What did the Nazis do to the Jews?

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Simple answer: They systematically harassed the Jews, made it impossible for them to earn a living, sent them to ghettos, seized their possessions, enslaved them and killed them.

Every single Jewish Holocaust story is different, and it differs from every country. Here's a small list of what Nazis did to Jews: Before the Mass-Murders
  • Jews were prohibited to walk into many stores, restaurants, etc.
  • Jews had to be identified with a Star of David. (Danish Jews, however, did not have to wear the Star) and had to have a J on their passports, etc.
  • Jews had to give up jewelry, food, etc.
  • Jews had reduced rations on their cards.
During the Mass-Murders
  • Polish Jews were forced in ghettos, then moved toy camps like Auschwitz.
  • Jews were forced in cattle-cars from anywhere to 2-7 days without food, water, etc.
  • Jews were beaten, starved, etc.
  • Jews were threatened
  • Some made unrealistic and grotesque experiments on Jewish people.
  • Jews were gassed and burned.


Timeline


1. In Germany Jews were persecuted with growing intensity from April 1933 onwards.

2. 1933: Most Jews were banned from working in the public sector, from higher education and from working in the media.

3. 1935: The Nuremberg Laws in effect deprived German Jews of citizenship.

4. 1938: Jews banned completely from the professions.

5. The Night of Broken Glass (9-10 November 1938) - Organized, large scale violence against Jews on 9-10 November (and longer in many parts of Germany). About 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps and 2,000 of these were dead within six weeks.

6. 1939: Jews forbidden to own businesses. Jews forced to live in designated apartment blocks marked with a huge J over all entrances. When World War 2 broke out in September, further restrictions were imposed on Jews. For example, they were not allowed to own pets or radios and had to stay at home from 9pm till 6am.

7. September 1939 onwards: Invasion of Poland and later other European countries greatly increased the number of Jews under German control. Ghettos (sealed off Jewish districts) established in Poland.

8. 1941: Following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union (June), mobile killing units (SD-Einsatzgruppen) went into action behind German lines, slaughtering the Jews (from 25 June 1941 on). September - Jews forbidden to leave Germany and German controlled territory and ordered to wear a yellow Star of David. October - first deportations from Berlin and other German cities to 'the East'. In practice, this meant that they were taken to 'killing fields' in Latvia and Belarus. Some were dumped in ghettos in Poland.

9. 1941: 8 December - routine mass gassings start at Chelmno. Start of the 'Final Solution'.

10. 1942: Wannsee Conference (20 January) establishes full coordination between the various branches of the German state in carrying out the Holocaust.

11. 1942, March onwards: Further extermination camps come into operation: Auschwitz II (Birkenau), Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, with Majdanek as a kind of 'back-up' for use when killing facilities at the other camps had insufficient capacity! Holocaust lasts till 1945.

12. July 1944 on: First major camp, Majdanek, liberated by Allied forces.


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