Alienation and Persecution of Polish and German Jews

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Racism is a belief that distinct human races according to their origins and is motivated by emotional and psychological factors given to a particular race about others. According to Nazi racial ideologies, the Germans race viewed itself as superior from other groups and saw polish Jews as inferior race based on their biological theories. The following essay will focus on explaining the concepts of herrenvolk and lebensraum by giving examples. Besides, elaborate how they facilitated to alienation and persecution of German and Polish Jews between 1933 and 1941.

Contributions of Herrenvolk and Lebensraum to Alienation of German and Polish Jews

The Nazi regime introduced and the concept of lebensraum which meant living space for the Germanic people and dispersing other races as they were considered as less important. Therefore, the inferior races that are, slaves and Jews were to be destructed as the Germans territory was being expanded (Shirer, 1991). For example, Adolf Hitler started the movement of Eastern Policy where he saw the need to have a community space of the Germans to have modern origins of daily bread. Hence, when he rose to power lebensraum became a firm principle of Nazism thus justifying German expansion into East-Central Europe leading to Eastern Europe populations being withdrawn forever by death, mass extradition to a region in Russia or oppression (Saul and Kenan, 2009). Also, the entire community was to be starved to allow their agricultural surplus to feed Germany as it was alienated from other races socially and economically as it was thought to be more superior. Besides, the act of enslavement caused other races like Jewish to be demeaned financially and socially as they could not be allowed to ally to avoid them rebelling (Saul, 2014).

Additionally, use of legal means led to alienation and persecution of Polish Jews, for instance, legislation and referendum conducted on 19 August 1934 made Adolf Hitler a sole leader of Germany which led to him being a dictator as he had all the powers (Saul and Kenan, 2009). Consequently, he used these powers was used to regaining economic stability and increase the popularity of the Nazi regime. Nevertheless, those who were opposed to Hitler’s rule were oppressed; also racism increased numerously as the communist opposition, and Jews were persecuted as they were seen as the undesirables (Saul, 2014).  Following these actions, the concept of herrenvolk 'master race' was introduced concerning the German people, and others groups as inferior therefore were desalinated from the German race and no economic developments was to happen in these races like Jews. More so, due to slavery and murdering of Jews, they were not able to develop their social cultures nor work together to stabilize their economy thus were reduced to poverty (Saul and Kenan, 2009).

Indeed, to have a living space for the so-called ‘master race' which was the German race led to the holocaust where the mass murder of millions of innocent civilians took place (Saul, 2014). Example, through the racist ideology introduced by Nazi's it destroyed Europe's Jews both the sick and the healthy, aged and the young as well as the rich and poor (Shirer, 1991). Saul and Kenan (2009), reported that about two out of every three Jews living in Europe before the war were killed in the Holocaust which was around six million people when the war ended in 1945. Besides, Germans and their collaborators continued to hunt and kill Jew in Europe in the places they controlled; therefore, Jews population decreased. As a result, many Jews, Romans, and Russians went to hiding for fear of their lives as Germans were trying to kill them leading to lack of unity between different races which could have brought peace and development (Saul, 2014). Also, the issue of forced labor in factories and farms caused reduction of performance as workers were not motivated and as slaves, they felt disrespected (Saul and Kenan, 2009).

Furthermore, when the Nuremberg laws made official in 1935, the Nazi persecution of the Jews and other minority populations increased, and many people lost their lives in the hands of the Germany government (Shirer, 1991). Besides, these laws legally bided stripping of Jews of their German citizenship, and they were also denied government employment and those employed by Germans lost their job.  According to Saul (2014), the government tried to evict 17, 000 German Jews of Polish back to Poland and the Germans were discouraged from marrying Jews. Therefore, this call brought more division in Germany between the ‘Aryan race’ and the ‘non-Aryan races’ like Jews and Russians since they could not associate together in building the nation or their lives (Saul and Kenan, 2009).

Due to the suffering, the Jewish went through some decided to take law on their own hands, and this disrupted and accelerated the disunity and chaos in Germany. For example, when a young Jewish male went to Paris for an interview with the German ambassador, he killed him in the protest against the treatment his family faced (Saul and Kenan, 2009). This killing led to the Nazi Party inciting against the Jews mostly their businesses, and the SA was mandated to attack the synagogues and Jewish property throughout Germany (Shirer, 1991). The night of broken glass followed where almost ninety-one Germany Jews were persecuted and their properties destroyed hence this made it clear that Jews in Germany had no peace (Saul, 2014).


The political oppression and alienation of the Polish Jews by the Nazi government in Germany led to Britain and France to give in. Germany continued to give aggressive demands threatening war if they were not met and therefore Britain and France Gave in, but Hitler was not satisfied. Concerning that, he joined hand with Stalin and invaded Poland in 1939 which led to world war two since the Germans were persecuting inferior groups and alienating them from others by holding them in concentration camps. For instance, the Jews, criminals, and political prisoners were put in the prisons, and oppression grew to the mass murder of Jews in the Holocaust were about six million people died.


Friedländer, Saul, and Orna Kenan. Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945. Harper Perennial, 2009.

Friedlander, Saul. Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years Of Persecution: 1933-1939. Hachette UK, 2014.

Shirer, William L. The rise and fall of the Third Reich: A history of Nazi Germany. Random House, 1991.

November 13, 2023
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