Why were Jews and gypsies locked up in concentration camps in WW2?

Were jews and gypsies generally of the same political persuasion, which opposed the Nazi party? I have read some of Mein Kampf, and all I can establish from that is that Hitler was good at obsfucation and political confusion. I understand from some stories that he spent a long time as a young child being persecuted by jews in Vienna, and this is where the motivation for the Nazi's political persecution arose.

Is the general idea to rid all opposition to the party in power by starving everyone to death?

Update:

I know that the generally accepted viewpoint is that it was racist rather than political persecution. How do we know that race and politics are not in fact intertwined? I don't see how you can separate racism and political persecution. Indeed, this would make Government illegal (according to its own law) and liable to go to prison soon.

18 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    All were non-Aryan, and this considered "inferior" or "undesirable".

  • 1 decade ago

    The answer is much more complex than I have time to explore here, but in VERY short terms, "Racial Purity". Nazi Germany was founded on a doctrine of Aryan superiority, by perverting German history of the Knights and Barrons. The idea was that the Germanic and Nordic races were supermen, and the Jews, Slavs, Russians, Poles, and ALL the blacks were "Untermenchen" of lower species of man. That is why the Jews and Gypsies were murdered. Hitler was never persecuted by any Jews. He blamed the Jews because his grandmother had an affair with a Jew, became pregnant, and the man deserted her. Hitler was haunted by the fact that he may have been part Jew, and did everything in his power to destroy all records that might prove it.

    Source(s): History Channel
  • 1 decade ago

    the reasons for this are on several levels. When Hitler took over in Germany they had an economic crises. One way to gaining support in such situations is to find someone to blame so that you unit the majority behind you and the Jews were ideal for Hitler's purpose as they tend to form a distinct group and are good at making money. Once started then it was easy to rid yourself of any others you considered undesirable such as gypsies and people who were mentally sub-normal and any political opponents.

    As far as the Jewish situation was concerned it rather backfired on him as he got rid of some of Germany's top scientists and it is possible that with those Jews working for him he might have developed superior weapons such as the atomic bomb which would have won the war for him.

  • 1 decade ago

    There were many reasons he hated the Jews, but the reason they weere singled out is the very reason the second world war came about. The depression of the 1930's was affecting most of the world, Germany included. Germany saw over 40% of its economy being taken out of the country by the Jews, who have always been shrewd business-people. Their greed led the German people to hate them to such an extent that they happily saw them marked and controlled, but the concentration camps would never be accepted at this point. After Hitler lost his mind he decided war and killing was the only way forward and fear of him (although in some cses fanatical support) drove Germany to war, then later drove these fanatics to find someone to blame for their failures. The Jews took this blame. And a number of normal human beings simply showing the nature of what we all can be at our worst decided that extermination was the answer. This is the non-interrupted facts of what occurred in Germany and led to all the atrocities that occurred.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think that it was really to do with scape goats for economic & military failings in WW1 & the 1920/30s.The Nazis exploited the (still current) German 'unease' with regard to Jews & by this means they were able to shift the blame from Germans to people NQLU (Not Quite Like Us). Hitler had jewish friends as a soldier in WW1 & is believed to have some Jewish blood. As to Romas...well they have always been hated in Europe. To this day there is active discrimination in Romania & Bulgaria.In order to join the EU both countries are having to end a raft of discriminatory laws aimed at keeping Roma seperate from the rest of their societies.

  • 1 decade ago

    Any one not of the super race were persecuted. He used peoples hate of these minorities to gain power. Much like the neocons like rush, coulter, O'Rieley use peoples hate and ignorance of another people to make money. I don't believe any of these people even hitler really hated the ones they persecute its just a tool they use. Which makes it in some ways even worse that they view people as a tool to be used in anyway they see fit.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It wasn't political. The Nazis also sterilised and killed the mentally and physically handicapped and homosexuals too. Any of these poeple could have been right wing supporters, the Nazis got rid of them becuase they believed they were 'wrong' and/or inferior.

  • 1 decade ago

    Scape goatism. A political party that wants to hide it's own motives will find someone to hate.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes, if someone opposed the party the hitler youth would report those people to the gov't and they would be killed. jews and gypsies were persecuted because they were "destroying" the arian society so they were killed.

  • 1 decade ago

    the Nazi's needed an ultimate scapegoat for their ills...the Jews were perfect for their hatred...the Nazi's believed that the arian race was the pure race...and Jews and gypsies were not pure...in their infested minds

  • 1 decade ago

    His motivation was not political but racial. His argument was that Jews and gypsies were an inferior race.

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