Established in 1938, the German Armed Forces High Command was theoretically a unified military command controlling Germany’s air force, navy, and army. In reality, the establishment of the High Command allowed Adolf Hitler to consolidate power as commander-in-chief of the German military.
A key part of Nazi ideology was to define the enemy and those who posed a threat to the so-called “Aryan” race. Nazi propaganda was essential in promoting the myth of the “national community” and identifying who should be excluded. Jews were considered the main enemy.
The law is one way to seek justice after genocide. After World War II, international, domestic, and military courts conducted trials of accused war criminals. Unfortunately, many perpetrators of Nazi-era crimes have never been tried or punished. Trials continue today, but in many cases, perpetrators simply returned to their normal lives and professions in society.
The Nazis frequently used propaganda to disguise their political aims and deceive the German and international public. They depicted Germany as the victim of Allied and Jewish aggression to hide their true ideological goals and to justify war and violence against innocent civilians.
On February 27, 1933, the German parliament (Reichstag) building burned down. The Nazi leadership and its coalition partners used the fire to claim that Communists were planning a violent uprising. They claimed that emergency legislation was needed to prevent this. The resulting act, commonly known as the Reichstag Fire Decree, abolished a number of constitutional protections and paved the way for Nazi dictatorship.
After Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany on January 30, 1933, the Nazi leadership decided to stage an economic boycott against the Jews of Germany. Local Nazi party chiefs organized the national boycott operation. Although it lasted only one day and was ignored by many individual Germans who continued to shop in Jewish-owned stores, it marked the beginning of a nationwide campaign by the Nazi Party against the entire German Jewish population.
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