An important term to mention here is ‘scapegoat’. Hitler and the Nazis said the Jews were responsible for huge events like losing World War One and the economic crisis. This was totally untrue.
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But by giving the Jews the blame Hitler created an enemy. Hitler said that all Germany’s problems had been caused by the Jews. Many people believed him.
The solution to all these problems was to banish the Jews from society. With this political message and the promise to make Germany a large and economically powerful country Hitler’s party won the 1932 election. In 1933 he and his party came to power.
Antisemitism was not new
Did Hitler invent hatred of Jews? No, Hitler built on and used antisemitic ideas that already existed. He was Austrian and grew up in Vienna where the mayor was extremely antisemitic and where hatred of Jews was widespread. His hatred of Jews cannot be tied down to a specific event in his life, for example a Jewish childhood friend, as many children think.
Hitler and the Nazis also thought that people could be divided into different races and that there was a struggle going on between these different races. According to the Nazis the ‘Aryan race’ was the best and strongest race. Jews were of another inferior race. In fact so inferior that they were not considered to be ‘people’ by the Nazis.
You need to know plenty about the subject to be able to answer this question. When explaining it note important words such as ‘scapegoat’ and ‘enemy’
What do you think?
Recognize this question from your own class?
Tell us about how you dealt with it.