After 1919, Jewish people in Germany were free and legally equal and often felt more German than Jewish. Many were wealthy and successful.
But there was an undercurrent of anti-Jewish racism, called 'anti-Semitism', in Germany. Hitler appealed to this anti-Semitism by blaming the Jewish people for Germany's defeat in the First World War. Nazi race-scientists incorrectly claimed that the Jewish people were sub-human.
As soon as Hitler came to power he introduced a programme of persecution. The Nuremberg Laws (1935) deprived Jewish people of many of their civil rights. On 9 November 1938, Kristallnacht or the 'Night of Broken Glass' took place. Jewish businesses, synagogues and homes were attacked and destroyed. This was a response to the assassination of a German diplomat by a Polish Jewish man in Paris.
After the outbreak of World War Two in 1939, the Nazis stepped up the persecution of the Jewish people:
Nobody knows how many Jewish people died during the Holocaust, but the usual figure given is 6 million.