"Aryanisation" in Hamburg: The Economic Exclusion of Jews and the Confiscation of Their Property in Nazi Germany

Synopsis

Much has been written about Nazi anti-Jewish policies, about atrocities of the Wehrmacht, and about the life of the Jews during the Third Reich. However, relatively little is known about the behavior of non-Jewish Germans. This book, published to wide acclaim in its original edition, shows how many "ordinary Germans" became involved in what they saw as a legally sanctioned process of ridding Germany and Europe of their Jews. Bajohr's study offers a major contribution to our understanding of this process in that it focusses on one of its most important aspects, namely the gradual exclusion of Jews from economic life in Hamburg, one of the largest centers of Jewish life in Europe and one in which many of them had been part of the Hanseatic patriciate before 1933. The sad conclusion of this study is that it was not necessarily antisemitism that motivated "ordinary burghers" but unrestrained greed that led them to betray their former co-citizens.