Jacob Boesel

Mr. Hawkins
Modern World History – P, Period 6
18 March 2016
What Events during the First Days of Hitler’s Rise to Power Might have Foreshadowed what
Eventually Happened to the Jews during World War II?
Life for the Jews during the time of WWII was horrible, but it was also bad for them
during the rise of Adolf Hitler as well. Even though millions of Jews were killed during the
Holocaust, they were treated horrible through different types of restrictions, bans, and laws that
limited many things that the Jews did in their everyday lives. The Jews were restricted because of
the Nuremberg Laws and boycotts of business, and even well-known doctors and lawyers were
put out of work.
A very big event that happened to the Jews was the Nuremberg Race laws. It was firstly
introduced “At the annual party rally held in Nuremberg in 1935, the Nazis announced
new laws which institutionalized many of the racial theories prevalent in Nazi ideology”
(The Nuremberg Race Laws). These laws affected the Jews in a hard way. The people that
were affected were not even necessarily of the religion of the Jews. “The Nuremberg Laws, as
they became known, did not define a “Jew” as someone with particular religious beliefs.
Instead, anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents was defined as a Jew…” (The
Nuremberg Race Laws). With this law in place many people feared for their lives if they even
had grandparents that were Jewish. Even when converted to the Christian faith, the people were
still seen as Jews. “In 1937 and 1938, the government set out to impoverish Jews by
requiring them to register their property and then by “Aryanyzing” Jewish Businesses”

(The Nuremberg Race Laws). This caused many people to lose their businesses. Many of the
families would lose a lot of money from these laws. The Nuremberg Race Laws was a law that
foreshadowed the events that would come later, but anti-Jewish boycotts also foreshadowed
things to come for the Jews as well.
Another event that happened was boycotts of everything Jewish. “Anti-Jewish boycotts
are organized activities directed against the Jews to exclude them from social, economic,
and political life” (Anti-Semitism: Anti-Jewish Boycotts). This meant that the Jewish people
were excluded from almost everything in Germany. Anti-Semitism was the most frequently used
tool against the Jews. “Contacts with Jews were avoided. Jews were not accepted in
merchants’ guilds, trade associations, and similar organizations” (Anti-Semitism: AntiJewish Boycotts). This boycott went so far as to say that people that were Jewish could not
marry people that were not Jewish. There would be legal reparations made to any Jew seen with
a non-Jewish person. “The Austrian anti-Semitists publicized in the press and at public
meetings the slogan “Don’t buy from Jews.” When the government declared this slogan
illegal, it was changed into “Buy from Christians only” (Anti-Semitism: Anti-Jewish
Boycotts). This slogan was different in other countries of Europe. The slogan spread even more
hatred towards the Jews. Although anti-Jewish boycotts foreshadowed things to come, but Nazis
boycotting Jewish businesses also foreshadowed things to come for the Jews.
The boycotting of Jewish businesses was very hard on the Jewish people. “Just a week
after the Enabling Act made Hitler dictator of Germany, a national boycott of Jewish shops
and department stores was organized by Nazis under the direction of Propaganda Minister
Joseph Goebbels” (Nazis Boycott Jewish Shops). This decision would cause much grieve for
many Jewish people. This decision also got unflattering comments in papers in the United States

and in Britain. In fact, “The boycott was claimed to be in reaction to unflattering newspaper
stories appearing in Britain and America concerning Hitler’s new regime” (Nazis Boycott
Jewish Shops). The articles that were written had a varied effect on Hitler and the Germans. The
boycotts against the Jews were very effective. “The boycott began at 10 a.m. on Sunday”
(Nazis Boycott Jewish Shops). Many people lost money, and many people went out of business.
Anyone that was considered a Jew by Hitler’s standards was registered as a Jew and hat their
property taken or bought from them at a low price. Boycotting Jewish businesses foreshadowed
things to come, but there were other things that foreshadowed hate towards the Jews as well.
In conclusion, it seems that there was a lot of discrimination and hatred towards the
Jewish people. The Germans and other Eastern-European countries showed this hatred by
creating laws and acts that took away many of the rights of Jewish people. Some of these things
were the right to own their own businesses, to marry whomever they want, and what they could
do. The Jewish people suffered many wrongs through the course of World War II.