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1937: Quiet Before the Storm
 pg. 115 
Germany's persecuted Jewish minority had few places to go. Legislation such as South Africa's Aliens Act (pictured) severely restricted the number of Jews that country would accept. The unwillingness of other nations to accept Germany's Jews fueled the Third Reich's antisemitic propaganda and led Hitler to question the sincerity of international protest against his anti-Jewish policies.
Photo: Beth Hatefutsoth / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Herbert Baum led a clandestine Jewish Communist cell in Germany from 1936 until his death in '43. In 1937 he and his wife, Marianne, established a Jewish resistance organization called the Baum Group. The group met weekly in the young couple's Berlin home to discuss politics and plot strategy. Members also informed and educated Jews about important matters.
Photo: SYddeutscher Verlag Bilderdienst

Adolf Hitler's ideology made war with the Soviet Union inevitable. Early in his political career, he announced National Socialism's "mission" to "secure for the German people the land and soil to which they are entitled on this earth." Numerous references in his book Mein Kampf point to the "necessity" for German territorial expansion--for Lebensraum (Living space) for the German people. Hitler was convinced that more land was needed as a "source of a people's food," and that Germany had to become a great military and political power if it were to win and safeguard this territory.

This was not a new idea. German expansionists had coined the Lebensraum slogan before World War I, justifying their colonial empire and European annexation plans. Hitler also was influenced by the teachings of Karl Haushofer, a professor at the University of Munich, whose geopolitical theory centered on "space as a factor of power."

Hitler believed Germany's required living space could be taken from Eastern Europe and Russia. He not only considered Slavic people inferior, but he felt the Soviet Union was ripe for conquest because of the weakness of its "Jewish Bolshevik" leadership. On November 5, 1937, Hitler outlined his expansionist plans in a secret conference with his top military staff.

 1937: In Hungary, Ferenc Szálasi establishes the Nyilaskeresztes Part-Hungarista Mozgalom (Arrow Cross Movement), dedicated to antisemitism.
 1937: Britain proposes an Arab and a Jewish state separated by a mandated area incorporating Jerusalem and Nazareth; Arabs demand a single state with minority rights for Jews.
 1937: SS functionary Adolf Eichmann, posing as a journalist, visits Palestine to investigate the feasibility of mass deportations of German Jews to that area.
 1937: The first issue of Die Judenfrage (The Jewish Question), edited by Georg Haller, is published in Germany.
 1937: Poland investigates the possibility of deporting resident Jews to Madagascar.
 January 1, 1937: The Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (VOMI; Ethnic German Assistance Office) is founded to act as an intermediary between Berlin and ethnic Germans (from nations other than Germany) who are to be resettled in Eastern Europe.
 March 1937: Jewish film star Paul Muni receives an Academy Award for playing the title role in The Life of Emile Zola. Although the film deals with French antisemitism, the dialogue never mentions the word "Jew."
1937: Quiet Before the Storm
 pg. 115 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.