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Hitler's Evils

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Present in Europe long before the rise of Hitler, anti-Semitism, or prejudice against the Jews, was a complex occurrence that at one time existed among most of the world. The Jews were a group of people that practiced separate religious beliefs and cultural practices than the majority of the population throughout history. From the days of the Bible until the Roman Empire, Jews were condemned and sometimes punished for their efforts to remain a separate social and religious group. Early Christians pointed their fingers at the Jews who they believed to be responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. During the Black Death of the 14th century, Jews were massacred because many had believed that they had somehow caused the plague, perhaps by poisoning thousands of wells across the continent. In the 19th Century when Europe became more secular and Jews began to blend into society, political forms of anti-Semitism appeared. Jews were targeted for their roles in society. When World War I ended Hitler, turned to the long tradition of anti-Semitism and used the Jews as scapegoats for Germany's troubles.

On November 7, 1938, a young Jew shot and wounded a German diplomat in Paris. This Jew had reacted so intensely to German authority because he was aware that his parents were mistreated in Germany. Hitler used this incident as an excuse to stage an attack against all the Jews. On November 9th and 10th all over Germany, Nazi mobs attacked Jewish communities. This event would later be called Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass. The members of the mob shouted, "Revenge for Paris! Kill the Jews!" These vicious members also smashed windows, looted shops, and burned synagogues. Some Jews were even taken from their homes and beaten in the streets. About one hundred Jews died from the heinous beatings and shootings.

Days after Kristallnacht, German leaders gathered to determine the amount of money to charge the Jews for the damage. The Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, held a press conference to confirm that Kristallnacht was not the government's action, but a spontaneous expression of German dissatisfaction with the Jews. The Jews were held responsible for cleaning up the streets and repairing any damages. News laws were passed following Kristallnacht, confirming Jews from public places. By April 1939 almost all Jewish businesses had closed and in September 1941 all Jews were forced to wear a yellow star, called the Star of David, on their clothes.

When the news of what happened on the November 9th and 10th reached the rest of the World, people couldn't believe their ears. The reaction to this horrid event was very negative, yet Hitler remained unmoved. He even made the Jewish victims pays for the damage. This was one of they many events that encouraged Hitler that it was possible for him to intensify his campaign against the Jews. In the years that followed, he ordered tens



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