Posted: August 29th, 2013
Nazism in Germany
The first section of the book The World Must Know by Berebaum highlights on issues of Nazism in Germany and the persecutions of Jews and other respective group by Adolf Hitler in his regimes as German chancellor (Gregor, 34). This journal post is based on my findings from reading the text as well as discussions with my classmate. On 30 January in the year 1933, German’s aged president, Hindenburg, named Adolf Hitler as the chancellor of the country’s government. At this time, chancellor was the highest-ranking position in the state government. The president mandated Hitler with this position with a view that he would manage to steer Germany away from its terrible economical and political crisis. Adolf Hitler spearheaded German workers from National Socialism in the right wing (the Nazi Party). This party was among the most powerful in Germany by the year 1933; although the Nazi managed to gather a mere 33 percent of the popularity votes in the previous election in 1932.
After immediately gaining power, Hitler decided to end democracy in Germany. He did this by persuading his cabinet to call on the constitution’s emergency clauses that licensed the suspension of personal freedom of speech, press and assembly. Special forces of security; the SS, Storm Troopers and the Gestapo moved by arresting or murdering opposition leaders from their respective political parties. The government passed an act on 23 March the same year that handed Hitler with the powers of dictatorship. Hitler, through his Nazi party, began practicing his ideology on racism, believing that Germans were the superior race involved in a struggle with other inferior races. Hitler and his party viewed Jews, Gypsies (Roma) and handicapped individuals as threats to the biological standards of Germans; what they referred to as a master class (Gregor, 42). The principal target of the Nazi ideology was the Jews who primarily constituted a minor share of the entire German population (approximately 525, 000 about 1 percent of the population in 1933). The party moreover maliciously spread propaganda that unfairly attributed Jews to the country’s World War II defeat as well as economic depression.
In the same year, Hitler passed laws that forced Jews working in the civil service to quit their jobs in various fields such as the law court and university positions (Gellately, 13). New laws were proclaimed in Nuremberg in 1933 that regarded citizen Jews as second class. In the course of the period of 1937 to 1939, more rules from the German government segregated Jews even to a greater extent. They could not walk or even reside in certain parts of the cities in Germany, nor could they attend schools, go to vacation resorts, cinemas or theatres. In the course of the same period, Hitler increasingly forced Jews away from the country’s economic life. The Nazi would either force Jews to sell their businesses at throwaway prices or forcefully seize their businesses and property (Gellately, 27). The Nazi party did this through an operation dubbed Kristallnacht. This operation included physical destruction of Jewish stores and synagogues, home vandalizing, unwarranted arrests and murders.
Even though Jewish people were the main target of Hitler’s hatred, he also persecuted other individuals he regarded as inferior genetically. Hitler’s ideology was facilitated by scientists who vouched for selective breeding as a means of improving the German race. He passed laws between the years 1933 and 35 that saw involuntary sterilization programs focused on reducing the inferior genotypes in the future in Germany. Upto 350,000 individuals were subjected to this program by either being sterilized physically or through radiation so they could not bear children. People who supported this measure argued that the handicapped were burdening the country with their costs of care. Another consequence of Hitler’s rule came with unwarranted arrests of people from trade unions, political opponents and others that Hitler’s party regarded as undesirable or enemies to the state (Gellately, 42). Upto 15,000 homosexuals were put in prison in concentration camps hailing from the newly revised Nazi laws. Mere declaration of a man as a homosexual would amount in arrest, trial and imprisonment (Gellately, 43).
An approximate 25, 000 Jehovah’s witnesses who were residing in Germany were condemned and banned by the government because their religious beliefs prevented them from taking any oath of allegiance to the state or serving the military. With their entire literature confiscated, they also lost their jobs, pensions, employment and social welfare benefits. People who witnessed these atrocities were deported to concentration camps, and their children sent to orphanages and detention camps. Thousands of people, majority of which were political activists, were in municipal camps and thousands others in concentration camps. The 1938 waves of arrests included large numbers of Austrian as well as German Roma (Thiébot, 82). Between the time Hitler took charge and the year 1939, half of the population of German Jews and numerous Austrian Jews fled Germany due to the prosecutions from Nazi. The immigrants mainly pitched camp in United States, Palestine, and other parts of Europe (but many were eventually caught up with due to the war), Latin America and Shanghai. The Jews who remained in Germany were either unwilling to flee or lacked any means of acquiring visas, funds for immigration or sponsors in the countries to host them (Thiébot, 94). However, the host countries, including Canada, France, Britain and the United States were all unwilling to accept large numbers of immigrants.
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