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1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 153 
This poster links antisemitism with the strong anti-immigrant sentiments that characterized American politics during the 1930s. According to the poster, Judaism equals communism, which should have no place in the United States. Note the Jewish features, complete with the stereotypical elongated nose, on the Statue of Liberty.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Nazi leadership proclaimed a woman's battlefield to be the home, producing children for the Fatherland. Beginning in May 1939, prolific mothers were celebrated at ceremonies with the awarding of the Honor Cross of the German Mother. Recipients were granted special privileges and saluted by the Hitler Youth. The award had three classes: bronze for women who bore five children; silver for those with seven; and gold for those who truly excelled, producing nine or more children.
Photo: Philip Drell
Heinrich Himmler

Heinrich Himmler has been called the "architect of genocide." He was the leader of the SS, head of the German police and Waffen-SS, and minister of the interior. In Nazi Germany, only Adolf Hitler held more power than Himmler.

Himmler was born into a middle-class Catholic family in Munich in 1900. He studied agriculture and economics but was most intrigued with Nazi politics. He joined the fledgling SS in 1925 and became its leader four years later.

Once the Nazis took power in 1933, Himmler gained control of the police in both Munich and Bavaria. He opened the Dachau concentration camp in March of that year. By the summer of 1936, he controlled the political and criminal police throughout the Third Reich. Himmler gained a reputation as a ruthless perfectionist skilled at organizing terror tactics.

Ruling the concentration and death camps, Himmler directly controlled the Holocaust's process of destruction. In a speech to his SS leaders on October 4, 1943, he called the extermination of Jews "a page of glory in our history," and praised the "decent fellows" who were carrying it out.

Himmler's end was as inglorious as his Nazi career had been indecent. Captured by British troops while wearing a clumsy disguise, he evaded trial when he killed himself by swallowing poison on May 23, 1945.

 1939: An antisemitic film comedy, Robert und Bertram, is produced in Germany.
 1939: In the United States, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) investigates the pro-Nazi German-American Bund.
 1939: An Elmo Roper poll claims that 53 percent of Americans feel Jews are "different" and require "social and economic restrictions."
 1939: A Gallup poll reports that 83 percent of Americans oppose the admission of a larger number of Jewish refugees.
 1939: Based on instructions coming from the State Department, a United States consular official in Stuttgart, Germany, tells Ernest Michel, a German Jew who has an American sponsor, that all U.S. immigration quotas are filled and that he should reapply for admission to the United States in three years. Ironically, 1939 was the only year in which U.S. quotas were filled.
 January 1939: "Illegal immigration" begins from Germany to Palestine. 27,000 Jews will illegally immigrate by the end of 1940.
 January 1939: Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht informs Adolf Hitler that Germany's economy is on the verge of a disastrous inflation.
1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 153 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.