|The migration of German Jews|
Contrary to the racist images and misinformation disseminated by national-socialist propaganda, the Jews who lived in Germany in 1933 were a very heterogeneous group with different political, cultural and religious backgrounds.
After the national-socialists seized power in Germany in 1933, Jews were deliberately treated as one group and became the target of anti-Semitic propaganda, legal, political and bureaucratic discrimination, and terrorisation. In that year alone some 37,000 Jews fled Germany.
Jewish refugee (Verzetsmuseum 1539)
The main reason for the exodus was the anti-Jewish boycott of shops, stores, banks, doctors and lawyers which had been introduced in April. In the years that followed, the numbers of migrants were a measure of the intensity of the anti-Jewish policies. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935, the Anschluss of March 1938 and the Kristallnacht of November 1938 had made a deep impact.
There were 23,000 Jewish refugees in 1934; 21,000 in 1935; 25,000 in 1936; 23,000 in 1937 and 40,000in 1938. In 1939 another 78,000 Jews left the Third Reich. The main destinations between 1933 and 1939 were the USA and Palestine, but many Jews headed for destinations in Europe, including Britain, France and the Netherlands. Many had economic and cultural ties with Germany and were reluctant to leave. Around 280,000 of the half a million Jews who lived in Germany in 1933 opted for emigration.