Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany

Anti-Semitism
in Nazi Germany

Discuss the purpose anti-Semitism served
for the Nazis. What form did it take once they were in power?

The anti-Semitic philosophy of the Nazi
party played a significant role in their rise to power during the 1930\'s.

Economic and political conditions in Germany between 1918 and 1933 played
a major role in the creation of a climate that made Nazism appeal to the

German population. There was widespread unemployment and economic
misery and following the trend of German history since the end of the 18th
century, the German people turned towards nationalism. The Nazi party
captured the nationalistic fervor of the country. The "spiritualism"
and doctrines of Nazism struck a "reminiscent chord" in German tradition
and cultural life.

National Socialism, an essentially German
movement was influenced by trends from other countries, especially Italy,

Russia and the United States. Russian monarchist émigrés,
who hovered close to the Nazi party during its early Munich Days, espoused
beliefs that were additional fuel for the Nazi party\'s own anti-Semitism.

Henry Ford\'s book \'The International Jew\'
also had a great influence on the members of the Nazi party. Baldur

Von Shirach, a former Nazi youth leader, told a psychologist, "You have
no idea what a great influence this book had on the thinking of the German
youth...I read Henry Ford\'s book \'The International Jewry\'...and became anti-Semitic."
(Pinson, K 1966:487). It is not that anti-Semitism did not exist
within Germany. \'Der nationale Sozialismus\' (1st ed., Munich, 1920; 2nd
ed., 1992), written by Rudolf Jung of Troppau, contained heavy anti-Semitic
views and was considered to be one of, if not the most, authoritative presentations
of national-socialist doctrine. Another example of anti-Semitism lies in
the writings of Deitrich Eckart, whose weekly \'Auf gut Deutsch\' (first
issue, December 7, 1918) came to be regarded as the first paper of the

Nazi movement. It is widely considered that this racial doctrine
was the crux of the entire Nazi movement. Indeed, it was the main
focus of their propaganda.

The Nazi party set the Jews up as enemies
and blamed them for all of Germany\'s troubles. The Jews became the scapegoat
of the movement. They were held responsible for anything and everything
that worked counter to the Nazi ideal, and anti-Semitism became the pivot
of the whole totalitarian structure of the Third Reich. It also served
as the vehicle not only for the consolidation of power at home, but as
the instrument of Nazi policy that was used to stir up discontent abroad
and a means of gaining support in all parts of the world. Anti-Semitism
was already existent, and in some ways, deeply rooted in the western world.

It provided an excellent tool with which the Nazis could galvanize and
diffuse pro-Nazi sentiment. The Nazi slogan "Without a solution of
the Jewish problem there is no mankind" found sympathetic ears among unscrupulous
malcontents in many countries (Pinson, K 1966:493).

The Nazi propaganda machine utilized scandal-sheet
journalism with screaming headlines in black and red ink and pornographic
cartoons. This form of propaganda is most evident in Julius Streicher\'s

\'Sturmer\', which was displayed in every town and village in Germany and
was in the placed in the paths of all who passed through the main thoroughfares.

Streicher also published children\'s books like \'Der Giftpilz\' which was
saturated with anti-Semitism and preached that "the Jew is the devil in
human form" (Pinson, K 1966:494). Through this anti-Semitic propaganda
the Nazi\'s preached the doctrine of eugenics and put much emphasis on \'racial
purity\'. This drew upon the nationalism that was so abundant in German
society and the mission of the German state was described as gathering
and preserving the "most valuable of the original racial elements and gradually
and securely bring them up to the dominant position in the state...the state
must place race as the central point of the life of the community and must
safeguard the preservation of its purity."(Hitler, A 1925).

The Nazi party used the works of

Chamberlain and Wagner to leave a deep impression of racialism and paganism
on the German mind and unfortunately the historical bias in mainstream

German culture and tradition made Nazism acceptable and popular in German
life.

Support for the Nazi party increased between

1928 and 1933, when the party first started showing signs of popularity.

Over the next few years the party\'s support expanded. As the party\'s following
increased, it started to manipulate Germany into becoming a totalitarian
police state.

Dachau, the first concentration camp was
opened in March, 1933. The victimization of the Jews widened. On

April 1, 1933 the Nazi party initiated its \'solution\' of the all-important

Jewish problem. It began with a boycott of Jewish shops in Berlin.

The liquidation of German Jewry