Jews in the Third Reich
When we hear about the Jews and the Second World War, we often think of the Holocaust, death camps, and to a certain extent Jewish ghettos. Something that we don’t often hear about or remember is how the Jews, who were still inside the Third Reich and not yet removed, were treated during the war.
The Nazi policy regarding those Jews still inside Germany was to deprive them of basic necessities. When it came to rationed supplies, the Jews were “discriminated against in the distribution of foodstuffs, coal, and all other rationed articles”. The main weapons that the Nazis used to deprive the Jews was to starve them by restricting their food supply and to utilize the cold weather to freeze them to death. The elderly and children were the main concern for Jewish families. The Nazis sparsely gave out anything to meet the Jews’ nutritional needs so that meant they hardly got any meat. Denying the Jews nutritional needs also meant saving fish, poultry, milk, and butter from getting into their hands. Jews were also only allowed to shop at closing time and get whatever low quality items were left for their ration cards. By using the cold to freeze out the Jews, the Nazis had to limit their coal rations, take their heating devices, and restrict their clothing rations. The Nazis did what they could to really deprive the Jews of clothing and to prevent them from fixing any clothing they might have had. The Nazis even went so far to prevent the Jews from fixing their shoes: “Jewish shoes are not allowed to be resoled, and linen cannot be replaced”.
- Sax, Benjamin C., and Dieter Kuntz. Inside Hitler’s Germany: A Documentary History of Life in the Third Reich. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1992. p.422.
- Sax & Kuntz. p.423.
- “Warsaw, Poland.” Warsaw, Poland. Accessed November 07, 2015. http://www.edwardvictor.com/Ghettos/warsaw_main.htm.