The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is the most notorious and widely distributed antisemitic publication of modern times. Its lies about Jews, which have been repeatedly discredited, continue to circulate today, especially on the internet. The individuals and groups who have used the Protocols are all linked by a common purpose: to spread hatred of Jews.
The mass murder of Europe’s Jews took place in the context of World War II. As German troops invaded and occupied more and more territory in Europe, the Soviet Union, and North Africa, the regime’s racial and antisemitic policies became more radical, moving from persecution to genocide.
Racism fueled Nazi ideology and policies. The Nazis viewed the world as being divided up into competing inferior and superior races, each struggling for survival and dominance. They believed the Jews were not a religious denomination, but a dangerous non-European “race.” Nazi racism would produce murder on an unprecedented scale.
The goal of the Nazi Euthanasia Program was to kill people with mental and physical disabilities. In the Nazi view, this would cleanse the “Aryan” race of people considered genetically defective and a financial burden to society.
Persecution of Jews and other groups was not solely the result of measures originating with Hitler and other Nazi zealots. Nazi leaders required the active help or cooperation of professionals working in diverse fields who in many instances were not convinced Nazis. Teachers and university professors were actively involved or went along with the ouster of Jews from their fields and cooperated in other ways with the Nazi regime in the implementation of racial policies.
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