Answer: The first measures against the Jews included: a boycott of Jewish shops and businesses (April 1, 1933) and the law for the Re-establishment of the Civil Service (April 7, 1933) which effectively expelled all non-Aryans (defined on April 11, 1933 as anyone with a Jewish parent or grandparent) from the civil service. Initially, exceptions were made for those who had held their jobs from the start of the First World War on August 1, 1914 as well as German veterans of World War I and, those who had lost a father or son fighting for Germany or her allies in World War I.
A law was passed barring Jews and non-Aryans from admission to the legal profession and from the right to represent Aryan clients. (Exceptions were made in the cases noted above in the law regarding the civil service.) Similar laws were passed regarding Jewish law assessors, jurors, and commercial judges.
April 22, 1933: The decree regarding physicians’ services with the national health plan denied reimbursement of expenses to those patients who consulted non-Aryan doctors. Jewish doctors who were war veterans or had suffered from the war were excluded.
April 25, 1933: The law against the overcrowding of German schools restricted Jewish enrollment in German high schools to 1.5% of the student body. In communities where they constituted more than 5% of the population, Jews were allowed to constitute up to 5% of the student body. Initially, exceptions were made in the case of children of Jewish war veterans, who were not considered part of the quota. In the framework of this law, a Jewish student was a child with two non-Aryan parents.12. Did the Nazis plan to murder the Jews from the beginning of their regime?
Answer: This question is one of the most difficult to answer since Hitler’s style was to express his desires verbally; his signature on written orders appears rarely. While Hitler made several references to killing Jews, both in his early writings (Mein Kampf, 1925) and in various speeches during the 1930s, there is no evidence that the Nazis had an operative plan for the complete annihilation of the Jews before 1941. The concrete decision on the systematic murder of the Jews was apparently made sometime in early 1941 and in conjunction with the decision to invade the Soviet Union.13. When was the first concentration camp established and who were the first inmates?
Answer: The first concentration camp, Dachau, opened on March 22, 1933. The camp’s first inmates were primarily political prisoners (e.g. Communists or Social Democrats); habitual criminals; homosexuals; Jehovah’s Witnesses; and “anti-socials” (beggars, vagrants, prostitutes). Others considered problematic by the Nazis (e.g. Jewish writers and journalists, lawyers, unpopular industrialists, and political officials) were added later. Significant numbers of Jewish prisoners are sent to concentration camps only after the Kristall Night pogrom in November 1938.
14. Which groups of people in Germany were considered enemies of the state by the Nazis and were, therefore, persecuted?
Answer: The following groups of individuals were considered enemies of the Third Reich and were, therefore, persecuted by the Nazi authorities: Jews, Gypsies, Social Democrats, Communists, other opposing politicians, opponents of Nazism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, habitual criminals, and “anti-socials” and the mentally ill. Anyone who was considered a threat to the Nazis was in danger of being persecuted, as were individuals against whom a Nazi official had a personal grievance or antipathy.15. What was the difference between the persecution of the Jews and the persecution of other groups classified by the Nazis as enemies of the Third Reich?
Answer: The Jews were the only group singled out for total systematic annihilation by the Nazis. The only way for Jews to escape the death sentence imposed by the Nazis was to leave Nazi-controlled Europe. Every single Jew was to be killed according to the Nazis’ plan. If criminals or other enemies of the Third Reich were executed or sent to a concentration camp, it did not mean that each member of their family would meet the same fate. Moreover, in most situations the Nazis’ enemies were classified as such because of their actions or political affiliation (actions and/or opinions which could be revised, i.e. rehabilitated). In the case of the Jews, it was because of their racial origin, which, according to Nazi ideology, was immutable and could never be changed.