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This would include deportation, sterilization, work camps, ghettos, and forcing "undesirables" to wear symbols (Yellow Stars, Purple Armbands).
Additionally, if anybody knows any of the symbols used for this, I would like help with that too. These are the ones I have so far:
Jehovah's Witnesses=Purple Armbands
Gay Men=Pink Triangles
Child Molestors=Green Triangles
Lesbians=Black Triangles (?)
Does anyone know if gypsies wore anything? What about Poles? Handicapped, mentally insane?
Thanks for any help,
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Lawrence, I'm not quite convinced of that one. I suspect the notorious ones didn't recieve the buttkissing they recieve now, and I think the public wasn't outraged when they were planted.Lawrence Tandy wrote:I didn't know that they sent child-molesters to camps. I hate the very idea of concentration camps, but it is a fitting environment for a pedophile to die in.
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February 27 1933
A fire severely damaged and almost destroyed the Reichstag building which housed the German legislature. Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch-born workman, was immediately arrested and charged with arson. (Holo Ency 1759)
February 28 1933
Following the Reichstag fire, Chancellor Adolf Hitler enacted a measure -- the "Decree for the Protection of People and State" -- which allowed the police to arrest ordinary citizens and have them condemned to continuous custody without the right to a trial or appeal. Constitutional rights were indefinitely suspended, and a state of emergency was declared, which remained in effect until the Nazi defeat in 1945. According to the decree, "restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications; and warrants for house searchers, orders for confiscation as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed." The police -- including the auxiliary police formations of the SA, SS and Stahlhelm -- immediately arrested some 4,000 Communist officials and large numbers of opposition leaders -- even Reichstag members, who were legally immune from arrest. (Yellow Star 271; Genocide 44; Rise & Fall 194)
March 3 1933
Hermann Goering, the Police President of Prussia, stated in a speech at Frankfurt-am-Main:
"Fellow Germans, my measures will not be crippled by any judicial thinking . . . . I don't have to worry about justice; my mission is only to destroy and exterminate, nothing more! . . . Certainly, I shall use the power of the state and the police to the utmost, my dear Communists, so don't draw any false conclusions; but the struggle to the death, in which my fist will grasp your necks, I shall lead with those down there--the Brownshirts!" (Rise & Fall 195)
March 5 1933
The last general elections for the Reichstag were held, in which the NSDAP (Nazi Party) received 43.9 percent of the total votes. A record 88.8 percent of the electorate cast ballots. (Yellow Star 271
March 5, 1933
Without any organized central direction, the Nazis began to take their first anti-semitic "individual acts" against German Jews.
March 20 1933
German authorities set up a concentration camp at an old arsenal in Dachau, to hold persons detained in the wave of arrests which followed the Reichstag fire. The first prisoners -- mostly Communists and political dissenters -- arrived the next day. (Holo Ency 1759)
March 21 1933
The Reich Cabinet enacted a law which established a special three-man court -- the Sondergericht -- to try cases involving "political crime," defined as "insidious attacks against the government." There were no juries, and defense lawyers who practiced in this court had to be approved by the NSDAP. (Rise & Fall 269)
March 21, 1933
Communist deputies were forbidden to take seats in the new Reichstag, which convened for the first time since the March 5 elections. Communist party candidates had received 12.3 percent of the vote and had 81 seats out of 647 total in the German legislature.
March 23 1933
The German Reichstag, minus the 81 arrested Communist deputies and with the Social Democrats dissenting, passed the "Enabling Act" granting broad powers to the Reich Cabinet and allowing laws which "might deviate from the constitution." Specifically, the Act transferred the powers of legislation and the budget, approval of treaties with foreign powers, and the initiation of constitutional amendment from the Reichstag to Hitler's Cabinet of Ministers. (Rise & Fall 198)
March 31 1933
SA-Standarte (SA Regiment) 208 set up, on their own authority, a concentration camp at Oranienburg, near Berlin, Germany, in an abandoned brewery. The first transport of prisoners -- 40 Marxists -- arrived on this day. The camp's first commandant was SA-Sturmbannfuehrer Werner Schaefer. (Holo Ency 1091)
The State government of Bavaria, Germany, outlawed the Jehovah's Witnesses religious sect. (Holo Ency 742)
April 1 1933
In accordance with an order by Chancellor Adolf Hitler on March 28, April 1 was designated "National Boycott Day" against Jewish shops in Germany. This act was announced to be in response to anti-German atrocity stories and anti-German boycotts in foreign countries, inspired by German Jews. (Rise & Fall 203)
April 7 1933
German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, using the Enabling Act, had his Cabinet enact a new law, the "Second Law for the Coordination of the States with the Reich", appointing a Reich Governor (Reichsstaathalter) in all the German states, empowering them to appoint and remove the local governments, dissolve the state parliaments, and appoint or dismiss state officials and judges. The Reich Governors who were named were, without exception, NSDAP (Nazi Party) members. The "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service," passed the same day, eliminated all "non-Aryan" civil servants. Yet another act, the "Law on Admission to the Bar," eliminated all "non-Aryan" lawyers and excluded those who had taken part in Communist activities. (Rise & Fall 200; Yellow Star 271; Holo Ency 1759)
April 21 1933
The ritual slaughter of animals, part of the Orthodox Jewish religion involving the preparation of meat for consumption by Jews, was banned in Germany. (Holo Ency 1759)
April 25 1933
The Reich Cabinet issued a law against overcrowding of German schools and universities, which set quotas limiting the percentage of Jews who could go to colleges and universities to the actual percentage of Jews in the general population. (Hilberg 6)
April 26 1933
Hermann Goering, the Police President of Prussia, established the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei -- the Secret State Police) as a branch of the Prussian police. (Rise & Fall 270)
May 2 1933
German police took over the buildings of Germany's non-Catholic trade unions (numbering 4.5 million workers among their members), confiscated their funds, dissolved the unions and arrested their leaders. (Rise & Fall 202)
May 10 1933
SA men, students and citizens in Berlin broke into public and private libraries and then gathered up a huge pile of 20,000 "un-German" books. The seized works included any book "which acts subversively on our future or strikes at the root of German thought, the German home and the driving forces of our people." The mob then burned the books in front of the Berlin Opera House after a torchlight parade. Similar burnings took place in other German cities. Banned authors included Albert Einstein, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Arnold and Stefan Zweig, Erich Maria Remarque, Ernst Weichert, Carl von Ossietzky, Friedrich W. Foerster, Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Romain Rolland, Helen Keller, Selma Lagerlof, H.G. Wells, Havelock Ellis, Sigmund Freud, Jean F.M.A. de Voltaire, Andre Gide, Emile Zola, Herman Hesse and Marcel Proust. (Rise & Fall 241)
10 May 1933
German police seized the buildings, records, newspapers, funds and all other property of the Social Democratic Party. In the elections of March 5, 1933, the Socialists got 18.3 percent of the vote and had 120 deputies in the Reichstag. (Rise & Fall 241)
May 17 1933
The Bernheim petition against Nazi anti-Jewish legislation in German Upper Silesia (a German state) was presented to the League of Nations in Geneva. (Holo Ency 1759)
May 19 1933
The Nazi government prohibited labor strikes throughout Germany.
May 30 1933
The League of Nations condemned the mistreatment of Jews in Germany.
June 6 1933
Lord Robert Cecil, President of the League of Nations Union (the predecessor of the United Nations), declared at the League's request that the mistreatment of Jews in Germany was incompatible with the spirit of the League of Nations and with the development of Western culture over the preceding 300 years.
