Chronology of Jewish Persecution: 1936
The German Gestapo is placed above the law.
August Cardinal Hlond, the head of the Polish Catholic Church, considered less antisemitic than many Polish clergy and a careful follower of Vatican policy, issues a pastoral letter advocating discrimination against Polish Jews “so long as they remain Jews.”" He writes that Polish Catholics “ought to fence themselves off against the Jews’ harmful moral influence of Jewry” and “ought to separate themselves from its anti-Christian culture.” He states that Polish Catholics “ought to boycott the Jewish press” and other “demoralizing Jewish publications,” although “Catholics should not assault Jews.”
Anti-Jewish pogroms occur in Poland. Polish Cardinal Hlond speaks out against Jewish “usury, fraud, and white slavery.”
Jewish doctors prohibited from practicing in German public health institutions.
In defiance of the Versailles Treaty and other international agreements, German troops occupy the Rhineland. Although publicly denouncing Hitler’s action, France, Great Britain, and the United States accept it--another important step in appeasing Hitler and in encouraging him to make further demands in Europe.
A Reichstag “election” is held. Hitler’s policies are approved by 98 percent of the voters.
French conservatives condemn French Socialist leader Léon Blum because of his Jewish ancestry and his strongly anti-Nazi orientation. A popular slogan at the time condemns the future French premier: “Better Hitler than Blum.”
Italian army conquers Addis Ababa.
Heinrich Himmler is appointed Chief of the German Police.
Civil War erupts in Spain between General Francisco Franco’s Nationals and the Republicans of the government. Three years of bloody battles and changing fortunes for both sides ensue, with Franco claiming victory on April 1, 1939.
German and Italian military involvement in Spain begins.
Poland’s Ministry of Commerce orders all small businesses to display the owners’ names as the names appear on the birth certificates. The directive is intended to expose Jewish-owned businesses.
The Summer Olympic Games are held in Berlin, allowing the world its first (stage-managed) look at the Third Reich. The Olympic Games were a propoganda success for the Nazi state. The Nazis made every effort to portray Germany as a respectable member of the international community and soft-pedaled their persecution of the Jews. The Germans disguise any outward signs of antisemitism by removing anti-Jewish signs from public display restrained anti-Jewish activities. In response to pressure from foreign Olympic delegations, Germany also included Jews or part-Jews on its Olympic team. Avery Brundage, head of the United States National Olympic Committee, successfully fights against an American boycott of the Berlin Olympics, insisting that the Olympic boycott lobby is led by Jewish “special interests.” Once in Germany, Brundage is entertained by top Nazi official Hermann Göring.
A 25-percent tax is imposed on all Jewish assets in Germany.
Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels declares that film criticism is henceforth banned, freeing the Nazi-controlled German film industry to pursue its own agenda, which includes blatantly antisemitic films.
During the same period in the United States, Hollywood is self-censored in that it fears dealing with Jewish issues because of the high level of antisemitism existing at the time in the United States.
1936: Other important events
A leading Jewish-German jurist, Gerhard Leibholz, is stripped of his position at the University of Göttingen.
The first Lebensborn home for expectant Aryan mothers opens near Munich.
The Nazis establish public television viewing rooms for the dissemination of government propaganda.
The America-based German-American Bund funnels currency to the Reich.
Following the same anti-Jewish path as German Lutherans during the Nazi regime, America’s foremost Protestant journal, Christian Century, argues that America is a Christian nation with a Christian culture and has to remain that way. Christians are indifferent to Jewish suffering because the Jews deserve God’s punishment due to their denial of Jesus. Judaism is a racial, religious, and nationalist prototype of Nazism. These attitudes are reflected in much of the American Protestant press during the Holocaust.
Sources: Various books and chronologies related to World War II and
the Holocaust Memorial Center