Before the Holocaust : Antisemitic violence and the reaction of German elites and institutions during the Nazi takeover / Hermann Beck
- Beck, Hermann
- Oxford : Oxford University Press, 
- Physical Description:
- 1 online resource (560 pages) : illustrations (colour).
- List of Abbreviations -- List of Archives -- Introduction -- The Search for Archival Evidence -- The Wider Implications: Which Institutions Were in a Position to Help? -- Overview of Contents -- Previous Literature on Antisemitic Violence in 1933 -- Part 1. Violence of foreign jews -- 1. Violence against "Ostjuden" in the Winter and Spring of 1933 -- A Few Statistics -- A Litany of Violent Attacks in Early 1933 -- Economic Damage and Ruin -- Rituals of Humiliation -- Abduction and Forced Deportation -- Grievous Bodily Harm and Murder -- 2. "Ostjuden" as Predetermined Targets: a History of Marginalization -- Roots of Prejudice -- Stigmatization and Violence during the Weimar Republic -- The Difficult Path to Citizenship -- The Policies of the NSDAP-DNVP Coalition Government -- German Jews and "Ostjuden" -- 3. Attacks against American and West European Jews, among Others -- Attacks on American Nationals -- Attacks on West European, Czech, and Rumanian Jews -- Part II: vilence against German Jews -- 4. Violent Attacks -- Antisemitic Violence in the Weimar Republic -- Documentary Evidence for Crimes against Jews -- Forcible Expulsion through Violence and Threats -- Attacks in Jail and on Jewish Livestock Dealers -- 5. Pillory Marches and the Perfidy Decree -- Pillory Marches -- The Perfidy Decree -- 6. Murder -- Categories of Anti-Jewish Murder -- The "Spontaneous" Murder -- Murder while in Custody -- The Planned Murder -- 7. Boycott -- Boycott Movements before 1 April 1933 -- Global Protests and Boycotts against Germany -- The Boycott of 1 April 1933 -- Psychological Implications of the Boycott -- Continuation of the Boycott Movement -- 8. Legal and Economic Discrimination -- The Antisemitic Legislation of April 1933 -- The Law on the Restoration of a Professional Civil Service -- The Law on Admission to Legal Practice -- The Decree on the Admission of Physicians to the Statutory Health Insurance System -- The Law against the Overcrowding of German Schools and Universities -- Impact of the April Legislation -- Economic Discrimination -- Other Discriminatory Measures -- Part III. Reactions to Antisemitic violence -- 9. The Protestant Church and the "Jewish Question:" the Church as Conscience of the Nation -- Fragmentation and Efforts to Form a Unified Organizational Structure -- The Church as a Moral Authority -- The Church in Politics: Interconnections with the DNVP -- The Church and Politics at the End of the Weimar Republic. and Political Groupings within the Church -- After 30 January 1933: a "Church-friendly National Socialism" -- 10. Protestant Church Leaders and the "Jewish Question:" -- Conscience Betrayed -- Foreign Reactions -- Church Reactions to Foreign Protests -- The Church and the Boycott of 1 April 1933 -- Church Reactions to Pleas for Help and Reports of Discrimination -- Letter Exchanges between Wilhelm Menn and Ernst Stoltenhoff -- Growing Consensus with the Regime -- Otto Dibelius's Position on Antisemitism and his Relationship to the New State -- 11. The Protestant Church between Action and Silence -- The World Alliance for International Friendship Through the Churches and the Situation in Germany -- The Protestant Churches under Pressure: Prelude to the 26 April Meeting -- Church Leaders on the "Judenfrage:" Opinions and Comments -- The Memorandum on the "Judenfrage" -- 12. The German Catholic Church between Doctrine and Self-Preservation -- Before 30 January 1933 -- After 30 January 1933 -- The Church, the April Boycott, and Intervention on Behalf of Jews -- 13. Reactions of the German Administrative and Judicial Bureaucracy -- Officials Minimize Attacks -- Fabricated Charges against Victims -- Antisemitic Attacks and the Reaction of the Judicial Bureaucracy -- . Reactions of Hitler's Conservative Coalition Partner -- The DNVP and the "Jewish Question" during the Weimar Republic -- The DNVP and National-minded German Jews in March 1933 -- Protests by Members of the DNVP and Active Help -- The Boycott and Völkisch Antisemitism -- Lacking Determination and Fearing to Decide -- Epilogue: How Could it Happen? -- Bibliography -- Acknowledgements -- Index
- This book revises standard assumptions among historians of Nazi Germany that physical violence against Jews slowly accelerated from 1933 onwards, with a first high point in November 1938 ("Kristallnacht"), and then further escalating to deportations and the mass murder of the Holocaust. Based on documentary evidence from about twenty German archives, the present work shows that there were many hundreds, possibly thousands, of violent attacks on Jews in Germany ranging from brutal assaults, abductions, and expulsions to murder. The work examines in detail the reaction of those German institutions and elites that were still in a position to react and protest in the spring of 1933. It makes two essentially new contributions to the literature on the history of the Third Reich: (1) a detailed examination of the antisemitic violence-from boycotts, violent attacks, robbery, extortion, abductions, and humiliating "pillory marches" to grievous bodily harm and murder-which has hitherto not been adequately recognized; (2) an analysis of the reactions of those institutions that still had the capacity to protest against Nazi attacks and legislative measures-the Protestant Church, the Catholic Church, the bureaucracies, and Hitler's conservative coalition partner, the DNVP-and the mindset of the elites who led them, to determine their various responses to flagrant antisemitic abuses. Individual protests against violent attacks, the April boycott, and Nazi legislative measures were already hazardous in March and April 1933, but established institutions in the German State and society were still able to voice their concerns and raise objections. By doing so, they might have stopped or at least postponed a radicalization that eventually led to the pogrom of 1938 and the Holocaust.
- 9780191955532 (electronic book)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index
- Other Forms:
- Also available in Print and PDF edition
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