June 22 1933
German Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick ordered the Social Democratic Party dissolved as "subversive and inimical to the state." The surviving Social Democratic Party leader, Paul Lobe, and a number of Reichstag Deputies were arrested, while other prominent Socialists, such as Johannes Stelling, were murdered before the end of the month. (Rise & Fall 201)
June 24 1933
The Christian (Catholic) trade unions of Germany were dissolved. (Rise & Fall 202)
The State government of Prussia outlawed the Jehovah's Witnesses religious sect. (Holo Ency 742)
June 27 1933
The German Democratic Party dissolved itself. (Rise & Fall 201)
June 29 1933
The German National Party dissolved itself. (Rise & Fall 201)
July 4 1933
The Catholic Bavarian People's Party and the German People's Party dissolved themselves. (Rise & Fall 201)
July 5 1933
The German Center Party, a Catholic political group, dissolved itself, leaving the NSDAP as Germany's sole political organization. (Rise & Fall 201)
July 6 1933
The Reich Cabinet issued a decree providing for the liquidation of Jewish-owned real estate agencies, brokerage firms and marriage agencies catering to non-Jews. (Hilberg 6)
July 11 1933
The state Protestant churches in Germany merged and formed the "Evangelical Church." Ludwig Mueller was later appointed as national bishop by the Nazis, causing a number of congregations to break away. (Ency World Hist 1001)
July 14 1933
The Reich Cabinet passed a law decreeing: "The National Socialist German Worker's Party [Nazi Party] constitutes the only political party in Germany." Activity in any other political party became punishable by 6 months to 3 years' imprisonment. (Rise & Fall 201)
July 14, 1933
The Reich Cabinet enacted "The Law on the Revocation of Naturalization and Deprivation of German Citizenship of the Jews." (Yellow Star 271)
Another law, "Law for Averting Hereditarily Diseased Progeny", legalized forced sterilization. (Expand on "Law...Diseased Progeny")
July 20 1933
Papal delegates from the Vatican signed a "concordat," or treaty, with Nazi Germany, in which the Pope agreed not to interfere with German internal affairs (by denouncing Nazi anti-Semitism, for example), if Hitler guaranteed freedom of religion to Catholics.
July 25 1933
The Reich Cabinet published a law providing for the compulsary sterilization of men and women suffering from certain hereditary diseases. (Into That Darkness 60-61)
August 2 1933
A Reich Law allowed the Nazi government to stop any investigation, inquiry or case in trial before any German tribunal. This law was used to block independent police and judicial inquiries into Nazi-approved crimes. (Delarue Gestapo 69)
August 25 1933
The economic authorities of Nazi Germany concluded the "Haavara Transfer Agreement" with the German Zionist Federation and the Anglo-Palestine Bank to facilitate Jewish emigration and export of capital, in the form of goods, from Germany to Palestine. The agreement followed three months of negotiations on the subject. This agreement continued in effect until shortly after the outbreak of war in September, 1939, when the economic blockade of Germany made further activities under the agreement impossible. (Holo Ency 639-40)
September 11 1933
The Reich Ministry of the Interior issued a circular stating that, as of July 31, 1933, 26,789 persons were in protective custody. (Inv War Crimes 12)
September 19 1933
Fritz Solmitz, a socialist journalist and outspoken anti-Nazi, died in Fuhlsbuttel concentration camp near Hamburg, Germany. He had been beaten to death. (Snyder Ency 324)
September 22 1933
The Reich Cabinet enacted the "Chamber of Culture Law," removing Jews from the fields of literature, music, art, broadcasting, theaters and the press. (Yellow Star 271; Holo Ency 1759)
October 14 1933
Chancellor Adolf Hitler announced that Germany would no longer be a member of or participate in the League of Nations.
October 17 1933
Theodor Eicke, commandant of Dachau concentration camp, reported that two prisoners had committed suicide by hanging themselves with their belts. Doctors at an independent post-mortem requested by the families of the dead prisoners reported that the two men had been brutally beaten and then strangled by hand. Ernst Roehm, the head of the SA, refused to allow a police investigation, stating: "Dachau camp is a camp for prisoners in preventive custody and for political internees. The incidents in question are of a political nature, and in all circumstances the political authoritie have to decide in the first instance. In my opinion they do not seem to be of a nature to be examined by the judicial authorities. This is my advice as Chief of Staff [of the SA] and as Minister of the Reich. In this capacity I am interested to see that the Reich suffers no political prejudice as a result of these proceedings. I will obtain from the Reichsfuehrer-SS [Heinrich Himmler] an order decreeing that no investigating authority will be allowed to visit the camp for the moment, and no prisoner will be interrogated." Reich Minister of the Interior Dr. Wilhelm Frick also ordered suspension of criminal proceedings by the public prosecutor in the case. (Delarue Gestapo 69-70)
November 12 1933
In the German general election, 92 percent of all votes cast were for NSDAP (Nazi Party) candidates. No other political parties were allowed to participate. (Yellow Star 271)
December 1 1933
The "Unity of Party and State Decree" became law, merging the government of Germany with the Nazi Party. (Yellow Star 271)
January 1 1934
Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler sent a New Year message to SS unit commanders, stating: "One of the most urgent tasks incumbent upon us is to discover all the declared or hidden enemies of the Fuehrer and of National Socialism, to combat and annihilate them. To accomplish this task we are ready to shed not only our own blood but the blood of others." (Delarue Gestapo 60)
January 10 1934
Marinus van der Lubbe, sentenced to death for starting the Reichstag fire in February of 1933, was beheaded by Nazi authorities. (Snyder Ency 14)
January 15 1934
Hermann Goering issued an order to the Prussian Gestapo and the frontier police to begin to keep files on Germans who had fled the Reich into neighboring countries. Political dissidents and Jews were of particular interest, and Goering directed that these people be arrested and shipped to concentration camps if they returned to Germany. (Delarue Gestapo 83)
January 30 1934
The Reich Cabinet, with the unanimous approval of the Reichstag, passed the "Law for the Reconstruction of the of the Reich" which abolished state parliaments, transferred their sovereign powers to the Reich, and placed all state governors and governments under the Reich Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick. This act transformed Germany into a centralized national state and abolished the old federal system. (Rise & Fall 200)
January 30 1934
A Decree of the Reich Cabinet put all police services in Germany under the central authority of the Reich government, ending the control of the police by provincial authorities. (Delarue Gestapo 50)
March 19 1934
Julius Streicher, the Gauleiter of Franconia, gave a graduation speech to a graduating class of girls at a German vocational school, which was reported by the Fraenkische Tageszeitung:
". . . Then Julius Streicher spoke about his life and told them about a girl who at one time went to his school and who fell for a Jew and was finished for the rest of her life.
'German girls,' the Frankenfuehrer continued, 'when you go out into the world you are in great danger. The Jew, to whom according to his laws you are free game, will try to approach you in various ways. Repulse him, stay honest and good. It is not beautiful frocks, lipstick and the powder-box that make you into German women. See that you remain clean spiritually and eventually become good German mothers.'
. . . Then Julius Streicher gave a few typical examples of how the Jew carefully plans to break up the lives of the people; how he tries, by violating German women and girls, to lower the level of a race so as to render it unable to offer any resistance and thus helps to establish his world domination." (Tyranny on Trial 286-7)
April 1 1934
Hermann Goering, the Nazi Premier of Prussia, dismissed Rudolf Diels as head of the Gestapo -- at that time the Prussian Secret Police. Goering then appointed Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler to head the Prussian Gestapo on April 20, 1934. By that time Himmler controlled most of the police organizations of Germany, with the exception of Prussia. (Delarue Gestapo 51)
April 20 1934
Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler became acting chief of the Prussian Gestapo, established earlier that year by Hermann Goering, the Police President of Prussia.
