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Germany in the era from 1871 to 1918 rose to an imperial state with its greatest industrial expansion; this era is commonly called “the second Reich”. After the defeat of Germany in World War I by the allied western powers, the Whole German nation went into an inferiority complex. M.W.Fodor writes that No race has suffered so much from an inferiority complex as has the Germans (p.156). In 1919, The German Workers party was founded by Anton Drexler. Adolf Hitler as a government spy attended the party’s meetings and after having impressed by the policies of the party, joined it. After Hitler became the leader of this party he gained much power throughout the period of 1921-1933. In 1933 he became the dictator of the Germany controlling all of its social, political and economical scenarios. The era of the Germany under the control of Adolf Hitler is referred to as “The Third Reich”. Nazism or The German National Socialism was a practice of Nazi Germany led by Adolf Hitler. It involved an extreme kind of racism against Gypsies and mostly Jews. Despite of countless literature written on this subject, we lack a profound answer to the question that why was Nazism anti-Jewish.. The paper will show that Nazism was totally a racist ideology which motivated Nazis to target and exploit Jews on the basis of their ethnicity.
            The Nazis stressed the belief that Germans are racially the most pure people. They considered themselves as the only Aryan “Master race “on the face of the earth. A German philosopher J .G. Herder was a prominent proponent of this theory, he claimed that the Germanic people held close racial connections with the ancient Indians and ancient Persians whom he claimed were advanced peoples who were associated with great capacity for wisdom, nobility, restraint, and science (Blamires,p.62).Contemporaries of this concept link this to the similarity of the German language with the Indo-Aryan people. They think that the Semitic people such as Jews and Gypsies are “culturally sterile” people. Nazis believed that only the “Master race” has the right to live on this earth and to dominate it (Blamires, p.62).They designed policies to destroy the Jews considering themselves as the superior and noble and Jews as substandard. They thought that Jews are exploiting their race hence the German race should be preserved and protected from others. For their self preservation they did such a mass genocide. This concept was originated from the ideologies presented by many German philosophers.
Many of the great German historians, philosophers and theorists had also a very big impact on the Nazis anti-Jewish ideology. The Great German Figure Fichte also had the same view he stressed the need for cleaning the German nation in all aspects. The removal of French words from the German language can also be regarded as the first consequence of these beliefs .Fichte was anti-Jewish and considered them to be the greatest threat to the German nation .Fichte gave two choices to address the Jews, the first was to create a Jewish state in Palestine so that they may leave Europe and the second was to “To cut off all their heads in one night, and set new ones on their shoulders, which should not contain a single Jewish idea” (Rybak, 159). The Nazis claimed that their ideas were mainly influenced by German leader O.V.Bismarck who tried to unify Germany in the Second Reich. Nazis blamed Jews for the failure of the German Empire’s unification due to their infiltration in the German Parliament. Apart from these ideologies Nazis also gained support for the 1933 election by blaming the ethnic Jews as the greatest cause of their failure in World War I.
Another ideology which made the anti-Semitic ideas of the Nazis more fundamental was the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1912). This was an anti-Semitic publication which was written in Russia by the Russian secrete police to gain support for their anti-Jewish acts. This publication was about an international conspiracy of Jews to dominate the whole world. According to these Protocols a meeting of the leaders of Jews held in 1897 in Switzerland. In this meeting the leaders of the Jews decided to intrude into the world affairs through indirect channels and exploitation of other nations to dominate the world. Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders also believed that this publication is authentic. Hitler was motivated and also wrote his own book “Mein Kempf” which included the anti-Semitic aspects. Nazis gained that idea from the Jewish domination of the international markets and their manipulation of the mass media in the early 20th century. In Germany most of the market structure was controlled by Jews and therefore a sense of deprivation was originated from this publication. Latter at the start of the great depression when most of the German population was unemployed, Nazis gained support for their elections by blaming Jews for all of the economical deprivation of the Germans. The Russian communist revolution in1917 was considered by the Nazis as the first step of the Jews to dominate the world. This publication was proved to be a forgery by many of the greatest political leaders of that time but it added much to the anti-Jewish sentiments of the Nazis and Germans (protocols of the Elders of zion). Due strong hatred of Jews Nazis changed all the economical structure through their own orientation.
The Nazis rejected both capitalism and communism, accusing both of them being associated with Jewish influences and interests (Bendersky,p.24).Nazis claimed that capitalism damages nations due to the Jewish influences and the finance structure oriented on Jewish lines. They rejected communism because of its many controversial elements like class conflicts and atheism. Nazis considered that all of these new sophisticated systems were made by Jews and contains elements that support Jews more than the other people. Nazis thought that Liberalism, Enlightenment, Democracy, Parliamentary politics, Marxism and Trade Unions are all the fabrication of Jews for their self-preservation (Bendersky, p.24). Nazis promoted their own third system of national solidarity and merit based private property. This shows that how deeply rooted were the anti-Jewish ethnic concepts in Nazis that even they changed their whole economical to get rid of the single Jewish component. The economical component was much dominant in the Nazis ant-Jewish attitudes. That is why when they started exploiting Jews they first removed Jews from the higher positions in their economical structure.
Nazis knew that Jews cannot be eliminated directly. They applied many tactics to get rid of the Jews. Firstly, they weakened Jews financially and economically .Jewish doctors, shops, lawyers were boycotted .Jewish shops and restaurants were marked with yellow Star of David intended to prevent people from shopping. Everywhere on the Bus, park or shop there were specific seats for Jewish people. On ID cards and passports a big “J” was written to segregate Jews form Non-Jews. Nazis banned Jews from being a Government employ. Hence this law forced Jews to do the menial jobs. Jews were not allowed to join the armed forces and other professional jobs that meant that Jews will have no influence in education, politics, higher education and industry. Anti-Jewish propaganda was continued in the streets and in the markets to deprive Jews of their economical positions. A law was passed preventing inter-marriage of the “Aryan” with a Jew. Jews school children were openly ridiculed by the teachers and anti-Jewish literature was usually taught in the schools and universities. In this way Nazis paved the way for themselves to create an uneducated mass of Jews unable to fight for their rights. Jews were also deprived of the national social rights such as citizenship and the right to vote Because Nazi Party was the only political party allowed in Germany. Non-Jewish doctors were allowed to only treat non-Jewish patients. At the eve of the Second World War nearly all Jewish companies had been forced to sell out of the Germany. In this way Jews were totally separated from the common population. Jews were approximately one percent of the total German population and Nazis thought that it would be easier to eliminate them or force them to leave Germany. They also had many anti-Jewish rhetoric in their speeches in which they referred to Jews as “filthy Jew” hence they disregarded them to a “sub-human” form only on the basis of their ethnic origin.

