Between the Wars
The Rise of Anti-Semitism

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Thousands of books smolder in a huge bonfire as Germans give the Nazi salute
during the wave of bookburnings that spread throughout Germany.

The period between the First and Second World Wars forebode bad times ahead for the Jewish population of Europe. Anti-Semitism only grew during this period and culminated with the devastating effects of the Holocaust. It was not surprising that, nearly six months after the peace treaty was signed in June 1919, the third aliyah began, with 35,000 new immigrants arriving in Eretz Israel within the following four years.

In Russia, Stalin did not make life easy for the Jews and their desire to worship freely and openly. In 1924 Jewish emigration was banned. The government in Poland placed restrictions on the Jews and officially prevented them from Torah observance. In 1925 the fourth aliyah began and within the next three years 60,000 Polish Jews left for Eretz Israel. In Germany, subsequent to the defeat of the Germans during World War I, Jews were made the scapegoats for the country's ills. The third such aliyah was in 1932 when 225,000 Jews emigrated from Europe for various Jewish settlements through 1939. Many could sense what was coming, as they left to escape the escalation of Nazism in Europe. To make matters worse, at various times, especially at the time the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed in the United States, immigration was restricted, so that those who wished to escape the rising sentiment of anti-Semitism and immigrate to the United States, could not do ►►

--photo courtesy of the National Archives, Washington, D.C.





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