Anti-Semitism is a phenomenon dating back to the Middle Ages and indicates hateful behaviour towards those who practice the Jewish religion. This aversion has, over the centuries, often resulted in acts of discrimination, violence and persecution.
The explicit anti-Semitic actions in Germany were implemented from 1933, in order to safeguard the so-called Aryan race, considered superior, from presumed contamination.
Actually, these measures were not only aimed at Jewish communities and families but were directed against all those who were considered ‘different’ from the Aryans, the so-called “Undesirable“:
- the Jews who were the first to be deported and locked in concentration camps
- people residing in occupied eastern European regions, considered to be “inferior”
- Polish who were sent to forced labour and deprived of medical care, in order to be eliminated more effectively
- Political opponents
- Some religious group such as Jehovah’s and Pentecostal were given the opportunity to convert in exchange for freedom. Of these groups, about 10 thousand were interned, about 5 thousand were killed.
- The mentally ill and the disabled;
- Ethnic groups such as Romanies, Sinti, Yenish, who still refer to their extermination as “Porrajmos” (from Romani language, “great devouring”)