Essay by LadyJ4302High School, 10th gradeA+, October 2005

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Jews could be found in all walks of life, farmers, tailors, seamstresses, factory hands, accountants, doctors, teachers, and small-business owners. Many children ended their schooling early to work in a craft or trade; others looked forward to continuing their education at the university level. Whatever their differences, they all had one thing in common, by the 1930s, with the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany, they all became potential victims, and their lives were forever changed. However, Jewish misfortunes did not begin in Germany with the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. For centuries, the country had harbored strong anti-Jewish feelings. However, they were intensified in the Nazi era until theses feelings erupted in a frenzy of brutality and genocide.

Throughout history Jews have faced prejudice and discrimination. Driven out of present-day Israel nearly two thousand years ago by the Romans, they spread throughout the globe and tried to keep a firm hold onto their unique beliefs and culture while living as a minority (World Book Encyclopedia (H) 256a).

In some countries Jews were welcomed, and they enjoyed long periods of peace with their neighbors. In European societies where the population was primarily Christian, Jews found themselves increasingly isolated as outsiders. Jews do not share the same Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God or the Messiah, and many Christians considered this refusal to accept Jesus' divinity as arrogant. Not to mention how they "arrogantly boast that they are the chosen people" (HaTorah n.p.). Many Christians also believed that the Jews were to blame for the death of Jesus. For centuries the church taught that the Jews were responsible for Jesus' death. Not only were there religious conflicts, but there were economic ones too. (World Book Encyclopedia (A) 558)

Society placed restrictions on Jews, interdicted...