The impact of anti-Jewish policies

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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.
© 2012 Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.

Nazi policy towards the Jews from 1933 to 1941 was the gradual, social, political and legal exclusion of the Jews from German life. The aim was to make life so difficult for the Jews that they would leave Germany.

Various approaches were used including violence and intimidation with the aim of creating a Judenrein Reich.

As early as March 1933 mobs of locally organised Nazis attacked Jews on the streets. 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 became 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.

On 1 April 1933 the state organised a boycott of all Jewish shops and offices. The SA stood outside Jewish-owned properties in order to intimidate customers. Shop doors and windows were broken or had the Star of David painted on them. As part of the boycott libraries were raided and books written by Jewish authors burned in the streets.