The impact of Nazi policies on Jewish communities.

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There were many locally organised antisemitic actions against Jews. In the photograph members of the Hitler Youth force Jews to clean the streets.
© 2011 Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.

On assuming power, the Nazi leadership's first priority was taking over the state and controlling and dealing with their political enemies. They then sought to tighten further their grip on power.

However, very early on, even as early as March 1933 mobs of locally organised Nazis attacked Jews on the streets, beating them up and sometimes killing them. Across Germany many hundreds of Jews were rounded up by local SA groups and sent to concentration camps. The attacks on Jews soon increased and become more organised.

However, Hitler saw that the attacks and arrests were random and not controlled by the state. He believed that everything should be controlled by the state, especially the campaign against the Jews.

During April 1933 the Nazi's began to develop antisemitic laws that would severely affect the lives of those Jews living with the German boarders. Gradually over the next ten years theses laws would affect every facet of Jewish existence with Germany and the lands that they eventually invaded and occupied.

This section of The Holocaust Explained will concentrate on how Hitler’s antisemitic policies impacted on the Jewish communities within Germany.