April 24 1934
The Reich Cabinet took the right to try treason cases away from the German Supreme Court and reposed it in a newly-established court -- the Volksgericht or People's Court. The People's Court consisted of seven members, two of which were professional judges, with the remaining five chosen from NSDAP officials, the SS and the armed forces. There was no appeal from its sentences, and its sessions were usually secret. (Rise & Fall 269)
June 17 1934
Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen denounced the continuing Nazi revolution and called for a restoration of freedom in a speech given at the University of Marburg. A furious Chancellor Adolf Hitler called von Papen a "worm" and "a ridiculous dwarf" who would be "crushed by the fist of the entire German nation."
June 30 1934
The "Night of the Long Knives" took place all over Germany, when, on orders from Adolf Hitler, the principal leaders of the SA (Sturmabteilung or Stormtroopers) were arrested and shot. The murdered SA chiefs included SA Chief Ernst Roehm, Edmund Heines, Karl Ernst and sixteen others. In addition, a number of other political opponents of Hitler were also murdered, among them Father Bernhard Stempfle, Gregor Strasser, General Kurt von Bredow and former Reich Chancellor General Kurt von Schleicher. The estimated number of total deaths in this slaughter exceeded 1,000. In addition, Erich Klausener, the leader of the Catholic Action movement, was murdered in his office by the SS. Klausener's widow later tried to sue for damages, but her attorneys were arrested and held in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, in Germany, until the lawsuit was withdrawn. (Rise & Fall 220-224; Snyder Ency 195)
July 4 1934
SS-Oberfuehrer Theodor Eicke was appointed Inspector of Concentration Camps and Guard Formations. (Mollo IV; 12)
July 26 1934
Adolf Hitler, in recognition of the services of the SS during "the Night of the Long Knives," made the SS (Schutzstaffel) an independent organization within the NSDAP and removed it from the supervision of the SA. (Mollo, I, 1)
July 10 1934
The battered body of Erich Muhsam, a Jew, anarchist and anti-Nazi, was discovered hanged in a latrine at Oranienburg concentration camp in Germany. Muhsam, who had been arrested within a few hours of the Reichstag fire, had been subjected to every sort of torture and indignity. The camp guards had even ripped portions of his beard out to make him look more "Jewish." (Who 212)
July 13 1934
In a speech to the Reichstag justifying the "Night of the Long Knives" purge of the SA and anti-Nazi political opponents on June 30, Adolf Hitler stated:
"If anyone reproaches me and asks why I did not resort to the regular courts of justice, then all I can say is this: In this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people, and thereby I became the supreme judge of the German people. Everyone must know for all future time that if he raises his hand to strike the state, then certain death is his lot." (Rise & Fall 226)
July 20 1934
Within the NSDAP (Nazi Party) organization, the SS (Schutzstaffel or Elite Guard) became an independent organization under Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler - it had previously been a sub-organization of the SA (Sturmabteilung or Stormtroopers). (Yellow Star 272)
August 1 1934
As German President Paul von Hindenburg lay near death, the Reich Cabinet enacted a law abolishing the office of President, reposing the powers of head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces in Adolf Hitler, the Fuehrer (Leader) and Reich Chancellor of Germany. The officers and men of the armed forces were required to take an oath of allegiance to Hitler personally, which read:
"I swear by God this sacred oath: 'That I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Fuehrer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath.' (Rise & Fall 226-7)
August 2 1934
German President Paul von Hindenburg died at age 87. (Rise & Fall 226)
August 19 1934
In a plebiscite vote on the question of whether or not to approve of the law abolishing the office of President, 90 percent of the German people voted yes, thus legitimizing Adolf Hitler's seizure of power. (Rise & Fall 229)
The Protestant church in Germany was placed under Nazi state control, and Hans Kerrl was made Reich Minister of Church Affairs with decree powers. (Ency World Hist 1001)
The Prussian Administrative Court ruled that a sentence of "protective custody" could not be contested by a court. (Delarue Gestapo 94)
May 2 1935
The Prussian Administrative Court ruled that the Gestapo would no longer be subject to judicial control in Prussia. (Delarue Gestapo 94)
May 21 1935
The Reich Cabinet enacted the "Military Service Law," requiring all members of the German military be of "Aryan descent." (Yellow Star 272)
The number of public notices in Germany saying "No Jews" increased, particularly on the roads to towns and villages, and outside business shops and restaurants. (Yellow Star 272)
Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, in an order to his SS formations, stated: "Any independent, individual action against the Jews by any member of the SS is most strictly forbidden." (Hoehne 433)
August 18 1935
Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, the German Minister of Economics and President of the Reichsbank, delivered a speech at Koenigsberg, East Prussia (modern-day Kaliningrad, U.S.S.R.), condemning indiscriminate violence directed against Jews. (Snyder Ency 199)
Nazi authorities ordered all of the Lodges of Freemasons in Germany to dissolve and turn over their property to the state. Since the early 1920s, the Nazis had denounced Freemasonry as a sinister organization which worked to undermine German values as part of a general Judao-Masonic conspiracy. (Holo Ency 531)
September 15 1935
The first of the "Nuremberg Laws" (laws on Reich citizenship) was announced at an NSDAP rally in Nuremberg. These laws (there were some thirteen supplementary decrees) implemented the NSDAP's stated policy of turning German Jews into aliens in their own country. The first of these laws -- the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor" -- prohibited Jews from having Christian servants and from intermarrying with "Aryans." It also defined the term "Jew" very broadly, so as to include persons of Jewish ancestry who had converted to Christianity. Generally, these decrees set up two classes of citizens: the Reichsburger, who had to be of pure German blood, and Staatsangehoriger, who were German subjects but who weren't entitled to be citizens. (Holo Ency 1760; Genocide 45)
October 8 1935
The Reich Cabinet enacted a "Law to Safeguard the Hereditary Health of the German People," which legalized abortion in cases of pregnancy where either of the parents suffered from certain hereditary diseases. (Into That Darkness 62)
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February 10 1936
A Reich decree ("Law Concerning the Secret State Police") gave the Gestapo "the duty to investigate and to combat all activities hostile to the State within the whole Reich, to collect and to make the best use of the results of the investigations, to inform the Reich Government and to keep the other authorities well informed about facts which are of importance for them, and to make suggestions to them." A Decree of the same date, issued over the signature of Reich Air Minister Hermann Goering, the Minister President of Prussia, and Reich Interior Minister Dr. Wilhelm Frick made the Gestapo responsible for the administration of concentration camps. (Trials of War Criminals V, 417-19)
The government of Prussia, a German State, passed a law providing that "The orders and affairs of the Gestapo are not subject to examination by administrative courts." (Delarue Gestapo 94)
April 10 1936
The Reich Cabinet enacted a law forbidding German courts from interfering, in any way, with the activities of the Gestapo. (Rise & Fall 271)
June 16 1936
The Reich Cabinet enacted a law establishing a unified police organization for all of Germany, headed by Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Previously, the police had been organized separately by and for each of the individual German states. (Rise & Fall 274)
August 1 1936
The XI Olympiad (Olympic Games) opened in Berlin. The Nazis spent $25 million building Olympian arenas and ordered a three-week halt in the official anti-Jewish campaign so as not to antagonize foreign visitors. The event was widely regarded as a propaganda triumph for the Nazis. (Yellow Star 272)
An international convention of Jehovah's Witnesses at Lucerne, Switzerland, passed a sweeping resolution condemning the Nazi government of Germany. (Holo Ency 742)
December 1 1936
The Reich Cabinet enacted a law outlawing the Catholic Youth Association and all other non-Nazi organizations for young people, decreeing: "All of the German youth in the Reich is organized within the Hitler Youth." (Rise & Fall 253)
January 26 1937
The Reich Cabinet enacted a new civil service law which called for the dismissal of all officials, including judges, who demonstrated "political unreliability." (Rise & Fall 268)
March 14 1937
Pope Pius XI published an extraordinary encyclical: "Mit brennender Sorge" (With Deep Anxiety), denouncing violations of natural law and justice in Nazi Germany.
