Nazi persecution of the Jews


  • to maintain the purity of the Aryan race.

  • to remove what the Nazis saw as the unfair economic power and social influence of the Jews.


  • (April 1933) Law for the restoration of the professional and civil service– removed Jews from positions within the government and public service jobs, such as teaching. There were other jobs, such as lawyering, which were banned for Jews.

  • Stripped Jews of their property, citizenship, wealth, and businesses and encouraged boycotts of Jewish businesses.

  • (September 1935) Nuremberg Laws– banned Jews and Germans from marrying and having sex, further deprived Jews of German citizenship and introduced the use of medical examination to identify those who were non-Aryan.

  • (9–10 November 1938) Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, resulted in the deaths and injuries of many Jews, while the businesses and property of Jews were destroyed, along with synagogues.

  • Initially, the Nazi government forced the emigration of Jews from Germany, but later on, they began to establish Jewish ghettos in Eastern Germany, and later began the mass killings as seen in the Holocaust.


  • In the end, 282,000 Jews emigrated or seeked refuge, whilst 700,000 Jews were killed from the start of WW2 till the end of the 1941. In total, following the end of the Second World War, it was found that 6 million Jews had been systematically murdered by the Nazis.

Nazi persecution of Homosexuals


  • to remove homosexuals from Nazi Germany communities in order to promote heterosexual relations for reproduction and prevent the so-called spread of homosexual influence on German Society.


  • The Gestapo (the secret police) and Kripo (the criminal police department for the entire Reich) interrogated suspected homosexuals. They carried out a large number of arrests of gay men under paragraph 175 of the German Law which banned sexual relations between men.

  • The Nazis banned all homosexual and lesbian organisations, bars, meeting places, associations and removed gay media.

  • Homosexuals suffered an extreme degree of cruelty by their captors in concentration camps as they were forced into harsh, manual labour at concentration camps because it was believed to turn them straight.


  • Overall, between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals. Most of these men served time in regular prisons, but around 6,000 to 7,000 were sent to concentration camps in and forced to wear a pink triangle on their camp uniforms in order to classify them as homosexual offenders.

  • In the end, 60% of gay men imprisoned in concentration camps died.

Nazi persecution of the Gypsies


  • To rid Germany of what they called ‘the Gypsy plague.’ They believed that the Gypsies had to be removed as they were a threat to German society, causing a violent commotion on the streets.


  • The Nazis took steps to avoid the mixing of Gypsie blood with German blood pool and to facilitate Radicalisation.

  • In 1938, Himmler issued a “Decree for the struggle against the gypsy plague”.

  • In May 1940, the SS and police forces began to deport Roma and Sinti to German-occupied Poland. In 1941, German Police deported over 5,000 Sinti and Gypsies from Austria to a Jewish ghetto in Lodz, where poor hygiene conditions sparked a typhus epidemic. This was a common characteristic of the Nazi-German Ghettos.

  • Those who survived were deported to the death camp at Chelmno in early 1942 when Himmler ordered all Gypsies to be transferred to Auschwitz, and other death camps, where they were gassed.


  • By the end of the Second World War, 11,000 out of 20,000 gypsies at Auschwitz were gassed, although it is estimated that at least 130,500, or even up to 1.5 million European Romani were killed by the Nazis throughout the Holocaust period.

Nazi persecution of the Disabled


  • to prevent their unhealthy genes from weakening the Aryan race.

  • to rid them from society as they cost too much to be taken care of, and were perceived as socially useless by the Nazis.


  • In July 1933, the new Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring meant that anyone who suffered from chronic alcoholism, congenital feeble-mindedness, schizophrenia, manic depression, hereditary epilepsy, et cetera, could be sterilised according to the Hereditary Health Court.

  • A special unit of Nazi Doctors was established under Action T4 to kill disabled children. Government registered disabled children and their records were examined by 3 doctors who marked the files ‘+’ to die, ‘-’ to survive. Children were killed by starvation, lethal injection or by gas in mobile vans (known as ‘killer boxes’) or ‘gas chambers. This policy of Euthanasia was gradually extended to adults.


  • Over the next twelve or so years, approximately 350,000 people were sterilised and 100 died from what was called ‘Hitler’s cut’ and by 1944, 200,000 people — deemed mentally or physically disabled — had been murdered.

