From the late 1920s forwards, German society imbibes virulent anti-Semitism. Adolf Hitler, using anti-Semitism as a platform, is elected in January 1933, with Nuremberg laws against Jewish rights passed in 1935. As part of the context, Kristallnacht or “Night of Broken Glass” in 1938, are broad attacks against synagogues, Jewish businesses, and individuals in Austria, Germany, and portions of Czechoslovakia. More than 7,500 Jewish institutions are destroyed and looted. 91 Jews are murdered and some 30,000 Jewish men are arrested and sent to regional concentration camps. Nazis use their excuse to attack Jews as retribution for the killing of a Nazi official by a Jewish youth. Hitler’s Nazi party claims the attacks are a reasonable response to the killing. Under orders from German officials, first responders do nothing to prevent the widespread attacks or help Jews mitigate damages. Nazis place the onus of the attacks on Jewish communities, collectively fining them the equivalent of nearly $400m. Less than a year later, Hitler’s Germany invades Poland and in 1942, the Nazi’s impose the systematic mass extinction of Jews with the Final Solution.
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