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Chapter 3

From Citizens to Outcasts, 1933–1938

Building a National Community, 1933–1936 Previous World War II and the Holocaust, 1939–1945 Next

Through hundreds of legal measures, the Nazi-led German government gradually excluded Jews from public life, the professions, and public education. The goal of Nazi propaganda was to demonize Jews and to create a climate of hostility and indifference toward their plight. On Kristallnacht—the Night of Broken Glass—Jewish businesses and synagogues were destroyed in the first act of state-sponsored violence against the Jewish community. Many Jews who had the means tried to leave Germany but encountered countless bureaucratic hurdles.

Discussion Question

  • How did Nazi Germany gradually isolate, segregate, impoverish, and incarcerate Jews and persecute other perceived enemies of the state between 1933 and 1939?