December 14 1937
Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the head of the German police, issued a decree authorizing "preventive arrest" of individuals who had not actually violated any law, but who "endangered the communality by their asocial behavior." These laws were particularly applied to Gypsies, beggars, vagabonds and prostitutes without a permanent residence, according to administrative regulations issued by Himmler's subordinates on April 4, 1938. (Holo Ency 635)
January 25 1938
Reich Minister of the Interior Dr. Wilhelm Frick signed an order giving the Gestapo the power to order sentences of "protective custody," stating "Protective custody can be decreed by the Gestapo as a coercive method against those who endanger the safety of the people and the State by their attitude, in other words to break any chance of revolt by the enemies of the people and the State." Up until this time, the Gestapo had only carried out those arrests which were ordered by the Reich Ministry of the Interior. (Delarue Gestapo 179)
February 4 1938 An anonymous former prisoner, whose account became public in 1939, arrived at Dachau concentration camp. In his pre-war account, published in Paris, the former prisoner told what he saw:
"The Jewish prisoners worked in special detachments and received the hardest tasks. They were beaten at every opportunity--for instance, if the space between the barrows with which they had to walk or even run over loose flints was not correctly kept. They were overwhelmed with abusive epithets such as 'Sow Jew', 'Filth Jew' and 'Stink Jew'. During the working period the non-Jewish prisoners were issued with one piece of bread at breakfast--the Jews with nothing. But the Jews were always paraded with the others to see the bread ration issued. . . . In February, March and April there were a number of 'suicides' and shootings 'during attempted escape'. The Jew Lowenberg was horribly beaten during a works' task, and committed suicide that night. In March two men were 'shot while attempting escape'. The Jew Lowy was shot dead for approaching closer than the regulation six metres to a sentry who had called him up. Another was ordered by a sentry again and again to approach until he stepped on the forbidden 'neutral zone' outside the barbed wire, whereupon he was shot dead. . . . When, during great heat, it was allowed to fetch water for the working detachments, it sometimes happened that the Jews were forbidden to drink." (Gilbert Holo 57)
Baldur von Schirach, the head of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth), wrote in a letter to Der Stuermer, an anti-semitic newspaper published by Julius Streicher:
"It is the historical merit of Der Stuermer to have enlightened the broad masses of our people in a popular way as to the Jewish world danger. Der Stuermer is right in not carrying out its task in a purely aesthetic manner, for Jewry has shown no regard for the German people. We have, therefore, no reason for being considerate toward our worst enemy. What we fail to do today, the youth of tomorrow will have to suffer for bitterly." (Terror on Trial 288)
March 12 1938
German troops invaded Austria during the night, after having been invited by Austrian Interior Minister Dr. Arthur Seyss-Inquart to "restore order." Adolf Hitler promised to decide whether Austrians were in favor of the "Anschluss" by a plebiscite, to be held under Nazi auspices on April 10.
March 13-14 1938
The Gestapo, in newly-annexed Austria, organized a campaign of looting the apartments of Austrian Jews, confiscating art works, rugs, furniture, and other items of value, and collecting the loot for shipment to Berlin. (Holo Ency 128)
March 14 1938
All Jews were dismissed from the army of Austria, newly-annexed to Germany, following the refusal of three Jewish soldiers to take the loyalty oath to Adolf Hitler. (Holo Ency 128)
March 18 1938
The German Interior Minister, Dr. Wilhelm Frick, gave Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler extraordinary powers to act in Austria, newly annexed to the Reich, even beyond the limits set by law in order to "preserve order and security." (Holo Ency 127)
March 23 1938
A Decree of the Reich Minister of Justice, Dr. Franz Guertner, required prisoners who were charged with crime and awaiting trial, but who were not yet convicted, to perform forced labor. (Trials of War Criminals V, 420)
March 26 1938
The Nazi authorities of newly-annexed Austria dismissed all Jews employed in that country's universities and colleges. During the preceding weeks, Jews had also been banned from working in theaters, community centers, and public libraries in Austria. (Holo Ency 128)
The Jews of Frauenkirchen, in Nazi-occupied Austria, were forced to produce a "contribution" of 80,000 Reichsmarks or be deported outside the boundaries of their province. (Holo Ency 130)
March 28 1938
The Jewish community organizations in Germany, which until this date were legally recognized statutory corporations, lost their official status. (Yellow Star 272)
April 26 1938 - (See also June 14; Holo Ency 1760 says April 24)
The "Decree Against the Camouflage of Jewish Industries" enacted by the German government required that all Jewish-owned property in the Reich be registered.
May 3 1938
Carl von Ossietzky, a German pacifist and writer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935 while imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, died of tuberculosis in Berlin. Von Ossietzky had contracted the disease while he was a prisoner. (Snyder Ency 262-3)
June 8 1938
Nazi authorities in Munich ordered the main Jewish synagogue in that city to be torn down.
June 14 1938
"Decree on the Registration and Identification of Jewish Factories." (Yellow Star 272)
June 15 1938
German authorities arrested all "previously convicted" Jews, numbering 1,500 and including even some who were convicted of traffic and similar offenses, and placed them in concentration camps. (Holo Ency 1760)
June 29 1938
In Nazi-occupied Austria, all Jews and all partners in "mixed" marriages who were employed in the private sector -- some 40,000 persons -- were dismissed from their jobs. (Holo Ency 130)
A conference of thirty-two nations, called by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, met to consider what to do with the unwanted Jews of Germany, Poland and Rumania. This conference (the Evian Conference), held at Evian-les-Bains, Switzerland, broke up without any result -- not one of the participating countries would even take Jewish children. (Genocide 53)
Sipo and SD chief Reinhard Heydrich took over the German Foreign Currency Investigation Bureau and ordered all German banks to complete preparations to introduce special "blocked accounts" for Jews by the end of October. (Holo Ency 86)
July 1 1938
A Decree of the Reich Cabinet made all Germans liable for short-term forced labor service in emergency conditions. (Ency World Hist 1004)
July 23 1938
The Reich Cabinet issued a decree requiring a system of identification cards for Germans and resident foreigners, in which documents and personal papers were uniquely stamped to identify Jewish possessors or bearers. (Hilberg 7)
July 25 1938
A decree of the Reich Cabinet prohibited Jewish doctors from having "Aryan" patients and allowed them to treat only Jews. (Hilberg 5)
August 10 1938
Nazi authorities in Nuremberg ordered the main Jewish synagogue in that city to be torn down.
