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National Socialist persecution

Possible reasons for imprisonment in the Klapperfeld

Countless people were persecuted by the National Socialists for various reasons. It is impossible to say with certainty who was ‚imprisoned‘ in the Klapperfeld and for what reasons, but in many cases it is certain and in others very probable that people were imprisoned here under National Socialism for the following reasons, among others:

Political persecution

Immediately after Hitler came to power in January 1933, the Nazis set about eliminating their political opponents (SPD, KPD, trade unions…). The first concentration camp for political prisoners was established in Dachau on 22 March 1933. In general, the persecution of all opponents and critics of Nazi politics increased continuously.

Anti-Semitism and racism

Anti-Semitic and racist persecution also began immediately. As early as April 1933, the regime organised a first »Jewish boycott« with the SA, in which numerous shops of Jewish owners were destroyed. Non-Jewish Germans were urged to stop buying from Jews. This was followed by countless laws and decrees that made the lives of Jews more and more difficult and culminated in systematic deportation and extermination.

Racist persecution also affected the Sinti and Roma, who were discriminated against, persecuted and murdered as »Gypsies«. Similarly, it was in line with the Nazis‘ racial ideology, which had become the state ideology, to regard the Slavic population of Eastern Europe as inferior, which was particularly important for the ideological preparation of the Second World War. Many Eastern Europeans were deported to Germany for forced labour during the war.

Keeping the »Volksgemeinschaft« pure

From the Nazis‘ point of view, Germans belonged to the Germanic »master race«. The »Volksgemeinschaft« to be created according to this ideal excluded all those who did not conform to its standards. Thus, hundreds of thousands of people who were declared handicapped or mentally ill were systematically murdered or forcibly sterilised.

Also, more and more people were forced into forced labour in concentration camps as so-called »asocials« (legal language in the Nazi regime). Furthermore, homosexuals were also deported to concentration camps because they did not fit into the image of the German »master race«.