The Jewish Holocaust German laws in the 1930s gave the Nazis total control over the Jews and allowed the Holocaust to happen. The Nazi persecution of the Jews began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power. Hitler blamed the Jews for all of Germany's problems. Germany started preparing for war. In their preparation they made laws prohibiting Jewish owned property or businesses. They made plans to take control of all the government, banks and business enterprises as to ruin the Jews economic life. Non-Jewish Germans were free to take any possessions they pleased from the Jews.
In 1939, Germany seized Poland and three million Jews where now under their rule. In the next year, the Germans would come to control five more European countries: Denmark, Norway, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Jews were sentenced to live in places called ghettos and work slave labor. After those attacks even more Jews fell into their hands.
In 1941, Germans invaded the Soviet Union. The agency of the police and the Nazi party guard (also known as the SS) dispatched 3000 men into their occupied Soviet Union areas with orders to kill all Jews on the spot. This attacks where known as Einsatzgruppen (action squads). These massacres were sometimes seen by local towns-people and soon spread to many other countries.
By 1941 the Jews in German occupied territories where forced to wear yellow stars so the Germans could point them out. In the next few months thousands of Jews where sent to ghettos. The Germans now created concentration camps. These camps where equipped with gas chambers. Most people in the ghettos were deported to these camps. Most who entered the camps would never exit. The Nazis would usually either kill them from over working, starvation or one of their many cruel treatments. The conditions of the camps were poor, Jews were shot and beaten daily, they where not fed enough and their bread was usually made of sawdust. The camps where surrounded by electric fences which would kill you when touched them if you where not shot before you reached them. In Auschwitz, a concentration camp in Poland, more than 1 million Jews where killed.
By the time the Holocaust ended about 6 million targets of the Nazis were killed. The Jewish dead numbered over 5 million: about 3 million in concentration camps, about 600,000 in ghettos and 1.4 million in shooting operations. To say this was a bad time for the Jews is an extreme understatement.
Sources: World Book Encyclopedia, Encarta 97 Encyclopedia