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Published byMalcolm Montgomery Modified over 7 years ago
Why did the Nazis persecute many groups in German society?
By the end of the lesson you will: Know other groups besides the Jews who were persecuted Started to analyse how and why different groups were persecuted Have applied your thinking in order to have formulated an answer to the question of why the Nazis persecuted different groups
Task Use Walsh pages 294 – 297 and the slides that follow to make notes on who and why the Nazis persecuted groups in Germany Then answer the title question
Who was persecuted by the Nazi regime?
The Nazis believed that only “Germans” could be citizens and that non-Germans did not have any right to the rights of citizenship. The Nazis racial philosophy taught that some races were untermensch (sub-human). Many scientists at this time believed that people with disabilities or social problems were genetic degenerates whose genes needed to be eliminated from the human bloodline.
The Nazis, therefore: Tried to eliminate the Jews.
Killed 85 per cent of Germany's Gypsies. Sterilised black people. Killed mentally disabled babies. Killed mentally ill patients. Sterilised physically disabled people and people with hereditary diseases. Sterilised deaf people. Put homosexuals, prostitutes, Jehovah's Witnesses, alcoholics, pacifists, beggars, hooligans and criminals- who they regarded as anti-social - into concentration camps.
Source about Henny – were the Nazis right in their actions?
Henny was examined by a doctor who diagnosed a slight feeble-mindedness - in my opinion it was only a slight feeble-mindedness, and they decided that she should be sterilized. I thought about it a great deal at the time, and I felt sorry for the girl, but it was the law, and the doctors had decided. I personally took her to the maternity ward in the hospital where it took place. But I never got rid of the doubt in my mind that the decision was too harsh. I formed the impression when dealing with this young girl that she was perfectly capable of leading a normal life. The tragedy was that she was released very soon after this, then got a job and met a nice young man, and was now not allowed to marry him because of her sterilization.
Hashude The city of Bremen decided to conduct an experiment to send the worst families to a special camp where they could be re-educated. Here there were 84 houses and conditions were strict Men were made to work whilst the women were taught how to be good housewives and how to look after children Children were made to go to school Alcohol was banned Punishments were harsh – could be locked up in cells without food for three days. A family would usually stay for a year – they were allowed no contact with other families for the first six months. The families were under constant surveillance. Anyone could be sent to Hashude and families could be released if they showed major signs of improvement. If they did not improve they could be sent to concentration camps. The camp had to be closed in 1940 due to the war – out of 84 families who passed through it only 18 showed no signs of improvement. But in the end it was a failure – it cost a lot of money to run and others argued that these people should be sent to concentration camps straight away and not given a second chance.
Images from the Hashude
The Nazis began a huge propaganda campaign against mentally and physically disabled Germans. They did not fit into the Nazi stereotype of the pure Aryan, that is physically fit with an obedient mind to serve the Reich. In addition, they were viewed as a burden on society, as they were unable to work and drained resources from the state. As early as July 1933, the Nazis passed a law that allowed forced sterilisation of 350,000 men and women, who were deemed likely to produce 'inferior' children. Between 1939 and 1941 a programme of euthanasia (so called ‘mercy killing’), ordered by the state, led to the murder, by doctors and medical staff, of at least 70,000 people. Both the Protestant and Catholic Churches in Germany protested against the euthanasia programme. In July 1941 a letter from the Catholic bishops was read out in all churches, declaring that it was wrong to kill. Opposition to the programme increased amongst the Catholic population of Germany. During July and August 1941, Bishop Clemens August Graf von Gale, a Catholic Bishop issued three sermons condemning this practice; he sent a telegram of the third sermon to Hitler calling on him to “defend the people against the Getsapo”. This third sermon was also reproduced and sent all over Germany to families, and even to German soldiers on the Western and Eastern Fronts. Fearing a public uprising across Germany, Hitler ordered a stop to the killings. However, the policy continued in one way or another through to For instance, after the Nazi invasion of Poland they murdered thousands of seriously ill Poles in hospitals. The experience gained as a result of the euthanasia programme was also put to use from 1941 onwards as the Nazis sought to murder the Jews of Europe.
Helene Lebel was a young Austrian who loved to swim and go to the opera. In her teens she developed mental illness and had a break down. At 29 years old she became another statistic in the Nazis T4 Euthanasia programme.
The Jews Use the folder called “Life in Nazi controlled Europe / Controlling every day life / Impact on Jewish Communities” Read the 8 extracts and files then complete the activities on the 9th file to answer the question “How did the Nazis policies affect the Jews in Germany?”
Why did the Nazis persecute many groups in German society?
Now check that you: Know other groups besides the Jews who were persecuted Have started to analyse how and why different groups were persecuted Have applied your thinking in order to have formulated an answer to the question of why the Nazis persecuted different groups
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