The Nazi Attack on Jews and Other Undesirables in the Third Reich, 1933–1938

  • Steve Hochstadt
Part of the Documents in History book series (DH)


The Holocaust did not begin immediately when the Nazis took power in Germany in 1933. During its first five years, the Nazi government disposed of all political rivals, militarized the state and economy, prepared for wars of aggression, and employed a variety of strategies to eliminate Jews from German life. Jews were only one target of the Nazis in power. Socialists and Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted, arrested, and killed as political challengers; homosexuals, Gypsies, and the handicapped were attacked as racial inferiors and threats to the purity of Aryan blood. The documents in this section show some of these strategies and trace the rapid isolation of various social groups from their German neighbors. The lack of public opposition to the persecution of certain German citizens allowed the Nazis to continually escalate their attacks on these groups.


Concentration Camp German Citizen Social Democratic Party German People Nazi Party 
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  1. 13.
    Translated from Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, 1935, No. 100, pp. 1146–7. A different translation is published in Yitzhak Arad, Yisrael Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot (eds), Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1981), pp. 78–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 16.
    Translated from Ernst Hiemer, Der Giftpilz: Ein Stürmerbuch für Jung und Alt (Nuremberg: Verlag Der Stürmer, 1938), pp. 33–6. Nuremberg document PS-1778 contains a photocopy of Der Giftpilz, and extracts are translated in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. 4 (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1946), pp. 358–60.Google Scholar

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  • Steve Hochstadt

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