Persecution of Jewish people

The following shows how the Nazis treatment of the Jewish people developed during the 1930s.


  • Jewish people were removed from public office and professions – civil servants, lawyers and teachers were sacked.
  • School lessons were to reflect the view that Jewish people were ‘Untermensch’.

April Boycott

Boycott outside Jewish store with placards saying “Germans defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews”.
Boycott outside a Jewish store

  • On 1 April 1933, a boycott of Jewish shops and other businesses took place.
  • SA officers actively encouraged Germans to avoid entering Jewish places of work.
  • Many Jewish shops were vandalised.


  • The Nuremberg Laws were introduced at the Nuremberg Rally on 15 September and removed many Jewish rights.
  • Jewish people were denied the right to be German citizens.
  • Marriage and relationships between Jewish people and Germans became illegal.


  • Jewish people were banned from becoming doctors.
  • Jewish people had to carry identity cards which showed a ‘J’ stamp.
  • Jewish children were denied education and banned from schools.
  • Jewish men had to add ‘Israel to their name, women had to add ‘Sarah’.


A shop damaged during Kristallnacht
A shop damaged during Kristallnacht

  • On the night of the 9 November 1938 Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues were attacked throughout Germany and Austria.
  • Around 7,500 Jewish shops were damaged or destroyed. 400 synagogues were burned to the ground.
  • Almost 100 Jewish people were killed and 30,000 were sent to concentration camps.


  • Jewish people were banned from owning businesses.
  • The first ghettos (segregated housing within towns, with a controlled entrance and exit) were opened in Eastern Europe to separate Jewish people from ‘ordinary’ citizens.

Star of David Emblem

A group of Jewish men, women and children displaying the Star of David emblem on their clothing
A group of Jews display the Star of David emblem

  • On 23 November, 1939, Jewish people were ordered to wear the Star of David emblem on their clothes. This helped identify them more easily.

The Nazis persecution of the Jewish people meant that many other Germans lived in fear of the Nazis turning on them.

This severely reduced the number of people who were willing to openly oppose the Nazis.