by Aish.com staff
Initially, the Nazis simply wanted all the Jews out of German territory. In fact, they helped Jews emigrate to Israel. But little by little, the pressure was turned up and the doors shut tight.
In 1936-38, various anti-Jewish signage began to appear in public: “Parks Not For Jews.” “Jews Not Wanted.” “Proudly Announcing the Re-Opening of a Former Jewish Business, Now Owned By a German.”
Yet many Jews still didn’t realize they were supposed to leave. Germany was considered a pinnacle of civilized living. More than any other country, Jews in Germany had made progress in terms of human rights and integrating into the society. No one could imagine what was about to happen.
Anti-Semitic sign, banning Jews from entry to public baths, Berlin
Rabbi Eliyahu Ellis of Aish Jerusalem relates:
My dad told me a story of his life as a young man living in Germany. He worked in a big department store and one day his boss, also a Jew, asked him to stay overtime.
Everyone went home, and my dad and his boss were the only ones left in the store. The boss said, “Pull down all the shutters, let’s black-out the store.” So they did. They waited a few hours after dark. Up pulled an S.S. command car, and quickly popped out an S.S. general and his wife. The general’s wife wanted to shop and as the general said, “I like to come to Jewish stores because I know I’m going to get a good deal.”
As a young man, my dad was an athlete – a top soccer player on the regional team. Apparently, the general had seen my dad play and really admired him. So while his wife was shopping, the general chatted with my father.
Read Entire Story in Aish Torah