This article investigates the plight of German Jews during the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 and, in particular, how DNVP leaders and members reacted to nazi transgressions and violence. The first section reviews the existing literature, which clearly reveals the gap in our present knowledge of the DNVP's role during the Machtergreifung. The second section examines the plethora of violent attacks on Jewish-owned businesses and individual Jews following the elections of 5 March 1933 and the reaction of the German authorities. The third section highlights the DNVP's reaction to the dilemma of national-minded German Jews, a large number of whom fought for Germany in the first world war. The fourth section analyses the few cases of conservative protest and attempted help and the fifth section focuses on the more numerous cases of rejection and disapprobation. The sixth section discloses the often contradictory reactions of the DNVP's Berlin headquarters and local DNVP associations when baptized Jews or half-Jews applied for party membership. The investigation reveals the spectrum of inconsistent, conflicting and at times outright contradictory reactions that the DNVP displayed toward the inherent plight of German Jews in the winter of 1932 and spring of 1933. The evidence shows that the DNVP failed completely to live up to its professed ideals, thereby undermining the very principles to which its members so tenaciously clung and setting the stage for the further erosion of the rights of German Jews.
- Nazi revolution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science