August 17 1938
A German law required every Jewish man in Germany, beginning January 1, 1939, to add "Israel" to his name, and all Jewish women were required to add "Sarah." (Holo Ency 1761)
August 26 1938
In Vienna, the Central Office for Jewish Emigration (Zentralstelle fur Judische Auswanderung) was set up under Karl Adolf Eichmann. (Holo Ency 1761)
September 18 1938
All the Jews of Horn, in Nazi-occupied Austria, were forced to leave the city on less than one day's notice. (Ency Holo 130)
September 27 1938
By decree, Jews were barred from practicing law in Germany. All those currently engaged in practicing law were required to "retire" by November 30. (Holo Ency 1761)
October 5 1938
The Reich Cabinet issued a decree providing for the marking of passports issued to German citizens for travel abroad, in which passports issued to Jews were distinctively marked. (Hilberg 7)
October 14 1938
At a closed meeting, Hermann Goering declared: "The time has come for the Jews to be driven out of the economic life, [and] their assets have to flow into the hands of the Reich . . . rather than serve as a source of riches for incompetent party members." Goering was referring to a number of Nazi leaders who had profited by buying businesses and property confiscated from German Jews. (Holo Ency 86)
October 28 1938
Between 15,000 and 17,000 "stateless Jews" were expelled from Germany to Poland by order of SS-Gruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich. Most of them were interned in Zbaszyn, Poland. (Holo Ency 1761)
The deportations began with a forced roundup of Jews on the eve of the scheduled action. Zindel Grynszpan described his experiences being deported from Hanover, Germany. Mr. Grynszpan's son Hirsch (Herschel), a student in Paris, escaped the deportations but was the central figure in the Crystal Night disorders less than two weeks later. As Zindel Grynszpan later remembered:
"On the 27th October 1938 -- it was Thursday night at eight o'clock -- a policeman came and told us to come to Region II. He said, 'You are going to come back immediately; you shouldn't take anything with you. Take with you your passports.'
When I reached the Region, I saw a large number of people; some people were sitting, some standing. People were crying; they were shouting, 'Sign, sign, sign.' I had to sign, as all of them did. One of us did not, and his name, I believe, was Gershon Silber, and he had to stand in the corner for twenty-four hours.
They took us to the concert hall on the banks of the Leine and there, there were people from all the areas, about six hundred people. There we stayed until Friday night; about twenty-four hours; then they took us in police trucks, in prisoners' lorries, about twenty men in each truck, and they took us to the railway station. The streets were black with people shouting, 'The Jews out to Palestine.'
After that, when we got to the train, they took us by train to Neubenschen on the German-Polish border. It was Shabbat morning; Saturday morning. When we reached Neubenschen at 6 a.m. there came trains from all sorts of places, Leipzig, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Essen, Bielefeld, Bremen. Together we were about twelve thousand people.
When we reached the border, we were searched to see if anybody had any money, and anybody who had more than ten marks, the balance was taken from him. This was the German law. No more than ten marks could be taken out of Germany. The Germans said, 'You didn't bring any more into Germany and you can't take any more out.'
The SS were giving us, as it were, protective custody, and we walked two kilometres on foot to the Polish border. They told us to go--the SS men were whipping us, those who lingered they hit, and blood was flowing on the road. They tore away their little baggage from them, they treated us in a most barbaric fashion--this was the first time that I'd ever seen the wild barbarism of the Germans.
They shouted at us: 'Run! Run!' I myself received a blow and I fell in the ditch. My son helped me, and he said: 'Run, run, dad--otherwise you'll die!' When we got to the open border--we reached what was called the green border, the Polish border--first of all, the women went in.
Then a Polish general and some officers arrived, and they examined the papers and saw that we were Polish citizens, that we had special passports. It was decided to let us enter Poland. They took us to a village of about six thousand people, and we were twelve thousand. The rain was driving hard, people were fainting--some suffered heart attacks; on all sides one saw old men and women. Our suffering was great--there was no food--since Thursday we had not wanted to eat any German bread." (Gilbert Holo 67-8)
November 7 1938
A 17-year-old German Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, shot and killed Ernst vom Rath, the Third Secretary of the Germany Embassy in Paris. Anti-Jewish riots began in every major German city on the evening of November 9 (Kristallnacht) and continued for over a week, resulting in 7,500 Jewish-owned shops being looted. Nearly 200 synagogues were burned. Twenty thousand Jews were "detained for their own protection" by police, and of these, ten thousand Jews were sent to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. The German government then fined the German Jewish community one billion marks, on November 12, to pay for damage done to non-Jewish property in the riots. All Jewish property was confiscated and administered by Nazi trustees. Jews were also prohibited from attending German schools and from visiting motion picture theaters or plays. In announcing the imposition of the fine, Hermann Goering stated: "If in the near future the German Reich should come into conflict with foreign powers, it goes without saying that we in Germany would first of all let it come to a reckoning with the Jews." (Genocide 49-52)
In Hoengen, a village outside Aachen, Germany, a butcher watched the effect of Crystal Night violence in his community. First the Stormtroopers appeared and stood guard over the local synagogue, as Michael Lucas watched from his window. As Mr. Lucas' nephew, Eric, later described the scene:
"After a while, the Stormtroops were joined by people who were not in uniform; and suddenly, with one loud cry of, 'Down with the Jews,' the gathering outside produced axes and heavy sledgehammers. They advanced towards the little synagogue which stood in Michael's own meadow, opposite his house. They burst the door open, and the whole crowd, by now shouting and laughing, stormed into the little House of God.
Michael, standing behind the tightly drawn curtains, saw how the crowd tore the Holy Ark wide open; and three men who had smashed the ark, threw the Scrolls of the Law of Moses out. He threw them -- these Scrolls, which had stood in their quiet dignity, draped in blue or wine-red velvet, with their little crowns of silver covering the tops of the shafts by which the Scroll was held during the service -- to the screaming and shouting mass of people which had filled the little synagogue.
The people caught the Scrolls as if they were amusing themselves with a ball-game--tossing them up into the air again, while other people flung them further back until they reached the street outside. Women tore away the red and blue velvet and everybody tried to snatch some of the silver adorning the Scrolls.
Naked and open, the Scrolls lay in the muddy autumn lane; children stepped on them and other tore pieces from the fine parchment on which the Law was written--the same Law which the people who tore it apart had, in vain, tried to absorb for over a thousand years.
When the first Scroll was thrown out of the synagogue, Michael made a dash for the door. His heart beat violently and his senses became blurred and hazy. Unknown fury built up within him, and his clenched fists pressed against his temples. Michael forgot that to take one step outside of the house amongst the crowds would mean his death.
The Stormtroopers, who still stood outside the house watching with stern faces over the tumultuous crowd which obeyed their commands without really knowing it, would have shot the man, quietly, in an almost matter of fact way. Michael's wife, sensing the deadly danger, ran after her husband, and clung to him, imploring him and begging him not to go outside. Michael tried to fling her aside, but only her tenacious resistance brought him back to his senses.
He stood there, in the small hall behind the front door, looking around him for a second, as if he did not know where he was. Suddenly he leaned against the wall, tears streaming from his eyes, like those of a child.
After a while, he heard the sound of many heavy hammers outside. With trembling legs he got up from his chair and looked outside once more. Men had climbed on to the roof of the synagogue, and were hurling the tiles down, other were cutting the cross beams as soon as they were bare of cover. It did not take long before the first heavy grey stones came tumbling down, and the children of the village amused themselves as they flung stones into the many-coloured windows.
When the first rays of a cold and pale November sun penetrated the heavy dark clouds, the little synagogue was but a heap of stone, broken glass and smashed-up woodwork.