  • The Euthanasia Programme itself, which was used on disabled people, later contributed to the Holocaust as the T4 staff learnt techniques of execution which were later used in the Holocaust.

Nazi persecution of the 'work-shy'


  • to remove those who were seen as lazy and asocial from the Volksgemeinschaft.

  • to remove or force them to work as he wanted to increase the working population.


  • Hitler believed that asocial behaviour was purely biological.

  • Asocials were handled by the police rather than welfare agencies.

  • In the end, the Nazis began to murder all asocials in order to preserve the health of the ‘Elite’ Aryan race.

  • In 1933, half a million vagrants (meaning a person without a settled home or workplace, or possibly termed homeless) were round up and divided into 2 groups; “the orderly” and “the disorderly”. The orderly were given work, whilst those deemed disorderly were imprisoned in camps and forced to wear black triangles.


  • Over the rule of the Nazis, thousands of the ‘work-shy’ were sent to concentration camps.

  • In June 1938, the 'National Campaign against the Workshy' resulted in the imprisonment of around 11,000 'asocials' in concentration camps where they were forced to work.

  • By the end of the Holocaust period, many ‘work-shy’ had been killed or died in concentration camps.

Nazi persecution of Childless Citizens


  • to demoralise the state of being celibate, and instead incentivise giving birth, all the while ensuring racial purity.

  • to increase the Aryan birth rate and population.


  • In June 1933, the Law for the Encouragement of Marriage was introduced, giving newlyweds a loan of 1,000 marks and allowing them to keep 250 marks for each child they had, on condition that the wife was unemployed.

  • Ehestandshilfe (meaning "marriage assistance") was a tax levied on unmarried people in Nazi Germany as part of the Nazi state's policy of natalism. The taxes were used to contribute to the costs of the marriage loan system.

  • The 2nd Nuremberg Law of 1935, Blutschutzgesetz (the “Blood Protection Law”), meant that marriage or sexual relations between Jews and “citizens of German or kindred blood” was forbidden.

  • (December 1935) Lebensborn Programmeprovided Aryan women with Aryan men to have sex with to increase the birth rate of racially pure children. Mothers who participated in the programme were provided with excellent maternity care. It also legalised and encouraged abortion for all ‘defective’ and non-Aryan children.

  • The Marriage Law of 1938 meant that if a man already had 4 children with a woman, he had the right to divorce her so he could remarry and have more children. Also, couples could divorce if they were childless or had been separated for three years.

Nazi persecution of the Church

Hitler believed that the Church was a threat to his power, so he was keen to control the Churches, to centralise the Church power and to then later abolish the Church, as planned under Volksgemeinschaft. His actions varied by branch of the Church.

  • The Catholic Church

For the Catholic Church, Hitler signed the Reichskonkordat and agreed not to interfere with the Church if they stayed out of politics. Despite this, he broke the agreement a short few months after making it. The Nazis shut down Catholic monasteries, schools and organisations and Priests were harassed. Those that criticised the Nazis were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Pope Pius XI was angered by this and made a famous speech called "With Burning Grief" criticising the Nazis. This resulted in the arrests of 400 Catholic Priests who were also sent to concentration camps.

  • The Protestant Church

With regards to the Protestant Church, the 28 Protestant Churches were pressured to agree to combine with the National Reich Church, with the Reich Bishop being Nazi — Ludwig Muller. The Reich Church was a Church in which the Bible was replaced by Hitler’s autobiography — Mein Kampf — and crucifixes were replaced by Swastikas and swords. The Protestants who disliked the changes to the Church created the Confessing Church which rejected the new Nazi Reich Church beliefs.

Nazi persecution of the Jews in the Holocaust

Nazi deportation of Gypsies and Romani in Yugoslavia.

Many children (and adults) with physical/mental disabilities were persecuted.

This image shows the public execution of Polish priests and civilians

The Nazis forced the work-shy (and other minorities) into concentration camps to carry out forced, manual labour.

The Lebensborn programme promoted having many children– for aryan couples– in order to increase the aryan population. The image shows baptism by the SS at a Lebensborn maternity care home.

Homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles in concentration camps to identify them.