Why was Nazi state-sponsored antisemitism so much more dangerous to German Jews than earlier forms of antisemitism?

Now that we have begun focusing on the Holocaust, I’d want to give you an excellent website: http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/holocaust/about/index.asp It is a website put together by scholars of the Holocaust.  I can vouch for its accuracy – something that I cannot do for many other sites on the Internet.
Read the [Overview] and answer question 1:

1. What was the scope of the Holocaust? In other words, how many Jews were murdered? Who did the murders? How many years did the murderous phase of the Holocaust last?

Now, click on Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1939 (on the left side of the webpage). You will see headings under Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1939. Read the Introduction and the section entitled Antisemitism. Click on the link antisemitism in the second paragraph and read the PDF document that will open up automatically. Now, answer questions 2 and 3:

2. How did modern Germans view Jews in a fundamentally different manner from earlier forms of antisemitism that we have studied so far?

3. Why was Nazi state-sponsored antisemitism so much more dangerous to German Jews than earlier forms of antisemitism?

Now, click on Rise of the Nazis and Beginning of Persecution (on the left side of the webpage) and read this section. Answer question 4.

4. How did the Nazi Party rise to power?

Click on the link Adolf Hitler (it’s located in the paragraph that begins with “In 1919…”) and read the short biography. (The link will take you to a PDF file.) Answer questions 5-10:

5. In what country was Hitler born and educated?

6. What did the German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party) advocate about the Jews immediately after World War I?

7. What was the Beer Hall Putsch?

8. When Hitler came out of prison, what tactics did he and the Nazis use to get power?

9. Once in power, what were Hitler’s main goals? And, how did he accomplish them?

10. How did Hitler view the Jews once in power?

Stop reading at the end of page 3 of the biography. We will pick up with Hitler’s biography later on in the course.

Go back to Rise of the Nazis and Beginning of Persecution and continue reading. You will see a section entitled “The Beginning of the Persecution of Jews in Germany,” towards the bottom of the webpage. Answer questions 11-13.

11. How many Jews lived in Germany in the 1930s and what percentage of the German population were they?

12. What were the two primary levels on which Nazi antisemitic policy operated?

13. What were some of the antisemitic measures enacted by the German government under Hitler before September 1935?

Now click on the word, Dachau and answer questions 14-16.

14. Dachau was the first concentration camps in Germany. What purpose did it serve between 1933 and 1935?

15. Who was the commandant and who assisted him in running the camp?

16. How did Dachau become a prototype of other camps elsewhere in Germany?

The link for the Nuremberg Laws does not work. So, click on the following link: Ant-Jewish Legislation. It will open a PDF. Read it and answer questions 17-20.

17. What did the first wave of antisemitic laws involve?

18. What was the special name given to the second wave of antisemitic laws and what did the do?

19. What di the third wave of antisemitic laws do?

20. Taken together, how did the three waves of antisemitic laws alter the economic, social, political and cultural standing of Jews in Germany?

Now, click on the link to the left entitled Persecution of the non-Jews. Read this section and click on the following links: Sinti and Roma, Homosexuals, the euthanasia program and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Answer questions 21-25.

21. Why and how did the Nazis persecute the Sinti and Roma?

22. Why and how did the Nazis persecute homosexuals?

23. Why and how did the Nazis persecute the disabled?

24. Why and how did the Nazis persecute Catholics?

25. Why and how did the Nazis persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Now click on 1938 (on the left-side of the webpage) and answer questions 26 and 27.

26. Why do we considered the year 1938 to be “The Fateful Year”?

27. What new forms of violence were perpetrated against German Jews?

Click on the link, Evian Conference, and answer questions 28-30?

28. What did the conference fail to do for persecuted European Jews?

29. What conclusions can you draw about the 32 countries represented at the conference?

30. Despite the conference’s many failures what was its one big accomplishment?

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