Where the two well cared for flowerbeds had flanked both sides of the gravel path leading to the door of the synagogue, the children had lit a bonfire and the parchment of the Scrolls gave enough food for the flames to eat up the smashed-up benches and doors, and the wood, which only the day before had been the Holy Ark for the Scrolls of the Law of Moses." (Gilbert Holo 71-2)
November 9 1938
Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler appointed Hermann Goering to deal with all political matters involving Jews in Nazi Germany. (Holo Ency 54)
November 12 1938
Hermann Goering, Reich Air Minister and head of Germany's Four Year Plan, called a meeting at the Reich Air Ministry in Berlin. The purpose of the meeting was to settle upon Nazi policy on the "Crystal Night" riots. In addition to Goering, Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Dr. Josef Goebbels, Economics Minister Walter Funk, and Sipo and SD chief SS-Gruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, among others, met with representatives of German insurance companies. Goering opened the conference and stated:
"Gentlemen!--Today's meeting is of a decisive nature. I have received a letter written on the Fuehrer's orders by the Stabsleiter of the Fuehrer's deputy [Martin] Bormann requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, co-ordinated and solved one way or another. And yesterday once again did the Fuehrer request by phone for me to take co-ordinated action in the matter . . . .
The fundamental idea in this program of elimination of the Jew from the German economy is first, the Jew being ejected from the economy transfers his property to the State. He will be compensated. The compensation is to be listed in the debit ledger and shall bring a certain percentage of interest. The Jew shall have to live out of this interest . . . .
The trustee of the State will estimate the value of the property and decide what amount the Jew shall receive. Naturally, this amount is to be set as low as possible. The representative of the State shall then turn the establishment over to the 'Aryan' proprietor, that is, the property shall be sold according to its real value . . . .
We must agree on a clear action that shall be profitable to the Reich." (Tyranny on Trial 292)
Dr. Goebbels then started an in-depth discussion of Germany's "Jewish Problem":
Goebbels: I am of the opinion that this is our chance to dissolve the synagogues. All these not completely intact shall be razed by the Jews. The Jews shall pay for it. There in Berlin, the Jews are ready to do that. The synagogues which burned in Berlin are being leveled by the Jews themselves. We shall build parking lots in their places or new buildings. That ought to be the criterion for the whole country, the Jews shall have to remove the damaged or burned synagogues, and shall have to provide us with ready free space . . . . I deem it necessary to issue a decree forbidding the Jews to enter German theaters, movie houses, and circuses. I have already issued such a decree under the authority of the law of the chamber for culture. Considering the present situation of the theaters, I believe we can afford that. Our theaters are overcrowded, we have hardly any room. I am of the opinion that it is not possible to have Jews sitting next to Germans in the movies and theaters. One might consider, later on, to let the Jews have one or two movie houses here in Berlin, where they may see Jewish movies. But in German theaters they have no business any more.
Furthermore, I advocate that the Jews be eliminated from all positions in public life in which they may prove to be provocative. It is still possible today that a Jew shares a compartment in a sleeping car with a German. Therefore, we need a decree by the Reich Ministry for Communications stating that separate compartments for Jews shall be available; in cases where compartments are filled up, Jews cannot claim a seat. They shall be given a separate compartment only after all Germans have secured seats. They shall not mix with Germans, and if there is no more room, they shall have to stand in the corridor . . . .
It'll also have to be considered if it might not become necessary to forbid the Jews to enter the German forests. In the Grunewald, whole herds of them are running around. It is a constant provocation and we are having incidents all the time. The behavior of the Jews is so inciting and provocative that brawls are a daily routine.
Goering: We shall give the Jews a certain part of the forest, and the Alpers shall take care of it that various animals that look damned much like Jews--the Elk has such a crooked nose--get there also and become acclimated.
Goebbels: I think this behavior is provocative. Furthermore, Jews should not be allowed to sit around in German parks. I am thinking of the whispering campaign on the part of Jewish women in the public gardens at Fehrbelliner Platz. They go and sit with German mothers and their children and begin to gossip and incite. I see in this a particularly grave danger. I think it is imperative to give the Jews certain public parks, not the best ones--and tell them: 'You may sit on these benches,' these benches shall be marked 'For Jews only.' Besides that they have no business in German parks. Furthermore, Jewish children are still allowed in German schools. That's impossible. It is out of the question that any boy should sit beside a Jewish boy in a German gymnasium and receive lessons in German history. Jews ought to be eliminated completely from German schools; they may take care of their own education in their own communities." (Tyranny on Trial 292-3)
Anxious to get rid of their embarrassing liabilities under contracts of insurance, the lead representative of the German insurance companies brought up the subject of who was to pay for the damage to Jewish properties during the "Crystal Night" disorders:
Goering: Are they insured against damages caused by public disturbances?
Hilgard: No, no more. May I show this by an example. The most remarkable of these cases is the case of Margraf Unter Den Linden. The Jewelry store of Margraf is insured with us through a so-called combined policy. That covers practically any damage that may occur. This damage was reported to us as amounting to $1,700,000 because the store was completely stripped.
Goering: Daleuge and Heydrich, you'll have to get me this jewelry through raids, staged on a tremendous scale! . . . .
Heydrich: The insurance may be granted, but as soon as it is to be paid, it'll be confiscated. That way we'll have saved face.
Hilgard: I am inclined to agree with what General Heydrich has just said. First of all, use the mechanism of the insurance company to check on the damage, to regulate it and even pay, but give the insurance company the chance to . . .
Goering: One moment! You'll have to pay in any case because it is the Germans who suffered the damage. But there'll be a lawful order forbidding you to make any direct payments to the Jews. You shall also have to make payment for the damage the Jews have suffered, but not to the Jews, but to the Minister of Finance. (Hilgard: Aha!) What he does with the money is his business . . . .
Hilgard: I wonder to what extent insurance companies in foreign countries might be involved in this.
Goering: Well, they'll have to pay. And we'll confiscate that . . . . Like the Fuehrer says, we'll have to find a way to talk this over with the countries which also do something against their Jews. That every dirty Polish Jew has a legal position here and we have to stand him--that ought to cease. The Fuehrer was not very happy about the agreement that was made with the Poles. He thinks we should take a few chances and just tell the Poles; all right, we are not going to do that; let's talk over what we may be able to accomplish together; you are doing something against your own Jews in Poland but the minute the Itzig has left Poland, he should suddenly be treated like a Pole! I'd like to disregard these stories from foreign countries a little.
Woermann: It ought to be considered whether or not the U.S. might take measures against Germany property. This question cannot be handled equally for all countries. I have to make a formal and general reservation.
Goering: I have always said and I'd like to repeat it that our steamship companies and German companies in general should finally catch on and liquidate their investments in the U.S., sell them, et cetera. That country of scoundrels does not do business with us according to any legal rules. Once before they stole everything from us, that is why I don't understand how we could do it again, just for some temporary profit. It is dangerous. You can do it with a regular country but not with one that cares for the Right as little as the U.S. The other day I had the American ambassador with me, we talked about the zeppelin and I told him: 'We don't need any helium, I fly without helium but the prerequisite will have to be that this ship will be flying to civilized countries where the Right prevails. It goes without saying that one cannot fly to such gangster-states.' He had a rather silly look on his face. One ought to tell these Americans. But you are right, Mr. Woermann, it ought to be considered . . .
Funk: The decisive question is: Are the Jewish stores to be reopened or not?
Goering: That depends on how big a turnover these Jewish stores have. If it is big, it is an indication that the German people are compelled to buy there, in spite of its being a Jewish store, because a need exists. If we'd close all Jewish stores which are not open right now, altogether before Christmas, we'd be in a nice mess.
Fischboeck: Your Excellency, in this matter we have already a very complete plan for Austria . . . out of 17,000 stores 12,000 or 14,000 would be shut down and the remainder aryanized or handed over to the bureau of trustees which is operated by the State.
Goering: I have to say that this proposal is grand. This way, the whole affair would be wound up in Vienna, one of the Jewish capitals, so to speak, Christmas or by the end of the year . . . . Of course, I too am of the opinion that these economic measures ought to be strengthened by a number of Police-action-Propaganda-measures and cultural displays so that everything shall be fixed now and the Jewry will be slapped this week right and left.
