The big cities provided an important framework of possibilities for Jews to assert themselves and survive economically, despite the discrimination and chicanery of Nazi persecution. In the cities, the process of the destruction of Jewish commercial activity took significantly longer than was previously known. The lesser extent of persecution and the greater latitude for action in the Grossgemeinden led a substantial number of Jewish business people to relocate from the rural areas to the big cities. It was only by means of brutal violence and various laws that the Nazi regime was ultimately able to destroy the economic foundation of Jewish life in Germany in 1938. Nevertheless, even after the pogrom some Jewish firms remained in operation up to first deportations in autumn 1941.