College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Arts in History - Thesis (MA)


Allen York


World War II, Holocaust, Third Reich




The anti-Jewish policies of the Third Reich progressed from anti-Jewish legislation, stripping German Jews of their rights, to systematic mass murder. Deeply rooted antisemitism and Nazi propaganda serving as a vehicle for ideology fostered an environment of approval among most of the German public for certain anti-Jewish policies such as the Nuremberg Laws. The non-Jewish, German public responses to these anti-Jewish policies by the Third Reich shifted over the course of the Nazi’s rule and during World War II. Most of the German public supported anti-Jewish legislation such as laws removing German Jews from civil service occupations because it made positions available for “Aryan” Germans. However, most of the German public was repulsed by violent acts led by the Third Reich against German Jews. The German public’s abhorrence towards violent acts committed earlier during the Third Reich’s rule against Jews shifted by the end of World War II as they became ambivalent towards stories of mass murder. Concerns for the war effort and constant air raids from the Allies overshadowed any concerns that most of the German public could muster for the persecutions of a maligned minority group.

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