Boycott of Jewish businesses

4/1/1933

By decision of the party leaders, a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses was proclaimed. A party committee organized it down to its finest minutiae. It was to begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, 1933, throughout Germany, from major cities to small villages. A uniform format was stipulated: Vigils of uniformed Nazis, some armed with rifles, would station themselves in front of every Jewish-owned shop, business, or professional office and keep customers or inquirers from entering. Concurrently, cars circulated in the street broadcasting slogans condemning buying from Jews. Businesses of Jews originally from Eastern Europe suffered particularly. In contrast to the original plans, the official boycott was halted after only one day. The boycott, the first countrywide action against German Jewry after the Nazi takeover, legitimized anti-Jewish activity and gave it an official sanction that it had lacked until then. The boycott expressed the inception of a policy, which would gather momentum, of ousting Jews from economic and business affairs and undermining the economic basis of German Jewish existence. Despite the declared end of the boycott, unofficial, local-initiated boycott activities continued throughout Germany on a smaller scale.