In 1933, the Nazis rose to power in Germany and initiated an extensive propaganda campaign focused on "racial purity." Adolf Hitler viewed Jews as inferior and a threat to the Aryan race. The Nazis managed to persuade much of the population to adopt this view. Even children's board games of the time, such as Juden Raus
!, encouraged the idea that Jews should be expelled from Germany.
The German population was systematically conditioned before implementing the "final solution to the Jewish question," which entailed the physical extermination of all Jews in Europe.
The Holocaust is generally considered to have begun with "Kristallnacht
" in 1938, during which over 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed across Germany, 267 synagogues were burned and demolished, and 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to camps. Ordinary citizens, who appeared to be Jewish, were arrested on the streets, taken to police stations, and then sent to camps, separating them from their families forever.
The Holocaust represented the apex of anti-Semitism in Europe. Starting in 1933 in Nazi Germany (140,000 killed), it extended to Poland (3,000,000 killed), Ukraine (1,500,000 killed), Belarus (800,000 killed), Hungary (560,000 killed), Lithuania (140,000 killed), the Netherlands (100,000 killed), France (80,000 killed), and numerous other countries. Over the 12 years until 1945, approximately 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated, amounting to 60% of Europe's Jewish population and about one-third of the global Jewish community.
Following this horrifying genocide, it became evident to Jewish people worldwide that their safety could not be guaranteed. At any moment, they could be accused of something and face eradication as a national and religious minority.
The establishment of a sovereign state, where Jews could live independently with their own government and military to protect themselves, became a matter of life and death for this community.