Passed by the Third Reich in 1935. These deprived Jews of citizenship rights in Germany, excluded them from white collar professions and forbade intermarriage. It included not only the 600,000 Jews in Germany but also anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent - some 2.5 million Germans were affected by this definition.
Purge of 1934
Purge of Nazi Party to eliminate a number of dissident Nazi leaders and other opponents. The exact number of victims has never been determined, although it probably exceeded one hundred. Ernst Roehm, the leader of the Brown Shirts/SA, was among the victims. The influence of the SA now declined, while that of Himmler's SS, which provided the executioners for the purge, increased. Himmler also controlled the Gestapo, the secret police created by the Nazis. (a.k.a. NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES)
Hitler's secret police which, working together with the People's Court and the concentration camps, suppressed all ideas at variance with the Fuhrer's. These allowed the construction of a TOTALITARIAN STATE which was monolithic in character. It was anti-Christian, pro-Hitler and reinforced through a very active Youth Movement.
National Labor Front
This replaced the Unions in Germany. It was created by the Nazis. Strikes were forbidden and it operated on the leadership principle. It created mini-Fuhrers in the Factories. True unionization was not permitted. It would, of course, be necessary to have a consolidated labor force in the building the power of the Third Reich.
Strength through Joy
Part of Nazi program to promote economic recovery. Labor's share of national income went down but all had jobs - everyone put to work. This organization, STJ, took care of people on small incomes. Also completed a number of public works projects such as building of autobahns(superhighways). In 1936, the FOUR YEAR PLAN was launched with the purpose of promoting economic self-sufficiency (AUTARKY) and of mobilizing the economy for war.
Night of broken glass - Nov 9, 1938. A Polish Jew assassinated a German diplomat in Paris and in response the Nazis organized a campaign of mob violence against Jews in Germany. The name was taken from the broken glass resulting from the destruction of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses. Jews were now forced to wear a yellow star of David, and the German Jewish community was compelled to pay a large indemnity. Jews who had not yet fled to West now made a last attempt but few were accepted. 30,000 were channelled into concentration camps. These measures/pogroms were a prelude to the Holocaust of World War II in which 6 million Jews would perish.
Nazis and Christian Churches
The failure of German Christians, both Catholic and Protestants, to offer vigorous resistance to the crimes of the Nazis in general and to their persecution of the Jews, in particular, has been the subject of much historical controversy. Nevertheless, for German Christians the Nazi era was a time of pressure and persecution.
The Nazis attempted to subordinate the Christian churches to their control. The major Protestant denomination, the German Evangelical Church, was forced to accept the direction of a handpicked national bishop. Dissenting Protestants established the CONFESSING CHURCH under the leadership of Pastor MARTIN NIEMOELLER. He and other dissident churchmen were imprisoned in concentration camps. Many died there. One outstanding Christian martyred by the Nazis was DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, sometimes referred to as a 20th century Huss and whose writings on the deep meaning of Christian community remain an inspiration for many.
In July 1933, the Nazi regime signed a concordat with the Vatican, pledging to maintain the traditional rights of the Catholic Church in Germany. Increasing violations of the concordat led to protests fron Catholic leaders. In 1937, Pope Pius XI (same pope that had signed the Lateran Pact with Mussolini)joined these protests, issuing the encyclical letter MIT BRENNENDER SORGE (With Burning Concern). For the most part, however, both Protestant and Catholic leaders sought to avoid direct confrontations with the Nazi regime and have since been criticized for this.