Heydrich: In spite of the elimination of the Jew from the economic life, the main problem, namely to kick the Jew out of Germany, remains. May I make a few proposals to that effect?
Following a suggestion by the Commissioner of the Reich, we have set up a center for the Emigration of Jews in Vienna [under Karl Adolf Eichmann], and that way we have eliminated 50,000 Jews from Austria while from the Reich only 19,000 Jews were eliminated during the same period of time; we were so successful because of the co-operation on the part of the competent Ministry for Economic Affairs and of the foreign charitable organizations . . . . As for the isolation, I'd like to make a few proposals regarding police measures which are important also because of their psychological effect on public opinion. For example, who is Jewish according to the Nuremberg laws shall have to wear a certain insignia. That is a possibility which shall facilitate many other things. I don't see any danger of excuses, and it shall make our relationship with the foreign Jew easier . . . .
Goering: But, my dear Heydrich, you won't be able to avoid the creation of ghettos on a very large scale, in all the cities. They shall have to be created . . . .
Heydrich: As an additional measure, I'd propose to withdraw from the Jews all personal papers such as permits and drivers' licenses. No Jew should be allowed to own a car, neither should he be permitted to drive because that way he'd endanger German life. By not being permitted to live in certain districts, he should be further restricted to move about so freely. I'd say the Royal Square in Munich, the Reichsweihestatte, is not to be entered any more within a certain radius by Jews. The same would go for establishments of culture, border fences, military installations. Furthermore, like Minister Dr. Goebbels has said before, exclusion of the Jews from public theaters, movie houses, et cetera . . . .
Goering: One more question, gentlemen: What would you think the situation would be if I'd announce today that Jewry should have to contribute this 1 billion as a punishment?
Buerckel: The Viennese would agree to this whole-heartedly.
Goebbels: I wonder if the Jews would have a chance to pull out of this, and to put something on the side.
Brinkmann: They'd be subject to punishment . . . .
Goering: I shall close the wording this way; that German Jewry shall, as punishment for their abominable crimes et cetera, et cetera., have to make a contribution of 1 billion. That'll work. The pigs won't commit another murder. Incidentally, I'd like to say again that I would not like to be a Jew in Germany . . . . If in the near future, the German Reich should come into conflict with foreign powers, it goes without saying that we in Germany should first of all let it come to a showdown with the Jews . . . ." (Tyranny on Trial 293-6)
Goering also stated during the course of the meeting:
"The Jewish question is to be summed up and coordinated once and for all and solved one way or another . . . . If the German Reich should in the near future become involved in conflicts abroad then it is obvious that we in Germany will first of all make sure of settling accounts with the Jews. Apart from that, the Fuehrer is now at last to make a major move abroad, starting with the powers that have brought up the Jewish question, in order to get around to the Madagascar solution [a proposal to resettle Germany's Jews on the island of Madagascar, now the Malagasy Republic]. He explained this to me in detail on November 9. There is no longer any other way." (Holo Ency 490)
November 12, 1938
Hermann Goering announced a program to "exclude the Jews from the economic life of Germany," a part of which was the forced " Aryanization" of Jewish-owned businesses. The new regulations also prohibited Jews from having any independent economic activities except for certain services rendered to Jews only. The Aryanization program put all Jewish businesses into the hands of Aryan trustees for sale to German citizens. After December 10, a part of the proceeds of the sale went to the German government. (Holo Ency 85)
November 15 1938
All Jewish children were expelled from German schools. (Yellow Star 273)
November 24 1938
An article in the SS journal Das Schwarze Korps declared that if war were to break out, any Jews left in Germany would be annihilated. (Genocide 53)
November 28 1938
New German laws imposed residential restrictions on Jews, stating where they could and could not live in Germany. (Yellow Star 273)
December 3 1938
The Reich Cabinet issued a decree providing for the compulsory sale of Jewish-owned real estate in Germany and a decree for compulsory appropriation ("Aryanization") of all Jewish industries, business enterprises and shops. The Reich Cabinet also enacted a decree authorizing local authorities to forbid Jews from appearing on the street during Nazi holidays. (Hilberg 5-6)
December 28 1938
A directive issued by Hermann Goering provided for the concentration of Jews in houses by prohibiting Jews from renting apartments to "Aryans." (Hilberg 5)
January 1 1939
The German government enacted the Measure for the Elimination of Jews from the German Economy which banned Jews from working with Germans. (Holo Ency 1761)
January 17 1939
The German government excluded Jews from the tenants' protection provisions of German laws. (Yellow Star 273)
January 20 1939
German Chancellor and President Adolph Hitler, in a speech to the Reichstag, declared: "If the international Jewish financiers . . . again succeed in plunging into world war, the result will not be the Bolshevisation of the earth and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race throughout Europe." (Genocide 53-55)
January 21 1939
Adolf Hitler told the Czechoslovakian Foreign Minister, Dr. Frantisek Chvalkovsky, that: "Our Jews will be destroyed." (Hoehne 400)
January 24 1939
Hermann Goering, the chief administrator of the Four-Year Plan, empowered Security Police Chief Reinhard Heydrich to bring ". . . the Jewish question . . . to as favorable a solution as present circumstances permit . . . ." through emigration. (Fleming 43)
Goering also appointed SS-Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich as chief of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration within the German government. (Holo Ency 54)
January 30 1939
In a major speech to the Reichstag, Adolf Hitler predicted the destruction of the European Jews in the event of a world war:
"Europe cannot find peace until the Jewish question has been solved. It may well be that sooner or later an agreement may be reached in Europe itself between nations who otherwise would not find it so easy to arrive at an understanding. There still exists sufficient available land on this globe . . . .
One thing I should like to say on this day which may be memorable for others as well as for us Germans. In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the time of my struggle for power it was in the first instance only the Jewish race that received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State, and with it that of the whole nation, and that I would then among other things settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have been laughing on the other side of their face. Today I will once more be a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!" (Nazism 2, #770)
February 6 1939
The German Minister of the Interior issued a decree entitled "Action Against Jewish Assets" (Einsatz des Judischen Vermugens) allowing for the forcible seizure, as opposed to that accomplished by legal process, of Jewish property. (Holo Ency 446)
February 10 1939
Pope Pius XI, head of the Roman Catholic Church who had condemned Nazi human rights violations, died at Rome, Italy. His successor, Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli (Pope Pius XII), was criticized during and after the war for his silence on the subject of Nazi crimes. (Snyder Ency 269-70)
April 1 1939
Julius Streicher, the Nazi Gauleiter of Franconia, started off the German National Anti-Jewish Boycott with an anti-semitic speech, during which Streicher said:
"Never since the beginning of the world and the creation of man has there been a nation which dared to fight against the nation of blood-suckers and extortioners who, for a thousand years, have spread all over the world . . . . It was left to our Movement to expose the eternal Jew as a murderer . . . . As long as I stand at the head of the struggle, this struggle will be conducted so honestly that the eternal Jew will derive no joy from it." (Terror on Trial 283)
April 10 1939
A secret report of the Gestapo noted that there were then 302,535 political prisoners in Germany. (Yellow Star 273)
May 2 1939
Walter Gempp, who had served as the chief of the Berlin fire brigade for twenty-seven years, was found strangled in his cell in a Nazi prison. At the Reichstag fire trial in 1933, Gempp had given evidence damaging to the Nazis regarding the fire, which Adolf Hitler used as an excuse for assuming dictatorial powers in Germany. Gempp and his fire fighters had found enough incendiary material in the Reichstag to fill a truck, and stated that Hermann Goering had forbidden the fire department from making full use of its fire fighting equipment and had delayed notifying the firemen of the blaze until it was too late. Gempp had been arrested and imprisoned by the Nazis in 1937. (Snyder Ency 111)
June 15 1939
Untersturmfuehrer Herbert Hagen, the head of the SD's Jewish section, wrote a memorandum outlining Germany's Jewish policy so that his staff could act accordingly: "Objects of German Jewish policy: promote emigration by all means available. Jewish immigration becoming more difficult. Promote all plans for emigration no matter whither." (Hoehne 393)
June 21 1939
The Jews in the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were ordered by the Nazis to register and subsequently sell all their gold, platinum, silver, and precious jewelry and deposit all their stocks, bonds, and securities in specified banks. (Holo Ency 228)
July 4 1939
Following the tenth implementation decree under the Reich Citizenship Law, the Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland (Reich Association of Jews in Germany) replaced the Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland (Reich Representation of Jews in Germany). The Association was responsible for organizing and implementing Jewish emigration, education, and welfare under the supervision and control of SS-Gruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi chief of the Sipo (Security Police) and the SD (Security Service). (Holo Ency 54)
July 6 1939
The "Tenth Decree Supplementing the Reich Citizenship Law" expropriated all remaining Jewish-owned businesses in Germany and placed all Jewish relief and charity organizations under the control of the SS. (Genocide 55)
July 21 1939
Karl Adolf Eichmann was appointed Director of the Prague Office of Jewish Emigration, an administrative subdivision of the Gestapo.
