The Holocaust

Anti-semitism and Kristallnacht

What was kristallnacht, what happen during the event and what was the results

Kristallnacht, literally mean the 'Night of Broken Glass' took place on November 9th 1938. Kristallnacht was caused by the voluntary shooting in Paris on November 7th where a Polish-Jewish student Herschel Grynszpan shot a German diplomat Ernst vom Rath. The Nazis used this murder as an excuse to carried out the barbarous attacks that consequence in massive destructions of buildings.This news quickly reached Hitler and he gathered the storm troopers, urging violent reprisals staging to appear as an 'unplanned attack'. The German Nazis launch a campaign of terror against Jewish people and their homes and businesses crosswise Germany and Austria. Just before midnight all police unites in Germany was informed that these attacks were not to be interfered with but rather to arrest the victims as much as possible. The police was only to intervene if a fire threatened adjacent 'Aryans' properties. During the event 1000 and more synagogues were burned, 7000 Jewish business or more were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, Jewish cemetiries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted mercilessly. After kristallnacht, around 30 000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps and the conditions for the Jewish population only worsen. In the immediate outcome of the devastating event, the Jews were forced to pay for the damage; they were fined 1 billion Reichsmarks on November12th and they were not to make any insurance claims for damage to properties.

Focussing on how racist attitudes contributed to Kristallnacht.

New racial outlook defines the Germans as the finest and most superior race; the Aryans. They were tall, blond hair and blue eyes and one day their would take their 'rightful' dominance and leadership of the land. Individuals Jews was not judged based on their personal achievements or merits, but rather seen on the whole as greedy, devilish, standoffish, lazy and money grubbing. In 1930s, with Adolf Hitler's accession to power in Germany, racial anti-semitism become a political instrument in the hands of the mass media. Nazi Germany was extremly racist towards the Jews and this hatred was reflected in the treatments of Jewish people whether it is the children in schools, in the workforces or in public lifestyles.The hostility towards the Jews dramatically increased during the Nazi fascism, in some parts of the country Jews were banned from public parks, swimming pools and public transports.This is all because of the fact that the Germans viewed the Jews as subhuman beings that was a pest to the greater good of society and must get rid of them in order to have a successful and a high quality of life. The Nazis, as a political power, racist attitude towards the Jews was the main sphere of influence that doctrinated the people of Germany's perspective of the Jews in a negative light and the ideology reflected in the actions that is taken against the Jews. Since Hitler rise to power in 1933, racist attitude towards the Jews increased perilously and as the tension builds up between the Germans and the Jews raises to an unbearable point, it can be said that Kristallnacht was the result.

The Nuremberg Laws

Thoroughly convinced by the knowledge that the purity of German blood is essential for the further existence of the German people, the Reichstag resolved upon The Nuremberg Laws. It was instituted in September 15, 1935, designed by Hitler himself and approved by the Nazi party in a convention.


The law stripped the Jew's right of citizenship, the Jews had no vote and can not hold any public office businesses such as shops, schools, hospitals and most importantly the media. It was illegal for Jews to inherit lands, there was forced segregation and strong government propaganda against the jews. There was prohibited marriage between the Jews and the citizen of German blood, sexual relations outside marriage between the Jews and the Germans was certainly forbidden during the period of the Nazi's reign. The Jews was also not allow to display the national flag or the national colours for they were only privileged to the Aryans.


At the beginning the Law causes some confusion and heated debates on who was a 'full Jew', the Nazi settle on defining a full Jew as a person who had three Jewish grandparents. The Nuremberg Law divided the society of Germany into two major groups; the Jews and the Germans. After the passing of the Nuremberg Laws Jewish emigrate increases greatly; the pressure on Jews to leave Germany was intensified. A huge number of Jewish population might leave the country but the rest that stay will face an event that will shook the very foundation of the Jewish community as a whole: Kristallnacht. The Nuremberg Laws were only the beginning to the Nazi policy of Anti-Semitism and it also constructed the way to the Holocaust.

Targets for the Nazis Racism

Jews were the main target in Nazi Germany society and Hitler's hatred for the Jews were made plain from the very beginning of his reign. The Jews were blamed for what happened in Germany during the time whether it is about the great loss of WW1 for the Germans, the weak economic system maintenance, the general poor quality of life at that period of time and many other misfortunes that befalls Germany. These were some examples of the first step taken in the ideology of anti-semitism.


One major consequence of anti-semitism during Nazi Germany was the establishment of the ghettos in specific confined area of cities of Poland. On September 21 1939, Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking German Nazi official issued an order that Jews were to be concentrated in areas with in the city. This was a short term measure to contain and controlled the Jews. The Nazi created over a 1000 ghettos all over Poland in a 4 years period of time, classifying them into three types; opened, closed and destruction. This development in Nazi Germany impacted in the Jewish greatly as the conditions in the ghettos were extremely harsh and the treatment unbearable yet the Jewish had to suffered it for a have long time. This is one of the many atrocious examples of the results of anti-semitism.

Sources

Bibliography

References

Anderson, M., Keese, I., Low, A., Harvey, K., Hoepper, B., Stahl, S. and Rood, B. (n.d.). Retroactive 2 NSW Australian curriculum history stage 5.

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