Nazi propaganda portrayed the Jews as being a problem. In simple terms, they suggested that:
* The Jews were ruining and had ruined Germany
* The Jews owned far more than the Germans
* The Jews were conspiring together (and with Jews of other nations) to liquidate German wealth and capital for their own uses.
* The Jews were not a religion but a race that couple be biologically categorised and classified.
* The Jews were not wanted nor required in Germany.
* There were 500,000 Jews in Germany in 1933 – approximately 0.76% of the population.
* Jews were concentrated in certain areas of Germany.
* 70% lived in big cities
* They were significant in the fields of law, medicine, education, politics, media and commerce.
What should Hitler do first (1933)?
* Hitler’s first concern was to secure his own power.
* The Jews were a hated minority, who were a useful scapegoat, but when he needed to rebuild the economy his anti-Jewish legislation could wait a little longer.
* Economic recovery would be disrupted by attacks on Jewish businesses.
Anti-Jewish Boycott (1933-34)
* The Nazi SA did not always sharer Hitler’s ‘wait-and-see’ tactics.
* In April 1933, after the second set of elections, they set about terrorising individual Jews, damaging synagogues and organising boycotts outside Jewish businesses. Homes and shops were daubed with the Star of David.
* This put Hitler in a quandary: should he support the SA then he would be seen a thug and as brutish. If he sympathised he would be seen as weakening in his stance against Jews and other national undesirables.
* He decided on a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses and professions.
* Hitler justified his tactics to the moderate and conservative right by suggesting that he was simply responding and reacting to Jewish propaganda in the foreign press.
* Reactions to the boycott were mixed.
* Some cities saw violence, others nothing.
* The general German public were apathetic (disinterested) and continued to shop freely.