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Persecution
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The Kindertransport
The First Concentration Camps
The Persecution of the Jews
The Persecution of the Roma and Sinti
Black People in Nazi Germany
Persecution of Homosexuals
The Murder of the Disabled
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Persecution

As soon as the Nazis gain power in Germany, they take measures to restrict the rights of Jews and make them second class citizens. More and more they are segregated from the rest of society. Few people in Germany and elsewhere do anything to stop this or to help Jews. Eventually, life becomes impossible for Jews in Germany. For many it is too late to leave. They end up in concentration camps where they are either killed or die from exhaustion or disease. The Jews in countries occupied by the German army suffer the same fate.

The yellow Star of David bearing the word "Jew" has become a symbol of the persecution of the Jews. Jews in Germany and in the countries occupied by the Nazis had to wear a star with the word "Jew" on their clothes. In this way they could be easily identified at any time. It was also possible to monitor exactly what they were doing. The Nazis thought that the Jews were the major threat to German society, but they also persecuted other groups they deemed "undesirable."

Opponents of the Nazis, such as members of other political parties, critical journalists and trade union members were also tortured and killed in police stations and concentration camps. The Nazis believed that "Gypsies," homosexuals, people with disabilities and Black people were inferior, like the Jews, and that they did not belong in Germany. Hundreds of thousands were arrested because of this and were sent to concentration camps. Also, thousands of people with disabilities were given lethal injections in hospitals.

Millions of Jews killed

The Jews formed the largest group of persecuted people, not only in Germany but also in the occupied territories. In 1941, leading Nazis decided that all 11 million Jews in Germany and the occupied countries in Europe should be killed. They started to build extermination camps. There they could kill Jews, and also for instance Gypsies, quickly. These camps were located in remote places in occupied Poland. The victims were mainly brought there by train. In the camps, millions of people were killed as soon as they arrived, or died later from exhaustion or disease.
Anne Frank Guide
This day in history
Today: 14 December 2017
Then: 11 December 1941

Germany and Italy declare war on the United States; the U.S. respond in kind.

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