Monday, December 12, 2005


After its defeat in World War I, Germany was in an economic and political crisis, with many people out of work. The Nazis came to power in January 1933 and shortly afterwards, on April 1, the Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, declared a national boycott against German Jews. The boycott was carefully planned to begin simultaneously in every city and town at 1OAm. Uniformed, and often armed, guards were placed in front of every store or business owned by Jews. Customers were prevented from entering. Guards were also placed at the offices of Jewish lawyers and doctors.

Jewish businesses and department stores, which were a prominent part of the community, became convenient targets for the boycotts. The modern department store, with its fixed and low prices, was blamed for Germany's economic crisis. Nazi propaganda claimed that all department stores were in Jewish hands and were a danger to the German middle class. As part of the boycott, signs were posted warning, "Jewish store! Whoever buys here will be photographed." Trucks, with Nazis bearing signs, patrolled the streets. The signs proclaimed, "Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews!"


Or, to put it more bluntly:

It began with a simple boycott of Jewish shops and ended in the gas chambers at Auschwitz as Adolf Hitler and his Nazi followers attempted to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe.

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