Nazi Policies Towards The Jews

2078 WordsApr 18, 20169 Pages
In the events leading up to, during, and following the Holocaust there are no easy answers, and the questions are often times even more difficult. Each individual event was a part of a complex and irrational chain of development. In that sense, it is very difficult to point one event or year of the Holocaust and determine that it was a critical turning point in the development of the Nazi policies towards the Jews. It is difficult to say what would have happened had one of these events been thrown off course, and what the impact was of events historians never found out about. That being said, based on information that exists today an argument can be made that 1941 represents the most critical year in the development of Nazi policies towards the Jews. The culmination of that year is represented in the Wannsee conference, which was arguably the most significant marker of a shift of policies towards the Jews, “In particular, one of its aims was to work out a viable definition of who was to be treated as a Jew.” (Gerlach, 761). This was the year where the murder “gathered pace” (Matthaus, 219), the policies shifted from anti-Jewish to murderous and these sentiments are officially declared at the Wannsee Conference in January, 1942. Already at the very beginning of the year, between January and March of 1941, there is lots of evidence that Nazi policy towards the Jews was changing. For one example, the SS and Einsatzgruppen began special training to learn to murder and are
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