All these tactics were used to isolate Jews from the normal Aryan community. Many laws preventing Jews to interact with other non-Jews had many consequences .The Nazis started to encourage the Jewish migration and also imposed a tax on Jewish property .Twenty percent of the Jewish property was confiscated and more strict laws were imposed which forced Jews to migrate. Jews started to migrate from Germany to other neighboring states. Some rich Jews who could afford to migrate did it but many were left behind in Germany. They were mostly caught and sent into concentration camps. In 1933, the number of Jews is approximated to 523,000 representing one percent of the total population of Germany. At the start of the Nazis rule some 37000-48000 Jews migrated to Western Europe most of them were caught when Germany captured these territories (German Jewish migration, 1933-1939). Mostly politically active Jews migrated first as compared to the normal Jews. After Jews were deprived of the civil jobs and the boycott of their businesses, Jews started to migrate to earn some living. Jewish holocaust started after they had sent a large population of Jews to the concentration execution camps.
The history of humans is full of holocausts and atrocities which humans did with humans and not with animals. Nazis committed atrocities on the Jews on the basis of ethnic and racist ideologies. The attitudes which the Nazis and the common German populace demonstrated were motivated by these ideologies. The actual role was played by the racist ideologies of the German philosophers .Migration is not a unique thing in its history of Jews. Moses had also motivated them to migrate to peaceful territory because of the atrocities of pharaoh. But the migration and the cruel attitudes which Nazis demonstrated cannot be vanished from the minds of Jewish community.
The attitudes which Germans demonstrated suggested that Nazism was a totally racist ideology originated from racist roots. Racist feature of this ideology comes from the German philosophers and historians who link this concept to Indo-Aryan Master Race and to the similarity of the languages of the Aryan and German people. Also this ideology gained much support from the German people because of the Fichte’s concepts of anti-Semitism. This ideology was also nourished in the first and second Reich because of Bismarck’s failure to unify the German states in the imperial German Empire and its link with ethnic minorities mostly with Jews. After that the Nazis came to gain support for their party and they used their anti-Jewish rhetoric to win the 1933 elections. The biggest reason which fueled the fire of anti-Jewish acts was the “protocols of the Elders of Zion”. This concept was used by Russians and Nazis to destroy the Jewish nation totally on the basis of racism. Adolf Hitler published his own book “Mein Kempf” in which he presented five basic points to his party .One of which included that to purify the nation ethnicity must be eliminated. "None but members of the nation may be citizens of the State. None but those of German blood may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation” (Jews in The Nazi Germany).

Written By: Asif Bahadur

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