Polar Bear: Many Jews even assimilated to NS Germany.
They couldn’t assimilate completely because Nazi antisemitism was racial. Racial antisemitism is particularly cruel because there’s no escape for the Jew. There’s nothing he can do. He can’t change his genes. So he’s screwed.
With religious antisemitism it is based on religion, so there is always an out for the Jews in conversion, especially to Christianity. And a few Jews do convert to Islam, even in modern times. Supposedly many Saudis, including princes, are descended from families of converted Jews. An Israeli Jew converted to Islam several years back and became a radical Islamist. He moved to the West Bank and lives there to this day. He hates Israel and supports Hamas! Hamas and the Palestinians have accepted him utterly. They have no racial beef with Jews. To them, if you convert to Islam, you’re just not a Jew anymore. You’re also not an enemy. You’ve become one of them.
In the very early years it is correct that some Jews assimilated to supporting the Party. The Jews in some cities had good relations with the Gentiles. There was even a Jewish chapter of the Party in one city in 1936! It was officially sanctioned by Party leadership! After Kristallnacht in 1938 though, you would be hard-pressed to find a Jew who supported the regime.
However, many half-Jews (Jewish father) were allowed to serve in the Army. I believe there were over 100,000 half-Jews in the SS! Which is very strange if you think about it because the SS was absolutely committed to the extermination of Europe’s Jews. And here were a huge number of half-Jews participating in the project!
The Germans had a real problem. There’s an old saying, “There’s a little Jew in every German.” There’s more truth to it than you think. And indeed this was part of the problem for the Nazis. If they got too serious about Jewish ancestry, they’d end up killing off their whole population! So they made some very strict rules about who exactly was Jewish and who was not, while making the pool of Jews as small as they could. The fact that so many Germans had a bit of Jewish blood meant in a way, oddly enough the Nazis were massacring themselves, at least in Germany anyway. Isn’t that a strange idea?
There were 400,000 Jews in German at the start of the war, and there were 200,000 left at the end of the war. Half of them had survived. They had a lot of money, so most of them took off before the war even started. I saw a report on a plane leaving Vienna before the war, and it was full of Jews fleeing Austria. The Nazis had figured that most of the German Jews had taken off, and they didn’t even look very hard for Jews in Germany proper. And somehow many of them simply hid enough to survive. Don’t ask me how they did it. It’s an odd fact.
There are many, many odd facts about that genocide.
2 thoughts on “Jews in Nazi Germany before and after the War”
“There is a little Jew in every German.” Highly unlikely! Intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles wasn’t common until the last century. Even if there were a little Jew in every German, it would be only a drop since the Jewish share of the German population probably never exceeded 1%.
The Nazis basically operated with the 3/4 rule. Jewish was someone who had 3 or more Jewish grandparents. There was a category of Mischlinge (hybrids), and the Nazis weren’t quite sure what to do with them. Mischlinge ersten Grades (half-Jews) were treated differently from Mischlinge zweiten Grades (quarter-Jews). Most of the German Jews that survived were Mischlinge.
As you pointed out, the Nazis racialized the Jews. Jews were already a slowly disappearing minority before the Nazi takeover because mixed marriages were becoming more frequent and nearly all the children born from those mixed couples were raised as Christians. Anti-Semites make sure that Jews will not be assimilated.
If someone with Jewish ancestry is not Jewish in a religious and not Jewish either in an ethnic sense, in what way is he Jewish? He can’t be regarded as Jewish, but anti-Semites, seeing Jews as a race, will insist that he is Jewish, thereby hindering his assimilation. If you don’t like Jews as a group and would like the Jewish minority to be absorbed into the host population, then you should be an anti-anti-Semite.
Was Karl Marx Jewish? Obviously not. He wasn’t religious and he never identified ethnically with the Jews. In fact, many people think that he was anti-Semitic. To anti-Semites, he was of course one of the most hateworthy Jews of all times.
There are of course secular Jews who are culturally almost totally indistinguishable from their Gentile neighbors but who insist that they are Jewish and who will try to inflict a Jewish identity on their children. Their position is: My grandparents were different from your grandparents, and therefore I will make sure that my children are different from your children, at least subjectively. They are in fact agreeing with the anti-Semites that Jewishness is in the blood.
I’ve hated Nazis and viewed NS Germany through rose tinted glasses. There’s historical baggage but a bright white rose can be found growing from the dark ashes. It is today that matters. Germans today should not feel guilt. The Japanese don’t, and Jews might make a holiday out of it if the roles were reversed.
Just protect the rose and clean the giant litter box. The perfect weedless garden full of young blooming German women doing yoga in the nude is no more. The yellow brick road back home for Germans is perhaps a milder nationalism than the NS but still not selling out to the Beast, puppet governments, etc.