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1938: The End of Illusions
 pg. 138 
Graffiti written above the window of this Jewish-owned clothing store in Vienna conveys the antisemitic spirit of the times. The Star of David and the word Jud (Jew) are accompanied by a gallows and the sardonic announcement that the proprietors are vacationing in Dachau.
Photo: UPI/Corbis-Bettmann
Hitler's tour of the Czech lands took him to the resort town of Karlsbad. Known for its fine waters and spas, Karlsbad was often host to Europe's royalty. Upon arriving in the famed town of the western Czech lands, Hitler was received by a military honor guard, replete with an armored division of the Wehrmacht. The Czech people quickly learned of the military pageantry favored by their new rulers.
Photo: Pressebild Zentrale/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Madagascar Plan

In 1938 the Nazis explored the idea of shipping Germany's Jews to Madagascar, an island off the eastern coast of Africa. The plan was never implemented since Britain controlled the seas, but Hitler toyed with the idea for years. He reasoned that "the Jews must be sent to Africa, where climatic conditions have a debilitating effect on the human organism and lower its resistance."

The scheme to ship Jews to this French colonial possession in the Indian Ocean was first dreamed up by German antisemite Paul de Lagarde in the 19th century. The plan reemerged in the 1920s within antisemitic circles in Poland. In 1937 the Polish government negotiated the possibility with France.

The Nazi plan proposed exiling four million Jews to Madagascar. French inhabitants of the island would leave, isolating the Jews from contact with white Europeans. German naval bases would be located on the island. The remainder of the land would be a Jewish reservation, with its own mayors and postal service, but with a Nazi police governor responsible to Heinrich Himmler. Envisioned in this role was Philip Bouhler, head of the Nazis' "euthanasia" program.

 October 1938: Civiltá Cattolica, the foremost Jesuit journal, which is published in Rome and controlled by the Vatican, calls Judaism sinister and accuses Jews of trying to control the world through money and secularism. The journal says that the devil is the Jews' master; Judaism is evil and "a standing menace to the world."
 October 1-10, 1938: The German Wehrmacht occupies the Czech Sudetenland.
 October 5, 1938: Following a request by Heinrich Rothmund, head of the Swiss federal police, the German government recalls all Jewish passports and marks them with a large, colored "J." This is to prevent German Jews from passing as Christians and smuggling themselves into Switzerland.
1938: The End of Illusions
 pg. 138 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.