In explaining the nature and impact of Nazi propaganda, terror and repression on the Jewish community one must acknowledge the underlying anti-Semitic sentiments prevalent in the nationalistic German society. Anti-Semitism was the central, consistent theme of Nazism, and from the time Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933 to the end of the Second World War in 1945 he exploited these sentiments through propaganda by making the Jewish population a scapegoat for national frustrations. These feelings inspired acts of violence upon the Jewish population, for example Kristallnact, causing enough terror to suppress any major resistance. Repressive measures, including the Nuremburg Laws, aimed at gradually stripping the Jewish people of their basic human rights. All of these measures combined ultimately led to the ‘Final Solution’ being implemented and the devastating loss of 6 million lives.
Nazi racial policy has been considered, particularly by Friedlander, as a product of Hitler’s promotion of pre-existing racism within German society. The Weimar years saw many nationalist parties hold the Jewish community responsible for the humiliation of their World War I defeat, the Treaty of Versailles and the effects of the Great Depression. Indeed Hindenburg himself claimed that Germany had not been defeated in World War I but was instead “stabbed in the back by Jews and Communists.” Furthermore, anti-Semitism was the most significant aspect of Hitler’s Weltanschauung, and a dominant theme in his Mein Kamf : Jews were ‘untermenschen’ or ‘subhuman’ and revealed how Hitler perceived them as a parasite, contaminating the purity of Aryan blood. Pinson explained that “the Jew, in the Nazi ideology, was the embodiment of all their enemies rolled into one.” This anti-Semitic feeling was heightened through the skillful use of propaganda.
As I’m sure most people know Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Germans from August 2 1934 to April 30 1945, but do you know that as Fuhrer of Germany he was the driving force behind the start of WWII. During his reign he tried to bring Germany back to the powerful country it had been before the First World War. In this paper I will prove that Hitler’s actions lead to start of WWII, and I plan to ...
Hitler’s astounding skills as an orator coupled with Goebbel’s Propaganda Ministry’s incessant flow of anti-Semitic material aided in leading the German public to believe that Jews were a threat to the welfare of the nation. The 1938 film, Jud Suss, portrayed a Jewish villain who seduced a German maiden and tortured her fiancé while the 1940 film, The Eternal Jew, depicted Jews as rats. Der Strümmer was a weekly newspaper published by Julius Streicher which contained graphic illustrations and sensational stories attacking Jews (circulation in 1930s over 700 000).
In 1938, Der Sturmer produced a school reading book for children, “The Poisonous Mushroom”. These explicit forms of propaganda resulted in the increased ostracism of Jews from German society. Daniel Goldhagen argued that many German people were intolerant of the Jews and many average Germans accepted their brutal treatment.
The Nuremburg Laws were introduced at the annual Party Rally at Nuremburg in September 1935 with the main purpose to isolate Jews as a separate group of society. ‘The Reich Citizenship Law’ deprived all Jews of their citizenship while ‘The Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour’ stated that marriages between Jews and German citizens were forbidden. J. Noakes and Pridham explained that the Nazis described a Jew as “anyone who is descended from at least three grandparents who are racially full Jews.” 1933-1935 Laws were passed that removed Jews from the civil service, education, health and legal systems.
April 1933 Law Against the Overcrowding of Schools restricted the no# Jewish kids could attend govt. schools.SA men painted slogans on JEWISH BUSINESES AND PREVENTED Germans from entering Jewish shops. Jews were expelled from the cultural and artistic life of Germany-Jews removed from elite sport teams and forbidden o represent Germany in international competition. In 1938 all Jewish businesses had to be registered. In June the Munich synagogue was destroyed. In Ausust it became compulsory for Jews to include “Sarah” or “Israel” in Jewish names and passports were to be stamped “J”. 17000 ex-polish jews were to be expelled from Ger. More government decrees followed which continued to repress the Jewish community within Germany.
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On the 9th of November 1938, in response to the death of a Nazi diplomat by a Jewish student, the Nazi Party launched an attack on the Jewish community. This act of terror became known as Kristallnacht because of the glass that littered the ground. Both Rohm’s SA and Himmler’s SS were instructed to destroy and set ablaze Jewish property across the nation. Over 70 Jewish people lost their lives, almost 1000 shops and businesses were looted and 191 synagogues were reduced to ashes. The following days saw the Nazis round up approximately 20 000 Jewish men and boys and transport them to concentration camps. The Jewish people were then forced to pay 25 million Reichsmarks for the cost of the destruction on top of a fine of 1 billion Reichsmarks and Jewish property & business confiscated. Kristallnacht has been interpreted by McCallum as a penultimate stage in Nazi terror and repression. Within days decrees were introduced removing Jews from economy & expelled from schools; 8 pm curfew. jews now excluded from employment, satte education, public transport or entertainment.He argues it represented a policy shift away from legislative repression, such as the Nuremburg Laws, to state-sponsored and spontaneous violence which finally culminated in the Final Solution.
Toward the end of 1941, a decision was made to transport all German Jews to the occupied eastern territories. The official reason was resettlement; the reality extermination. Browning asserts that “nothing helped the Nazis to wage a race war so much as the war itself.” Indeed, under the cover of World War II Hitler discreetly “planned [the] biological destruction of the Jewish race in the eastern territories” (Eichmann).
The Final Solution was no doubt the most devastating example of Nazi terror and violence on the Jewish community.
A major problem in understanding World War II is dealing with its ironies. Germans mastered most of the military lessons of World War I, but lost; Anglo-Americans and Russians learned little or nothing from the earlier conflict, but won. Germans hailed Adolf Hitler as the greatest German in history; but had Otto von Bismarck rather than Hitler ruled the Third Reich, there would probably not have ...
Anti-Semitism within the Nazi Party has continued to be the subject of strong scholarly debate. The structuralist school, including Mommsen and Broszat, argue the Final Solution was not a direct order but rather the product of the increasing radicalization of the war and anti-Semitism. Dawidowicz, an Intentionalist, disagrees and argues that plans for destroying the Jews had always been part of Hitler’s ideology and “in the end only the question of opportunity mattered.” Recent historical works have proposed that because Nazi terror was restricted partially due to lack of manpower, targets such as the Jews were singled out and made public examples. This show of force then kept potentially rebellious German citizens in line as well.
It is evident that Nazi propaganda, terror and repression of the Jewish community owe part of its success to the pre-existing racial philosophy in German society. However, it was Hitler and his Nazi Party who utilised these sentiments to their advantage and encouraged this racism to escalate. Propaganda increased a hatred of the Jews and paved the way for the relatively wide acceptance of repressive measures such as the Nuremburg Laws. Acts of terror, epitomised by the 1938 Kristallnacht, eventually lead to the implementation of the Final Solution which had a devastating impact on the Jewish people.