Facts About Holocaust


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Due to the Olympic games in Berlin in 1936, Jewish treatment actually improved because although their anti-Semitic attitudes to the German Jews was known world-wide, actually seeing it would cause the failure of the Second Year Plan, which Hitler believed and therefore, discouraged prejudice towards the Jews.

There was increasing persecution of the Jews during 1937-39 resulting in Jews being driven out of certain towns that claimed themselves Judenfrei (“free of Jews”). The Jewish society was isolated from German society, encouraged by most Germans without disapproval. From this point we can see that Nazi treatment of the Jews as a society was worsening, as the German population is appearing to encourage their racial policies. Exemplified by random attacks on Orthodox Jews and verbal and physical attacks by the German community, largely Nazi activists. This was largely common especially in Austria where Jewish hatred was common, when after Anschluss, extremely violent acts against the Jewish population occurred including waves of attacks on Jewish property. By 1938, further Jewish anti-Semitic legislation was passed i.e. Jews were prohibited from being doctors, lawyers or dentists, which meant that Jews were being excluded from German economic life, a crescendo of increasing discrimination and maltreatment by the Nazis. These anti-Jewish laws meant that open acts of Jewish prejudice resulted in one of the most openly violent acts pre-1939, Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) on 9-10 November 1938. This resulted in the destruction of many Jewish businesses and synagogues and the deaths of over 90 Jews, all spearheaded by Goebbels. Acts like these emphasised the increasing poor treatment of the Jews and by 1939, they had been outcast from all aspects of German life.

The euthanasia programme established in 1939-41, although not aimed at Jews, paved the way towards the creation of gas chambers constructed for the mass extermination of European Jews. The euthanasia programme was directed towards the extermination of the “racially inferior”, or in other words, the mentally ill or physically disabled. It was carried out in secret in 6 mental hospitals without the consent of either the patient or their relatives.

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