"The Eternal Jew"

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From the beginning Hitler's regime targeted German Jews with anti-Semitic propaganda claiming they were responsible for the country's defeat in WWI and subsequent economic crisis. A series of laws were passed restricting Jewish rights to full employment, education and citizenship. The turning point was Kristallnacht, often cited as the beginning of the Holocaust, when persecution escalated from social, economic and political to state sponsored violence, deportation and mass murder.

Yellow Star, Hulton Archive, 1935-01-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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A German Jewish citizen 

Street Vendor, Three Lions, 1940-01-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Selling armbands

"Following the invasion of Poland Jews were required to wear an identifying mark on their clothing - a yellow star or a white armband with the blue star of David. The degrading yellow badge soon became widespread across German occupied territories."

Nazi Segregation, Keystone, 1938-01-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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"For Jews Only"

"Other petty but sadistic humiliations were commonplace. Segregation in public spaces, being paraded wearing of humiliating slogans and scrubbing pavements were all tactics designed to dehumanise and degrade Jews and pave the way for public acceptance of even worse treatment to come."

Children Clean Street, Fox Photos, 1941-03-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Jewish Persecution, Keystone, 1938-08-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Barefoot In Munich, Hulton Archive, 1933-03-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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"i am a Jew but I will never again complain about the Nazis"

Humiliation, Keystone, 1933-07-27, From the collection of: Getty Images
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The woman's sign reads 'I am fit for the greatest swine and only get involved with Jews'. The man's 'As a Jew, I only take German girls to my room"

Anti-Jewish Posters, Hulton Archive, 1933-04-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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"Comrades! Defend Yourselves! Don't buy from Jews!"

"Jewish shops and offices were targeted by graffiti, pickets and in some cases businesses were confiscated altogether. 

Jewish texts and other "non-Aryan" books were destroyed in mass book burnings. "

Jewish Persecution, Keystone, 1938-11-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Nazi Pickets, General Photographic Agency, 1933-04-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Closed Shop, Keystone, 1939-05-09, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Graffiti identifying Jewish premises, dissuaded shoppers from using them

Book Burning, Keystone, 1933-05-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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so called 'non-Aryan' publications were publicly burned 

Book Burning, Keystone, 1933-05-10, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Burning Synagogue, Hulton Archive, 1939-11-10, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Synagogue Ruins, Fred Ramage, 1945-09-01, From the collection of: Getty Images
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Synagogues were targeted and destroyed

"On Kristallnacht itself  over  7500 Jewish stores and businesses and 300 synagogues across Germany and Austria were damaged or destroyed completely. 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps but by their release 3 months later over 2,000 had already died.

The Holocaust had begun..."

Kristallnacht, Hulton Archive, 1938-10-11, From the collection of: Getty Images
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The morning after Kristallnacht in Berlin

Credits: Story

Curator—Sarah McDonald, Getty Images

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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Stories of the Holocaust
The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the persecution and murder of 6 million Jewish people and 5 million non-Jewish minorities by the Nazi regime. Here we remember the suffering and loss - as well as the perseverance, survival and strength - of its victims.
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