Under the direction of Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler and SS-Gruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Sipo and SD, the SS formed five Einsatzgruppen ("Action groups") in preparation for the upcoming German invasion of Poland. The Einsatzgruppen were commanded by SS-Gruppenfuehrer Bruno Streckenbach, SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Emanuel Schaefer, Dr. Herbert Fischer, Lothar Beuthel and Ernst Damzog. Their task was described as "suppression of all anti-Reich and anti-German elements in the rear of the fighting troops, in particular counter-espionage, arrest of politically unreliable persons, confiscation of weapons, safeguarding of important counter-espionage material, etc." However, the Einsatzgruppen's real job was to round up and murder Polish aristocrats, priests, intellectuals, natural leaders, and Jews. (Hoehne 337-8)
August 22 1939
According to the testimony of General Fedor von Bock, Hitler stated in a conference held with Germany's senior Generals in the Obersalzburg with regard to the coming war with Poland: "Things would be done of which the German generals would not approve. He did not therefore wish to burden the Army with the necessary liquidation but . . . would have them carried out by the SS." (Hoehne 336)
September 1 1939
Adolf Hitler signed an order giving the Chief of the Fuehrer Chancellory, Reichsleiter Philip Bouhler, and Dr. Karl Brandt, Hitler's personal physician, the power "to widen the authority of individual doctors with a view to enabling them, after the most critical examination in the realm of human knowledge, to administer to incurably sick persons a mercy death"--in other words, a euthanasia program. (Hilberg 561)
A curfew was imposed on Jews throughout Germany, forbidding them to be out of doors after 8 p.m. in winter and 9 p.m. in summer.
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In the concentration camp system the two main categories were criminals, Green Triangles, and political prisoners, usually "Reds," hence Red Triangles. Inside the camps, the Communists tended to be better organized than the criminals and therefore infiltrated the Kapo system (prisoner trustees) and in some sense were almost running the camps to their advantage; this depended much on whether the SS could be corrupted or not. For example, the Kommandant of Buchenwald, Karl Koch was caught and executed in 1943 for corruption. His wife, Ilse, is famously called the Bitch of Buchenwald. Mostly, Dachau and Buchenwald handled political prisoners and Sachsenhuasen criminals.reich_storyeller wrote:Additionally, if anybody knows any of the symbols used for this, I would like help with that too. These are the ones I have so far:
Jehovah's Witnesses=Purple Armbands
Gay Men=Pink Triangles
Child Molestors=Green Triangles
Lesbians=Black Triangles (?)
Does anyone know if gypsies wore anything? What about Poles?
Male homosexuals were segregated with Pink Triangles and were incarcerated for sodomy, which violated the criminal code dating from before the Nazi period, as was universally the case in those days--and still is in some U.S. states, though rarely enforced. The Nazis enforced the sodomy laws in part for ideological reasons but also to gain access to free labor. Some of the Nazi attitudes on penology were naïve but not unusual for the times, and it was thought, for example, that homosexuals could be rehabilitated through hard work and discipline.
When the war began, all criminal/political releases were suspended except with the approval of Himmler because the SS wanted forced-labor for the war-effort. Prior to that prison labor was limited to camp development or endeavors that would not unduly compete with private business. Dachau produced herbs and vitamins, for example, for the government.
Homosexual statutes did not apply to Lesbians; however, Catholics in Austria passed a law against female homosexual acts as well near the time of the Anschluss but it was found difficult to enforce and it didn't catch on elsewhere. For the most part Lesbianism was invisible to society, as it was in most Western countries until Freudian psychology had completely replaced Victorian mores. Nazi Germany was no different. There is a tremendous body of feminist academic literature that has attempted to document persecution of Lesbians, as such, by the Nazis, but without much success.
Since the 1935 Nuremberg Laws which stripped Jews of German citizenship also prohibited sexual relations between Jews and Germans violators wore a Black Triangle and a Yellow Triangle, thus forming a Star of David.
Black Triangles were used for vagrants, which the Nazis attempted to remove from the streets. All categories were intended for rehabilitation and release but incarceration for political offenses was subjective and indeterminant and sometimes led to rearrest. Repeat offenders wore a stripe on their uniform. Labor was considered therapeutic and the slogan at Dachau and later Auschwitz was Arbeit Macht Frei, Work Makes Free. It was not intended as a joke and many political prisoners were released prior to the war on account of this "political rehabilitation through labor."
After the war began, security issues and the demand for labor expanded the Konzentrationslager system and new categories of undesirables were created. Czech political prisoners had a Red Triangle with a T for Tscheche, and Polish political prisoners a Red Triangle with a P for Pole.
Jehovah's Witnesses wore Purple Triangles. They were incarcerated, and sometimes martyred, because they refused to work or fight for the war-effort.
Foreign laborers, presumbly enemy aliens, wore Blue Triangles. Labor gangs not in the camps wore a black dot on their uniforms indicating that they were under supervision and not in flight. And escape risks had a red dot. Sometimes the neat classification system was meaningless as the war progressed. Auschwitz, the biggest and perhaps the most chaotic of all labor camps used tatoos on the arm to identify inmates, including children.
Jews in camps wore two overlapping Yellow Triangles forming a Star of David. If the Jew was a politcal prisoner as well it might be a Red Triangle and a Yellow triangle forming the Star. Or a criminal, a Green Triangle and a Yellow. This is different from Jewish populations which, at the insistence of Dr. Goebbels, the Gauleiter of Berlin, were forced during the war to wear yellow Stars of David as in medieval times, to underscore that they were regarded as enemy aliens.
Hope this helps...
More information can be found in the memoirs of Auschwitz SS Kommandant Rudolf Höß, which is available from Amazon in support of this very site by clicking (only) on my link below:
CLICK! Markings of the Camp Inmates in the Concentration Camps.
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Coloured triangles on prisoner clothing....
Red : German "political" detainee
Purple : Jewish "political" detainee
Green : Committed, or suspected of having committed a criminal offense
Black : Asocial
Yellow : Jewish person committed "racial offense"
Mauve : Homosexual
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