Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 12: Depression and War
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7 Segment 8

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Nazi Soldiers
Segment 4
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There is also another disease at loose in the world. It is called anti-Semitism. It is hatred of Jews. Hitler uses that old idea to explain Germany's problems Check The Source - Hitler's First Political Tract. It is convenient. Whatever is wrong must be the fault of Jews. Inflation? Depression? It is all because of the Jews. So in Germany, as soon as the Nazis come to power, Jews are persecuted for no reason except their religion. Liane Reif-Lehrer was a Jewish girl born in Vienna, Austria, in 1934. Later on she wrote, "I should have been a normal little girl, happy with my special doll, my big brother, and my doting parents. But the world around me was going mad, and the life I should have had was not to be."

The Nazis use the technology of the modern world for purposes of murder. They build factories for killing. Then they hunt down the Jews of Europe and send them to be slaughtered See It Now - Concentration Camps. They don't kill just Jews. Hitler hates Slavs (who live in eastern Europe), gypsies, people who are crippled, and anyone who doesn't agree with him. The Nazis kill as many of those people as they can. And they enslave others.

How can three nations—Germany, Italy, and Japan, soon to be known as the Axis in the coming war—be a threat to the whole world? In the same way that a lone wolf doesn't try to attack a whole flock. He picks them off, one by one.

In 1938 Hitler takes over Austria, and then Czechoslovakia, and the democracies let him do it. When the Nazis march into Poland in See It Now - Nazi Soldiers 1939, finally Britain and France respond. They declare war on Germany Check The Source - Neville Chamberlain Radio Address.

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Did You Know?
The greatest scientist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein, arrived in America in 1933 from Germany. He was one of the earliest refugees from the Nazi regime.

Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?

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