The Holocaust did not start at the start of World War II, although this is what many people believe. The foundation for the Holocaust, was laid out long before that. There had been Anti-Semitism in Europe and other parts of the world for centuries.
However, during the Weimar Republic in Germany, the seeds were planted for Anti-Semitism and bigotry to become genocide.
The concerns of great groups of the population weren’t listened to, or dismissed. This gave the opportunity for the NSDAP to rise. They told the people what they wanted to hear. They promised them employment and a good standard of living, Then when they finally got to power they started to ‘deliver’ on those promises. They did, however, fail to tell the people what price was going to be paid for those promises.
In the media, I have seen very little coverage of some disturbing events which had the 90th anniversary in the last few weeks.
The Enabling Act, also known as The Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Reich was passed by the German parliament (444 voted for/ 94 against/109 absent) on 23 March 1933, and proclaimed the next day, it became the cornerstone of Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship. The act allowed him to enact laws, including ones that violated the Weimar Constitution, without the approval of either parliament or Reich President von Hindenburg. Making Hitler the totalitarian leader of Germany.
The first measures against the Jews included:
April 1, 1933: A boycott of Jewish shops and businesses by the Nazis.
April 7, 1933: The law for the Re-establishment of the Civil Service 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 working since August 1914; 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.
April 7, 1933: The law regarding admission to the legal profession prohibited the admission of lawyers of non-Aryan descent to the Bar. It also denied non-Aryan members of the Bar the right to practice law. (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.
The Holocaust didn’t start with murdering, but with false promises.