Anti-Jewish Legislation in Germany and Jewish Refugees (1933-1939)

The following discussion has been created to identify anti-Jewish legislation in Germany from 1933-1939 that deprived German Jewish citizens of fundamental human rights.  It is proposed that this discussion also seeks to identify the failure of
the West in (1) taking in German Jewish refugees in this period prior to 1939;
(2) examples of Anti-Jewish legislation that was introduced into Germany in
prewar Germany (1933-1939).  Another discussion might look at Anti-Jewish
legislation 1939-1945. 

This discussion has been prepared to respond to Joanna’s comment and the offence this created for Ohad.  Joanna I apologise for any offence I cause you by naming you directly.  

My hope is that as mepeace members we can hold our statements to more rigorous standards.  Idle historical opinions can be quite damaging and offensive. 

Can I suggest that if members make certain historical statements that they reference their source - to show some level of thinking.  It is not always healthy to just say what you think in forums such as this unless there is an agreement
by those in the conversation and trust.

Miscommunication is inherent with communication styles that are part of typed responses as we miss all the usual body language cues that give a broader picture.  This means we have to be even more careful in such settings than when we speak in


Joanna’s comment

Ohad’s response



Source 1 – The first wave of Anti-Jewish legislation in Prewar Germany

“Nazi leaders began to make good on their pledge to persecute German Jews soon after their assumption of power. During the first six years of Hitler’s dictatorship, from 1933 until the outbreak of war in 1939, Jews felt the effects of more than 400 decrees and regulations that restricted all aspects of
their public and private lives.

The first wave of legislation, from 1933 to 1934, focused largely on limiting the participation of Jews in German public life. In April 1933, German law restricted the number of Jewish students at German schools and universities. In
the same month, further legislation sharply curtailed “Jewish activity” in the
medical and legal professions.

In 1933, the city of Berlin forbade Jewish lawyers and notaries to work on legal matters...”           


Source 2 – The first concentration camps, Kristallnact and the German Jewish population

“In January 1933, some 522,000 Jews by religious definition lived in Germany. Over half of these individuals, approximately 304,000 Jews, emigrated during the first six years of the Nazi dictatorship, leaving only approximately 214,000 Jews in
Germany proper (1937 borders) on the eve of
World War II.

In the years between 1933 and 1939, the Nazi regime had brought radical and daunting social, economic, and communal change to the German Jewish community. Six years of Nazi-sponsored legislation had marginalized and disenfranchised Germany’s Jewish citizenry and had expelled Jews from the professions and from commercial
life. By early 1939, only about 16 percent of Jewish breadwinners had steady
employment of any kind. Thousands of Jews remained interned in
concentration camps following the mass arrests in the aftermath of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) in November 1938


Source 3 – The Evian Conference (1938) ad Jewish refugees

“The 1935, Nuremberg Laws made German Jewswho were already persecuted, stateless refugees in their own country. By 1938,
some 150,000 out of about 600,000 German Jews had fled Germany, mostly to
Palestine, but British immigration quotas prevented many from emigrating. In March 1938, Hitler annexed Austria and made the 200,000 Jews of Austria stateless refugees. In September
Britain and France granted Hitler the right to occupy Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia, and in March 1939 Hitler occupied the
remainder of the country, making a further 200,000 Jews stateless...”




Source 1

Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany

Source 2

German Jews During The Holocaust, 1939-1945

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Source 3

Other reading

Detailed history – Mid East Web


Nuremburg Laws (1935)

German Jews denied German citizenship (ie became stateless)

German Jews forbidden to marry other Germans

The Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship and Race: September 15, 1935

Western European Jews

Yad Vashem – Timeline of the Holocaust

Why the Partition was rejected

Details of the UN Trusteeship proposal 1948

Letter that outlines (1) the population of Ottoman and British mandate Palestine and (2) the failure of the world community to take in Jewish refugees


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really stewart you want to talk about the holocaust? that is a bad idea , I defiantly do not want to talk with you about it.

lets focus on the present and future. including the second and third generation of holocaust survivors. if you start talking about the 30's we will completely forget about the issues that are ahead

1. The topic of this discussion is not about the Holocaust which is reference to the gas chambers and death camps. Yes, there is some overlap - in that concentration camps were set up prior to 1939, but the reason for this discussion was to respond to Joanna's misunderstanding about the situation of German Jews in pre-war Germany.

The topic for this discussion is anti-Jewish legislation in pre-war Germany and the plight of Jewish refugees in this time period.

2. Resolution for this conflict requires 3 things

a. Acknowledgement of the past
eg the past connection of both the Palestinian and Jewish people to the land;
the past acts of inhumanity against Jewish people in Europe
the past acts of injustice to Palestinian Arabs eg the Naqba

b. Acknowledgement of the present
eg present injustices - occupation, Holocaust denial, Naqba denial, attacks on Israelis etc,

c. Acknowledgement of the future
eg need for peace and security of both Palestinian and Israeli people in 2 states (or some other form of political structure that guarantees such freedom)

3. There is no compulsion or urgency to discuss this issue. I just think it is important to create a discussion on this topic which may be responded to from time to time.

for me the holocaust is from the day the nazi party was created.

I feel very uncomfortable about this discussion mainly because you are the one that started it, and bc of the comments I read from you before.

I will not be a part of it but I hope you guys will know to be respectful to this very sensitive issue.

I would just say that connecting the holocaust to the creation of Israel is wrong the houlcoust almost stopped the creation of a jewish state.

and connecting the holocaust to the nakba is also very wrong these are two very deferent disasters .

not to mention a majority of Israelis did not came to Israel from europe but from arab and muslim countries where they experienced hate and fear as well

I too hope that anyone who does respond does so with the aim to show the inhumanity of the actions of the Nazi Party. I added the 3 extracts/sources listed at the top of the page as evidence of such inhumanity. I am not looking for people to dispute these facts; but to add other examples of anti-Jewish laws in that period.

I wish you well.
What exactly is the point and relevance of this "discussion" Stewart?
Stewart Mills said:

My hope is that as mepeace members we can hold our statements to more rigorous standards. Idle historical opinions can be quite damaging and offensive.

I think Stewart states the point and relevance of the discussion right here.

I agree with Stewart that uncritical engagement of issues is detrimental to honest discussion.
Thanks for lending some support Patrick. Let's hope people can use this discussion topic to acknowledge the pain to German Jews during the 30s; and the failure of the West to do more.

All the best.
I also agree with Stewart.
One historically false and offensive post that the moderators leave online,
can require a long refutation that might seem out of place to those who did not see that original post.

the "famous " discussion is actually here:

an like almost always when talking about these issues reading the all picture is advised :)

it is more of a personal war for me that has nothing to do with this site really. as much as I fight for peace between Israel and Palestine I also fight against "hypocrisy" as I see it that is coming form some of "peace activist" .

when you really look you see that many of them are driven by hate , by close mind, and lack of the real understanding that is necessary in order to find peace for Israel and Palestine
Ohad, I'm with you.
As Francis Bacon wrote, it is the fastest runners, if running in a wrong direction, who move away from their goals the most quickly.
Thanks David, for posting your discussion topics - they are important to consider. The point of this discussion just to create a place to remember what happened to German Jews during the 30s and acknowledge their pain. Other discussion topics can look at other aspects of pain (or hope) at different periods in time in different geographical localities.

The idea was just to break up the problem into small parts as a way to try and find what do we actully agree on and take it from there. If we have a solid base of agreement, on a number of issues it will give us strength, resilience and patience in the areas that challenge or are offensive to our world view




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