Introduction To Holocaust Essay

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Hitler began to restrict the Jews with legislation and terror, which entailed burning books written by Jews, removing Jews from their professions and public schools, confiscating their businesses and property and excluding them from public events.

The most infamous of the anti-Jewish legislation were the Nuremberg Laws, enacted on September 15, 1935.

The Nazis claimed the Jews corrupted pure German culture with their “foreign” and “mongrel” influence.

They portrayed the Jews as evil and cowardly, and Germans as hardworking, courageous, and honest.

The Jews, the Nazis claimed, who were heavily represented in finance, commerce, the press, literature, theater, and the arts, had weakened Germany’s economy and culture.

The massive government-supported propaganda machine created a racial anti-Semitism, which was different from the long­standing anti-Semitic tradition of the Christian churches. The word Aryan, “derived from the study of linguistics, which started in the eighteenth century and at some point determined that the Indo-Germanic (also known as Aryan) languages were superior in their structures, variety, and vocabulary to the Semitic languages that had evolved in the Near East.Massive inflation followed by very high unemployment heightened existing class and political differences and began to undermine the government.On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party, was named chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg after the Nazi party won a significant percentage of the vote in the elections of 1932.The Nazi Party had taken advantage of the political unrest in Germany to gain an electoral foothold.The Nazis incited clashes with the communists and conducted a vicious propaganda campaign against its political opponents – the weak Weimar government and the Jews whom the Nazis blamed for Germany’s ills.Dachau’s purpose changed over time and eventually became another brutal concentration camp for Jews.By the end of 1934 Hitler was in absolute control of Germany, and his campaign against the Jews in full swing.With this police infrastructure in place, opponents of the Nazis were terrorized, beaten, or sent to one of the concentration camps the Germans built to incarcerate them.Dachau, just outside of Munich, was the first such camp built for political prisoners.A Dutchman named Marinus van der Lubbe was arrested for the crime, and he swore he had acted alone.Although many suspected the Nazis were ultimately responsible for the act, the Nazis managed to blame the Communists, thus turning more votes their way. On the next day, the government, under the pretense of controlling the Communists, abolished individual rights and protections: freedom of the press, assembly, and expression were nullified, as well as the right to privacy.

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