Victory in Europe: End of WWII - A NEW LEADER IN BERLIN

A NEW LEADER IN BERLIN (Illustration) Awesome Radio - Narrated Stories Famous Historical Events Famous People Geography Social Studies World History Biographies World War II

The German Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv) contain many pictures of the country’s National-Socialist years. This image depicts a photograph, taken by Georg Pahl on the 1st of April 1933, which illustrates the country’s growing antisemitism under the Nazi regime. As the Nazi boycott against Jewish businesses took hold, members of the SA covered the window of a Jewish-owned business in Berlin with a sign which says: “Germans, defend yourselves. Do not buy from Jews.” Bundesarchiv, Bild [picture] 102-14468 / Georg Pahl / License: CC-BY-SA 3.0


In February of 1933, twenty different (and mysterious) fires broke out, simultaneously, at the government building in Berlin where the Reichstag (Germany’s parliament) met. Using that situation to seize power, Hitler claimed that he was "protecting" the country’s security.

Two months later, Jews who lived in Berlin were already in trouble. The capital had the largest Jewish community in Germany - totaling about 160,000 people - and their businesses were targeted for a national boycott in April.

A placard, placed in front of a Jewish-owned store on April 1st, says:

Germans, defend yourselves, do not buy from Jews.

It was just the beginning of official anti-Semitism, both in Berlin and in all Nazi-controlled territory.

On the 10th of May, 1933, Nazis in Berlin burned “un-German” books, including those written by Jewish authors. Such actions bring to mind a line from Almansor, an 1821 play by Heinrich Heine:

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
4 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: May 20, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"A NEW LEADER IN BERLIN" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 01, 2007. Jan 19, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips