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Lesson Objective:

To understand how life for the Jews


under the Nazi dictatorship was worse
than under the Weimar Republic.

Who was on Hitler’s hate list?

Hitler was determined to crush anybody who didn’t fully


support him. He once declared that opponents would
‘have their skulls bashed in’. However, most of Hitler’s
hatred was focused on race. He believed that humans
were divided into races and some races were better or
superior to others.

Hitler said that the best races were the ‘pure’ races and
ones that had not ‘mixed’ with others through marriage.
He also believed that the master race of pure Germans
should be the rightful rulers of Europe. He argued that
Germany had the right to dominate ‘inferior’ races such
as Jews, gypsies, Russians and Black people.

People who were disabled in any way or mentally ill were also targets for Hitler because they
damaged the purity of the German race. Hitler thought these people damaged the purity of
the German race.

Hitler thought that these people should be eliminated so their illnesses and disabilities could
not pass on to their children. 300,000 men and women were compulsorily sterilised with
hereditary illnesses; 720,000 mentally ill people were gassed and 5000 mentally impaired
babies killed.

“The prisons were full. Tramps, prostitutes and beggars were a common sight, but
there were other prisoners too. Anyone who refused to join the army was sent to
prison and so were people who’d been a member of any other political party except
the Nazis. Trade union leaders were also inside and I once met a woman who had
been reported for telling a joke at the Fuhrer’s expense. Another favourite tactic of
the Gestapo was to accuse a man or woman of being homosexual – there were many
in prison accused of this ‘crime’. “

Source A –
based on an interview with a former inmate of one of Hitler’s prisons. They later
became known as concentration camps.
Hitler reserved his greatest hatred for the Jews. He
saw them as an inferior race that cared more about
themselves than the greatness of Germany. He
thought they were involved in a great conspiracy to
take over the world and blamed them for Germany’s
loss in the Great War. Jews, Hitler said, must
therefore be destroyed. Sources A, B and C show how
Jews were persecuted in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

There were a number of laws passed in Germany


Source B
between 1933-1939 which were designed to make
An image of broken shop
life uncomfortable for Jews in Germany.
windows owned by Jews after
being smashed by Nazis.

Laws against Jews 1933 – 1939

March 1933 – All Jewish lawyers and judges sacked.


April 1933 – All Jews banned from any sports clubs. All Jewish teachers were
sacked.
September 1933 – ‘Race Studies’ introduced in German schools.
January 1934 – All Jewish shops were marked with a yellow star and the
word Juden.
September 1935 – Jews were not allowed to vote.
September 1935 – Marriages between Jews and non-Jews were banned.
January 1936 – No Jews were allowed to own any electrical equipment –
cameras, bikes, typewriters or music records.
July 1938 – Jewish doctors were sacked.
November 1938 – Jewish children banned from German schools.
December 1938 – Jewish and non Jewish children banned from playing
together.
April 1939 – Jews can be evicted from their homes for no reason.
September 1939 – Jews were no longer allowed out of their homes between
8pm and 6am.
Source C

Tasks:
1. Write a sentence or two to explain the following words: Fuhrer, Gestapo, concentration
camp and sterilisation.
Look at Source C.
• Write down 5 laws or policies that made life uncomfortable or difficult for German Jews.
• Next to each of your choices, explain why you think it was introduced by the Nazis.