Explain the nature and impact of Nazi propaganda, terror and repression on the Jewish community between 1933 and 1945.

Essay by skyllinkaHigh School, 12th grade December 2006

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In explaining the nature and impact of Nazi propaganda, terror and repression on the Jewish community one must acknowledge the underlying anti-Semitic sentiments prevalent in the nationalistic German society. Anti-Semitism was the central, consistent theme of Nazism, and from the time Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933 to the end of the Second World War in 1945 he exploited these sentiments through propaganda by making the Jewish population a scapegoat for national frustrations. These feelings inspired acts of violence upon the Jewish population, for example Kristallnact, causing enough terror to suppress any major resistance. Repressive measures, including the Nuremburg Laws, aimed at gradually stripping the Jewish people of their basic human rights. All of these measures combined ultimately led to the 'Final Solution' being implemented and the devastating loss of 6 million lives.

Nazi racial policy has been considered, particularly by Friedlander, as a product of Hitler's promotion of pre-existing racism within German society.

The Weimar years saw many nationalist parties hold the Jewish community responsible for the humiliation of their World War I defeat, the Treaty of Versailles and the effects of the Great Depression. Indeed Hindenburg himself claimed that Germany had not been defeated in World War I but was instead "stabbed in the back by Jews and Communists." Furthermore, anti-Semitism was the most significant aspect of Hitler's Weltanschauung, and a dominant theme in his Mein Kamf : Jews were 'untermenschen' or 'subhuman' and revealed how Hitler perceived them as a parasite, contaminating the purity of Aryan blood. Pinson explained that "the Jew, in the Nazi ideology, was the embodiment of all their enemies rolled into one." This anti-Semitic feeling was heightened through the skillful use of propaganda.

Hitler's astounding skills as an orator coupled with Goebbel's Propaganda Ministry's incessant flow of anti-Semitic material aided in leading the...