Hitler and his Nazi followers used prejudice, persecution, and punishment as their main ways of dehumanizing the Jews during the holocaust. Hitler also used the jews as a scapegoat, and blamed all of their societies problems on them. Discrimination or prejudice toward Jewish people is the definition of Anti-Semitism, and this term dates back to ancient times. During the Jewish and Roman wars, Romans invaded Jerusalem, tore down a Jewish temple and destroyed and stole many of its artifacts.
Jews stayed, and kept living their lives until the Romans wiped out most of all the Jewish villages. During the destruction of their homes and towns, many Jews were killed and the ones that weren’t, were sold as slaves or forced to leave. After the wars had ended, Hadrian, the leader of the Roman Empire at the time, renamed Jerusalem in order to cut ties from the Jewish population. The Jews that had either fled or survived, were now only allowed to practice their religion if they paid the Jewish Tax. During this time, the Romans adopted Christianity as their official religion. Another surge of anti-semitism hit during the 1800’s when political movements such as Zionism and German unification came into play.
Zionism was the push for the rebuilding of Jewish homes by creating their own state in Palestine. This led to Germans creating conspiracy theories that the Jewish population secretly planned to take over the world. Since there was not a single official German nation, Germans wanted to unite and create one. The Germans sought to create a nation that could compete with the political and economic power of Britain, France, and Russia. However, progress was slow, and the blame got placed on the Jews.
German writers wrote that the Jews were to blame for the slow progress because they were afraid of the power of a unified Germany. World War I took place from 1914 until 1918, 15 years before the start of the Holocaust.