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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

Persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939

From its formation the Nazi regime persecuted the Jews. From April 1933, nationwide boycotts were carried out against the Jews and Antisemitic legislation began. The Nazis strove systematically to remove the Jews from all centers of influence in German society and to separate them from the "Aryan Race." Along with their governmental and legal activities, the Nazis attempted to segregate the Jews from the rest of German society. The Nazis realized that they were able to generate extensive support for these steps, or at least tacit acceptance of them, among the German people. The Nuremberg Laws, enacted in 1935, stripped the German Jews of their citizenship and brought about sharper racial separation between Jews and "Aryans."

The Jews of Germany, most of whom had until then considered themselves an integral part of German life, found themselves in an existential and a severe identity crisis under Nazi rule. However, the regime's policy still permitted them to develop their own internal organizations and services. The Jewish communities and organizations offered social and financial assistance to the needy. They were involved in planning and in assisting emigrants, and developed extensive educational and cultural activity.

The Antisemitic policy implemented by the Nazi regime was intensified in the late 1930s, when the Jews began to be systematically dispossessed of their property and were subjected to increased pressure to emigrate. In March 1938 Germany annexed Austria, where this policy was applied through brutal means. The anti-Jewish policy escalated further in a series of violent acts beginning in the summer of 1938, culminating in the Kristallnacht pogrom in November 1938 and the events that followed. At this point, most of the Jewish organizations and the internal infrastructure of the communities in Germany were paralyzed.

Total Sources (by media type):

Artifact Collection 11
Diaries and Letters 9
Documents 76
Lexicon Entries 39
Maps and Charts 4
Photographs 146
Research 28
Testimonies 21
Works of Art 1
Total Sources 335
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