Who did Hitler think was undesirable?
Who Was Persecuted?
During National Socialism, people were persecuted, forced to do the hardest work and killed. These people weren't criminals. You were persecuted because of her
- belonged to "another race", such as Sinti and Roma, but also Jews
- political opponents, such as socialists, communists or pacifists
- had a homosexual orientation
- were classified as "antisocial", such as the homeless, vagrants and alcoholics
- considered physically or mentally ill, such as the mentally handicapped
- fought against the Nazis or fought them.
What did Hitler have against Jews?
In 1933, when the National Socialists came to power, there were around 500,000 Germans of the Jewish faith in Germany. That wasn't even one percent of the total population. Nevertheless, for Hitler, "the Jews" were to blame for Germany's decline. This "Jewish danger" has not yet been recognized. That, of course, did not explain Germany's problems, but it gave Hitler a scapegoat to fight.
Hitler tied to centuries-old prejudices (i.e. bad opinions) against the Jewish population. Jews were described as greedy for money or were often used as scapegoats for poverty or illness.
For Hitler, the Jews belonged to an inferior race. For him they were not people, but pests, parasites that had to be eradicated. Such images were taken from natural history (botany) and transferred to humans. In natural history there is often the idea of useful animals (e.g. certain insects such as bees) and pests that must be destroyed.
Since the Jews were seen as "pests", they had to be fought and destroyed. This is the only way to prevent their further negative influence on the Germans. These were of course absurd notions, but they were believed by the National Socialists at the time. And even today there are people who think that way.
How were Jews persecuted?
The persecution of the Jews began immediately after Hitler came to power in January 1933. At first sporadically, but then more and more openly and brutally.
As early as March 1933, the first concentration camp was built in Dachau near Munich. Signs were put up at the entrance to localities: "Jews are not welcome here". One could read on houses and shop windows: "Do not buy from Jews". But these were just the beginning.
The longer Hitler's rule lasted, the more the Jews were marginalized and persecuted. The Jews were increasingly defenseless and without rights.
The population was no longer allowed to have contact with Jews. Jewish shops had to close. Marriage between Jews and Germans was banned. The so-called "Nuremberg Laws" of 1935 restricted the opportunities for Jews to live more and more:
- Jewish children were only allowed to attend Jewish schools
- Visiting the theater and the cinema were forbidden for Jews
- Jews were no longer allowed to buy newspapers
- Jews were no longer allowed to own cars or bicycles
- Your telephone lines have been switched off
- They were only allowed to shop in specially marked shops
- They were no longer allowed to change their place of residence
What happened in Auschwitz?
Auschwitz is the German name for the small Polish town of Oświęcim. From 1939 Poland was occupied by the Germans.
Under the supervision of the SS, they set up a huge concentration camp in Auschwitz in 1940, which consisted of three sub-camps: "Auschwitz I" was the so-called main camp and the administrative center.
"Auschwitz II" (Birkenau) was the largest extermination camp that the National Socialists built. There the arriving people were killed immediately.
Auschwitz III (Monowitz) was a labor camp. The inmates of this camp had to work in large German industrial companies that were built especially near the camps (e.g. the company "IG Farben"). Most died in the process.
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