Racism and Racist Legislation in Nazi Germany

Topics: Nazi Germany, Nazi Party, The Holocaust Pages: 6 (1967 words) Published: March 10, 2007
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Racialism began to develop in Germany when Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party seized power in 1933 after the Enabling Act was performed. It gradually worsened as various Nazi legislations, such as the Nuremberg Laws, were instated in the years following Hitler's rise to power which led to further discrimination against all Jewish people in Germany with the intentions of racial genocide. This was in spite of the attempts made by the Reich Deputation of Jews in Germany and the actions of the allied forces of WWII. Finally, in the latter part of the 20th century, these activities stopped and the laws were abolished when Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party were defeated, however Jewish persecution still remains in various forms in different areas of the globe.

The National Socialist German Workers' Party, or more commonly known as the Nazi Party, always held ideals of anti-Semitism and racism, ever since it's founding in 1920. This is known as the Nazi Party released "The 25-Point Program" which publicly declared their intentions to segregate Jews from "Aryan" society. When Hitler became chairman in 1921, he organized violent attacks on parties opposing these Nazi values using the SA, the Nazi's private militia. For this, Hitler was imprisoned but when released he reorganized the Nazi Party and was eventually appointed Reich Chancellor in 1933. In addition to Hitler's activities and organization of the Second World War, he also set about the internal ‘cleansing' of Germany. A process of removing those deemed ‘Un-Aryan', people who were mentally retarded, homosexual, had hereditary diseases or who were generally undesirable according the Reich. However, most persecuted were the Jewish people, who had three separate groups of anti-Jewish legislation pinned upon them during the years between 1933 and 1945. Legislation which justified and legalized the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children for the ‘crime' of being Jews.

The first wave of anti-Jewish legislation to be instigated was the ‘Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service', which came into effect April 7th 1933. Its purpose was to exclude Jewish and ‘politically unreliable' civil servants and employees, that is, any direct or indirect Reich official, from state service. This acted as a precedent for excluding Jewish people from other jobs or professions such as those in the medical and legal industries. This law also caused many ‘non-Aryan' students to be barred from enrolling in German schools and to be denied the right to complete final state exams for many professions. Additional clauses were added in the following two years and private businesses, clubs, societies and firms had adopted similar practices as German schools. The result of this law was severely detrimental to all Jewish people's way of life, but this was only the mere beginning of the legal battle that would be waged against them.

The German-Jewish people could do very little about the ‘Laws for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service' as all Jewish government representatives had been dismissed in accordance with the laws themselves. This proved a conundrum for Jews, added to this was the constant stream of anti-Semitic propaganda being put forth by Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, Goebbels, which turned the majority of non-Jewish-Germans against the minority of Jews. This further marginalized the ability for Jews to make a stand against the racist decrees of 1933. Because of these laws Jewish stores, doctors, lawyers and other commercial and industrial businesses were boycotted placing an even greater strain on the Jewish people. In 1934, President Paul von Hindenburg died, and instead of selecting a new President, the power was given to Hitler, the power of being president was combined with the power of being chancellor giving him totalitarian power over law-making. This power was used to create the second...
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