, CT: Franklin      Watts, 2001.

[13] Roseman, Mark. "Wannsee Conference." World History: The Modern Era (November      2002). (accessed November 4, 2009). [14] Bard, Mitchell G. The Holocaust. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press Inc., 2001. [15] Bard, Mitchell G. The Holocaust. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press Inc., 2001. [16] Brackman, Arnold. "Holocaust." World History: The Modern Era. (accessed November 4, 2009).

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