The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter VII
Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State
(Part 40 of 55)

D. After the acquisition of power the Nazi conspirators initiated a state policy of persecution of the Jews.

(1) The first organized act was the boycott of Jewish enterprises on 1 April 1933. The boycott action was approved by all the defendants who were members of the Reichsregierung (Reich Cabinet), and Streicher was charged with its execution. Presented as an alleged act of "self defense", the boycott action was intended to frighten Jewish public opinion abroad and force it, by the threat of collective responsibility to all Jews in Germany, to desist from warning against the Nazi danger. (2409-PS; 2410-PS)

The boycott was devised as a demonstration of the extent to which the Nazi Party controlled its members and the German masses; consequently, spontaneous action and physical violence were discouraged. Goebbels stated:

"The national-socialist leadership had declared: 'The boycott is legal', and the government demands that the people permit that the boycott be carried out legally. We expect iron discipline. This must be for the whole world a wonderful

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show of unity and manly training. To those abroad who believe that we could not manage it, we want to show that we have the people in our hand." (2431-PS)

(2) Laws eliminating Jews from various offices and functions. The Nazi conspirators legislative program was gradual and, in the beginning, relatively "moderate." In the first period, which dates from 7 April 1933 until September 1935, the laws eliminated Jews from public office and limited their participation in schools, certain professions, and cultural establishments. The following are the major laws issued in this period:

Document Number Date Reichsgesetzblatt Page Title and Gist of Law ------------------------------------------------------ 1397-PS 7.4.33 I.175 Gesetz zur Wiederherstellunl des Berufsbeamtenturn (Law for the reestablishment of the professional civil service), removing Jews from Civil Service. [Signed by] Hitler, Frick, Schwerin, V. Krosigk. 7.4.33 I.188 Gesetz uber die Zulassun zur Rechtsanwaltschaft (Law relating to admission to the Bar) removing Jews from the Bar. [Signed by] Guertner. 2868-PS 22.4.33 I.217 Gesetz betreff die Zulassun zur Patentanwaltschaft (Law relating to the admission to the profession of patent agent and lawyer) excluding Jews from acting as patent attorneys. [Signed by] Hitler, Guertner. 2869-PS 6.5.33 I.257 Gesetz uber die Zulasun von Steuereratern. (Law relating to the admission of Tax Advisors) eliminating "nonAryans" from the profession of tax consultants. [Signed by] Hitler, Schwerin, V. Krosigk. 2084-PS 22.4.33 I.215 Gesetz uber die uberfullun deutscher Schullen (Law against the over-crowding of German schools and higher institutions) limiting drastically the number of Jewish students. [Signed by] Hitler, Frick.

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2870-PS 26.7.33 I.538 Verordnung zur Durchfuehrung des Gesetzes uber den Widerruf von Einbuergerungen (Executing decree for the law about the Repeal of Naturalizations and the adjudication of German citizenship) defining Jews from Eastern Europe as "undesirable" and subject to denationalization. [Signed by] Pfundtner (Asst. to Frick). 2083-PS 4.10.33 I.713 Schriftleitergesetz (Editorial Law) barring "non- Aryans" and persons married to "non- Aryans" from the newspaper profession. [Signed by] Hitler, Goebbels. 2984-PS 21.5.35 I.608 Wehrgesetz (Law concerning Armed Forces) barring "non-Aryans" from military service. [Signed by: v. Blomberg]

On 10 September 1935, Minister of Education Rust issued a circular ordering the complete elimination of Jewish pupils from Aryan" schools (2894-PS). This legislative activity, in addition to being the first step towards the elimination of the Jews, served an "educational" purpose and was a further test of the extent of control exerted by the Nazi Party and regime over the German masses.

Dr. Achim Gercke, racial expert of the Ministry of the Interior, stated:

"The laws are mainly educational and give direction. The aspect of the laws should not be underestimated. The entire nation is enlightened on the Jewish problem; it learns to understand that the national community is a blood community; it understands for the first time the racial idea, and is diverted from a too theoretical treatment of the Jewish problem and faced with the actual solution." (2904-PS)

It was clear, however, that the Nazi conspirators had a far more ambitious program in the Jewish problem and put off its realization for reasons of expediency. In the words of Dr. Gercke:

"Nevertheless the laws published thus far cannot bring a final solution of the Jewish problem, because the time has not yet come for it, although the decrees give the general

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direction and leave open the possibility of further developments.

"It would be in every respect premature now to work out and publicly discuss plans to achieve more than can be achieved for the time being. However, one must point out a few basic principles so that the ideas which one desires and must have ripened will contain no mistakes. ***

"All suggestions aiming at a permanent situation, at a stabilization of the status of the Jews in Germany do not solve the Jewish problem, because they do not detach the Jews from Germany. ***

"Plans and programs must contain an aim pointing to the future and not merely consisting of the regulation of a momentarily uncomfortable situation." (2904-PS)

(3) Deprivation of Jews of their rights as citizens. After a propaganda barrage, in which the speeches and writings of Streicher were most prominent, the Nazi conspirators initiated the second period of anti-Jewish legislation (1 September 1935 to September 1938). In this period the Jews were deprived of their full rights as citizens (First Nurnberg Law and forbidden to marry "Aryans" (Second Nurnberg Law). Further steps were taken to eliminate Jews from certain professions, and the groundwork was laid for the subsequent expropriation of Jewish property. These laws were hailed as the fulfillment of the Nazi Party program.

The original plaintext version of part one or part two of this file is available via ftp.

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