Volltext: Geschichte erforschen - Geschichte vermitteln

Dan Michman 
the exclusion of Jews from German society in general materialized so 
fast. He explained that the “process of persecution should be understood 
as a dynamic interaction between state and society — one that was shaped 
by four determinant factors: antisemitism, the conforming of personal 
interests to the norms propagated by the Nazi regime, the activation of 
social interests — mn particular by the economic exclusion of the Jews [my 
emphasis, DM] — and the growing consensual support for the regime 
after 1933.73 In Bajohr’s eyes, thus, the economic measures together 
with the unofficial economic attacks on and advantage taken of the Jews 
were complimentary acts within the broader drive for social exclusion; 
its success was due to the immediate benefit individuals and companies 
— also foreign ones — could gain from this process.* 
In a recent article, Christoph Kreutzmiiller, Ingo Loose and Benno 
Nietzel dealt with what they call the “destruction of Jewish commercial 
activity” and “elimination of Jewish business activity” in three major 
cities in Germany, until the last phases of Jewish existence on German 
soil. The details of their study are less important for our argument; how- 
ever, it is relevant to state that they too view the economic activities 
against the Jews as part of an antisemitic process to drive the Jews out of 
society, a process which was gradual and was most effective in the little 
cities and countryside villages, which explains why the Jews in the big- 
ger cities could still hold on economically until the stage of the Final 
Solution. The terminology they use — “destruction” and “elimination” — 
is clearly meant to indicate, that this was a form of non-murderous anni- 
hilation of living conditions, to which Jewish tenacity (in the cities) was 
capable, to a certain extent, to resist: “Only by means of brutal violence 
was the Nazi regime ultimately able to crush the will of the Jews to assert 
themselves and persist, and to destroy the economic foundation of their 
lives in Germany”.*° 
Christopher Browning, in a chapter on “The Nazi Empire” in the 
Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies, has described things in a slightly 
modified way: “During the pre-war years of the Nazi regime, the perse- 
38  Bajohr, The ‘Folk Community’ and the Persecution of the Jews, p. 183 (quote from 
the abstract). 
39  Bajohr, Arisierung als gesellschaftlicher Prozess. 
40 Kreutzmiiller/Loose/Nietzel, Nazi Persecution and Strategies for Survival, 
pp- 31-70; the quote is from p. 70. 


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