Trained as an elementary school teacher, Julius Streicher (1885–1946) was an early member of the Nazi Party. In 1923, he founded the virulently antisemitic and racist newspaper, Der Stuermer. Streicher was a leading organizer of Nazi Germany's first official nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933. Although Streicher had lost credibility in party circles by 1940, he continued to edit and distribute his antisemitic propaganda newspaper to hundreds of thousands of Germans.
For his influential role in inciting hatred and violence, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg indicted Streicher on count four, crimes against humanity. Streicher was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was hanged on October 16, 1946.
Critical Thinking Questions
- Is there a direct link between words and actions? Can words and images inspire people to commit acts of genocide?
- How did German professionals and civil leaders contribute to the persecution of Jews and other groups?
- What pressures and motivations may have affected Streicher's choices before and during the war?
- Across Europe, the Nazis found countless willing helpers who collaborated or were complicit in their crimes. What motives and pressures led so many individuals to persecute, to murder, or to abandon their fellow human beings?
- Beyond the verdicts, what impact can trials have?