THE NAZI YEARS OF PERSECUTION 1933-1945
Majdanek death camp
Hell on earth
|THE NAZI YEARS OF PERSECUTION 1933-45
Leonore Schwarz Neumaier was one of the millions of Jews in Europe who were victims of the fanatical extermination plan of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cohorts. After January, 1933, Jews, who were less than one percent of the total population of Germany, were made the focus of the systematically organized hatred of the Nazi regime. Anti-Semitism became the new religion. German Jews were declared to be no longer citizens of the Reich. They were denied jobs and excluded from professions as well as from public life, including public schools and universities, public cultural institutions and the the performing arts, public libraries, public swimming pools, and vacation spots. The goal was to force Jews to emigrate but countries in the West were refusing to accept them, especially after the Nazis had confiscated Jewish property.
The Kristallnacht pogrom (The Night of the Broken Glass) occurred on November 9-10, 1938. Nazi fury raged throughout the country, killing, destroying, and burning. Jews who had not yet emigrated intensified their efforts to find refuge in another country. Those who could not leave faced ever more severe humiliation and persecution. In 1941 they were forced to wear the yellow “star of David” so that passersby could shun and deride them, and shopkeepers could refuse to let them buy food except at prescribed times. The Gestapo hounded them, forced them from their homes, deprived them of their possessions, physically assaulted them, and ultimately deported them to concentration camps and to their deaths.