How were different groups treated by the Nazis in Germany and how Hitler used the racism and the anti-Semitism against them. This essay will be on how different minority groups were treated by the Nazis after they came into power in 1933. It will also assess what groups were targeted by the Nazis who they sought to be unworthy of life and how Hitler used racism and anti-Semitism against them and how they were treated.
For example, homosexuals, the disabled and mentally ill, gypsies and finally communists where all targets of the Nazi regime. The worst enemies of Hitler were the Jews as he had strong anti-Semitic views against them as he saw the Jews as an obstacle in his plan to establish his master race. This treatment started in 1933 with moderate policies made by the Nazis which were branded as the Nuremburg laws and ended in 1941 with the Final solution being put into action which caused the execution of six million Jews, or known as the Holocaust.
Throughout Nazi Germany in the period 1928 through to 1941, racism was utilized by Hitler, and in turn his Nazi party, most predominantly to secure Hitlers position as dictator, and secondly to unite the German people against a common enemy, which would lead to a united powerful state, ready and able to exert its national will. The aims for racial purification and domination over Eastern Europe are made obvious primarily in the racist crude writings of Mein Kampf.
His racist and in part incoherent rambling in Mein Kampf underline his ideas of Jews and Bolsheviks as parasites, and maggots eating away at the German people of the racial level of the highest peoples. Hitlers use of racism is continually evident from the beginning of his comings to power. Racism was initially used by Hitler to identify his sympathizers, and most predominant to unite the German people again public internal enemy number one The Jews. Anti-semitism, anti-communism and attacks on several other minority groups ranging from slavs to democrats, were provided as an excuse for defeat in WW1 and the treaty of Versailles.
Hitler used racism to appeal to the pre existing aggressive side of German nature, thus securing his position as dictator and reuniting his people. Firstly, homosexuals before the war were tolerated by the German population and even had a thriving community in Berlin itself, but when the Nazis came into power in 1933 they saw a drastic change.
Hitler thought homosexuals damaged his plan for his master race as they could not reproduce along with the trepidation that members of he Nazi party might have been polluted by a gay gene. The Nazis begun their oppression of homosexuals with the purge in February 1933 with the prohibition of gay clubs and organised groups. In May of the same year the Hitler youth organised a burning of any un-German books mainly by Jewish or homosexual authors. The Gestapo where also involved in the oppression by compiling a list of identified gay men which led to the construction of the department for combating homosexuality by Himmler in 1936.
This led to widespread targeting of gay men within Germany, with many being sentenced to prison or even castration. Many where also sent to concentration camps where as many as fifteen thousand died from either extreme treatment or execution. This treatment however was extreme and unnecessary it showed that Hitler and the Nazis had an immediate purge on homosexuals and wanted to rid of them as soon as possible, unlike the Jews where they just oppressed them in the hope to make them leave Germany.
The disabled and mentally ill were also a target of the Nazi regime. The law for the prevention of hereditarily diseased offspring in 1933, stated that any person with a hereditary disease was to be sterilised so they could not reproduce. Also abortions were decriminalised to stop babies being born with a disease, but on the other hand it was forbidden for healthy babies to be aborted. The Nazis policy on racial hygiene brought them to introduce the T4 program.
This program could be said to be the first step towards the holocaust as it attempted to cleanse the German population of people who were disabled or had learning difficulties by the method of euthanasia. Nearly half a million people were killed by the Nazis in clinics that were considered unworthy of life. Hitler and the Nazis had a clear and distinct goal for the disabled and mentally ill which was to destroy and cut them from the root and branches to stop the birth of more diseased offspring.
It could be said that the treatment of them could had been a stepping stone towards the Holocaust as the method of euthanasia was quick and effective and was probably widely used throughout the death camps. The Gypsies, another hated group of people who moved around a lot, had been getting killed for centuries by other people because they were also disliked. The Nazis just continued to kill them, seeing the Gypsies as both selfish and pests to Germans because they thought that the Gypsies practiced witchcraft. The triangle that they wear was black and had a T on it.
The Nazis began sending the Gypsies to concentration camps. Hundreds of thousands of Gypsies were killed during the Holocaust. The Jehovahs Witnesses, a religious group, had a population of about 20,000 in Germany. This groups triangle was purple and had a B on it. Although their religious meetings were banned after the Nazis rose to power, many of them continued to practice their religion. The Jehovahs Witnesses that ignored the ban went to concentration camps. About 10,000 Jehovahs Witnesses were sent to concentration camps and died.
The Jews in Nazi Germany suffered appallingly after January 1933. Hitler wrote about how the Jews planned to contaminate the blood of pure Germans: The Jewish youth lies in wait for hours on end spying on the unsuspicious German girl he plans to seduce; He wants to contaminate her blood and remove her from the bosom of her own people. The Jew hates the white race and wants to lower its cultural level so that the Jews might dominate. The triangle which Jews should wear was yellow, and it had a P on it. German Jews werent allowed to go to theaters, swimming pools, and resorts.
Jews had to carry identification cards around with them, they were forced to add Sarah and Israel to their existing names for identification and also always had to wear a Star of David badge everywhere they went. There was a time called Kristallnacht, when the Nazis burned down synagogues, places where the Jews practiced their religion, and they destroyed Jewish businesses and homes. Jewish children were not allowed to go to school anymore. The Jews had curfews for how late they could be out, and then they werent allowed in public places. Finally, Germany started kicking them out of the country.
The next step for the Nazis was to send the Jews to concentration and death camps. About six million Jews died for one simple reason: they were Jewish. The Nazi party, utilized the powerful force of racism and anti Semitism in a naturally aggressive society, to further his power, unify the nation and perhaps achieve totalitarianism, in several different ways. From the mere exclusion of Jews and other minorities from the Volksgemienshaft, to the systematic genocide, the German people were united against public enemy number one, by a luck man hoping to further his positions as leader and Fuhrer of the whole world.