Nazi Boycott of Jewish Businesses - National Boycott

National Boycott

In March 1933 the Nazis won a large number of seats in the German parliament. Following the victory there was widespread violence and hooliganism directed at Jewish businesses and individuals. Jewish lawyers and judges were physically prevented from reaching the courts. In some cases the SA created improvised concentration camps for prominent Jewish anti-Nazis.

Since the Machtergreifung the international press had been reporting SA atrocities in detail, including the dragging off of Jewish political opponents to 'wild' concentration camps where they were abused, tortured and murdered, and the leadership of the NSDAP held the victims responsible for the negative international response to the NSDAP actions. They claimed their anti-Jewish policies as defensive - it was in this vein that the German press reacted, casting as a Jewish attack on Germany, and Jewish war against Germany a 'widespread but largely uncoordinated Jewish boycott in Europe and the U.S. of German goods that was initiated and then quickly abandoned in March 1933.' On 1 April 1933, the Nazis carried out their first nationwide, planned action against Jews: a boycott targeting Jewish businesses and professionals.

On the day of the boycott, the SA stood menacingly in front of Jewish-owned department stores and retail establishments, and the offices of professionals such as doctors and lawyers. The Star of David was painted in yellow and black across thousands of doors and windows, with accompanying antisemitic slogans. Signs were posted saying "Don't Buy from Jews!" (Kauf nicht bei Juden!), "The Jews Are Our Misfortune!" (Die Juden sind unser Unglück!) and "Go to Palestine!" (Geh nach Palästina!). Throughout Germany, rare acts of violence against individual Jews and Jewish property occurred.

The boycott was ignored by many individual Germans who continued to shop in Jewish-owned stores during the day.

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