Jews faced several problems that made life very difficult and strenuous during the mid-1930s. People who were Jewish were often persecuted and treated as the worst class of people when it comes to social hierarchy. Throughout this time, there were many things happening to Germany that were of and related to government, which destroyed the ability for a Jewish citizen to have a positive life. There were several hardships and problems faced by Jews regarding emigration out of Europe.
Also, Jewish people during this time period suffered from government and social ridicule, losing many rights and necessities that should be given to every human being upon birth. During the mid-1930s, Germany tried to persecute Jews by forcing their emigration from the country. This was caused by the anti-Semitic legislation in Germany. Jews were not allowed to take with them any more than $4 and very few belongings. Along with that, trying to get to another country was nearly impossible.
With the terrible great depression that was occurring, other countries were afraid that immigrants would threaten local job opportunities, thus emigration out of Germany was very difficult for Jews (Obstacles to Immigration). All the documents required to leave the country were also nearly impossible to obtain. Jews often called these “Bureaucratic Hurdles”. These were up to 15 documents that could include 5 visa applications, 2 local citizen sponsorships, tax and financial documents, police conduct documents and evaluations, a physical, and proof of a booked passage to the new country(Documents Required to Obtain a Visa).
According to Ann Jacobson , when she emigrated out of Austria, when it became part of the Reich, her father was only allowed to take $80 and they had extreme difficulty finding all the documents required to move (“Flight From the Reich”). This was extremely fortunate for her to be able to get the opportunity to move, because for most Jews, obtaining such documents was nearly impossible. Overall, trying to emigrate out of a Nazi occupied territory in the mid-1930s was almost impossible, due to the legal and social restrictions posed by people and the government.
Jewish lifestyle was often full of being discriminated against and mistreatment by non-Jewish citizens and government affiliated people during this time period. Many Jewish people lost their jobs and children were taken from schools (“Flight from the Reich”). With the little things available for Jews to take with them due to confiscation and newfound poverty, Jews were figuratively chased out of Germany by Nazis (“1938 Propaganda Poster”). Poverty is caused by lack of work, and Jews definitely were forced into poverty. An example of somebody being forced out of their job was Elisabeth Abegg.
She was a teacher who was forced out of the position in 1933 for being of the Jewish religion (Rescue and Resistance 1). With no money, jobs, or hope for help from others, anybody would have struggled for shear survival. That is what these Jews were being denied during this time. They were forced out of a normal lifestyle, and constantly had to be looking over their shoulders for the government. A citizen in any country should never feel threatened or attacked by their own government. For the Jews trying to survive in this time period, the case was practically opposite.
The government was brutal, and forcibly making Jewish people evacuate the country, yet made immigration to other countries nearly impossible. This is what made life so difficult for Jews during this time period. Eventually there was an establishing of the Nuremburg Laws, which caused Jews to lose citizen rights in Germany (“Jews in Nazi Germany” 1). Some people tried to resist the movement, but were quickly dealt with. In 1933, Karl Barth opposed pro-Nazis and based his opposition on his biblical theology (Rescue and Resistance 11). He was expelled from Germany for his “unruly behavior” in 1935.
When people got on boats to sail to new countries, the exit of Europe did not always guarantee complete freedom from the Reich. If Jews were to get on a Germany controlled ship, they were technically on German land wherever they were. It was best to get on an American controlled ship, so that Germans had no control over what happened to it or its passengers while in operation (“Flight from the Reich”). If an emigrant was on a German controlled ship, like the St. Louis, problems could have occurred. This boat consisted to 900 or more people trying to go to Cuba.
The government in Germany knew that Cuba had changed its mind about accepting these people yet they did not inform the passengers. When the boat got to Cuba, it was turned around with only 28 people admitted onto the island . The rest were sent back to Europe. Only half of those people sent back ended up surviving through the Holocaust (Voyage of the St. Louis). With the difficulty posed by the inability to obtain documents, and the process it actually took to get to a new country, emigration for Germans during this time period was seemingly impossible.
Altogether, this time period was probably the most difficult time for a certain persecuted group of people to live. They were treated with utmost disrespect and extremely persecuted. Even though I am not a Jew myself, I feel extreme remorse for the Jews during this time period. Being able to relate to what these people went through is nearly impossible for anybody who would ever try to give themselves the task. These people are an example of how little wrong one must do in society to be treated in the most malicious of ways.
The human race itself will always be the leading factor in the prevention of development, and this time period demonstrates this more than most others. When humans do and think like the Nazis did in the mid-1930s is when our race will reach ultimate failure. People do not deserve to be persecuted or mistreated, unless it is an earned treatment for negative behavior or acts. These Jews did nothing wrong, yet were treated worse by the Reich than any other people on the planet at the time.
When looking for something to take away from this, one could take away the knowledge to know how destructive a simple persecution could become. It is not wise to single out any one group of people in any social context, due to the harmful global impacts made when this happened to the Jews. Humans are all born equally, and unfortunately are unable to treat each other as such. People should always be treated and given the title and rights they were born with. That title is a human being.