An SA man stands guard outside a Jewish shop during the Boycott of April l, 1933. CL:National Archives and Records Administration. Wash.. D.C. (NARA)
"All Jews' businesses are closed. SA men are posted outside their entrances. The public has everywhere proclaimed its solidarity. The discipline is exemplary...The boycott is a great moral victory for Germany." Josef Goebbels, Diary. April 1, 1933
|"My measures will not be hindered by any legal considerations or bureaucracy whatsoever. It is not justice that I have to carry out but annihilation and extermination." Hermann Goering, March 3, 1933
As the international economic crisis of the Great Depression spread in the early 1930s, the Nazis fed on the discontent of the lower and middle classes of Germany. In 1932, the German people who voted for the Nazis hoped for decisive leadership, economic revival, and a new national sense of pride and purpose. Most assumed Nazi extremism would be tempered by the responsibility and compromise necessary to govern. They were mistaken.
Immediately upon seizing power, the Nazis unleashed a frenzy of violence against their political opponents, many of whom were Jews. On April 1, 1933, a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses was organized by the SA (Storm Troops) and SS (Elite Guard), who picketed Jewish-owned shops and businesses.