Is it accurate to say that the persecution of the Jews steadily intensified during the years 1933-1942?

The racial policy of Nazi Germany came under the pseudo-scientific ideology of the superior ‘Aryan’ race whom was the almighty human beings. Under this proposal, originating from Hitler and Mein Kampf, resulted the demise of the Jewish race, who became ostracised, had their civil liberties expelled and spiralled to the extent of annihilation. This period of time, from Hitler’s appointment of Chancellor in 1933, radically altered German society; vast measures were taken to implement the Aryan ideology and the government ensured that minority ethnic groups, particularly the Jews, would almost cease to exist perpetually. Yet the intensity in which the persecution was executed was alterable. Large waves of persecution were followed by stints of negligence; the Nazis ultimately removed the Jewish faith from society by boldly degrading them at irregular intervals in history.

From the origins of Nazi power over Germany, Hitler outlined the persecution of the Jews. But immediately, the policy on Jewish discrimination did not take place for a number of years of his dictatorship. “Technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan” Mein Kampf certainly outlined Hitler’s view of the superior race, and can be seen as the foundations of the persecution against Jews. However, although acknowledging and highlighting his apparent hatred of the faith, and the overwhelming dominant race, he failed to implement any challenges of the Jewish community of a serious extent for at least 2-3 years. Perhaps this was down to the early opinion of the German people; he would indoctrinate them with party propaganda to begin with, brainwashing the public of disgust of the Jews, find a moment in his leadership where the majority would support any persecution, and elevate policies from there. It cannot be said that Hitler’s rise to power alone was the start of an anti-sematic state; he manipulated the public first before engaging in severe discrimination. After all, the German public would have been unfavourable to Nazi Policy in the run up to election, declaring the extermination of the whole Jewish race. Hitler’s appointment was merely the slightest indication of Nazi persecution of the Jews; it took time for policies to be implemented for any form of ostracization therefore suggesting an unsteady intensification of Nazi persecution against the Jews.

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However, once the metaphoric ball was rolling, several events occurred which were indicative of the Nazi regime and the punishment of the Jewish faith. The first indicating element was the declaration of an official boycott of Jewish shops and businesses following post-election violence, in order to prevent further anti-sematic attacks by radicals. It was the first sign of ant-sematic Germany; it featured slight measures of persecution in the beginning as it did not quite have the severity of further events latter on in this period. Suggestive of the German opinion of the time, it was met with limited response and was called off after a day. This highlights German society pre implementation of Jewish punishment; at the beginning of Nazi reign their appeared relatively little friction between the Jews and the rest of the community meaning that no policies had really been put in place yet, signalling an unsteady intensification.

Additionally, 1934 saw the SD propose the emigration of the Jews in Germany, in what was other than that, a quiet year. But this was a significant step in Jewish persecution. Emigration of a whole race is a radical proposal, it signposts the opposition from the government and the steps they are willing to take to ensure this inferior race ceases to exist in society. This was a notable step up in intensification; no longer were minor boycotts issues to the Jews, but now they were faced with the potential of mass emigration of the country which they had communally lived in for centuries. Proposing emigration undoubtedly sparked much furore from the Jewish community as although they had been susceptible to minor boycotting of business, they were seemingly oblivious to the deportation measures society began to inflict upon them. This was undoubtedly the most significant persecution idea to date; it highlighted the real beginning of the Nazi plan of a superior, Aryan state. Because of the suddenness of the proposition, it seems to be evidence that certainly any plans for emigration of Jews was fluctuating, with this instance being a particular spike in the situation. On top of this, it soon became clear that the extent to which Nazi ideology despised the Jewish faith was elevating. The first inkling of such fate was the founding of 3 organisations, committed to the Jewish demise.

Firstly there was the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour which forebode sex and marriage between Aryans and Jews. Also set up was the Reich Citizenship law – perhaps the most serious case of prosecution yet; removing Jews citizenship of Germany. Finally there was the Law for Protection of the Genetic Health of the German People – medical examination; classifying citizens of Aryan or Jewish make-up. Hitler announced this trio of organisations in 1935, it added to what was beginning to be a serious time of hardship for the Jews. These three organisations outlined that bureaucratic boards were being created and people high up in society began to jump on the persecuting mind-set; indicating that Hitler’s rallies and propaganda had infiltrated more and more people in Germany. The proposal of Jewish emigration, followed up by Hitler’s damming trio of organisations gives evidence to believe that this period became more consistently intensifying in prosecution; measures were now being continually brought in against Jews and Hitler’s anti-sematic ideology expressed in Mein Kampf was gradually degrading a community.

What was the beginning of serious Jewish persecution was followed by a barren year from Nazi perspective, once again emphasising that persecution against the Jews came in large waves, as opposed to regular intervals. 1936 saw the Olympics come to Nazi Germany, Berlin. As a part of international relation, Hitler withdrew all anti-Jewish banners, propaganda and messages around the country for the biggest show in the world. The first significance of this was that although the persecution of the Jews was something Hitler seemed insistent to implement, he was willing to curb the racial discrimination in order for Germany to be perceived in a more complimentary light. A whole year of relaxation of prosecution following a year of intense measures against Jews is remarkable; the policies were not building up steadily against the Jews but quiet years saw the barrier of oppression knocked down successively. Additionally, it suggests that the Nazis and Hitler acknowledged their own lack of morality, almost embarrassed by their propaganda, so they had to remove all signs of oppression in order to remain on mutual terms with foreign dignitaries.

Another barrage of persecution, although perhaps not as calculated as the previous, was the Night of Broken Glass. This event contributes in disagreement of the statement; a year of relaxation of the persecution was followed by murderous actions against the Jewish community. It what was inherently evil behaviour, the Storm Troopers, joined by indoctrinated civilians, set out to destroy the places of worship, homes and the people of the Jewish religion on the 9th of November 1938. 95 synagogues were burned down, hundreds of homes were destroyed but what was more horrifying was the murder of 95 Jews and the 20,000 sent to prison camps. Again, sudden outbursts of violence suggest that perhaps what Hitler planned for was uncalculated chaos; the Nazis let the environment and circumstances determine policy and the Jewish oppression would coincide, and eventually their ultimate one race state would be created. But the Night of the Broken Glass certainly reinforced the idea that any signs of was a gradual, calculated, steady intensification was unapparent; it was infrequent outbursts of organisations and violence against the Jews instead.

To summarise, it can certainly be said that during the period 1933-1942, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party embarked on a mission to exterminate the Jews, first shown in Mein Kampf, but their methodology in doing so was often irregular and unsteady. As opposed to the gradual degrading of the Jews, Hitler’s furious speeches infuriating the public and the set-up of organisations in spur of the moment time frames was more common. Between the anti-Semitism there were significant gaps of loosening the noose on the community, the Olympics a particular time whereby Germany temporarily wiped away their recent history threatening to ostracize Jewish people purely in order to seem to remain under the constraints of the Treaty of Versailles. Ultimately, Hitler’s oppression of the Jews intensified undoubtedly; but the intervals in which he persecuted them and the methodology behind it was certainly not steady.