Nazi attitudes to Jewish people

The Nazis treatment of the Jewish people derived from their social and racial policies. The Nazis believed that only Germans could be citizens and that non-Germans should not have any citizenship rights.

The Nazis racial philosophy taught that some races were ‘Untermenschen’ ('subhuman'). Many scientists at this time believed that people with disabilities or social problems were genetically less human and that their genes needed to be eliminated from the human gene pool.

As a result of these beliefs, the Nazis took the following actions:

  • Tried to eliminate the Jewish people.
  • Killed 85 per cent of Germany's gypsies.
  • Sterilised black people.
  • Killed mentally ill patients.
  • Sterilised physically disabled people, eg deaf people, and people with hereditary diseases.
  • Imprisoned people they regarded as anti-social in concentration camps. These included homosexuals, prostitutes, Jehovah's Witnesses, alcoholics, pacifists, beggars, hooligans and criminals.