When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Jews were living in every country of Europe. A total of roughly nine million Jews lived in the countries that would be occupied by Germany during World War II. By the end of the war, two out of every three of these Jews would be dead, and European Jewish life would be changed forever.
"Weimar Republic" is the name given to the German government between the end of the Imperial period (1918) and the beginning of Nazi Germany (1933). Political turmoil and violence, economic hardship, and also new social freedoms and vibrant artistic movements characterized the complex Weimar period. Many of the challenges of this era set the stage for Adolf Hitler's rise to power.
In 1918, Germany transitioned from a semi-authoritarian empire to the Weimar Republic, a democracy that protected individual rights and limited police power. During the Weimar Republic, police struggled to respond to a rise in crime, political violence, and high unemployment. The Nazis promised to fix these problems, which helped policemen to eventually accept the new Nazi regime in 1933.
On November 8–9, 1923, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party led a coalition group in an attempt to overthrow the German government. The plotters hoped to march on Berlin to launch a national revolution. But the insurrection failed miserably. Units of the Munich police force clashed with Nazi stormtroopers as they marched into the city center. The police killed more than a dozen of Hitler’s supporters. This attempted coup d'état came to be known as the Beer Hall Putsch.
Erich Ludendorff was a German general who gained renown during the First World War, primarily for his efforts on the eastern front. He and future German President Paul von Hindenburg built a military empire in the east that lasted until the Germany’s defeat in 1918. Ludendorff was deeply antisemitic, an early supporter of Hitler, and a high-profile supporter of the false “Stab-in-the-Back” theory.
Millions of people suffered and died in camps, ghettos, and other sites during the Holocaust. The Nazis and their allies oversaw more than 44,000 camps, ghettos, and other sites of detention, persecution, forced labor, and murder. Among them was the Oranienburg camp.
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